A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Spring Quiz

It's getting quite Spring-like here in the Land of Mud. I fancy another silly quiz, since I rather enjoyed the last one.The prize this time is interesting (if you like that sort of thing) rather than especially valuable. I have two copies of a CD containing my private collection of French Napoleonic marches and fanfares. All good quality stuff - public domain, but hard to come by. Excellent for motivating the little soldiers, by the way.

Similar arrangement to last time - please have a good look at the following picture, and see if you can work out where it was taken.

(1) Where was I standing when I took this photo? Please be specific - give an actual location, or the name of a nearby village or something - "France" or "California" would be examples of poor answers. (There are up to 10 points available for this, depending how far your answer is in a straight line from the real place. If your answer is too general, I shall place it at the furthest point possible...)

(2) How do you know, or how did you work it out? Also, do you have any thoughts about this? (up to 10 points for this section, with originality, ingenuity and humour scoring high) 

You can comment here (tell me if you don't want it published!) or (probably better) email me through my Blogger profile. I'll send a copy of the CD to each of the two entries I judge to be best. I'll keep this open until March 14th, and publish the exciting results shortly afterwards. When I have some winners, I'll arrange to get postal addresses to send the prizes.

You will want to know that I took the photo at around 10 in the morning, on 17th July 2007, in the northern hemisphere. I'm sorry the picture does not have higher resolution - it's the best I've got...


  1. Well, the vines and olives make it mediteranean.
    Taking a military line Spain would be the one but the small fields, hilltop towns and cypress trees are much more Italy.

    At this point I will take a punt and say that the town on the Hill looks a lot like San Gimignano in Tuscany to me.

    The shadows are a bit difficult but if pressed I would say you were to the north of the town which probably means you turned off the s429 at Certaldo and stopped on the roadside about 3km from the town.

    Of course itcould just as well be Doncaster.

  2. This is a fun game for a Sunday afternoon!

    My guess is that you took this photo somewhere near Vimeiro, Portugal. Your Peninsular predilection is of course well know in these parts, so that fits. I spent a little time in the neighbourhood of Vimeiro a long time ago and the landscape looks more or less right, with relatively high, sprawling hills with some stands of wood and cultivated fields right to the summit and vineyards as well. It looks fairly dry but not so dry as my imagination leads me to believe Spain ought to be in July, and that fits Portugal's pleasant Atlantic coast. The shed roofs seem to be made of appropriate tile (so this isn't Scotland...) and finally are those Eucalyptus in the foreground? These introduced trees were weeds everywhere around Estremadura when I was there. I have to say the soil doesn't look quite stony enough and the whole landscape looks a little too manicured to make me believe that I am right but I have nothing better to venture.

    I look forward to learning that you spent a long holiday near St. Tropez and that your retirement is funded by the vineyard in the foreground.

  3. I've received a number of responses very quickly - for which thanks. I've decided not to publish any reply which offers an explicit answer - not until the end date. If I publish them, it is unfair on the early responders, since anyone else will be able to crib their answers and carry out further research.

    So if you have sent in a reply and I haven't published it, it's OK - I will have received it.

    Bonne chance - MSF

    1. Oh, and to cover myself on where, perhaps around Volpaia and I'm guessing by the sun, you're facing South.

  4. From the light, possibly facing SE. From what looks like olive trees, in the Med. Can't work out the other bushes, possibly vines but not convinced. Yellowish stone, Italian/Maltese rather than Greek. Looks like tall buildings on the horizon. Plus hills.

    As I recall, Rome quite quickly goes to open countryside.

    Somewhere to the NW of Rome?

    Now tell me that's not an olive but one of the willows and it's actually a 'pick it yourself' on the North Downs!

  5. I'm saying around Tuscany. The building on the hill appears Mediterranean and who wouldn't want to see Italy? Spain I imagine is more dry and tourist areas are along the beaches. Greece is the same way.

    That's basically 1 and 2, Tuscany and the building and hills seem like this would be the spot. Of course, having been to Sanoma county in northern California, it could be mistaken for Italy.

  6. Further refinement - it has been pointed out that my rules are insufficiently precise. This is quite deliberate, since the judgement will be very subjective, but I am requested to confirm that "how far in a straight line" also implies "as it appears on a map". Thus, if I receive an entry which is on the wrong side of the Earth, for example, the distance will not be measured along a straight line through the centre of the planet.

    I have always believed that I am fairly pedantic, but I'm not so sure now.

    Bonne chance - MSF

  7. As you have already said 'Northern Hemisphere', anyone trying for the wrong side of the Earth deserves special mention at the very least.....