Stand on any corner of a new city and soak in the flavor of the place. As your eyes scan the area, you will notice people in their daily activities, movement, architecture, colors, and weather. Your ears will capture the sounds of the place, your nose the odors and fragrances. Just by stopping for a moment and really using your senses you will capture aspects of the essence of a place as it now is. These impressions are as an important part of the whole travel experience to me as visits to museums, cathedrals and ancient sites.
Think for a moment about why you travel. Isn't it really to experience places beyond your own horizon? I don't argue that museums, cathedrals (or other important buildings) and ancient sites are significant to experience in person-a video, book, photograph, or written description is just not the same as being there and having actual near physical contact with it. What I am saying is that those are aspects of the place that help you better understand its past and its people. They are important, and I would never suggest that you ignore them as you travel. I suggest that the traveler should appreciate them for what they are AND also appreciate the place in which they exist today.
I have been in guided travel situations where I have "experienced" three castles and a cathedral in a day's outing (Wales). At the end of the day, it was difficult for me to remember what was where and why it was even remotely significant to either the past or the present. At other travel times, I have spent part of my day exploring a significant building or site and the rest of the day wandering around the neighborhood that surrounds it or sitting at a table outside a cafe soaking in the sights, sounds, and even the fragrances of the place. It's not difficult to guess which type of travel I prefer. I'd rather experience a few places more in depth than complete an itinerary check-list so that I can say that "I've 'done' place X". Do you, the reader, have any thoughts on how you like to travel that you are willing to share? I really would be interested.
In the photos above, I'd like to point out just a couple of features:
-the Mediterranean colors and textures in Seville's Triana District buildings
-the Arab-influenced arches in the large building opposite the cafe in Seville
-the narrow streets leading from the plaza in Rhonda
-a famous clock in London
-the Georgian style houses looming over the rainy streets of Bath.
Thank you for visiting, please come again. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.