Amsterdam

5 Cool Airport Bars

Most airport bars are exactly what you’d expect: a rather dull-looking spot in between terminals where you can wet your whistle during a layover. But every so often, a bar, pub or alcohol-serving restaurant will go above and beyond merely meeting the needs of the travel-weary by supplying a truly special experience to make your trip that much better.

That’s the case with these five cool airport bars. While you can find decent watering holes in most of the world’s airports, these five provide a truly transcend the experience for downing a beverage before or during your air travel itinerary.

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The Cat Houseboat of Amsterdam

Most crazy cat ladies live in dilapidated houses in blighted suburban neighborhoods that you wouldn’t want to travel to. Henriette van Weelde is not one of those crazy cat ladies. For one, she lives in a quaint section of central Amsterdam. Also, her cat-filled abode is not only a place you might want to visit, it’s a place lots of tourists do.

It started in 1966 when van Weelde decided to take in a family of stray cats she found near her home. Then she found another stray and thought to herself what so many crazy cat ladies have: Well, I’m sure I can find room for just one more cat.

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Take A Fantastic Voyage
Through the Human Body

Your kids can bounce up and down on the rubber tongue

Sure, you could learn about inner functionings of the human body by reading an anatomy book. Or you could learn the Spot Cool Stuff Way: By walking through a giant 35 meter (115 feet) tall replica of the human body at the Corpus Science Museum in the Netherlands. Intrigued?

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Yo, Cool and Cozy In-Airport Hotel

Take a modern, stylish boutique hotel. Then automate its check-in process. Then shrink down its rooms. Then place this hotel inside the terminal of a busy airport. What you’ll get as your result is Yotel—Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite chain of airport-only accommodations.

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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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5 Cool Buildings Made of Shipping Containers

Shipping containers. You’ve seen them on trains, on the back of trucks, at ports and piled onto cargo ships. There more than 20 million of those steel 40 by 8 feet (12 by 2.4 meter) boxes scattered around the world. That’s more than were needed even before the current economic slowdown. Today, as many as one million shipping containers may be sitting around unused. The surplus is especially profound in the United States, northern Europe and China.

Given the planet’s excess of shipping containers and shortage of affordable housing it only makes sense that people would make the connection. “Container architecture” has become a specialty in itself. The benefits are obvious: Containers are relatively cheap (around US$1,200~1,500 each). They are, by definition, portable. And they are durable (made to survive rough treatment and resist salt corrosion). A container house can be built, on average, 40% faster than a comparably sized traditional house. And then there’s the environmental benefit of putting surplus containers to use instead of letting them slowly rust in a landfill.

Thousands buildings made of shipping containers are today being uses for offices, stores, restaurants and private residences. There are several excellent books documenting the most interesting among them. Here are five shipping container buildings we think are especially cool:

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