Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Travel Theme: Benches

For years I've been a tad preoccupied with The Bench--as a place for reflection, a place to rest from a long walk, a place to watch the world. I've taken hundreds of bench photos. In response to Ailsa's challenge at Where's My Backpack, here are a few of my favorites . . .

One of my favorite pictures of all the thousands of pictures I've taken. The light coming through the trees in this Croatian courtyard has always amazed me. It was so quiet here. While the rest of the village was buzzing with life, this secluded spot was still.

Hiking in British Columbia. A bench like this at the top of a hill is a welcome sight.

Stanley Park in Vancouver. I'm not sure if you can see how hot it is. Everything--the flowers and the grass--looks so cool, but it was blistering hot that day.

Actually it was cooler here on the Copacabana. This guy will probably still be sitting there if you decide to visit Rio de Janeiro. The Copacabana is cleaner than it used to be. It's always worth a visit. And if you can be there during the Basanova concerts, you're really lucky.

A bench overlooking Achensee in Austria. That's the very touristy but pretty village of Pertisau, the yellow from the trees, in the background. It's a nice, long walk around the lake.

This is a very practical sort of bench in the Roman ruins at Ephesus in modernday Turkey. The men of the city used to gather here to shoot the shit, as it were. There were no dividing walls between them. That would have obstructed conversation--and I'm told there was quite a lot of conversation here.

The middle one is me. I'm sitting on a bench in the ruins of Lycia, the birthplace of Saint Nicholaus in Turkey.
I wonder if someone is saving this bench for themselves with these beer bottles in this Berlin Park.

Nothing spectacular here, but it's one of my favorite places: The King Edward Memorial Park on The Thames Path in London. This park is in danger of being ripped up to build the Super Sewer that London needs pretty badly. The signs on those trees are protests against the new sewage system.

A guest bench! 'Ceci est un banc' by Paola Fornari (www.espacios.be), Tory Island, Donegal, August 2012.
Also a bench along the Thames Path in London, very close to London Bridge. Lovely and artistic, but I prefer a bench with a back--because mine needs one.

New York City in February. It was a cool but sunny day. This lonely bench in Central Park looked more like a piece of art than a place to sit.
And this is my favorite bench pic of the last few years. OK, it's technically not a bench, but there is room for multiple behinds, and you can keep fit while you're resting--if that makes any sense at all.

I must be off,


Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire), the story of a man struggling with expectations. Available from Amazon Anything.