Category - Weird and Wonderful

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Twilight holidays, the weirdest thing ever?
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A Night less Ordinary: Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht in Jeongdongjin
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Purple 10 really weird museums
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Love the sky at night? You’ll love dark sky holidays
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Anchorman 2, it’s kind of a big deal at this Museum
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Off the beaten track: Alberobello, town of the cone-shaped roofs
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A Night Less Ordinary: Hamster Hotel
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In Pictures: World’s Weirdest Restaurants
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Off the beaten track: Rainbow land
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Purple Tips: Jimmy Choo High Tea in Hong Kong

Twilight holidays, the weirdest thing ever?

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If you’re a twihard, like us, then here are some holidays you might want to to think about. From the rolling hills of Ireland to the breathtaking landscapes
of Italy, we’ve got the top trips for Twilight holidays.

Olympic Coven, Forks, Washington, USA

Home to the Cullens, Edward, with added Bella, Carlisle and Esme and (of course!) the newest edition, Renesmee, Forks has become a haven for Twilight fans. Of course, starting off with a Twilight tour is a must. A trip to Seattle nearby is a great family friendly choice; you can even visit the famous Space Needle, while Forks’ national park shows off the setting that inspired Stephanie Meyer.

Volturi Coven, Tuscany, Italy

Romance is alive and well in Tuscany of course, even if you don’t see much niceness from the Volturi themselves. Volterra is the home of the vampire royalty who’ve lived there for over 3000 years, enforcing their strict code of conduct. It might be home to a fictional vampire elite, but don’t let that put you off. It’s one of the most popular places in Europe to get married (think summer evenings, eating outdoors, fireworks and olive groves,) while the show stopping scenery and long, lazy days surrounded by sunshine and pasta make for a totally laidback holiday.

Egyptian Coven, somewhere in Egypt

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Egypt might reveal vampires pretty quickly – with all that sunshine, you couldn’t help but sparkle. For non-vamps, the historic homeland of one of Twilight’s oldest clans is an unbelievably beautiful experience. From snorkelling the clear waters of the Red Sea, to discovering the ancient historic sights of the King and Queens valleys.

Denali Coven, Alaska, USA

The Denalis are the Cullens’ closest friends and the only other known ‘vegetarian’ clan. Found in the wilds of Alaska, the Denalis must be making the most of the 67 days of night found in the northern American state. The untouched landscape and a trip to the (aptly named) Denali National Park, mean you can get close to nature and hike to your heart’s content.

Amazon Coven, Brazil

The ultimate in honeymoon destinations, Rio is where Edward and Bella kicked off their first holiday after their wedding and the stars Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart were the star attraction when they filmed there. The secretive Amazon coven, stays out of the way of humans, but you probably don’t need to worry about that. There’s a whole country worth of sights, sounds and smells to soak up in this Latin American gem.

Dublin, Ireland

Ireland Ireland’s capital city Dublin is a great introduction to the home of the Irish Coven with the vampires Maggie and Siobhan. It’s got that legendary nightlife, which is always helpful for vampires who are used to not sleeping. Head to the coast, either West or South, for the hip towns of Galway or Cork and indulge in some of the finest ‘craic’ this side of the Atlantic.

A Night less Ordinary: Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht in Jeongdongjin

We go around the world to find the most beautiful, weird and wonderful hotels. From panda-themed hotels to converted silvermines, we explore the weirdest hotels in the world in our A Night Less Ordinary series, so you can expect the unexpected. This week, Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht in Jeongdongjin, South Korea.

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Image via @ www.metrogreece.gr

Ship shaped Hotel in S. Korea (Sun Cruise in Jungdongjin) !!

Image via @ www.itdunya.com

Whats the gimmick? Why would anyone want to stay in a stationary cruise ship? We’re not really sure either, but this one has been packing them in since it first opened in 2002. It’s the world’s first on-land cruise-theme resort, 45m high and weighs around 30,000 tonnes. “On board” visitors can stay in one of 211 rooms, complete with nautical themes, and porthole windows.

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Image via @ www.itdunya.com

Why stay? You can’t deny it’s something a little different. Right on a cliff overlooking Jeongdongjin, it’s a popular choice for couples who want amazing sun rise views. On top of that there are great restaurants, swimming pools and a revolving club.

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Image via @ www.itdunya.com

The WOW Factor? If you’re scared of the water or even want to experience something truly different, the cruise ship hotel probably delivers it. The owners say: “The owners were inspired by Titanic, but they dropped the anchor on a mountain to feel more secure”.

Rooms start at pocket-friendly £45.12 per night.

Purple 10 really weird museums

A spy museum, all you’ve ever wanted to know about toilets and real life samples from Big Foot, we’ve got 10 really weird museums from around the world for your pleasure.

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  1. Want to become a spy? Actually, can we just ask, who doesn’t? Well, now you can, for a day anyway, at the International Spy Museum in Washington DC, USA. We’re talking gadgets, code breaking and generally being a bit James Bond as you learn about the history of secret agents and get to grips with a life of espionage.
  2. Iceland’s Phallological Museum in Reykjavik, is as the name suggests all about biology and takes it very seriously too. It is home to a collection of more than 215 penis specimens from various mammals found in the wild all over the island including a walrus, a rogue polar bear, a whale. There are also four examples from humans, but we didn’t ask where they came from.
  3. We always hear of the priceless art found in countless cities throughout the world, but what about the bad stuff? The Museum of Bad Art in Boston claims to be the only one of its kind in the world. Featuring art that’s ‘too bad to be ignored’ it features plenty of paintings of dodgy blue people, symbols that don’t mean much and some weird uses of nudity.
  4. For all you’ve ever wanted to know about the humble toilet, you could do worse than the International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi. The curators tell us: ‘the toilet is a part of the history of human hygiene which is a critical chapter in the growth of civilisation.’
  5. Athens is well known for its museums filled with thousands of years of artefacts that document the birthplace of science and democracy. We like the Tactual Museum, where you’re actively encouraged to touch everything. There are all kinds of replicas, statues and frescoes that you can get up close and personal with.
  6. The Hair Museum of Avanos in Cappadocia, Turkey is a fairly simple idea, but definitely one of the most bizarre things you’ll see. In a room under an unassuming pottery shop, you’ll find caves covered with a collection of over 16,000 locks of hair from women from all over the world. It’s free to enter, and women can leave a lock of their own if they want.
  7. For the latest information and conjecture on the likes of Big Foot, the Montauk Monster, or the Abominable Snowman, then the Cryptozoology Museum, in Portland, USA is a good place to start. It claims to have ‘actual samples’ of hair and unique pieces of evidence from mythical creatures from all over the world.
  8. Your green fingers will start tingling when you hear about the British Lawnmower Museum. As you would expect, it’s dedicated to all things grass cutting and is home to specialised gardening machines, vintage lawnmowers and all manner of parts and conservation materials from all over the world. A truly British experience.
  9. If you’ve got a weak stomach, it might be best to skip the Paris Sewer Museum. You’re guided through the tunnels and pummelled by historical and factual information about the famous underground areas that have featured in French literature including Les Miserables and Phantom Of The Opera.
  10. Love chips? So do we and so do the Belgians apparently, if the Friet Museum is anything to go by. The ground floor offers a 10,000 year potted history of the humble spud and it’s development into the tasty chip we know and love today.

You should read… Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart

Love the sky at night? You’ll love dark sky holidays

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If you fancy yourself a little bit of an amateur astronomer, then we’ve got just the bit of news for you. A new craze is sweeping the tourism industry, for dark sky getaways. We’re not talking about space travel, (although that is a growing industry!) we mean places with reduced light pollution, away from the glare of street lamps and cars where you can really see the skies at night. Here are a couple of top tips for your star gazing holiday.

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La Palma, Canary Islands La Palma has a local law called Sky Law, a money saving initiative that stalls pollution, radiation and outdoor lighting and therefore encourages dark sky holidays. The island is also home to the Roque de los Muchachose Observatory. It’s renowned in the Northern Hemisphere for some of the best views of the night sky with consistently cloudless skies making for almost guaranteed sights.

Provence, France You’ll find an astronomy farmhouse where the owner Olly will take you through the nebulae and galaxies far, far away. The owners even offer you the chance for sophisticated space photography with no experience necessary.

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Wadi Rum, Jordan the ancient historical Bedouin Camp, offers Arabic banquets and al fresco beds, as you gaze skywards. A perfect opportunity to take in the vast twinkling lights, away from any light or air pollution. You’ll also be surrounded by the stunning ancient sites of Jordan to fill your days as well as your nights with wonder.

Spain El Milano Real Hotel near Madrid offers guided sessions in Spanish and English of the skies above. With little air or light pollution and an observatory with a 250mm telescope mirror. For anyone serious about dark sky holidays, this is certainly one to consider.

Anchorman 2, it’s kind of a big deal at this Museum

Finally! Ron Burgundy’s amazing commitment to quality journalism is about to be recognised with a dedicated exhibition in Washington DC. Anchorman: The Exhibit will open on November 14.

Anchorman Museum

The Newseum in partnership with Paramount Pictures is opening the special exhibit ahead of the long awaited sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The original film starring Will Ferrell, Cristina Applegate and Steve Carell became a huge hit and one of the most quotable films of recent years. Fans of the film will get to see props, like Burgundy’s jazz flute and the whip used in that rival anchormen fight scene. The costumes worn by the Channel 4 Evening News Team will feature and visitors can check out a re-creation of the KVWN-TV anchor desk and set. If you’re a budding Burgundy, you can even step in front of the camera yourself, just be careful no one adds a question mark to your auto cue. We’re also hoping it’ll be filled with leather bound books and smell of rich mahogany. Ron Burgundy himself is delighted with the dedication: ‘I’m literally trapped in a glass case of emotion.’ The trailer for Anchorman 2 is a hint at what to expect: YouTube Preview Image Find more information on the Anchorman Exhibition at the Newseum website.

Off the beaten track: Alberobello, town of the cone-shaped roofs

Alberobello is a small town in Southern Italy, known as the capital of trulli, thanks to the fairy tale 15th-century traditional domes adorning most of the town’s buildings.

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Image via @ *Blunight 72*

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Image via @ valeriani armando

The typical trulli building are usually cone-shaped, and found in the Puglia region of Italy and built without mortar. The town has over 1500 buildings with such roofs and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Image via @ valeriani armando

The Trulli of Alberobello

Image via @ Elizabeth Thomsen

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Image via @ rmx

The history of trulli dates back to the 15th century when the King of Naples added a tax to new buildings. That’s when peasants decided to build these simple, easily pulled-down structures, so they could be seen as temporary. The eye-catching roofs were made yby simply stacking stones in circular rings. Surprisingly the structure was found to be very stable, and the tradition was kept on.

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Image via @ valeriani armando 

Find out more about amazing places around the world, in our Off the Beaten Track series.

A Night Less Ordinary: Hamster Hotel

From the sublime to the ridiculous, we collect the best in weird and wonderful hotels every week for our series called A Night Less Ordinary. From sleeping underwater to spending a night in a silvermine suite, expect the unexpected. This week it’s the Hamster Hotel.

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Image via @ Amusing Planet

What’s the gimmick? If you spend your time daydreaming about living like a hamster, then never fear! A clever group in Nantes, France has opened La Villa Hamster, to offer you this weird, but certainly unique experience.

Hamster Wheel 1

Image via @ espadrilles et champagne

Why stay?We wanted to create an eccentric hotel, so we decided that the funniest would be an animal-themed accommodation”, said Yann Falquerho and Frédéric Tabary, the guys behind the idea. La Villa Hamster has all the amenities needed for larger than life hamsters, from a huge (romantic) running wheel made just for two, a metal water tap, and a bathroom which is simply a large bowl of wood chips. There is one concession to human comfort in the form of a double bed, accessible only by stairs.

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Image via @ Amusing Planet

The WOW factor! For the ultimate experience guests are given hamster masks during their stay. The cost for an overnight in this bizarre hotel is around €150.

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Image via @ thechive.com

In Pictures: World’s Weirdest Restaurants

In Pictures: World’s Weirdest Restaurants

This one turns pop-up upside down, way down. The Muru Pop Down in Finland is in a limestone mine 260 underground. Image via @ Yahoo News.UnderGround

The Modern Toilet Restaurant in Taipei offers a dining experience with a difference. Customers sit on loo shaped seats, food is served in toilet shaped containers and drinks in mini urinals. Certainly different, but probably not for everyone.

Modern Toilet

A few destinations are taking up the dinner in the dark idea, including in the USA and Switzerland, but Dans le Noir in London does it really well. Eating and drinking in pitch darkness is said to heighten tastebuds and give you an unforgettable experience. Image via @ Dans Le Noir.

Dinner in the dark

The Heart Attack Grill in legendary Las Vegas is an assault on your arteries, thanks to its double, triple or quadruple bypass burgers and chips, deep fried in lard. Yum, right?

Heart attack Grill

Japan seems to outdo itself with every new café it opens. Here’s the Reptile Café, the pictures are faily self-explanatory! Image via the Reptile Cafe on Twitter.

Reptile Cafe

Bucharest’s Count Dracula restaurant allows you to sit with the old bloodsucker and enjoy a night of frightening feasting. Image via @ Yahoo News.

Dracula BucharestA background check is required for entry into the Fortezza Medicea in Italy. It’s not just because the flavours and ingredients are dangerously good, but the staff are serving 25 years to life. A restaurant in a prison might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’ll surely make you an offer you can’t refuse. Image via @ Volterratur.it.

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Dinner in the Sky is exactly what it sounds like. A team of waiters and chefs serves your every whim at a delicious meal 50 metres in the sky. You are strapped in and raised by crane with 22 others to feel the earth move beneath your feet. Literally. Image via @ Dinner In The Sky.

Dinner in the sky

At the world famous Ayers Rock in Australia you can enjoy a Sound of Silence experience, where you dine under the stars, accompanied by a star talker, who’ll guide you through a tour of the clear skies as you indulge in the most delicious local food. Image via @ Ayers Rock.

Ayers Rock

Off the beaten track: Rainbow land

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Image via @ S.K. LO

Imagine visiting a land of rainbow. Well now you can forget about imagining and just go for it. Mauritius is home to this weird and wonderful landscape filled with colour and wonder.

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Image via @ wikimedia commons

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Image via @ wikimedia commons

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Image via @ Anne-Marie bis 

Normally, Mauritius brings in mind exotic scenery and turquoise waters. But, in a small region near the village of Chamarel, a rainbow has found its home in the land. Visitors can can admire huge colourful dunes with seven different hues: red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. Most viewers will be surprised to find that even if you try to mix it all together, you’ll realise that the colours are totally separated.

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Image via @ Szakács Feri 

Notably, the dunes don’t suffer from erosion, or from the torrential tropical rains of Mauritius and since the 60s it’s become one of the tourist hot spots on the island. However, you will only get to view the exquisite sands from a platform, as authorities have installed barriers to stop anyone getting too close.

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Image via @ Nitish Ramanjooloo 

Find out more about amazing places around the world, in our Off the Beaten Track series.

Purple Tips: Jimmy Choo High Tea in Hong Kong

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If you love your shoes as much as we do, then this tea for Choo package is one to watch. Visitors to the fashionable Landmark Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong can now indulge in a high end shoe themed afternoon tea party. This is not just any old tea though, its served with exquisite smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches, traditional scones with jam and cream and mango macaroons. However the pièce de résistance is that all the food is served as a miniature dedication to fashion, in the form of handbags or high heels.

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Images via @ Mandarin Oriental

Guests can also enjoy an extra special gift – as long as stocks last. If you decide to stay over in the luxurious L900 Suite, a special pair of Jimm Choo shoes, from the signature 24:7 collection worth HKD 5000 will be yours.

Sidney Schutte, Executive Chef at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental says: “We are excited to be working with Jimmy Choo. The sexy stiletto heels, glamorous designs, great sense of style and colour, and exceptional Italian craftsmanship serve as excellent inspiration for our culinary team.”

The Jimmy Choo Afternoon Tea experience costs around £22 and is available at the MO Bar, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 15 Queen’s Road, Hong Kong. For further information visit MandarinOriental.com.

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