Great Attractions

Experience Istanbul Like an Ottoman

The Ottoman Empire may conjure up images of elaborately mustached men decked out in fez hats while women recline seductively behind floaty veils in the sultan’s harem, but there is much more to this exotic empire than first meets the eye. At the height of its might, Ottoman territories expanded across the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. Istanbul, known then as Constantinople, was wrestled from the hands of the Byzantines in 1453 and remained the capital of the Empire until its end in 1923. Situated on three bodies of water with a literal treasure chest of historical gems, the Ottomans further capitalized on Istanbul’s breathtaking beauty to ensure it maintained its reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Although Istanbul has modernized at a startlingly rapid pace, some of the most glorious remnants of its past are everywhere to be seen. From centuries-old wooden mansion hotels to ancient shopping malls, mosques, palaces, bathhouses and much, much more, it’s possible to spend some time in Istanbul shopping, eating, praying, relaxing and sleeping much like the Ottomans did!

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Dr. Sketchy’s School of Anti-Art

Imagine a drawing class and you probably conjure an image of a studious group of experienced artists silently sketching a bowl of fruit whilst a demanding teacher paces back and forth whispering criticism to students.

If you were to take that image and replace the studious group of experienced artists with a fun gaggle of drinkers who might not have drawn anything since kindergarten, and then were to substitute the whispering teacher with an gregerous social director, and then were to swap out the bowl of fruit for a corseted madam doing a dance routine inside a steel cage, then you’d have a vague picture of what it’s like taking a class at Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School.

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The Matterhorn’s Boutique Hiking Hut

There may be no country in the world as into hiking and mountaineering as Switzerland. The Alpine nation is criss-crossed by trekking trails and dotted with remote hiking shelters.

Most of those shelters are basic—a roof, a few beds, an outhouse, perhaps a wood burning stove. But one Swiss shelter is very much not basic: the Monte Rosa Hütte. It’s been nicknamed the Bergkristall (mountain crystal) and those who have visited are calling it “the mountain hut of the future.”

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The Creepiest Place on the Planet

The dolls belong to spirits that keep the deceased girl company and prevent further evil from descending upon the island

On a creepy island in a creepy swamp south of Mexico City there’s a place that looks like the stuff of nightmares and horror movies. Here, among the scraggily branches and dead trees hang hundreds of old, mangled dolls.

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Visiting The World’s Largest Radio Telescope

To astronomers, Arecibo is the world’s largest radio telescope and one of mankind’s preeminent tools for probing the heavens. To movie buffs, Arecibo is where Jodi Foster first met Matthew McConaughey in Contact and where Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond chased down a villain in GoldenEye. To Caribbean travelers, Arecibo is a great travel destination to mix into your diving, shopping and beach lounging (particularly if you are traveling with children).

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Spotting the Spotted Lake

Spot Cool Stuff recently reviewed a selection of landscapes, trees and buildings that resemble scenes from a Dr. Seuss book. If you read that you might be asking yourself Well, what if the good Doctor were to design a lake? That Seussian lake it would surely look like the Spotted Lake, located a little more than a kilometer (and a little less than a mile) north of the Washington state line in British Columbia, Canada.

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One Fish, Two Fish,
Places That Look Dr. Seuss-ish

Anyone who grew up on The Cat In The Hat and Green Eggs and Ham remembers the illustrations of one Mr. Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. Trees with elongated trucks or with improbable collections of limbs. Stark and scraggly landscapes with oddly balanced rocks and unlikely geometric shapes. Architecture with unusual protrusions and awkward angles where no two windows exactly the same. These were some of the hallmarks of the world Dr. Seuss illustrated in his 60 children’s books.

Here’s a look at some places on Planet Earth—places you can visit on your next vacation—that resemble scenes from a Dr. Seuss illustration. So, in the words of the doctor himself . . .


…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!


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The World’s Largest Car Dealership

Chances are that you have never visited an auto dealership purely for an afternoon of fun. That may change once construction is complete on a new car showroom megaplex.

Said new car showroom megaplex is not located in the United States, China or Germany, as you might expect. Instead, the Autopia Europia is being built in a suburb of Istanbul, Turkey. The massive building will be the world’s largest car dealership. Though we’d argue it will be much more than that.

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