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The Road to Heaven

There are some strange places on this planet, and hopefully you will take time to see at least some of them for yourself.

One of the top three natural attractions in Canada is located in New Brunswick.

Magnetic Hill is located northwest of Moncton, and has been conserved to allow visitors to experience the thrill of coasting uphill.

The scenic, rural stretch of road will boggle the mind of travellers when they place their car in neutral at the bottom of the hill and experience the awe of coasting the rest of the way up to the top.

There are a few such marvels in the world, but the Moncton area hill has a nice long stretch which has been preserved so that there is no other traffic while you take your turn to enjoy the fun.

There are some smaller stretches here and there. There is another location in New Brunswick on Johnville's Shepherd Hill. Brownsville, Quebec also claims a site, as does Caledon, Ontario. Dixon Dam Road in British Columbia also has a gravity hill and so does Swan Valley, Mnitoba.

Other gravity hills can be found in places like Nova Scotia, Maine, Oklahoma, Scotland, South Austrialia, Barbados, Greece, South Korea and Armenia, to name a few.

Perhaps the most spectacular is on Leh-Kargil Highway, near Ladakh, India, set in the Trans-Himalayan region.

The legend there is that there is a highway to heaven and those who are deserving will feel themselves being pulled directly to that perfect abode.

Many believed in a more earthly explanation, that the road actually is built over a magnetic force that was influencing the vehicles that passed over it. This theory was widely accepted to the degree that it is said airplane pilots in the India Air Force would avoid the area out of concern that it could interfere with their plane's instrument settings.

The truth is almost as strange. It's actually all in our mind. Our brains are creating this sensation that at these various sites around the world, when we are attempting to go downhill, we have to put our foot to the accelerator to give our car a little extra power to make it. The truth is that on those occasions, we are actually going uphill. We just think we are going downhill because there is something about the landscape that makes us see the road ahead as going downward. A steeper hill ahead, making it appear that we are one side of a valley, is usually the culprit.

Whatever the case, it is a truly heavenly treat to take a trip on a gravity hill.

When in Moncton, take the time to head out for a mind-blowing drive. There is a small fee for the fun, but that preserves the site, which is well worth it.

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