A failed housing development, Park Güell is now a public garden showcasing Gaudi’s, um, interesting architectural taste (the man was not afraid of color and, apparently, hated right angles). Fun fact: A whole bunch of wild parrots live in the park.
Ever seen a 300lb bluefin tuna quartered on an industrial bandsaw? All that and then some at the world’s largest fish market, where a chaotic scene of buyers, sellers, and brokers haggle over a whole bunch of dead fish.
You’ll put up with the sometimes unpleasant smell, occasional flooding, inconsistent garbage collection, rude gondoliers, hordes of tourists, and overpriced everything because the canals of Venice simply cannot be beat. Someday you’ll be able to tell your great-grandkids about the mythical city of Venice and its wondrous canals that long ago slipped back into the sea.
The spiritual home of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism, Koyasan is a perfectly preserved town located on a mountaintop outside Osaka that somehow manages to keep out modern Japan. Visitors can stay at Buddhist temples that double as guesthouses.
Get up early to stroll the streets at daybreak before a fresh beignet at Cafe Du Monde, or stay out late drinking Abitas at Lafitte’s — the French Quarter is an amazing experience 24 hours a day. Just remember: Bourbon Street is one of many, so explore them all.
Every year, 11 cubic kilometers (which is to say a lot) of water floods the inland delta, bringing sweet relief to migratory herds across this arid region…and to predators looking for well-hydrated prey.
Less than an hour outside Reykjavík, the Blue Lagoon’s mineral-rich geothermal waters delight bathers and cure psoriasis. Water temperature averages about 100 degrees Fahrenheit after leaving the nearby geothermal plant where it generates clean energy.