Best Adventure Travel Bet of 2009

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THE travel experience of 2009, I humbly propose, is the Total Solar Eclipse on 22 July. What makes it so irresistible? Totality is, at its maximum, six minutes 39 seconds. That’s just phenomenally long. There won’t be another totality this long during the lifetime of anyone who reads this.

The eclipse path, according to NASA, “begins in India and crosses through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and China.
After leaving mainland Asia, the path crosses Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and curves southeast through the Pacific Ocean.”

NASA has a fabulous resource. And Fred Espenak, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space
Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is your guy for all things eclipse, at MrEclipse.com. You can immerse yourself there until you realize you really ought to get back to work.

Some agents, a map and practical advice, after the jump.

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Lists: Ugliest, Worst, Last

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A few lists we've been meaning to post:

The World's Top 10 Ugliest Buildings from VirtualTourist

10 of the Most Unreliable Airlines from ProTraveller

10 Fascinating Last Pictures from ListVerse

The building in this photo may not have started out as one of the ugliest, but you wouldn't much want to hang out there when this photo was taken.

The Bosnian War took place between March 1992 and November, 1995. We visited, and took this photo, in November, 1997. It's the former parliament building in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

There are more photos of Sarajevo in the Former Yugoslavia Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.

Travel to Places That Scare You

We've written frequently in the past about challenging travel destinations (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). Here, though you wouldn't know it from the photo, is one of the more dangerous, or at least formerly fear-inducing, of them all.

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Photo from the New York Times.

At first glance, where do you think this might be, maybe a planned community somewhere in the midwest? Could have been, except that mosque in the distance rules that out. Okay then, modern Muslim country… how about a planned community on the edge of the desert outside of Amman, Jordan? Maybe a development somewhere around the new airport for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?

Take a guess, and then after the jump  see a "before" picture of the same place.

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