👻 Secrets, Sorcery, and More in Pipeaway Newsletter #102

Pipeaway travel newsletter #102; AI image by DALL-E.

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Hi from Leuk!

I enjoyed my time in the thermal baths above this Swiss town, soaking in the views of the mountains. They say that Alpine air is great for longevity.

If long life needed a poster child, I believe it might be found in the crypt of Leuk’s parish church. There, a 17th-century female corpse refused to decompose. The scientists explain the mummy’s riddle with the local climate.

But the town’s secrets are even darker. In 1428, Leuk was an important center for the Valais witch trials, the first systematic prosecution of those who had “made the pact with the devil”. Interestingly, two-thirds of the accused witches in this canton were men. All it took to condemn you to the flames were three neighbors yelling “J’accuse”, and – some torture.

At the beginning of the week that remembers the dead, here comes the new selection of stories, shots, and stats from the world of extraordinary travel.

Find this in today’s newsletter:

  • Words: Escape the police, the censors, and the monsters.
  • Images: Recharge with necropants, melted cheese, or Sun.
  • Numbers: Green welcome to Slovenia, Romania, and Switz… Eden.
  • P.S.: Amazing autumn adventure.

Have a lively week!

Ivan Kralj           


Frame filled with skulls of parishioners that were once buried in the small cemetery of St. Stephan's Church, but after issues with available space, had to be dug out and displayed in a form of a skull wall at Beinhaus Leuk, Switzerland; photo by Ivan Kralj.

Another Skull in the Wall

Known for keeping secrets (after all, this enigmatic town is home to a spy system), Leuk managed to wall up their deceased residents and forget about them for over a century. In 1982, the renovators broke into the basement of St. Stephan’s Church and stumbled upon 22,000 skulls displayed like books in a library. Learn more about the history and mystery of Beinhaus Leuk!




Under the City of Light, there is a dark underworld. Paris Catacombs are home to the world’s largest necropolis, but also a place to brew beer, attend a rave party, and even get arrested.


From USA’s Jersey Devil to European Krampus and Baba Yaga, parents use an entire army of mythical monsters to discipline their kids. Whether hairy or scaly, horned or sharp-toothed, they all love to prey on naughty children. Explore the global map of Boogeymen.


Censorship is the biggest boogeyman for the freedom of speech. My favorite museum opening of the week graced Barcelona. From Ai Weiwei to Mapplethorpe, the first Museum of Forbidden Art now lets you see what they didn’t want you to see!




Iceland is another country whose witch hunt mostly targeted men. Their Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft displays the disturbing necropants: trousers made from the dried skin of a man. See these wealth-bringing skinny jeans if you dare, by scrolling down this page (NSFW).


No picture is perfect without saying “cheese”. This weekend gave 30,000 reasons for a cheesy photo: that’s how many portions of melted cheese the first Raclette World Championships served. On X, I dived into another Swiss creamy pleasure – fondue. Cast your vote in the poll below the pic: yay or nay?


Wrapping up the image section on a less heavy note, have you seen the world’s first off-road solar-powered car? Discover the future of travel, designed by Dutch students! But if you’re up for a truly surreal car ride experience, you’ll have to meet this wacky Indian!




The proportion of Slovenian land protected as Natura 2000 sites. The EU record-breaker, where one in 200 Slovenians is a beekeeper, is leading the way in green tourism. A tiny country with a grand vision.


The annual number of people turning to Google with a pressing question: “Are Sweden and Switzerland the same?”. To clear up the confusion, the country that is not Switzerland launched the this-not-that campaign, shedding Northern Lights on their differences.


The hectares of Romanian wilderness proposed to become the largest forested national park on the continent. Recently, brown bears, wolves, lynx, and bison were reintroduced to European Yellowstone. Hopefully, the Carpathian virgin forests won’t attract tourons as they do in the USA.

Discover Cars logo.


Fall for Europe

There’s no better season for a road trip adventure than autumn. Discover Cars is your trusted companion, offering easy rental comparisons for the journey. Right now, the hottest destinations are in Europe, including charming Portugal, sunny Spain (Balearic and Canary Islands), and picturesque Italy (both mainland and Sicily). You can find more inspiration in Pipeaway’s electric car itineraries, but if you’re heading to a popular place, make sure to book your car in time.

How did you like Pipeaway Newsletter #102? Send your feedback.
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This is the archived version of our free weekly newsletter. To start receiving it in your mailbox on the send-out day, join the newsletter list!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on them and make a purchase, Pipeaway may make a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our work!
Ivan Kralj


Award-winning journalist and editor from Croatia

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Pipeaway is a travel blog mapping extraordinary people, places and passions.
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