My favorite thing about vacations is coming across unexpected things. Not things I’ve seen in the tour guides, because I always expect tour-guide attractions to be impressive (they made it into the book, after all).  Instead, I mean places you come across when you’re on your way somewhere else.

Such as this:

Art in Westlake Park in Seattle (July 2012)

On our last day in Seattle, we were on our way back to the hotel when we decided to find a place to sit and rest our feet. And discovered this!

At first, I thought these trees were fake. But they’re real —  the color is a water-based paint that will fade after a few months without harming the trees. The artist is Konstantin Dimopoulos from Australia. The project is meant to draw attention to the problem of deforestation.

Blue trees in Westlake Park, Seattle (July 2012)

Apparently the figures aren’t part of the same installation, though they seem to fit right in. They’re by a Swedish artist (Steinunn Thorarinsdottir).

One of the figures in Westlake Park (July 2012)

I thought this was one of the best things we saw on a trip that included many beautiful sights. For one thing, it’s beautiful outdoor art — and for another, completely unexpected!

For more info on the blue trees, click here for an article in the Seattle Times.