The world is full of unusual sights if you’re a sports fan. Sure, you’ve had a chance to catch games at the best stadiums in the United States, play petanque on the streets of Paris and join in on a friendly game of cricket in a London suburb. But if you’re looking for a more unique experience, you’ve come to the right place. We scoured the world for some interesting sites to check out while you’re abroad, no matter where you are.
Decided to spend a few days admiring the sites in Edinburg? Take a few hours to visit Alien Rock, a unique indoor climbing center located in a house of worship. Construction on the building began in 1843 and was completed 40 long years later. It has had many names, such as Newhaven Free and Newhaven St. Andrew’s, but then was vacated in 1970. The building stood for 20 years before being sold and remodeled into Alien Rock. The climbing center opened in 1994 as one of Scotland’s first indoor climbing gyms. Many of the building walls were removed to accommodate the climbing walls which reach to impressive heights. The climbing gym now includes 200 routes that are regularly rotated to keep visitors entertained. It is accessible for all levels and provides a free membership.
If you’re in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, be sure to swing by the Bobblehead museum. This is the only museum in the world entirely dedicated to bobbleheads. The space offers great history of the head-nodding doll, thousands of dolls on display (though quite a few are currently at the Milwaukee museum), and a make your own bobblehead station. While most of the collection is composed of sports figures, you can also see dolls featuring cartoon characters, pop culture icons, and even a six-foot-tall life-sized bobblehead. The museum is very new, having just opened in 2019. The idea came to the brilliants of Brad Novak and Phil Sklar, who started collecting bobbleheads in 2002. But when the plan to open the museum became public, other collectors came together to donate their dolls for display.
Taking a trip to Mexico City? Brave the roads of Hidalgo and wander into the home of Mexican soccer (or fútbol, as the locals call it), Mundo Fútbol. It is little known that it is the miners of Cornwall, England, who brought soccer to Mexico. They played their first game in the mining town of Mineral del Monte in 1826. This historical moment let to the creation of the first soccer club in Mexico in the Hidalgo state capital of Pachuca. Colloquially known as “Los Tuzos” (The Gophers), the Pachuca Football Club was founded in 1901 by the local pachuqueños, many of whom were directly related to the original Cornish miners. Because it was the first established club in the country, the Liga MX considers Pachuca to be the birthplace of Mexican soccer. Today this place in history is commemorated by a 120-foot-tall building shaped like a soccer ball. The museum, opened in July 2011, features an interactive museum as well as a hall of fame for the world’s most popular sport. Many Mexican players are honored in this hall, such as Hugo Sánchez and Chicharito. The interactive center is essentially a collection of digital activities that allow people of all ages to test their knowledge and skill of soccer.