VFYW: A Sandbox On Steroids
For contest #366, a rich monarchy is playing with grand projects to attract tourists.
(For the View From Your Window contest, the results below exceed the content limit for Substack’s email service, so to ensure that you see the full results, click the headline above.)
From the winner of last week’s contest:
I am so delighted. I’ve read the Dish forever, and the VFYW contest has been such a great escape lately. Despite being challenged by extremely lame visual memory and poor geometry skills, I enjoy the detective work. And it’s been fun to “tour” far-flung places via Google street view, and then learn more from the great trivia and comments from your contributors. Between an illness in the family and my being holed up in my home office — finishing and now editing my second book — I’ve really needed to “get away.”
She adds, “For my prize, can I gift a year subscription each to two friends?” Certainly — and for everyone else, gift subscriptions are available here, if you ever have a friend who wants to join the fun.
The sleuth who gave that fantastic, on-the-ground tour of last week’s location is now back in Toronto:
We lost power this morning and don’t expect to have it back for another 16 hours ... I should have stayed in Greece for another week.
On to this week’s view, a previous winner shoots from the hip:
Dubai, UAE? Man I wish I could tell you why and where but I can’t :)
From our UWS super-sleuth from NYC:
I’m late again, and again with a SWAG [scientific wild-ass guess]. But you gotta be in it to (not) win it!
This is a gorgeous view, the bus station notwithstanding. The (early morning?) lighting is glorious. I’m reasonably sure we’re in the Middle East, though not Israel. Wish I had time to track down the abundant clues — not that time would necessarily help me. So my wild guess is somewhere in Dubai, though I suspect we’re looking at something a lot older. Very much looking forward to the big reveal!
From a “stumped” sleuth in Pheonix:
Manama, Bahrain? I dunno, Chris. I thought it looked like Bahrain but I can’t find the spot. So maybe it is another similar country. Anyway, it brought back memories of my time in Bahrain with the Navy.
Another Bahrain guesser shrugs, “No time to pinpoint anything — just going by feel.” Chini drops a pin:
The King of the VFYW adds:
One side aspect of doing the contest for this long (a decade or more now) is that it’s been long enough for things to change — not just the tools or information that’s available, but the cities themselves. Take this week’s view, for example. Straightforward to find the right town, sure, but finding the exact location in a city this big and flat looked painful at first glance. Thankfully, some massive changes in the past few years made it quite easy to track down.
Not so easy for this previous winner:
This week’s photo felt like a real test!
The desert and plethora of minarets puts us in the Middle East. It seems relatively flat and there aren’t any clear indications of nearby water. The city seems rather prosperous, and there is a lot of new development (and it doesn’t seem to be on the level of the Gulf city states, which are on the water anyhow). Rapidly developing areas always seem to require a return to a level of basic reasoning, because satellite and street view photos there will easily lead a searcher astray. I thought the arrangement of minarets would provide clear clues, but the sheer number of mosques made this an unpromising path.
Our CO/NJ super-sleuth is getting deja vu:
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