Extreme Ice Driving in Finland

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Wouldn’t it be amazing, just for one day, to let go and really push a car to its limit?

Well, Unmissable have good news for you. You can. On a frozen lake in Finland, 40 miles out from the Arctic Circle.

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Wow. If we felt such a rush of excitement from watching this video, the real thing is going to be mind-blowing. Juha Kankkunen is a four-time Finnish Formula One Champion with his very own extreme driving school. Yep, a Formula One champion with his own driving school. Could this be any more Unmissable?

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Very Roger Moore/James Bond-esque. Perhaps the coolest man on the planet? “Bond, Juha Bond.”

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“Finland is the perfect place to have the ultimate ice driving experience.” – Juha Kankkunen.

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The school is open for driving enthusiasts and thrill seekers to test their driving skills on one of the harshest terrains in the world. People use ice and snow as an excuse to bunk off work all the time in England – you won’t need to after this. You’ll be taught to drive at speeds and do things in a car you never thought were possible.

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To become a rally driver you need the correct set of wheels. You can pick from a brand new Audi or Volkswagen rally car, each fitted with Kankkunen’s custom-made snow tyres. Once you’re in the car, prep yourself for the same apprehension you felt before taking your driving test – only this time, you won’t have someone to stop you if you drive into a wall.

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The experience is between £1,000 – 1,400 per person, but you’ll certainly get your money’s worth. You get a full day of training with professional rally instructors, full damage insurance (for those happy accidents), and a drive from Juha himself at speeds and precision you’ll probably never get to experience in a car again.

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Hearing the raw power of a rally car engine is enough to make the hairs grow an inch on the back of your neck – feeling it dance and slalom around hairpin bends with total precision will make you laugh with fear. Driving a car built only for its power and performance in icy conditions is something you’ll never be able to experience on any urban road around the world.

Where? Forty-miles outside the Arctic Circle, Finland.

When? Tailored itinerary to best suit your requirements.

How much? £1000 – £1400 per person.

I can’t miss this: Absolutely Unmissable approved. It’s so Unmissable approved we’re literally sitting here putting our hats and gloves on preparing for the ice (even those of us who don’t drive). It’s an incredible outlet for speed and adrenaline in a controlled, snowy environment. What more could a speed-junky ask for?

Head back to the 1950s in the Rivoli Ballroom

 

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All images from Rivoli London gallery

London in 50s. Teddy boy style conquered teen fashion, men were still wearing nipple-high trousers, diamonds were a girl’s best friend and Elvis was perched high on his throne as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.  Let’s bring you back to 2015 – you’re in London, standing outside The Rivoli Ballroom – look a little closer at the fine-print and you’ve just found an original 1950s event and dancing venue.

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The O2 meets Japan: Hyper Japan Festival

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If you’ve ever dreamed of going to Japan but never found the time, then Hyper Japan Festival is an absolute must this summer.

It’s the epitome of traditional and authentic Japanese culture and here’s why we’re really excited about it: a festival for celebrating cosplay, live music, manga and anime, food, fashion and fuzzy figurines all in one place. What more could a Japan-Fanatic ask for?

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Swim with the largest fish on earth

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This whale shark encounter is something for every human being whose able to put their head under water. It’s the largest fish in the world with the longest ever recorded at over 13.5 metres – and you can go for a swim with them.

Take a deep breath…

This isn’t your usual run-of-the-mill tour. It takes planning, preparation, and a plane. Let us explain. You’re taken for an introductory dive in the beautiful Ningaloo Reef where you’ll swim amongst stunning coral and sea life. While you learn the ropes, the plane is up high scouting for the whale sharks. Once they’ve been found, it’s time to start preparing yourself for the real dive.

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Your dive with the whale shark’s will fill you with apprehension, excitement, curiosity, fear and amazement. “I’m about to swim with the biggest fish in the world.” will be pulsing through your mind before you jump into the chilled water.

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The Whale Shark is a peaceful creature, but it doesn’t have shark in its name for the fun of it. The correct name for them is Rhincodon typus – the ones you’ll swim with range between 4 – 12 metres long and weigh up to 11 tonnes with mouths opening a metre wide. They have over 300 rows of 6mm thick, razor sharp teeth and are one of only three fish in the world to filter feed through their gills. Don’t worry too much about being bitten or attacked though, but try and avoid touching them or getting as close as its Remora fish companions here:

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As you’d expect, swimming with the largest fish in the world doesn’t come at a low price. It’s £200 per adult, £140 per child and even observers pay a hefty £120 for a space on the tour boat. It’s expensive, but we think it’s worth every penny.

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Whale Sharks often swim and hover beneath the surface of the water, so get your cameras at the ready, observers, because photo opportunities like this don’t come around very often. They can also dive to depths greater than 1000 metres, but good luck following them down that far with a snorkel and some flippers.

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Breathing in the salty fresh air and swimming in the warm turquoise water of the Indian Ocean is our idea of an incredible day. Include a dive with a gentle sea giant, some Australian sunshine and flourishing coral, you’ve got yourself an incredible Unmissable experience.

Where? Ningaloo, Exmouth on Western Australia’s Coral Coast.

When? This handy Marine Calender gives you an idea of what sea life you can see throughout the year. Whale Sharks are most prominent between March and August.

How much? £200 for an adult, £140 for children and £120 for an observer

I can’t miss this: You can nab yourself a dive by booking directly through the Three Island website. It’ll give you a step by step  itinerary of your experience and prep you for this awe inspiring experience.

Hawaii. The jumping off point.

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Hawaii can put you in a state of euphoria; the air and the water are all the same temperature as your body. It’s sensory; the music, the fragrance, the breeze and the blue. Oh, and there are two of the most active volcanoes in the world in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Just wait until you see them after dark.

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They’re spectacular at any time of the day, actually – Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the most active, accessible and studied volcanoes in the world: Mauna Loa and Kilauea. It also has tours, and Unmissable love a good tour.

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Volcanoes are solid evidence of our planets origins. Prehistoric in age, they’re memorising and spark (literally) immense curiosity in all of us. The molten lava begs you to touch it, with its inviting glow and gooey texture, it’s unlike any other substance on earth. The good news is: you can get very close.

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You can see gallons of spewing lava at various points during the day, but night-time and very early morning are essential viewing times for everyone. The mountains silhouette themselves in front of the star-lit sky as a crater at the summit of Kilauea spits, sparks and showers fresh lava from it’s fiery depths. The photo opportunities are second to none. This guy gets it:

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The tours operating on Volcanoes National Park explore the diverse terrains in the surrounding area. You’ll see steam vents in luscious grass fields, fresh lava tubes, a 400 foot deep volcanic crater, rain forests, black sandy beaches and hundreds of exclusive flowers.

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In the words of Don Draper: “Hawaii. The jumping off point.” Not here, Don, not here.

Just look at how stunning this place is:

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Volcanoes National Park is a beautiful and daring place to visit. It’s full of wildly contrasting landscapes; it’s educational and inspiring, it’s the pinnacle Unmissable experience.

Where? Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, USA

When? Check what tour dates best suit you, or explore it at any time of the year on your own.

How much? About £54 for an adult and £37 for a child. Well worth the price.

I can’t miss this. Instead of waiting up all night for a chance to see the volcano crater spit in the dark, get up around 4am and watch them with the stars and sun rise – you will not regret the early start.

 

The world bought me a Coke.

I’m sitting here sipping on a can of Coca-Cola.

It’s the first Coke I’ve had since watching the fantastic ending to my favourite TV series: Mad Men. Ever since seeing that ending, I’ve not been able to get the sweet taste of Coke out of my mind.

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I’d like to buy the world a Coke” has really resonated with me over the past couple of weeks. I’ve had the song on repeat and even told myself I’ll download it and listen to it whenever I’m feeling nostalgic about Mad Men. It’s a song that makes me happy and gives me a sense of belonging; I’m sharing this Coke with millions, maybe even billions of people around the world. That’s a really special feeling.

 

When I took the first sip from this can I’m currently drinking, I had a magical Coca-Cola induced flashback to a memory I’ve never told anyone. It was too strange to share and too hard to believe, but like people all over the world do with their can of Coke, I’m going to share it with you.

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It was 3:30am in Canterbury during the summer of 2014. I’d been on a night out with my friends and decided to get the last train home. Just my luck – the last train home wasn’t until 5:30am, so I had a few hours to kill at the train station.

When I arrived there it was empty and wet. I was sweaty and hot from all the dancing I’d done that evening and really needed to cool off. Fortunately for me, there are two vending machines on my platform. Unfortunately for me, I only had £11.00 in my pocket.

With no shops nearby to break a tenner and get some change, I took advantage of this empty train station and began pacing the length of it to find some change on the floor. After hours of wandering around picking up pennies, jumping down onto the tracks and going through shrubbery and dirty drains, I managed to gather 50p in change. I remember the last 20p I found was shinier than any coin I’ve ever seen in my life. I was on top on the world at 4:45am, happy in the thought that I’d found just enough to finally quench my nagging thirst and drying mouth.

I figured £1.50 was enough to get me a drink and a snack, but who knows with these vending machine prices. It turns out it was the perfect amount for a single bottle of Coca-Cola. I stood there in front of this vending machine contemplating its vast selection, listening to a mixture of machinery humming and birds singing in the soft morning light. There was a small row of three Coca-Cola bottles, uniformly straight, all staring at me.

As I scan the line of Coke bottles, I notice something unbelievable.

Share a Coke with Stuart” it said. My name, there in front of me, basking under the vending machine light making the Coke bottle seem angel-like. I couldn’t believe it. I’d spent two chilly hours sifting through drains, jumping on train tracks and rummaging in bushes to muster up enough change to buy a drink, and I’m presented with a Coke that has my name on it.

This may not seem very special to anyone other than me, but it’s the first and only ever Coke product I’ve seen with my name on it. I worked in Tesco filling shelves with every type of Coke available, but never once saw my name. I thought the chances of being alone at a very busy train station are incredibly rare. The chances of gathering up the perfect amount of change to buy a drink are very lucky. The chances of Coke bottles in the vending machine having only my name on them seems unbelievable. I felt the same way Don did in the above picture.

So I put my dirty change into the machine, grab my Coke and knock back as much as my body allows me to guzzle. In hindsight I wish I’d muttered “It’s the real thing” after my guzzling was done. So I took a seat, stared at this dream-like bottle with “Stuart” written on it, boarded my train and headed home with happiness in my hand.

The world bought me a Coke.