VFYW: The Cradle Of Alpine Skiing
For contest #364, we drop into a playground for royal families and ibexes.
(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.)
Just a friendly reminder that if you have any photos you’d like to submit for the contest, please send them our way (we’re running low): firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to include part of the window frame, and horizontal photos are ideal. The more details about the window’s location, the better. If we use your photo for the contest, you’ll get six free months on your subscription.
From last week’s winner:
Yesssssss, very happy to hear! This was a tricky contest, so I’m glad this was the one to earn true Super Sleuth status! I actually own the book already (bought it soon after it came out back in … omg was that the Aughts???), so I will pick the two years of Dish! Thanks so much!
By the way, how many people guessed the right window in the last contest? I initially figured it wouldn’t be that many, considering how many windows there were, but since so many players found the city (99), maybe the number wasn’t so small after all!
Only four got the right window. Here’s a followup from a sleuth responding to my mention that my nickname growing up was Boner:
Ha! My daughter was 5 years old when we got her a little fluffy toy-poodle puppy ... we were talking about names when her face lit up and said, “I know! Dogs like bones, so we should name her Boner!” She seemed confused about why we were howling with laughter, but she was happy to accept our gentle suggestion of “Bonnie” as an alternative.
On to this week’s view, here’s a sleuth named Eugene:
We’re at a train station looking east. Eugene, Oregon? I was there pre-Covid after speaking at a university gathering. I remember a woman with one too many young children to keep under control, like a mother cat with too many kittens. I listened to a Great Courses lecture series on Confucius while watching her for what seemed like hours until the train arrived.
Another sleuth gets to the right continent:
This week, I only got as far as Liguria, Italy. My search sidetracked to me Valtellina at one point, but I kept going back to Liguria. The window probably isn’t in Italy at all, but it sure was fun virtually visiting Italian vineyards.
I can relate to what one of last week’s sleuths said about how intimidating “all the details people give when guessing the window.” Heck — I’m amazed how roughly the same group of super-sleuths get the right answer week after week.
A sleuth in St. Louis also had Italy on his mind:
I’m looking for keys under the lamp post here. I don’t actually think it’s in Selva, but the picture screams “Dolomites,” and I’ve been to two locations in that area: Selva and Castelrotto.
Also screaming Dolomite:
Our UWS super-sleuth from Cali:
Okay, I’ve looked at every quaint village, ski lift and vineyard across a wide swath central Europe ... and nada. Stumped. Looks like the Tyrol region of Austria, but I suspect we’re actually over the border in Alto Adige, Italy.
A France entry:
I’m going to make an emotional guess this week. I named my firm after the Col du Tourmalet, one of the highest paved mountain passes in the French Pyrenees. This view looks quite familiar from my bike ride that scaled its peak years ago. I’m going to make a lazy guess and say La Mongie.
Another country, Albania, comes from our “now less-than-super-sleuth in Chattanooga”:
So I gave up Google for Lent, not realizing that it would put a crimp in my VFYW puzzles. Last weekend I looked up some images of the avalanche breaks in Austria, and Albania had some that looked similar. Then Wednesday came. Rather than not send any entries over Lent, I thought I’d just give a gut call these next six weeks and see how I fare. My first thought of Albania is the Willie Nelson song searching for a rhyme from Wag The Dog. Can’t look that up either, though!
This scene is probably what the sleuth is referring to (though it’s not Willie Nelson):
A bid for Germany:
So the Sunday brunch couple has been sick for the week (not Covid) and we just barely got our guess in. We were actually sitting on the couch and said “oh $#!T we didn’t do the VFYW!” First David showed me an image of planet Earth and said, “It’s somewhere here; let’s send that in.” Then we both started exploring.
My guess is somewhere near Oberaudorf, Germany. I found images with similar structures/architecture, rocky mountains, trees, gondolas, etc:
Another Germany guess comes from our harried super-sleuth in Southport:
Unfortunately this may not be the week that I get a mention, since I have grandchildren staying with me ranging in age from 5 to 14, so free time is at a premium. My results are admittedly weak.
This window is definitely not in the US and the architecture just screams “European mountain town.” Since there was a window from Geneva in a recent contest, it’s unlikely to be Switzerland. Germany or Austria would be the most logical choices. I’m planning a trip to Germany this fall, which will include a stop to visit friends in Garmisch, so wouldn’t it be an amazing coincidence if that was the location of this window?
In case it is Garmisch, then I hope you’ll mention the great German skier Rosi Mittermaier, who died there a few weeks ago. Known as “Gold-Rosi” for her superb wins in the 1976 Olympics, she was an incredible athlete. Her success rocketed her to worldwide fame but she never lost her warmth, likability and down-to-earth personality.
Yet another country comes from the sleuth “Tired of Looking in Seattle”:
After last week’s layup, this week I find myself still at half court with time running out. I’m not sure I can stomach looking at more European, steep, mountainside vineyards that are south-facing with cows grazing.
I’ve been down the big, yellow, tour-bus rabbit hole. Other than identifying it as a Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) bus, I’m no closer to identifying the view. There are hundreds of BVG routes throughout Germany and Austria. BVG’s tagline is “Because we love you” — which is very, very un-German, but I ask, if you loved me BVG, why, for the love of God, don’t you have a helpful sign on the side of your bus that would allow me to narrow down where you are?
And what about that old stonework in the forefront of the photo? It’s blocked off to pedestrians and heads down hill. Possibly a very old Roman drainage system? No help.
Is it Haslital, Lutschental in Switzerland? Nope. Gündlishwand, Switzerland? Mountains too tall. Zell am See, Austria? No vineyards. The buildings look more Swiss than German. I’m waving the white flag and guessing Vaduz, Liechtenstein, simply because, according to Google, Liechtenstein is known for its wineries and vineyards.
Nope, they’re not vineyards. Another sleuth:
Man, this week is tough. It’s definitely a mountain town in either Switzerland or Austria, based on the architecture. Problem is, the town looks like any several hundred of them! There have to be a million two-tone chalets across both countries. That’s all I got this week!
Among the Swiss entries, here’s our UWS super-sleuth from NYC:
OMG, it’s Friday AGAIN, and I’ve done nothing. So this is a last-minute SWAG: Albinen, Switzerland. At first I thought this view was taken from a train, but that wouldn’t seem to be within the rules. So maybe from the train station?
That’s it — I’ve got nothing more this week.
But for the hell of it, here’s the view from MY window, on this cloudy NYC morning:
When I moved into this building 30 years ago, most of those skyscrapers weren’t there, so I could see a wide swath of the Hudson. We watched the tall ships come up the river in 2000, and for many years we could see the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks. Now the Hudson is a sliver at the right of the photo, but I’m OK with my city view.
Another guess for Switzerland:
That’s Wengen, right? Looking up at the Mannlichen gondola? I spent a good 25 minutes looking at satellite photos of Wengen, trying to find that roof. Damn.
Another: “It looks super Switzerland, so I’m guessing Zermatt … but waaaa! That seems too easy.” Another: “This looks like a Swiss ski chalet, but that doesn’t help much in Switzerland. I’ll guess Täsch and move on.” And another:
I used to ski on a glacier (now receding, of course) in Hintertux every summer as a child. It’s an easy two-hour drive from Munich. I have vibrant memories of hiking up the mountains in June and listening to the rattling of cowbells in the warm sun.
From a previous winner in Trenton:
We saw the buildings and thought, “Awesome, the architecture plus landscape means we’re in the Alps.” Then we realized, “Damn, it’s the Alps. This could take a while.”
Chini teases the answer: “For the second time this month, the VFYW contest heads to the slopes; but this time, we’re halfway around the world from Hokkaido in the birthplace of alpine skiing itself”:
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