Oddly Enough Blog

News, but not the serious kind

Kids, it’s time to show you the ropes…

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If you like heights as much as I do, this photo is already making you queasy. Suddenly, riding in a gyrocopter and getting married on a high ledge don’t look quite so bad.

Welcome to a remote Russian village where “public transportation” means stepping onto a tightrope at one end and getting off at the other. Unscheduled stops aren’t recommended.

By an odd quirk of history, nearly everybody here can walk the high wire. Learning is a family affair, and don’t expect to hear parents saying “You kids come down from that tightrope, it’s dangerous.”

In the words of one boy, My mother was a tightrope walker, and I will be too. James Kilner tells the story, and Helen Long has a video report, and here is a photo slideshow:

Sweetie, let’s take the big plunge!

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Well, here’s one of my recurring nightmares. Not getting married – that was great – but standing out on the ledge of a tall building. I’d rather ride in a gyrocopter, or visit that new Grand Canyon skywalk.

Anyway, these two people both work as exterior cleaners of tall buildings, so they decided to incorporate rappelling into their ceremony, because like they don’t get enough of that on regular days. You’ll note in the caption below we’re careful to mention that the groom is the one on the right, just in case you’re confused about which is which.

“You must be joking” tourist site opens

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I’m kind of losing the urge to travel. What’s there to see? Now we have a just-opened glass-bottom walkway perched 4,000 feet over the Grand Canyon

Excuse me? I’m supposed to pay you so I can walk out there and look below my shoes into eternal bottomless nothingness? That’s not how it works. You offer to pay me four million dollars to walk out there, and I still say no. Not even if you throw in a t-shirt that says, “Mom and Dad visited the Skywalk and aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!”

You take Jackson Street, turn left onto the Road of Death…

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road.jpgThey don’t call it the Road of Death for nothing. Every two weeks on average, a vehicle plunges off this Bolivian road into the ravine below, in some places nearly three miles down.

Little shrines and crosses mark almost every perilous curve, and you’ll see human traffic lights – people who stand with green and red signs to control the flow of trucks and buses. They are unpaid, but get tips from grateful drivers. 

Lean out a little more for a better view… Just a bit more…

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Picture it. The ultimate romantic adventure. Riding the rails to the roof of the world. A $12,000 ticket on a five-star,  ultra-luxurious train from Beijing to Lhasa, climbing through some of the most breathtaking scenery on Earth.

That’s the good news. The bad news is, this so-called luxury train will feature — hold on to your fur hat — karaoke!  That’s right, if the natural beauty and spiritual serenity of Tibet start to bore you, you can pass the time singing “Country Roads” along with a machine.