Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
From a Czech forest castle reported to house the gates of hell to a gargantuan castle right here in the United States, the world's most haunted castles boast histories rich with frightening details. Specters haunt the halls of these old castles and travelers visit to experience brushes with the paranormal. Some of these castles possess secrets darker than a moonless night, and when darkness comes, the spirits stir.
These are the ten places to go and meet ghosts. Covering nine countries, each of these castles has a past that may just try and make a ghostly impression on your present.
Gallery: The World's 10 Most Haunted Castles
Summer is the time of island vacations. It is time to put as much distance between you and the real world as possible. It is time to stand outside of your everyday life and to see how it all looks from a paradise perspective. Here is a collection of islands for escape – places to recharge, gain perspective and explore. From an island in the land of the gods to a tropical Amsterdam at the edge of an ocean trench, each of these ten destinations provides something extraordinary.
Gallery: 10 Islands To Visit Next
What comes to mind when you think of the world's worst place? While it is easy to complain about rural Wal-marts, La Guardia, Applebee's, and any government office with motor vehicle in its title, none of those places escalate the game from nuisance to immediate danger. All of them can be horrible, yes, but a threatened existence they do not pose.
The places on this list are the bad places. Some have run out of hope. Others have fought war for so long it is the new normal. Most are exceptionally dangerous and heartbreaking. And while none of them are fighting for write-ups by travel bloggers or inspiring travel with the NetJet set, some of these locations may someday be on the travel map. After all, it was not long ago that current hot-spots like Cambodia and Croatia would have made such a list.
Gallery: World's worst cities
Every country has its own culture of shopping. Italy has the pedigree, with worn estate leather goods from Tuscany and glittering catwalks fueling Milan's couture. America boasts 5th Avenue, the biggest week in fashion, and the cookie-cutter malls of middle-America. Shopping in Paris is as elegant as it is expensive, where visiting the temples of Chanel, Dior, and Hermes is like a Hajj for fashionistas. Getting fitted for a suit on Savile Row in London is a gentlemanly apex, one that is best achieved while gently pulling on a cherry-wood pipe and commenting on cheeky matters from a pink-tinged page of the Financial Times.
In Dubai, The malls are king. Vast expanses of high end extravagance, these oases from the draping emirate heat are stocked with Gucci, Tom Ford, Louis Vuitton, and any other brand that peddles four-figure handbags to the jet set. Just as America brought the shopping mall to retail prominence, Dubai has perfected the art, blown it up, and put it all back together with megatons of glitter, pomp, and reckless luxury. But more so than brands and shine, the malls of Dubai also have other extraordinary features. A skating rink and a movie theater? That is so 20th century. How about scuba diving, snow skiing, and visiting the tallest building in the world? Welcome to the malls of Dubai.
According to a Harvard study, the earth's population will hit seven billion humans in a few months. Earlier this summer, Gadling labs profiled the effects of increasing populations on finite land resources by showcasing the world's most crowded islands. The earth is, in its own way, an island, and 21st century humanity will be presented with the challenge of adapting to rising population levels and static resources.
While countries like India have wrestled with the conundrum of feeding and housing booming population levels in Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai, the countries on this list bear no similarities to the billion strong Indian subcontinent. These countries are the ones with open space - lots of it. Countries like Greenland and Mongolia may someday be utilized for their vast expanses of open terrain, but today they are simply great places to go when you have tired of other human beings.
So while this extraordinarily hot summer may have included elbowing your way through thronged midtown Manhattan in 100 degree heat or hesitantly inhaling the stink rising off the sweaty crowd at Bonnaroo, this list is intended to take you way away from the crowds. From riding a horse through the empty steppes of Mongolia to exploring the glacial highlands of Iceland, each of these countries offers exercises in sweet sweet solitude. None of these countries have more than ten people per square mile.
When city plans exceed reality, or the money dries up, or people simply leave in a mass exodus, skyscrapers vacate and slowly decay. High winds thrash through broken windows. Rats live undisturbed amongst decades old rubble. Stairways lead to doors that may never open again. The ghost of ambition's past arrives in the present like a howling specter, creating eyesores, dangerous conditions, and free housing for opportunistic urban survivalists.
These abandoned skyscrapers range from forsaken structures aborted long before their doors opened to icons from a bygone era. While a slumper like Detroit has its fair share of empty giants, even cities with tiger cub economic growth like Bangkok are not immune to the plague of creepy abandoned high-rises. South America brings vertical favelas to the list, and Poland has a tower named after a pop-culture villain. And even San Francisco, a city with a high recreational scooter to human ratio and droves of individuals who see the world just beyond the tip of their nose, has its very own abandoned skyscraper.
From North Korea to Venezuela, these structures differ in their stories and circumstance, but each is a fine glimpse at post-apocalyptic urban decay.
The tigers lurked just out of sight. As we ambled through the dense Nepalese brush atop a lumbering elephant, we steadied our gaze for the minutiae of the jungle. We inspected the crevices of our visibility, focusing near and far, eager to catch glimpses of wild creatures doing wild things. Shifting left and right with each elephantine step, we clutched our splintery wooden seats perched precariously on the back of the world's largest land mammal, looking for the world's most elusive - the Royal Bengal Tiger.
We caught muddy rhinos bathing in shadowy watering holes. Peacocks strutted out and disappeared in a flash of color to the other side of our path. Monkeys swung above our heads. A Samba deer stopped to stare at us just feet from our shifting perch, skittishly retreating when our elephant grabbed a bundle of branches and effortlessly snapped them to the ground with his powerful trunk to clear our path. The tigers were illusory, hidden from our sight. Our mahout cackled, "It is okay if you no see tiger. But just remember tiger sees you."
Gallery: Chitwan National Park in Nepal
We have all seen the commercial. "I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis." He's called the most interesting man in the world. But, beyond the LCD panels in your television, and the din of late night TV, the man is just an actor in an especially resonant role, in a very successful advertising series, mythologized with strange deeds and characteristics. His blood smells of cologne, and he despises gyms. After all, running in place will never get you the same results as running from a lion.
It is all hilarious nonsense.
Meanwhile, in the real world, Dhani Jones may just be the most interesting man in the world. Like the Dos Equis demigod, Dhani spends much of his time defying conventions and curating his own personal mythology. He has conducted orchestras, played a decade at middle linebacker in the NFL, scrimmaged with baby elephants, swam with sharks in Australia, flown a Cessna through a thunderstorm, and even carried a suffering man on his shoulder through the Himalayas to safety at a mountain camp.
He has also played a washboard bass on a corner in New York city for tips, and was once arrested for literally dancing too much in the streets of Miami. For Dhani, life is a journey, an extremely interesting one.
With a little bit of luck, I have lived my life hitherto in a relative bubble of innocence. Before today, I knew not the existence of sewer geysers. This terrifying video shot by a youtube user captures the intense eruption of a sewer geyser in Montreal, Canada. The force of the geyser blows open a manhole cover, lifts a car off the ground, and severely damages the vehicle. As the underground waste spills out into the road, the cameraman remains steady. He films as the eruption reaches disgusting new heights towards the video's end.
From high above the city, jusojin captured this time-lapse AND tilt-shift video that miniaturizes the bustling city of Osaka, Japan. Trivializing every aspect of the Osaka hustle provides a toyish cityscape where people are reduced to ants and cars look like turbocharged micro machines in a lavish play-set.
Jusojin shot the video from the roof of the Umeda Sky Building - a two towered structure that boasts a sky garden called the "Floating Garden Observatory," and an underground market designed to resemble the Osaka of a century ago. With modernity clashing with old school Japan in such a cool location, the 40 floor skyscraper is a must visit in Osaka.