CLUE 01 - The Photo
It seems Grandpa was in the backseat of a car taking pictures of what looks like a European countryside. The driver of the car is on the left meaning that this isn't Australia, Hong Kong or any countries that have ties to the commonwealth. As these countries all drive on the right. The semi fortified buildings on top of a hill (usually a church) are common in many countries in Europe. We know that Grandpa went to Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Israel and Portugal. After that this one is pretty tough. We know that Grandpa went to Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Israel and Portugal.
CLUE 02 - Everyone Else
Suggestions on Facebook ranged from Germany, England, France and Italy. Most of the clues people sent through pointed to Italy. And most of these said Photo 01 was in the region of Tuscany in three main towns - Volterra, Sienna or Assisi.
Here are the comments people left on Facebook about Photo 01.
Feel free to add your own.
CLUE 03 - The Internet
Looking on a map you'll quickly see that these three towns are all in the same sort of region in Italy, just south of Florence. I also knew that Photo 24 was definitely in Volterra. So I knew that Grandpa was in this area. Maybe on his approach to Volterra? On the trip to find all of the photos I planned to travel south through Switzerland then to Italy. I'd start in Milan, then south to Florence. My plan was to hire a car and head from Florence to Volterra. If Volterra wasn't photo 01 I'd then head east to Sienna and then Assisi. I only had a day or two to do the searching and so I was hoping it was in Volterra. Hoping because then I could make up some time and not need to sleep in the hire car for too many nights.

Assisi, Italy

Volterra, Italy

Grandpa's original
These first two photos are from a basic image search on the internet if you search Voltera or Assisi from afar. And the third is Grandpa's original. You can see why I was hoping it was Volterra. Assisi looks more built up than Grandpa's shot as is Sienna. But maybe Grandpa was just at a different angle or vantage point to one of these places so I didn't want to rule anything out. The country side certainly looked right. I felt I just needed to go there and I'd find the spot.
CLUE 04 - The Trip
As I travelled south from Florence it quickly became obvious that there were many fortified towns with a church on almost every hill. I was pretty worried this was going to be tough. I arrived in Volterra and showed the photo to a few locals. The local butcher, the mailman and an man in a cafe who'd lived there for 50 years. They all said that the photo was of Volterra. I was so relieved and excited.

I must have driven around that town 10 times trying to find the angle where the towers lined up just like in Grandpa's photo. In Grandpa's photo there are clearly two towers. Volterra has three. It wasn't until I drove around on some back roads on someones property that the towers seemed to line up. One tower covering another - making three look like two. I thought i'd found it. I took the photos and proceeded up the hill very happy and relieved. This meant I didn't check Sienna or Assisi as people had suggested. It wasn't until weeks later that I realised that it wasn't a match.


Fortified towns as I traveled south

Grandpa's original

New shot of Volterra
CLUE 05 - The Other Slides
After getting home to Australia after The Trip I had a lot more time to look at these photos and saw that the pictures (above) weren't quite a match. Maybe I should have gone to the other places people suggested in Italy. On the trip I had digital versions of Grandpa's 50 best photos. These are the ones on this site but at home I had the actual slides. And there are hundreds of them. What I didn't pay much attention to before was that each slide has a number on it and a date! Of course these are big clues.

Slide 22 MAR 66

Slides 15 and 18
The number refers to which shot in a roll of film Grandpa took each photo. The date is the date he had them processed. This was a huge realisation. These are the slides that helped. You can click on them to zoom in.
I dug out the slide for this photo, Photo 01. The number on it is 22. The date is MAR 66. Then I stared to find other photos with the same date and numbers either side. There are multiple 22s and so nothing is for certain - ie Grandpa took multiple rolls of film in to be processed at the same time. But you can see similarities in the shots and build a sequence that Grandpa may have taken the shots.

Slides 19 and 22

Slides 23 and 24

This was really exciting as I could literally follow Grandpa's movements. Out the front of his hotel. Then he went to a castle, then he was in a car taking photos out of the window. The missing Photo - slide 22 - being one of these. Then, one of the slides - slide 35 - which the countryside looks similar to the missing photo has 'Toledo' written on it.


Slides 25 and 26

Slides 27 and 28

Slides 29 and 35
I jumped on Google maps and found that Toledo is in Spain not Italy. I know that Grandpa was definitely in Spain. And, after a quick hunt around on-line I saw that Spain and Italy can look very similar.

If you know where any of these locations might be please let me know. Slide 15 has a hotle in it named 'Hotel Cordoba Palace'. After a quick map search I saw that this is definitely Spain. Cordoba being in the south. Then, just a few slides away Grandpa visited a castle or church and then took the missing photo out of a car window. Maybe if we can find the castle/church we'll know what direction he went.


Photo 01 - still missing
Slide 35 with 'Toledo' written on it is quite a few shots away from the missing slide and there are numbers/photos missing but this relaisation has been an enormous help with this photo. We can now look in the right country for starters. I can't believe I didn't spot this earlier.

If anyone knows this area in Spain or maybe knows someone who might please let me know. Photo 01 is surely here somewhere. Please email findgrandpasphotos@gmail.com with any thoughts or new clues.

Thank you.

CLUE 01 - The Photo
This photo was always going to be tough but after a few of the others were identified in Switzerland I started to think this was part of the same series. Mainly because it seems to be taken from a train like others in Switzerland. The sideways blur in the photo giving it away. Photo 14, Photo 27 and Photo 04 have this and were found on the train line from Zurich to Interlaken. Then a few of photos were identified in Interlaken itself so I knew Grandpa was in Interlaken and that he caught a train in Switzerland - starting or finishing in Interlaken West train station. Photo 23 clearly has the station sign in it.
The biggest clue from the photo are the two bodies of water. One a man made canal, the other a seems like a river or stream. Because of the other photos found in this area, mainly Interlaken, I jumped straight to Interlaken on a map. And sure enough there was a man made, canal, right next to another body of water, just outside the train station Grandpa visited. I was excited and thought we might just find this one after all. I just had to get myself to Interlaken.
CLUE 02 - Everyone Else
All the emails I received about this photo pointed to this area around Interlaken too. I didn't get as many as some of the other photos but it backed up my theory. If you have any more clues or comments feel free to add yours via Facebook here.
CLUE 03 - The Trip
Once I got to Interlaken I was pretty excited. Mainly because other photos in and around Interlaken were fairly easy to find. Everything was working out. I just presumed that Photo 31 would too. I drove south along the train line that I'm pretty sure Grandpa traveled on, finding some of the tougher shots like Photo 04 (see the old and new shots below) and Photo 27. I wasn't even keeping a look out for this missing photo as I was so sure it was closer to Interlaken West Train Station.

Grandpa's original - Missing
I found the canal on the map near the Train Station but it was much more built up around the banks than in Grandpa's photo. It wasn't right. Had they changed it since Grandpa was there? I drove out of town along the canal thinking it would materialze in front of me. I drove and drove..., and drove around all the canals in that area. I drove the hire car on farmlands. I drove down weird one way tracks, the wrong way, in the hopes of finding something similar. No luck. The canal I had seen on a map now had large industrial buildings in between it and the river behind. I thought maybe that's why I wasn't finding this one. I was so sure it was here.
I'd decided too many things were certain. Firstly, this may not have been taken from a train. It may not be part of the same series of photos that had made me believe it was in this area at all. On The Trip I felt like I went to the spot in Grandpa's photo but it had just changed. Now, after getting home I wish I'd remembered that nothing is 100% sure.

Searching near Interlaken
CLUE 04 - The Other Slides
So the clues we were left with on this photo are pretty basic. The two bodies of water. It's taken from a train or a car. Most people think it's Europe, probably Switzerland. I didn't have much.

Then I discovered the tiny numbers on the slides that had helped so much with Photo 31. I decided to apply the same theory from that revelation to this photo. Basically, the numbers on the original slides are the shot number on the roll of film that Grandpa took and the date is the date he had them processed.


Slide 4 MAR 66

Slides 2 and 3
Photo 31 is number 4 in the roll processed in MAR 66. Once I pulled out all the slides with red numbers and March 66 on them it does seem like Grandpa took this photo in Switzerland.
There are multiple films with MAR 66 though so it is tough to say anything for sure. This means there are multiple number 4's and multiples of the numbers around it.
After laying them all out you can see a narrative that seems like the slides around the missing photo 31. I was able to find what you can see here as slide 7 in Olten which is similar in color to the missing photo. Slides number 11, 12 and 13 shown here were found in Zurich. Slides 6, 14 and 15 were found in Biel. And slide 16 is the one that finally made me accept that Grandpa may not have been in a train but in a car. You can see the bonnet in the bottom of the shot.

Slides 4 and 5

Slides 6 and 7

Slides 11 and 12

Slides 13 and 14
From this sequence of slides you can see that it does seem like Photo 31 is in Switzerland. Probably on the way from Zurich to Biel. Grandpa being closer to Zurich or Olten when he took this missing photo rather than farther south in Interlaken as I had previously thought.

Slides 15 and 16
So this opens up new possibilities on a map as I was previously following the train line. The mistake I made on The Trip was focusing on Interlaken for this one. I should have kept an eye out for a man made canal next to another body of water along the way.

Photo 31 - still missing
If you know anyone in Zurich, Olten or anywhere near this area of Switzerland please send them the photo. Ask them if they have any ideas. Or please let me know if there are any new clues at findgrandpasphotos@gmail.com.

Thank you.