It seems that I have the travel bug, as this week's Sepia Saturday theme has me off to Europe again, where we pay a visit to the sunny Mediterranean with a German family on a warm morning during the summer of 1929.
This postcard photo shows two young girls with their mother, apparently about to take a plunge, although the presence of water splashed on the wooden boardwalk suggests that someone has already been swimming. After some deliberation I've decided that was more likely to be the other woman whose face we don't see, and who leans on the towel-festooned railing and gazes off at the view to the right. The would-be swimmers, whose perfectly groomed hair belies any prior frolicking in the water, have just emerged from one of the doors to the wooden changing rooms visible immediately to the left, presumably the one from which a tagged key still protrudes.
I've deciphered the text on the reverse of the postcard as follows:
Viele innige Grüße und Küsse dem lieber guten dunkel Siegfried aus dem schöner Sorrente wo wir auf sommer frische sind
Annta [?] DAISY JACQUY
Sorrente 24/VII 1929
My effort at a translation (with assistance from Google Translate) reads thus:
Many heartfelt greetings and kisses to the dear good dark Siegfried from the beautiful Sorrente where we are on summer break.... although I'd be happy to consider both alternative interpretations of the text and corrections to my translation. The gist of it, I think, is clear.
It's a pity that it hasn't been sent through the post, as an address, stamp and postmark would no doubt have provided more information about the family.
0.5m resolution GeoEye satellite view of Sorrento, 2009
Image © and courtesy of GeoEye & Google Earth
The small town of Sorrento is a popular tourist destination on the southern shores of the Bay of Naples. The glimpses of water in the photograph struck me as looking more like a quiet freshwater lake than the Meditteranean so, not having had the pleasure of visiting Italy, I flew over to have a look courtesy of Google Earth, which I find invaluable for remote research from the Antipodes. The half metre-resolution of the GeoEye satellite imagery used by Google Earth (click on image above) is excellent for a two-dimensional overview.
Perspective view of Sorrento, looking south
Image © and courtesy of CNES/SPOT & Google Earth
Google Earth can also be used for a perspective three-dimensional view of the coastline, taken as if it were from a helicopter hovering out at sea. Google Earth uses GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software to drape the satellite image over a wireframe model of the topography (imagine laying a very floppy table cloth over a papier-mâché model), which can then be viewed from any user-defined point and angle.
These three images, all from Panoramio contributers, probably give one a good sense of the modern day tourist experience. Need I say more?