Well well well you Perceptive Travel readers...your reading tastes seem to be rather dark and mysterious. We like that about you.
Last month marked the end of our 10th year of publication. While many magazines and travel websites have come and gone, we've continued to provide a forum for some of the best travel stories on the internet, month after month. Sometimes that means looking at the dark side of a destination, or the negatives that come with tourism on a grand scale. Sometimes it means shining a light on something that seems absurd, or just a place that has been ignored for no good reason.
Since the oldest stories have an advantage just because of their age, we've split this into two parts. Here on page one you'll find links to the most popular stories from the past three years. Then on page two are the most popular Perceptive Travel stories of all time.
This first rundown has stories about zipline disasters, brain-damaged mountain men, and glimmers of hope in an evolving dictatorship. But you also liked travel tales about the Yosemite, Italian marble, and an unsolved mystery in Micronesia. On page 2 it gets stranger...
1) Finding Italian Marble at Its Source: Carrara, Italy by Debi Goodwin
A writer fascinated by rocks investigates a place where slabs of white marble come down from the mountains in Italy, going back to the days of Michelangelo.
2) Trail Magic on the Way of Saint James by Beebe Bahrami
Walking the Camino in Spain means stepping into synchronicity, strange coincidences, and other forms of magic.
3)Zipping into Big Trouble by Michael Buckley
In the Americas the act of ziplining across a canyon sounds more dangerous than it really is. Someone zipping to his room for the night finds that new operations in Southeast Asia might require a bit more trepidation.
4) Micronesia's Mysterious Nan Madol by Brad Olsen
Although dozens of ancient sites exist on various islands in the Pacific Ocean, a virtually uninhabited island off the main island of Pohnpei in Micronesia has to be one of the strangest sites found anywhere on Earth.
5) The Sultanate of Heavy Rock in Malaysia by Marco Ferrarese
Befriending the organizer of a well-hidden underground rock club in Penang, a curious traveler understands that sometimes globalization can be a good thing.
6) The Mountain Men Who Don't Exist in Kyrgyzstan by Kirsten Koza
Visiting a mountain lake that doesn't appear on their map of Kyrgyzstan, a group of campers encounters a group of threatening men with mysterious origins.
7) Hiking in Teddy Roosevelt's Footsteps in Yosemite by Chris Epting
In a turning point for nature preservation and national parks in the USA, President Teddy Roosevelt goes camping with John Muir in the grandeur of the American West.
8) On the Old Berlin Wall, a Kiss is not Just a Kiss by James Dorsey
A painting of a man-on-man smooch in Berlin may not be controversial now, but this one went up in 1979 and is between two world leaders.
9) Hanging Out with Homer Simpson in Florida by Tim Leffel
A dad who has been watching The Simpsons half his life revels in a celebration of all things Springfield.
10) Dueling Smiles in Muzzled Myanmar by Bruce Northam
There are various ways to interpret rumors, opinions, and truths about a country. You can tune into the media, listen to firsthand accounts from travelers, or simply walk across the landscape and ask questions. The Myanmar encountered on a traveler's fourth date in 25 years is finally ready to express itself without fear of consequence. Toll the Buddhist bells.