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How To Have the Time of Your Life Abroad!

This might seem like a given, but I have a few steps to having the time of your life while traveling. These steps are really the same no matter where you are, but you usually you do not take any of them into consideration when you are home. You feel safer being at home. When you are in a place that is unfamiliar you may become uncomfortable being yourself and it might become hard to have a good time. There are actually a lot of things to take into consideration. Things like your environment, people you are with along with the atmosphere. If you are at a club or bar at night you should be more cautious especially if you are alone. It can be just as much fun to travel alone as it is to travel with a friend but it depends a lot on your ability to be independent.

If you need others for support and recognition you should probably invite a friend or two to go with you on your journey. Having a friend guarantees you a drinking buddy and partner in crime which could also be a bad thing. However, I enjoy a bit of solitude so I did just fine by myself. I felt that I got a lot more out of my trip by going it alone. I didn’t have to wait on anyone or deal with following their agendas. I did what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it which is an amazing thing if you ask me. I am very blessed for having the opportunity and courage to do what I did. You should probably know the people you are with at least a little bit and the more people the better. You should also know the “vibe” of the environment. A good question you can ask yourself is; are other people around you having a good time or do they seem to be high strung? So this is everything you need to have a blast abroad;

Step 1: Meet as many people as possible. I am a big fan of “people watching” and while at multiple airports I realized to my delight my ability to have enjoyable small talk with strangers. You have to talk to lots of people because you don’t know who you are going to click with and who you will not have any chemistry until you get to know them a little bit. Airports are actually amazing places for this. If you just sit back and watch you can see people of all walks of life. People embarking on all stages of life; moving away, coming home, trips to see family and friends, and people on business trips. The brief glimpse into their life was very interesting to me because of my people watching hobby. I loved chatting with people and hearing their life story. Where they were heading or coming from.

The best friend I met during my trip I met where I was boarding. Hostels are by far the best place to meet new people. People there are traveling and doing the same thing you are which makes it fun to swap stories. I also made some lifelong friends living in the international students building while studying abroad. They were people from all over the world. The students on my floor were from Spain, Italy, Poland, many Asian countries, and Ireland. Though we were all from different places and had completely different cultures we all connected. One of my friends said something that really touched me. He said that he was sad that I was leaving because I was the only person that could get everyone to hangout in the common area together and he was going to miss that. It only takes a small interest to spark a friendship which can be really fun.

Step 2: Don’t worry! You have to relax and let things happen naturally. If you put your worries and stresses on the back burner it will be easier to have a good time. Traveling can wear you out and make you really tired and irritable if you aren’t getting enough sleep. While you might just be sitting on the beach one day you could have to walk a few miles the next. Any moment can come with a challenge so you have to take a breath and just deal with it. Don’t get caught up in the moment and overwhelmed. Slow down if you have to because your trip is about enjoying yourself.

Step 3: You have to go outside of your comfort zone. You have already done something amazing. You decided to go somewhere you have never been before to explore what is unknown to you. Now keep it up! This is how you grow and become who you are meant to be. You can’t learn from something if you don’t seek to learn. You have to follow your heart where ever it may lead you. As cheesy as that sounds it is just as true. Think of previous experiences from your past that have made you become mature and have grown your insights and perceptions of the world. They have most likely all been challenging.

Wonderful Nitmiluk National Park in Australia

If you are not convinced of the beauty of Australia’s Northern Territory, then you only need visit Nitmiluk National Park, and your opinion will completely change forever..

This approximately 292,800 hectare national park is home to the Jowoyn Aboriginal people, and co-managed by the Park and Wildlife Service of the Northern Territory. Nitmiluk will captivate you with its gorgeous sandstone landscape, wide valleys and number of cultural sites.

The highlight of the park is undoubtedly, the Katherine Gorge. This spectacular deep gorge is carved through ancient sandstone, where the Katherine River freely flows. The best way to maximize your visit to the gorge is to do an overnight trip here. But if camping is not your cup of tea, you always have other accommodation options nearby. Once you reach the gorge, you can further explore its magnificence by hiking or canoeing. Another more comfortable and relaxed alternative is to go on one of those regular boat cruises that take passengers to different parts of the gorge.

You can reach Nitmiluk National Park at the top most section of the Northern territory. Katherine is the main gateway to Nitmiluk, and is served by all sorts of public transportation such planes, bus and train. From here, you can reach the park via two main access points. One of which is situated 30 kilometers northeast of Katherine. The other access point is through the western part of the Park, through the Leliyn or Edith Falls. You can reach this entrance by turning off Stuart Highway. A number of travelers do an overnight in Katherine, and leave for the park early in the morning. Nature lovers choose to camp within the park, particularly at the Nitmiluk Caravan Park at Katherine Gorge.

You may visit Nitmiluk National Park at any time of the year, but the period of May through September offers the most ideal weather. During wet season, there is a strong occurrence of flooding of the Katherine River thus restricting some of the usual activities in the park.

It is arguably more convenient to drive your own transport when going to Nitmiluk. But in case you don’t have one, you can always make use of the shuttle bus service from Katherine. The earliest bus leaves from the town at 8 am. But take note that it only goes back and forth the park three times a day.

The bus drops you off at the Nitmiluk National Park Visitor Centre, which is actually an excellent starting point of your exploration. While here, you can get an overview of the park’s landscapes and more information about the Jawoyn Aboriginal people. The visitor center is also the right place to get maps and guidebooks as well as sign up for a camping spot in the caravan park. You may also purchase your ticket to Katherine Gorge cruise here.

Your Essential Packing List for an Adventure Trip

Adventure tours are different from the family trips. Before going for a trip, you should make lots of planning and preparation. You should carry some essential belongings with you for safety. Trekking, mountain climbing, hiking, kayaking and rafting are part of a lifetime memorable trip. If you have to climb the mountains or go for elephant riding and rafting, you need clothes and things. Let us see some of the important items you should take while you are going for a trip.

Equipments

Your entire preparation for the outdoor tour revolves around the activity that you are venturing out for. You should carry the essential equipment according to that particular activity. You can carry ropes, hooks, climbing shoes, torch-light and batteries. You can also carry rain coats and flip-flops as well.

Food and Water

These two items are important for any type of trip, whether it is a family or an adventure trip. When you are going for an outdoor tour, then you should carry dry fruits, snacks, biscuits and nuts with you. You should carry food that provides you energy quickly. Taking liquids and the juicy food is not a good idea. You should not take junk food and chips. Water is the most important thing you should take with you. Your luggage bag should have lots of drinking water bottles. Outdoor activities require drinking lots of water. Though you can find stores at every place, you should carry your own water bottles.

Clothes

While going for an outdoor trip, you should carry comfortable clothes. It is better to wear a dress which is soft, airy and comfortable. Tight jeans, tight jackets and heavy clothes are not necessary to take. You should take the clothes according to the destination where you are going. Full sleeve shirts and loose pants are best for your activities. You should also take mosquito nets, jackets, towels with you for the emergency.

Medicines and Toiletries

In an outdoor trip, you have to stay away from the main city. So, it is better to carry lots of medicines along with you before starting the trip. Basic medicines for fever, diarrhea, vomiting and allergies are important to carry in your luggage bag. You should not forget to carry antiseptic creams and mosquito repelling creams for the emergency. It is important to take toiletries like shampoos, soaps, antiseptic lotions, toothbrush and paste.

These are a few important things you should never forget to carry when you are going for an adventure trip. The last important thing is money. You should take lots of cash in your wallet to make your trip successful. Before going for an outdoor tour, you should take help of a reputed tour organizer to make your trip memorable.

Hiroshima The Center of Peace in Japan

Located in the Japanese region of Chugoku, Hiroshima will be forever known to the world as the city where the first atomic bomb was dropped. And although the release of the atomic bomb is an unfortunate event in history; today, the city reminds us of the cruelties of war and the immeasurable value of peace. After the city’s deep wounds from the World War II healed, Hiroshima took on a new role over the past decades. The Japanese city now stands as a global peace center, and is one of the top spots to visit in the country.

The Peace Memorial Park is the most popular tourist spot in Hiroshima. The park can be found at the heart of the city, and it occupies a large area. Surrounded by green landscape, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park has a prevailing tranquil atmosphere and is home to more than 300 beautiful cherry trees. It also houses important buildings and monuments that commemorate the people who died during the war.

These structures include the Memorial Cenotaph, the Statue of the A-Bomb Children, the Peace Memorial Museum, and the A-Bomb Dome. The A-Bomb Dome is a very symbolic building in the city. This is a special place where thousands come to offer prayers of peace. The structure’s value to the city and to the world has become priceless; thus it is designated as aUNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was built to appeal to the world in terms of eliminating nuclear weaponry. The museum has two main sections: the east building and the main building. When you head over to the east building, you will find films, exhibits and documents which highlight how Hiroshima dealt with the A-bomb aftermath. The main building, on the other hand, showcases the destruction left by the atomic bomb in the city.

Another prominent World Heritage Site in Hiroshima is the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island. Originally built during the 6th century, Itsukushima is the only shrine on the planet which features a torii-gate and shrine building right in middle of the sea. Because of its outstanding architecture, this scenic shrine on the island is one of most photographed sites in all of Japan. You can easily find a postcard that features this landmark. Other tourist sites to visit include the Mazda Museum, Hiroshima Castle and Shukkeien Garden. Both the castle and garden were destroyed during the atomic bomb attack. But they were reconstructed marvelously to be enjoyed by the new generations.

While in Hiroshima, do not forget to visit its vibrant downtown area, especially the Hondori Street. This half a kilometer pedestrian arcade is always bustling with its slew of shops and restaurants. It is also in a convenient location as it is very nearby the Peace Park. Just parallel to Hondori is another popular street named Aioidori (Aioi), which is the main traffic street, but is also home to big department stores.

Climbing Aconcagua Mountain Argentina

If you are looking for some real mountain-climbing challenges, why not head to Western Argentina and Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western hemisphere. Unlike Alpine mountains, this mountain looks more like a very large piece of rock that is visibly magnificent because of its sheer enormity.

This imposing peak lies close to the Chile border and receives more than 3000 climbers ever year. Its proximity to Chile, allows it to dominate the skyline of the country’s capital Santiago. Aconcagua’s summit crest and ridges are usually free of snow, but some of its valleys populated by glaciers are typically covered with snow.

Although not as tall as Mount Everest, Aconcagua still poses a challenge to climbers mainly due to its altitude. Nevertheless this Argentinian mountain is considered to be a relatively easy climb, which is good news to all novice mountain-climbing travelers out there! One good thing about Aconcagua is it offers a couple of routes to the peak that vary in technical climbing difficulty. The most non-technical path is called the “Normal Route”. This route leads you to follow the Northwest Ridge. The other more difficult routes include the Polish Traverse, Police Glacier and Vacas routes.

Since it is a relatively straightforward climbing, some people, sadly underestimate the potential dramatic change of weather and the need for adjusting to Aconcagua’s high altitude. Just like climbing mountains of tremendous height, trekking to Aconcagua’s peak requires sufficient preparations when it comes to training and being in excellent physical condition. It is highly recommended that you should attempt reaching the summit only with a group for security and support. There are many outfitters in Mendoza to choose from when it comes to organizing a climbing expedition for you. Although some of the routes have no permanent snow fields, you are still expected to use tools like crampons and ice axe to conquer some sections.

You can reach Aconcagua by flying first into Mendoza or Buenos Aires Argentina or Santiago, Chile. However, take note that the climbing permit can only be obtained in Mendoza, at an office called Subsecretaria de Turismo (Secretary of Tourism). Aconcagua is located within the Provincial Park of the same name. You will need to make your way to Puente del Inca, the gateway to the park. You can do this by renting a vehicle or getting on the bus. If you intend to do the other more difficult mountain climbing routes, you may access the park through the Vacas Valley close to Penetentes.

The prescribed climbing permit fees depend on the time of the intended climb. The high season for climbing is usually from mid-December until the end of January. During this period, the permits are higher. Low season is from mid-November to the end of November and from late February to mid-March. During off-season, which is from March 16 to November 14, visitors also need to pay for the permit to access Aconcagua Park. The maximum time you can stay within the park’s grounds is 20 days.

A Glimpse Into the Life of a Polar Bear

Specialised bear watching tours can see you exploring the Canadian Rockies, hiding out in the Bear hides of Finland, or marvelling at the incredible environment in which the magnificent Polar Bear lives. If you choose the latter, it’s fascinating to learn more about these magnificent creatures and how they go about their daily life.

A Polar Bear’s Day

Polar Bears are most active during the morning and least active in the evening. In the Arctic, females with cubs have been observed spending about 19% of their day hunting during the springtime months, and about 38% of their day hunting during the summer. Males spend slightly longer hunting than their female counterparts.

So, what are they doing when they are not hunting? If you are lucky enough to spend some time observing these huge mammals on Polar Bear watching holidays, you will note that they spend quite a bit of time resting and sleeping! If it’s a warm day they will spread out on the ice and sometimes put their feet in the air, but when it is cooler, they will curl up and usually cover their snout to conserve warmth.

Despite being primarily solitary, an adult female will stay with its cubs for the first two to three years, and breeding pairs will also stick together during the mating season. You might occasionally see groups of Polar Bears feeding together on a large carcass, such as that of a whale, but it is rare for adults to travel or feed together for extended periods of time.

Because of their solitary nature, on bear watching tours, you’re most likely to see the animals on their own. That said, however, you might be lucky enough to see a mother interacting with her cubs or a breeding pair that mate frequently. Occasionally, two males will become aggressive towards one another when a female or food is at stake, and an altercation makes for a fearsome experience to observe.

Hibernation

In winter, when food is scarce, females hibernate in order to preserve energy. Polar Bears are not deep hibernators though, and many of their bodily functions still work as normal. Males that do not hibernate when conditions are harsh and food is scarce have an effective way of conserving their energy supplies.

Those embarking on Polar Bear tours will have the opportunity to get up close and personal to these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, making for a very impressive wildlife experience.

Nelson Adventure Travel

Nestled in the top north west corner of New Zealand’s south island is the sunny Nelson region. With its mild climate and abundant sunshine, this rugged wilderness is the ideal location for adventure seekers looking for an action-packed travel experience.

Nelson City, the region’s hub, is a great base for those who want to experience the best adventure tourism this region has to offer. Nelson’s diverse and magnificent landscape is comprised of white sandy beaches, lush forests and rugged mountains. With great centrally located accommodation available like the Quality Inn Nelson this pristine wilderness adventure playground is the perfect destination for your next holiday.

Golden Bay

The secluded coastal waters of Golden Bay are the undisputed hidden gem of the south island. And with so many warm, golden sandy beaches to choose from Golden Bay is a great destination for that family holiday adventure. Why not take a day trip to Ligar Bay or Wainiu for a truly invigorating beach experience? Or if high-energy water sports are at the top of your ‘to do’ list then Abel Tasman National Park is the destination for you. Grab your wetsuit and head down to the deeper waters of Tata Beach or Totaranui, a popular spot for water skiing and kayaking enthusiasts.

Submerge yourself in one of the crystal clear river swimming holes along the 1.5 kilometre track that leads to picturesque Wainui Falls. Along the way, see the majestic nikau palms, rata trees and ferns. Or take a walk through native forests to New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs at Te Waikoropupu, renowned as the clearest spring waters in the world.

A trip to the south island would not be complete without a tour of the Farewell Spit, known as Onetahua by the Maori people. For a superb sustainable-tourism experience why not book a Farewell Spit eco-tour and be amazed by the unique landscape of the south island’s most northerly point. Visit famous Farewell Spit Lighthouse and see the vast vertical cliffs of Cape Farewell – a spectacular site not to be missed. If you’re looking for a sightseeing tour with a difference, why not try horse riding along the secluded Wharariki Beach? The untouched coastal landscape of the Golden Bay region is guaranteed to take your breath away.

Murchison – New Zealand’s white water capital!

Get your action fix with a white water rafting experience at famous Murchison. With seven fast-flowing rivers to its name, it’s no surprise this region is known as the white water capital of New Zealand. In fact, this pristine river region offers some of the best rafting in the world. From family friendly day trips to adrenalin-charged wilderness heli-rafting, Murchison has it all. But there’s more! Murchison is also a prime destination for kayaking, canoeing and jet boating, and out of the water there are top rate mountain biking tracks for off-road cycling enthusiasts to enjoy.

Walking and hiking

Covering 452,000 hectare Kahurangi National Park is New Zealand’s second largest national park and is recognised as a premier hiking region. For committed adventure trekkers looking for a 5 to 6 day hiking trip, the Heaphy Track at Kahurangi is a ‘must do’. From alpine mountain track to glorious palm lined beaches this extensive hike offers a unique view of the New Zealand terrain. See first-hand how this majestic landscape changes from the inland to the sea.

Experience the crystal clear glacial waters and rugged alpine mountains of Nelson Lakes National Park. This walkers’ paradise has a range of tracks suitable for beginners through to experienced hikers. Famous for its native honey dew forests and nectar-eating birds, a visit to Nelson Lakes is a magical experience not to be missed.

Kayaking and fly fishing

Soak up the thrill of a sea kayaking adventure around the famous Split Apple Rock in the crisp waters of the Abel Tasman National Park. Explore the many lagoons and coves and get a close up view of the native sea and bird life. If fishing is your game, then cast a line with the best at the Travers, Sabine or D’Urville rivers. With some of the best fly fishing in the world, keen anglers will not want to miss the opportunity to cast a line in search of a stunning rainbow or brown trout.

Planning the Perfect Adventure Weekend

Planning the Perfect Adventure WeekendWith the weather in prime condition and the mountain snow leaving, we’ve been burning up the trail. You think we’d be experts at getting ready for our weekend explorations but we actually suck. We continue to forget food, clothing, equipment, sunscreen, you name it. Megan had a freak out moment on our previous hike when we couldn’t find the chocolate chip cookies she made the night before (they were actually hidden in my H2O sleeve, oops). It doesn’t help that our brains are fogged up from waking at 4 AM in the morning to beat the risk of lightning on our hike. So to help you avoid forgetting that savory piece of chocolate or your lucky pair of hiking undies, I’ll lay out how to prepare during the work week.

Monday – Thursday needs to be spent researching and planning. Use 14ers.com or whatever weather/hiking site you like. If you work at a computer, I’d recommend just leaving that site up cause you’re going to hit it at least 10 times a day checking the weather forecast, drooling at recent trip reports, and scouting out which mountain is most optimal for the weekend. You could start laying your gear out now but that is risky. No wife likes tripping over your crap and she will be sure to let you know that. Forgetting important gear is better than getting nagged all week. Better wait until Friday night to pack.

Friday after work, go to the grocery store and load up on your favorite munchies. Bars, smoothie materials, fruit, jerky, whatever floats your boat. My new favorite thing is to have a cold coconut water waiting in the car – just don’t forget to bring a cooler otherwise it’s pretty gross. Sorry but you’ll have to skip the gym and booze tonight. No hike is fun after a day of 5 x 5 back squats and you’ll probably be drunk driving considering how early you have to wake up. This is also the time to prep your gear. Lay it all out on the floor so you can quickly tell what is missing. I had to create a checklist to ensure I don’t forget stuff. I’ve already overlooked my hiking poles, buff, and SD card for the past few hikes.

Now it’s time to get to bed. Watch something funny or brainless to relax yourself for sleep. Avoid intense shows like True Detective or GoT.

On Saturday, when the alarm goes off, throw on your hiking clothes, whip together your breakfast and coffee, and hit the road. The hours of driving to the trailhead are pretty brutal that early in the morning. Ideally you will have a good Pandora station or an audio book to listen to. Once you’ve finished your outdoor excursion, put all your gear up and throw those stinky clothes in the washer. That way, you’ll be setup for perfection on your next trip. After a shower, take a quick 1 -2 hour nap if time allows. Then you can hit the breweries and celebrate your accomplishment.

Sunday is the day of rest from adventure. This can be your “GTL day.” Feel free to hit a WOD, bike or finish up that laundry. We’ve been enjoying an end to the weekend with Jazz at City Park here in Denver.

Tours to Chernobyl Are They Really Safe

The Chernobyl disaster occurred more than 30 years ago, but it is still not forgotten. This is because the hectic aftereffects of the catastrophe are reported nowadays and even the experts cannot tell for sure what consequences may be observed in ten or even twenty years.

The very word “Chernobyl” has acquired symbolic meaning not only for the residents of Ukraine, but also for those people, who live in different counties of the world. Regardless of these facts, more and more people wish to “touch” the history and see the 30 km exclusion zone with their own eyes. With that purpose, they buy tours to Chernobyl, where the experienced and professional guides are ready to show the major objects of the area and the “ghost town” of Pripyat, which has not changed at all since 1986 – the year, when the disaster ruined the lives of thousands of people.

Is It Safe to Visit Chernobyl Today?

The representatives of the reputable and trusted tourist agencies, which offer Chernobyl tours, claim that there are no dangers behind these trips. And it is really so, if you deal with a reliable agency. According to the reports of experts, who track the radiation levels in the exclusion zone on a regular basis, these rates are almost the same as those observed in Kiev and other European cities. The only important factor that should not be underestimated is that some locations in the exclusion zone still have radiation levels that exceed the norms. That is exactly why it is not recommended to visit the area independently. Instead, it makes sense to purchase a tour to Chernobyl in advance. The guides working for the tourist agencies know the zones that should be avoided and offer safe routes that do not pose any danger to human health.

Another thing for you to keep in mind is that the 30 km exclusion zone is officially allowed to be visited by the government of Ukraine, but special permission is still needed to get there nowadays. There are also strict rules, which should be followed to make the trip to Chernobyl safe and exciting. Only professional tour operators have the right to enter the area and organize excursions there. They are aware of the existing threats and other important nuances one may not know when visiting Chernobyl or Pripyat independently.

What’s more, the representatives of tourist agencies that organize tours to this location regularly inspect the areas they visit and make the required radiation measurements there in order to ensure maximum safety of their clients. So, if you have made up your mind to travel to Chernobyl, you can always inquire about the current radiation rates in the zone and the potential exposure to radiation for everyone, who visits the area. The representatives of the travel agency will provide you with all the information you might need to be sure that your excursion to the exclusion zone will be remarkable, safe and thrilling.

The Most Awesome Abandoned Places in the Whole World

Pripyat

After the biggest nuclear catastrophe the world has ever seen, the small city of Pripyat god a nickname ‘the ghost city’. Built in 1970 to serve as a home for Chernobyl nuclear plant workers, this city lived only 16 years. In 1986, the evacuation order was given and over 40,000 people left their homes, not knowing that they’ll never return.

The life of Pripyat ended abruptly, leaving reminders of vibrancy all over the city. Today, almost 30 years later, at first glance the city looks like an ordinary one. Schools, taxi stations, hospitals, even buildings with laundry drying on their balconies, don’t give away the creepiness of this place. But then, you start noticing silence. Spooky silence overwhelms you, so it’s no surprise why the first tourists that came here left after only 15 minutes.

Pripyat is still an abandoned area and will be for a long, long time (scientist estimate that the city will be safe for humans in about 400 years!). However, tourists do come here. Solo East Travel offers Chernobyl and Pripyat tours on a daily basis.

The Solo East Travel is the company that can safely get you there. Their headquarters are at the Office 105, #10, Proreznaya St. in Kiev. If there are more than 30 people in your touring group a big bus (up to 45 seats or more) will easily be arranged from Kiev.

Mirny Diamond Mine

Mirny is a small town, with less than 40,000 citizens, but is one of the most famous in Russia. It is a fairly remote town, surrounded with cold and wild Siberian forests. But, once upon a time, Mirny was the center of world’s diamond production.

During the 60′, Mirny was the biggest diamond mine in the world. Its peak years of operation saw the Mirny mine producing over 10 million carats of diamonds, a good percentage of them were gem quality. But then, it started to dry out. Finally, in 2011, the site was closed. The workers went away, leaving the 2-nd biggest hole on Earth behind.

An interesting fact is that the airspace above the mine is closed even today, a few years after the mine was abandoned. The reason for that are alleged incidents involving several helicopters falling in the abyss, after being dragged down due to air temperature differences and unexpected currents.

According to the BBC, the town is strictly off limits to people without a special permit and the authorities regard any foreigners with considerable suspicion.

Ryugyong Hotel

The Ryugyong Hotel is a 105-story pyramid-shaped skyscraper still under construction, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Its name (“capital of willows”) is also one of the historical names for Pyongyang. The building is also known as the 105 building, a reference to its number of floors. It is, by far, the tallest building in North Korea.

Started as an ambitious pet project of Korea’s leader Kim Il-sung in the 90’s the Ryugyong hotel somehow proved to be a disaster. The construction turned to waste and the unfinished building now stands in the middle of Korea’s capital, Pyongyang.

The opening of the hotel was scheduled several times but postponed. The Ryugyong Hotel has been the subject of derision by international media, who have referred to the hotel as “The Worst Building in the History of Mankind” and the “Hotel of Doom.”

In 2010, the first Western reporters came to this hotel and the 1st photos were taken. Hopefully, North Korea will soon open their borders to the rest of the world and perhaps, with the help of others will complete this hotel. Or who knows, maybe this hotel will stay like this to serve as a reminder of one period in their history.

Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to visit the hotel, nor the country, as a matter of fact. The borders of North Korea are still closed for the Westerners.

Chateau Miranda

This is a favorite place of European ghost hunters. The mere design of the Chateau Miranda gives away a creepy aura and on the top of that, this house’s history is chilling as well. In its long history, this building served for many purposes, of which the most hair-raising was an orphanage.

The castle was built in 1866 by the English architect Milner under commission from the Liedekerke-Beaufort family, who had fled from their previous home, Veves Castle, during the French Revolution. Their descendants remained in the castle until the outbreak of the World War II, when it was taken over by the government and turned into an orphanage. Then in the 80es, the castle got abandoned and returned to the Liedekerke-Beaufort family. They had no ambitions of renewing it, nor selling the castle, so Chateau Miranda turned into a major inspiration for horror story writers.

Chateau Miranda is a castle near the town of Celles in the Belgium region of the Ardennes. The town itself is a tourist attraction and is a must-visit on your way to the castle. Speaking of that, you better hurry up as the government is planning to bring it down very soon.

City Hall Station, New York

When it was made, in 1902 it was intended to be a pride of New York, but in a half a century, The City Hall station got closed, leaving marvelous structure for no one to enjoy it. Nowadays, it serves as a turning station for only one metro line. However, people have realized that this station is a gem of architecture and now thousands of tourists visit it every day.

The people visiting the former ‘Manhattan Main Line’ are stunned by the unusual elegance of the station’s platform and mezzanine. The lights, colored glass tilework and brass chandeliers are a masterpiece of the 20th-century design.

You can get to this station if you enter the metro at the Civic Center in Manhattan, New York. The ‘6’ train used to make all passengers leave the train at the Brooklyn Bridge stop, but that’s no longer a case. If you have a little extra time, you can stay on the train and have a look at the City Hall Station as the train makes its turnaround.

Salto Hotel

In 1923, the building was constructed as a luxury mansion by and had quickly become a symbol of the joy and elegance of the upper-class citizens of Colombia.

This spooky building seems like it came straight from a horror story. It is placed on a cliff, just above a vast abyss. It looks almost like its designers thought that wasn’t spooky enough – they decided to build it in a dark, gothic style.

The abandoned hotel became a suicide Mecca in the past quarter of the century, which largely added to its reputation. The ghost stories were made up, which attracted curious visitors from all over the world. That prompted the government to turn it into something much less scary – a museum of biodiversity and culture.

The hotel is located just about 30 km southwest of Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia and is easily accessible by local buses.

Hashima Island

Hashima Island is often called Gunkanjima, which translates as ‘Battleship Island’. The name has nothing to do with war, but with the shape of the island. It is a relatively small Iceland (6.3-hectare), so it’s no wonder it was the town with the highest population density in the world in the 50es. The reason why people came here in the first place was to work in a coal mining facility.

But in 1974, the factory got broke and the citizens of Hashima packed their things and moved forward looking for a better life. They left behind massive concrete apartment buildings and a huge surrounding sea wall, which became a never ending inspiration for artists and travel enthusiasts. Even the creators of the latest James Bond film, found Hashima interesting and used it as an inspiration for the home of the main villain.

Hashima is a totally abandoned island in Japan, near the coast of the city Nagasaki. As of April 22, 2009, the island is open once again for public visits, with two operators, Yamasa-Kaiun (from Nagasaki Port) and Kyodo Co. (from Nomo Island) providing boat trips.

Sunken Yacht

Mar Sem Fim (“Endless Sea” in English) is a Brazilian yacht that was shipwrecked, sunk and subsequently got frozen in ice. The yacht belonged to the famed Brazilian journalist and entrepreneur João Lara Mesquita Mar Sem Fim went on its last journey in 2012 when four adventurists went off the Antarctic coast to film a documentary.

The translucent waters of the Antarctica are the reason why the Sunken Yacht became known over the globe. The ship looks really amazing, when observed from the surface as the clear waters of the Ardley Bay allow exactly that. It looks really astonishing and we can enjoy in it without any guilt as no one was killed nor injured when the boat sank.

The Sunken Yacht is located about 1,200 kilometers south of the tip of South America, in Maxwell Bay of Ardley Cove, Antarctica. The only way to get there is with an organized expedition.

Michigan Central Station

Nothing symbolizes Detroit’s grandiose rise and spectacular fall like the Michigan Central Station. No other building exemplifies just how much the automotive industry gave to the city of Detroit – and how much it took away.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Motown was the place to go in search for jobs. People from all around the world were coming to Detroit and the city grew rapidly. That is why in 1913, a monumental train station was built. Its purpose wasn’t to be just a passenger rail depot, but a major landmark of the city. When it was constructed, the Michigan Central Station was the tallest train station in the world.

But over the years, something went wrong and the station was abandoned in 1988. Nowadays the Michigan Central Station is a synonym for sad, ruined buildings that had seen much better days. However, it has become a top spot for graffiti artists, who made an urban monument out of this abandoned building.

The Michigan Central Railroad depot rises above the southwest Detroit with the Ambassador Bridge in the back. The station is easily accessible by public transportation system in this part of the city. The exact location is 2405 West Vernor Highway, Detroit, Michigan.

The Maunsell Sea Forts

During the WWII, British army built small fortified towers along the Thames and Mersey estuaries in order to protect the United Kingdom from the Nazis. These forts were the first line of defense – the Royal Navy used them to deter and report German air raids. But after the war ended, the Maunsell Forts lost their purpose.

The winds and waves did nothing to the forts as they were built to endure much harder conditions. Today, these, over 70-years- old structures, are a symbol of defiance to invaders. Many famous artists get their inspiration from the Maunsell forts. For example, the band ‘Prodigy’ featured them in the video for their hit ‘Invadors Must Die’.

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