Tag Archive for Weird

Pisa’s leaning tower

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After our week in Florence, we hopped on the train and headed to Pisa. We had two goals for Pisa: pick up a cheap rental car at the airport and drive north, to our rented house in a tiny Tuscan village; and to go see some tower they have in Pisa, which apparently leans.  One of these goals was accomplished much more easily than the other.*   Our train from Florence took about an hour and cost only 15 Euro for us both. Once we made it to Pisa’s central…

What’s the poop on Austria’s toilets?

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Before this trip started, I thought our biggest toilet misadventures would occur in Southeast Asia, home of the notorious squat toilet.  But I made it through four months of Southeast Asia without ever having to actually squat at a squat toilet, and so I thought the rest of the trip would be smooth sailing, toilet-wise. Then we came to Austria. Get ready, because I am about to drop a load of knowledge on you: In case you can’t tell by the photo, this toilet has a shelf.  A toilet shelf.…

Prague’s Miniature Museum

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I had originally titled this post ‘The World’s Smallest Museum,’ but then, in the course of my research to confirm the veracity of this claim, I discovered there are a whole bunch of museums that are much smaller than this one, including one in New York City that is an alley (and currently showing an exhibition on fake vomit from around the world, so check it out!). So: Prague’s Miniature Museum.  It features miniatures created by Siberian artist Anatolij Konenko. His art – which must be viewed through a microscope…

Moeraki Boulders

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Near Omaru, New Zealand is a geological oddity called the Moeraki Boulders.  The boulders are spherical rocks – called concretions – that started to form 55 million years ago when lime deposits slowly grew around a shell or pebble.  They resulted in large rocks that can be over 3 feet across, and are nearly perfect spheres.  These days, the large rocks are all that are left on the beach, as all the smaller ones have long since been pilfered by jerk tourists. These geological marvels now primarily serve as props…

Singapore’s Magical Merlion

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Singapore’s official(ly strange) symbol is the half-lion/half-fish statue called the Merlion.The lion head represents Singapore’s original name (“Lion City”) while the fish body is an ode to the city’s origins as a fishing village. The Merlion stands 8.6 meters high and weighs more than 70 tons. It’s made of cement, parts of porcelain plates, and has small red teacups for eyes. The statue stands guard over the waterfront. Viewed at night, it is magnificent, spewing forth water from its mouth in a spectacle that is powerfully moving to behold.  Fun…

Australia’s Big Things

The original Big Thing that started them all: The Big Banana of Coff's Harbour

Australians love their Big Things.  They are spread all throughout the country.  Some are well-maintained popular tourist traps, others are sadly rundown and neglected.  But they are all big.  Here are some that we saw.       It remains one of my great regrets about Australia that we didn’t make it to the Big Lobster.  It was only a 4-hour drive away at one point! Here’s one more of the Big Banana, presented in totally gratuitous and unnecessary High Dynamic Range.