At Sweden’s Utter Inn, you may sleep among the fish
The Utter Inn in Sweden is your archetypal Swedish house in many ways: its walls are wood-paneled and painted red, it has a white gabled roof, and its setting – on a little island in the center of Lake Malaren – is classic Scandinavia.
When you glance out the window of the hotel’s sole room, though, things start to feel a little weird.
A massive shoal of smelt flies by, followed by a gigantic Baltic salmon.
The Il Palio in Italy is a high-stakes poker tournament
Il Palio, Siena’s legendary bareback horse race, is a high-octane, death-defying rush around the city’s grand Piazza del Campo’s perimeter. Every summer, the race is held twice and takes barely ninety seconds. The only rule is that there are no rules: riders shove each other off their mounts and do anything they want. With its tight curves and steep, slick surfaces, the race is so dangerous that fewer than half of the participants complete it. But, in any event, it’s all about the horse: the beast that crosses the finish line first (even if it doesn’t have a rider) is the winner.
Consider Armageddon at the Lithuanian missile site Ploktine.
It’s not every day that you’re invited to attend a guided tour of a nuclear missile station, especially when you’re in one of northeastern Europe’s most beautiful areas of unspoiled nature.
This, however, is exactly what Plateliai, a rustic, timber-built settlement in western Lithuania’s Zemaitija National Park, has to offer.
It’s ironic that Soviet military strategists identified this location as the ideal location for a missile base.
It was closed in 1978 and is now strangely devoid of any signs that it formerly served a purpose.
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