Gadling + BootsnAll – Picks of the Week (5.22.09)

Welcome back. Here we are again for Gadling’s weekly roundup of links from the independent travel experts at BootsnAll. This week’s links are custom-made to get your wanderlust racing and put you in the right travel mindset. So pull that suitcase out of the closet and start clicking below:

  • Biggest Soccer Rivalries – soccer is a sport that tends to elicit groans of boredom from many Americans. But around the world it’s serious business. Rivalries like Spain’s Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona or Boca Juniors vs. River Plate in Argentina spark intense fan participation, raucous crowds and huge TV coverage. Jessica Spiegal has a list of some of the best rivalries, including teams in Egypt, Iran and England among others.
  • Weird World Heritage – the World Heritage Site program was established to conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to all of humanity. That said, Cherrye Moore points out that the program’s selections include quite a few picks off the beaten track, including the “Head-Smashed-in-Buffalo-Jump” in Alberta Canada (the Native Americans used to run buffaloes off the cliffs) or the Quseir Amra Castle in Jordan.
  • Bone Churches – European church builders seem to have an odd proclivity for building and decorating their structures with human bones. Often called ossuaries, these unique bone structures can be found in churches from Spain, to Italy and all the way to the Czech Republic. Whether you’re a Goth into the black arts or just interested in some unique cultural landmarks, Jessica Spiegal’s bone churches roundup is worth a look.
  • South American Subways – as Eileen Smith points out, Europe is not the only continent with a wealth of public transportation options. If you happen to be traveling around cities like Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Caracas, or Medellin, Colombia make sure to give them a try.
  • Amsterdam Amenities – let’s drop the stereotypes: Amsterdam has a lot more to offer than marijuana, Van Gogh museums and canals. The WhyGo Amsterdam blog has a roundup tips to know before you visit. Ever considered some Indonesian food for dinner? Or a visit to the world’s largest flower market? Have a look.

That’s it for this week’s BootsnAll Picks of the Week. Check back again next Friday for another roundup of great links from around the world.

Jesus’ Bones Tour

If you missed the press conference at the New York Public Library, where filmmaker James Cameron announced his new Discovery Channel movie, you might want to read up and do a little digging yourself.

If you hadn’t heard the hype, Cameron’s movie The Lost Tomb of Jesus, airs this Sunday. In it, he apparently argues that a couple of caskets, ossuaries actually, once contained the bones of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Not only that, but, ala Dan Brown, he suggests they were a family…with children. The ossuaries made the trip for the press conference (hopefully not on JetBlue), as did a few experts.

Now, the discovery of the ossuaries is not new. They were found in 1980 in a Jerusalem ‘suburb’ of Talpiot. And, forgetting the multiple controversies that surround the whole thing (including the assertion by the lead archaeologist that the movie’s claims are baloney), you can visit the town yourself.

The modern town is pure 20th century, and includes a vibrant club culture (where you can shake your own bones), but there’s also more distant culture and history. For example, walk along the Haas Promenade for sweeping views of the old city.