As October draws to a close, most of the Western world anticipates the last day of the month: Halloween. Historically a day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, in the modern world, Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season. Whether or not you partake in Halloween celebrations, this week we’re taking you on a tour of some of the most mysterious destinations in the world. These places, now rediscovered, lay forgotten for many centuries and their origins and purpose remain a mystery.
Known as Rapa Pui, this remote Polynesian island was once home to a complex and flourishing civilisation. The distinct moai heads, symbolic of the island, are an unsolved clue to the customs of the original settlers. The habitation of this island, over 3,000 kilometres away from the nearest continental landmass, has puzzled scholars for centuries. Today, you can speak to descendants of the original Rapa Pui who still live here and keep alive the culture of this island.
There are more of these mysterious geoglyphs being discovered every day, with little agreement on their exact purpose. We know for certain, however, the Nazca people created these formations sometime between 500 BCE and 500 CE. A visit to this area wouldn’t be complete without also stopping by the nearby Chauchilla Necropolis: an intact Nasca cemetery from around 500 CE. See astonishingly well-preserved mummies and learn about this ancient culture from a knowledgeable local guide.
Paro Takstang, or Tiger’s Nest Monastery, can only be reached by a hike up a well-maintained trail. Worry not, this hike is manageable for those of at least average fitness. The elegantly built monastery, balanced on the edge of a cliff, marks the spot where Guru Rinpoche meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, and three days in the 8th century. Climb up and enjoy a few moments of peace at this beautiful temple in the Himalayas.
Rising out of the choppy Celtic Sea, the twin-pinnacle crag of Greater Skellig is the site of a a huge 6th century Gaelic monastery. This island marks the westerly most point of Ireland, and in medieval times it was thought to be the end of the world. It makes one wonder, what exactly drove these monks to this inhospitable piece of rock in the middle of nowhere? The most recent hermit in residence at these islands was none other than Luke Skywalker. Travel here to experience the beautiful isolation of these islands yourself.
There are over 3,000 of these mysterious neolithic mehnir and dolmen, situated on the dramatic coastline of Brittany, France. Local legend has it that these millennia-old upright stones were once an invading Roman legion turned to stone by Merlin. Of course, these stones pre-date Arthur’s time by at least 4,000 years but the murkiness of their actual origins has prompted the people of each time period to attach a different significance to the neoliths. Travel to Brittany to appreciate the unique culture of this part of the world for yourself.
Ultimately, every destination has its own mysterious locations with inexplicable origin stories. Some of these places are more notorious than others but the fun part of travelling is being able to discover the more obscure locations, the ones that don’t regularly make the ‘Top Ten’ lists. Discover such local gems and more with Evaneos and follow this blog for frequent travel inspiration.
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