Check out these weird and wonderful streets where there’s no doubt you will find something that will inspire you when deciding on your next trip away.
Wonderful and dreamy locations are found all over the world – be it the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the countless national parks with their impressive plants and animals, or the endless beaches on the Indian Ocean. I think it’s also safe to say, that each of us has already seen and enjoyed quite a few of them. However, there are often also extraordinary, as well as obscure places in the world, which await us tourists. I have picked out seven of the craziest streets from a variety of locations around the world. Read on to find out where you can find them! :-)
The steepest street in the world
Anyone who finds it hard to climb a mountain with a low incline, should definitely not enter Baldwin Street in North East Valley, 3.5 kilometres away from Dunedin. The steepest road in the world awaits you in New Zealand, with a 35-degree gradient. It’s about 350 metres long – you’ll definitely break a sweat by the end of it. Motorists even have to drive up the road with their handbrakes at the ready. Due to the road’s immense gradient, it is often used as a venue for extraordinary events. For example, the ‘Baldwin Street Gutbuster’ takes place here every year in September. Participants have to run from one end of the street to the other (up and down), as quickly as possible. The record time for this lies just under 2 minutes – this has not been beaten since 1994.
In addition, a charity event has taken place here since 2002, where around 30,000 chocolate balls are rolled down the street. Another record was set up in January 2000 by Thomas Hugenschmidt, who rode his bike down the mountain-esque street, at a speed of 117.3 km/h.
The narrowest street in the world
A true tourist attraction awaits you in the centre of Baden-Württemberg, in the city of Reutlingen. Between Spreuerhofstraße 9. and the building next door, is the narrowest street in the world. It was even recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2007. It is only 31 cm wide, so not even a pram could not be pushed down there. After a city fire in 1726, where Reutlingen was almost completely destroyed, the narrow 3.8-metre-long passage emerged. However, the street threatens to become even narrower in the future. In 2007, house number 9 shifted even further towards the neighbouring building.
Spreuerhofstraße is the world’s narrowest street, found in Reutlingen, Germany. It ranges from 12.2 in to 19.7 in pic.twitter.com/nyrTLOZIRe
But if you want to stroll through the side street in the centre of Reutlingen, beware! If you are taller than 5’9, you’ll have to bend down so you do not bump your head! ;-)
The street with the hanging shoes
Are these shoes showing where the next drug dealer is? Is it just a high school prank? Or are they the old trainers from a customer in a skate shop, which the shopkeeper has hurled into the air? Numerous legends and questions arise when people see Norderstraße in the city of Flensburg. In the otherwise busy street, more than 150 pairs of shoes hang in the air, dangling from the contact wires of the former tram line. Shoefiti has emerged as a form of art, which is composed of the words shoe and graffiti. Since 2005, tourists have been coming to Flensburg in search of this street, specifically to get a cool picture of it. This subcultural attraction is now regarded as a hidden landmark. It is already more popular than the landmark of Flensburg: the Nordertor.
Sledging in Madeira?!
A sledge, two men in white clothing, known as Carreiros, and… off you go down the hill! If you love speed and adrenaline, you should definitely go on a trip to the Portuguese island of Madeira. In a vehicle, which is effectively a laundry basket with a wicker chair and runners underneath, you can ride from Monte down to Funchal on a four kilometre long, steep and winding track. The Carreiros push, steer, pull and brake, when operating the wicker sledge during the ride.
Tourists love this attraction on the island. The inventor of this unique sledge was a 19th-century British businessman, who was tired of running from Monte to Funchal every day. If you want to get to the top after your thrilling downhill dash, you can simply take the cableway up again.
The street full of dried-up chewing gum
Don’t you just hate it, when chewing gum gets stuck to something? But no word of a lie, in California, this is an attraction! The narrow Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo is plastered with sticky chewing gum and the layers are getting thicker every year… It’s not known as the most unappealing road in California for nothing! The surfaces of the walls are about 21 metres long and 4.6 metres high, and both the left and right walls are full of chewing gum. The fire brigade actually attempted to remove the sticky content from the walls. Although this backfired, as chewing gum was hurled everywhere.
It is supposedly students from the local high school here, who are responsible for starting this wall. It has now developed into a tourist attraction, which attracts onlookers from afar. But the city has apparently responded too late, to stop people from sticking gum on the wall. Now there are even gumball machines at the ends of the alley, so that the glued surfaces can grow even more. The Bubblegum Alley has grown so popular, that it has even been selected as a backdrop for some films and music videos.
A road with countless bird cages in the air
This time, there aren’t any shoes hanging in the air, but instead, exactly 120 bird cages. Although the cages are all empty, you get the feeling that birds are constantly chirping. And no, the people who walk through this small side street in Sydney, are not crazy! You will actually hear birds chirping, but this is in fact from a tape. The tweets even change according to the time of the day. In the evening and at night you’ll hear relaxing bird songs, and after sunrise, you’ll hear lively birds chirping.
Artist, Michael Thomas Hill, is responsible for the bird cages at Angel Place in the business district of Sydney. In 2009, he launched the ‘Forgotten Songs’ project, to remember the 50 birds that no longer live in the Australian capital, after Europeans came and transformed the settlement into a city.
Thailand: The most dangerous market street in the world
Imagine that you’re walking through the market in the city of Samut Songkhram, about 80 kilometres south-west of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Along the sides of this narrow street, you will see large stalls, offering delicious fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and much more. But then all of a sudden, the tradesmen leave their tables and stools, fold up their tarpaulins, and a signal sounds… This signal means that a train is coming! The Mae-Khlong-Mahachai Railway line runs directly through this narrow street.
But as you can see, when the train comes, it gets pretty darn tight! Almost the whole alley is filled by the passing orange train. There is only a gap of a few millimetres between the train and the goods, so the market in Thailand is regarded as the most dangerous in the world. However, tourists and sellers need not be afraid, as the train is very slow and you will have more than enough time to duck out of the way.
They were, the seven craziest, but definitely worth seeing, streets in the world. Do you want to visit these streets? Then release your inner wanderlust and start searching for some flights now!
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