Saturday, 24 September 2011

Portmeirion in Colour

Did you ever watch the TV series, The Prisoner?  It was filmed in a small village called Portmeirion in Wales.

I remember seeing it as a child and I remember what Patrick McGoohan looked like, but for some reason I remember it in black and white, even though I know we had a colour TV by 1967. 

Aside from the beach scenes with the big chewing gum balloon, I only remember him being indoors. 

Even the trash bins are painted pretty.

So all the weirdness and wonders of Portmeirion were lost on me. 

 Well, not any more. 

This is an old fashioned petrol pump!

 I took nearly 200 photos of the place. 

We couldn't decide what this was about...

You have no idea how much I've dithered over which ones to show you. 

Another lamp for my collection!

So I'm just going to show you them all (just kidding, sort of.)

The first thing I did upon arriving was find a shop that sold batteries for my camera. 

It was as though I had to make up for lost time! 

That and, I think you will agree, it is a place made to be photographed. 

Kodak will have made a fortune off this place.  I'm really glad I didn't see it before digital technology or I might have gone bankrupt. 

I found the place both beautiful and a little unsettling.  Unsettling because of its beauty and surprises, but also I think because the scale of things is wrong.  Very grand architecture has been shrunk to a more human scale which both gives it a cozier but also a very dollhouse feeling.   Part of the slight creepiness might be down to the association with The Prisoner, but I'm wondering if the place lent itself to the eeriness of the show. 

It is very Italian in design, Mediterranean in the colours, surreal in the use of tromp-l'oeil.    Things aren't really quite what they seem at first.  After a while you begin to look at things a little harder.

Seen straight on, this looks like a statue.  Instead, it is a flat piece of painted metal.

See this nice cottage - probably available to rent?  Nice windows, eh?

Except those two on the right aren't really windows,
they're just painted to look like windows.

It will be ages before I see anything turquoise without remembering turquoise wrought iron. 

I found they way they used the vivid purple quite surprising.  Pity we couldn't do that here at home.

Orange was everywhere.

Not to mention pink

or yellow.

See what I mean?

It's not very big.  We went through the whole place before we stopped for lunch.  Then the sun came out and everything was even more beautiful so I had to go back and take more photos of it all in sunshine. 

I think Bill was happier when my camera batteries were dead.

You can see much of the place for yourself here:,31.96,70.0

1 comment:

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

I've just found your blog, but now I'm not sure how! At any rate, thats for the travelogue in this post. I really enjoyed it, as well as the other posts I've viewed this evening. I'll be back!!