Some also hope to pick up some extra luck along the way, visiting (and often touching) the supposedly magical stones and statues said to work wonders according to local traditions and urban myths. Here are nine places where you can go to “get lucky.”
1. Statue of John Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Tourists often rub the toe of the left shoe of the statue of John Harvard, the prestigious university’s first benefactor, in the mistaken belief that doing so is a Harvard student tradition. Try it, who knows, maybe you’ll stumble onto a full scholarship to Harvard, and then you won’t need any more luck at all!
2. Owl’s Trail (La Chouette), Dijon
This city in eastern France is not only famous for its mustard, but also for its stone owl that can work miracles. First, make sure to rub the owl on the side of the church, in the center of town; then walk from the owl’s left side, look at the owl and make a wish — which will be looked over by the dragon sitting above the wise bird.
3. Indian Statue of Ferdinand Magellan Monument, Punta Arenas
The Magellan Monument is a large memorial tower erected in 1866 in honor of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
All around the monument are beautiful sculptures of native men and women, and kissing the foot of one of the Indians is considered a source of good luck that will one day bring you back to Punta Arenas with heightened fortune.
4. Six-Tusk Elephant, Mount Emei, Sichuan
Rising 3,099 meters above sea level, Mount Emei is the highest of China’s four holy Buddhist mountains. But it’s worth the climb to meet Buddha Puxian also known as Samantabhadra — or maybe more precisely, the six-tusk white elephant he’s riding. It is believed by Chinese that by touching the shiny backside of this sacred creature, you will achieve success in your studies.
5. Blarney Stone, Cork
The Blarney Stone is a block of Carboniferous Limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle. According to legend, kissing the stone endows you with the gift of gab, that is, great eloquence or skill at flattery.
You’ll need the help of a staff holding your waist to reach down to kiss the stone, which by the way, is also considered the world’s least hygenic tourist attraction since no one washes after all those kisses. The Forensic Science Technician ranks the Blarney Stone above airplane bathrooms, ATMs and murder scenes in the number of germs people are most likely to encounter.
6. Intihuatana Stone, Machu Picchu
Located at the top of the sacred valley in Machu Picchu, Intihuatana is said to be the place where the sun is tied. Local people believe that here the energy is in the air, and by touching the stone you can feel that energy go through your body, leaving you charged with positive vibrations and able to continue your trip right to the top of the mountain.
7. Statue of St. John of Nepomuk, Prague
The plaque of John of Nepomuk on Prague’s Charles Bridge has been polished by countless people touching the likeness of the Czech national saint, hoping for good luck. To be sure you’ve got the right charm, it is the 8th statue on the right if you are heading from Old Town Square towards Prague Castle.
8. Statue of Victor Noir, Pere-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris
Victor Noir, a journalist who was killed by Pierre Bonaparte — great-nephew of the Emperor Napoleon — is more famous in death than he ever was in life. Noir’s grave is marked by a bronze statue of the man lying with his hat beside him, and a notable bulge below his belt. It is said that by rubbing his privates and leaving flowers in his hat, a woman is guaranteed to have a baby within the year.
9. Statue Of Juliet, Verona
Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists trek to Verona to see the balcony where Romeo and Juliet declared their love. It is said by touching the right breast of the bronze statue of Juliet in the courtyard, all those who are longing for true love are bound to find it.
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