Monday, October 27, 2014

Got Vertigo? - Rock of Guatapé

Elevators are for wusses. Real vacationers climb stairs. At least that's what the tourism board of Antioquia, Colombia, is banking on. The town's Rock of Guatapé, a 10-million ton, 200-meter tall rock is its biggest (snicker) attraction, and those who wish to reach the top must climb up 649 steps. It's 649 steps with an awesome view, but still 649 steps. Maybe stretch a little first.

Lucky for you, there are vendors at the summit selling snacks and beers. Because the wisest thing to do before descending a massive outdoor stairwell is to throw back a few bottles of South American alcohol. I think I'll put off my visit until they decide to construct a revolving restaurant at the top. And maybe one of those motorized chairs that go up and down the handrail.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

World's Cutest History Lesson - The Teddy Bear Museum

When was the last time you had a history lesson taught to you by a teddy bear? If your answer is "never," then you'd better get your unfortunate butt down to the nearest airport and hop on a plane to Seoul, Korea, which boasts the world's cuddliest attraction, the Teddy Bear Museum. Visitors are treated to endearing exhibits of teddy bears reenacting pivotal points of Korean history, as well as famous scenes from around the world, such as Da Vinci's "The Last Supper." It is seriously as charming as it sounds.

And just when you thought teddy bears couldn't get any cuter, the museum features the world's smallest teddy bear, at 4.5 millimeters. Go. Just go. But don't blame me if you are, in fact, adorabled beyond recognition.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fairy Real Estate - Mackworth Island

So you don't believe in fairies? Silly grownup. Then explain to me why there's a whole island off the coast of Portland, Maine, that's covered with fairy houses. If fairies didn't exist, they wouldn't need houses, would they? That's some foolproof logic right there.

On Mackworth Island, which is accessed via a causeway from the city, visitors are encouraged to construct fairy houses for the island's mystical inhabitants. The island is literally covered in tiny homes. But before you rush out to Home Depot, here are the rules: All the building materials have to be natural items found on the island. So twigs, shells and leaves are ok. Pavers, granite countertops, and Terrazo flooring, not so much. Even with these building restrictions visitors have constructed some pretty awesome homes. I saw some pieces of real estate that I'd pay good money for. Except then I'd probably get into a bidding war with a fairy with deep pockets and likely lose out. Story of my life.

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