Architecture

San Juan fiesta = Zona Cafetera

A chance to head out to the Zona Cafetera, Filandia in Quindio.  And aside from being obsessed with partaking in endless cups of coffee, also a great opportunity to meander the streets and enjoy the vibrant architecture.

 

and yes sure, i may be slightly smitten with blue and green

and yes sure, i may be slightly smitten with blue and green

front door envy

front door envy

more of that killer blue and green

more of that killer blue and green

almost makes me want to be admitted to hospital

almost makes me want to be admitted to hospital

and just to prove their are other colours    

and just to prove their are other colours 

 

school (or a hawthorn fan?) 

school (or a hawthorn fan?) 

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the winter that wasn’t meant to be

So the original intent wasn’t to do a European winter, almost a month in and the past week has proved to me there are some redeeming aspects. 

Exhibit I: Urban area snow 

Hambleden

Hambleden

getting to lay the first footsteps, Hambleden weir

getting to lay the first footsteps, Hambleden weir

Exhibit II: Public Art on the stark Vitava riverside and surrounds of Prague

David Cerny - babies

David Cerny - babies

David Cerny - hanging man (with bird) 

David Cerny - hanging man (with bird) 

Jaroslav Róna - Kafka

Jaroslav Róna - Kafka

Exhibit III: Prague = barren parks, icy breath and awesome buildings

a city solely of throw-ups

a city solely of throw-ups

National theatre  

National theatre  

Prague Castle complex totally enthralled me...proving nothing can be too over the top

St Vitus Cathedral I

St Vitus Cathedral I

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St Vitus Cathedral II

St Vitus Cathedral III

St Vitus Cathedral III

Old Jewish cemetery   

Old Jewish cemetery

 

another city stealing my heart

bizarre end to the bike lane 

bizarre end to the bike lane 

Lisbon has totally captivated me - is it wrong to have a list for what a city needs, I am definitely erring on the not side. 

So the attributes required to make it gritty and liveable I've learnt for me are comprised of four simple things:

Amazing urban spaces and art

street scapes and buildings where too much decoration is never enough.  The 18th and 19thC building tiles have morphed for 21stC into tags, throwups and murals; adornment seems to be in the DNA here.

 

why limit yourself to one lion

why limit yourself to one lion

crazily they get stolen off the walls and sold : who does that? 

crazily they get stolen off the walls and sold : who does that? 

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can't believe I found @utopía.artist again - Valparisio via loads of places to Lisboa  

can't believe I found @utopía.artist again - Valparisio via loads of places to Lisboa  

Killer coffee and food 

since 1950 cork tree wood fired coffee roaster  

since 1950 cork tree wood fired coffee roaster  

where coffee with milk is an abberation

where a steak sandwich is dessert

where a pasteis is breakfast

where you get ripe cheese and aged port at the local store 

when I grow up my bodega will only sell cheese, fruit and port too

when I grow up my bodega will only sell cheese, fruit and port too

where you can eat barnacles

Gooseneck barnacles and an imperial the best second lunch 

Gooseneck barnacles and an imperial the best second lunch 

Close to the water

Pedestrian friendly

and lastly totally walkable ideally with hills and doubling back narrow roads (and yes ok, old school gyms) 

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back in CDMX

back to one of my favourite cities, CDMX.

proof made it out of the city limits : Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacan

proof made it out of the city limits : Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacan

Six pretty simple reasons: 

1.  unbelievably good food wherever you look from the street vendors to the local restaurants to a world top 50

market tostada <$2

market tostada <$2

2.  gorgeous - even if some is a little tired - architecture

 

could that slant have anything to do with abandonment? 

could that slant have anything to do with abandonment? 

3.  old school muscle cars in regular use 

Miguel Hidalgo hood

Miguel Hidalgo hood

4.  informal urban planning from fantastic street art and sculptures

 

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5.  quirky local barrio museos and the world class serious ones too

 

Museo del juguete antiguo México  

Museo del juguete antiguo México  

Museo de la memoria y tolerancia

Museo de la memoria y tolerancia

6.  a wonderful city for walking, moving through each barrio feels like a change with new vibe and feel, always new

centre of the world

both hemispheres / w the literal equator line

both hemispheres / w the literal equator line

ended up in Quito for longer than planned - the flood disaster in Perú closing the Pan American both north & south meaning flying here

turned out fortuitous - everywhere you turn is sublime architecture

 

Quito Cathedral

Quito Cathedral

under renovation Teatro Bolívar

under renovation Teatro Bolívar

Basílica del Voto Nacional

Basílica del Voto Nacional

over the top gothic and to add to the bizarreness there at the same time as an Ecuadorean boy band filming.  Bad beyond description 

decay too

decay too

even more than usual taking advantage of public transport, security guards in the strangest places and vibrant murals  

 

as best I could tell - from the bus - guarding a torte vendor... 

as best I could tell - from the bus - guarding a torte vendor... 

when the bus terminates unexpectedly in places unknown, and the down hill walk throws up this gorgeous wall

when the bus terminates unexpectedly in places unknown, and the down hill walk throws up this gorgeous wall

the centre of not just the world but also access to brilliant day hikes: think volcanoes, craters, canyons, gorges

Quilotoa crater hiking and wildflowers

Quilotoa crater hiking and wildflowers

zumbahua canyon &nbsp;

zumbahua canyon  

and the cutest and smallest ice-creams I have ever seen, more or less 2 teaspoons  

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for good measure one last archiporn  

temporary home : old town

temporary home : old town

pisco, cervezas y ennio morricone

Vicuña chosen on the basis of the amazing observatories and brilliant star gazing with the naked eye.  Undoubtedly impressive.  Including finally seeing my first shooting star.

 

the glorious late afternoon light: Vicuña  

the glorious late afternoon light: Vicuña  

dustbowl BMX track: Vicuña  

dustbowl BMX track: Vicuña  

What I unexpectedly fell for was the landscape, cactus filled mountains, barren rocky barren mountains, sleepy dusty villages and shimmering reflective heat.

 

persimmon orchards need rocks: San Isidro

persimmon orchards need rocks: San Isidro

best not stack on ones bike: Valle de Elqui

best not stack on ones bike: Valle de Elqui

Oh and the river. Which makes for the perfect climate driven triumvirate:

  • pisco distilleries
  • microbreweries
  • set scouting for spaghetti westerns
Citroen car porn: San Isidro

Citroen car porn: San Isidro

ramshackle: Villaseca  

ramshackle: Villaseca  

made for gunslinging: Diaguitas

made for gunslinging: Diaguitas

Isolation = awesome architecture

absolutely no idea until arrival in Chiloe that the unique style of architecture and materials extends beyond the palafitos to chalets to UNESCO listed churches

Palafitos - Ruta 5, Castro (yep right on Chile's longest route &amp; the main road)

Palafitos - Ruta 5, Castro (yep right on Chile's longest route & the main road)

leans heavily on crazy melding of 16th C. Spanish Catholicism, Chiloean mythology (perfect balance of evil murderous gods with a few good ones, heavy on the evil side) and German of 18th C. 

nearly exclusively wood / wood shingles / wood pegs with some minor concessions to nails, rivets and galvanised iron

Iglesia de Santa Maria de Loreto, Achao mid fumigation

Iglesia de Santa Maria de Loreto, Achao mid fumigation

boat building reminiscent, set to keep out the perpetual cold and damp  

buttressed ceilings, glowing amber or unadorned

outsides either bare to lay out craftsmanship or strong central colours with popping highlights

chalet life, Chonchi  

chalet life, Chonchi  

stunning

very partial to bonsai esque street trees -&nbsp;Achao, Isla Quinchao

very partial to bonsai esque street trees - Achao, Isla Quinchao