Sunday, 6 May 2012

Different perspectives


I’ve often wondered, while exploring one foreign city or another, how the locals see their hometown. Do Londoners ever stop to admire The Palace of Westminster? Do Parisians ever go up La Tour Eiffel and enjoy the view? Do Barcelonans ever stop while running errands and admire the architectural masterpieces scattered all over the city?

On my trip to Barcelona a couple of days ago, while sitting on the wall of Castell de Montjuïc and admiring the panoramic view, I caught myself wondering how many times I visited Ljubljana castle. How many times I cared to go up there to enjoy the view? If I remember correctly, the last time was a couple years ago when my friend from the Netherlands was here and I was one of his local ‘tourist guides’. A couple of days later, when we came back from Barcelona, we went straight  to the centre of Ljubljana and I found myself standing in the middle of Kongresni trg, admiring the architecture of a building across the street and thinking ‘What is this’. After seeing the bell tower I realized it’s a church and, to be honest, I was quite disappointed with myself for not noticing the beauty of the city I’m living in.

After thorough consideration I came to the conclusion that locals and tourists see the same city from two completely different perspectives; in fact, they may not even see the same city but two entirely different ones. A tourist goes to a city which is, in some way, appealing to him; he buys a tourist guide or googles the facts about the city, reads about its history and decides which landmarks he wants to see. A local, on the other hand, takes that same landmarks for granted, his local history doesn’t seem so very incredible to him.

I still hope though, that Londoners stop in front of The Palace of Westminster from time to time, that Parisians go up La Tour Eiffel at least once in their life and I hope that Barcelonans are at least aware of the fact that they are lucky to be living in such an architecturally diverse city. 


9 comments:

  1. I have never felt any attachments to the places I'm visiting. I would usually just go there, walk the streets, and leave. Perhaps making a few comments about the architectures, and soon would lose all memory of ever being there.

    But at the same time, I have never visited the "Old World".

    ReplyDelete
  2. No we never take any notice of the wonders around our own town I know there are some wonder attractions here in Newcastle but do I ever take any notice of them nope....can't say I do well not very often........I also live on the beautiful Lake Macquarie but rarely take much notice of how beautiful it is..........

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love looking out for things I haven't seen in Reading, London, Oxford and generally anywhere I go. I do think I spend more time looking at what is around me when I am a tourist though. I'm glad to hear you had such a good time in Barcelona.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Guilty.. It's rare I actually appreciate the city, state or country I live in. I need to get to it. Love the post and loved the photos you shared on facebook :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. A very thoughtful post, showing how we as humans take for granted the beauty around us sometimes. There is an old Saying that goes like this: "Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees".
    In photography one lesson that I will never forget is to take pictures of something in as many different angles or perspectives as possible. . .you are always surprised with the results. Enjoyed your perspective on this subject. -K

    ReplyDelete
  6. When we see things on a regular basis, it loses its charm and becomes part of the everday scenery. My friend came to visit once and kept going on and on about our crazy Amarillo sights, and I was like "What are you talking about?" oh yeah, the cadillacs and the Big Texan and Palo Duro Canyon! Those sights!
    Great post. Very insightful.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I visit London very often for work, and I'm always - even now - amazed by the buildings.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm the opposite. I love 20 mins from London and I don't see it as this amazing city everyone wants to visit. It's just a city that's close by that happens to be my capital.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I often take for granted that I live less than 10 miles away from Golden Gate Bridge. I am often in a hurry when I run into a crowd of tourists in San Francisco and wish that they would either get out of my way or walk faster but in reality, they're just taking in the sights. Although when I leave the local area, I become a tourist myself and get in other people's way.

    ReplyDelete