Panorama of the Week: A Ghost in Cathedral Square — Vilnius, Lithuania

Visit any European central square on a weekend, and along with the wedding parties in celebration and the locals in transit, you are likely to find tourists shutterbugging away. As evidence, we offer Vilnius’ Cathedral Square (Katedros aikštė).

360-Degree Panorama: Cathedral Square in Vilnius, Lithuania

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Note: Rotate this panorama up, so you only see the tops of the cathedral and the tower. And look for the ghost.

As we viewed the image ourselves, we wondered: is there a word (or sniglet) for the tourist posture of always looking up and taking pictures of buildings?

It’s easy to laugh at this behavior. But let’s face it, so many of us — even the most ardent of the “I’m a traveler, not a tourist” bunch — do it.

In light of this, we offer a suggestion: embrace the shutterbug tourist in you. Have a blast. And when you are finished, put the camera down and take a few moments to absorb and enjoy life around you.

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  1. says

    I used to take very few photos during my travels because I always felt some negative stigma attached with foreigners taking photos, but now that I have a new camera, I’ve been trying to force myself to snap away. And yes, the other day when I visited a small Mexican town, I did take a photo of the top of a cathedral in the main plaza!!

  2. says

    Perhaps architecture, in some ways, defines a place. When we hear Eiffel Tower, we do not think about Italy. We think about Paris basically because this architecture is the landmark of Paris.

    If we forget to take pictures of the places we have been to, then we might forget that we have been there, too. The mind, although very powerful, could deteriorate in time so what better way of remembering past voyages than through photographs. And how would you distinguish one place from another (especially in Europe where in one way or another, they all look the same)? One of the easiest ways is through architecture, in my opinion.

    Thank you for the panoramic view, it feels like I am there.

  3. says

    @Earl: Your comment reminds me of a friend who would say “don’t forsake the experience for the metaphor” when referring to the intensity with which photographers, both amateur and professional, approach their subjects and their craft. Anyhow, I’m glad to hear you are snapping away. I suppose, in the end, if you enjoy the activity — in this case, taking photos — and it doesn’t really get in the way of or bother anyone else, then have at it.

    @Mela: Thanks for a very thoughtful comment. The more I travel, the more I tend to believe that people define a place. Having said that, architecture plays a huge role as well, providing icons that represent the place and memory markers to help us recall all the places we’ve been.

    Your point about Europe “in one way or another, they all look the same” is one that I considered just as we posted this. I reflected in much the same way. So much similarity in Europe, at least on the surface. But there are a still so many features that distinguish each country (and city, for that matter) from one another both physically and in spirit.

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