vfyw

Before we get to the results, this week is a good opportunity to tell new readers about The View From Your Window Game, a brilliant little site created by a Dish reader, Llewellyn Hinkes, that lets you guess the location of contest windows from our archive. To play, you simply zoom in on a global grid square by square until you select the square containing the location of the city. Just check it out to see what I mean. It’s really simple and elegant (and addictive). The VFYW Game has been updated since it was first released a few years ago, so check it out even if you’ve already seen it before. Llewellyn is going to allow us to update the site with every single contest window in the archive, including the current window being contested, so the game will have a permanent place in our weekly results. On to this week’s results:

The architecture, the red sandstone, the deciduous woods on the lower slopes, the snow on the ground: my guess would be somewhere in the southwestern quarter of Mitteleuropa, possibly the Vosges hills of Alsace or the Black Forest in Germany. A very broad-brush guess, I know.

Another:

That picture reminds me of Sweden, as I was just there in December. Dark, dark, dark.

Another:

Easy, pretty sure it’s overlooking the law school in the old city of Salzburg, Austria.  That’s probably the monk’s mountain behind it.

Another:

This looks very much like a view of the old stables/garage area at the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina.  But  you wouldn’t use something so many tourists had been to, would you? So it must be the back side of Downton Abbey.

Another:

Having just visited Vermont for a ski trip, this very much resembles the rolling, forested hills that line both sides of Route 4 as you approach the Killington Mountain Ski Resoirt. I suspect it may be somewhere in either Woodstock or Bridgewater, as you traverse the snaking Ottaquechee River. The felled trees in the background also suggest that this is the same part of Vermont that experienced substantial damage in August of 2011 from Hurricane Irene, which resulted in major flooding in that area of the state.  Nonetheless, Woodstock, VT is my guess.

Another:

Roncesvalles, Navarre, Spain? A blind guess, based on a blurry, possibly fictional image I have in my head from visiting years ago. It’s an incredibly dull town that happens to be historically and religiously notable. If I had to guess, I’d say that the photo is taken from the huge, soulless hostel building in the centre of the town.

Another:

Vaslui, Romania? To commemorate St. Stephen’s victory over the Ottoman Empire in 1475??

Another:

I’ve been reading your blog since the dawn of man (seriously, since it dawned on this man Sullivan to write a blog) and I have written you on numerous occasions. I have never submitted a VFYW guess. I do not have the patience to do more than guess a hemisphere. (Funny though, I did submit a VFYW photo which you made a contest a couple years ago… Casablanca.)

Well, today I saw that and thought, Ifrane, Morocco!  I lived in Germany for many years and it looked like that, but then I remembered a trip last year to Ifrane, which looks like a little French town of chalets. I thought, “I wouldn’t put it past them to do something so mean.” Well, I googled-earthed it and spent 60 long miserable minutes trying to figure it out. I can’t find anything that looks like that building. I give up. I have no patience. So I’m sticking with freaking Ifrane, Morocco.

The reader is going to kick himself when he sees the correct answer:

Clervaux, Luxembourg? I am from Luxembourg and this picture could have been taken in the north of the country, where there are many small but picturesque villages in narrow dales. Architecture and neatness would fit as well.

Getting close. Another:

That’s obviously Bavaria.  We were kicking ourselves for not at least throwing out a guess on the Vietnam window.  We both thought it was Vietnam but couldn’t get anywhere on city so we gave up.  Never again!  In all seriousness, I have no idea where this is (and I don’t think my husband does either …).

The photo is indeed from Germany. Another:

Long time reader, first-time contestant who just subscribed (congrats on the new model.)  I am not one of your readers who ever does the Google map search thing. The only reason I was moved to enter this time is because the View was so evocative of the visit I made to the Dachau concentration camp site about 30 years ago.

On a much brighter note:

The VFYW this week is definitely European.  It looks like the sun has just risen and given the time the photo was taken, that would mean it’s somewhere in Northern Europe.  I’m going with Northern Germany.  No idea where, but I’ll say somewhere near Lubeck.

Now that I’ve answered, I have a request.  I turn 40 today and to balance the side effects of turning the big 4-0 I’ve created a list of 40 mini challenges to accomplish this year – emphasis on the word “mini” –seeing as I’m a mother of toddler twin boys, work part time, have a husband and two big dogs. In other words I have no real free time to take on lots of new and literally challenging adventures.

One of my forty “challenges” is to get the city right in one of the VFYW contests this year.  (And to go along with the forty motif I’ve paid a subscription of $40 to The Dish.)  I’ve actually got the house/street number right twice in the past (Budapest and Cork), but thought aiming to get that specific in future might be a bit unrealistic.  So I’m asking if at some point over the next year you could have a couple of easy contests – ones where us normal people can stand a chance of getting it right, ones for people who can’t spend their whole weekend googling images and map, ones for people with lives outside the internet.  Because if you don’t have an easy one then I won’t be able to achieve my challenge and that would just be very disappointing….

Thanks! (40 times over)

No need for this reader to wait for an easier contest; she wins this week. No one guessed the exact city – Sinzig, Germany – and her guess of Lubeck was the closest German city to Sinzig. From the reader who submitted the photo:

In case anyone gets close on this one, here are the details.  The photo was taken at Schloss Ahrenthal, a castle which has been converted into a business conference center.  It’s about 3 km south of town on the L82, a road for which there is no StreetView – not that that would help, because Streetview from that narrow highway would probably only see the facing wall of the courtyard. Anyway, the view is from the third window from the right on the second floor, from the room called “Wolf”.  All the rooms are named after forest creatures and birds. The view below is pretty much from the opposite angle:

06-02 Exterieur

I was there as faculty for a training my firm gives new hires.  (Nice gig!)  This is the second time you’ve used a picture of mine taken when I was on a business trip; the first one was the back of the Orlando conference center at sunrise.  I guess I’ll keep them coming!

Please do.

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