Unhaggle | The World’s Most Spectacular Roads

Ghostwritten by Elliot Chan for Unhaggle.com | March 25, 2014 |

The world is full of spectacular roads that wind and stretch, extending from our boring highways and traffic-congested cities to majestic mountains, sea coasts and the far reaches of exotic lands. These roads remind us of the joys of owning a vehicle that go beyond the grind of paying off your Impala or getting that 4Runner checked up again. Sometimes you just want a vessel and the freedom to explore, which is what these roads are all about.

Icefields Parkway: Alberta, Canada

Scenic Mountain Views

Cutting through the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Icefields Parkway is a perfect road for northern travellers seeking untouched wildness. Connecting between two of Alberta’s tourist hotspots and national parks, Icefields Parkway offers those passing by a permanent memory of the vast landscape of mountains, lakes and glaciers, as well as occasional encounters with moose, elks, caribous and bears. There aren’t many roads in Canada that offer such a variety of photo opportunities and breathtaking views, which truly capture the essence of being Canadian.

Lombard Street: California, USA

lombard-street

Eight hairpin turns lead you from the top of Hyde Street down to Leavensworth Street in hilly San Fran. World famous for forcing travellers to slow down and enjoy its narrow complexity, Lombard Street reminds drivers to indulge in the novelty of the mundane. Cars venturing down this one way street become participants of this obstacle course of a road as spectators watch on with fascination. And upon completion, drivers will be sure to breathe a sigh of relief, having achieved the thrill of that suburban challenge.

West Coast of the South Island: New Zealand

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This six and a half hour road trip along the scenic coast of the Middle Earth replica allows drivers to appreciate the majesty of land and ocean and the convergence of the two. Slipping through small towns and farmlands, and up into the great heights of New Zealand, one could only image the exhilaration of being a trail blazer, setting eyes on the pristine world for the first time.

Trollstigen (Troll’s Path): Norway

Trollstigen

Road tourist will need to take a trip to Norway and experience the serpentine road eerily named the Troll’s Path. The steep mountain side road will test the driver’s tact as he or she pilots the vehicle towards a plateau overlooking a waterfall and the navel of Scandinavia. During the height of tourist season, Trollstigen receives over 2,500 daily visitors, but the roads are subjected to close during unruly weather conditions and during the winter months.

Guoliang Tunnel Road: China

guoliangtunnel

Considered to be the most dangerous road in the world, Guoliang Tunnel Road in China is a free-for-all path that hangs off of a mountain ridge. Twisting and turning through the tunnel as pockets of light seep in from stone windows and blend with the sudden darkness of the burrow, drivers narrowly dodge each other as they make their way through the prehistoric road of the Taihang Mountains.

Los Caracoles Pass: Chile to Argentina

los-caracoles

Choosing the Los Caracoles Pass to cross the vast Andes Mountains of South America takes you through a topographically diverse landscape, from the vine yards of Argentina up to the rocky and icy desolation and down to the green valleys of Chile. Truly such a trip makes even the largest vehicle seem insignificant in comparison.

Orchard Road: Singapore/Las Vegas Strip: Nevada, USA

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Not every great road needs to be carved into a mountainside or branched off into the ocean. Orchard Road in Singapore and the Las Vegas Strip incorporates all the urban wonders that make night time driving so exhilarating. Neon and marquee lights dance down the avenue as you pull into a snazzy place for a meal or just a little spot to rest up and prepare for the next leg of your trip.

Danger and violence is a part of growing up

 Opinions_Extreme-sports

Parents’ safety concerns shouldn’t determine child’s athletic aspirations

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor

Formerly published in the Other Press. Dec. 2013

From an early age, we teach children to behave nicely and to play safe, but overprotectiveness can be more damaging than kicks, punches, and scrapes against pavement. Protecting children is one thing, but activities that test endurance such as hockey, mixed martial arts (MMA), and other sports requiring a helmet can offer valuable lessons—ones that children cannot get from their caring parents.

Although many still consider MMA to be a barbaric sport, it’s incredibly popular amongst the younger generation. Parents are more inclined today to enrol their children in lessons and cheer on their sons and daughters as they duke it out. That being said, it only takes a few seconds of viewing a child “ground and pound” an opponent before we recognize what is really happening. We shoot some judgmental glances at the parents and wonder how they could have let such a monstrosity happen.

Give me a break. I feel those parents should be commended for believing in their children, despite their child’s loss. Sure the child got hurt in the process—let that be the worst thing to happen in that child’s life. Sports are inherently dangerous; it doesn’t matter if you sprain your MCL playing badminton or get concussed from a roundhouse kick. Competition hurts and so does life. Spoiling children and keeping them in the house playing video games is more crippling than a few bruises.

The reason why I believe after-school and weekend sports enrolment for children is so important is that I didn’t have any when I was growing up. I had overprotective parents who wanted me to pursue academic and artistic endeavours and avoid the tremulous world of athletics. I believe the inability to cope with losing set me back a bit as I aged. I was afraid to fall and take chances, until one day I decided to purchase a skateboard with my own money and prove my durability. I remember returning home with blood dripping down my leg, proud. I had fallen and I survived.

Competition is a part of life, and the earlier we teach our children this concept the more competent they’ll be, whether in academic, professional, or athletics goals. Learning to lose is as important as learning to win. Those who are successful will tell you that there is not one without the other. If the child has a passion and is willing the pursue it, parents should support them regardless of the concrete floor, opposing teams, or headlocks.

Some may call certain sports violent, and therefore worth banning children from. Certain children are also naturally more violent than others, and the combination sounds like a recipe for disaster. But sports allow children to focus their intensity by giving them motivation in a controlled environment. Kids who act out in classrooms will often find sports not only help build physical stamina, but mental stamina as well.

Scars are not signs of mom and dad’s inept parenting—they’re badges of honour for the children.