Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Regular friends of the decanter will know that ol’ Robbo is something of a Luddite when it comes to all these newfangled electronic gadgets being foisted on the market.  For example, I have often (perhaps too often) opined to Mrs. R that her GPS thingy, to which she is utterly beholden to get from Point A to Point B,  is actually controlled by Skynet and that when Judgement Day comes, Skynet will steer her straight into an ambush and serves her right.   She can’t say that she wasn’t warned.

However, I must admit my own personal delight with Google Maps, both in its overhead capacity and in its street-view function.   I think I have posted often enough here  about geography to explain the former.  The latter has had some real value in my job, since I often must travel to cities and towns unknown to me and scoping them out ahead of time has saved me a lot of bother.

Anyhoo, the point of this post is to draw attention to a particular feature of the street-view function.  I had read (and checked out) an article a few months back describing how said function had been expanded to include not just highways and byways, but also  panoramic views from the summits of some select mountains.   I forget which ones they were, but at the time I thought the ones I visited were, well, o-kay, but not all that special.

This week, however, I found myself checking out Google Maps’ street-view of Mt. Fuji.  I had not known this, but there’s a trail all the way round the lip of the crater, and some enterprising Google employee had hiked all the way up from the base and around said trail.

I have seen some impressive views before.  The Google street-map view of Pike’s Peak is pretty impressive.  Similarly the various views available when one wanders around the Italian and Austrian Alps.  But this one takes the cake.  Mt. Fuji is 12K-plus feet in altitude and there’s nothing immediately around it.  The view is both breath-taking and, if you have a fear of heights like me, palm-sweat inducing.

(Yes, sitting at my computer in the basement of Port Swiller Manor, staring at a computer screen, I can still get scared looking at images depicting great height.  That’s how much of an acrophobe I am.)

Anyhoo, if you haven’t done so, I heartily recommend that you check this thing out.