A Word a Week Challenge – Unexpected

This week’s Challenge word from A Word in your Ear  is Unexpected.

When traveling, I try to discover if there are any unusual museums at my destination. When walking about a city, village or town or driving the country roads, we always expect to see unusual or unique architecture, and there’s always local colour in the form of street performers or fun shops. What is really cool, though, is finding something in a shop window, or entering a restaurant or pub and finding the decor to be something really different, or looking up and seeing a wonderful detail on a window or building. Sometimes you get entertained when you least expect it.

Here’s a small number of my Unexpected odds and ends from my travels:

Paris Metro entertainment

We were in Paris during a transport strike. Busses and the metro didn’t charge but you might have to wait a long time for one to come, if it showed up at all. Busses were a bit easier to come by but one evening we waited for a Metro train that was apparently going to show up but there was only one running the line so the wait was longer than usual. We didn’t walk because our feet were so sore. Meanwhile, on the platform, these two guys were playing Beatles tunes while we all waited. They weren’t very good and they were more than a little drunk but they were belting out the songs and everyone smiled and even joined in at times!

Skull Chalice, Danish crown jewels, Copenhagen

While in Rosenborg castle in Copenhagen, we descended into the “dungeons” to view the crown jewels and state treasures. The last thing I expected to see was a skull decorating a golden chalice! According to the official website for the Danish Royal Collections: “The engravings on the the chalice depicts the suffering of Christ, as well as symbols for the evangelists and christian passion. Many of the motifes can be found in the illustrations of the Lutheran Strasbourg translation of the bible in 1630. The skull was a commemoration of the events at Golgatha, alledgedly the place where the cross was standing directly on top of the grave of Adam, thus symbolizing eternity for all of mankind.”

Looking towards Mull from the Isle of Iona, Scotland

Scotland is known for it’s many “Isles”, the Inner and Outer Hebrides and others. On the northwest coast facing the Atlantic ocean, the last thing I expected to see was a white, sandy beach and water the colour of the Meditteranean.

Manchester city centre

Manchester’s city centre has a pedestrian shopping zone around the Arndale Centre and Market Street. There are several of these antique tram cars done over as little fast food booths selling sausages, baked (jacket) potatoes and coffee.

And a couple of shop details that caught our eye and made us laugh.

In an Amsterdam shop window. But then, maybe that’s not so strange in Amsterdam!

Warner Brothers shop in Glasgow. Wile E. Coyote and the Tasmanian Devil in kilts? This was taken in October 2000. When I next visited it in 2003 the shop was gone.