“Old Man of the Lake”: the tree log that has been floating vertically for 120 years and no one knows why.

“Old Man of the Lake” is not a legend or a myth, but a real 450-year-old hemlock that’s been floating vertically in the Oregon’s Crater Lake for at least 120 years. The floating tree stump has been bobbing in the blue water of the deepest lake in the United States, and the ninth deepest in the world, baffling everybody, including scientists, with its upright orientation and allegedly even controlling the local weather. Its first account dates back to 1896, when geologist and explorer Joseph S. Diller described a splintered and…

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Maglič fortress: a mysterious 13th century piece of serbian history

Maglič is a 13th century medieval castle about 15 km southwest of the town of Kraljevo, in central Serbia, located on a hilltop surrounded by the curvy Ibar river. It is said that its name, Maglič, come from the Serbian word “magla” meaning fog, as the hill underneath often disappears in the mist. It is the best preserved and one of the finest examples of the Serbian medieval fortifications, built along the important Medieval roads for protection and control of traffic and trade. It’s unknown when the castle was constructed,…

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Temple of Valadier: a refuge for the souls in Genga – Italy

We are in Italy, in Genga, Marche region, near the magnificent Frasassi Caves dug in limestone by the Sentino river. Here an elegant octagonal church rises among the pointed and beveled rocks of a gorge between the mountains: it is the Temple of Valadier. The Temple, designed by Giuseppe Valadier (Rome, 1762-1839), cuts a striking neo-classical silhouette against the rough hewn edges of the surrounding natural cave walls, looking like the temple itself was trying to seek refuge in the cave. In reality it was the local population that has…

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Why you should visit Wayne – Alberta~

In Wayne, Alberta you’ll find a bar with real bullet holes in the wall in a ghost town that is said to have real ghosts, but also a still operating and supposedly haunted hotel, probably the only one in a Canadian ghost town! All this is located in a little place called Wayne, about 16-km and 11 single-lane bridges southeast of Drumheller, Alberta. Wayne sprung up when the Red Deer Coal Company built the Rose Deer Mine, in 1912, and it has fascinating history. Part of the Drumheller Valley’s coal…

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Wandering through Wallenstein Palace Garden in Prague: the Dripstone Wall

We are in Prague, a magnificient city full of hidden alleys and charming walkways. Hidden behind the high walls, at the heart of baroque palace grounds, among a variety of buildings, is a palace lush garden with fountains, statues and other unique features. Constructed at the behest of Bohemian military leader who fought on the Catholic side during the Thirty Years’ War Albrecht Vaclav Eusebius of Wallenstein, between 1623 and 1630, the Wallenstein Palace (Valdštejnský palác) enjoyed a centuries-long first life as a magnificent private residence for various generations of…

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The Easter Egg Museum of Sonnenbühl – Germany

If the Easter Bunny needed a place to safeguard his eggs off-season, the quaint village of Sonnenbühl in Baden-Württemberg would be ideal! With its overwhelming hospitality, Sonnenbühl is a little town nested in the Swabian Alb, located just south of Reutlingen and just about one hour’s drive from Stuttgart. You will see signage for the museum as soon as you enter the town, and find easy parking right across the street. The home to what is surely the largest collection of artistically decorated Easter eggs in Germany was opened in…

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The White Spring: a dark Victorian well house now plays host to mystical waters and pagan shrines.

We are in England. It is one of the greatest mysteries of Avalon, the legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend, that two different healing springs, one touched red with iron, the other white with calcite, should rise within a few feet of each other from the caverns beneath Glastonbury Tor, and both have healing in their flow. The quaint sculpted gardens of the Chalice Well surround Glastonbury’s most famous natural water source, the Red Spring, so called for the iron oxide it deposits in its basin. But just opposite…

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The haunted Fox Tower at Dongbianmen – China

We are in Beijing, China. The Fox Tower at Dongbianmen (chinese 东便门 ) has been said to be haunted from pretty much the moment it was founded in 1564. Initially the tower was said to be inhabited by deadly fox spirits, but by the 20th century the historic fortification was haunted by the very real specter of a grim murder. Built by meanie isolationist emperor Jiajing, a man so cruel his own concubines tried to strangle him en masse, Dongbianmen’s probably seen more than one murder, and It’s one of…

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10 hilariously bad reviews of Dublin’s Pubs

All we know that Dublin is the capital city of Ireland. Located on the East coast of the country, it is the most densely populated metropolis on the Island and home to history and heritage, culture and entertainment. St. Patrick’s Day was also recently celebrated, with its traditions now spread all over the globe. While Dublin is synonymous with the arts and literature, Irish history and Guinness, it is also often associated with pub culture. In fact, Dublin is home to over 700 pubs (exactly 772, in February 2018). For…

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Why in Havana a nude woman with a fork mount a rooster?

We are in Havana, Cuba, and there’s a mysterious brass statue in Plaza Vieja: A woman sits atop her big, feathery mount, her voluptuous form completely naked except for the stilettos on her feet. A massive forks rests on her right shoulder. And the rooster, ever so stoic, gazes ahead. No one knows the meaning behind the unusual sculpture. Its name is “Viaje Fantástico”, so perhaps the woman heading off on an adventure to some sort of nudist dinner party? Or, as some online theories speculate, could it have a…

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The Old Man of Storr – Scotland

From rock-dwelling giants to mermaids and seals who steal the hearts of local women, Scotland’s islands still today teem with tales of their legendary pasts. We are in the Isle of Skye, a point of interest in the Scottish Highlands is a site of folkloric mysticism and natural grandeur. One of the most spectacular sights of the Trotternish Peninsula, in the northeastern region of the Island, which was formed by a colossal landslide in ancient times, is the Old Man of Storr, a rock pinnacle of 50 m in height,…

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Ponyhenge: a Lincoln field, a herd of hobby horses, and an unsolved mystery!

On a small patch of deserted farmland in the town of Lincoln, in the US state of Massachusetts, broken-down rocking horses, plastic ponies and other assorted horse toys are scattered on the ground. Some are made of wood, some plastic with rusted springs and broken legs, weather-battered from years of harsh winters and scorching summers. As if by magic, ponies have been proliferating along this winding country road, resulting in the peculiar place know as “Ponyhenge”. The plastic and metal horses started arriving anonymously sometime in 2010, with the placement…

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The curious Elf Lane – Gnome Road in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado~

In the area of Red Feather Lakes, Colorado there is a dirt road where, if you pay close attention to the bushes and trees, you will find that you are surrounded magical woodland creatures. Or, at least their kitschy thrift store equivalent. The wilderness of the mountain trail in the quaint village of Red Feather Lakes is the true draw in the area, but it seems that some locals have added an attraction of their own. Known alternately as Gnome Road or Elf Lane, depending on which handmade road sign…

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Burgruine Gösting: the castle ruins over Graz – Austria

Sitting in a valley surrounded by rugged hills, Graz is the second largest city in Austria and has historically been an important point of passage between Western and Eastern Europe. In medieval times, the hills around the city were fortified with watch towers and castles for defensive purposes. Few of these fortifications remain today, but one of the highest peaks still boasts the eerie ruins of one Gösting Castle, as a relic of the Holy Roman Empire. Due to its good strategic location, the castle controlled the narrow Mura valley…

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Grassy Point Railroad Bridge – Minnesota and its haunting army of decomposing stuffed animals

The Grassy Point Bridge was authorized by the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota in 1887 to cross Saint Louis Bay at the shortest possible location. It was built by the Minneapolis and Duluth Railroad, which was later acquired by the Northern Pacific. The bridge allowed to move trains between their railroad lines on either side of the Twin Ports Harbor. The east end of the bridge connects to the BNSF 28th Street Terminal, and a massive maze of rail yards and side tracks (now mostly gone). The current iron and…

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Aunt Claudia’s Dolls, a collection of unique items that includes the most diverse display of northern indigenous dolls.

After World War II, Claudia Kelsey, a longtime toy collector, moved to Juneau, Alaska with her friend Beatrice Shepard, Bea, to set up a life as an artist. She brought with her a large collection of dolls, figures, and miniatures dear to her that would, after her death, become the beloved gallery in the heart of Juneau known today as Aunt Claudia’s Dolls. Upon Claudia’s death some 60 years after the war, her friend Bea decided the collection, which had amassed more than 800 items, should be put on display…

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Portland Troll Bridge – Oregon

There is a popular story, “Three Billy Goats Gruff”, in which three little goats are trying to get across a bridge, but a troll who lives underneath it threatens to eat them up. They trick him to cross, and all ends well (for the goats, at least). Now that you’re all grown up, you know that trolls don’t really live under bridges. But there’s one bridge in Oregon where trolls actually do live…and it’s really pretty charming! The reason (or the reasons) why trolls began to appear under a bridge…

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Libreria Acqua Alta: one of the most interesting bookshop in the world.

Perched on a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea, the beautiful city of Venice evokes countless quaint aquatic images, from gondolas and vaporetti lumbering down the canals to tiny bridges arching between its sidewalks. However, sometimes, water becomes more than an idyliic backdrop to the city: strong tides in the Adriatic can cause water levels to rise, creating the so-called “Acqua Alta,” floods that force the lagoon to pour from the canals onto Venice’s sidewalks and into its buildings. Keeping a collection of books in a city where the roads are…

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The curious Toy Cemetery at Coyoacán Bazaar – Mexico

We are in Coyoacán, Mexico. Known officially as the Mercado Artesanal Mexicano (Mexican Crafts Market), but colloquially as El Bazar, this market is a reference point in city center. Located on the Street Felipe Carrillo Puerto in Coyoacán, in this market you can find different Mexican art such as bracelets, clothes, toys, incenses, necklaces, tattoos, plants and “alebrijes”, brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. A place full of color, tradition and life, where you can find the crafts that characterize Mexico. However, hidden beneath the small cacti…

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Macromural de Pachuca: the world’s largest mural covers a large swath of homes in Mexico.

We are just north of Mexico City, in Pachuca de Soto, the capital city of the Mexican State of Hidalgo. The city boasts one of the largest murals in the world. Murals have always been an example of artwork around the world. Excluding the luxurious wall murals in Pompeiian villas, or the various streetart inside lot of abandoned places, most murals, at least the modern ones, adorn building’s exteriors and are meant for public consumption. But in few cases are the murals so big that they stretch across multiple buildings,…

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St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Wall

On a day usually set aside for romance and sweet lovers, despite its dark origin, a trap was set that ended the crime careers of seven men and launched Al Capone straight into the spotlight, as well as directly into the crosshairs of the Feds. The snare that brought the bloody feud between two Chicago mobster titans to a head turned out to be quite simple. Step One: Invite the North Side Irish Gang out in their Valentine’s Day best. Step two: Line them up against a wall like sitting…

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Signal de Botrange: the highest point in Belgium is a staircase to nowhere

We are about 5km north of Ovifat, in Belgium. Signal de Botrange, the lowly remains of an ancient volcanic area once called de Hoge Venen, now doesn’t look like much little more than a big plateau. The area experiences stronger winds than the centre of Belgium, its average and extreme temperatures are usually lower than at any other place in the country and rainfall is much greater: there are over 200 days of precipitation per year. However, this rainy and seemingly flat landscape is actually situated 694 meters above sea…

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Baldpate Inn in Estes Park: the curious inn that houses 30,000 keys

In the middle of the Rocky Mountains it may seem like you couldn’t be farther away from London, Frankenstein’s Castle, or Nazi Germany. However, at the historic Baldpate Inn in Estes Park, Colorado, all three of these places are represented….in a curious different form: the Inn is home to the world’s largest collection of key! If losing your keys is a your habit, probably this is not a place you should visit. If you misplace your keys in the key room of the hotel, there is a huge possibility that…

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A forest of pillars, recalling the Holocaust: the controversial Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin

In the 15 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of the nation, Germany has struggled to come to terms with its Nazi past. Nowhere has that been more evident than in the restored capital, where a vast rebuilding effort has transformed the once-ravaged city center. Probably Berlin’s signature monument is the Brandenburg Gate, a 20-meters-tall and 12-collumned triumphal arch topped by a life-sized bronze quadriga. The gate was built in the late 18th century, and opens onto the Unter den Linden. During the Cold War,…

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Venice: the only city in the world whose shape resembles a Swan

It is called “Pareidolia”, and it is the tendency for incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, or hearing hidden messages in music. In the case of Venice, for example, the shape that the city assumes seen from above is attributable to a swan with its head bent towards the body. The profile of the splendid creature, icon of universal beauty, is easily associated with Venice also because…

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The real Sleepy Hollow: where the legends lives!

From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by name of Sleepy Hollow … A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere. — Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” Historically, the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, also known as the Dutch Reformed Church, is the oldest existing church in New York. Together with its two-and-a-half-acre colonial-era burying ground, served as…

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Berlin: The Return of the Cows

Dietrich-Bonhoeffer Strasse is a quiet street in Berlin, which lies on the lively edge of gentrified Prenzlauerberg’s encroachment into Friedrichshain. If you are in the splendid German capital, apparently there aren’t many reasons to visit an otherwise ordinary street. However, Sergej Dott’s whimsical public art installation, “Die Rückkehr der Kühe” (literally “The Return of the Cows”) just might make it worth the trip. Halfway down the block, if you peer into the empty lot (currently a building site) and look up, you’ll see a green field full of larger-than-life cows…

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Snagov Monastery: the island that (allegedly) houses the tomb of Dracula

We are in Romania. Transylvania has long been known as a place where vampires, werewolves, and the souls of the dead haunt dark forests, like Hoia Baciu forest, which has a reputation as one of the most haunted place of the world, and ghostly-looking fortresses. Many of the most “haunted places” in Transylvania, Romania are also popular tourist attractions. On a tiny island in a lake just outside of Bucharest stands Snagov Monastery which local tradition states is the burial place of Vlad Tepes, better known as Vlad the Impaler,…

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Fremont Troll – Seattle

A five and a half meters tall troll, made of cement lives underneath an overpass in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. With only half of its torso showing, the concrete statue appears to be emerging from the ground. Its lone eye, once a hubcap, stares down the tunnel, while its left hand clutches a car that strayed too close. The car is an actual Volkswagen Beetle encased in concrete, which was red and bear a California license plate. The Troll was constructed in 1990 after winning a Fremont Arts Council competition for…

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Sapporo, Japan: a giant Buddha statue wrapped in a Lavender Hill

In the Makomanai Takino cemetery, in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo, the famous Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, designed a spectacular temple, opened in December 2015. “The aim of this project was to build a prayer hall that would enhance the attractiveness of a stone Buddha sculpted 15 years ago. The site is a gently sloping hill on 180 hectares of lush land belonging to a cemetery. The statue is 13.5 metres tall and weighs 1500 tons. It is made of fine, highly selected solid stone. Until now, the…

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