Strange Places I’ve Spent the Night

Ice Hotel, Strange Places

I’ve just recently stayed in the Polish city of Gdansk where I stayed in two rather unusual accommodations. The first was in student housing at the city’s Music Academy. Upon arrival I was met with violins being practiced and as I left, goodbyed with the sound of operatic singing. My second was in one of the towers of the old town wall, renovated and fitted out as small apartments. These two strange locations got me thinking about other odd and uncommon places I’ve slept in throughout my travels. So here are some other strange places in which I’ve spent the night.

 

Ice Hotel of Jukkasjarvi

By far one of the most awesome stays I’ve had while travelling was at the Ice Hotel of Jukkasjarvi in northern Sweden. This hotel is indeed made of ice – the walls, roof, bed, furniture, bar – all ice. When travelling through Scandinavia this was something I was desperate to try and I was so glad I did. The rooms are as cold as -5ºc and you sleep in a thermal sleeping bag, on a spread of animals furs, in your thermals. I actually had a great night sleep there, even with a small opening of my sleeping bag so I didn’t feel claustrophobic. You only get to use the hotel at night as people get to tour through the hotel during the day. Still, it’s all worth it for a night on ice.

Ice Hotel Bed, Strange Places

Cave Hotel in Cappadocia

The region of Cappadocia is one of the most popular and bewitching places in Turkey. From its classic hot air ballooning to its weird, yet beautiful landscape, it’s an iconic destination. When visiting, another essential experience is staying in one of its many cave hotels. The caves are dug into the region’s unusual rocky formations and allow the locals to escape the harsh Turkish sun during summer. The rooms were so naturally dark, that one morning I woke up and thought it was still nighttime, leading to much confusion when I headed outside.

Village House in Chambok

During my visit to Cambodia, one of our stops on our tour was at the Chambok Ecotourism Community in Kirirom National Park. Part of the experience of visiting the community was staying with a local family. Their house was a small wooden shack raised off the ground with just two rooms. And that is where we slept, the 10 of us in one room sleeping under mosquito nets. The community rotates through who tourists will stay with and when they are the hosts, they move and sleep in an even smaller, secondary lodging. Staying here helped us appreciate how people live in rural Cambodia and also get to know them on a personal level. A wonderful home stay experience.

Chambok Community House, Strange Places

Stavanger Hospital

No, it’s not what you are thinking. I wasn’t sick or hurt. I wasn’t staying in a ward or something, but rather the on-site accommodation for families of patients. These rooms are ran as a hostel, so travellers are able to book a stay there. It certainly felt bizarre walking into the hospital. Equally odd was having breakfast in the hospital cafeteria, surrounded by mothers with their newborns. Despite the unusual surroundings, my stay was fine and was one of my cheapest lodgings in this expensive country.

On Deck a Gulet

When I visited Turkey a few years ago, my friends and I spent 4 days out cruising along its Mediterranean Coast in a Turkish sailboat known as a Gulet. Now, sleeping on a boat is nothing unusual I admit. What was different was that we didn’t sleep in cabins, which the boat did have. No, we all slept up on the deck, on the sunbeds and under the sails. This was in part due to the cabins being tiny and already half full with just our luggage. It was also due to the excessive heat down there, as they trapped much of the heat from the 40ºc+ days and the boats engines. Still, who doesn’t want to sleep under the stars in the Mediterranean Sea.

Gulet, Strange Places

Berber Camp in the Sahara

One classic experience for visitors to Morocco is camel trekking in the Merzouga Dunes of the Sahara Desert. These tours usually include a night out in the desert in a Berber Camp. The camp is set up with a series of tents surrounding a small common area covered in carpets. During the night the tents can get hot so people often sleep outside under the stars. Unfortunately, I had gone for a barefoot wander around the dunes and returned back to zero space left, so I did sleep inside. Still, camping out this way in the Sahara Desert was a unique experience.

Berber Camp, Strange Places

 


Where is the strangest or coolest place you’ve spent the night while travelling? Please share your experience with us in the comments below.

Strange Places I've Spent the Night while Travelling, via @travelsewhere

 


This post is part of Weekend Travel Inspiration at Albom Adventures and Fly Away Friday over at Time Travel Blonde. Please head on over for more great posts.

Weekend

25 Comment

  1. Jenn says:

    The Gulet Deck sounds pretty amazing to me! Although knowing my luck, I would end up in the sea! But still, what an adventure! I can imagine a night in the ice hotel would bring good sleeping conditions!

    1. David says:

      Haha, I was a bit worried about that my first night. In the middle of the night I moved out onto the timber deck and when we started moving, I was thankful they had rubber strips to stop me sliding off.

  2. Interesting locations! They all are places that make us see the world and humanity differently after experiencing them. I commend you on sleeping on a boat, I wouldn’t make it because I get seasick so bad!

    1. David says:

      Thanks Brooke, totally agree. Definitely helps you appreciate how different people sometimes live. We actually had one girl with us who gets seasick and she was not having too much fun, even on meds.

  3. I love sleeping on deck on a yacht (as long as it’s warm out.

    1. David says:

      Yeh, we went in summer so at night it was great out.

  4. Corinne says:

    Love it! You can spend one night anywhere, right? I’ve not done the gulet…maybe some day!

    Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration! See you next week!

    1. David says:

      Exactly Corinne. Plus, spending a night somewhere unusual makes it feel even more like an adventure. Thanks for coming by.

  5. Chiera says:

    All for sleeping on a deck of a boat! Also that Ice Hotel looked incredible! Always been curious to try it out!

  6. David, what a great article! And I thought that I had stranger places for sleepover while travelling, no I didn’t 🙂 Enjoyed reading it very much! #FlyAwayFriday

  7. Natalie says:

    Thats really cool that you’ve taken the opportunities to try some unconventional accommodations. I’ve definitely always wanted to stay in an ice hotel!
    #flyawayfriday

  8. Kat says:

    Love the idea of this post. I’ve always wanted to sleep in an Ice Hotel (like most people I guess). My strangest is probably a hostel in a prison. #FlyAwayFriday

  9. Courtney says:

    These all sound like such interesting places. Where you sleep can always be it’s own adventure–it’s nice to try something different. I really want to head to Cappadocia and stay in a cave hotel. #FlyAwayFriday

    1. David says:

      You’re exactly right Courtney, it can be it’s own adventure. I hope you get to visit Cappadocia one day.

  10. Kreete says:

    Ooh! I would love to stay in Sahara and the hot air ballooning to Turkey is on my bucket list too! I have heard much about ice hotels as I’m from Estonia but never had the chance to try it our myself. Maybe one day! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. David says:

      I hope you get to try all of these one day Kreete. Thanks for reading.

  11. SUCH a good idea for a blog post. This was a super fun read 🙂 Thanks for sharing! #FlyAwayFriday

    1. David says:

      Thanks Lauren, really glad to hear you enjoyed reading.

  12. Love this! I love the fact you stayed in an ice hut. I’d really like to do that – although I possibly would feel a bit claustrophobic! What an awesome set of experiences you have – and tales to tell for years to come!

    1. David says:

      Thanks Juliette, I get claustrophobia too but it wasn’t a problem really. Hope to add to it in the future.

  13. I´m obsessed with the first two! I´d also like to experience the Arctic Glass Igloos in Finland and a tree house hotel somewhere in the wild forests across the globe! #flyawayfriday

  14. Kana says:

    Oh wow that’s so cool! The ice looks awesome! What a creative post too – I’m definitely pinning it to our Fly Away Friday board! Thanks for joining #FlyAwayFriday, see you next week!

  15. ttbchloe says:

    This is awesome!! Definitely some interesting places for sure!! I don’t think I’ve slept in anywhere random other than a tent or a sail boat..haha!! I’ll definitely have to step up my game a bit!

    1. David says:

      Thanks for reading Chloe, hope you find some random places in the future!

  16. You HAVE stayed in some pretty interesting places! I’m totally down to stay in an ice hotel! I”m so hot all the time! That should cool me down haha #Wkendtravelinspiration

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