Every couple of months the hippie inside nudges me, whispers in my ear and tells me to fulfil my wanderlust wishes. I’m sure you can relate – there is no excitement greater than the joy of travel. Discovering unknown lands, gorging on exotic delicacies, witnessing historic and peculiar sites and creating brilliant memories: It’s the best of life.
We’ve all been on trips where we do the usual stuff – sight-seeing in the city, museum tours, hop-on and hop-off bus rides. Yawn. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some great places in all my years – cities in Europe, Africa, North America, Australia and Asia. There are a few places, however, that are incredibly unique and what makes them special are the out-of-the-ordinary activities they host.
Here are my 5 favourite cities that need to be on your travel wish-list [along with the unusual activities]:
It’s more about what’s in the sea, than land, in this city. Cairns is the hub to see one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world- the great barrier reef. You could opt for alternatives to see the reef – such as a glass-bottom boat, scuba diving or snorkelling. The reef has an eclectic mix of vivid corals, impressive marine life and a lot more.
The Unusual: You literally get to find Nemo, like I did. And yes, clown-fish do live amongst corals, more specifically, in a sea anemone.
Game of Thrones fan? Welcome to the medieval world of this gorgeous city – Bruges. Development has seized a long time ago, and it has been untouched by the onslaught of technology (except for Wi-Fi of course). Horses and wagon-carts are the only modes of transportation, while castles and churches reside within city walls. Oh, and the hot-chocolate is mind blowing.
The Unusual: Chocolate lovers, brace yourselves. They have a Chocolate Museum. There is a famous statue of Barack Obama made completely in chocolate, amongst other famous personalities [And no, you cannot eat them].
Rotorua, New Zealand
Built upon layers of molten hot Lava, Rotorua exhibits natural wonders that will leave you, well, wondering. Watch bubbling hot mud poles, to steaming sulphur lakes and rocks – it’s a great place for a weekend trip. What’s fascinating is the cultural significance of these natural wonders and how the natives try their best to preserve this land.
The Unusual: There are pools where you can bathe in this sulphur water and it’s really good for your skin and health. They cool the water down through special pipes first, lest you boil.
Kathmandu and Around, Nepal
While the valley itself (Kathmandu) is rich in culture, has gorgeous temples and exciting street life, the real treasures of Nepal lie in the surrounding areas. You can drive through the Himalayan foothills, or go for treks in the Greater Himalayas. I took an especially awesome tour on a small plane that took me right through the Greater Himalayas and we spotted Mt. Everest.
The Unusual: The Manakamana Temple, located 1300 meters above sea level, is said to grant wishes of whoever goes to pray to the Goddess Manakamana in her shrine. The not-so-fun part about this is that, often, the common folk perform ritualistic sacrifices of goats or chickens as offerings to the goddess.
Where do I start? This is my top favourite city. Rome encapsulates the perfect mix of modern and ancient. With two rich historical backgrounds, Ancient Rome and Medieval Rome, and Italian shopping at its finest, you will never get bored. The walk leading up to the Colosseum, is undoubtedly, my favourite walk in the world!
The Unusual: Try the square-shaped Pizza here: it’s street food and undoubtedly, the best you’ll ever have.
What are some of the most enjoyable unusual activities you’ve encountered at your favourite travel destinations? Share with us in the comments below.