I've had two rather unexpected sightings on my last two trips abroad.
I was over in Sharm El Sheikh to see the opening of Soho Square, a complex of restaurants and entertainment facilities in the Sharks Bay area. It's the brainchild of the owner of the Savoy and the Sierra Hotels, which flank the development. In amongst the eateries - Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern and rather unexpectedly Ukrainian - and clubs and bars, there's also a skating rink. Yes, you can go ice-skating, slap bang in the middle of the Sinai Desert. Apparently, guests had whinged that it got too hot in summer. I suppose it's one way to cool down, though I might opt for the classic, predictable method of jumping in the pool.
Equally, a trip to Belize threw another curve ball at me. I was down in the southern region of Toledo, an up-and-coming area keen to attract more tourists, being hosted by the luxurious rainforest lodge Machaca Hill. It's a beautiful boutique property set on the banks of the Rio Grande River. No stone is left unturned in Machaca's efforts to give its top notch clientele the perfect holiday. Should they feel the 352 steps leading from the banks of the river up to the lodge, placed high on the hill with views over the tree canopy, are too much to bear, they can ride up in stately luxury in Belize's only funicular railway, specially constructed by the hotel for the purpose. It's a strange site to behold in the middle of the jungle, but the journey is actually a great opportunity to spot exotic birds and the local howler monkeys. Just be careful not to antagonise the latter, as I hear that they tend to react to threats by throwing their own faeces.