This week a Japanese dock that broke loose, became tsunami debris, and floated across the Pacific Ocean washed up on Agate Beach. North of Newport, Oregon, Agate is known for picnicking, surfing, and clam digging. Apparently a tunnel leads to it. I haven’t been to this beach. Yet.
The concrete dock has become a huge tourist attraction. Since about 1,000 people are on Agate each hour during the day to see it, the biggest problem is parking. Weekends are expected to be even more crowded.
The 66 feet long dock, at last report, was full of sea life and styrofoam. It was torn from its mooring in March, 2011, during the tsunami in Misawa. The problem will soon become what to do with it. Two courses of action are being discussed: demolition or towing it to Newport, where, I assume, it will continue to be a tourist attraction.
I read about it in an article by Lori Tobias on the front page of today’s Oregonian newspaper. I don’t know if Lori wrote the clever headline, but it made me laugh out loud–SMITTEN BY A DOCK NEAR THE BAY.
This got me to thinking about other events, places, and things that have become unlikely tourist lures.
Yesterday I heard that Bam Marketing and Media is planning a walking tour that will take the curious through Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood to see some of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s haunts. Residents are upset. If I took this, and I’m not likely to, I’d be more curious about the other people on the tour than about Dahmer who mutilated, killed, and cannibalized 17 young men.
When Ruth and I were in Launceston, Tasmania, recently, we did something exotic. We went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at the Village Cinemas. It was exotic because it was shown only on Tuesday at 10:15 am for only $9. Evening prices were about $16.50.
As I watched the movie, I wondered where it had been filmed, so, when I returned home, I did some research–Rajasthan. I know nothing about this State in India other than the fact that Rajasthanians drive on the left like they do in Tasmania. Rajasthan means “Land of the Kings” and is huge, in fact, India’s largest State, one-tenth of its land mass. Mostly mountain and desert, Rajasthan’s population is nearing 69 million. Its capital and largest city is Jaipur. I wonder if a lot of the street scenes were filmed here? The hotel scenes weren’t. They were shot north of Udaipur, another city that I know nothing about.
Wild Frontiers (wildfrontier.co.uk) has put together a tour to take travelers to some of the sites used for location shooting. The hotel that played the role of the Best Exotic Marigold is the Rawla Khempur, a one-time royal palace one hour north of Udaipur. Tour takers get to experience sunrise and sunset at the Taj Mahal, an elephant ride, and 2 nights accommodation at the Rawla Khempur. The price is not that steep–$1,967.53 for 11 days. We were going to book a trip to India 2 years ago and didn’t because the price escalated to $8,000 per person.
Say, I wonder if any tour companies in Jaipur or Milwaukee are interested in buying a concrete dock?