A reader writes:
The cove, the brightly colored buildings and lush foliage makes me think we're looking at a scene from Zihuatanejo, down in Mexico.
Fort George, Falmouth Harbor, Antigua? Even if I'm way off, I would like to extend to you my most sincere appreciation for the two hour Google Earth virtual-vacation you just provided me on this fine Saturday afternoon while exploring the bays and harbors of the Netherland Antilles. If it had been a typical, soul-sucking Monday at my desk, however, you be receiving four letter words instead of thanks.
In the hours I spent obsessively searching Google Earth for this VFYW, I probably could have traveled to the location in person. The way I see it there are only two options as to the origin of this VFYW submission: either a gloating, vacationing Disher; or more likely, the property owner himself, in which case he should be commended for his ingenius use of free advertising, courtesy of the Dish. In fact, this view and the villa that comes along with it can be yours for under a low, low rental price of only $10k/week. Does that plug get me a discount? If not, I'll settle for the win and the book.
Another nails the correct location:
Tough puzzle, but with one very useful clue almost smack in the middle: there just aren't that many four-masted, blue-hulled sailing yachts in the world.
A Google search led me to the yacht Phocea, which is supposedly based in the Mediterranean. Somehow the terrain didn't look right for the Mediterranean. I briefly considered the Cayman Islands since the yacht is registered there, thinking the location might have current political relevance, but no luck there either. So back to Google (with my daughter searching this time) for the yacht's current location, and bingo! – Port Vila, Vanuatu, in the South Pacific.
The photo was taken from The Reserve Bank of Vanuatu facing the Rue Mercet. The bank comprises two large structures. The contest's photo was taken from the smaller, western-most structure, specifically at the southern end of the row of windows on the top floor. The low wall at the southern end of the balcony appears at the left edge of the photo. I have attached a picture of the bank with a circle drawn around the window:
I've never been to Vanuatu, nor have I sailed on the Phocea, so I have no story to tell, but I do love the Dish. The weekly contest is just icing on the cake.
Another sends an aeriel view:
A previous winner writes:
One thing you have to love about the VFYW contest is that a picture taken in Minnesota (last week's shot) can prove far more challenging to locate than one taken in the middle of the south Pacific. This week's view shows the harbor of Port Vila, Vanuatu, the country's capital. It was taken from a window at the Vanuatu Reserve Bank looking roughly west-southwest above the World War I and II memorial.
On that note, another writes:
In the bottom right of the picture you can barely see the top of the WWII Memorial that sits across from the Federal Reserve building. The attached picture shows the window I think the picture was taken from:
The winner this week is the only Vanuatu entrant who has correctly answered a difficult view in the past without yet winning:
The key to this VFYW contest is the four-masted sailing yacht moored in the bay. There are few, if any, other large yachts rigged like this one, the Phocea. Ocean-going yachts like this one move around a lot and could be in any number of tropical bays that look something like this. The Phocea, however, was seized by the government of Vanuatu over customs violations and the story has widened into a scandal involving several government ministers and all sorts of allegations of skullduggery. In light of this, hope the picture was snapped on International Talk Like a Pirate Day last week.
The view is of Vila Harbor. Based on the locations of the buildings with the yellow, blue and green roofs between Kumul Highway and Rue de Paris and the railing in the foreground, my best guess is that the picture was taken from the older, west wing of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu building. The fenestration of the building makes it difficult to count windows (I think it’s third from the left on the top floor), so if I need to be that precise I’ve attached a picture with an arrow.