Growing up in New York City I always thought the Big Apple’s streets were insane. From beeping taxis to rude pedestrians to the occasional hot dog vendor cutting you off (yes they use the street to transport their carts), it can be quite the adventure simply crossing the street.
However even the most jaded New Yorker might break out in a cold sweat after driving down these petrifying pathways. So buckle your seat belt, say your prayers (even if you’re not religious) and hold on tight as we explore six of the world’s most amazing roads.
Yungas Road in Bolivia
When a passageway is nicknamed “Death Road”, you might want to take an alternate route. Bolivia’s Yungas Road is recognized as one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Extremely brave travelers that attempt to take the forty mile drive between Bolivia’s capital La Paz and Coroico might want to take it slow and steady as an estimated 200-300 people die each year while attempting to navigate the twisty and windy road.
Stelvio Pass in Switzerland
While not as dangerous as Bolivia’s road, the Stelvio Pass is still an amazing sight to see (and drive). Located in the Italian Alps on the border of Switzerland, it is the most elevated pathway in Eastern Alps clocking in at a little over 9,000 feet. Many road warriors have claimed it is indeed the greatest road in all of Europe and quite possibly the world.
Baldwin Street in New Zealand
A walk down Baldwin Street is no big deal, it is the hike back up that separates the athletes from the slackers. This amazingly steep street, located in a quiet New Zealand suburb, elevates 230 feet from beginning to end and it’s only 1,150 feet long! Many people flock to this street each year to test it out by running up it. Only a few extremely athletic individuals have completed the challenge.
South Pole Traverse (The McMurdo-South Highway) in Antarctica
You think driving in a little snow is painful? How about attempting to cruise down this snow covered 900-mile stretch of unpaved road. Located in Antarctica, the South Pole Traverse, is definitely a pathway that will require strong snow tires and a lot of patience. Flags mark the route that leads mostly truckers from McMurdo Station, a U.S. Antarctic research center, to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. In 2006 alone, 110 tons of cargo were successfully delivered on this road.
Lærdal Tunnel in Norway
Opened with a ribbon cutting by the King of Norway in November of 2000, the impressive Lærdal Tunnel connects the Norwegian cities of Lærdal and Aurland. The road stretches a little over 15 miles and the tunnel in which it is located is divided into four sections, which was designed with driver’s mental state in mind. The designers felt that by providing periodic exterior views, it would give travelers a bit of a break. Currently Lærdal is not tolled unlike most Norway tunnels.
The Pan-American Highway
Spanning nearly 30,000 miles, the Pan-American Highway is regarded as the world’s longest road. You can actually drive from Prudhoe Bay in North Alaska, through Canada, passed the United States, Central and South America all the way to the southern end of Argentina. Bring plenty of gas money for this massive road trip.