The steadfast resistance of a stubborn elderly couple has led to a road being constructed around their house in Wenling, Zhejiang province, China. The pair refused to sign an agreement which would have allowed their house to be demolished, saying the compensation offered was not enough to cover the costs of rebuilding. As such, the authorities decided to go ahead with the construction anyway, with the house remaining in the middle of the road. But this is far from the weirdest road on the planet.
Guaoliang ‘cliff corridor’, China
Quirky China News/Rex Features-The Wenling house road is far from the strangest road in China. This terrifying 1250m long, 5m high, 4m wide ‘cliff corridor’ is perched 110 metres up a cliff face in Henan Province, and is traversed by only the hardiest of drivers. It was constructed in 1972 by 14 residents of the nearby Guaoliang village, who were so frustrated that the only route to their remote settlement was a flight of 720 steep steps that they took matters into their own hands. Local man Shen Mingxlen led 13 workers in chiselling a road through the rock face, despite having no electricity or heavy machinery. It took them five years to complete their ‘corridor’, which is dotted with 35 window sized holes, from which rock was dumped during construction. The men used 10 tonnes of drill rods and 4,000 hammers to complete their feat, and one died after slipping and falling.
North Yungas Highway, Bolivia
The North Yungas highway in Bolivia is another of world most notorious cliffside roads. This unpaved road connects La Paz to the Amazon Basin, and is so narrow in places that it can cause awkward head-on meetings between vehicles along the sheer rockface, such as the one pictured above.
This serpentine road in Norway is known as Trollstigen, which in English means ‘troll’s path’. It’s a major tourist attraction in the country’s Rauma region, and has a steep 9% incline and eleven hairpin bends.
Storseisundet Bridge, Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway
The Travel Lib-Also in Norway is this swooping cantilever bridge, which is part of a route which runs through a chain of islands in the north of the country.
Lombard Street, San Francisco, USA
No list of unusual roads would be complete without San Francisco’s winding Lombard Street, which is billed as the most crooked street in the world.
Baldwin Street, New Zealand
Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand has the distinction of being the world’s steepest residential street, with an incline of 35%.
Umeda Exit, Hanshin Expressway, Japan
While the Chinese are content with building a road around a building, the Japanese seem to prefer to build a building round a road. The Umeda exit of the Hanshin Expressway in Osaka runs through the city’s Gate Tower Building.
Leipzig/Halle Airport Bridge, A14 freeway, Germany
This road in Leipzing runs beneath the city’s airport, meaning vehicles regular drive beneath taxiing aircraft!
Magic Roundabout, Swindon, UK
The Magic Roundabout in Swindon, UK is named after a legendary British kids’ TV show, and must rank as one of the most unnecessarily complicated roundabouts in the world.
Grimsel Pass, Switzerland
The winding Grimsel Pass in Switzerland’s Upper Rhone Valley helps drivers traverse the region’s steep mountainsides.
Judge Larry Pregerson Interchange, California, USA
As complicated interchanges go, the Magic Roundabout has nothing on the baffling mess of ramps and sliproads in California’s Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange.
Atlas Mountains Road, Morocco
This beautiful (if scary) section of road runs alongside the Torda Gorge in Morocco’s stunning Atlas Mountains.
Passo dello Stelvio, Italy
The Passo dello Stelvio is, at 2757m, the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps. It has an astonishing 60 hairpin turns, which has led to it being dubbed the ‘greatest driving road in the world’ by the UK’s Top Gear TV programme.