Exploring Lost & Found; Where the streets have strange names

The reasons people travel are almost as numerous as for getting up in the morning. Exploring exotic locations, following the sun, chasing the Northern lights, immersion in different cultures, visiting family or friends, city shopping or climbing expeditions the list is almost endless.

Exploring the backstreets of the medina in Marrakech in North African Morocco on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Exploring the Medina

“getting totally lost even for a little”

One of my favourite reasons however is to explore, to find a little adventure whilst travelling. Setting off into an unknown city with little more than a daypack, possibly even leaving the map behind can be a small but worthwhile venture. Spending the next few hours getting totally lost even for a little while before finding the way back to more recognisable areas of the city, town or village flicks a few switches.

Exploring the narrow streets of St Antonin in Noble Val in the Aveyron, France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain_Mallory_006088

Exploring medieval Europe

Exploring the backstreets of Corte, Corsica in France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

The backstreets of Corte, Corsica

Wandering down narrow, winding streets, taking an unknown left turn down a secluded alleyway or maybe even finding a hidden passageway overgrown and obviously rarely used can provide a little unplanned adventure. Discovering an unexpected picturesque church, cosy public house or quirky museum not knowing what is around the next corner is exciting and can make  exploring really worthwhile.

Regardless of the destination, whether becoming well and truly lost in the labyrinth of Marrakech’s medina or slightly misplaced in the citadelle of Corte there is ample opportunity for exploring.

On numerous occasions whilst enjoying my own little bit of exploration in the less accepted sightseeing areas I have been informed by locals I am heaidng in the wrong direction. Personally just witnessing the contrived sights for tourists is not what the travelling experience is about, there is a need to discover a little more.

Often the surprise can be the streets and buildings themselves, they provide some character to the destination, and they can tell the history of the location. It is common to find a story behind many of the houses and buildings that line these arteries crisscrossing the town, providing the adventurous with plenty of avenues to explore.

“fun discovering the juicy details”

A guide is often a sensible option here providing some insight into the history of the area and individual buildings too. There are times that a guide is indispensable but sometimes it can be more fun discovering the juicy details on your own. A smile, inquiring mind and a willingness to simply ask a local can often find an interesting story that maybe even a guide is unaware of.

Taking the mule home in Makrinitsa (Μακρινίτσα), the "Balcony of Mt. Pelion," is a former community in Magnesia, Thessaly, Greece on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain_Mallory_053911

Transport systems in Greece

Finding a colourful French home while exploring the Poitou-Charentes region of France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain_Mallory_056822

A colourful French home

The names of these streets can be unusual, amusing and represent the character of the destination, often the houses can have equally interesting names. A little observation is all that is needed to begin to understand a place, finding a shrine tucked away down a side street or a huge gargoyle almost ‘glued’ to a tiny residence. These are just tiny snippets of information that together provide the story of a town or destination.

Exploring the Island of Beauty, Corsica in France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

The unexpected in Corsica

Exploring the Kasbah shopping mall at Quazzarate in the Moroccan High Atlas mountains on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

A Moroccan kasbah mall

People are the heart and soul of any destination, they provide its culture and it is them that really become the story of any town. Stumbling into some of the local characters that make up the community is one of the highlights of any trip for me. Suddenly coming across pigs, sheep, cattle, goats or hens grazing at the side of the road also gives me at least a little thrill. Discovering the unexpected especially when it provides just a glimpse of the culture of a destination is what exploring is about.

Exploring the medieval streets of St Antonin in Noble Val in the Aveyron, France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

St Anotnin’s house of love

Exploring Ocean Street on the island of Ile de Re in the Poitou-Charentes, France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Know where this leads?

“the streets that are the stars”

However it is the streets that are the stars for this post, it is a celebration of them, the buildings, history and architecture old or new. Take a moment to take a look through the images, imagine the sounds daily life, the chatter of people, the occasional vehicle squeezing through the narrow passageways and those same people having to scurry out of their path.

Take a visual stroll through a destination where the streets have strange names and explore it from the comfort of your armchair. Hopefully you will be transported to these locations and have just a feel for the towns portrayed here.

Exploring on the island of Ile de Re in the Poitou-Charentes, France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Bring on the dancing girls

I hope you enjoy this virtual journey and maybe next time when visiting an unfamiliar city or town you will do a little exploring of your own.

Tourists exploring the medina in Marrakech in North African Morocco on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Exploring in a group for safety

Exploring the archways of Montauban in the French region of Poitou-Charentes on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Seems worth a wander in Montauban

 

A hidden memorial park on Île de Ré an island in Poitou-Charentes in France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

A hidden memorial park on Île de Ré

Street art in the streets of La Rochelle in the Poitou-Charentes region of France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Finding my favourite type of art

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Comments 6

  1. Ellen

    I love the message of this post: discovering the unexpected by observing. That’s what I try to do while on the road. It makes traveling so much more interesting to me. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Johanna Bradley

    Thank goodness someone understands. I get such a baffled reaction when I want to just look round the next corner, or down that street to see where it goes. Don’t always have my camera with me and seldom take shots as good as these.

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      Iain

      Thank you Johanna yes you definitely have a kindred spirit in me, I really think if you don’t take a peek around these corners you miss out on so much and the occasional adventure too. thanks for the kind words. 🙂

  3. Jim O'Donnell

    Great write up Iain and fun photos. I say, I’ve had the greatest times of my life when lost. I loved wandering the souk of Fez and Marrakech without any plan or goal. Looking around the next corner, even in my own town, can bring a great surprise.

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      Author
      Iain

      Thanks Jim, I really did love Marrakech and especially Fez, and find it hard to understand why people say they hated it. The more there is to explore and the more alien the culture the better.

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