Looking Down On Cities

Last year I did a 365 Project, partially as a challenge to myself as a photographer and partially as a way to document what I guessed would be a year of transitions. As it turns out, it was. I finished my Fulbright year in Spain, traveled on my weekends, walked the Camino de Santiago, got engaged, and returned home to familiar spaces in Michigan to start a new job in Detroit.

Screen shot 2013-01-06 at 12.58.47 PM

Many distances were crossed – by plane, train, bus, car, but sometimes on foot.

I am working on a new creative project for this coming year, but it won’t be a daily photo project – partially because the tail end of the year degenerated into commuting/grading/cat pictures, and it’s hard to measure up to last year’s images.

I had a lot of adventures in 2012. I met a lot of amazing people, and traveled to some incredible places. My favorite parts of my travels were always the times when I climbed to a high place – often at sunset – and looked down on the cities I had spent the day exploring.

I learned a lot about travel this past year, and a lot about myself as a traveler. In the future when I go to a new city, that will be my destination – somewhere I can see the shape of the city, where small individual details dissolve into twinkling lights, and the iconic buildings from postcards become small silhouettes, dwarfed by the sky.

Granada - Ciudad Encantadora

Looking down on Granada from Miguel Del Alto. (Photo by my new Brazilian friend, Carolina.)

Granada - Ciudad Encantadora

Granada – actually in late 2011, but it was the beginning of a year of looking down on cities.

Barcelona

Barcelona, from Parque Guell.

Navidad en Madrid

Madrid, last Christmas.

Paris

Paris, from Sacre Coeur in Montmartre.

Roma

Rome for Easter.

Roma

Ancient Rome

Pompei

The ruins of Pompeii

Naples

Naples

Senderismo en Jávea

Jávea / Xávia

Tabarca

Tabarca – not a city, but a small island off the coast of Alicante.

Senderismo en Calpe

Bird’s Eye view of Calpe, after a harrowing climb up the Peñón de Ifach.

Morocco

Marrakesh, Morocco, from the roof of our riad.

Aït Benhaddou, Morocco

Aït Benhaddou, Morocco – you have probably seen it in a movie.

Morocco

Not a city – but the Berber tents where we stayed in Zagora, at the edge of the Sahara.

Among all of the beautiful cities, my favorite was Alicante, where I lived for 10 months and that I often looked down on, from the heights of the Castillo de Santa Barbara. Nostalgia always adds a cast of golden light, but it was a beautiful city. Someday I will go back.

Santa Barbara

Sunset.

Tour de Alicante

All the lights lit for Christmas along Alfonso el Sabio.

Alicante

La Playa Postiguet, full of sunbathers.

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3 Responses to Looking Down On Cities

  1. Kaley says:

    I’ve really enjoyed your project. I can’t even remember how I found your blog!

    Wishing you luck back in the States. The transition can be rough!

  2. Alicante looks beautiful! All I hear about Alicante is that it’s ugly and there’s no point going there.

    Good luck adjusting to life back home!

  3. Sara says:

    Thanks, ladies! Alicante is beautiful. People probably think that it’s touristy… which it can be. But the weather is gorgeous, tickets are cheap to get there since it is a popular destination, there is a beautiful casco antiguo, there are some beautiful rocky coves if you depart from the main crowded downtown beach, everyone is warm and friendly… I loved it. Go off season (even just enough off season that you can still go to the beach!) and go up to the castle… it really was my favorite castle to visit, and the views are gorgeous. Also, I didn’t go to Fallas in Valencia, but I did attend Alicante’s hogueras (at the end of June)… and from what I hear, they are a similar experience but more accessible (since it is a smaller city, and less well known than Fallas.)

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