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.
Each 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.
All 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!