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Wikitravel:Discover/Archive/2010

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December 2010[edit]

  • One of the main atractions of the city of Grootfontein, Namibia is a meteorite called Hoba, the largest meteorite ever found on earth.
The moats of Tierpark Hagenbeck Zoo.
  • Tierpark Hagenbeck Zoo, in Hamburg, was the first to use moats (pictured) instead of cages to separate the animals from the public.
  • There are 16 tunnels beneath London's River Thames, mainly for tube lines.
  • The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is the largest aquarium in the world.
Hong Kong
  • Despite its small size of only 1104 sq km, Hong Kong (pictured) contains 236 islands beyond the peninsula.
  • Uttarakhand's Roopkund or Skeleton Lake gets it's name from the remains of 600 people that died there from a sudden hailstorm.
  • Griffith Park in Los Angeles, used to be an ostrich farm.

November 2010[edit]

New Year's Fireworks in Madeira.
  • Madeira, Portugal hosts the largest pyrotechnical show in the world (pictured), with fireworks seen in the entire island.
  • Lake Enriquillo, in Southern Dominican Republic is the only saltwater lake in the world to be inhabited by crocodiles.
  • Aït-Benhaddou, a traditional mudbrick city in Morocco, has appeared in more than 10 movies, including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.
  • The Sacred Garbage Pile, Aitan Ola, in Kétou came into existence when locals were asked to place objects atop the sacred site, and they gathered whatever they could find; Namely garbage.
Ulm Minster.
  • The world's tallest cathedral is the Ulm Minster (pictured) in Ulm, standing 161.53m (nearly 530 ft) tall.
  • Chicago's Lincoln Park used to be a cemetery.
  • Although Gilbertese sounds like a made-up language, it's actually the native language of Kiribati, named after Thomas Gilbert, the first European to discover the islands.

October 2010[edit]

  • Comal River is Texas' shortest river, running entirely within the limits of the city of New Braunfels.
Capela dos Ossos.
  • The Church of São Francisco, in Évora, is famous for the Capela dos Ossos (pictured), a chapel whose walls and columns are entirely covered by human bones.
  • The world's deepest metro (subway) is located in Pyongyang.
  • You can find Cristopher Columbus' journal in the Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Spain.
Mecca
  • The holy cities of Mecca (pictured) and Medina are completely off-limits to non-Muslims.
  • The city of Lae was where the first-ever cargo plane took off and the last known stop of Amelia Earhart.
  • Ushuaia, Argentina, is considered to be the southernmost city in the world.

September 2010[edit]

Munich's Frauenkirche
  • According to legend, the Teufelstritt (Devil's Footstep), in Munich's Frauenkirche (pictured), marks the spot where the devil stood when he thought that the builder had constructed a cathedral with no windows.
  • In spite of their training, the famous Sereer wrestlers in city's like Palmarin and Sokone still rely on talismans and drinking magical potions to give them the strength to win.
  • Tünel in Galata, Istanbul is the second oldest underground railway in the world, after London's Underground, though from one end to the other, it's just 573 meters long.
  • North Sentinel, one of Andaman Islands, is home to a tribe that have so far resisted all outside attempts to contact, including those by the Indian government.
The Kalyan Minaret.
  • The Grandfather's House mentioned in the song "Over the River and through the Woods" is a real house in Medford, Massachussetts.
  • In Swahili, time is organized according to how people live, so 7AM is the first hour of the morning, while 12 in the morning is 6 at night.
  • Tales of death surround the Kalyan Minaret (pictured) of Bukhara as it is said to have been built over the head of a murdered imam and was once used to kill criminals by pushing them off the top.

August 2010[edit]

  • The Jurong Falls, at Jurong BirdPark in Western Singapore, is the tallest man-made waterfall in the world, with 30 meters.
  • A golf player boasting about having played a round in two countries has probably played in Tornio, Finland.
  • The closest relative of the tiny rock rabbits that inhabit Cape Town's Table Mountain is actually the massive African elephant.
Prambanan.
  • Prambanan, Java is the world's largest Hindu complex (pictured).
  • An alternative to the extreme summer temperatures of Dubai is the indoor ski center where you can ride the slopes even in the middle of the summer.
  • Truth or Consequences, New Mexico was renamed after a 50's television show.
  • Lisbon's Oceanarium is the largest aquarium in Europe.
  • The Hanseatic salt warehouses in Lübeck have functioned as Count Nosferatu's house in both the original movie from 1922 and the remake almost 60 years later.

July 2010[edit]

  • Iquitos, Peru is the largest continental city unreachable by road. The only ways in are by plane or river boat.
  • The Vatican is the only country in the world where ATM instructions are in Latin—the "dead" language.
  • The name of Japan's northernmost city Wakkanai sounds like "wakannai" which means "I don't know" You can thus expect to get some ribbing if you answer questions like "Where are you?" with "Wakkanai"!
  • One of the highlights on the Trans-Siberian is the freshly smoked fish sold on the shore of Lake Baikal.
  • Swansea in the United Kingdom is home to the world's first passenger railway, known as the Mumbles Train.
  • The Dragon Boat Festival of Wuhan commemorates the suicide of Qu Yuan in the Miluo River; the dragon boats and drums are used to protect his body from being eaten by fish.
  • If you're tired of one-sided history reports, the Ncome-Blood River Heritage Site in KwaZulu-Natal has two museums about the same event; one from the perspective of Europeans and the other from the Zulus.

June 2010[edit]

  • Legend has it, Suyumbike Tower in Kazan is name after a Tatar Princess who committed suicide by jumping off it in order to avoid marriage to Ivan the Terrible.
  • The trial of Emperor Maximilian I, the writing of the Mexican constitution, and the first performance of the national anthem all occurred at the Theater of the Republic in Querétaro.
  • If you believe size matters, check out the Icelandic Phallological Museum in Húsavík where the penises of nearly all Iceland's animals are on display for you to size up and compare.
  • For lovers of Hollywood and horticulture the Celebrity Tree Park in Kununurra offers the opportunity to enjoy both at once as it is a grove of trees planted by famous people.
  • The Basilica in Cartago is said to be built on the grounds where a stone depicting the Virgin Mary mysteriously continued to return after being repeatedly taken away and even locked up.
  • The only remaining wild white rhino population in the world is located in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

May 2010[edit]

  • The beautiful frescoes in Istanbul's Chora Church were lost under plaster for over 500 years before being uncovered.
  • If you can't see it all for real, Astana's Atameken Map is an outdoor museum that recreates the entire nation of Kazakhstan for visitors to walk through and experience.
  • The largest settlement of Romani people, known more widely as gypsies, can be found in the Šuto Orizari on the outskirts of Skopje.
  • Although the Christ Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro is the most famous Christ statue, the highest and largest Christ Statue in the world is the Cristo de la Concordia in Cochabamba.
  • The famous bogolan cloth of the Bambara people of Ségou is dyed using only mud.
  • Five of the dinosaurs on display at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History were used as holotypes, giving us our current knowledge about them, including the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

April 2010[edit]

  • Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City is so large the entire Statue of Liberty could fit inside the dome with room to spare.
  • The city of Shibam is known as the Manhattan of the Desert, because of its medieval high-rise buildings made completely of mud.
  • For a true taste of Medieval Europe, head to Tallinn's Olde Hansa where food is prepared and served in the old fashion way, without the use of electricity or any modern appliances.
  • The island of Kiritimati is the first to see each new day, as it is the closest inhabited island to the International Dateline.
  • The Baptistery of St. John in Poitiers is the oldest Christian site in France and one of the oldest in all of Europe.
  • Lake Retba near Dakar is a famous naturally pink lake, gaining its color from the algae that live in it.

March 2010[edit]

  • With 13000 temples built in the 12th century and 2200 remaining today, Bagan has more Buddhist structures than anywhere else on the planet.
  • As the first European settlement in the New World, Santo Domingo features some of the oldest European colonial buildings in the Americas.
  • Auerbach's Keller in Leipzig is the oldest continually operating pub in Germany.
  • Legend has it that the legendary Ark of the Covenant is held inside the Church of St. Mary of Zion in Axum, Ethiopia.
  • All of the guides that lead visitors through Trois-Rivières's Old Prison are former inmates.
  • Filled with works by Salvador Dali, the largest work in the Theatre Meseu Gala Salvador Dali in Figueres is actually the museum itself, as he designed and resided in it.
  • The H.E.H The Nizam's Museum in Hyderabad is home to the world's longest wardrobe, owned by Mahbub Ali Pasha who is said to have never worn the same thing twice.

February 2010[edit]

  • Scotland's Holy Island is now a meditation ground for Tibetan Buddhists since the previous owner had a vision of the Virgin Mary, instructing her to sell it to the Buddhists.
  • The Star Wars planet of Tatooine was named after the actual city of Tataouine in Tunisia, although most of the actual filming occurred in Matmata.
  • The residents of Gori still travel to Gori Jvari on celebrations of Saint George to make animal sacrifices of sheep.
  • There's a lemon party and you're invited! Lemon-related festivities occur in Menton over several days in February.
  • Known as the wickedest city in the world, the earthquake that destroyed Port Royal in Kingston is said to have been a punishment from God.
  • The Fire and Water hot spring in Guanzihling has been aflame for three decades, thanks to the release of methane gas in the spring.

January 2010[edit]

  • The largest open air market on the African continent is the Roque Santeiro in Luanda, Angola.
  • Prior to being a mosque, the Ummayad Mosque in Damascus has been a Greek temple, a Roman temple, and a Christian church.
  • With more than 7,300 kilometers, the tiny European country Denmark has a longer coastline and more beaches than the subcontinent of India.
  • For those who can't make it to Easter Island, one of the Moai Statues can be found in front of the Iglesia y museo de San Francisco in Santiago.
  • By tradition, the sand spit of Amanohashidate, one of Japan's Three Views, is best viewed upside down from between your legs.
  • The cities of Jakarta, Singapore, Sydney, and Toba house the only aquariums in the world to feature the endangered dugong.

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