Travel Like a Gypsy
Meet the world’s most devoted wanderers. From carnival workers to ancient tribes, these groups give new meaning to the phrase: Home is where the heart is.
Reindeer peopleFor thousands of years, the Eveny nomads have survived in northeast Siberia, where temperatures drop -96°F in winter. The Eveny are also known as the Reindeer People, because they have survived through the aid of reindeer -- a partnership that has allowed them to migrate over swamps, ice sheets and mountain peaks in a brutally cold climate. 960 1280
Nunamiut of AlaskaCaribou ahead? For 11,000 years, the Nunamiut people have called Northern Alaska home, with their cycles of life determined by the annual migrations of caribou. Many Nunamiut now live in Anaktuvuk Pass, a village located in Alaska’s North Slope, on a migratory caribou route. Nunamiut still travel widely (by snow machine) in search of caribou. 960 1280
Pro SurfersTop surfers travel the world in search of the best surf breaks. Every year, the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour oversees a high-stakes competition in which the world’s top surfers compete in diverse locations, from the waters off Tahiti to beaches outside of big cities such as Rio de Janeiro. 960 1280
Tuareg peopleNumbering over a million, the Tuareg people call the Sahara home, crisscrossing countries such as Niger, Mali, Algeria, Libya and Burkina Faso. Here, a member of the Tuareg leads a caravan of camels, wearing a robe dyed traditional blue -- a feature that’s led outsiders to call the Tuareg “the Blue People.” 960 1280
Migrant Farm workersMigrant farm workers go where the harvest is. Their daily routine begins around 5 a.m., and typically includes building crates and packing them with fruits and veggies. Want the job? The United Farm Workers union has a campaign, “Take Our Jobs – Please.” 960 1280
BedouinsThe word “Bedouin” means “those in the desert.” True to their name, Bedouins travel through the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa. In the late 1800s, many Bedouins shifted to a semi-nomadic life. Others still retain the old ways. In the winter, when there is rain, they migrate into the desert; in the summer, they seek refuge near secure water sources. 960 1280
India's nomadsIndia is home to about 500 nomadic groups -- wanderers for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years. Nomadic groups cover a range of livelihoods, passed down from one generation to the next, from blacksmiths to herders. In all, they account for 80 million of India’s billion-plus people. 960 1280
San PeopleThe San people have lived in southern Africa for 22,000 years. Throughout that time, they lived as traditional hunter-gatherers. Over the past few generations, though, they’ve faced intense pressure from local governments to abandon their age-old ways, sometimes even seeing the takeover of their land for game reserves and cattle ranches. Their population today is estimated at 82,000. 960 1280
Hells AngelsFor Hells Angels, nothing tastes sweeter than the open road. The famously secretive club, founded in 1948, numbers just 3,000 members worldwide, but they know how to raise a rumble: The Justice Department has labeled them an organized crime syndicate. These guys may take that as a compliment. 960 1280
WooksWooks travel from show to show, often with little or no money. These free-spirited concertgoers are part of a time-honored tradition. In the 1970s, they were called Deadheads; today they're woooks -- a name inspired from the Star Wars’ character (and legendary Wookiee) Chewbacca. 960 1280
Rodeo PerformersRodeo performers spend more time on the road than in the arena. A rodeo performer might travel to a handful of rodeos in a weekend, then spend just 40 seconds total performing. As one bull rider says: “On an average weekend ... you have 3 to 4 hours ‘rodeoing' and about 12 to 20 hours driving." 960 1280
Buckle BunniesAnd meet the groupies. In the rodeo world, they call ’em “buckle bunnies.” Buckle bunnies offer their “support” to traveling cowboys on the rodeo circuit. Other sports have a similarly strong support network: In hockey, there’s the “puck bunny” and in skiing, the “snow bunny.” Whatever their name, they wander. 960 1280
Capuchin CatacombsDown in the cold, dry basement of the Capuchin Monastery, on the outskirts of Palermo, Italy, are the remains of 8,000 people. When the monastery outgrew its original cemetery in 1599, catacombs were excavated beneath the building. In addition to friars interred here, well-known locals chose the crypts as their final resting place. The catacombs are open to the public; iron grills prevent visitors from touching or posing with those laid to rest here. 960 1280
Catacombs of ParisA series of manholes and ladders lead visitors to the creepy catacombs of Paris. In 1786, the cemeteries of Paris churches were filled to overflowing. The government saw a solution in long-abandoned stone quarries in and around the capital. The resulting catacombs eventually became the final resting place of some 6 million people. Following a vandalism incident, the catacombs were closed to the public in September 2009, but reopened a few months later. 960 1280
Brno OssuaryThe Brno Ossuary in the Czech Republic is estimated to hold the remains of more than 50,000 people, making it the second-largest site of its kind in Europe (behind the Paris Catacombs). The ossuary was established in the 17th century, partially under the Church of St. James. The ossuary was later forgotten, until its rediscovery in 2001. It has been open to public tours since June 2012. 960 1280
Monastery of San FranciscoBelow the monastery of San Francisco, in the historic center of Lima, Peru, creepy catacombs are filled with skulls and bones. The catacombs were established following the monastery’s construction (in 1774), and remained in use until 1808, when a city cemetery was founded outside of Lima. The catacombs were soon forgotten, until their discovery in 1943. An estimated 70,000 individuals’ remains fill the catacombs' narrow hallways and deep holes. 960 1280
St. Stephen’s CathedralLight peeks through the darkness at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. Following its consecration in 1147 A.D., the cathedral's grounds gave way to cemeteries – a result of the high honor that believers placed on being buried near a church. Interments began in 1735 and continued until 1783, when a new law forbade most burials within the city. Today, the cathedral’s catacombs house the remains of more than 11,000 persons. 960 1280
St. Paul’s CatacombsSt. Paul’s Catacombs, outside of Mdina, Malta, are a series of underground galleries and tombs that date from the fourth to the ninth centuries A.D. Intriguingly, the 24 catacombs, which cradle the tombs of more than 1,000 dead, show evidence of pagan, Jewish and Christian burials side-by-side, with no clear divisions. The excavation of the catacombs began in the late 1800s, under the guidance of a Maltese archaeologist and author. The site is now managed by a national agency, with 2 catacombs open to the public. 960 1280
Catacombs of Kom el ShoqafaThe Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa (“Mound of Shards”) are a series of tombs in Alexandria, Egypt, that reach a depth of 100 feet. In the 2nd century A.D., they were built for a wealthy family … then forgotten until 1900, when a donkey fell into the access shaft. Human and animal remains have since been found, along with 3 sarcophagi. The catacombs’ name derives from visitors who used to visit the tombs and bring food in terra cotta jars to eat while there. They didn’t wish to bring the containers back home from this place of death, so they would break them … leaving shards behind. 960 1280
Sedlec OssuaryThe Sedlec Ossuary is a small chapel in the Czech Republic that happens to have a whole lot of skeletons -- between 40,000 and 70,000, in fact. Some bones are arranged to form decorations in the chapel, including this chandelier of bones. The ghoulish designs are the handiwork of a 19th-century woodcarver who had been hired by an aristocratic family to arrange the bones, which had been interred in the ossuary since 1511. 960 1280
Hallstatt Bone HouseSome visitors find the Bone House in Hallstatt, Austria, unexpectedly beautiful. We just find it creepy. The small chapel is home to a ghoulish display of 1,200 skulls. It came about in the 12th century, when the neighboring cemetery became filled to capacity. Cremation was forbidden, so bodies would be buried for about 15 years, then exhumed and placed in the chapel. Here, skulls are painted with a floral crown – a practice that began around 1720, in a gesture akin to placing flowers on a grave. 960 1280
Skull ChapelThe Skull Chapel in Czerma, Poland, was built in 1776 by a local priest. The chapel serves as the mass grave for nearly 25,000 people who died during the Thirty Years War, 3 Silesian Wars (between Prussia and Austria), as well as from cholera outbreaks and hunger. The priest led the effort to collect the remains and put them in the chapel. The walls and basement are filled with skulls and bones; the remains of those who built the chapel are placed in the center of the church and on the altar. 960 1280
Capela dos OssosThe Capela dos Ossos, or Chapel of Bones, in Évora, Portugal, gets its name from the human skulls and bones that cover its interior walls. The chapel was built in the 1500s by a Franciscan monk, who wanted his fellow monks to meditate hard on life’s transient nature. That message is driven home by some 5,000 skeletons, collected from nearby churches, as well as the words by the chapel’s entrance: “We, the bones that are here, await yours.” 960 1280
Skull TowerIn the early 1800s, Serbian rebels stood up to the Ottoman Empire. The Skull Tower was later built using the skulls of Serbs killed during a battle in 1809. In all, 952 skulls were collected and mounted on a tower as a warning to whoever opposed the empire. The tower stood in the open air until liberation of the area in southern Serbia in 1878. By then, much of the tower had eroded. In 1892, donations from all over Serbia led to the construction of a chapel, built around 58 skulls that still remained. 960 1280
Creepy Crypts and Catacombs Worldwide 12 Photos
See Rome by Vespa 02:31
San Francisco de Asis (Mission Dolores)On a site selected by Juan Bautista de Anza, the first mission church was a 50-foot-long log and mud structure. It was eventually moved to higher ground, adjacent to Lake Dolores. The mission was dedicated to Saint Francis by Father Serra in 1776. 960 1280
Santa CruzAlthough the soil was excellent and the location ideal, this mission never reached its potential. The dedication of Mission la Exaltacion de la Santa Cruz was made in 1791 by Father Lasuen, but the site was unfortunately located next to Branciforte pueblo, a community of ex-convicts and thieves.
San Juan BautistaFounded by Father Lasuen in 1797, this mission was unwittingly located directly above the San Andreas fault. Much of the original structure remains and has been restored. It's considered the largest California mission church and the only one with 3 aisles. It was named for John the Baptist.
San Carlos Boorromeo de CarmeloFounded by Father Serra in 1770 on Pentecost Sunday, this mission was considered to be his favorite. Both he and Father Lasuen are buried here. It served as the ecclesiastical capital of California, as well as Father Serra's headquarters for administrative duties as president of the missions.
Nuestra Senora de la SoledadThe padres named this mission for Our Lady of Solitude in 1791, which fits its isolated location. The rich soil and plentiful water helped the mission produce more than 100,000 bushels of wheat per year and raise nearly 17,000 head of livestock.
San Antonio de PaduaLocated 40 miles north of Paso Robles, this picturesque mission is nestled in the grasslands and oak trees of the San Antonio Valley. Named for a saint known as the "miracle worker," it was dedicated in 1771 by Father Serra. The church is known for its campanario and archway bells. 960 1280
San Miguel ArcangelThis mission was founded in 1797 by Father Lasuen. It completed the mission chain from San Luis Obispo to Mission Dolores in San Francisco. Located in the Salinas Valley, it was the mid point between the San Luis Obispo and San Antonio Missions. Under the direction of Esteban Munros, the Indians painted the walls and ceilings with ornate designs; the original murals are the best preserved in California today.
San Luis Obispo de TolosaThis humble chapel, built of logs, was dedicated to St. Louis, Bishop of Tolosa in 1772. It was the first mission to use tiles extensively on the roof due to repeated attacks by Indians who used flaming arrows to ignite the original thatched roof.
San BuenaventuraThe ninth mission in the chain was founded on Easter Sunday in 1782 by Father Serra and dedicated to St. Bonaventure. It was the last mission the humble priest would christen. Restored in 1957, the facade exhibits an unusual triangular design which opens onto the gardens.
San Fernando Rey de EspanaFather Lasuen named this mission in honor of King Ferdinand III of Spain in 1797. Located 25 miles north of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley, the convent is the largest freestanding adobe in California and was originally used as a hospice for travelers.
San Gabriel ArcangelFounded in 1771 by Junipero Serra, this fortress-like structure with 5-foot thick walls and narrow windows is a design not found in any other mission. One-fourth of the wealth of the California missions' in stock and grain was credited to San Gabriel.
San Luis Rey de FranciaKnown as the "King of the Missions," San Luis Rey de Francia lies in a sheltered valley just east of Oceanside on State Highway 76. Named for Louis IX, the crusading King of France, the cross-shaped church was dedicated on the Feast of St. Anthony in 1798 by Father Lasuen.
San Diego de AlcalaThe mission trail in California began here on July 16, 1769, when Fathers Serra, Palou and Parron planted a large cross in the beachhead near the mouth of the San Diego River. A bell was suspended from a nearby tree, and the site was dedicated to St. Didacus.
The Spanish Missions in California 21 Photos