Crossing El Camino del Rey, the Most Dangerous Hike in the World

El Caminito del Rey (The King's Little Path), often abbreviated to El Camino del Rey, is a walkway that winds its way along the walls of El Chorro, a gorge in southern Spain near the village of Álora. It is generally considered one of the most dangerous hikes in the world. The construction of the walkway was finished in 1905, and after King Alfonso XIII crossed it in 1921, it became known by its current name. In recent decades, large parts of the concrete resting on steel rails have deteriorated so badly that it has become a life-threatening endeavor to traverse the camino. After several fatal accidents, authorities officially closed the path in 2000. But there are still daring hikers who manage to get around the barriers and make their way across the gorge. The video above shows in impressive detail how dangerous the camino is.

If you feel an inner urge to walk the camino, there are two important things to keep in mind:

  1. It really is insanely dangerous. Matador has some life-saving tips if you want to trek the camino.
  2. If you want to get the true camino experience, you have to hurry up. The walkway will be restored for 9 million euros between 2011 and 2015.

Bonus material: The Cheap Route has a first-person account and some fantastic photos of a camino hike.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

Santiago de Compostela: A View From the Octocopter

Microcoptervideo is a Spanish company that specializes in shooting videos using small remote-control helicopters called "octocopters." (You can see the one used in this video here; and if you want to build one yourself, you can find instructions here.) Since these small helicopters go places where normal cameras can't, these newfangled cameras can offer views that are simply out of this world.

The latest video gives you a tour of the medieval Santiago de Compostela Cathedral located in northern Spain. It starts with beautiful views of the exterior, but the most impressive shots are saved for inside the cathedral, especially when the octocopter soars high above the chamades of the organ, giving us an incredible look at the choir.

Some of these views have been captured as stills and can be seen at Flickr. And don't forget to enjoy some more of those wonderful octocopter videos on this Vimeo page.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

Revisit Havana, the “Paris of the Caribbean,” in the 1930s

This short film showing Havana in the 1930s was shot by André de la Varre, the long-time cameraman and cinematographer for American traveler, photographer and filmmaker Burton Holmes. In those days, Havana was a flourishing and fashionable city dubbed the "Paris of the Caribbean," attracting an ever increasing number of tourists. André de la Varre's film portrays Havana as the "exotic capital of appeal," which pretty much sums up its essence during those days.

Bonus material: A list of all the sights shown in this film can be found here; another short film about Havana in the 1950s hereThis video from late 2008 gives an idea of the sorry state of Havana's city center today. And don't foget to marvel at the wonderful collection of vintage travel films at The Travel Film Archive.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

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