The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #64


by Chris Bodenner

I didn’t realize this window would be as challenging as it was, since the view is from a pretty famous city. But we only received about three dozen entries from readers this week, perhaps the lowest amount ever. One writes:

This reminds me of my pretty-much hometown of Santa Barbara, California. The Spanish-influenced architecture, the greenery-covered hills, all with an underlying American feel. This is nostalgia talking, as I’m four years removed from my Californian home, but I figure it’s as good of a guess as any I could come up with in the 20 seconds of analyzing the picture.


When I first saw the picture, I instantly thought to myself could this be Berkeley, the greatest town in America, my alma mater. The trees, brick roofs and the majestic bay in the background convinced me that it is.  Go Bears!!!


I think I’ve already ruled out this as a possibility, but when I first saw the photo, it reminded me of the southeast corner of Buena Vista Park in San Francisco. That large facility in the distance looked like the old St. Joseph’s Hospital, which was featured in Vertigo and eventually converted to condos. I’m all but positive it’s not, but if this were a picture of that building, it would have been taken from the California Pacific Medical Center – Davis Campus building at 632 Duboce. Maybe the 6th floor?

The photo was taken from a hospital, but wrong country. Another:

I almost keep trying the same answer, but is the only place it reminds me of. It looks a lot like the mountain behind my apartment if Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.


I would rate this week’s contest as nearly impossible.

A distant shot of modern apartment buildings and trees. Not a single street visible, nor a single possible landmark.  Red tile roofs, which could be many places. Perhaps the trees are an odd shade of green, which suggested Australia to me. The buildings on the hillside appear to be facing something scenic, so I’m thinking the ocean. Sydney is my wild, wild guess. It must be very challenging for you to find the perfect degree of difficulty.

More than you know. Another:

Random guess: the bold city on this map:



I’ve never been remotely close on any of the guesses I’ve made in the past (and haven’t entered, either). But I saw those buildings on a hill and the image stuck with me. Then I saw a documentary on Pablo Escobar a few hours later. I’m sure I’m wrong, but I can’t ignore the cosmic coincidence factor, so I’ll take a stab and say Medellin, Colombia.

Another gets on the right continent:

Heidelberg is my guess because of the lovely rolling green hills, the mix of what looks like old and new Western European housing, and, frankly, because I have a great affection for Heidelberg. As a 10 year old, my family of midwesterners, none of whom had been to Europe before, undertook a Clark Griswold-style adventure, prior to the fall of the iron curtain. One of the strongest memories I have from that trip was the “Student Jail” or Studentenkarzer, of Heidelberg, where naughty university students had been confined for a variety of offenses, including, according to the tour guide, setting the townspeople’s pigs loose in the street. Here’s hoping there’s some free-ranging pigs somewhere out of view.


The picture had an eastern bloc feel to it with those multiple flat-roofed apartment buildings.   But given the color patterns and subtropical look, I confined my search to mainly Romania and Bulgaria and near the Black Sea.  The closest similar-looking area I could find was about 5 km east of downtown Varna, Bulgaria.  I attached a picture which looks like the area depicted in the contest photo. Specifically, my guess is that the picture was taken from the Teacher Training building of Shumen University in Varna:


Another gets on the right track:

While the photo lacks any identifying landmarks, it does have a Mediterranean look thanks to the red tile roofs.  Dense oak forest could be near my home in California, but the specific landscape is not one with which I am familiar.  That leaves the actual Mediterranean and it seems like the dense forest is most prevalent in the northeast corner of Spain.  Searching for coastal cities with hilly but not rugged terrain and high rise buildings, I settled upon Lloret de Mar, Spain.  Since I can’t find the specific view I don’t think that is quite correct, but it’s as close as I’m going to get while still getting some work done.


The photo looks Mediterranean, with the reddish orange roofs and what looks like a mix of deciduous and conifer trees. It looks like there may be a bay at the top right corner. Modern building in the foreground with what look like dormitories in the back, as well as older buildings enmeshed in trees. So I am going to take a guess that it is Haifa, looking onto the Carmel forest.


Nothing much in the picture that can be Googled, but the traditional architecture and hill are reminiscent of Dubrovnik, Croatia, along with the modern building from which the photo was taken. Looks like the Adriatic in the background. Hope that proximity counts.

Proximity is definitely going to win this one:

Hi.  Lyon, France?  Just a hunch.

It’s Cannes, but Lyon is close enough for a win. (In fact, our winner was the only one to guess France.) We’ll get a window book out to you shortly. Easier one next week!

By the way, more details on the view:

We’re American. My husband had an emergency appendectomy, in France, this week. There are a lot of fascinating contrasts in the American and French medical systems, at least as we’ve experienced them.  (I had a baseball-sized brain tumor taken out a few IMG_0160 years ago, so we had some intense medical interactions).  The Centre Hospitalier de Cannes, in the La Croix de Gardes neighborhood, has committed, professional healers and the process is very focused on rest and sleep.  It’s much lower tech, and much more human.  And the quality, based on our anecdotal experience, seems high, at least for our issues.

The view from the window is terrific.  I’m attaching photo with and without the IV pole in the way. It was taken by my husband, from the hospital bed.