Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Community News Network

December 20, 2012

5 best places to watch the world end

(Continued)

LONDON —

4. Yet another sanctuary from the end of the world feels like it's there already. The hotels in the northern Chilean oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama, on the edge of one of the world's largest salt deposits, have been reporting full bookings for the 21st. This town will be the last, safest place on Earth — rumors substantiated only, it seems, by the place's otherworldly beauty, near the so-called Valley of the Moon. Other factors include its air purity, which favors astronomical observation, and the presence of the lophophora, a cactus with hallucinogenic qualities, which favors observation of a less scientific kind. The local police are on high alert, and the town's mayor has ordered tents to be at the ready to deal with the influx of apocalypse-spotters.

5. End-of-day-watching on a budget can be done near Megiddo, a town in northern Israel where hotel rooms are still cheap and plenty. Like Chelsea, it is grossly overlooked by the present batch of doomsday-trippers. Yet the town, founded in 1949 by Holocaust survivors and currently on the edge of the West Bank, is located near the biblical site known as Armageddon (which may derive from Har, or Mount, Megiddo). Not only was this valley the site of several biblical battles and one British-Ottoman engagement at the end of World War I, but it will also be, according to certain end-times prophecies, the location of the final battle between Good and Evil at the end of the world. There's lots of disagreement on the nature of this battle, but it almost never involves aliens — or Mayans.

When the time will come, nobody knows. But when it does, you can reach Megiddo from Tel Aviv on the 823 bus. As you no doubt have noticed, 823 is the reverse of 328 — the number of the London bus to the World's End. Coincidence? We think not! Do bring your own refreshments, though; there's no pub at the end of this ride.

---

Jacobs is a London-based author, journalist, and blogger. He writes about strange maps, intriguing borders, and other cartographic curiosities.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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