Very Secret Travel Secrets

Thank you, Anne-Sophie Redisch, for tagging me for the Tripbase Best Kept Travel Secrets Project. May the best travel blogs win! I have a lifetime of secrets, but here are three of my most special travel secrets (I do have others, though…)

1. Hiking Streams in Israel

A popular Israeli pastime is hiking streams. I am not talking walking alongside streams, enjoying the trickling waters from ashore. In Israel, they get into the water and travel through it, no matter how deep, no matter how long, no matter how treacherous.

solo female traveler - Israel - people wading through stream

Hiking the Zaci Stream

On my last solo trip to Israel, my Israeli friend insisted I experience this activity. We first waded up to our chests through water at the base of Mount Gilboa, where at two points we encountered drainpipes blocking our path. No problem. Like everyone else ahead of us, we simply grabbed ahold of the top of a drainpipe, positioned our legs out in front of us, then let go, allowing the water to sweep us through and shoot us out on the other side – natural water slides far more fun than anything I’ve ridden at any amusement park. We next traveled to a stream located in the Bethsaida Valley, where, along with a hundred or so other Israelis, we waded on slippery rocks for hours, finally encountering water so deep we had to swim our way to the end.

Both of these experiences were an absolute blast and left me wondering why we don’t hike through streams in my own country.

2. Strolling Gramercy Park in New York City - This small patch of green surrounded by a wrought iron fence in the concrete jungle of New York enjoys extra-special status as Manhattan’s only private park. Gramercy Park neighborhood residents as well as guests at the Gramercy Park Hotel are the only people in the world who possess keys to unlock its gates. A lifetime of secrets no doubt hides behind its wrought iron.

Traditionally, Gramercy Park has opened to the public on Gramercy Day each year. I have read that, unfortunately, this tradition ended a couple of years ago. However, you still can travel the park’s private paths on Christmas Eve night. For a couple of hours, those gates open and the public swarms through for Christmas caroling and sharing the delicious feeling of being somewhere you’re ordinarily not allowed.

solo female traveler - New York City - photo of author inside Gramercy Park

Inside Gramercy Park

My boyfriend and I strolled the park a few Christmas Eves ago, taking our time and staying so late that two men who were about to lock up after the rest of the public left thought we must be residents and narrowly avoided locking us in for the night. I kind of wish they had…

3. Dog Sledding in Iceland - Seat belted tight inside a Hummer, I traveled from Reykjavik along frozen, isolated roads that eventually became so potholed our driver had to stop and let almost all the air out of the tires to make it through to the end. After several hours of bone-rattling, head-hitting-the-roof travel, we arrived at a glacier, where scores of white Huskies awaited in the icy snow.

I climbed onto a sled along with four other people, one behind the other, legs stretched out in front of us. Suddenly the powerful dogs began to run across the glacier, whipping us along at the whistling, song-like Icelandic commands of their handler. Surrounded in all directions by sheer white we glided, out into the middle of just about absolutely nowhere.

solo female traveler - Iceland - dogs pulling sled in Iceland,

Dog Sledding in Iceland

Several years have passed since I experienced this, and the name of the outfit with which I traveled on this dog sledding excursion as well as the name of the location in Iceland where we traveled is lost in time – making this experience all the more secret.

Hiking stream in Israel photo by dodkedi
Dog sledding photo by geoftheref
Shh thumbnail photo by Elizabeth Welsh

10 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Sophie says:

    Hi Sabina,
    Such interesting secrets!
    Also, I like your new blog – lovely colours. Added it to my link list :)

  2. Sabina says:

    Thank you, Sophie, for the tag, the add and the comment! Thanks also for the colors compliment. The color choosing was quite a trip.

  3. Now your secrets are out. Hah, think I’ll share them with around 10 million others. Don’t mind, do ya ?
    Three great secrets, you had, too. Dog sledding has to be my favorite, followed by hiking streams. I’d never heard of that before. Going where rich people hang out; not my style. Not yet, anyway. Maybe someday.
    Love the purple paper you have here; relaxing. I’ll be back.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  4. inka says:

    You truly are the adventurer. Thanks for sharing the secrets.

  5. Candice says:

    Would LOVE to go dog sledding. So cool.

  6. Sabina says:

    Cool is what it was. Freezing, in fact.

  7. Sabina says:

    Thank you, Inka! I will check out your blog again soon.

  8. Sabina says:

    Yes, 10 million sounds great, Mike! And I’m glad you like the purple.

  9. Renee says:

    Sabina,

    I think your blog is absolutely fabulous, especially the color choice. I loved all of your travel secrets…..I had never considered dog sledding, but I’m beginning to consider the possibility. I love learning about things that I had not thought of before….thanks for the nudge!
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy =-.

  10. Sabina Lohr says:

    Hi Renee! You should try dog sledding since you’re interested. It is a one-of-a-kind experience.

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