I personalized this week’s challenge in its interpretation – to try to find pictures from various recent travels that derive a significant part of their character from the presence of lines in them. I was moderately successful, I think!
This is a picture from the window of our hotel room in Reno, NV, during a trip early in 2017.This is a picture of a hotel in Mammoth Lakes, CA. The lines on this hotel came to life in the early morning light.The lines on the sand dunes of Mesquite Flat in Death Valley, CA, are the only natural ones that I have in this collection of pictures. You will notice that these lines are the only ones where there are curves that are obvious. (There is probably a lesson somewhere in there!)A couple of months later we visited the New England area. This picture shows the lines on one of the trains on the Mt. Washington Cog Railway in New Hampshire. The engine is at a different angle than the carriage because it is stopped at the edge of the slope.Lines and angles dominate the picture of this covered bridge over the Ammonoosuc river in Littleton, NH.The lines on the Icefields Parkway dominated my six day bike ride through the Canadian Rockies in the later half of 2017.This picture was taken in St. Louis, MO later in 2017. It should not be difficult to guess what the subject matter of this picture is.This picture was taken at Middle of the Earth, just outside of Quito, in Ecuador on the equatorial line in November 2017.This picture is of a corridor in the Design Hotel in Chennai in India at the end of the year. This is considered a “boutique hotel“.I love the lines on the Boeing 787-9 that we saw at Charles de Gaulle airport on our way back from India.The lines of the roof at this gas station in Effingham, IL, caught my eye during a road trip earlier this year. Yes, we had some late-season snow in our part of the world, but it is all over now!
It could be difficult to find conditions that lend themselves to having a feeling of serenity during a somewhat hectic holiday trip, but we did nonetheless experience some such moments during our visit to Ecuador.
We stayed at the Finch Bay Hotel on the island of Santa Cruz while in the Galapagos. We spent our evenings at the hotel while making many day-trips to different places to take in the sights. While at the hotel, you could sit out in the open area next to the swimming pool and look out over the bay. On a clear night, one could see the cruise ships resting in the bay under the peaceful light of the moon.One was also likely to be greeted by the great blue heron (who seemed to have set up residence in the neighborhood) in the quiet early morning, and one could also join it in greeting the dawn of another new day.Back on the mainland, on our way from Quito to Otavalo, we stayed in cabins beside the San Pablo lake. The lake was beautiful in the early morning light. A light mist rose over the quiet waters.The awakening birds flew low over the waters of the lake as we looked out over it. It was very peaceful.At Papallacta, a little village situated in a mountain valley high in the Andes, we could see the the lazy clouds floating across the sky in the evening light, past the snow-capped Antisana volcano, as the sun began to set.In the morning, while we were taking a lazy walk, we saw the cows grazing peacefully on the mountain pastures with not a care in the world.We traveled further east to the Amazon region of the country. In the evening light, under the gently rising clouds, we could see the winding Napo river wend its way towards the Amazon, just as it has been doing for thousands of years. This was the view from our room in the resort where we stayed.We experienced the sunset on the Napo river. The river and its surroundings, and even the repetitive phut-phut sound of the engine on the boat, have a calming effect, as we head back to the resort for an evening of relaxation.Our hacienda on a mountainside near Patate was also located in very serene surroundings. The view included the Tungurahua volcano in the distance.
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is a wonderful city to visit. It is the second highest capital city in the world, and the one closest to the equator. It has a long history and culture that includes the impact of the indigenous peoples and their one-time Spanish conquerors. The place has a lively spirit and an energy that you see and feel on the streets.
But the one additional element of the city that really stood out in my mind was its location. The city exists on the slopes of the Andes mountains and in the vicinity of volcanoes, some of them still active. It is a vast metropolis of over two million people that is sprawled out over the hillsides all around you and whichever way you turn. Not having experienced cities like this previously, it looks quite amazing to me. I wonder about the infrastructure that can keep a place like this going. Anyway, here is the one picture that captures this particular element of the experience of the city in my mind.