Wacky Travel News

Fake Sputnik Capsule – Berlin

Wacky Travel News that’s out of this world – (as is the totally inappropriate commentary that follows.

March 13, 2018 Edition

There’s a ride at Disney that will never shut down, no matter what — here’s why
Lia Ryerson, INSIDER

Disney is full of magical foods everyone should try in their lifetime, but one of its biggest allures is its rides. While some fan-favorites are bound to stick around forever — we don’t foresee the Haunted Mansion going anywhere soon — outdated attractions are eventually put to rest in order to pave the way for newer entertainment. Ellen’s Energy Adventure is one such case — the ride debuted at Disney World’s Epcot’s Universe of Energy in 1996 but permanently shut down in 2017.

But according to INSIDER’s own Micaela Garber, an Orlando native who worked at Disney World for a summer, there’s one ride that won’t ever permanently leave the Disney family. No, it’s not Splash Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean: it’s the somewhat sleepy Carousel of Progress, located in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland.

Unlike Disney World’s more flashy rides, The Carousel of Progress is a 21-minute, four-act play about how industrial advances over the past century have shaped everyday American life. The ride is indisputably outdated — while it begins in the 1900s, its final act takes place in a “present” that was last updated in 1994.

Walt Disney himself personally conceived of the nostalgic ride for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and rumor has it that it was his favorite ride. It is because of the carousel’s intimate connection with the Man Behind the Mouse that many believe it will never permanently shut down.

Perhaps sometime in the future the carousel will be updated to include a more inclusive and advanced vision of today’s America. Until then, the Tomorrowland ride will ironically serve as a relic to the past.

WOEFULTOURIST says, “That’s prgress for you.”


Tar cakes tires, slows commute on New Jersey highway
Feb 20, 2018

OLDMANS TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — It was a sticky commute on a New Jersey interstate after tar coated the highway.

State Trooper Alejandro Goez says the tar was in the center and right southbound lanes along a 5-mile (8-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 295 in Salem County just after 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The trooper says about 20 vehicles reported going over the tar between mileposts 13 and 8. The tar stuck to their tires and wheels.

There were no accidents or injuries. Workers scraped the tar from the road.

State Police are trying to determine where the tar came from.

WOEFULTOURIST says, “Louie, Louie, how many times do I have to tell you, ‘Tar goes on the roof, asphalt goes on the highway.'”



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Jeanneke Pis – Brussels




There is no accounting for taste which Is why accountants make bad chefs.

As for WOEFULTOURIST, he accounts for very little.

In terms of taste, he prefers the salty sweet, to the soury pepper.

But that’s his opinion and he’s gonna stick with it until someone shames him into accepting some other contemporary value since lacking in conviction is a subject he knows well enough to teach.

When trying to understand what passes for culture in one culture, or doing the gotta do stuff in gotta see places WOEFULTOURIST defers to the masses.

After all, who is he to tell anyone that their idea of what’s important really isn’t.

Or that confusing tacky with ‘kitschy’ is not just a problem affecting bored affluent students who feel that the world owes them something just for existing.

No, WOEFULTOURIST will never give his honest opinion regarding such things.

Mainly because his value system has been skewed too much my media types who change what he is supposed to “be into” and find especially important, more than they change their hair stylings.

So he goes with the flow and inevitably finds himself washed up on some shoreline with sand in his undershorts causing chafing that you have to experience to believe.

This is his round about way of explaining that when he went to Brussels he neither scowled, nor snorted in the negative when finding out that the number one tourist attraction in Brussels is a statue.

A very small statue.

That of a small boy urinating.

The statue being called, Mannekin Pis.

The accepted translation being, “Little Man Peeing”.

WOEFULTOURIST did not rant and rave when finding out that not only do people go out of their way to visit the statue, they go out of their way to find asian tourists to take their pictures with the little pisser since everyone knows they make the best photographers.

Instead, he just went with the flow and found himself hustled into a tourist bar where he gladly consumed a locally brewed beverage until he could get his bearings and head to the local bar he really wanted to drink in.

Which was where he discovered that hell hath no fury like an artist scorned.

Or that being a copycat is the highest form of flattery.

Because at that particular watering hole WOEFULTOURIST was informed by a neighboring sot that Mannekin Pis had a sister.

Well, not a real sister since statues can’t really breed.

Too much friction.

Rather, that the little boy pissing statue had a female version only half a beer away.

According to the drunk, after the success of the little pisser, a local artist decided that he needed a little sister to piss with and so he created just such a statue.

Her name, Jeanneke Pis.

Which translated means “little man pissing’s little sister – also pissing.”

Armed with this knowledge and with a second beer fortifying his adventurous spirit, WOEFULTOURIST set out to see, what in his mind should be the second most visited tourist attraction in Brussels.

The Jeanneken Pis.

So he set out to find her.

And after a few missteps, finally succeeded in his quest.

Because there in all her small glory, was the little pisser, herself.

Jeanneke Pis.

Although, in WOEFULTOURIST’S half focused eye, something appeared to be wrong.

In the first case, there were no other tourists present to pay homage to the little statue.

No little chocolate bars were laid at her feet.

No brocaded costumes were left to adorn her.

Actually, if the directions which WOEFULTOURIST had been given didn’t specifically tell him that the statue was directly across from a particular bar, he wouldn’t have even been able to find it.

Because unlike her “brother” this “sister” statue was situated in a poorly traveled alleyway.

And she sat (squatted to be precise), in a recess in the wall diagonally across from the entrance to the bar.

But most intriguing to WOEFULTOURIST was the fact that the statue of the female little pisser had a wrought iron shield protecting her from the dangerous, drunken public.

Now WOEFULTOURIST could have gotten on his soapbox to decry the seemingly sexist attitudes of the local Brusselites regarding statues of small children going to the bathroom.

Or the Victorian attitudes of the same residents who embraced (not literally of course, that would be kind of creepy) the little boy pisser and gave him all manner of wares and wiles to live out his life in comfort while living out in the open where all of his people could pay him homage;  while his sister lived in hiding, down some lonely alleyway, hidden behind bars because she couldn’t take care of herself and needed additional protection during her bathroom exercises.

But he did not.

He simply made a note of it, put it somewhere where he wouldn’t forget it, then proceeded to do just that.

Because that’s what happens when you go with the flow.

Which is why, when another neighborly drunk told him there was yet a third statue, that of a little dog taking a piss, WOEFULTOURIST nodded his head like he really cared, even though he really didn’t.

Because if the little girl pissing statue was stuck behind iron bars, he didn’t even want to imagine what sort of devilish prison the little dog was confined to.

So he didn’t.

And all was good with the world until his glass was empty and it was time to stagger back to his hotel.

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Experience It

The largest section of the Berlin Wall that is still standing is by the river, is covered with murals  and is known as the Eastside Gallery

The largest section of the Berlin Wall that is still standing is by the river, covered with murals and is known as the Eastside Gallery


Sometimes you just can’t explain things, you need to personally experience them to fully understand them.

Like your first kiss (not the luscious chocolate candy – though they’re kind of tough to describe, too).

Like the first time you “lost your lunch” on a roller coaster ride.

Like the first time you saw a shooting star (and he’s not talking John Wayne, or Clint Eastwood – though they’re kind of tough if one were to describe them).

WOEFULTOURIST knows from experience, that experience helps.

It also helps if the person one is talking to has similar experiences so that you don’t have to get into all sorts of heavy details about things.  Instead, you can simply state the thing,  give each other a knowing look and move on to other really, really unimportant things in the whole scheme of life to mention and repeat the process.

To heck with trial and error as a method of attaining knowledge about things.

It’s more about experience.

Then failure.

Then learning not to repeat the experience in the same way so as to avoid failure.

Which by some strange coincidence is what trial and error is about.

At least he thinks so.

If so, never mind the previous statement.

If not, continue onward pleased with the experience.

Because WOEFULTOURIST knows from experience that you can’t really understand something like the Berlin Wall unless you’ve experienced it.

And you better get there soon because most of it is gone, or become an outdoor art gallery for you to experience.

You can’t fully know what it’s like to stand and look up to Big Ben in London, unless you’ve actually been there to experience it.

And the fact that the time may not be exact to the minute is of secondary importance since time after all is rather fickle.

More so in jolly old England.

So don’t spend all of it (time) reading magazines, checking out websites (although the wonderful www.woefultourist.com deserves a hefty amount of it – time that is), or watching all of those wonderful travel shows on cable that take you to places you yourself can never experience unless you’ve recently won the lottery.

WOEFULTOURIST will reiterate for those still listening.

Experience it!

You’ll be glad you did.

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Wacky Travel News

Fake Sputnik Capsule – Berlin

Wacky Travel News that’s out of this world – (as is the totally inappropriate commentary that follows.

March 08, 2018 Edition

Feathers fly as chicken shortage shuts KFCs across Britain
Associated Press / February 20, 2018

LONDON (AP) — Fast-food fans were in a flutter Monday after most of the 900 KFC outlets in the U.K. and Ireland were forced to close because of a shortage of chicken.

The company apologized to customers, blaming “teething problems” with its new delivery partner, DHL.

KFC first apologized for the problems on Saturday. In an update Monday, it listed almost 300 stores as open, but did not say when the rest might join them.

It said those branches that remained open were operating a limited menu or shortened hours.

“We know that this might have inconvenienced some of you over the last few days, and disappointed you when you wanted your fried chicken fix — we’re really sorry about that,” the company said in a statement.

DHL, which recently took over the KFC contract from Bidvest Logistics, said that “due to operational issues a number of deliveries in recent days have been incomplete or delayed.”

When DHL announced in October that it had won the KFC contract alongside logistics firm QSL, it promised to “re-write the rule book and set a new benchmark for delivering fresh products to KFC in a sustainable way.”

WOEFULTOURIST says, “A Burger King spokesperson said the public need not worry about any hamburger shortage at any of their restaurants and when in Britain, they will always be able to have it their way.”


Every curling stone ever used in the Olympics has come from one tiny island
Tanya Ray Fox,Yahoo Sports Sun, Feb 18 2018

Every four years, one winter sport in particular manages to capture the international zeitgeist for the briefest of moments before disappearing into obscurity until the next Olympics. Nestled in between events that require athletes to hurl themselves from the tops of mountains and launch themselves into the air with blades attached to their feet, curling functions as a mental reprieve for those of us who are more athletically challenged.

There’s something wonderfully ordinary about men and women of varying levels of fitness playing glorified shuffleboard on ice. However, as comparatively undemanding as curling is on the body, the same cannot be said for the curling stones themselves.

It turns out there are very few types of rock in existence that can withstand the stress of gliding along melting ice and smashing into more rock. Most granite is too quartz-rich for it to withstand the impact under curling conditions, which is what makes the granite found on a tiny deserted island off the Scottish coast so special.

Ailsa Craig is 10 miles west of mainland Scotland – and while it was once inhabited by Catholics who sought refuge during the Scottish Reformation, it is now an unpopulated safe haven for various birds and serves as the world’s only source for the rare granite that is used to make Olympic curling stones.

Also known as “Paddy’s milestone,” the island is actually a volcanic plug – a literal rock formed over an extinct volcano. And it turns out that the unique makeup of the rock left behind is uniquely suited for making curling stones.

There are three subgroups of the water-resistant microgranite that can can be mined from the island: Ailsa Craig Common Green Granite, Ailsa Craig Blue Hone Granite and Ailsa Craig Red Hone Granite.

Kays of Scotland has been making curling stones since 1851 and has the exclusive rights to the Ailsa Craig granite, which is why it has provided the stones for every single competitions at the Olympic Winter Games. About every 10 years, Kays extracts several thousand tons of the distinctive blue and green varieties. The blue hone, whose tight molecular structure makes it impervious to water and melting ice, is used for the insert and running band of the stone, while the green granite makes up the body.

WOEFULTOURIST says, “Which is why Kays of Scotland has so many curling afficianados visiting that fine little isle.”


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European Bathrooms


“Thin” full sized kitchen, Europe. Imagine what the bathroom looks like.

Recently WOEFULTOURIST received an email from a faithful viewer commenting on the state of bathrooms in Europe.

“Hey, WOEFUL! What’s with the pint sized bathrooms in Europe.  I’m a decent sized guy and I could barely fit into the shower stall. I don’t want to say that it was small, but the door was in two pieces, like one of those accordion closet doors we have in the States.  Only it’s not made from that luau wood, but clear plastic, if you get my drift. It’s almost like you have to be a contortionist just to use the facilities.  What gives?”

Signed, Woeful-wannabee.

To Woeful-wannabee and all the other wannabees out there, thanks for the question.

While you recognized the important influence carnival and circus performers have had on architectural design in contemporary Europe, WOEFULTOURIST believes that you have overlooked an even more influential group when it comes to bathroom design and construction.

Namely high end fashion designers.

While most of us in America view fashion as no more complicated a chore than deciding which clean shirt to wear with your favorite pair of blue jeans, in Europe, fashion is much more intrinsic to their entire way of life.

It’s not just about the clothes you wear.  It’s also about the kind of food that you eat. Where you eat it.  When you eat it.  And who you eat it with.

It’s also the soap, shampoo, deodorant and cologne/perfume you use in order to smell the way the Fashion Police tell you is the way you are supposed to smell.

It’s about the car you drive.  As well as the music they tell you to listen to while you are driving said vehicle.

It even extends to the art you are allowed to hang on the wall this fashion season, assuming that hanging art on the wall is considered to be in fashion, this fashion season.

It has reached the point, in Europe, where fashion has become almost an addiction among certain non-Celtic peoples, to say nothing of the indigenous gypsy population .

In America we understand that “Fat’s where it’s at.”

However, in Europe, they follow the closely held view that “Thin is always in.”

Therein lies the crux of the reason why European bathrooms often appear to be designed to accommodate only short, very flexible, skinny people.

Fashion designers have become so influential in Europe that their influence is felt not just in the kitchen and bedroom, anymore, but now it impacts every room, including the bathroom.

In America we like to stretch out, relax and take our time in our bathrooms.

In Europe bathrooms are fashionably functional.  Get in, do your business and get out.  (My, that’s a lovely skinny faucet!  And the faux chrome is just dazzling!)

Since the focus is on thin there is no need for European bathrooms to be big.  After all, thin people take up less space than big people.  Scientific studies have shown this to be true time and time again.

Additionally, the smaller and less hospitable their bathrooms are, the less time Europeans will feel a need to spend time in there and the more time they will have to spend fasting in order to be thin, exercising to stay thin, or spending money on shopping for outfits that they think will make them look thin.

Thin(k) of all the possibilities.

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