Looking for a relaxing place to spend the holidays?
Two spots in Europe may offer some respite from this year's holiday stress—if, that is, your major concern this season is the possibility of the ancient Mayanprophesied Doomsday on Dec. 21, 2012.
Indeed, while the rest of us are out vainly shopping for Furbies and iPads, other travelers are making long-term plans. UK travel search site Skyscanner recently announced that searches for one-way tickets to Turkey, for travel on the days leading up to Dec. 21, have spiked by nearly a third, while similar searches to the South of France have gone up by 41 percent.
Why those two locales? The western Turkey town of Sirince (pictured), for one, is reputedly near the area where, some believe, the Virgin Mary ascended into Heaven—and is also considered by many to be a safe haven for the predicted End of the World.
If that's not reassuring enough, consider the village of Bugarach in Southern France. Here, according to a striking number of Mayan-prophecy aficionados and UFO fans, the local mountain is quietly housing a small army of aliens and spaceships, which will be offering rides to greener pastures (or, let's be honest, planets) during the winter solstice.
The good news: the folks at Skyscanner, at least, are still feeling pretty optimistic about our collective future. A spokeswoman says that they've seen an even higher number of flight searches for trips on Dec. 22, which, she says, "suggests that not everyone is convinced the end of the world really is nigh."