The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #26

Vfyw-contest_11-27

A reader writes:

Another cruise ship? Are you trying to make sure only retirees win this contest?

Another writes:

Wow - that could be just about anywhere with a deep water port.  I'll go with San Juan, Puerto Rico.  I doubt I'll win, but hopefully I'll at least be closer than my wife (we have a weekly household contest and I'm down by one right now).

Another:

I'll guess that's the cruise ship dock at George Town, Grand Cayman. The photo would be from the second floor of the build north and east across Church Street. I haven't been there in almost ten years, but I think that's it.

Another:

That's the Spirit of Tasmania at Station Pier in Port Melbourne, Australia. The window would be in the Beacon Cove development across the road. Williamstown in the background.

Another:

That appears to be the passenger terminal at Xingang Port in China outside Beijing. My partner and I sailed from there on a 15 day cruise around Asia. It's a huge old building with some art deco flourishes, and is badly in need of renovation.

Another:

It's a port city. Or to be more precise: taken from inside of a building or a structure, with a window directly facing a port on a sea or an ocean, in an area where the climate is sometimes sunny.

Another:

Completely stumped, especially since I am not cruise-savvy. But I did determine that the ship is the Crystal Serenity - which, unhelpfully, goes all over the world.  

I Google-Earthed every almost every port of call.  Most harbors are protected by breakwaters, which I see no evidence of. Many smaller ports have docks to which cruise ships slide up sideways.  Ports in the Caribbean, South Pacific, and Asia did not have sturdy cruise terminals, as pictured.  Best guesses: somewhere in the Mediterranean, Adriatic, or Aegean Seas, per the Grecian balustrade; around coastal UAE cities, since the terminal and bus in front look relatively new; or a port on the Black Sea - cruise terminal looks vaguely Soviet in style.

Time spent investigating (huge amount) vs. ability to make an intelligent guess (negligible) = most out of whack so far.

Another:

Piece of cake: San Francisco.  I will never forget that berth, because its where PlanetOut, Inc. welcomed the Queen Mary II, the world's largest ocean liner, for a PR luncheon.  That would be the Queen Mary II/RSVP voyage across the frigid North Atlantic, which cost PlanetOut $5 million and consequently sunk the company.

Another:

All right, the fact that I've searched every square inch of the Embarcadero and then some in SF, multiple times, and haven't found this spot, should convince me that the intelligent, face-saving maneuver is to pick a random spot somewhere in the center of the Mediterranean and call it a day. And yet, nothing looks anywhere near as much like San Francisco as this shot. Nobody else builds customs houses like that that I can find. So that's my choice.

Another:

This is a cruise ship at dock at the foot of Market St in Charleston SC. There is a glimpse of the Custom House at the left of the picture.

Another:

I'm guessing that it is along the European shore of the Bosphorous, just above the Golden Horn in Istanbul - at Beyoglu, near the Istanbul Modern museum and not too far south of the Dolmabahce Palace.

Another:

The ship is the Crystal Serenity, which would seem like a dead giveaway. But man that ship has been EVERYWHERE!  After poking around Google maps on Tenerife and Las Palmas, Canary Islands (the blue sea and mountains in the back made me think I should start there), I finally found a current schedule for the Crystal Serenity that says Casablanca-Portit left Lisbon on Monday, Nov 22. So I tried the next destination (I've been to Lisbon - it is nowhere near clean enough to be this spot): Cadiz, Spain.  The architecture on the  balcony seemed Spanish enough, but I couldn't find a port that has the parking area so close to the ship's dock.

When I searched the maps for Casablanca and Agadiz, I also couldn't find the type of layout this picture indicates.  Finally, I found a picture of this lighthouse in Casablanca. That same lighthouse seems to be in the very far left of the picture.  It looks like it's the Phare D'El Hank.  But it's pretty far from the port, and the Mosque Hassan II is in between.  So that could also be the minaret for the mosque, except that minaret is square, and the tower in the picture looks more rounded. 

But I couldn't find any other clues to narrow it down. So that's my guess.  I'm sure you'll find someone who has been on that ship and in that port, but this was a fun one - usually I have no clue where to start!

Another:

According to the Crystal Cruise line, the Serenity is currently docked in Gran Canaria. The topography seems to corroborate this, so I'm going with it.  Only concerns: (1) the photo may be old; (2) the Serenity ship has a string of lights attached to from the bridge to the bow and I don't see that in this picture.

Another:

Looking at cruise ship terminals for a second week in a row has failed to inspire me; please don’t turn next week into a trilogy.  I’m sure I could grind this out - after all, there are only 178 ports of call for the Crystal Serenity - but I just can’t muster the gumption.  Going with my ten-second gut intuition, how about Rome’s port, Civitavecchia?

Another:

So, in what ports were the Crystal Serenity and a small Silversea (Silver Wind or Cloud?) ship together during 2010?  Piraeus on June 18, Venice on June 24, Istanbul on Sept 3, Portoferraio (Elba) on Sept 22.  But none of those ports have that layout of docks/terminals.  Very frustrating.  I think I looked through all the possible ports that these ships had in common (at least in 2010).  Maybe this photo wasn’t taken in 2010? Arrggh.  Oh well, because of the relatively unspoiled coastline, I’ll go for Portoferrario, Elba, Italy.  Good enough for Napoleon, good enough for me.

Another:

It looks to me like the port of Naples (Molo Beverello), Italy from where I take a hydrofoil to Ischia every August. The building on the left would be the old fascist era passenger terminal.

Another:

I initially thought that this was Italy and now after much self-doubt and research I am certain.  This photo was taken looking out from the right side of Starhotels Savoia Excelsior Palace, Riva del Mandracchio 4, 34124 Trieste, Italy.  My fiancee and I began by attempting to decipher names on the cruise ships, the one in the foreground the Crystal Serenity, and the one in the background we guessed as a Silversea vessel.  This only resulted with looking for hours at images of innumerable ports and consequentially, blurred vision.  Finally, we looked to the SAF bus in front of the terminal.  A simple google image search of Trieste's port retrieved a website that revealed the terminal. Then google maps and youtube were used to find the exact hotel.

Another:

While there were a number of fascinating clues in this week's "View" (one of which lead me to read the entire Wikipedia entry on "Greek revival architecture"), it was strangely the blue parking lines that tipped me off to the real location. A simple Google search of places with blue parking lines, took me to Italy, which took me to a Google image search for ports in Italy, which lead me here: a shipping tour company based in Trieste, Italy. With a little Google Earth magic, I think I may have found the photographer's location at the Starhotel Savoia Excelsior Hotel looking out on the Stazione Marittima:

Staz_marittima

Also, I should mention that I did most of this research on my iPhone on the way to San Diego for a baby shower. Pretty impressive, right??

Another:

I'm getting addicted to this contest.  The license plates on the cars and general feel of the area suggest southern Europe, possibly the Mediterranean.  The ship directly ahead is the Crystal Serenity, which called at a number of Mediterranean and Adriatic ports in 2010.  After some searches on Google Images and confirming the lay of the land on Google Maps, I determined that the port was Trieste.  The attached photo that I found gives the side view from higher ground further away.  The date given for the photo is 22 August 2010 (this is consistent with the published itinerary):

Crystal serenity trieste

Another:

I was able to figure out the ship's name from the photograph (having bad handwriting makes it easier to read blurry writing on photographs). Then I basically just perused Flickr bridge cam photos from the Crystal Serenity until I came upon a docked photo that matched the distance from the shot. Then a quick Google Maps check on the Trieste shoreline gave me pictures of the Consorzio Promotrieste, and I was certain that was it.  Here is the link to the bridge cam photo - the blue lined parking spaces in both the VFYW and the bridge cam are also dead giveaways.

Another:

First time entering the contest. Once I was able to decipher the writing on the cruise ship, all I had to do was go through that nice gentleman's gallery of saved webcam snaps from the ship's bridge until I stumbled upon something that looked like it could be your window. Then I was able to confirm by finding (courtesy Google maps) a picture of the port looking in the other direction. I also found a link to a time lapse video of the ship arriving in the port on June 12th, 2009:

Another:

This is how well I know that building: because I've stood right there on the side of it you can see.  Here's a pic of my partner standing on the upper outside terrace; behind him is where the ship is moored in your photo. My mother was born in Trieste, to a family of seafaring captains (and chefs); and here is an article of mine about a collection of 19th-century food trademarks registered there, a reflection of the historic importance of this very port, one Austria's entrepot.

Another:

The shot is taken from a room in the Starhotel Savoia Excelsior Palace hotel on the Riva del Mandracchio, opposite.  This is the hotel's website image gallery. Using the facade picture on the hotel's website, it looks like your photo was taken from one of the fourth floor balconies (counting from ground, first, second). Based on the positions of the street lights and the shape of the balcony, I would say it's the second balcony/fifth window in from the left, as indicated by the red arrow in this shot of the hotel:

Trieste_excelsior

This reader was the first to guess the floor/window, so he gets the prize this week.  See everyone else on Saturday!

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