Posted by: facetothewind | July 7, 2014

Into the maze

I’ve always been drawn to medieval cities. There’s something really human about them — completely walkable for obvious reasons of having been built centuries before the internal combustion monsters began plying the earth and dictating urban design. So when Marjana and I stopped by Piran for a quickie visit last week, I felt like a child not wanting to get out of the swimming pool when it was time to leave. But, but. So we changed our trip and I’m now here for 5 days. Wehoo!

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Click to enlarge panorama.

My favorite thing in the world (OK, 2nd favorite) is to grab my camera with a full battery and an empty 4 gig SD card and wander. I call it scouring. I go so slowly no one wants to be my companion. I can spend days doing this and sometimes a theme of imagery will arise as it did today. I climbed to the top of the clock tower to get the view you see above. Then I set forth to scour the whole city…to plunge into the brick and plaster jungle below. In the evening I sit with my glass of sparking Croatian rosé and edit pictures. I couldn’t be happier.

My goal this morning was to get lost and come home with some great imagery. So let’s go down now and have a look from inside the maze.

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The streets are too narrow for a car as they were originally walking paths that got paved with stones and then buildings erected on the footpath. So there’s no grid-like order to them as we in the States are used to.

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The light level is low if you’re on the ground floor. If you’re on the top, you have plenty of light and a rooftop terrace. Light reaches the street only at midday. So there’s a wonderful filtered light quality for photography. I arrived a bit past noon so you can see some direct light at street level.

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There’s something wonderful about wandering so close to human life. And laundry.

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Mom is in the kitchen clanking dishes. You can hear a baby’s cry and smell and hear onions in the frying pan as you walk past these little slot canyons of life.

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Because it’s Slovenia, even at the height of summer tourism, there’s hardly anyone here. It’s a wonderful opportunity to catch people in solitary moments.

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I was thinking of my hero Henri Cartier-Bresson as I stood in this archway waiting for someone to go by. I had my camera on and the focus locked just waiting. I would hear someone coming and had to snap quickly and then grrr…a bunch of tourists. Another shot grrrr some workmen. Then, voila! A woman and her little dog too. Perfect.

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I had to wait for this girl to separate from her family. But she did, finally.

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I dress up as dandy as possible in my blue hat and orange linen shirt with seersucker blue shorts. That way no one sees me as menacing. Just some tourist. Little do they know that I’m scrutinizing their every move. Maybe this guy wasn’t ideal, but it’s a slice of life shot.

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Stopped for a bite in a little cafe. Most tourists eat at the seaside. But I was enjoying the cool and darkness of the caverns.

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This was my lunch. Mussels with baked cheese and bread. Yummy yummy. 8 Euros = about $10.50 USD.

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And this was the chef. Cute as a BUG!!  He’s studying tourism in Piran and was eager to chat with me. I’ll go back tomorrow and say hello. I didn’t realize that the sign said service and was pointing to his feet.

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On the way out I stepped in dog doo. Yeah, you have to watch where you walk here. They don’t seem to have the same sanitation laws that we do. I actually stepped in poo twice…not this pile if you must know. Grrrr. Maybe it was that little dog. I’ll get you my, pretty.

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And then back into the light to wash my shoes.

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I’m coming down with a cold and there is a major thunderstorm headed this way. So I guess I’ll spend the next day or so in bed.

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Responses

  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous. I’m so envious, David.

    There used to be dog poo all over Paris, 30 years ago. Billboards everywhere urged, “Apprenez-lui le caniveau!” But it never worked. You always had to watch where you were walking.

    So I was shocked last year to see Parisians scooping up their dogs’ turds into little plastic bags just like here in the U.S. That, plus their non-smoking sections, were things I never thought I’d see in my lifetime.

  2. beautifuuul photoooos!!! glad you found those mussels again 😉
    lots of tea and honey :*


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