The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #172


A reader writes:

This photo is from a very lush and slightly tropical place.  The truck driving up the road in the distance on the far right of the photo appears to be driving on the left side of the road.  The buildings appear very British – Scottish actually. There seems to be a flag over the cemetery but the flag looks light blue and white.  Argentina?  That’s not helping. I’m going to guess the north island of New Zealand on the east coast.  Let’s say the Auckland suburbs.


I know that the palm trees in the picture are yucca trees, which are ingenious to the Americas, the tree version being found closer to water and wet climates while the shrubs are found in dryer climates. Put that with the cliffs and my guess is the coast of California – no idea what city. Also, the road on the left side of the picture along the cliff side looks like Highway 1, which runs along California’s coastline.


I’m in the midst of moving so I have little time for research, but that view of the breakwater looks very much like the one in Victoria BC, especially with that size lighthouse at the end.  Of course a few of the trees in the photo don’t exactly scream Pacific Northwest, but with the exotic Butchart Gardens nearby I think the locals are inspired to grow non-native flora.


The vegetation and houses remind me of South Africa’s “Garden Coast” east of Cape Town.  I’m guessing Kynsna, mainly because it’s such a lovely name to say (“NIZE-na”) and such a beautiful place.

Another gets on the right continent:

“Oh wow,” I thought to myself, “that looks just like the Irish coast. The random tropical plants, the blocky stucco houses, the steel-gray skies. I’ll just pop over to Google maps and trace the coastline until I find a breakwater and some rocky coves! Easy!”

Oh, except Ireland has about four billion miles of rocky coastline, and I’m supposed to be working. So I’m going to guess Dun Laoghaire, because who are we kidding with that spelling? Plus it’s the first place I thought of, even though I’m pretty sure it’s not correct.

Another is also frustrated:

I just can’t get this one. It screams southwest Ireland to me – we do actually have palm trees there – but I can’t identify the place.  To solve the Cork VFYW contest I went all around the coast of Ireland on Google maps until I found the right port.  But here I’ve gone back and forth from Cork to Waterford and on to Wicklow and Wexford and I can’t find the river (or inlet) that’s going into the sea.  But a guess is better than no guess, so I’m going to say it’s County Cork, somewhere near Schull.  Even if I’m not close it’s a very beautiful part of the country and it’s nice to remember my trips there.

Another gets on the right island:

I think this is near a small resort town called Largs on the west coast of Scotland. The tropical looking trees might have thrown me off but I was there a little over a week ago and was surprised that they were growing there. Also, the buildings look like what you would find in that area.

Another gets closer:

I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere in Britain. The cars are driving on the left and the boxy white house on the left is very typical British residential architecture. I first thought it might be Torquay, England, where I visited many years ago and recalling how surprised I was to see palm trees there. But checking Google street view, it looked like Torquay was too built up. So I thought of Penzance, further down the coast. I couldn’t find the view in the photo, so I’m really just guessing.  (Alternative guess: Hamilton, Bermuda)


Oh, those little palm trees don’t fool me. Those windows! The chimneys! The roan sky! Definitely England. Got to be the southwest coast, a place with a quay. How about Falmouth? Is it Falmouth then?

Nope. Another:

My first entry ever and I wouldn’t know how to begin doing it properly, but I think it’s the south coast of Cornwall. Even if it isn’t, it reminded me of home, so thanks.

Very close. Another nails the right town:

This week’s VFYW contest is in Fishguard, Wales. Palm tree was a bit of a red herring. Having visited Ireland, Wales, and England last month for the first time, I immediately recognized this scene as in that general area (rocky coast, palm trees, that glass enclosed room in the foreground). After Google Maps-ing around the circumference of Ireland without much luck, I went to Wales, where I found the view pretty quickly. The image is from Fishguard, Wales. I don’t have the exact window but my guess is that the image was taken from the back of The Manor Town House, on Main St./A487.

An aerial view of Fishguard:

VFYW 2013.09.21

Another nails the right window:

There is a car on the road driving on the left side of the road and I immediately thought Australia. They apparently have some pine trees as seen in the picture, but after an hour I figured out that there are no inhabitants in the northern coast of Australia.

Enter the girlfriend. One look and she says “Cornwall UK!” – they have warm weather, so an hour or two searching for a pier on Cornwall and Truro and islands off the coast … nothing. Then she emails me this morning – “Fishguard!” – gloating because I nailed Sintra in under 30 seconds three weeks ago. I don’t know yet how she did it.

Anyway, I looked around Fishguard for a white canopy/gazebo thing … nothing. That was hard, so I went for a drive on Google maps, focused on the main street area and then I get email #3 from the GF: Manor Town Hotel on Main street (it has great reviews btw). She was on fire.

The pic was likely taken from the second floor window. I’ve attached an almost identical picture taken from the room #1:


Room #1 it is. Another reader:

As it happens, this is the town in which my mother was born, though I’ve never been. Fishguard (in Welsh, “Abergwaun”) is where you get the ferry from the UK to Ireland. It was where the film Under Milk Wood (with that great Welsh actor Richard Burton) chose to portray Dylan Thomas’ fictional town “Llareggub”.

A good hour on Google Maps tells me this window belongs to the back (north-side) of the Manor Town House, 11 Main Street, Fishguard, SA65 9HG, which is now a guesthouse. You can just about make out the circular gazebo on the satellite view. The houses you can see on the hill opposite are on a street called Penslade (which has Streetview, so you can tick off the houses by colour).

A visual entry from a reader:

VFYW Fishguard Actual Window Marked - Copy

You know you’re a little too into the VFYW contest when you find it while furiously searching for clues over Amtrak’s spotty wi-fi on the train down from Albany.

Of the dozen or so readers who correctly answered Room #1 at the Manor Town House, only one of them has correctly guessed a challenging window in the past without yet winning. The tie-breaking entry:

It’s raining. So we must be in the UK. In the background, we see the end of what is either a pier or a breakwater, a pretty big one it seems. Does that point to Plymouth, and its enormous breakwater in the Plymouth Sound? It doesn’t. This picture was taken from what I believe is Room 1 at the Manor Town House Bed & Breakfast on 11 Main Street in Fishguard in lovely Pembrokeshire on the west coast of Wales. (Fun fact: not too far away was the site of the last successful French military invasion of Britain during the War of the First Coalition in 1797.)