There’s no other bicycle shop in the world where you have to give serious thought to your wardrobe before visiting.
The best bike shops in the world do more than sell and fix bicycles. They fill you with a sort of enthusiastic energy that makes you want to get out there and pedal.
There are lots of great community bicycle stores out there, too many for us to declare the six we feature below to be the absolute best. But each one is superlative in its own way:
On the shores of Lake Constance—which straddles Germany, Austria and Switzerland—the whales are not found in the water. They are found floating above it in the form of the massive whale-like zeppelin, the world’s largest commercial flying machine.
Note that zeppelins are different from blimps. Both have bulbous tops filled with a gas that’s lighter than air. But a blimp’s top has no internal structure; blimps are essentially steerable balloons. Zeppelins use a metal frame, which makes them more stable, agile, durable and quiet for passengers (since the engine can be placed further from the cabin).
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.
There’s no more iconic sight in Rome than that of the Colosseum. And there’s no hotel with better room views of the Colosseum than the Gladiatori Palazzo Manfredi.
At this five star boutique hotel, you can literally gaze out upon the Colosseum while laying in bed or while brushing your teeth at the bathroom sink.
Welcome to the Chrome Zone.
That’s not the title of a science fiction movie (that we know of). It’s what you’ll hear when you walk into Google’s first retail store1. It’s located not in the vacinity of Google’s California headquarters, as one might expect, but across the pond in London.
The store is named such because its featured product is the Google Chromebook notebook computer. (The notebook computers are named such because they run the Chrome operating system.)
Reportedly, Google is modeling their retail strategy after Apple. Some of the larger, flashier Apple stores have become destinations in themselves. Go to their store in Shanghai or on Fifth Avenue in New York City, for example, and you’ll see tourists from the world over snapping photos of themselves in front of large, glass-encased Apple logos. So how does the Chrome Zone in London compare to those cool shopping experiences?
While being lead to your room through dark rock passageways one feels like a dwarf on a quest in the Mines of Moria
Hitting rock bottom on vacation can be a very cool experience. At least it can in Scandinavia, in Sweden, in the county of Västmanland and in the town of Sala. For it is there that travelers can find the Sala Silvermine and can stay in the accommodations of its Mine Suite. At 155 meters (509 feet) below ground level, it is deepest hotel room in the world.
One day you’re in. The next day you’re out.
Heidi Klum’s golden rule of Project Runway fashion is also the reality for the characters that comprise signs. One day you are an L or an R proudly pointing the way towards an attraction along with your fellow letters. The next day you are discarded.
Usually old signs end up in landfills or incinerators. But an especially lucky, and especially artistic, few have their letters go on display in museums. There people look at them not for any direction they can provide but for the works of art that they are.
Here’s a review of Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite unusual typography museums:
“The world is a bubble” declared Saint Augustine. Seventeen centuries later, the patron saint of brewers and printers would surely be a huge fan of the portable plastic offerings from Bubble Tree.
The french design and manufacturing company sells bubble products that they describe as “Unusual huts for unusual nights.” Spot Cool Stuff would characterize them more as glorified tents.