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.
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.
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.
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
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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