# Where did my friend go?

My vacation is off to a great start! I have traveled far and wide, but never have I seen anything like this! Perhaps you already know where I am, but if not, here's a photo:

Jessica...

• Could we have a transcription of the piece of paper (using arbitrary letters for each character)? – Deusovi Mar 14 '17 at 1:45
• @Deusovi, I may post a transcript, but it will take away a couple of clues in the photo itself. – Generic User Mar 14 '17 at 13:05

as RGB values in ASCII gives i.stack.imgur.com/0JB7s.jpg, leading to this image:

It's almost certainly a substitution cipher, but I'm not really willing to transcribe it at the moment.

A possible transcription of the letter Deusovi found is:

   VLCTADBY NXTKX TQWX NBQKDX
LQUHLK SLQNK VXIH QS KYLQTHN
KX GHNK
D UDM ZQR VOM DT BLXBFDTV IZ BDJIHL

This is ...

... a substitution cipher, but with an additional feature: Double letters arerepresented by a special syntax. The third letter (C above) is the top view of an Phoenician house with a semicircle to the left. This is the double letter H, the Phoenician house without circle.

Likewise, the penultimate letter in the third row from the bottom (O) is the double letter Q, a sideways fancy stacked burger. So semi-circular shapes attached to the left of a letter mean a double letter.

The text decodes to:

Greenwich
Santa
Nova Scotia
Robert Frost
Game of Thrones
Tallest
I bid you good in cracking my cipher

There's a typo in the last word: The pitched tent (I) should be the upside-down candelabra (Y). The one-of-a-kind letter in "tallest" (G) also has a semicircle, so it could be a double letter. Of the ones not used, L makes the most sense.

But:

That's not a destination yet. (Greenwich and Nova Scotia are, but I think they are just intermediate answers.) The question has a steganography tag and I guess it applies to the decoded message.

• I was confused what you meant about the typo at first, but now I think you just speak a non-American dialect of English - "cipher" is the standard spelling in the US, but I've just learned that "cypher" is common elsewhere. – Personman Mar 15 '17 at 14:44
• It's not about cipher/cypher, but about cipher/cipmer. The fourth letter should be an H, which occurs twice (in Greenwich and Thrones) and is an upside down three-armed candelabra. The actual letter is what looks like the side view of a house with a vertical stroke, which, according to my decoding, should be an M, as in Game and My. – M Oehm Mar 15 '17 at 15:21
• Well then I'm very confused why you typed "I" and "Y" in parentheses, which makes it seem like you're saying the I should be a Y. – Personman Mar 15 '17 at 19:32
• @Personman: The letters in parentheses refer to my transcription. I've mapped the symbols to Latin letters so that I can feed them to a cryptogram solver. I have tried to be mnemonic, so I've chosen letters that look a bit like the symbols. The first symbol, the tanga on the buttocks, is V, the XD ligature is X and so on. I chose Y for the candelabra and I for the house/tent thing. (I've said "C above" to mean "in the transcription above" in the first parenthetical annotation, which is probably a bit vague.) – M Oehm Mar 15 '17 at 19:40