Wagga Wagga, Australia

I’m going to level with you.  I was cruising around on google maps, looking at place names, and I thought this one was funny.  It made me think of some Fozzie Bear knock-off, “wagga wagga wagga!” so I zoomed in to check it out.  I was NOT disappointed.

The first thing to catch my eye was the Murrumbidgee Turf Club.  According to the website, it covers 70 acres and has five horse racing tracks of both grass and sand of varying lengths.

Here’s a closeup of the northwest corner, where you can see the two outer grass tracks and the three inner sand tracks.

This track alone was a wonderful find, but my trip to Wagga Wagga didn’t end here!  About a mile south of the Turf Club we have this gem:

Two in one!  A high school perhaps?  Another horse track?  Google doesn’t say.  Don’t worry, that’s not all!  Starting at around 3/4ths of a mile west of the Turf Club are these tracks!

If we head to the southeastern part of the city, we find these (you can click the picture for a slightly larger version).

And those aren’t the only ones!  Here’s what we see if we zoom out a little (again, click for a larger version).

I’m pretty sure there are at least eleven tracks in this picture.  This city is not fucking around.  And there are still more tracks for me to show you.  In this next picture, you can see the Murrumbidgee Turf Club and the four tracks to its west down at the bottom, plus six (I think) more tracks to the north, one of which looks like a sleep mask.

Also, to the south of the sleep mask we have this thing, which is probably a quarry of some sort, but I like to think of it as some sort of cosmic love note.

I apologize for not giving you close-ups of all the tracks in Wagga Wagga, but at least I managed to show you all of them.  Oh, except these ones, off to the west.

And what is that thing in the southwest corner?

… and I’m spent.  If there are more tracks in that area, you go find them.

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Bora Bora

Today, let us journey down south, all the way to French Polynesia and the island of Bora Bora.  Located west of Tahiti, it is an incredibly popular tourist destination, famous for its exotic resorts.  No joke, this is what all the hotels look like:

Some dude in a canoe brings you breakfast every morning, and your glass coffee table lets you see into the ocean without even going outside.  Seriously.  Someone take me here.

Here’s what the island looks like from above.  It’s surrounded by a reef; you can see the airport (a single runway) at the northern most point of the reef.

On the main island, in the southern bay, we have the Tennis Club de Bora Bora, featuring three tennis courts, and a big ol’ track.

While some resorts feature tennis courts, this is, as far as I can tell, the only track on the island.  I’m going to guess that the local high school doesn’t have many rivals.

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Iceland, six miles south of 63.962401,-20.355463

Here’s another one that’s out in the middle of nowhere.  I like these ones.

It's Iceland, okay?

While there may be roads in the middle of this image, there are certainly no cities that google maps thought were worth mentioning.  If we zoom in, though…

Horse track?  Runway?  The world may never know.

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Inglewood, CA

Today we’re taking a trip through south central LA to the Hollywood Park Racetrack in Inglewood, CA.  Much like Churchill Downs, this track has a synthetic track with a turf track just inside of it.  The larger track is 1 1/8 mi. in circumference, and the turf track is 1 mi. and 145 ft.  There is also a card room on the grounds, for your extra gambling needs.  There’s also another track to the east, though I have no idea what it’s for.  Maybe they built a high school right next to the gambling area for everyone’s convenience.

Inglewood

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Diosd, Hungary

Diosd is a small town to the south of Hungary’s capitol city of Budapest, and also a strange place to find yourself in when you’ve missed the bus stop for the Statue Park, believe you me. In the center of the city, we find the smallest track ever!

Diosd

I think that might be a tennis court in the middle or something. It’s like 100 meters around.

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Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is the oldest city in Asia Minor, and one of the oldest cities in the world, having been continuously inhabited since 685 BC. Located on both the east and west sides of the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul is the only metropolis to span two continents (Europe and Asia).

Istanbul

NASA has a pretty great picture of the Bosphorus that was taken from the International Space Station in 2004.

In the heart of the Thracian side of the city, nestled amongst church and mosque alike, lies a wonderful track. You can click on the image for a larger picture in which you can see all the religious buildings.

Istanbul2

Just to the northwest of the track is a large wall running mostly north and south.

Istanbulwalls

This is part of the Theodosian Wall, which was completed in 413 AD to keep out the likes of Attila the Hun, and stood until 1453 when it was breached by the Ottomans. You read right: that wall protected one of the most important cities in the world for over 1,000 years.

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Veiskifte, Norway

And we’re back!

Deep in the north of… Norway, around 50 kilometers south of the city of Tromsø, is the small village of Veiskifte. It’s 300km inside the Arctic Circle, in an area that’s been populated since the end of the last ice age. In total darkness in the winter, it’s a great place from which to observe the Northern Lights. It’s the red dot in this picture.

tromso2

And, of course, the tiny city has a regulation track, or at least a shadow the size of a regulation track.

tromso

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