This week travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack’ is Architecture. I have loved this week’s theme, so much that I thought I would do a second post. My first can be found here. As usual the images link through to the larger photos on Flickr.

This first photo is of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Monument in Washington, D.C., USA. This monument, unlike many of the others in the capitol, is one of beautiful landscape architecture that was designed as a place that the long passed president would have himself enjoyed. It is not a monument in memory of military sacrifice, and it does not impose a sense of awe in visiting the capitol of the global superpower that is the U.S.A. Instead, it is secluded tranquility on a human scale.


On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, in France is the town of Troyes. It is a gloriously preserved medieval town and is a showcase of the Aube département. The town centre is a beautiful and living example of medieval architecture with all the exposed timbers and crooked buildings. There is awesome eating too, with the region’s specialty being andouille sausage on many a restaurant menu. I wish we had spent more time here, would definitely go back.


Back in North America, and when we visited my brother and his wife in Toronto, Canada we had a lot of opportunity to explore the nation’s biggest city. There are quite a few architectural gems in Toronto (not to mention the MASSIVE CN Tower), but my favourite piece would have to be the modern facade for the Royal Ontario Museum. The museum itself is pretty cool with some interactive displays that my son, The Pok, enjoyed trying to destroy.


I love visiting Japan, and you could write constantly an entire blog on Japanese architecture and design. Tokyo itself is just epic. This building though is unique even for Tokyo. I have been unable to find out details of what is inside or who owns it other than what appears to be three letters on the upper facade spelling out NOA. It is one of my most popular photos on Flickr.


We went to a few countries on our honeymoon, and one of the coolest cities we have ever traveled to would have to be Tallinn in Estonia. The old town is amazing, and only a quick walk from the ferry stop. But it wasn’t the many old buildings that caught my eye, but this small office building with its supports for its cantilevered upper floors. Cool, cool, cool.


Singapore, Asia’s island city state, is exploding in new construction and its economy is booming. I have been so many times that I have lost count (as it is a good intermediate stopover on the way from Australia to Europe). The architecture of the Marina Bay Sands building is on epic proportions. The overall design is relative simple, and it produces some striking lines that fill the lens.


Across the road from the new huge glistening hotel is another beautiful but more modern piece of landscape architecture, the Gardens by the Bay. I have blogged about this place before, even so the mega trees are cool.


I used to work for an American software company and this involved annual training trips to the USA, particularly Silicon Valley in California. Driving past the Oracle Headquarters is pretty impressive. The campus of towers is gleaming over a lake, and the cylindrical shapes have a dual meaning as the architectural symbol for a database is a cylinder. The window cleaning here must be some job.


England is a treasure trove of Architecture through the ages, and Shrewsbury in the midlands is a prime example of a town where you see a lot of architectural history in one place. The old town, not too dissimilar to Troyes, is well preserved and I love the exposed dark wooden beams against the white plaster walls. Many of these old buildings have new modern businesses now occupying them and plying their trade.


Shanghai in China was one of the other major destinations on our honeymoon, and it was a bit overwhelming to say the least. I think China is moving so rapidly economically that people are forgetting the cultural challenge of maintain a link to the past while accommodating the demands for growth of the future. This shot for me typifies the architectural mish-mash that is Shanghai.


San Francisco, in California U.S.A, is one cool city. It is vibrant and hip, and this is reflected in the “Painted Ladies” opposite Alamo Square – a set of terrace houses beautifully maintained and not far away from the city centre. I hope that they are earthquake proof.


My final shot is from the small town of Porvoo in Finland, about an hour out from Helsinki. The town is famous for the row of red painted houses by the river and its church. The houses were painted in honour of a visit by the King of Sweden back some time in the 19th century. While not architecturally stunning, I think it is quite unique for the country.


Why have so many of my photos from my travel’s got grey sky? No fair weather exploring for this traveler.

I have really enjoyed this week’s travel theme, hence my two goes at it. Check out some of the other posts that you can find posted in the comments by the other bloggers.

On a side note, since blogging my Flickr account photo views have shot up. I have now had over 10,000 photo views and it is climbing rapidly. This amateur photographer is quite happy about that.