Extreme Sports Destinations

Have you made plans for summer vacation yet? I've got some ideas for an adventure you'll remember for the rest of your life! Or maybe you can just enjoy them on the net. Warning: for some of these, you must be well-trained. For others, you'll have to at least be in good shape.

Hang Gliding -Rio de Janeiro

Hang glide Rio de Janeiro! The combination of mountains, ocean, and city make for an awesome experience! See some pictures here.

Biking -China
A 15 day bike tour starting at Guilin, Guangxi will take you to altitudes of 2,000 feet and through many scenic and historical rural villages. This tour is rated one of National Geographic's best picks.

The vacations only get wilder, after the jump.

Cliff Diving -Brontallo, Switzerland

In Brontallo, Ticino in Switzerland, A 26 meter dive gives you time to show off your best moves. Or you could just watch! The Cliff Diving World Tour takes place there every July. See pictures here.

Scuba Diving -Andrea Doria
419-doria_2.jpgFor the best scuba diving vacation, The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world, almost 2,000 kilometers long, off the coast of Queensland in Australia. But for the most challenging dive, the wreck of the Andrea Doria off Cape Cod has been referred to as the Mount Everest of diving. At 240 feet deep, it is well below the recommended limit for scuba divers. 14 people have died attempting such a dive. Divers have retreived all kinds of treasures from the ship. The ship sank in 1956, and recent reports are that the hull is collapsing and the wreck is not as fascinating as it was in the past.

Surfing -Cortes Bank

Catch the big ones 100 miles out of San Diego at Cortes Bank. Here, a 17-mile underwater mountain range comes to a head 30 feet below the surface at a spot called Bishop Rock. The waves there are so big they show up on radar. Waves can range up to 60-70 feet when conditions are right. This surfing trip isn't easy. You have to get there by helicopter or boat, and the waves move so fast, surfers must be towed into position with jet skis. Cortes Bank was featured in the movie Step Into Liquid.

BASE Jumping -Norway


Not only is BASE jumping still legal in Norway, it also has the best landscape for it.

Snowboarding -Nepal
435_snowboarding.jpgSnowboarding in Nepal is for only the hardiest adventurers, but the thrills are huge. The first ever snowboard descent from Mount Everest was in 2001, and the industry has grown ever since. Snowboarding in Antarctica is pretty awesome, too! Find more destinations at the World Snowboard Guide.

Whitewater Rafting/Kayaking -Zambezi River

The Zambezi River on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe offers not only a variety of river conditions, but African wildlife and amazing scenery, including Victoria Falls.

Rock Climbing -Joshua Tree
435_rockclimb.jpgJoshua Tree National Park in California is very popular with rock climbers. Even with 4,500 established routes, crowding can cause problems during high vacation periods. See a ton of photos at Joshua Tree Climb.

Gator Wrestling -Mosca, Colorado
435_gator.jpgThe premiere -or possibly only- alligator wrestling academy is in Mosca, Colorado. Colorado Gators will begin classes for 2007 Memorial Day Weekend. Yes, you have to wrestle different sized alligators to advance to the next levels. You might even qualify for the Alligator Rodeo!

This was a thrill to put together. Now I'm exhausted. Maybe I can find a nice, relaxing isle of tranquility to read about 'til I recover.

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Courtesy of Airpod
New Nap Pods—Complete with Alarm Clocks and Netflix—Set for A Trial Run at Airports This Summer
Courtesy of Airpod
Courtesy of Airpod

Sleepy travelers in Europe can soon be on the lookout for Airpods, self-contained capsules designed to help passengers relax in privacy.

For 15 euros per hour (roughly $18), travelers can charge their phones, store their luggage, and, yes, nap on a chair that reclines into a bed. The Airpods are also equipped with television screens and free streaming on Netflix, Travel + Leisure reports.

To keep things clean between uses, each Airpod uses LED lights to disinfect the space and a scent machine to manage any unfortunate odors.

The company's two Slovenian founders, Mihael Meolic and Grega Mrgole, expect to conduct a trial run of the service by placing 10 pods in EU airports late this summer. By early 2019, they expect to have 100 Airpods installed in airports around the world, though the company hasn't yet announced which EU airports will receive the first Airpods.

The company eventually plans to introduce an element of cryptocurrency to its service. Once 1000 Airpods are installed (which the company expects to happen by late 2019), customers can opt in to a "Partnership Program." With this program, participants can become sponsors of one specific Airpod unit and earn up to 80 percent of the profits it generates each month. The company's cryptocurrency—called an APOD token—is already on sale through the Airpod website.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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iStock
8 City Maps Rendered in the Styles of Famous Artists
iStock
iStock

Vincent van Gogh once famously said, "I dream my painting and I paint my dream." If at some point in his career he had dreamed up a map of Amsterdam, where he lived and derived much of his inspiration from, it may have looked something like the one below.

In a blog post from March, Credit Card Compare selected eight cities around the world and illustrated what their maps might look like if they had been created by the famous artists who have roots there.

The Andy Warhol-inspired map of New York City, for instance, is awash with primary colors, and the icons representing notable landmarks are rendered in his famous Pop Art style. Although Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, he spent much of his career working in the Big Apple at his studio, dubbed "The Factory."

Another iconic and irreverent artist, Banksy, is the inspiration behind London's map. Considering that the public doesn't know Banksy's true identity, he remains something of an enigma. His street art, however, is recognizable around the world and commands exorbitant prices at auction. In an ode to urban art, clouds of spray paint and icons that are a bit rough around the edges adorn this map of England's capital.

For more art-inspired city maps, scroll through the photos below.

[h/t Credit Card Compare]

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