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New Banksy Hotel Opens in West Bank

International street artist and controversial figure Banksy has struck again, and this time it’s in the West Bank.   The Artist Banksy secretly opened up a nine-room Palestinian guesthouse/hotel in Bethlehem last weekend. The hotel has a catchy name too, The Walled Off Hotel.

The street art filled hotel is set to open on March 11, and is open to journalists now. Rooms are available for $30 a night, so it’s quite affordable. The hotel is situated right next to the West Bank separation barrier built by Israel to fend off Palestinian attacks. The views from the hotel are of the wall and that’s it.

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International street artist and controversial figure Banksy has struck again, and this time it’s in the West Bank.   The Artist Banksy secretly opened up a nine-room Palestinian guesthouse/hotel in Bethlehem last weekend. The hotel has a catchy name too, The Walled Off Hotel.

The street art filled hotel is set to open on March 11, and is open to journalists now. Rooms are available for $30 a night, so it’s quite affordable. The hotel is situated right next to the West Bank separation barrier built by Israel to fend off Palestinian attacks. The views from the hotel are of the wall and that’s it.

Each room features the stereotypical satirical artwork from acclaimed artist Banksy.

Reporters got a sneak peak this week and took pictures of the artwork. The stand out was from room ‘Three” called the Banksy Room, had a giant mural of a Palestinian and an Israeli having a pillow fight.

This isn’t Banksy’s first trip to the area, last year satirical artwork sprung up all over the Gaza Strip. Banksy claimed responsibility for these graffiti attacks. Politically charged art has fueled Banksy’s success and has turned street art into an expensive art form.

The small boutique style hotel has a presidential suite and a museum displaying many of the artist’s more politically charged work. The museum looks like an old gentleman’s club from colonial times. It has a life-sized statue of Arthur James Balfour in it who created the Balfour declaration, which led to the creation of an Israeli state.

The secret project took 14 months to complete and was supervised by the mysterious artist himself. This hotel is the artist’s biggest collection of work in years and has no end date as of yet.

Banksy has been putting up politically charged street art here and in the nearby Gaza Strip. Known for satirical stencil art, Banksy has long been a thorn in the status quo. From humble beginnings in London, Banksy has become a worldwide phenomenon.
So, who’s coming to Bethlehem with me to stay at the Walled Off Hotel and see this amazing street art in person? I’ll pay for the hotel, just saying, I think I can afford the $30 a night price tag.

Already accepting reservations, the hotel will surely book up fast; let’s just hope the conflict doesn’t take this hotel as a victim.

The artist has recently dropped pieces in the area on a two-story building that was destroyed in a battle between the Israeli forces and Palestinian people. Children are living through this never-ending conflict and at least now they have some attention brought to them that isn’t negative. I can’t even imagine growing up in these types of situations and I feel for any child who has to deal with that. Unfortunately these kids have no choice as to where they are raised but Banksy sees that and is making it’s a cause we can all get behind.

Check out this awesome art experiment and support artists like Banksy who see an issue and is doing something about it.

Keep fighting the good fight y’all.

 

 

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Destinations

Most Extravagant Rest Stops and Gas Stations Across The Globe

These are the best rest stops and gas stations from around the world that will make your stop a paradise instead of just a necessity.

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When you’re on the road one major source of entertainment is every gas station or rest stop where you decide to take a break. Some rest stops are a lot of fun while others just don’t live up to the excitement you have in your head. Usually, people have very low expectations for rest stops, as they should, they’re just there so you can hit the can, buy a Snapple and hop back on the road.

But some rest stops offer a magical wonderland that you could spend hours in. When you find a good rest stop it’s like you’ve hit gold. Suddenly your long boring road trip seems all worth it, and you haven’t even reached your destination yet.

These are the best rest stops and gas stations from around the world that will make your stop a paradise instead of just a necessity.

POPS, ARCADIA, OKLAHOMA

Pops is pretty easy to see thanks to the 66-foot-tall soda bottle that is in front of the station. At night the bottle even lights up which makes it even easier to see and probably attracts billions of moths. It makes sense that the bottle is 66 feet high considering it is on Route 66. No matter what you’re looking for, you will enjoy your stop at Pops in Arcadia. We recommend hitting the restaurant that has over 700 types of sodas and seltzers. Now that’s refreshing!

ALZU PETROPORT, NEAR MIDDELBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

How about a rest stop with rhinos, ostriches, and buffalos? Does that sound like something you’d be interested in? Well then head to Alzu Petroport which is adjacent to a wildlife preserve. This means after you hit the restrooms and gas up the ride, you can stare in awe of the many animals you can see directly from the rest stop. Now that sounds like a good place to take a break and eat lunch.

TRAIL’S TRAVEL CENTER, ALBERT LEA, MINNESOTA

This seems like a regular gas station from the front, but when you walk in you quickly notice that this place holds laundry, church services, and even a movie theater. So if you’re getting tired of driving, pop in here and catch a flick, or get married. Either activity is totally possible at Trail’s Travel Center. There is also a huge selection of whiskey, the biggest in all of Minnesota right here so if you’re a fan of the brown liquor then Trail’s is for you.

GAZOLINE PETROL, CUNEO, ITALY

Usually, when you take a picture of a rest area it’s because of something horrifying you found inside a toilet bowl. But at the Gazoline Petrol, you will take picture after picture of the building itself because the architecture is simply stunning.

ORIVAL GAS STATION, ORIVAL, BELGIUM

This is considered one of the world’s most beautiful gas station and it is easy to see why. There are beautifully landscaped parks as well as expertly curated art galleries. Usually, the only art you see at rest stops lies on mud flaps but not at Orival Gas Station. You won’t want to just stop at Orival, you’ll want to stay there and never ever leave.

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The Best Vacation Spots For Coffee Snobs (Like Me!)

If people describe you as a coffee fanatic then these are some destinations you simply have to see so you can spend your vacation in pure caffeinated bliss.

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Ah, that glorious brown liquid that helps us arise in the morning and keeps us chugging along through the workday. Where would we be without that delicious wake-up fuel we chug down in the A.M.?

Coffee is great and a necessary tool many of us use. But to some people, this special drink is more than just a simple beverage they sip on to rise and shine in the morning. To some people, coffee is their entire universe. They know what part of the world the best beans are from, how to roast them just right and the perfect method of preparation to keep the pH balance just right.

To these people coffee isn’t a drink, it’s a way of life.

If that sounds like you, if people describe you as a coffee fanatic then these are some destinations you simply have to see so you can spend your vacation in pure caffeinated bliss.

ETHIOPIA

So you’re a coffee head, then why not go to where it was invented? Experience some history with this beloved drink by spending time in its birthplace and sipping on a cup or two. Ethiopia is home to arabica coffee which is one of the more popular varieties, but you knew that.

What you may not know is that coffee was introduced to Europe and Arab countries in the 17th century by traders where it quickly took over as one of the favorite drinks around the world. You can learn this and a whole lot more while being nice and alert in beautiful Ethiopia.

VIENNA COFFEE HOUSES

There’s no question, Austria’s capital loves their coffee and their cafes. Vienna is filled with cafes. So filled there’s absolutely no room for cream. They all have a great history to them as well as great coffee. These cafes are great places to sit and people watch as you sip a beverage or two. Plus, Vienna offers plenty of amazing things to do all around town that will be easy for you to do once you spend a few hours at one of these cafes.

WORLD LATTE ART COMPETITION

Don’t you love it when your barista hands over your latte and it has a beautiful picture poured into the foam? Well, now you can figure out just how good your local barista really is when you compare them to the master baristas in the World Latte Art Championship.

But even if latte art isn’t your thing, if you’re more of an americano person then you can still find other great coffee competitions. There is the World Barista Championship, the World Coffee Roasting Championship and even the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, all of which are hosted in various locations around the world.

THE ORIGINAL STARBUCKS

Head to the Pacific Northwest and check out the first Starbucks ever located in the Pike Place Market in Seattle. This is a popular tourist attraction and there is usually a line coming out the door. You can listen to the musicians that play out front and do some amazing shopping around Pike Place as well.

Seattle is known for its coffee so if you don’t feel like waiting or don’t like Starbucks you will certainly find an amazing cafe nearby that will satisfy all your caffeine related needs.

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Vacation Destinations For People Who Hate People

If crowds aren’t your thing and you love your alone time, then check out these perfect vacation destinations for introverts!

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OK, that title is a little harsh. But I’m just talking about introverts here! I know that doesn’t mean you hate people, but it does mean you’re not crazy about big crowds and you love your alone time. So if you consider yourself an introvert and are looking for a perfectly peaceful and quiet vacation, these are the spots for you.

DAINTREE RAINFOREST, AUSTRALIA

Not all introverts love the outdoors… but many do. And if you’re one that does, then the Daintree Rainforest in Australia may be the most perfect place in the world for you. The plant and animal life is bountiful and incredible. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled into the land time forgot. But there are still plenty of paved and well-maintained pathways for quite travelers like yourself.

There are also some amazing trails off the paved paths, but you’ll have to join a group for those. It’s not the worst though, as the groups are usually small and it’s likely no one will be bothering you too much as they’ll all be mesmerized by the nature around them.

NEW YORK CITY

Hear me out! I know, I know. New York seems like the last place most introverts want to be. But many introverts do still enjoy and crave the hustle and bustle of a big city. And, once the crowds are that big, there is a certain comfort to the way you can kind of disappear in the middle of it all. And that’s the charm of New York for many introverts. Not to mention, if you want to get away from it all, you can always get lost for an entire day in the beauty of Central Park.

There’s also other great introvert-friendly options like multiple art museums, plenty of great food, and the bright lights of Broadway, which can surprisingly be very enjoyable by yourself!

SEDONA, ARIZONA

Sedona is ideal for introverts as it’s practically entirely surrounded by a desert! But it’s not your classic sand-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see kind of desert. There’s still plenty of beautifully pink mountains that provide a lovely 360 view. Sedona is also a sneaky-good spot for introverts as it’s a town that’s huge on wellness. So there are all kinds of great massage and alternative healing operations, not to mention plenty of yoga studios and juice shops.

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, there are regular hot air balloon rides available! You can only fit 3 or 4 people in those things anyway so it’s not like you’ll be surrounded by tourists. And the views are simply breathtaking.

BANFF NATIONAL PARK, CANADA

Canada is quietly one of the most beautiful countries in the world and what’s better than a national park! Banff National Park is arguably the best Canada has to offer. With gorgeous views in every direction and plenty of great vacation rentals disconnected from the modern world, this is the perfect place to get away and do some proper reflecting. It’s also a great place to go in on a house with a small group. Just stock up on all the food and drink you’ll need for the week and check out from reality!

HOLBOX ISLAND, MEXICO

Mexico, in general, can be a beautiful place to get away from it all. But, as an introvert, the classic destinations like Cancun or Tulum are not for you. Thankfully, the small fishing village of Holbox Island is perfect for you. It’s remote enough that it will never be crowded or busy, and the beaches are practically custom made for reading a good book in a hammock all day long.

And if you ever get to the point where you could use a little socializing, just head to the nearest bar and strike up a conversation. The locals are famously very friendly!

JAPAN

Japan has mastered the art of privacy and peacefulness in small spaces while surrounded by massive crowds. So it can be a perfect place for introverts. Similar to New York City, it can provide the hustle and bustle of a major city, but still allows plenty of opportunities to shut it all out and just be with yourself. And the history in Japan is truly incredible. From museums to temples to gardens that have been there for thousands of years, Japan has it all. And don’t you dare leave without checking out Mt. Fuji! You’ll thank me later. 

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