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Unusual Tours You've Got To Take
From vodka tours, to pot tours, to punk rock tours, to voodoo tours, here are some of the greatest (and weirdest!) tours to take.
Vodka Tours in Poland
Outside bustling Krakow, Poland's countryside is filled with strawberries, apple blossom, freshly cut grass -- and vodka. Krakow Tours will take you through the country's wide open spaces in a wagon cart -- through fields, forests, farms, and villages -- as you sample vodka in various establishments.
From top-notch vodka-ries to illegal hooch-brewers, the tour will leave you buzzing...with excitement. Expect strawberry, pear, apple and plum vodkas; you'll even learn how they distill the stuff the old way.
Cannabis Tours in Amsterdam
Did somebody say "freshly cut grass"? In Amsterdam, cannabis is openly sold and smoked in the city's 300+ "coffeeshops." Amsterdam City Tours will take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Amsterdam Coffee shop industry.
In addition to visiting some of the shops where you'll learn about client attitudes, social reaction patterns and current trends in the drug trade, the tour will also swing by the Cannabis Museum.
Punk Music Tours in Washington D.C
Washington D.C. is known for monuments, politicians, and five-sided buildings. But did you know that it was also the epicenter of the harDCore punk scene that emerged in the late 70s?
Before you head to the nation's capital, swing by Yellow Arrow, a site that's produced several excellent, short video documentaries about DC's punk scene. Watch them or download them to your MP3 player. Thereafter, explore the city via Yellow Arrow's text message tours, guided by a downloadable PDF map.
Voodoo Tours in West Africa
After living in Africa for three years, I know juju (black magic) pervades much of the countryside. Much of Western Africa still believes in gods and ghosts; sorcerers and witches; magic spells and sacred snakes; it's not incorrect to call it the land of voodoo.
Beginning in Lome, Togo, Explore takes you on a journey through Akodessewa fetish market (with its bizarre display of religious and medicinal ingredients) before heading to rural villages where voodoo shrines and fetish ceremonies dominate the lives of local people. In Benin, you'll visit the python temple before taking pirogues across Lake Nokoue to the stilt village of Ganvie. Also, don't miss out on a chance to visit the Royal Palaces of Dahomey, built with human skulls.
Cave Snorkeling in Bonaire
The Caribbean island of Bonaire consists of limestone (fossilized coral reefs). Over the years, the caves have eroded, leaving numerous caves on the island.
While cave snorkeling with Hans, you'll visit two different caves. First, you'll hit a "dry" cave with stalactites, stalagmites, and even the special helectites. Second, you'll slog through a "wet" cave, where you'll snorkel in crystal clear water looking for cave shrimp and the rare cave-fish. If Hans asks you to help him with his rare cave-swimsuit-fish, swim away quickly.
In addition to touring the countryside and some dramatic frescoed monasteries around Transylvania, you could spend this Halloween inside the castle of Count Dracula. Dunno if a dude wearing a cape will jump out of a casket at midnight, but it sure looks like dressing up is encouraged.
The following day, you can take a boat ride across Snagov Lake, to the island that's the eternal resting place of the Count. (Or is it?)
San Francisco Vampire Tours
Held every Friday and Saturday night at 8, these 2-hour tours explain the history of the city and how Vampires played a role in that history.
For an idea of what the tours are like, check out this short video. While it was filmed during the day, note that the tours are much spookier at night.
Ghost Tours of the London Underground
Ghosts are everywhere, apparently -- including the London Underground. Ghosts of the Underground is dedicated to tracking the reported ghost sitings in the Tube, and features many bizarre, unexplained photographs.
Download the 47-minute documentary on the subject and give yourself a self-guided tour -- and a fright!
Private Eye Tours in Seattle
On Private Eye Tours, join a Seattle native with a medical and science background as you explore the dark side of Seattle's streets and alleys.
On your tour, you'll visit the scenes of crimes, burglaries, arson, speakeasies, and the red light district. You'll also see where a number of famous people -- including Ted Bundy, Bruce Lee, Jimi Hendrix, and Kurt Cobain -- lived...and died.
Wild Seaweed Tours in Canada
Meet Diane Bernard -- who actually allows herself to be called the "Seaweed Lady" -- at Whiffen Spit on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island near Sooke, B.C., Canada (about 40-minute drive from the city of Victoria) for her seaweed tour.
This 2-hour hands-on inter-tidal workshop teaches visitors about the different varieties of seaweeds, their nutritional benefits, and different methods of preparing them. If you're interested, you can sample some fresh seaweeds; you can even try wearing some, if you're so inclined -- and not overdressed.
Hip-Hour Tours in Harlem
Harlem Hip-Hop Tours is a tour in style. Each tour includes a ride in a stretch limousine, and the best in the food, sightseeing, and shopping that Harlem has to offer. Tour participants will see the Apollo Theater and Striver's Row; have the opportunity to shop along 125th street; and come to understand the true meaning of "putting your foot in it" when you savor the flavor of a home-cooked soul food meal.
Moreover, Harlem Hip-Hop Tours provides personal instruction in hip-hop dance and slang (um, like what "putting your foot in it" means). Tour participants will also travel to some of New York's hottest television and recording studios where they can see firsthand how hip-hop music is created, and meet IN PERSON established and up-and-coming hip-hop artists.