Are you in search of those “Weird and Wonderful” travel experiences that will both shock and make your family and friends back home say, “Wow, I want to do/see that too!”? Then here are few great starters from around the world that are bound to get some reactions.
Giraffe Kiss, KENYA :
Let’s start off with a big fat kiss! Shane Dallas or better known as @TheTravelCamel, fellow founder of #TRLT Twitter chat, being kissed by Betty the giraffe at Giraffe Center in Kenya. When he posted this photo, Shane asked, “Would you do the same?”
Photo Credit: @ReenCassadie
Rat Temple, INDIA:
Karni Mata Temple is a holy site to worship holy rats also known as kabbas. Home to an estimated 25,000 of these holy rodents, people come here for blessings. It is considered good luck if a rat runs over your feet or if you spot a white rat (which I did!). A “so beyond weird” concept and yet fantastically wonderful to watch Indian women (many who have travelled far and wide to pay their respects) screaming and twitching in the rodent infested setting, dutiful coming to worship their gods. Ha, who would ever come up with this?! As an avid fan and lover of rats for their cuteness, surprising intelligence and vibrant personalities, Karni Mata Temple has been one of the most memorable experiences of my travels.
Bone Church, CZECH REPUBLIC:
The Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic is certainly a unique concept with its collection of human bones adorning the chapel. It is uncertain but they believe there are between 40,000-70,000 human skeletons that have been used to decorate the inside of this Roman Catholic Chapel. Mind boggling. The giant bone chandelier hanging in the center has at least one of each bone from the human body. A travel destination that will leave you both in jaw-dropping awe and your skin crawling with goosebumps.
Dead Sea, JORDAN/ISRAEL:
There is absolutely nothing like it. Enter Dead Sea, it’s shores being the Earth’s lowest land elevation, either from the Israeli or Jordan side. Because of it’s insanely high salt concentration, it’s incredibly buoyant, making it impossible NOT to float. But watch out! Avoid getting water in your eyes at all costs, ‘cause it STINGS! Unfortunately I have no photos for this because my camera chip got lost. But I’m sure you’ve all heard/seen the famous photos of people sitting in the water reading the newspaper. It’s a remarkable sensation. 100% weird, 200% wonderful!
Ostrich Riding, South Africa:
Ostrich riding is a don’t miss and one of a kind opportunity in South Africa. A weird and wonderful experience would definitely be sitting on top of a giant BIRD. Incredibly soft and surprisingly strong, these birds can carry up to 70kg and reach up to speeds of 70km/hr, which they demonstrate with an ostrich race at the end of the tour at Cango Ostrich Farm. To top off this bizarre, ostrich experience, don’t miss out on cooking an Ostrich egg (the largest in the world, equivalent to 24 average chicken eggs!) and trying a big slab of rare ostrich steak, both delicious and widely available in South Africa.
Voodoo Markets, BENIN:
I was disappointed to have missed this special experience during my time in Benin and Togo but one of our #TRLT members The Barefoot Backpacker, has so kindly shared his thoughts on this weird and wonderful travel experience.
“In the Western World, Voodoo has a bit of a ‘reputation’ – images of wildly-dressed men sticking pins in dolls to cause real people harm, and reanimating the dead. The truth is somewhat different …
Voodoo’s practised by a considerable proportion of the population of Benin & Togo, and mainly consists of priests creating ‘potions’ made from crushed bones and herbs to offer to the gods and ancestors. Ingredients can be bought from a ‘fetish market’, but the precise quantities and recipes are known only to the priest; people will come to the priest and say, “I need some luck for an exam”, or “I need to be better in bed”, and there’s a particular ‘recipe’ for each.
The representations of the gods, or some of the equipment used in the particular ceremony (‘fetishes’) are often quite ‘direct’ … one of the gods invoked for fertility charms is, shall we say, well-equipped, and temples to him are fairly obvious …”
– Photo Credit: @RTWBarefoot
Hyena Feeding, ETHIOPIA –
If you dare, you can come face to face with hyenas in Harar, Ethiopia. I never had the chance to do this during my stay in Ethiopia, but often heard their howling cries in the distance at night. My brother was brave enough to come this close and survive!
Last week on #TRLT Twitter chat we shared our best stories and photos on WEIRD AND WONDERFUL travel experiences. Next week you can join us for a fun chat on “FRIENDLY FACES”. The chat is an hour long and starts every Tuesday at 1pmNYC/6pmUK. Search the hashtag #TRLT on Twitter to find us and don’t forget to include the hashtag #TRLT in your tweets to participate with fellow travellers! You can find me each and every week hosting with fellow founder Shane Dallas (public speaker, visited 100+ countries) and amazing travel hosts Jessica Lipowski (accomplished author and “foodie”) and Anton Magnin (specialist in family travel).
Categories: Savannah Grace