Travel theme: Unexpected

After my unexpected encounter with killer black flies on Sauk Mountain, I’m looking at other places that turned out to be something other than expected. First up, Arches National Park. Every photo I’ve seen of this amazing park is filled with glowing red rocks and bright blue skies, so it was with confusion that my pal Sylvia and I encountered flash floods and unholy thunderstorms on our trip to Utah. Unbeknownst to us, Utah has a monsoon season and we had landed bang smack in the middle of it. Arches was shrouded in fog and filled with pools of rainwater the entire time we were there – but it looked all the lovelier for it. arches national park, windows, utah, road trip, us, usa, america, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

The most unexpected place to find something secret is the epicenter of one of the world’s busiest cities. In the heart of Times Square lies a secret sound installation, lurking under the grates in the sidewalk. The work of Max Neuhaus; it is an amplification of resonances already present in the subway tunnels that run under the city, and it is appropriately titled ‘Times Square‘. If you’re in the area, listen out for the sound of bells or gongs resonating; at points the wall of sound is so thick it drowns out the sound of the surrounding traffic.

Times Square's secret sound installation, sound installation, max neuhaus, times square

One of my favourite unexpected encounters took place high up in Ireland’s Featherbeds a couple of Christmas Eves ago. Driving along a winding road through expanses of bog and forest and heathers, I turned a corner and found, miles from anywhere, a fully decorated Christmas tree. The random act of some stranger or strangers unknown filled me with holiday cheer.

featherbeds, wicklow mountains, ireland, wicklow, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

What are your favourite unexected memories? If you would like to join in this week’s travel theme and share something unexpected, here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Unexpected
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!

xxx Ailsa

You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen. – Paul Coelho

Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own experience. – Masaru Ibuka

If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail. – Heraclitus

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About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - wheresmybackpack.com - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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160 Responses to Travel theme: Unexpected

  1. aj vosse says:

    Seeing a Christmas tree at this time was surely unexpected!! 😛

  2. ledrakenoir says:

    Great captures and unexpected – very well done… 😉

  3. I would love to be at Arches Natl. Park while it’s raining. Here’s my stuck in a flood story.
    http://woolyandraeski.com/2014/06/06/the-unexpected/

    • ailsapm says:

      It really was so beautiful, the mist and rain lent it such a mystical atmosphere. Wow, what a great story (and I love the photo) – thank goodness you had lots of wine on board. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Travel theme:Unexpected | So where's the snow?

  5. What a wonderful tree! Here’s someone we found unexpectedly in the woods! http://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/travel-themeunexpected/

  6. livvy30 says:

    People along the walkway near my house decorate the trees at Christmas time too. It’s so pretty!

  7. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | Wind Against Current

  8. Pingback: Unexpected: My Golden Butterfly… | ilargia64

  9. ilargia64 says:

    Hi Ailsa!
    Nice and difficult challenge!
    Here is my post!
    http://ilargia64.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/unexpected-my-golden-butterfly/
    Hope you like it! Have a nice weekend!

  10. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | Ese' s Voice

  11. Ese' s Voice says:

    The last one really made me smile 🙂
    Some of my…unexpectancies: http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/travel-theme-unexpected/

  12. Max510 says:

    Hi Ailsa and everybody !
    Hope you enjoy my unexpected meeting on my road around the world…

    http://max510.com/2014/06/06/weekly-travel-theme-unexpected/

  13. dadirri7 says:

    oh Ailsa, we had a lot of those moments today … but the camera was tucked away … !!

  14. Pingback: Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Unexpected | Travel Monkey

  15. that 1st picture is AWESOME !!!!

  16. Wondrous images, Ailsa. The Christmas tree shot is my favourite for being unexpected, but your first pic is absolutely awesome. 🙂

    • ailsapm says:

      My friend Sylvia couldn’t understand the weather at Arches, she kept saying ‘but it’s Utah, it’s the desert, where’s the sun?’ while I was freaking out about the light and reflections and how amazing everything looked bathed in fog. It was wondrous; I would recommend to anyone to go see Utah during monsoon season, it’s magical. 🙂

  17. Arches in fog and with water – worth the hike.
    That tree gives a smile – what a surprise and memory

  18. Pingback: travel theme: unexpected (upcycling discovery) | Curls n Skirls

  19. Pingback: Surprise Surprise! | LenzExperiments

  20. Preeti says:

    What gorgeous shots! & another great theme…here’s my take.
    http://lenzexperiments.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/surprise-surprise/

  21. Pingback: Travel theme: Unexpected | nowathome

  22. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | Hamburg und Mee(h)r

  23. Pingback: America’s Stonehenge – Unexpected Wonder or Mischievous Hoax? | Jaspa's Journal

  24. Jaspa says:

    I like the photos from Arches NP, Ailsa. We were caught in a snowstorm during our visit to Utah, but that’s another story. Today’s tale is set in the forests of New Hampshire… http://jaspasjourney.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/americas-stonehenge-unexpected-wonder-or-mischievous-hoax/

  25. Pingback: Travel Theme : Unexpected – The Co-Ed Turkish Bath | Travel Tales of Life

  26. sueslaght says:

    Ailsa I love the Christmas tree! This week i hope you will join me for a very authentic Turkish Bath. Who knew it would be co-ed? http://traveltalesoflife.com/2014/06/06/travel-theme-unexpected-the-co-ed-turkish-bath/

  27. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | WordsVisual

  28. Wow, I love the Christmas tree! Almost makes me want to carry out some decorations on my next hike and leave a present for someone else!

  29. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | funfamilyfeats

  30. Pingback: Unexpected – Ailsa’s WTT | Ouch!! My back hurts!!

  31. Jenny says:

    Alisa, I so enjoy your writing. Thank you for sharing. Have a fabulous weekend!

  32. Lyle Krahn says:

    Nothing like a monsoon to change things up on you!

  33. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | Middleton Road

  34. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | Shoot 'N Go

  35. Pingback: Travel theme: Unexpected | Stefano Scheda

  36. Ailsa, that Christmas tree is definitely unexpected. 😀
    Here’s my take, an unexpected headgear: http://wp.me/p16tta-yD

  37. Pingback: Unexpected | Le Drake Noir

  38. Pingback: My Top 10 Unexpected (But Good) Memories of Places I Have Visited | Kat Pegi Mana

  39. Leya says:

    I was trying to find when the tree fell over our house…but this one was just as unexpected!
    http://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/weekly-travel-theme-unexpected/

  40. Pingback: Weekly Travel theme: Unexpected « Leya

  41. Pingback: Unexpected- travel photo challenge | pdjpix

  42. Pingback: Travel theme: Unexpected | Meg Travels

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