Cool hammocks are more associated with Caribbean beaches and backyard swimming pools than they are the stuff of urban northern European. Yet it is in the middle of Vienna, in the Austrian capital’s Museum Quarter, that you’ll find the Flederhaus. The five-story public structure is like a sort of hammock village under one roof.
You may remember the Water Cube as the venue for the swimming events 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. The exterior of “The Cube,” with its translucent walls that seemed as though they were made of giant living skin cells, became one of the iconic images of the games.
The Water Cube received a lot of press at the time of the Olympics. But what most reports (including Spot Cool Stuff’s own review) left out was that the building was not designed to permanently host of swimming competitions. From conception, its real intended purpose was to be a water park.
Recently the Water Cube’s original destiny was fulfilled with the opening of the Happy Magic Watercube. (Yes, somehow “water cube” got truncated to one word during the transition). In doing so, the place where Michael Phelps once set world records in swimming is today setting the record as the world’s largest indoor water park.
To monks, the monastery represents the victory of good over evil. To travelers, it represents the victory of architecture over gravity.
Spot Cool Stuff previously reviewed five towns on cliff sides—villages where drinking and driving . . . or drinking and walking . . . or simply walking could be especially perilous.
Following up on that, here are five religious buildings—a shrine, temple, church and two monasteries—built at a cliff’s edge. Gazing down the rocky drops from these structures, and out upon the magnificent vistas they offer, and perhaps one can’t help but believe in God.
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!
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.”
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!
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.
Trying to categorize the lodgings offered by the Acido Dorado, located on the edge of California’s Joshua Tree National Park, is like trying to solve a Zen koan.
Acido Dorado isn’t a house—it is too open to the elements for that. It isn’t a glamping (glamorous camping) experience and certainly isn’t a cabin—the setup is way too luxurious. The accommodations here aren’t indoors, though nor are they outdoors; rather, it is some ingenious melding of the two.