Saturday Surprise — Cool Places

I had written a story for today’s Saturday Surprise post, but then I came across something that gave me another idea, and I rather meandered off the path, as I am wont to do whenever I allow my mind to roam free.  Recently I had a conversation about bucket lists.  For most people, bucket lists are comprised of places to go, things to see & do.  Personally, I do not have a bucket list, for I am fairly reclusive and quite happy staying home.  But if I did have one, I would seek out unusual places, unique things to see and do.  Today I shall take you for a virtual visit of just a couple of such places, and we shall see more on some other Saturday.  I love this free-style feature that allows me to go wherever my mind takes me … thanks to Bushka for suggesting this!  And now …

You’ve heard of the Rainbow Bridge, the Rainbow Connection, but how about …


… a Rainbow Tunnel!!! Just off of Toronto’s Don Valley Parkway is an old railway tunnel, officially dubbed the Rainbow Tunnel.  Originally painted in 1972 by a Norwegian teen, B.C. Johnson, as a memorial to a friend who had recently died, the tunnel was almost immediately painted over in grey by the North York parks department.  I guess they weren’t into bright, colourful, cheery scenery.  But Johnson, who would become known as the  “Caretaker of Dreams”, persisted and kept on repainting it.  According to one story, he repainted it some 40 times, was arrested four times, and suffered a broken leg once when a train went over the bridge, severing the rope from which Johnson was suspended.  Eventually the community took up the cause, and the parks department gave up the fight.

In 2012-2013, artists Rob Matejka and Anthony DeLacruz, with the help of members of the community, restored the fading rainbow back to its original glory with funding provided by the City of Toronto.

Artist Peter Doig painted a painting of the Rainbow Tunnel which sold in 2014 for $15.5 million!



Most all of us have, at one time or another built a snowman, right?  Some maybe even a snow fort.  But every January, people come to Breckenridge, Colorado to participate in the annual Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships.

Sixteen teams of four people each are selected to carve giant blocks of snow into fantastic creatures, scenes, or shapes.  Each team is given a 12-foot, 25-ton cube of snow packed by local volunteers. The snow blocks are created by stomping atop the snow in a town-wide event called “Stomping Week.”

The teams are given 65 hours over a five-day period to create their works of art. Teams use home-made tools, for example, a modified cheese grater from their kitchen cabinets, but power tools are forbidden.




January 2018 will mark the 28th year of the competition.

Ever have the desire to sleep inside a wine barrel?  No, me either.  But … if you ever do, then head over to the Netherlands where the Hotel de Vrouwe van Stavoren has created a unique hotel experience that is equal parts junk recycling and rustic chic.

wine-barrel-1Each of the four wine barrel rooms at the hotel was made using wooden storage casks that have a volume of over 14,000 liters, more than enough room for the two cozy beds that are placed inside each one. All of the hobbit-like round rooms are also adjoined by a small living room and bathroom that is connected to the barrel from the opposite end of the front door.

wine-barrel-2All things considered, it is reasonably priced, at $50 – $150 per night, depending on season.


And, as I am out of time, this concludes our Saturday Surprise for this week.  A couple of people, notably Colette and JB, suggested an interactive Saturday Surprise, where readers could contribute music, stories, limericks, etc.  I love that idea, but am still working out the best way to go about it, so hang in another week or two while I do some more thinking and testing.  Meanwhile, have a safe and wonderful weekend!



23 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — Cool Places

  1. Pingback: Saturday Surprise – Cool Places 2 | Filosofa's Word

  2. I love the rainbow tunnel!! I just got back from Toronto, wish I had seen known about this when I was there. I am currently fulfilling as many things on my USA bucket list before I go home to Australia

    Liked by 1 person

      • I leave December 10th. I have a couple of road trips planned, one to see my grand kids in Illinois, another destination yet to be decided. I have been on every continent except South America and Antarctica so I am looking at a trip to South America. Probably going go to Mexico before I leave, have never been and would be a damn shame if I was in America for 12 years and never set foot in Mexico. Also going to New York early December, want to experience all the holiday spirit in time square the Rockefeller center. Finally need to jump out of a plane and a helicopter over the grand canyon.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah yes … you will enjoy Mexico, I think. I love it! And having spent part of my childhood in NYC, I will say that for me, there is no better place to catch the holiday spirit! All great plans you have … except maybe the jumping out of a plane/helicopter … that one does not appeal to me in the least, but then I get dizzy on my little 2-step ladder! 😀 Have great fun in your adventures, as I’m sure you will!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Jill,
    I’m game for another adventure. I love the story of the rainbow tunnel. I’m glad Toronto officials got smart. This is a great marketing tool for the city.
    It would be interesting to say I’ve slept in a wine barrel. I will definitely be going this year to Breckenridge, Colorado to see the ice artistic creations.
    Thanks for another most interesting post.
    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The rainbow tunnel is a lovely testament to friendship and determination to keep that love alive, it’s uplifting to read it survived and prospered.
    The snow sculptures are fantastic works of art, that’s a captivating story of the process folk enact to create them.
    Thanks Jill, for sharing examples of communities working together, being constructive and having a good time.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There was a man who painted a rainbow

    And others who made sculptures from snow

    Creative beds

    in barrel shaped sheds

    A fun world that continues to grow

    What a fun post Jill. And just the thing to put the human spirit in focus at the end of a dreary news week.
    Focussing on rainbow’s is a much more pleasant activity! 😄

    Liked by 2 people

    • Love the poem!!! These things just seem to roll off your fingertips! I envy your talent. Glad you enjoyed the post … I had great fun with it … much better way to start the weekend than … well, you know. 😉


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