The BBC has just published a definitive list of Britain’s weirdest attractions; from the Cumberland Pencil Museum, where you can see the world’s largest working colouring pencil, to the Basildon Heritage Trail, said by the unkind to be an oxymoron.
If readers are going to laugh at the eccentricity of the British, we should have the right to point the amused to equally strange attractions overseas so, if you think you've seen and done it all, try some of these…
Yunessun Spa Resort, Japan
Many of us like the time to unwind at a spa resort and sooth away our cares in healing hot spring water whilst awaiting a massage. Yunessun is slightly different and ever so slightly tacky. Instead of healing natural waters, you get the chance to choose your favourite soak. In one pool, a huge wine bottle drizzles red or white wine of your choice into the pool as you relax or swim about. The spa says that the natural chemicals in the wine cleanse the skin and the acidity tones it, but be warned, those who bathe in the red, come out looking like they’ve spent a day in the sun, basted in cooking oil. For the interested, you can have tea served ON you, with or without milk, or go for an instant tan with a black or white coffee soak.
Two real creepy ones next...
Isla de Las Munecas
In Mexico, the Isla de Las Munecas is heavily wooded but amongst the trees are found hundreds of mutilated dolls, some decapitated or with limbs missing and after decades hanging in the branches, the dolls are starting to decompose, adding to the gruesome scene. Began as a memorial to a child who drowned off the island, today it’s more often visited at dusk or a night by thrill seekers. For a preview, take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap5AXNjnDEE.
Closer to home, Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic began life simply as a resting place for the skeletons of tens of thousands of the city’s dead but a creative woodcarver from the 19th century, short on his more usual media, decided to use some of the bones for the furnishings and now, today, you can marvel at bone chandeliers, coats of arms, candlesticks, cornices and more.
For gross-out days out, Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo, is one of the stickiest and smelliest attractions in California. Over several decades, the alley has been the final resting place of the chewed and sometimes unchewed sticky treat of the citizens who have added their waste to the wall. Some call it art, some call it graffiti but it’s certainly one of the planet’s more unusual attractions.
Paris Sewer Museum
Finally, nearly on our doorstep, is the Paris Sewer Museum, dedicated to the removal of the city’s waste. Whilst yucky but fascinating – and just a little smelly, its main focus is in its inspiration for Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.
So, if you’re bored with beaches, cheesed off by castles or glaze over in galleries, try some of these more eclectic attractions, if that is what the can be called!