December 2007 [ edit ]
cobbles paving the ground in Moscow's famous Red Square are black, not red.
If you visit the
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine, you can learn to drive a streetcar.
Among the attractions of the
Argentine city of Cordoba is the Museo Paleontológico de la Universität Nacional de Córdoba, featuring the largest fossilized spider in the world.
Nanjing, China had the world's longest city wall. Large parts of it are still standing, though much of the modern city is outside them.
dam in Switzerland's Verzasca Valley was featured in the James Bond movie , and is used for what's claimed to be the Goldeneye longest bungee jump in the world.
Where did that come from?
Solvang, California is best known for its theme (architecture, cuisine, etc.), but also included among its attractions is an Danish ostrich farm.
Competitors in the
, in the North Bay Triathlon Canadian town of the same name, are allowed to wear wet suits for the swimming part of the competition, because of the cold waters.
, in Arkansas' state capitol Little Rock, is built on the former site of the state penitentiary.
visiting Mr. Bean fans Portsmouth in Hampshire, England should stay at the Queen's Hotel - the episode Mr. Bean in Room 426 was filmed there.
Bahamian Junkanoo festival, celebrated on Boxing Day and New Year's Day, involves dancing in disposable crepe costumes while clanging cowbells.
Wheels O' Time museum in Peoria (Illinois) features a mechanical barbershop quartet in which all of the figures bear faces of former US presidents.
Verftet USF, a notable night spot in Bergen, Norway, is located in a former sardine factory.
castle in the small Japanese city of Himeji was, for a time, the largest in all of Asia.
If you're allergic to bee stings, be careful when visiting
Parque Simón Bolivar in Guaranda, Ecuador; the park's statue of the hero harbors a bee's nest in one of its armpits.
, on the island-nation of the same name, produces chocolates with machinery powered by Grenada Chocolate Factory solar energy.
Local beers served in Moshi, Tanzania have the labels Kilimanjaro, Safari and Tusker, among others.
If you go
in Lake Atitlan near scuba diving Panajachel, Guatemala, be careful: you can burn your hands on the lake's bottom, which is heated by volcanic activity.
Walkie-talkie, a dish from Cape Town's impoverished townships, is made from chicken beaks and feet.
Arachnophobic? Just wait until you see the holographic projection of a
3-foot-long, crawling tarantula at the Museum of Holography on Chicago's Near West Side.
Bandung's prison has been turned into a shopping mall — except the one cell where Indonesian independence leader Sukarno was held.
Honolulu, escape from the hot weather to the last place you'd expect to find - an ice rink.
holes in Swiss Cheese - known locally as Emmentaler in its native Switzerland - are made by gas-excreting bacteria.
replica of Independence Hall in Buena Park, California is so accurate that the original structure in Philadelphia borrowed the blueprints for its restoration.
$50,000 honeymoon suite package at the Peninsula , a hotel in the Hong Kong Kowloon district, includes a helicopter tour of the city.
(salt warehouse) in Salzspeicher Lübeck, Germany was the lair of the title villain in two movies featuring the vampiric Count Nosferatu.
Among the exhibits at
Egri Vár, a castle-museum at Eger, Hungary, is an ancient, makeshift motion detector that uses peas.
A memorial in
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA honors World War II's most decorated battleship (the USS South Dakota), even though the town is hundreds of miles from any ocean.
on the eponymous island of volcano Vulcano is hiker-friendly, and is one of the few places in the world where you can view droplets of molten sulfur.
Laos derives its roots and its name from a 14th-century kingdom with the name Lane Xang -- meaning "Million Elephants".
November 2007 [ edit ]
English town of Woking was the landing place for the aliens in H. G. Wells' original "War of the Worlds" fiction, a fact commemorated by art work around the town.
Aloft Loft on Chicago's Far West Side is home to a theater group composed entirely of trapeze artists.
Ketchikan, Alaska is one of the rainiest cities in North America, with just over 150 inches of average annual precipitation.
Nongae Shrine in Jinju, South Korea memorializes a courtesan who seduced an invading general and then killed him (and herself).
Liberty Hotel in Boston occupies a former prison.
Town names on the
Malaysian island of Langkawi include "Gravy", "Broken Crockery" and "Seeping".
A move is afoot to rename
Volusia County, Florida to NASCAR County (note the caps) because of its main attraction, the Daytona International Speedway.
Bangladesh, don't miss the chance to have a bony bite of hilsa, the officially designated national fish.
beach at Pantai Sabak in Kota Bharu, Malaysia doesn't have much sand any more due to erosion, but it still features pillboxes left over from World War II.
"living ghost town" of Chloride, Arizona is named after the ore silver chloride, formerly mined nearby.
Hotel 1929, a
boutique hotel in Singapore, is famous for its collection of chairs.
Kemi, Finland, you can go for a spin on Sampo, the world's only cruise icebreaker.
Seattle used to have a district called Sodo -- "South of the Dome" -- but the term is now largely obsolete because the Kingdome has been demolished.
Sligo commemorate the town's importance as a port of embarkation during the of the mid-19th century.
Irish potato famine
Place Maréchal-Foch, in Nantes, contains one of the few existing statues of Louis XVI left in France.
Trapizza in Singapore is simultaneously a pizzeria and a trapeze school.
A part of the table service at the
Wuji Rib House in Harbin, China is plastic gloves to keep the rib eater's hands clean.
Funazushi, the traditional sushi of Shiga, Japan, uses fermented, not raw, fish.
Don't worry too much about the morality of
The Annual Hookers Ball in Chatham, Massachusetts; it's by, for and about fishermen -- rather than other kinds of hookers.
Now there's one less reason to get caned in
Singapore — on October 26, 2007, oral sex was legalized. (Unless you're gay, that is.)
largest lizards in Japan, reaching a length of two feet, are found on Iriomote Island.
is home to the world's only Little Rock Zoo waving carousel.
October 2007 [ edit ]
The town of
, Pontianak Indonesia is named after a mythical baby-eating undead female vampire.
The two distinct sections of the
Old Town district of Quebec City are connected by the Escalier Casse-Cou -- "Breakneck Stairs".
Nha Trang, Vietnam contains a museum dedicated to the memory of Alexandre Yersin, who discovered the bacterium that causes bubonic plague.
Fort Denison, a complex at Sydney Harbour that tourists can visit, was originally built to guard the city against .
Parkersburg, West Virginia, USA holds an annual Volcano Days Festival, even though there has been no volcano (apart from an extinct town by that name) nearby for millions of years.
net worth of every citizen of Abu Dhabi is $17 million.
, look for the Route 66 world's largest cross and a leaning water tower in the small Texas town of Groom.
house from the film is in A Christmas Story Cleveland, Ohio, and is now a museum dedicated to the film.
The name of
Mexican city Guanajuato means place of the frogs, but it's also a place of tunnels, with many roads running under its sloping surface.
One of the
exhibits of the pint-sized museum in Hydra, Greece is the embalmed heart of Admiral Andreas Miaoulis.
Built at a cost of over
$3 billion, the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi is probably the most expensive hotel in the world.
Volkswagen Phaeton car is contructed in Dresden's Gläserne Manufaktur, a transparent factory.
The most visited grave in
Buenos Aires's Cementerio de la Recoleta is that of Eva Perón.
Singaporean district of Bugis, named after pirates and once infamous for transvestite prostitutes, is now a shopping mall.
Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago was founded in 1874 with the $10 purchase of a single bear cub.
false morel mushroom is considered a delicacy in Finland, but it's so poisonous that eating a single one raw can kill you.
New Zealand's capital city Wellington is built on reclaimed land raised up by a major earthquake in 1855.
The 110,000 people that crowd into Beaver Stadium during Penn State football games are claimed to (temporarily) make
State College the third largest city by population in Pennsylvania.
Maldives forbid importing pork and exporting sand.
fur seal colony that lives on Montague Island, Australia during spring months is an all male colony: the seals that live there have been unable to assemble a harem.
The Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee, is a full-scale replica of the original structure in Athens.
The site housing the
Mu-dom Bar in Freiburg, Germany once served as a morgue.
September 2007 [ edit ]
If you venture out from
Iriomote, Japan to nearby Yubu Island, you'll ride in an amphibious cart pulled by a water buffalo.
Sahti, a traditional Finnish type of beer, is flavored with juniper berries.
The USS in Razorback submarine Little Rock, Arkansas, is named after a whale, not the University of Arkansas mascot.
Hotel Grand Canal in the Dutch city of Delft occupies a former prison.
Despite its name,
Casa de las Chimeneas, a B&B in Taos, New Mexico, offers non-smoking rooms only.
According to local legend, the
, a trademark food item in bauru sandwich São Paulo, was invented by a law student.
The classic photo of Harry Truman with the incorrect "Dewey Defeats Truman" newspaper was taken at
St. Louis Union Station.
Nostalgic for Cold War days for some odd reason? Then visit the
Polish city of Szczecin, and go on a tour of Poland's largest fallout shelter.
There are five million people in
Finland... and two million saunas.
Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run, starting in Silverton (Colorado), is often called the toughest endurance race in the world, yet is so popular that would-be runners must enter a lottery to register for it.
In a bit of national one-upmanship, the
Parliament building in Budapest is claimed to be one meter longer and wider than its English counterpart.
The Sink, a bar in Boulder, Colorado, USA, once employed a janitor named Robert Redford -- yes, that Robert Redford.
Salmiakki, a popular Finnish candy, is flavored with ammonium chloride.
Unsichtbar, a bar/restaurant in Cologne, is designed to let guests experience blindness; patrons get a private butler, who is a blind person, and eat in total darkness.
Hot Doug's, an eatery in the Far Northwest Side of Chicago, specializes in sausages, with ostrich sausage among its offerings.
Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas is responsible for over one tenth of the country's gross national product.
The shrine at
Phra Nang Beach in Rai Leh, Thailand holds offerings to a legendary princess claimed to have drowned there: carved, red-tipped phalluses.
The city of
Tenney, Minnesota bills itself as the smallest statutory city in the United States, with a fully functioning government and six full-time residents.
Atolls in the
Maldives all have handy code names: instead of Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi, you can just say Baa.
Most of the animals at
Star Eco Station, a rescue center/teaching zoo in Culver City, California, are illegal animal immigrants seized during Customs operations.
Among the events of the
Indy Irish Fest, a September festival in Indianapolis, is a mile race in which all contestants must wear kilts.
A centerpiece of the September
Fiesta de is the ceremonial burning of Santa Fe (New Mexico) Zozobra, a huge animated figure also known as Old Man Gloom.
The original church at the
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Dubrovnik, Croatia was said to have been built using funds donated by Richard the Lionhearted.
The city of
Kagoshima in Kyushu, Japan was recently given a grant of several billion yen for the purpose of covering its streetcar tracks with grass.
hangar at the Pearson Air Museum in Vancouver (Washington) once housed not only airplanes but prisoners of war.
August 2007 [ edit ]
Festivals in the Finnish city of
Oulu include Garlic Night and the International Air Guitar Festival.
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah, California is the largest Buddhist temple in the Western Hemisphere, measuring over 2,000 acres, and has a hall filled with 10,000 golden Buddhas.
youth hostel in Matsuyama, Japan runs courses in spoon-bending and aura imaging.
The figures of angels and saints that once adorned the
Astronomical Clock in the Czech town of Olomouc were replaced during Warsaw Pact days by depictions of scientists, laborers and athletes.
jewelry store in the arts-and-crafts district of Santa Fe (New Mexico), one of the world's great art centers, recently suffered a midnight break-in -- by a mountain lion.
Crowne Plaza Hotel in Akron, Ohio, USA is constructed from old grain storage silos from a former cereal factory.
surface area of Saint Martins Island in Bangladesh varies from 5 to 8 square kilometers, depending on the tides.
The river running through
Hue, Vietnam is named Huong Giang -- translating into English as Perfume River.
Casa Peralta in San Leandro, California is a former adobe built by the Spanish during the state's missionary times.
Sado Island drummers Kodo once performed in Boston — immediately after running the Marathon.
The Rustic Nirvana spa in
Singapore's Chinatown offers a Kung Fu Bouncing Herbs treatment.
House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin features the largest carousel in the world, with 239 carousel animals — not one of which is a horse.
Cafe 100, an eatery in Hilo, Hawaii popular with locals, has been destroyed twice by tsunamis.
The first of the
was the Big things in Australia Big Banana, which you can still see today near the city of Coffs Harbour.
Novelist Natsume Soseki and haiku poet Masaoka Shiki lived together in a
Matsuyama house called Gudabutsuan, or Stupid Buddha Hermitage.
July 2007 [ edit ]
Zeche Zollverein in Essen, Germany has been called the most beautiful coal mine in the world, and in fact, it's a .
UNESCO World Heritage Site The statue of
Will Rogers and his horse Soapsuds at Texas Tech, a university in Lubbock, Texas, is oriented so that the horse's rear end points at Tech's collegiate rival, Texas A&M University.
The name of
Tōge-no-Yu Bihoro (峠の湯びほろ), a hot spring in Bihoro, Japan, translates as "Pass Hot Water Bihoro".
average annual temperature in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, exactly matches the world average temperature to within a tenth of a degree Centigrade.
Part of the cuisine of
Huaraz, Peru and vicinity is , better known in English as cuy guinea pig.
authentic Sopwith Camel aircraft in Little Rock, Arkansas is the only one in the United States.
women of Kochi, Japan are known as hachikin, or Eight Testicles, as they reputedly hold their liquor better than four men.
Every floor of
The Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a "ground" floor.
By tradition, members of the crews that
finish last in the annual Punt Boat Race in Tübingen, Germany must drink a half liter of cod liver oil.
Los Alamos, the "Atomic City," is sited on the slopes of a slumbering supervolcano.
The Cube, a sculpture by Tony Rosenthal in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, is a 15-foot-tall, 2400-lb glossy black cube that spins on its axis when pushed.
Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa, California is also known as "Snoopy's Home Ice", because it was once owned by cartoonist Charles Schulz.
Okhotsk Ryūhō Museum in Abashiri, Japan is devoted to the meteorological phenomenon of pack ice.
June 2007 [ edit ]
The Church, a popular bar and dance club in Denver, is housed in a former Episcopalian church.
Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman claims to house the largest hand-made Persian carpet in the world.
It is said that there are
365 ponds in Plymouth, Massachusetts -- one for each day of the year.
You can take a land-and-sea tour of
Dublin, Ireland in World-War-II-vintage amphibious landing craft.
Where did they get that name? Travelers flying to
Dehradun, India land at Jolly Grant Airport.
Ever felt like joining the circus? You can come close at the
¡Explora! Science Center and Children's Museum in Albuquerque, where one of the "hands-on" exhibits is a high-wire bike.
The water from
Devi Falls, one of the scenic attractions of Pokhara, Nepal, drops into a cave and is lost from sight.
Ichiran, a famous
noodle restaurant in Fukuoka, Japan, forbids cellphones, children and conversation.
Juneau, capital of Alaska, is not connected by road to the state's other major cities ( Anchorage, Fairbanks, etc.), even though they're all on the mainland.
Montreux, Switzerland? Make sure to see Marmots' Paradise, with specimens of the little squirrel-like animals from all around the world.
Kugleralm, a beer garden in Munich, was the birthplace of .
Radler -- beer diluted with lemonade One of the
thermal areas at Lassen Volcanic National Park in California bears the curious name Bumpass Hell.
The Brew Kettle, a
microbrewery in Cleveland, Ohio, allows some customers to brew their own beer.
If you're capable of some acrobatics, when visiting the Öpfelchammere (Apple Chamber) bar in
Zurich, you may win a glass of wine and the chance to drink it while hanging upside down.
The Marzipan Museum in
Szentendre, Hungary has a life-sized statue of Michael Jackson made of marzipan.
Bahamas, you can get three-dollar bills and 15-cent coins.
May 2007 [ edit ]
Miss Tiffany's Universe Pageant, held every May in
, Pattaya Thailand, is a beauty queen competition with a difference - all the contestants were born as men.
district of Kowloon Hong Kong is the most densely populated place in the world.
One of the events in the
Yankee Homecoming Festival in Newburyport, Massachusetts is a bed race, where beds with occupants are pushed along a main street.
May 5th is Coronation Day in Thailand, in tribute to the world's longest-serving current Head of State.
Singapore, chewing gum is available only in pharmacies -- and you need to show ID to make a purchase.
The visitor center that welcomes newcomers to
Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA is located in a former bordello.
Popular nightspots in Turku, Finland include a former nursery and a former public lavatory.
April 2007 [ edit ]
At Karim's Restaurant in
Kebab Lane, Old Delhi, the most famous dish is Tandoori Bakra — an entire stuffed goat.
One of the attractions of
Bilbao, Spain is the Museo de Reproducciones Artísticas -- dedicated to copies of the world's great art.
South Korea, roasted silkworm larvae are a popular streetside snack.
One of the many museums in and around
Tucson, Arizona features a disarmed but formerly nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Up until the 1980s,
Singapore's anti-hippie policies required that all male visitors get a haircut and a shave before entering the country.
Songkran, the Thai New Year, is celebrated in mid-April with a three-day nationwide water fight.
Shimokita Peninsula of Japan is famous for squid ink noodles.
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, a pub in Nottingham, claims to have been founded in 1189, making it the oldest inn in .
New Zealand's Bay of Islands has fine natural scenery, but it also boasts not-so-natural but scenic(?) public toilets designed by architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
Turkmenistan, the month of April and the word bread were renamed after the mother of former President-for-Life Saparmurat Niyazov.
Cooper Skull, a 10,000-year-old bison skull on display in a museum in Norman, Oklahoma, is the oldest known painted artifact in .
Namibia isn't a dictatorship, but its capital, Windhoek, contains streets with names like Fidel Castro St. and Robert Mugabe Ave.
March 2007 [ edit ]
The pilgrimage route to the summit of
Mount Ishizuchi, Japan involves climbing up 166 meters of metal chains.
Exhibits in the
Lao National Museum, Vientiane include socks worn by Politburo members during a prison escape.
The dome of
Mills Observatory, a free, public astronomical observatory in Dundee, Scotland, is made of papier-mâché.
Chateau Louis Liquor Store in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was the scene of a whiskey kidnapping, as a bottle of rare malt was stolen and held for ransom.
church in Almaty, former capital of Kazakhstan, was built in 1870 without using nails.
The Berjaya Time Square shopping mall in
Kuala Lumpur has a five-story indoor rollercoaster.
dirty car in Oman is illegal and may render you a fine.
Ice fishing is a popular winter pastime in , Sudbury Ontario - but ice fishing huts must be off the ice by March 1st