Travel theme: Letters

I got a letter in the post today; a proper letter that wasn’t a bill or an advertisement. Maybe it’s just me, but I always think there’s something so much more personal, so much more exciting and satisfying about receiving a physical letter as opposed to an email. So to celebrate the almost forgotten art of letter writing, I went looking through my travel photos for letters big and small, like these buttons in a Manhattan elevator leading the way to my favourite city park, the Highline….

high line park new york

… and this gorgeous etched glass pattern containing the letters GCT; a logo dotted all around Grand Central Terminal.

grand central terminal, new york, train stations, manhattan, travel, ailsa prideaux-mooney

A rather hilarious collection of letters, one of the many names memorialized on the floor tiles of Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

pike place market, seattle, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney, tiles, floor tiles, famous names

One of the greatest volumes of letters in the English language, Shakespeare’s First Folio at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

First Folio, Shakespeare, Beinecke, travel, travelogue, Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney

Four of my favourite letters in one fabulous sculpture by Robert Indiana in Philadelphia.

Love sculpture, robert indiana, love park, philadelphia, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

So get your letters at the ready for your own interpretation of this week’s theme. If you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Letters
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!

xxx Ailsa

If you want to know your true opinion of someone, watch the effect produced in you by the first sight of a letter from him. – Arthur Schopenhauer

It does me good to write a letter which is not a response to a demand, a gratuitous letter, so to speak, which has accumulated in me like the waters of a reservoir. – Henry Miller


About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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75 Responses to Travel theme: Letters

  1. ardysez says:

    We have just returned from our trip to Seattle, which thanks to your recommendations was a smashing success. I blogged a little about it, but think I need to do another one as there was so much more I wanted to say and more photos I wanted to share. Thank you so much for all the great information. Only problem was, we didn’t see everything we wanted to so I guess we’ll have to go back. Darn 🙂 I’m with you on receiving an old fashioned letter. I still send them occasionally but hardly ever receive them. Thanks again, Ailsa.

    • ailsapm says:

      Oh wow, I just popped over to read about your Seattle adventures, looks like you had an amazing time, how great you caught that exhibit at SAM, looks marvellous, and your EMP and library photos are fabulous! 🙂 I adore your mother’s cheesecake and broken chairs philosophy, it makes perfect sense to me, and yes, I too have eaten my fair share of cheesecake, although never in the back of a limo, you have me there! 🙂

  2. Letters started out as pictures. These are some fine ones!

    • ailsapm says:

      True, although our alphabet has become so very far removed from the pictures they started with. When I was living in Tokyo and studying Japanese, I fell in love with Kanji because so many of the characters had maintained their connection to the original pictures. I had a snuffle around online and found this great old inscription from the 6th century BC showing the earliest known forms of the Latin alphabet.

      • Writing/letters are fascinating. Thanks for the link. We had an exchange prof. from Japan stay with us for a while when I was growing up. He could script the most beautiful characters. Words that were physically beautiful as well as saying beautiful things.
        Wish the schools would go back to teaching script writing – so much to be gained with that

  3. Pingback: Travel theme: Letters | Creative Busyness

    • ailsapm says:

      Love it – I recognize the sign in that second photo, I’ve stood right there myself, isn’t that Box Canyon in Mount Rainier National Park? Great shots. 🙂

      • Etol Bagam says:

        Yes. It’s in box Canyon. We took my in-laws there last month. So pretty. The other at in or in the way to Yellowstone.

  4. aj vosse says:

    Maybe it’s time I drop you a line… or two. To think, throwing together a selection of letters and it means something! Great!! 😉

    • ailsapm says:

      Hya AJ, just got to your Letters post, I had to laugh because I’ve often thought the same thing, those honking great letters totally block your view. It took me ages to figure out exactly what the N stood for, I guessed it stood for Newbie which was close enough. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Travel theme: Letters | Cee's Photography

  6. Cee Neuner says:

    HI Alisa, this is a great topic this week. I hope you like my selection.

  7. Ailsa, I’ve realzed that I missed your challenges and your writing 🙂 Nice to be back – will go through my photos for a good exhibit to contribute!

  8. Writing letters is a beautiful thing, I’ve written quite a few since I’ve been away – though the Nicaraguan postal system has taken their sweet time getting them home. For most people it’s the first real letter they have received in years.

    • ailsapm says:

      It’s funny how being away from home can make you want to go back to letter writing, and I bet the people you’ve written to were thrilled to get your letters. Emails just cannot compare, can they? xxx

  9. Great blog~! I love writing letters … as well as receiving them. I’ll be posting my blog response in a day or two.

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  14. Pickleope says:

    Very cool theme well executed. The designer of the GCT logo needs a raise and a thank you letter from Tim Burton. I totally agree with you about the written letters. That’s why I write thank you letters and lose hair every time someone sends a thank you text or email. Y’know after seeing it, I don’t think I can name my first child anything other than Turkeylips Lindquist. Boy is that poetic. So what if my last name isn’t Lindquist, there’s no law that my child needs to have my last name. Just a spectacular name. A name destined for greatness as a trumpet player in a funk band.

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  17. cubusregio says:

    Hi Ailsa, here is my letter-entry:

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  19. Pingback: Travel Theme: Letters | Leya

  20. Leya says:

    The love of letters will never die

  21. klara says:

    I so wish to visit one day NYC again and see the highline (it wasn’t done at the time I was there). My contribution this week:

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  24. pommepal says:

    I still remember the anticipation of watching for the mail man when my fiancé was in NZ and I was in UK. Then the joy of reading and rereading every word. Somehow I don’t think today’s messages on email will have that same appeal to the senses.

    • ailsapm says:

      My first romantic interest was a sailor in the merchant navy, he used to send me those delicate, almost see-through airmail letters from all over the world. My heart would go all a-flutter when I saw one of his envelopes in the postbox and you’re right, no email could ever match the tactile delight of carefully opening those wafer thin envelopes, the rustle of the paper, the slight scent of somewhere foreign emanating from the pages. Ahh the romance of it all.

      I love that sculpture you photographed, although I don’t know that I’d want it in my back yard, it looks like a tetanus shot waiting to happen. 🙂

      • pommepal says:

        Oh that is so romantic Ailsa, but I imagine a long term romance would be hard to maintain. I can’t remember the last time I received, or sent, a letter. That sculpture would never fit in my small garden Love your description of a tetanus shot waiting to happen…

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  27. Rhonda says:

    This was challenging and a lot of fun. I’m enjoying finding all the new and interesting challenges in our little WordPress world, so thanks for the opportunity to play! Here’s mine 🙂

    • ailsapm says:

      Rhonda, just saw your Letters post now, how much fun – and wow, hats off to Paula for sealing that letter in wax, I feel like I’m missing out, having never received a sealed letter. How fabulous. I may have to search out a seal of my own. 🙂

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  31. A beautiful and rare book, Ailsa. Lovely theme, and a tribute to writing.
    Much LOVE,

    Here are my letters:

  32. Pingback: Travel Theme: Letters | beyondpaisley

  33. My post is more sort of words than it is individual letters, but hey. that’s what I’ve got. 🙂

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  39. Hi Ailsa,l
    What a cool and unusual angle from which to photograph the New York LOVE letters. Thanks for another great challenge. Here is my response:

  40. Pingback: Travel Theme Challenge: Letters | A Trivial Mind At Work

  41. I have a short series of ‘letters’ from the past few weeks for this week’s interesting challenge!

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  43. I’m on the road travelling, and only saw the title of your theme – and thought it would be about the letters we post (or don’t any more) but then saw your pictures of alphabet letters and realised it could be about either. No time to write a piece, but this recent post of mine about my life-long correspondence with a “penpal” might fit the bill.

  44. Pingback: Travel Theme: Letters | Tvor Travels

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