Stuck in an Airport for a While? Go Yotel.

Micro-Sized Living

You’ve got a long layover in a noisy airport with no place to sleep–and it’s already been a long trip. Do you dare try to sleep in the terminal?

Fortunately for us, while we waited patiently at London’s Gatwick Airport to return home last summer, Yotel offered an easy and affordable solution. So what is this curious-sounding hotel chain?

Yotel is capitalizing on the ever-growing popularity of micro spaces–think efficiency apartments and tiny houses. The genius behind Yotel is that it mostly operates out of airports, so it’s perfect for those who don’t really need a hotel so much as a safe and comfortable place to sleep and put their luggage during a longer-than-usual layover. 18 hours was too much for us to just wait around at an airport bar, so this place was perfect. It was extremely comfortable, including the alcove of a bed.

When we say it’s small, we mean it. In our case, the Yotel at Gatwick was built into the airport; rooms and corridors to those rooms were styled like a spaceship, which added to the aura of the place. With 24-hour check in and all the amenities of any hotel–including WiFi and your own bathroom–it was exactly what we needed for the 12 hours we stayed there. And that’s the beauty of it: you can book a Yotel room for hours if needed. You don’t have to pay for the whole day. Pretty cool for our modern age. 

Yotel is growing around the world. Learn more! 


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It’s a Guten German Christmas in Goslar

Another Year Over, Another Year Begins 

UndiscoveredWanderings would like to wish all of our readers a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. We’ll be back soon with only the best in unconventional travel.

For our final post of 2017, we wanted to share a wonderful Christmas experience we had in Germany a while back at the invitation of friends. Nothing like festive European Christmas markets and picturesque centuries-old houses to celebrate this time of year. 

The photos, taken on Christmas Day, are of our visit to Goslar, Germany some years ago, before we were UndiscoveredWanderings. Goslar is a small, historical city with lots to explore. Offbeat, to be sure.

We spent Christmas day observing, reflecting, and looking forward to the many adventures ahead as we strolled through town in the calming cold and crunchy snow, talking to perfect strangers along the way. We were even lucky enough to ride in a horse-drawn carriage and get some great views from the bell tower (notice the old stairs we climbed, below) Christmas in Goslar was one of our best ever.

Map Link 

 


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Oddities Found At San Francisco’s Pier 39

Unique Even Among Normalcy

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How much time have we spent in California? A lot. How many times have we been to California? A lot. But each visit brings us new discoveries, which is why we keep going back. Take San Francisco’s famous Pier 39. Of course we’re going to explore such a well-known tourist spot. Actually, a lot of travelers avoid it because it is a well-known tourist spot.



But, being us, we at UWanderings know how to find the hidden gems even in places like this. For those who are missing out, we’re here to help. And so we present to you, our daring and adventurous readers, Undiscovered Wanderings’s stroll through Pier 39.


Water, Meet Massage. Massage, Water.

Ever had a massage from water jets? If you’ve been in a hot tub recently, then the answer is probably yes. But have you ever had a water massage where you can keep your clothes on and stay perfectly dry for the whole thing? That’s what this contraption is for. We found it at Vitality, a hip spa on Pier 39 with a very happy customer base thanks to this and other nifty creature comforts, like the oxygen bars. As for the “Full Body AquaMassage”, as it’s called, you just get inside, under the waterproof barrier, and then water jets shoot at the barrier from an enclosed, watertight compartment. So you feel it, but you don’t get wet. The folks at Vitality were kind enough to give us a demonstration of how it works…


Giant Crab

Did the giant crab thingy at the top get your attention? Good. We really didn’t know what to make of this one, but if you’re on the fritz about visiting Pier 39 because you think it’s too touristy, this right here is all the reason to go. When are you ever going to see another giant crab like this?!  What’s its story, exactly? Abstract art, perhaps? Maybe it’s guarding the place. Who knows…well, someone out there does. Feel free to write us with suggestions if you know this guy’s story, and we’ll update this article.

What is this thing?!?!?!

 


Christmas All the Time!

Yup. We finally found one. A year-round Christmas store. In San Francisco no less. Actually, the guys there told us that the store is a chain, but this is the first we’ve seen of it. This is a dream come true for all of us who not only take joy in getting our Christmas shopping done early, but also for those of us who desperately need to one up our neighbors’ outdoor Christmas displays. Needless to say, it’s got a lot of holiday cheer. As far as Christmas stores go, this is definitely the most vibrant one we’ve seen.


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A Walk in the Park in Luxembourg

Walk Among the Ruins

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For our peeps in the Northern Hemisphere, winter is well on its way with all the joys that freezing cold, ice and snow bring to us each year, so it’s easy to feel like the travel season is officially over. Let’s prove that myth wrong once and for all, because we here at UndiscoveredWanderings have found some of the best places to explore during the season of freezin’.

Enter Luxembourg, a small country in Europe bordering Belgium, Germany and France. We made a point to visit this place because so few outsiders have. It’s unfortunate that Luxembourg is frequently overlooked by backpackers and people on holiday; even fewer go to Europe to visit only Luxembourg. But, being us, we didn’t wind up there by accident.



No matter the season, Luxembourg is a BEAUTIFUL country. In fact, it was this time of year that we visited. While there’s plenty of countryside, old buildings, and Christmas markets to explore, our focus today is Luxembourg City, the capital. And in this city is a place called Vallée de la Pétrusse, home to the Pétrusse Parks. This is no ordinary park landscape. It takes a few minutes of walking the footpaths to realize that it’s not level with the rest of the city–it slopes down to where you’ll find yourself under a couple of bridges, surrounded by ancient city walls. When you get to the bottom, you’re literally looking up to the cityscape. That’s a first for us!

Even if Luxembourg isn’t your primary European destination, a quick day trip there is an easy train ride away.

LINKS
Learn more about Pétrusse Parks


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Down Under and Over the Hills: Australia’s Best Camping Spots

Special thanks to Alex Johnson from Sydney, Australia for writing this week’s guest post. Alex is a 23-year-old lover of life, brunch & adventure. After moving to Sydney when finishing a journalism degree, he began his blog Inspire A Better Life to positively influence others to get out there and see all life has to offer. Join Alex as he discovers this life, one day at a time, documenting his thoughts and other along the way!

Today Alex shares some of his country’s best camping spots with UndiscoveredWanderings. With winter coming to our neck of the woods, Australia’s summer is just around the corner–a perfect time to head Down Under and visit these fantastic places! Thank you, Alex, and welcome to the UWanderings community!


Five Best Camping Spots in Australia
-By Alex Johnson

You have all your gear and you’re raring to go for your next big camping adventure in Australia, but where do you go? What are the best camping spots in Australia? Well, here is a list of the five best camping spots to get you going on your next big adventure.

Broken Hill, New South Wales

If you like a taste of the Outback that is closer to home, Broken Hill Tourist Park is the place for you. With captivating landscapes to die for, lush sunsets and clear nights under stars, it’s hard not to fall in love with the place.

If you are a lover of art, there are also 30 art galleries showcasing works inspired by Broken Hill. Silverton is also nearby, where many movies have been set, including Mad Max 2, The Adventures of Priscilla, and Mission Impossible 2. Baz Luhrmann also filmed a section of Australia in Broken Hill.  



Millaa Millaa, Queensland

If you are looking for beautiful waterfalls, look no further than Millaa Millaa Falls. Not only does Millaa Millaa have amazing waterfalls, it is also home to Queensland’s highest mountain, Mt. Bartle Frere.

With stunning scenery and an amazing mountainous backdrop, Millaa Millaa Falls is one of the most photographed places in all of Australia–making it the perfect place to get that Instagram-worthy photo and relax in one of the best places in the world.

Port Fairy, Victoria

If you are a fan of stunning coastal scenery, flourishing gardens, beaming lighthouses and an abundance of birdlife and rock formations, then Port Fairy is the best place for you to camp.

The place is full of rich history and wide streets filled with nineteenth century cottages. It’s also home to lots of native animals in the wild, including everything from southern right whales, seals, and dolphins to wallabies, kangaroos, and emus.

Bright, Victoria

If you would like to camp during Autumn, look no further than Bright, a town in Victoria. Bright is famous for its wineries and fall foliage, which creates memorizing autumn colours. It’s also close to Mount Buffalo National Park and Alpine National Park.

During this time the Bright Autumn Festival is on, celebrating the gorgeous autumnal display. Delany Avenue and Cobden Street, near Ireland Street, are great spots to fully appreciate the Bright Festival’s autumn colours.

The Blue Mountains, New South Wales

The Blue Mountains (pictured above and below) is a stunning natural spectacle that is worth the trip, however far it may be. There is plenty to do here for those wanting to explore the World Heritage-listed area a little more adventurously.

The Blue Mountains is located just southwest of Sydney, covering an area of over 1,400 square kilometers. I know, it’s massive! If driving from Sydney to travel to the Blue Mountains, it will take you about an hour and a half, but you can also catch the train, which will only take you just over two hours.

There are plenty of outdoorsy activities to enjoy in the Blue Mountains, so why not head to Centennial Glen Stables and go on a horseback riding tour on a sunset ride with great views along a variety of trails. Trail rides go for 2-5 hours, depending on what you sign up for.

There are plenty of camping spots in Australia; these are just a few of the amazing places on offer! Remember–camping is a great way to recharge and relax. Be sure to research and get out there to create those memorable adventures that will stay with you for a lifetime.


Become an UndiscoveredWanderings Guest Poster! We always enjoy hearing from our readers and welcome you to send us your travel stories through our Share Your Travels page. We’ll always publish under your name. Your contributions help make UndiscoveredWanderings possible.