Offbeat travel

Weird and wacky makes the world go round

Been there and done that? Then it might be time to start sniffing around for a more unusual travel experience. How about swimming in wine – literally? Maybe toss a little whipped cream in the Czech Republic? Or, if you’re got the time, Eeyore the donkey  would love you to come to his birthday party – celebrated annually in Austin, Texas.

If any of this sounds like it might be up your alley, check out the travel reviews at – a one-stop-shop for all sorts of weird voyages.

Below is a selection of a few of the world’s not-to-be missed experiences:

Magic Mushrooms
Calling all fungi lovers: Not only is Telluride, Colorado a bustling ski town and the location of Butch Cassidy’s first bank robbery in 1889, it’s also the site of the ever-fascinating Mushroom Festival. Some of you may have already witnessed the zany antics of ‘shroom aficionados in Know Your Mushrooms by Canadian filmmaker Ron Mann. But if the real deal is what you crave, Telluride is the place to be from August 27-30 as spore seekers gather to pick, parade and eat their way through the 29th incarnation of the festival.

Prophylactic To Go?
The Cabbages and Condoms restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand serves more than Pad Thai – shrimp curry and condoms anyone? In addition to the stunning array of contraceptives and handicrafts for sale, this charming resto features a bar, Internet café and massage shop. A portion of the restaurant’s proceeds go to local family planning programs.

Now That’s What We Call Decanting
Ever dreamed of swimming in red wine? Cleopatra was into it. If you love all things Cabernet, check out Japan’s Hakone Kowakien Yunessun Wine Spa. They’ve got a huge pool of the red stuff complete with a view of Mt. Fuji, Japan’s iconic volcano. Don’t worry, if you aren’t an oenophile —coffee, tea, beer and, sake is also available for a paddle.

Indoor Plumbing
Toilets and tablecloths? Modern Toilet has thought of everything. At this unique Taipei restaurant, customers nosh out of ersatz toilet bowls while ensconced on toilet seats that surround bathtubs doubling as tables. We couldn’t make this up.

Not enough toilets for you? Head on over to Alamo Heights, Texas. The Toilet Seat Museum, located in Barney “King of Thrones” Smith’s garage, offers an opportunity to gaze with wonder at more than 700 porcelain vessels, decorated with license plates, military memorabilia, and other miscellany.

This Little Piggy Went To Dawson City
If you make it all the way to Dawson City, Yukon, then you should reward yourself. What better pat on the back than the town’s famous mixer, the Sourtoe Cocktail, made from liquor spiked with a preserved human toe? One sip and you’re a bona fide member of the Downtown Hotel’s Sourtoe Cocktail Club but be forewarned — judges insist that your lips must touch the salted appendage or else you may have to give it another shot.

Take Me To Your Geyser
If you can’t wait for NASA’s planned 2030 mission to Mars or afford the six months it takes to travel one way, check out Chile’s Atacama Desert. Situated between the Andes and Pacific, this plateau’s otherworldly landscape encompasses salt basins, lava flows, geysers and 20,000-foot volcanoes. It’s the next best thing to an actual visit to the Red Planet. Ask NASA, they test space buggies there.

Getting Creamed
If you’re still thinking about intergalactic travel, a stint as gladiator at the Great Whipped Cream Battle in Olomouc, Czech Republic might be just the training required. The skirmish begins when teams, armed with trays of whipped peaks, charge each other. Reports are the cream starts to fly and no one leaves unadorned. Mid-June.

Party On…
If all you need is a good ol’ walk down memory lane with Winnie the Pooh, what better outing than a birthday party for his favourite donkey, Eeyore? Celebrated for more than 40 years in Austin, Texas, the fun takes place the last Saturday in April. Hundreds of drummers, dancers and costumed aficionados have been known to turn the venue into a picture-book zoo. Just think of the stories you’ll have for friends back home!

Photo Credits: Guy Sal, Pederk, Modern Toilet, Kriando Design

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