🍭 Clever Cons, Deep Dives, and More in Pipeaway Newsletter #120


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Hi from Zagreb!

I already shared how I’m a total warm-weather person. So when I found out that a fellow Croat Valentina Cafolla broke a world record in freediving under ice (140 meters with a monofin), I could only be impressed.

Already my scuba diving experience on the Greek island of Naxos pushed me to confront the anxiety of being in a space where we cannot breathe on our own (“Anxiety attacks”, as another Croat, Baby Lasagna, sings these days). I cannot even imagine doing such a dive without oxygen, trapped under ice.

Still, my heart remains set on the sunny Greek islands (you can catch glimpses of my island experiences in this week’s #Top4Theme on the social network formerly known as Twitter).

The island I would surely love to visit one day is Rapa Nui – the Easter Island. In my mind’s eye, it’s a place where Easter bunnies run wild in a world filled with chocolate. While AI may conjure up sweet fantasies, it can sometimes lead to bitter disappointments. Check out the Glasgow case in the feature spotlight, but also… Find this in today’s newsletter:

  • Words: Snobs, camels, and naked men – oh my!
  • Images: Surprise, surprise, and even greater surprise.
  • Numbers: Ways to rake in the cash.
  • P.S.: Be Tina Fey.

Have a fantastic week!

Silly side: Why did the airplane break up with the airport? Because it needed some space. If you're not breaking up with us, give your favorite stories a click! Thanks!


AI visual of candy-covered landscape for Willy's Chocolate Experience in Glasgow; created by the House of Illuminati.


The Great Glasgow Chocolate Scam

Hundreds of families in Glasgow were duped by AI-generated images and misleading descriptions and ended up at a horror show billed as Willy’s Chocolate Experience. There was no real Willy Wonka and no chocolate. The experience they got was a kid’s nightmare: Oompa Loompas doling out measly portions of a single jelly bean and a quarter of lemonade cup per child. For £35 tickets, this was surely a one-of-a-kind experience.




The curtain fell on Somin-sai at Kokusekiji Temple, one of Japan’s iconic Hadaka Matsuri or “naked man festivals”, as a dwindling number of young men are willing to confront evil spirits clad only in loincloths. At Konomiya Shrine, a group of women joined the ritual for the very first time.


While China heralds the Year of the Dragon, Saudi Arabia goes all-in on celebrating its beloved camel in 2024. As camel-themed events proliferate, they also align with the UN’s declaration of 2024 as the Year of the Camelids, offering a global spotlight on these majestic creatures, spanning continents from Texas to Mongolia.


Are you guilty of holidaying in Tenerife but claiming you visited the Canary Islands? Do you trek off the beaten path only to sink with disappointment at the sight of fellow nationals encroaching on your “secret spot”? You might be suffering from a severe case of travel snobbery.




Ever since the pandemic, Frank de Ruwe has been creating surprising urban interventions that turn heads on the streets of Amsterdam. In Frankey’s own words, “I just want to make people smile”, as revealed in an interview with The New York Times.


An Ohio flight took a few unexpected turns, drawing one of the most colossal phalluses ever seen. Well, apparently it sees you too.


Visitors to Arizona’s Horseshoe Bend were astounded by what they thought was a magnetic portal to an alien world. However, meteorologists warned that their electrifying encounter was likely just a prelude to a lightning strike, as such static charges often precede a bolt from above.




The amount a woman in Ohio shelled out for a Subway sandwich.


The size of the immigration fraud orchestrated by a British Airways manager. The Heathrow employee was allowing visa-lacking travelers to board flights for Canada and claim asylum, charging them £25,000 for the service. The 24-year-old fraudster is now on the run, in India.


The increase in searches for US Airbnb listings along the solar eclipse path. To keep up with the demand, over a thousand new hosts are welcoming guests for the first time on April 8.

Booking.com logo.


The Only Place Where You Can Be Tina Fey (Sort of)

Have you seen Booking.com’s new ad with Tina Fey? It promotes an entertaining idea that “you can book whoever you want to be”, from Sasquatch to Glenn Close. While you won’t be able to book doubles like the famous comedian, you can certainly book double rooms! Remember, before April 1 (and that’s not an April Fools’ joke), Early 2024 Deals are available at 15% off. Book your discounted stay directly here!

How did you like Pipeaway Newsletter #120? 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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the whistling signal for the ship about to
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Mapping the extraordinary since 2017.


Pipeaway is a travel blog mapping extraordinary people, places and passions.
Founded and run by Ivan Kralj, Croatian award-winning journalist and editor.
Read more and find out how to contact us on About page.