Strange object on wheels

When travelling, there is no doubt that if you wish to see a place ‘up close and personal’, then you should be walking or on a bicycle. Many unusual and quirky things are to be found along roadsides and off road trails, but one needs time to spot them!

We came across this very strange and intriguing item while cycling along a canal in France. I was fascinated :-)  Peering inside the grill at the end did not help me work out what it was - it appeared to be some sort of caravan, however, nothing inside seemed to verify this theory.

Mysterious item

Mysterious item

My curiosity was not satisfied until we returned the following evening to find it being well used by a single occupant! Do you know what this is? Would you like to have a guess?

Mysterious item

Closeup detail of the ‘doorway’

Posted in Favourite things, France | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Lock up your love in Paris!

Paris is one of those wonderful places with lots of surprises and interesting things to see.

lock3I had heard about the bridges with lots of lover’s padlocks, but I was unprepared for the thousands of these ‘pledges of love’ that adorn two bridges in the centre of the city. The Pont de L’Archevêché is one of these.

If the key to each padlock is tossed over into the river, there must be a lot of rusty keys at the bottom of the Seine in this area!

The beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral is visible in the background

The beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral is visible in the background

All those heavy locks must add a significant amount of weight to the overall bridge!

Thousands of locks on both sides of the bridge/road

Thousands of locks on both sides of the bridge/road

There is one thing for sure….. if a relationship came adrift and the lock needed to be removed – it would be a mammoth job to find it again!

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Travel theme: unexpected shoe post

Sydney is a typical large city in that it has some beautiful areas and some not so great. It has quiet spaces with trees and lawns and busy streets filled with traffic and noise. A recent trip along a very busy road with few aesthetic qualities, provided a very unexpected sight! A street light post  had a number of shoes attached!

A shoe pole!

A shoe pole!

I have no idea why the ‘shoe pole’ had been made. I think it was unlikely to be the work of a number of passers-by, some shoes are attached very high up. Perhaps it was a novel attention seeking tactic to advertise the shop in the background?

Whatever its purpose, there was no time to wonder, the traffic was on the move, and it was all I could do to quickly get a photo as we moved by!

This post is a reply to a post by Ailsa from Where’s my backpack, who challenged her readers to document the ‘unexpected’!

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Dance to the tune of a saw

Square in central Toulouse

Square in central Toulouse

It was warm – well, it was quite hot actually.

So much so that the lunchtime crowds in the square did not mind getting the occasional spray drift from the fountains which waxed and waned on the concrete slab before them.

I love the summer, I love the heat and I am drawn to water like a magnet, especially on days like this one. So it was inevitable that I would be attracted to the fountain – just to have a look.

What I found was delightful. A mournful, eerie sound was being created by a fellow sitting on a stool at one end of the water feature.

The saw'er :-)

The saw player :-)

He was using a violin bow to coax a tune from a flexible metal saw blade.

Two girls were ‘dancing’ in the fountain – they moved slowly in time with the music and the rising and falling water jets. They were the coolest people on the square, being dampened down by each new spray of moisture.

I enjoyed the performance, but I did feel sorry for the children who hovered uncertainly on the edge of the wet zone – not quite game to interrupt the musical entertainment.

We often saw people playing in the fountains and water features in France. As a water lover, I thought this was great! These images were taken in a square in the old part of Toulouse.

Dance to the tune of the saw!

Dance to the tune of the saw!

Have you ever danced in a water fountain? Or to the ‘yowly’ tune of a saw?

Pausing, then moving in time with the water.

Pausing, then moving in time with the water.

Posted in France, Have you ever..., Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

It’s a tank box!

For those of you following the Amazing Mailbox Quest, I have a lovely one to add this week. It was designed to match a rather impressive entrance, which, like the mailbox, was made of corrugated iron.

The grand corrugated Iron entrance to the estate.

The grand corrugated Iron entrance to the estate.

I am not sure of the reason for all the iron sheeting – perhaps the it matched the cladding on some distant (and invisible through the trees) home. Or maybe the owner had come across an offer of cheap iron, that was just too good to pass up!

A cute little tank on its own tank stand. One of my favourites so far!

A cute little tank on its own tank stand. One of my favourites so far!

Whatever the reason, it seems that the iron turrets on the gateway and the mailbox must have been specially made to order, because I have never seen corrugated iron in those small cylindrical shapes before.

The mailbox was a small, beautifully crafted tank, complete with its own tankstand – one of the rare instances when one would hope the inside of the tank never gets wet! This is definitely one of my favourite mailboxes so far!

For anyone who is wondering what all the fuss is about, please click on the Amazing Mailbox Quest tab at the top of the page. You will see a whole host of other examples which are already part of our collection of unusual and/or quirky mail receptacles.

If you know of any remarkable mailboxes or come across one, please get a photo, add it to your blog and link it back so that we can add your find to our list. For more information, please check out the Amazing Mailbox Quest page.

Posted in Amazing Mailbox Quest, Favourite things, Odds & ends | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Happy Herb and Cool Granny

Travel on any major thoroughfare in Australia these days and you will encounter a range of the most exciting, enticing vehicles you could imagine. Caravans and campervans of all shapes and sizes are being towed endlessly around the country as their occupants unwind and relax into retirement.

Some of these mobile homes are fantastically large and luxurious, others more fundamental depending on the personal tastes and budgets of the occupants. But one thing they do all have in common – these retired ‘grey nomads’ are out to have a great time and to enjoy every day to the fullest.

Happy Herb looks very content with his lot in life!

Happy Herb looks very content with his lot in life! The campsite with its single occupant van is visible in the distance.

Passing a rest area on one of my recent travels through the highlands of Victoria, I was delighted by the advertisement left on the roadside by one gypsy couple. I am not sure if the intent was to invite fellow grey nomads to pull in and stay awhile, or just to have fun. Meet Happy Herb and Cool Granny!

Aren’t they delightful?

"Cool granny" waves happily at passers-by

“Cool granny” waves happily at passers-by

Are you a grey nomad? Travelling about, enjoying your well earned retirement. Would you consider stopping for a chat and a cuppa if you passed this couple?


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Have you ever…. seen a Koala in the wild?

I have travelled through many forests and woodlands in Australia. Some have been extensive ecological treasures, others have been relatively narrow corridors along roadways.

With our unique wildlife, it follows that we also have some rather unique roadsigns, within these areas – most of which I treat with a level of disbelief :-). I would love to see a Wombat each time I see a sign warning that they are about, or a Koala, well…….now that would be such a treat!

A week or so ago I was travelling through a small area of forest, watching for interesting mailboxes (as one does!), when we passed one such “Koala” sign. As usual, though, it ignited no interest.


Koalas about!

Then, not far along the road……. we actually passed a Koala sitting on the side of the road! That certainly ignited my interest, and I watched as it patiently waited for the car to pass, then crossed the road and vanished! :-0

The road was too narrow to pull over, so you will have to take my word that it was there! I did get some photos at the top of the road, so you can see what sort of vegetation these animals prefer. This is only the second time I have seen a Koala in the wild – how lucky was I?


Looking up the road – no Koalas in sight :-(


Looking down the road – no Koalas in sight :-(

Posted in Australia, Have you ever..., Odds & ends, Wildlife | Tagged , , | 5 Comments