31

Aug
2012

Terra Incognita No. 2 – Philippolandorra?

We were driving home from Italy when it began. “So, where should we go next year? Canada? Australia? Namibia?” asked my wife, whose desire to see distant destinations is undiminished, even though she spends almost a third of her life travelling. We spent a hundred kilometres discussing the options as we drove, but we couldn’t decide.

When we got home, I found these three wonderful photos waiting in my inbox. They were from Jasper, my handler at KLM, better known as the Blog Whisperer. As instructed, his message contained no other information except that the photos were all taken in the same country. That said, I hope you’ll help me identify this terra incognita, so that I may add it to my list of holiday options for next summer.

Let’s start with this very intriguing, decorative door. The brickwork and tiles around it are unlike anything I’ve ever seen in Europe. Then again, I haven’t seen all of Europe. Maybe all the doors in Hungary or Finland look like this. I really wouldn’t know, because I haven’t been there.

On taking a closer look, the first thing I noticed was that the two doorbells on the left seem to be quite high up. Only then did I see the slot for the letter box… Does this country have giant postmen? Or was this photo sent to me upside down? Having ruled out the latter explanation, I noticed that there is also a tiny label on the doorframe above the letterbox. You’d need a stepladder and magnifying glass to read it. So, Sherlock, while you’re up there, perhaps you’d care to explain what the blazes is going on here!

There is something strange about this lovely blue-hued scene. On taking a closer look, I noticed that the proportions of various objects didn’t seem to add up. Particularly the wires running along the wall on the right. And who would hang a painting above an archway? Could this be a handcrafted model? Then again, the plants seem to be in proportion with the pots. And even if it is a model, it must depict a hallway in some country. My guess would be somewhere in South America. Bolivia perhaps? Or maybe Central America. Panama? Guatemala? Costa Rica!

The early light warms the church tower rising up above this mountain village. There is snow on the ledges in the background, but there are leaves on the trees and shrubs, so I reckon this is summer at very high altitude. I can see at least four satellite dishes, which would seem to indicate affluence. Could this village be a stop along the Inca Trail in Peru? Could the door in the first picture possibly be the rear entrance to the church in the third picture?

I’d be most grateful if you’d help me identify this country with its giant postmen, strange blue alleyways and spectacular mountain villages, so that I can add it to my wish list.

PS: Thanks to everyone who helped identify Terra Incognita No. 1. http://klmf.ly/R0TUHg

Guesses included Greece, Andorra and Switzerland, which was the correct answer, as given by Guillaume Leclanche, who correctly spotted the Klöntalersee in the third photo. Congratulations! But what exactly is that structure in that photo?