“The Lost XVII”: a missing Roman legion was recreated in sculpture along a Scottish cycling route

Founded by the roman emperor Augustus around the year 41 B.C., Legion XVII (Seventeenth Legion) of the Imperial Roman Army disappeared in the year 9 A.D. after being sent to deal with troubling tribes in Germanica. But, what happened to them has always been a bit of a mystery. According to an urban legend, they went onto Scotland after Germanica and disappeared around the area of Dunbartonshire. This myth has now become cemented in history thanks to popular fiction such as “The Eagle of the Ninth” and films like “Centurion…

Read More

Loop Head Lighthouse | Ireland

Loop Head Lighthouse (Irish: Ceann Léime, meaning “leap head”) is perched right at the end of Loop Head Peninsula in stunning West Clare, Ireland. It is the major landmark on the northern shore of the Shannon River. Weather permitting, from here you’ll enjoy fantastic views south as far as the Blasket Islands and north to the Twelve Pins in Connemara, along the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s also the perfect place to spot whales, dolphins and seals from, while the rock ledges and caves of the dramatic cliffs are home to…

Read More

St John’s Point – the tallest onshore lighthouse on the Irish coast

If you are in Ireland, you can’t miss St John’s Point Lighthouse in gorgeous County Down. Its strikingly tall tower is marked with vibrant bands of yellow and black that distinguish it from other lighthouses. St. John’s Point, Rinn Eoin in Irish, is a cape at the southern tip of the Lecale peninsula of County Down Northern Ireland, separating Dundrum Bay from Killough Harbour, which forms its northern extremity. The cape is mostly surrounded by the Irish Sea and derives its name from a now ruined church dedicated to Saint…

Read More

Bobbie, the wonder dog who walked 2,500 miles to home

In August 1923, Frank and Elizabeth Brazier, with their daughters Leona and Nova, were visiting relatives in Wolcott, Indiana from their home in Silverton, Oregon. While filling up gas at a station in Wolcott, their two-year-old dog Bobbie was attacked by three other dogs and ran away. The family waited for Bobbie to return, but he did not. Despite they placed ads on newspapers, after a week of intense searching the Brazier family gave up hope and eventually, heartbroken, they continued their trip before returning home to Oregon, expecting never…

Read More

Gnomesville: an unusual roadside community of thousands of garden gnomes

In the Ferguson Valley of country Western Australia there lives a thriving community of gnomes, in a gnome village called Gnomesville. And no. I’m not joking. Garden gnomes are a classic symbol of kitschy yard decorations around the world, but most people are content to have just a couple of the little creatures living in their yards. But Gnomesville, a collection of thousands of the weird little statuettes set up on a roundabout, is definitely something different. The community of silent gnomes actually began as a whimsical protest some 20…

Read More

St Ninian’s Cave

St Ninian’s Cave stands at the rear of a collapse in part of the rocky headland at the north western end of the stony beach at Physgill, that looks out over Port Castle Bay,some three miles south west of Whithorn. To reach it, there is a car park at Kidsdale, which is signed for St Ninian’s Cave. The walk begins along the path which is signed from a corner of the car park. It then runs down the wooded Physgill Glen. At one point the path divides, with a higher…

Read More

C.Y. O’Connor Horse and Rider

Charles Yelverton O’Connor (11 January 1843 – 10 March 1902) was an Irish-born engineer who found his greatest achievements in Australia, before tragically committed suicide. His life has been commemorated in monuments across Australia, but his death is remembered by a bronze horse and rider who peek out of the waves off the coast of the beach where he died. Born at Gravelmount, Castletown, Meath, Ireland, in 1865 he migrated to New Zealand, where he worked initially on the locating and survey of a route for the first dray and…

Read More

Cape Bruny: the second oldest lighthouse in Australia

The Cape Bruny Lighthouse, that towers 114m, is an inactive lighthouse located at the southern tip of Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia. First lit in March 1838 and eventually decommissioned on 6 August 1996, It is the second oldest lighthouse in Australia. The project was commissioned by Governor George Arthur in 1835 after a series of shipwrecks south of Bruny Island. Cape Bruny, and in general southern coastlines, were feared by many early navigators and Tasmania had over 400 shipwrecks around its wild coastlines. The catastrophic wreck of the convict transport…

Read More

Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse: the picturesque cliffside beacon that no longer calls to sailors but shines once a year in honor of a famous shipwreck.

The cliffside lighthouse is built on a 41-meters wall of rock overlooking Lake Superior. The structure was designed by lighthouse engineer Ralph Russell Tinkham and was completed in 1910 by the United States Lighthouse Service at a cost of $75,000, including the buildings and the land. It was built after the disastrous Mataafa Storm wrecked 29 ships in the area five years previous, and one of these shipwrecks, the Madeira, is located just north of the lighthouse. At the time of its construction, there were no roads to the area:…

Read More

Iona’s Beach: the singing beach on Minnesota’s North Shore

Minnesota, or the Land of 10,000 Lakes, boasts a lot of beaches to choose from, with their pictoresque rocky shores and beautiful sandy dunes alike await visitors every summer. Each offers its own beauty, but there is one beach in particular that is truly unique. It is Iona’s beach, unlike any other in the world as, instead of silky, golden sand, it is covered in smooth pink rocks that, if you know when to listen, sing. The beach sings its signature song as the waves come in and disturb the…

Read More

Nicolas Cage’s Pyramid Tomb in New Orleans’ oldest cemetery~

Actor Nicolas Cage has long been known for his eccentric behavior both in front of the camera and in the real world. Born Nicolas Kim Coppola and nephew of The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola, he adopted his stage name to avoid nepotism on the job and claims to have gotten inspiration from Marvel superhero, Luke Cage. As interesting as his acting career is, his personal life is equally enigmatic: his celebrity success has allowed him to buy everything, including private islands, dinosaur fossils, English and German castles, shrunken heads,…

Read More

Bao Bing: the sweet treat that has been cool for more than 1,000 years

When Richard Nixon visited Beijing in 1972, he ate shaved ice, locally know as bao bing, with Mao Zedong during a state dinner. Bao bing (pronounced bow-BING) has been a ubiquitous part of Asian cuisine for hundreds of years, and it’s been traced back to China as early as the seventh century A.D. There is nothing more cooling in the heat of summer than enjoying into an ice-based dessert. Made with thin sheets of ice covered in sweet, Southeast Asian toppings, bao bing is as visually stunning to first-time tasters.…

Read More

Rathlin West Lighthouse: a beloved upside-down beacon off the coast of Northern Ireland

A trip to picturesque Rathlin, the only developed island off the coast of Northern Ireland, offers several things including wildlife, a medieval history and more. Three lighthouses guide boats along Rathlin, and the seafaring excitement begins as soon as you leave the shores of Ballycastle. The island is home also of one of the largest seabird colonies in the UK. Every year over 250,000 seabirds such as guillemots (which only come on land to nest and can dive to a depth of 180 metres underwater), razorbills, kittiwakes, fulmars (a grey…

Read More

Standing Rock Monument of Fort Yates, North Dakota: said to have once been a young woman, is sacred to the Sioux people.

The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation covers more than two million acres of grass plains, rolling hills, and buttes running alongside the Missouri River. The reservation takes its name from a sacred rock formation that resembles a woman with a child on her back, that stands outside the Standing Rock Agency office in Fort Yates, North Dakota, and it is home to Lakota and Dakota Sioux people. The reservation was set up for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in 1889. Before that, it was part of what was known as the…

Read More

Parkland Walk: a walk along an abandoned railway line

An abandoned railway line can be a creepy place to walk alone at night with its overgrown vines, a forgotten railway infrastructure and the smell of spray paint lingering in the air. Well, where once a railroad line crossed through the wilds of London’s Haringey and Islington, a scenic 5.0 km linear green pedestrian and cycle route has taken its place and the crumbling, abandoned stations and tunnels are now home to urban legends, graffiti, and some whimsically unsettling decoration. The route of the path between Finsbury Park and Highgate…

Read More

The curious abandoned Sea Cable Car of Sidi Ifni (سيدي إفني), Morocco

Sidi Ifni is a city located on the west coast of Morocco, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, with a population of approximately 20,000 people. The economic base of the city is fishing. Not by chance, in 2000, an important fishing port was completed, which serves as a base for fish exports. Walking along the beach, toward the port at the southern end of town, you may spot a huge concrete structure a little ways off the shore, standing lonely in the middle of the sea. The huge abandoned…

Read More

Tateishi Burger Vending Machine: a charming, homemade vending machine that dispenses burgers at this hole-in-the-wall bakery

There are vending machines for books, jeans, salmon, pecan pies, a vending machine to support mourners during funerals, so it’s only natural that vending machine burgers would pop up somewhere. And that somewhere is Japan. Since it first opened in 2000, Tateishi Burger has been a favorite of those who enjoy oddities, which are known in Japan as “B-spots.” Located in a Tokyo’s quiet neighborhood, its raggedy façade may not lure in a lot of passersby, but it never ceases to attract “B-spot enthusiasts” from around the country. It’s about…

Read More

East Cape Lighthouse: the iconic lighthouse in easternmost point of New Zealand

If you’re visiting New Zealand, the East Cape Lighthouse should be included in your plans. It is a lighthouse perched on Otiki Hill above East Cape, the iconic easternmost point on the North Island of New Zealand, and what feels like the end of the earth. Once there, you’ll only see miles and miles of ocean. Surrounded by pristine coastline and out of this world views, It is owned and operated by Maritime New Zealand. The lighthouse was originally constructed on nearby East Island. However the island was difficult to…

Read More

Bysen: the gnome-like creature in Swedish folklore

“Bysen” is the creature who haunts the woods of Gotland, in Sweden’s largest island. Most of the time he takes form as a gnome-like creature, but occasionally he can be seen as a tree stump as well as other creatures who live in the woods. When he is in his gnome-like form, sometimes wears a red woven hat/hood, he is also wearing gray clothes, and he tends to carry an axe with him. Bysen is locally known as a “skogsväsen”, literally “forest creature”, and he is the ward of the…

Read More

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse – the Philippines

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, in the Philippines, also known as Burgos Lighthouse, is a cultural heritage structure in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, that was established during the Spanish Colonial period in the Philippines. It was first lit on March 30, 1892, and is set high on Vigia de Nagpartian Hill overlooking the scenic Cape Bojeador where early galleons used to sail by. After over 100 years, it still functions and serves ships that enter the Philippine Archipelago from the north and guide them safely away from the rocky coast of the town.…

Read More

Robbins Reef Lighthouse – Staten Island, New Jersey

The Kill van Kull is a tidal strait between Staten Island, New York and Bayonne, New Jersey, that connects Upper New York Bay with Newark Bay. Marking the eastern end of the Kill is the Robbins Reef Lighthouse. Dutch colonists acquired the island of Manhattan in 1626, and it was formally incorporated as the city of New Amsterdam on February 2, 1653, encouraging many Dutch settlers to put down their roots in the area.As the Dutch settled the area, explorers referred to many of the locations based on shape, geography,…

Read More

Anclote Key Lighthouse: this skeletal cast-iron tower in one of Florida’s most remote state parks was built to withstand wind and waves.

At the Southern edge of Anclote Key, Florida, a spindly red-brown tower rises above the surrounding treeline, topping out at about 34 meters. It is the Anclote Key Lighthouse, which served as a navigational aid for ships in the Gulf of Mexico for nearly a century. The unusual beacon is located on the largest of the Anclote Keys, a group of barrier islands in Florida. The city was officially incorporated in 1887, the same year that the railroad reached the area and the lighthouse was erected, originally commissioned a year…

Read More

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse: this striped tower is the furthest east you can go in the United States!

A nondescript gravel road leads to a quaint old stubby lighthouse on the furthest point east in Maine and, indeed, the whole of the United States. West Quoddy Head is now a state park and small museum, but it has also served as a lookout on the coast of Maine since 1808. It is an easterly-pointing peninsula in southeastern Lubec, overlooking Quoddy Narrows, a strait between Lubec and Campobello Island, Canada, that provides access to Passamaquoddy Bay and harbors located on the St. Croix River and other rivers which the…

Read More

Beechworth Cemetery and Chinese burning towers

The discovery of gold at Ballarat in 1851 sparked Victoria’s famous gold rush of the 1850s. This led to the probably most significant event in the evolution of the state of Victoria, Australia: the mass migration of people from across the globe to the region hoping to become rich. It’s believed that at the peak of the gold rush, 6,000 miners arrived in the region each week, including many Chinese nationals who converged on Beechworth seeking fortune around the late 1850s. As the population in Beechworth (then surveyed as Mayday…

Read More

Cheese Zombies: the Yakima Valley’s beloved school lunch that takes grilled cheese to the next level.

In the late 1950s, a school district in Washington’s Yakima Valley received an excess of subsidized cheese. Faced with this unexpected abundance, not wanting it to go to waste, the food services supervisor (or, according to other stories, a local cafeteria cook) invented a new sandwich that soon appeared on menus: the so-called Cheese Zombie, essentially a grilled cheese cake that’s baked with fresh dough. Needless to say, it was an instant hit. “Zombie”-makers begin by placing cheese slices between rolled-out sheets of dough. Before placing the huge sandwich into…

Read More

Seaman’s Memorial Tower: a tower that pays homage to local sailors who perished under the waves

The Seaman’s Memorial is a tower about 25-meters high that stands at the entrance to Conn Brown Harbor in Aransas Pass, Texas, where many commercial fishers set sail for the bays and estuaries along the South Texas coast. The tower, paid for by public donations, was dedicated on May 9, 1970, and is a permanet tribute to honor local seamen lost at Sea. A plaque that honor six Coast Guard airmen who perished when a flare was accidentally fired inside their aircraft can be found on the memorial’s walls, while…

Read More

Snow Moon: February’s full moon

Every full moon has at least one nickname, dating back to the days when Native American tribes and Colonial Americans would name each moon based on weather conditions, farming routines and hunting trends. Do you remember, for istance, “Wolf Moon”, the first full moon of the year, or “Harvest Moon”? While January is traditionally the coldest month of the year in the northern hemisphere, the heaviest snow usually falls a month later, not by chance, on February. It’s not a coincidence then that the name for February’s full moon among…

Read More

Blackhead Lighthouse | Northern Ireland

Blackhead Lighthouse, located only half an hour from Belfast and on the Causeway Coastal Route, was built in 1902. It marks the very northern end of Belfast Lough where it opens out into the North Channel that separates Northern Ireland and Scotland. Over the years, It would have guided many famous vessels during Belfast’s golden age of shipping, including the ill-fated Titanic. It was converted to electric operation in 1965, and lightkeepers lived at the station until 1975. It is one of 65 lighthouses operated by the Commissioners of Irish…

Read More

Cementerio del Andinista: a cemetery dedicated to the mountaineers who perished climbing Mount Aconcagua

At 6,962 metres (22,840ft), Mt. Aconcagua is the tallest peak in the Americas and, nestled high in the Andes near the border of Argentina and Chile, it’s the highest mountain anywhere outside of Asia. To mountaineers, it’s not a very technical trek, as it doesn’t require any specialized equipment to reach the summit, even though the hike can be deceptively dangerous for those who are unprepared. Not by chance, Aconcagua is believed to have the highest death rate of any mountain in South America, around three a year, which has…

Read More

Galley Head Lighthouse | Ireland

Galley Head Lighthouse rises an imposing 53m above the roaring Atlantic ocean outside of Rosscarbery, County Cork, on the south coast of Ireland. It is a charming white lighthouse that sits at the southernmost point of a picturesque headland known as Dundeady Island and is close to the charming market town of Clonakilty, home of the famous black pudding. The headland is cut off from the mainland by the ancient walls of the old Norman stronghold of Dun Deidi, an important fortress of the local O’Cowhig Clan. Despite Galley Head…

Read More