When most of us travel, we pay attention to the land, its people, buildings, food, museums, and various other aspects of the place. As we do this, we try not to stand out as TOURISTS and blend into the community as best we can. Whether or not we successfully blend in, the people we are visiting know that we're out there somewhere and make different forms of attempts to capture our attention. While some of those situations may be a bit tacky, the ways that they do so often says something about their culture and also how they perceive the various cultures of those that visit them. The photos in this post are included with this aspect of culture in mind.
The above photo is a typical example of the way that one group of people perceived what the tourist was looking for. I had spent the morning in the midst of heavy rain exploring the unsheltered remains of a partially restored castle outside Cardiff, Wales. That was followed by a quick lunch, a short tour of a cathedral, then a walk through football crowds as we made our way towards Cardiff Castle. As we approached the "restored" castle I looked up and found myself face to face with this attacking wolf. Yes, this was a sign of things to come in terms of the authenticity of the castle. It was, however, amusing.
At one time the citizens of Key West "broke off" from both Florida and the USA to start their own "laid back republic". The Conch Republic's Embassy still remains as a tourist icon. I resisted applying for a passport.
My Irish ancestors left their homeland in the 1840's because of the Famine during which the potato crop was devastated by disease. Given that, I found this Dublin restaurant sign more than a bit incongruous.
Speaking of incongruity in Ireland, the well-dressed gentleman calmly sitting next to a Viking holding a severed head was unsettling. On the other hand, I went upstairs and found a fantastic corned beef sandwich.
Florida does have very legitimate animal crossing signs that are unusual to the non-native visitor. Two that are frequently seen are "alligator crossing" and "panther crossing". There are times when you certainly will run across either and need to drive cautiously. On the other hand, jellyfish are aquatic beasties.....
I wasn't quite sure why this, along with three other statues, was found in the midst of natural desert plants. Most of the botanical garden was tastefully done. Phoenix rules, I guess. Strange.
The rhino is NOT native to New Mexico. I've lived in Kenya and I know that for certain. On the other hand, Santa Fe is known for its free spirit and quirkiness.
I was born in the state of Maine and have seen moose in their natural habitat. Moose do NOT live in Tarpon Springs, nor are they made of sponges that have been harvested from the sea by the descendents of Greek settlers. The spongemoose did give me a chuckle.
When I think of Bath, England I usually think of the Roman Baths, the Jane Eyre Museum, and the Victorian houses that housed the wealthy vacationers in the late 1800's. I did NOT expect to come across an angry Winnie the Pooh-like creature wielding a chain saw. Yes, tourist material for those with a slightly bent sense of humor.
Two comments related to the Bone Yard. First of all, bars don't usually go out of their way to call themselves "dives". A "dive" is considered to be a low-life establishment where food and drink is questionable at best and you need to guard your wallet. Secondly, I do think that a bit of exaggeration as been applied to the size of the wings. (BTW-Florida did have its version of cowboys, so that part is not misrepresented.)
I hope that you have enjoyed your visit to the Tavern and will stop by again. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.