Europe

The Invisible Treehouse Hotel

Imagine the fun you can having suddenly appearing to the people walking below à la Harry Potter throwing off his cloak of invisibility.

Dude, where’s my treehouse hotel?

That’s not the title of a bad sequel to an Ashton Kutcher movie of a similar name. It’s what you might be saying to your room mate were you and he guests at The Treehotel in Harads, Sweden. That’s because one of the accommodations options there, the Mirrorcube, is invisible!

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Tour Europe in a Retro, Affordable Camper Van

One way to save money on hotels and a rental car while traveling western Europe is to get your accommodations and transportation together. You could rent your typical mobile home. But the cheaper and cooler option—to say nothing of the more stylishly retro—choice is the Tonke Camper.

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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 World’s Best Candy Stores

This store is as close as you can get to a real-life Willy Wonka experience without wrangling some umpa lumpas and opening a shop yourself

Travelers with a sweet tooth weakness, do not proceed any further in this post. What follows is Spot Cool Stuff’s selection of the 6 most interesting-looking, diabetes-inducing candy stores. A trip to any one for these shops (well, except for the last one) is likely to result in a sugar overdose. Ye be warned.

Note: These are all primarily candy stores. We’ve reviewed our favorite chocolate stores in a separate post.

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Hamburg’s Man-dergarten

If it turns out that all you really need to know you didn’t learn in kindergarten then you can always try learning it at Maennergarten.

At least you could if you are an adult male in Northern Germany

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4 Cool Ideas For
Short Term Work Abroad

'Working' on a sailboat plying tropical waters—that's a tough gig to beat.

Long term travel does not have to come at the expense of long term debt. In a nod to Buy Nothing Day (which is the day after the American Thanksgiving which occurs on the 4th Thursday in November), Spot Cool Stuff takes a look at five jobs that can be weaved into travels abroad. Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list of work abroad possibilities. Instead, it’s a glimpse at four ideas for defraying the cost of a long trip while also getting an immersive cultural experience.

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Staying at Holland’s Wine Cask ‘n’ Breakfast

Previously, Spot Cool Stuff told our readers about a temple made of beer bottles and warned against the dangers of worshipping and driving. Now comes a hotel where perhaps you shouldn’t sleep and drive: The Hotel de Vrouwe van Stavoren. At this restaurant and resort in Holland, guests sleep in giant recycled wine casks!

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