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10 bizarre Christmas customs

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The stories of how countries celebrate Christmas fascinate us from an early age. The famous Christmas pudding from England, the picnic on the beach in Australia, and the Finnish Santa Claus with the wonderful name of Joulupukki. But who has ever heard of the shitting tree trunks, the flying high heeled shoes, and the biting horse skeletons? Just in time for the holidays, we have unearthed the 10 most bizarre Christmas traditions in the world!

 

Here are our Top 10 most bizarre Christmas traditions in the world

1. The pickle on the Christmas tree – USA

In America, it is a tradition to hide a pickle (the “Christmas Pickle”) among the branches on the Christmas tree. Instead of using a real cucumber, traditional Christmas tree ornaments made of glass are used and passed on from generation to generation. On Christmas morning, whichever child in the family is the first to spot the green gherkin in the dark green thicket gets an additional gift. According to American legend, this custom has German roots – in Germany itself, however, is is completely unknown …

 
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The pickle on the Christmas tree. Typically German? Photo: flickr, Robin Zebrowski.

 

2. Trade a shoe for a husband – Czech Republic

Sometimes you have to make great sacrifices in order to lead a happy life. In the Czech Republic, therefore, every year probably thousands of single women throw one of their high heeled shoes over their shoulders toward their house doors. If the shoe lands with the heel pointing toward the house, the woman can try their luck again the following year. But if the toe is pointing toward the house, she can start packing, because in that case the lucky woman will soon be getting married and will be leaving the house. Alternatively, she can also shake an elderberry bush and hope that the neighbor’s dog barks. This allegedly causes miracles in the acquiring a partner. Read More »

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A culinary journey – recipe tips for cold days

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What is the best cuisine in the world? Choosing one is difficult: the exotic Thai cuisine, the renowned French cuisine, Mediterranean, Peruvian, Indian, Chinese. . . . One thing is for sure, there’s something for every taste! Finally, a person’s taste can range from vegetarian to meat-heavy, traditional to innovative/experimental. Sometimes one wants hearty home cooking and sometimes one wants fresh raw vegetables.

 
Mexikanische Guacamole.

Mexican Guacamole.

 

New styles of cooking sprout like mushrooms: before most people can even try the minimalist molecular gastronomy, elsewhere the “Paleo” trend based on the archaic diet of Stone Age man pops up. When you are traveling, it is worth taking a closer look at the style, the fresh and local ingredients, and the traditional feel of the local cuisine. We have chosen some recipes to give you some culinary inspiration from the Mediterranean, Mexican, and Japanese cuisines! Read More »

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Great transportation tips to save some money

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Blog post freely translated from an article by French tripwolf author Marianne Morizot.

 

Whether you’re traveling for months around the globe or zipping off for a cozy weekend in Rome, traveling has a tendency to empty the wallet and is rarely straightforward. Thinking on your feet, insider tips, special offers . . . voilà, a selection of our tips and tricks to help you stay within your travel budget — and spare your nerves.

 
Photo: flickr, Santiago S.V.

Photo: flickr, Santiago S.V.

 

- Buy Cheaper Airline Tickets

Of course the famous comparison portals are unavoidable. Not everyone knows, however, that tickets for overnight flights are often much cheaper than tickets during the daytime. Another hot tip: work in a small (or large) detour and change the destination – the fares often differ drastically. Read More »

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10 original gift ideas for travelers

Filed under Christmas, Gear and Gadgets, Top Tens
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Disclosure: All products and shops mentioned in this article have not been included in the list because of a sponsorship; rather, all of them correspond to our personal recommendations!

 

Christmas is around the corner, and along with it a great opportunity to you’re your friends practical and innovative gadgets that will simply have to come along on their next trip! Here are ten suggestions.

 

1. Travel alarm

Yeah, we know: nowadays, who needs a battery-powered alarm clock, the cell phone can do that, right? True, except the phone battery is low, the charger is nowhere to be found, all of the sockets are occupied anyway, and oh, the new travel adapter is at home in the drawer, unopened….

 
Photo: flickr, joerpe.

Photo: flickr, joerpe.

 

2. Travel immersion heater

Fill your cup with water, put the immersion heater in, wait – the hot water for your 5 o’clock tea is done! Read More »

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5 great alternative winter sports

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Overcrowded slopes, skis constantly getting crossed up, or trauma from that skiing course in kindergarten – there are plenty of reasons not to like skiing. But for anyone who would still like to swish around through the snow and ice, we have found five alternative winter sports for you!

 

1. Ice Climbing

Climbing up a frozen waterfall: Granted, it’s not a sport for the faint of heart. But the person who dares will probably experience a unique combination of sport and nature. As a paradise for ice climbing in Europe, Norway, due to the low temperatures, has countless frozen waterfalls because freeze has many different climbing routes of varying difficulties for interested parties.

 

Foto: flickr, gego2605

Foto: flickr, gego2605

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10 of the most impressive bridges in the world

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They allow us to cross rivers safely and without getting wet, to pass from one district to another, or even to enter a different country altogether. But in many cases they not only fulfill such practical purposes but are architectural masterworks in their own right. Let’s pause for a moment, and marvel at ten of the most impressive bridges worldwide that simply take our breath away.

1. The Helix Bridge in Singapore

Photo: flickr, Jeffery Wong.

Opened as recently as in 2012, the Helix Bridge in Singapore is the first and youngest on our list. Visitors can cross the 918ft (280m) long bridge and gaze at Singapore’s skyline from five different viewing platforms.
The design of the bridge is based on the strands of human DNA – the Double Helix Model – which is most obvious at night, when the bridge is radiant in different colors. This is when you will also see the illuminated letters c, g, a, and t, the initals representing the components of human DNA (cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine). Read More »

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5 gigantic monuments

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They will stand firmly in place for many decades, perhaps centuries, and turn the people in their shadows into awesome dwarves. Apparently the only thing that is life-size about the following five oversized and imposing monuments is their creators – monuments given the difficult task of anchoring in global memory heroes, milestones, and ideologies.

Now we can admit it: these unique items chosen by us do not necessarily fall in the same size range. In one way or another, however, each stands out, each tells a special story of its people.

 

1. The Equestrian Statue of Genghis Khan

At about 131 feet high, the statue of Genghis Khan (including the nearly 33-foot-high edifice on which it stands) is the largest equestrian statue in the world. It was built a few miles southeast of the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator. At this location the commander Genghis Khan, according to legend, found the golden whip that his steely likeness proudly holds in his hand.

 
Photo: flickr, Michel Heininger.

Photo: flickr, Michel Heininger.

 
Photo: flickr, Ludovic Hirlimann.

Photo: flickr, Ludovic Hirlimann.

 

At about 98 feet above the ground, you can enjoy a breathtaking view from the head of Genghis Khan’s horse, and without too much trouble, as an elevator and a staircase will lead visitors to the viewing platform.

The Great Khan was immortalized for good reason: it was he who conquered vast territories in Asia and finally united the Mongol Empire. You may have heard that according to genetic research, one out of every 200 men in the world shares genetic material with the legendary womanizer. Read More »

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5 spooky places in Europe

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Apropos, through 10/31 you can get the whole Europe Package for only 19.99 EUR in the tripwolf app!

 

Halloween is knocking on the door, and in a few days you will be confronted by witches, vampires, and killer clowns. Doesn’t matter whether your costume is a white sheet with holes cut out or Freddy Krueger with an elaborate mask — you can experience the liberating pleasure of being terrified (well, a least a little).

The following places in Europe do not restrict their goosebumps potential to Halloween but will run a shiver down your spine all year long.

 

1. The Sanatorium of Beelitz (Brandenburg, Germany)

More than 100 years ago, the construction of military hospital in Beelitz began; until the fall of the Iron Curtain pulmonary tuberculosis patients stayed here. The buildings were also used as a military hospital during both world wars. Despite the advancing decay of the complex (or perhaps because of it), the sanatorium today has the typical morbid atmosphere that is the norm for abandoned hospitals and institutions and thus attracts many adventurers for guided tours. Visitors often suppose to hear echoing throughout the halls the cries of the patients who had to undergo operations without anesthesia, due to a shortness of medication.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/happy_peanuts/6379682475

Photo: flickr, Thomas Geersing

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How to make the most of a rainy trip

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Guest article by Elisabeth Magesacher (translated from German).

 

Wet socks, cabin fever, not to mention the vain battle you and your umbrella fight against the wind in order not to take off like Mary Poppins. Rain during your vacation can really give you the blues. But that’s no reason to give up hope! Here are five recommendations on how to make the most of a rainy trip.

 
Rainy New York - a special play of colors. Photo: flickr, Sarah Alaica.

Rainy New York – a special play of colors. Photo: flickr, Sarah Alaica.

 

1. Try something new

Rain during your trip is the ideal opportunity to start a new activity, maybe something you normally wouldn’t have considered doing. For example: visit a cooking class! Cooking classes are the ideal way of getting to know a country through its culinary culture, and you can meet like-minded travelers and learn new recipes to impress future dinner guests with back at home. And as you can feast on your homemade exotic meal at the end of class, you save yourself looking for an restaurant for the eveneing in the rain! Read More »

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5 surreal underwater places

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Sightseeing usually takes place on the surface, on solid ground and with sufficient air to breathe. However, those who have the license and the know-how to breathe compressed air out of a scuba tank have a completely different range of possibilities when it comes to choosing sights to visit. Under the surface of the water everything appears in a different light – the following 5 underwater sites will not only fascinate those who scuba dive and snorkel, but everyone who loves unusual places!

 

1. Chuuk Lagoon (Micronesia)

Lying as it does midway between Hawaii and the Philippines, the Chuuk Atoll has its strategic location to thank for the fact that it has been passed around among different nations throughout history. Here, the Japanese built a well-equipped marine base with a massive fleet that was bombed in 1944 with the loss of a large number of aircraft and ships to the sea. The ghost ships and planes now lie about 20 meters under the surface in the Micronesian Pacific and have created an eerie and unusual underwater world. Wreck divers can experience history preserved there and explore the remains surrounded by rich marine life.

 

Photo: flickr, mattkieffer

Sunken wrecks at the Chuuk Atoll. Photo: flickr, mattkieffer

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