I give you the orientation table or in this case the table d'orientation which is on a hill in the Vosges called Drumond near Bussang. This is a craftsman table with a circular metal top complete with raised lettering pointing towards the various mountains nearby and those further away such as the Alps and if I remember right towns and cities of the surrounding countries with their distances. Not that we could see any of these things as we approached the top low cloud and mist swirled up the valley so we had to use our imagination.
Orientation tables come in all shapes and sizes, only limited by the human imagination, and are on anything from small hillocks to large mountains, anywhere there is a view. I am sure there is one near you. What is the fascination of the naming of the surroundings, I don't know but wherever they appear we like to look at them and beautiful views are always solace to the soul.
Here is one side of a small one on Heversham Head overlooking the Kent estuary and put up to celebrate the millennium. Each side has a different theme and the top tells you what you are looking at.
From the small to the ginormous, well OK its main purpose is a tracking station but
as it is on top of the Grand Ballon in the Vosges what better place to put an Orientation Table which goes all the way round the top, and the crowds come to look at it. Here is the diagram of the structure which also shows where the table is
And then there is the eccentric. This is the Hampsfell Hospice built in 1846, look at the list on the board and move the the arrow to the appropriate angle and it points towards the geographical feature.
Photo by Anne Bowker of www.madaboutmountains.comTo see lots more Os go Over to Mrs Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday
And lastly, another orientation, but this contained within the guide books of Alfred Wainwright. Here is his naming of the mountains from the top of England's highest point. You will never get lost if you have one of his books with you in the Lake District.