Tag: Weird TravelView All Tags
With the warmer weather right around the corner, we’ve started to plan our spring and summer road trips. Sure there are the usual locations that are always a good choice, but we’re looking to also to be entertained on the way there. That’s why we’re recommending a few good distractions, with what we’re calling the five things you just got to drive past:
Corn Palace – Mitchell, South Dakota
It’s exactly what it sounds like, and is clearly a road trip must. It’s one part civic center and one part awesome, as the exterior decorations of corn, grain, and grass are refreshed and renewed each and every year. They’d love for you to stop in and visit, and they don’t even charge you for checking things out. Oh—and don’t worry about finding it—type “Corn Palace” into Google Maps, and it’ll know exactly where you want to head. At least it did for us!
World’s Tallest Thermometer – Baker, California
You’re driving towards the desert, and you just need to know how hot it is outside—problem solved. Just swing by the world’s tallest thermometer and you’ll be all set. It’s right by a Bob's Big Boy restaurant—another road trip must—and is in the town lovingly referred to as the gateway to Death Valley. We’d recommend filling up the tank in Baker before continuing on your journey, and of course be sure to snap a photo of the thermometer as well.
Where do brainy billionaires vacation? Oh, just garbage dumps...or missile silos, if we're talking about brainy billionaire Bill Gates.
Thanks to the question-and-answer period known as an "AMA" (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, we now know where to find Mr. Gates relaxing during his off hoursthat is, if anyone but Mr. Gates has access to these places. Here's what happened: Bill was asked, "What would be your definition of a chill and fun day?" He replied in a broad sense, taking it to mean hobbies and vacation.
I love playing tennis. I am an avid bridge player (a card game if you have not heard of it - it was more popular in the past!). I like to tour interesting things with my kids like power plants, garbage dumps, the Large Hadron Collider, Antarctica, missile Silos (Arizona),... I read a lot and watch courses (online or the Learning Company)..
In some of the more bizarre airline news we've come across, Hainan Airlines has begun the recruitment of a whole crew of fresh pilots to take their planes, including their Dreamliners, up into the sky. That's not the bizarre part. A crucial step in the recruitment process is a body-odor check. Yep, a recruiter smells the pits of potential pilots; boy, that's the pits.
After an extensive assessment process of technical skills and personality interviews, the flight deck hopefuls have to get their underarms smelled for potential offensive body odor. Since the airline's pilots do interact with passengers, it makes sense to ensure that no interaction turns sour because of a little foul smell. A recruiter has even noted the parallel to the on-the-job duties by saying, "If they can keep their cool in this test, they aren't going to sweat in the cockpit."
It's that time of the year again, when your body is, like, chemically engineered to crave apple cider donuts and adventures in corn mazes. For now, we'll address the latter as farms mow down the crops to make some extra bucks. And, for 2012, the Guinness World Records title of "World's Largest Cornmaze" hops the border and heads to Canada.
The maze at Kraay Family Farm in Lacombe, Canada (that's in the province of Alberta, btw) measures a beastly 309,000 square feet and, in a nod to what's hot with the kids these days (yeah right), takes the shape of a functioning QR code.
If, for some reason, you decide to fly up to Edmonton, rent a car and then rent a plane or helicopter to get high and check this baby out, then manage to capture it, the QR code just directs you to the official maze website, which is right here. Look, we saved you all that trouble!
[Photo: Kraay Farm]
Antarctica Travel / New Zealand Travel / Extreme Travel / Qantas / 747 / Airline News / Weird Travel / → All Tags
For those jet-setters who've ticked off a healthy slew of bucket list destinations, we applaud you. It is quite the accomplishment to have been almost everywhere. Still, we just added a new destination to our own list and we think you may want in. You see, for the first time in 33 years, commercial trips from New Zealand to Antarctica have, once again, become a possibility.
There's a reason they ended in the first place, however; a tourist flight crashed in 1979 and proved fatal for all aboard. It's been long enough for airplanes and navigation and all sorts of other technology to improve and so, this upcoming February, sightseeing flights to the polar cap will once again become a normal departure from NZ. The day trip will see a chartered Qantas Boeing 747 take off from Auckland and travel due south to fly over the ice mass.
"Where are you from?"
"I'm from Fucking, Austria."
Yes, that punctuation is correct and yes this is a conversation held god knows how many times in the last slew of decades, as residents of the Austrian town Fucking explain that yes, that's really the name of the town and, yes, it's been the name of the town since the 18th century, so shut up.
All was fine and dandy for the 108 residents of Fucking, until the postcard sales and tourist bus revenue was sullied by petty crime. You see, The Telegraph UK tells us that the town's name sign has been stolen 13 times, and at £250 each, it's no wonder Fucking is tired of all that...well, fucking around.
We never have enough time or space to get to all the Google Travel news that we'd like. A few weeks ago we talked about their new airport maps, and a little before that we did an introduction to their burgeoning flight search service. Unfortunately Google Flight Search got dragged down by how the airline industry does business, and it has remained unimpressive.
On the other side of the success spectrum, though, developers and programmers expanded Google Earth to include gamesa move that involved airlines and has implications for social mediaand an MIT student playing around with Google Maps made a de facto travel itinerary checker.
But this post isn't about any of those stories. This post is about deep, abiding, biting, bitter jealousy.
Weird Travel / Taipei Travel / TPE / Airport News / Airports / Taiwan Travel / → All Tags
Watching the movie "The Terminal" or reading the Alain de Botton book A Week at the Airport can make you have crazy ideas, like perhaps that living in an airport for a period of time would be awesome. Tom Hanks kind of finds romance, de Botton eats a ton of room service and listens to the melodramatic life stories of travelers passing through Heathrow's Terminal 5; it all seems so nice and easy.
This week however, those daydreaming about living at an airport got a wakeup call when a Japanese man was found to be doing just that in Taipei International Airport, after running out of money and overstaying his visa. Masaaki Tanaka subsisted on soy sauce and wasabi packets while searching the airport floor for loose change. Hmmnot so glamorous.
Art Travel / Tourism / Weird Travel / Tourists / → All Tags
The first thing you need to know is that we checked out this story as thoroughly as we could, because we don't want to be that site that posts an Onion story as if it's real news. Here's the Kickstarter page for the art project, which isquote"to transform [the George Washington statue in Union Square] into a contemporary monument to tourism [with] large scale props such as an 'I Love NY' hat, camera, NYC subway map, and local shopping bags."
Happening upon a hungry Coati wasn't our only interesting animal sighting on our recent trip to Mexico's Riviera Maya. We also spotted a school of fish, only they weren't in the oceanthey were in aquariums inside the Spa at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya. These fishies aren't there for decoration, either; they're there to nibble the dead skin off your feet in what's become something of a spa trend borrowed from Asia.
Ahhh! That was our reaction, too, but you see the "fish pedicure" is quite common in other parts of the world.
When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!
Okay so it's not technically foreign, but the Lobster Ice Cream at Las Vegas' new Lobster ME food kiosk in the Miracle Mile mall is totally worth a feature on its own. For one, it's totally Vegas in that it's something so weird, so novelty, so foreign to Vegas that's cool by default. In fact, perhaps the only people in the country who wouldn't turn their nose up at the stuff would be visitors to Vegas, open to wild and crazy new experiences (and with coin to drop on expensive ice cream).
Even a friend from Maine traveling to Vegas with usa person who knows his lobsterrefused to try it, instead opting for Lobster ME's lobster grilled cheese.
Could you live in a space only 10' by 6'? What about if it had an enviable view of the water and an unbeatable location? Well someone has, and someone did up until 1900 when The Smallest House in Great Britain was declared unfit for habitation. These days, it's one of two hugely popular tourist sites in the town of Conwy in North Wales.
Apparently there's only enough room inside for "one stove, a water tap, a bedside cabinet and a bed," although we're quite sure that IKEA would have something to say about it if they could get their hands on it.
The teeny-tiny red house stands on the quayside of the town, with the 8 turrets of the medieval Conwy Castle overshadowing it to the right and the town's even older defensive walls fencing it in on the left. It's quite a thing to beholdboth the castle and the small housebut save your cash for going into the castle and not the cramped confines of the latter.