Travel Theme: Architecture

Ailsa’s travel theme this week at Where’s My Backpack? is architecture, and…frankly…I’m not sure how I can rein myself in.  There are so many fantastic structures I’ve had the good fortune to see…let’s get started.

Staying close at home…as in, in my small-yet-groovy corner of central PA…dig this crazy squiggly fence!  Rumor has it a math teacher lives here and wanted a fence that would represent…some mathematical concept, don’t ask me, it’s not my thing.  But the fence design and execution?  Very cool.

I understand teh maths are at work here.

0.o I understand teh maths are at work here.

Next, we travel on to Cleveland.  This is taken from the walking pier that goes behind the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (sort of cool but didn’t live up to my expectations), looking back at the cityscape created by the HoF and the Great Lakes Science Center, to the right.  Further to the right, just out of the line of sight on the camera is Browns Stadium, which I would have loved to get into the shot because it’s a fantastic confluence of cultural relevance: music, the sciences, and a little sport for good measure.  But.  My lens wouldn’t do me that way.  I love the clean, modern lines of the buildings; it’s got that “City of the Future!” sort of look going for it, no?  All it needs are, like, hovercars flitting around in the air.  Or people in jetpacks.  Dare to dream.

Behold the Land of Cleve!

Behold the Land of Cleve!

Next, we go to Boston and feast our eyes on the John Hancock Tower.  I never really stopped to think about whether or not I was a fan of modern architecture, but you know…this building was designed by I,M. Pei’s firm  and it’s hard to argue with the gorgeous buildings he and his firm are responsible for.  The Hancock Tower, it’s so sleek!  It’s so reflective!  It almost disappears into the sky.

It's the tallest--and I am sure, the shiniest--building in Boston.

It’s the tallest–and I am sure, the shiniest–building in Boston.

Next, we globetrot across the pond to France and the stone beauty of the Chartres Cathedral.  Completed (-ish; it’s hard to determine when cathedrals are deemed finished because they’re ALWAYS work to be done) in the mid 12th century (so, somewhere around 1150, for those playing at home), the towers of the west façade were, at that time, similarly topped with gorgeous but not terribly ornate pyramid-shaped spires.  All things being relative.  Then a lightning strike started a fire on the north spire in 1506, causing the spire to have to be rebuilt.  In the intervening three hundred years architectural tastes had changed somewhat.  The north spire was fashioned in the much frillier flamboyant style of Gothic architecture that was de rigueur until about the 1530s.  And so?  One church, two similarly aged towers, two spires that reflect the changing artistic sensibilities that 300 years could bring.  Good times!

Flamboyant is the new black.

Flamboyant is the new black.

And finally…Venice.

Which I love.

You need to admire their architectural ingenuity, though I often imagine what the conversations about building this city must have sounded like.

Venetian 1:  Hey, we’ve got to get the hell away from these invading Huns! What do you think about those marshy pads of mud out in the middle of the lagoon?

Venetian 2:  I think they’re little more than really sucky mud.  They’ll barely support our weight.

Venetian 1:  I know, but that means it won’t support the weight of invading armies, either.  See?  And besides I’ve been thinking about that…I wonder if we could let the lagoon be a natural defense for us and while we’re out there, build some kind of a platform…

Venetian 2:  Like what, a raft?

Venetian 1:  Well, yeah, but you know.  Permanent.

Venetian 2:  Oh, right.  So you’re just going to “create” some land, or something?  And what do you propose to do?

Venetian 1:  Now, now.  Hear me out.  Here’s what I’m thinking, and I’m just going to throw this out there and see what sticks: how about we go to Slovenia and deforest all of the Kras region, plus some of Croatia and the southern bit of Montenegro, and then take all those trees and strip them into massive logs, right?  And then we sink them straight down, right into the muck and goo?  The water is so full of minerals that the wood won’t rot. In fact, it will anti-not-rot.  It will petrify.  And once all these channel islands have been reinforced with the pilfered forests of nearby countries, then we can build homes and palaces and cathedrals and a trade-and-spice empire the likes of which the world has never seen!  *mwah ha*  *mwah ha ha ha*

Venetian 2:  Papa Doge, you so crazy.  It’ll never work.

Venetian 1:  Oh, no..?  Is that a dare?

Venetian 2:  Worse.  It’s a triple-dog dare.

Venetian 1:  You’re on!

Sounds crazy, but it just might work.

Sounds crazy, but it just might work.

OK, just because I love it too much, here’s another picture.

No cars allowed.

No cars allowed.

~~~end scene~~~

Have fun checking out the rest of the architecture challenges on Ailsa’s page!

25 responses to Travel Theme: Architecture

  1. Nice choices — especially Venice. I have plans to be there in the near-ish future. Last time I was there, bringing a camera was an afterthought. This time, I doubt that there will be enough time and memory cards for all the photos I would want to take.


    • beyondpaisley – Author

      Haha! I know the feeling. But still. There were a few times I made the conscious decision to leave the camera behind and just engage in my vacation, though. I didn’t want to just experience it behind a viewfinder. So. But it is so amazing there… *sigh*… Must go back. 🙂


  2. marjorie

    Beautiful and informative! I can add a little more info. I’d heard from a neighbor that the serpentine wall builder was inspired by Jefferson and lo and behold–there are examples of such at both Monticello and UVA.


  3. Great shots (except for that one lens fail, but whaddaya gonna do?). Sometimes I wish I could sit by the Hancock Tower permanently, taking pictures of whatever’s reflecting off it. But you’ve convinced me that going to Venice would be a better use of my time. So thanks for that.


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