So many places to spend the apocalypse, so little time...
If the end of the world really does go down on Dec. 21 -- as predicted by ancient Mayans (well, not really), New Age types and that exuberantly bearded gentleman rifling through my recycling -- it will put a bit of a damper on what has become a flourishing niche: apocalypse tourism.
After all, who wouldn't want to bid farewell to life, the universe and everything atop a spectacular mountain, in an awe-inspiring temple, or in a dank Soviet bunker? Indeed, it seems the only thing more varied than the doomsday theories attached to 12/21/12 -- interplanetary collision? Spiritual transformation? The Coming of the Great White Handkerchief? -- are the locations believers are flocking to for the big day.
One of the most popular spots, apparently, is the ancient city of Tikal in Guatemala (pictured below). Not only was it once a Mayan metropolis, but the archaeological site played the planet Yavin 4 in Star Wars: Episode IV. (In case you have a life and don't already know, it was from Yavin 4 that the Rebel Alliance launched its attack on the Galactic Empire's Death Star.)
The Death Star was capable of destroying entire planets. Armageddon would destroy our planet. Ergo, the place is reportedly crawling with wannabe Jedi knights and crystal-wearing weirdos. Heck, just last week park guards reportedly had to apprehend 13 naked women who were dancing and chanting around a fire pit near the temples.
Serbia's Mount Rtanj (pictured at left) is another doomsday hot spot. Unlike most of its rivals, however, the pyramid-shaped peak is being billed as the best place to survive the apocalypse. This sounds like a pretty alluring proposition -- that is, until you discover that its protective powers are attributed to either a) the mountain having "swallowed" a sorcerer's castle, or b) an alien pyramid inside the mountain that emits mystical energies. Riiiiiiiiight...
If the wizard and/or aliens won't cut it, there's always Bunker No. 42. Located 56 metres under central Moscow, the 56-year-old refuge was built to withstand nuclear war, but since 2006 has served as a Cold War museum. On the 21st, for $1,000 a head, the bunker is hosting a "doomsday party" that organizers say will feature lectures about the end of the world, tours of the museum, and doomsday-themed movie screenings.
Of course, assuming the end is in fact, you know, nigh, you could very well be caught in transit trying to reach any of these spots. And who wants to spend the apocalypse watching the awful Total Recall remake and eating a mystery meat wrap?
So visit your favourite flight-booking website ASAP and grab a last-minute flight to Belize City (starting at around $800 from Toronto), or Belgrade (from $3,600), or Moscow (from $2,400). Maybe Armageddon is on Honolulu time...
And if you can't afford it, who cares? If the world ends your credit-card bill isn't an issue. Plus, you'll save a few bucks by booking a one-way flight.
-- Adam Bisby