Welcome to the World’s Smallest Hotel

After checking in at the “lobby” – a nearby cave – for just $75 a night, you can stay in a stripped-out Volkswagen Beetle in Jordan. 

Fancy some undersized accommodation?  Read on trekkers…

A hotel bedroom designed on the spacious side is normally a selling point.

But travellers are flocking to one hotel in Shoubak, Jordan, precisely because its one and only room is absolutely tiny – so diminutive, in fact, that its owner, Mohammed Al-Malahim, claims that it’s the smallest hotel in the world.  (Officially it’s actually the Eh’hausl hotel in Amberg, Germany, which measures just over 52 square metres, but Al-Malahim is certainly right in pointing out that his accommodation is very tiddly!)

It’s also extremely quirky, because the hotel is in fact a stripped-out old Volkswagen Beetle that rests on piles of stones.

Mohammed Al-Malahim claims that his VW Beetle, pictured, is the world's smallest hotel

Guests pay around $75 (40 Jordanian dinars) to stay in the car, which opened its doors for business in 2011 along with a nearby cave that serves as the “lobby”.

Al-Malahim prepares breakfast for his guests in a cave, which serves as the lobby

Al-Malahim prepares breakfast for his guests in the “lobby”

Inside it’s furnished with handmade embroidered sheets and pillows.

Guests pay around $75 (40 Jordanian dinars) to stay in the car, which is furnished with hand-embroidered sheets and pillows

U.S. tourists Stafford Newsome and Kaitlin Taft try out the hotel

“I wanted to start a project that improves its situation and places it on the tourism map, because it overlooks truly some of the most beautiful scenery in the region,” the 64-year-old Jordanian told CNN.

Another notable tiny hotel is Hotel Central and Cafe in Copenhagen, Denmark, which has just one double room

Owner of (?)the world’s smallest hotel, Mr Mohammed Al-Malahim

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Another notable minuscule establishment is the Hotel Central and Cafe in Copenhagen, Denmark, which has just one double bedroom plus a small en-suite shower room.

        Hotel 01              Hotel 03
        Hotel 02              Hotel 09


Since it is such a tiny space, the hotel requests that it is not suitable for families because there is not enough floor room for any other beds!

However visitors do get access to TV, Wi-Fi, a stocked mini-fridge, and two bicycles to use around the city.

The entire building is one of the smallest in Denmark and the hotel costs £350 ($330/280 euros) per night.  It is located in the Vesterbro neighborhood of Copenhagen, which has recently been transformed into a hip but chic area with lots of new bars and restaurants.

Located just behind Tivoli Gardens, the once seedy Vesterbro area, famous for its red light district, is now the coolest part of the city. In the streets radiating down from Copenhagen’s central railway station, you’ll find new bars and restaurants, independent hotels, organic food shops and vintage outlets.

Inspired by the likes of New York’s famous Meat Packing District, the area has become a creative hotspot as artists, designers, photographers and filmmakers move in.  It’s always fascinating to visit a neighbourhood in transition – think Brooklyn or Berlin’s Kreuzberg 10 years ago – before the tourists arrive en masse.

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This is the Ehhäusl in the city of Amberg in Bavaria, Germany, which is generally regarded as “the smallest hotel in the world.”  It is eight foot – or just under two and a half metres – wide.  Here’s a brief history from the hotel’s website:-

The Eh’haeusl has been steeped in the history of the Churpfalz (Electorate of the Palatinate) city of Amberg since it was built in 1728. It was totally renovated in 2008 to reflect its exclusive status as a luxury retreat.
The Eh’haeusl has a long and glorious past. Its story begins in 1728. At that time it was still necessary to provide proof of landownership to the city council if a young couple wished to wed. In order to circumvent this rule a clever businessman built a house in the 2 ½ metre (8 feet 2 ½ inches) space between two existing buildings in the Seminargasse. He finished the house by putting up a wall in the front, one in the back and a roof on the top. The house was rapidly completed providing real proof that you could be a landowner. One could buy the house, get married, and sell it to the next prospective groom. Ever since then this house has been called the Eh’haeusl (Ehe-Haus or marriage house) in the local dialect. The name continues to be used to this day. It is not only a deluxe class retreat but also the “smallest hotel in the world”.

For more information visit http://ehehaeusl.de/en/home/



French workmen’s café accidentally gets Michelin star

So I love France but I’ve just discovered there’s defo a new little town for me to visit — Bourges, with its very own Michelin-starred resto (well, for a few hours at least).

Press all over the world are reporting that a humble little workmen’s bistro in the heart of the country was accidentally given the culinary world’s highest award when it was mistaken for a posh eatery with the same name near Paris.


Customers looking for a fine dining experience were surprised when they turned up to find the cheap and cheerful cafe in Bourges, central France. Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)

Alarm bells started to ring at the café when it was suddenly overwhelmed with phone calls from gourmet diners wanting to book tables after it was awarded a Michelin star — by mistake, it later turned out.

Reporters, TV crews and prospective customers were astounded when they turned up at the Bouche à Oreille, in the small town of Bourges, to find a cheap and cheerful eatery with red and white polka dot plastic tablecloths. Many patrons wear high-visibility vests, it is often packed at lunchtime and the atmosphere is lively, with customers ordering beers at the bar.

It serves its regular clientèle of local tradesmen plain — if undeniably wholesome — dishes such as homemade lasagne or beef bourguignon.

The Michelin Guide soon phoned up to apologise, explaining that it had confused the café with a more refined establishment of the same name near Paris.


It was perhaps an understandable mistake, as their addresses are remarkably similar: one is on a street named Route de la Chapelle, the other on Impasse de la Chapelle.

Not only did the error bring the café publicity it had never enjoyed before, it also got the staff invited to a genuine Michelin-standard dinner at the other Bouche à Oreille, 100 miles away in Boutervilliers, near Paris.

This arguably more tastefully decorated establishment has linen tablecloths and carpets, and offers dishes such as lobster flan or confit of beef with black truffle.

The Michelin Guide 2017 is pictured in Paris, Thursday, Feb.9, 2017 in Paris. One restaurant was newly awarded with the prestigious 3 stars this year. 

The Michelin Guide 2017. One restaurant was newly awarded with the prestigious 3 stars this year. Credit: AP

Véronique Jacquet, the café owner who works behind the bar, said: “Suddenly, we were rushed off our feet. Reporters were coming in and then my son phoned me from Paris, where he lives. He almost died laughing. I had regulars and friends phoning up and asking why I hadn’t told them we’d won a Michelin star.”

Mme Jacquet’s cook, Penelope Salmon, said she had never dreamed of winning a Michelin star, but added: “I put my heart into my cooking.”

“This place is worth not just one but two stars!” a satisfied customer told French TV.

The listing was changed on the Michelin website, but not until two days later. Aymeric Dreux, the chef of the pricier restaurant, also took the mistake with good humour. “I phoned Madame Jacquet in Bourges,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “We had a good laugh about it and I invited her to come to the restaurant to sample what we do. If I’m in her neck of the woods, I’ll pop in for lunch and a beer at her place.”

How they compare…

Bouche à Oreille, Bourges

Fixed-price lunch menu €12.50 including a starter, often charcuterie and salad, and a dish of the day such as beef bourguignon, homemade lasagna, steak and chips. One day last week, the cook, Mrs Salmon, came up with fillet of pollock with paprika, garnished with a couple of mussels and generous helpings of boiled potatoes and lettuce. If you don’t want the full menu, a dish of the day will cost no more than €10.

Bouche à Oreille, Boutervilliers

The Michelin-starred restaurant also offers a fixed-price lunch menu for €48 (£41) including a glass of champagne. The menu changes regularly.

Entrées – Lobster flan with fricassée of gambas — or Confit of beef with poached egg, mousseline of Jerusalem artichokes

Main course – Skate wing in herb crust, salsify – or Calf’s head with glazed winter vegetables Cheese plate

Desserts – Pear and chocolate crisp, tiramisu-style – or White chocolate and coconut ‘exotique’ with mango


Le Bouche à Oreille

A la carte:


Carpaccio of scallops in thin pastry with leeks and black truffle – €38 (£32)

Butternut squash velouté with foie gras – €32 (£27)

Scrambled eggs with black truffle – €38 (£32)

Brittany lobster and crab, with radishes and mint, accompanied by beetroot and cress – €36 (£31)

Main courses

Brittany lobster with baby vegetables, sloe purée €52 (£44)

Confit of beef with poached egg, mousseline of Jerusalem artichokes – €44 (£38)

Skate wing in herb crust, winter vegetables, lobster bisque €50 (£43)

Roasted scallops – salsify with bacon and black truffle €50  (£43)

Calf’s kidneys in jus  – €30 (£26)

Confit of beef and black truffle, mousseline of Jerusalem artichokes €44 (38)


Crêpes flambéed in Grand Marnier €12 (£10)

White chocolate and coconut ‘exotique’ with mango €14 (£12)

Pear and chocolate crisp, tiramisu-style – €14 (£12)



More funny stuff from The New Yorker’s Joe Veix…  😀



On paper, my life seemed great. I had a dream job, a swanky apartment, and a loving girlfriend. But something was off. I couldn’t bear being chained to my desk in a stuffy office any longer. So I decided to quit and travel the world, bringing only my passport, a small backpack, and my enormous trust fund.

My co-workers were shocked. How could I so casually throw away everything I fought so hard to achieve? But I don’t expect everyone to “get” me. I’m a free spirit, whose father owns a South American rubber empire.

I set to work packing my bag and throwing out most of my possessions. Whatever didn’t bring me joy went straight in the trash. You don’t need to own a lot of “stuff” to be happy, especially when you can buy whatever you later realize that you need with your massive inheritance.

Then I reserved a business-class seat, sent a quick text message to my girlfriend telling her that I was leaving the country forever, and was off.

My first few months roaming the world were life-changing. Every day, I updated my Instagram with photos of my favorite sights: cones filled with scoops of glistening gelato; my hand lightly resting on a café table, near an early edition of “On the Road”; selfies of me hugging depressed tigers too stoned on sedatives to drown themselves. Still, I needed to see more. My wanderlust had turned me into a wanderslut.

As a citizen of the world, I rarely get lonely. Everywhere I go, I meet such diverse groups of people. In hostels, I’ve shared beers with friendly British and Australian twenty-somethings. In hotels, I’ve sipped wine with friendly British and Australian forty-somethings. We all became lifelong friends, despite the language barriers.

Once, outside the train station of a small fishing village, I met a humble man named Greebo who sold flowers and various cheap trinkets for a living. Unburdened by the trappings of modern life, his hospitality was unlike anything I’ve ever encountered in the States. Greebo was happy to open up to me about his life, as long as I kept buying roses. Intrigued by our easy chatter, some of his friends wandered over to join the conversation. All of our superficial differences soon melted away. Inside, we are just human beings, after all, exchanging a powerful global currency.

As I left town, I cast one final glance back at Greebo. One of his friends playfully tossed him to the ground and thumbed his eyes as the others snatched all the money I had given him. I couldn’t help but smile. It felt good to make a difference in the lives of these simple people.

Of course, this “no reservations” lifestyle isn’t for everyone. In many ways, it’s harder than the old corporate grind. Many stores don’t accept my Centurion card. Sometimes it’s difficult to get even one bar of cell service, which makes Instagramming more gelato a real struggle.

But don’t worry about me! Whenever I start to get homesick, I remember the old rat race and shudder. All those bleary-eyed suckers packed into the subway, going to their lousy jobs, wasting their whole lives to afford useless things like “rent” and “health insurance” and “student-loan payments.”

That lifestyle isn’t for me. Maybe I’m just a crazy dreamer who also gets a monthly no-strings-attached sixty thousand dollars deposited into my checking account, but I won’t be tied down so easily.


From the New Yorker.  Funny.  😀


Photograph by Steeve Iuncker / Agence VU / Redux

Too often when we travel we forget that the exotic settings – the vibrant culture, even the charming indigenous folks we meet along the way – are all just a backdrop for our personal transformations. In fact, foreign countries can help you recover from traumatic life events, shake you out of that weird malaise, or even escape from various legal issues. But it’s important to choose your destination wisely, as each nation has a different specialty.

For example, say you are . . .

Reeling from a Divorce*

You and the ashes of your life are going to Tuscany! Spending a summer making pasta by hand in the Italian countryside is scientifically proven to help you get over that failed marriage. At first, it may be painful, and you’ll put on some pounds from the pasta. But then, one day, while making macaroni, one by one, you’ll realize that you actually bullied your ex-husband a lot, and that a pantywaist like him could never have been your soul mate! That’s when you’ll meet Marciano, a lusty long-­haired man who loves you for who you are and needs a visa.

*Men’s version: Head to the Texas Panhandle to study the noble art of pit-smoked barbecue; meet Greg.

Reeling from a Second—and Much Nastier—Divorce from Marciano

Hmm. This one is trickier, but you could try Jamaica. You might not come home with the love of your life, but you’ll definitely get cornrows and bottomless conch fritters. And if you stay at Sandals it’s all included!

Not a Celebrated Novelist Yet, for Some Reason

It’s a well-known fact that the reason you can’t write that novel is because you’re sitting at your desk, and not in a Paris café staring at a fresh Moleskine and your third croissant. After bracing walks through the romantic arrondissements where stylish Parisians throw lit cigarettes at you because you dress like a parent at an amusement park, you should have just the spark you need to set the literary world ablaze. Creative juices still not flowing? Take a cue from Hemingway: get super-wasted every day.

Fired, Spectacularly, from Your Job

Though unfairly pigeonholed as a paradise for sex tourists, Thailand is also the perfect place to disappear after some kind of career-ending embarrassment. You’ll have plenty of time to plot your next move while beach hopping and periodically popping into internet cafés to post pictures of yourself in a sarong. Meanwhile, your former co­-workers will stop remembering you as the moron who called Homeland Security on the I.T. guy. They’ll remember you as that bald man in a sarong from your mom’s Facebook post: “LAST SEEN AT ‘FULL MOON PARTY’ IN KO PHANGAN. PLEASE HELP FIND MY DOUGIE!!”

Wanted for Murder

Head down to Mexico and live out your days in Margaritaville as a friendly beachfront-motel owner who cries when he’s drunk. Home to some of the world’s best tacos, this breathtakingly corrupt country also offers very favorable exchange rates, so if a neighbor gets nosy and you have to kill again, you can bribe your way out of it for next to nothing. Best of all, it’s so close! You can drive there straight from the first murder, and have your toes in the sand before anyone finds your business partner’s foot in the freezer…

For more great writing check out the New Yorker’s humour section.

For great escapes head to five star luxury at one of Le Royal Hotels & Resorts

Redhead emoji finally on the table after campaign for ginger equality

OMG I’m sorry guys – I know it’s got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with james-silly-grintravel, trekking, photography or indeed anything I usually blog about, but as a bit of a ginga myself I simply HAD to include this one!  Telegraph Online, you’ve made my day!!

                        “Cry God for Harry, England and St George……….!”    – Ned


Fans of all-star Brits Prince Harry, Ed Sheeran and Ginger Spice Geri Halliwell/Horner could be celebrating soon, as Silicon Valley executives are discussing plans to introduce a redhead emoji into phones and computers worldwide.

Apple is hosting a Unicode Technical Committee meeting next week in San Fransisco, after persistent campaigning on social media from users asking for a redhead character.

“The lack of a redhead emoji has been the most frequent complaint from users in the past three months, said Jeremy Burge, founder of Emojipedia, an emoji website.

One way redheads could be selected

One way redheads could be selected CREDIT: EMOJIPEDIA

“This document aims to move the discussion forward on how this can be addressed,” he added.

Mr Burge, who tabled the proposal, said that there were many different ways of implementing the character, from a single “redhead person” on the keyboard, to allowing any emoji to have red hair.

Options for multiple redhead emoji with different skin tones

Options for multiple redhead emoji with different skin tones CREDIT: EMOJIPEDIA

Emoji have become much more diverse in recent years. Instead of just the basic yellow cartoons, users can now select a variety of skin tones and hair colours, while many now have male and female options.

But there is still no redhead option. An online petition demanding ginger emoji, organised in Scotland, has garnered 20,000 signatures. Redheads make up less than 2 per cent of the world’s population, but in Scotland, Wales and Ireland it is around 10 per cent.


  • Anyone wanting to “sponsor” a new emoji character has to put together a detailed written proposal and submit it to the Unicode Consortium.
  • Each proposal received will be evaluated initially by technical officers at Unicode.
  • Once a proposal passes this initial screening, it will be reviewed by the Unicode Technical Committee.
  • Sponsors may be required to revise their proposals several times before their character can be encoded. This can take two years or more.
  • Once the Unicode Consortium encodes an emoji character, it is up to “platform vendors” like Apple, Google and Microsoft to design their own interpretation of the character based on Unicode’s brief.
  • The new emoji will be released on phones and other platforms as part of normal software release cycles. This may take up to a year after a character has been encoded.


Hugo Davies, a 21 year old redhead from East Sussex said: “Gingers always get a bit of a hard time, so it’s great if we get some positive recognition. I know I’ll use it.”

Redheads have hit the headlines recently, with Prince Harry announcing his relationship with Meghan Markle and Ed Sheeran poised to release a new album. Redhead actress Emma Stone is tipped for Oscar success after starring in the new film La La Land.

Last week, Labour MP Chris Bryant drew baffled looks from his peers when he wished speaker John Bercow a happy “Kiss a ginger day” during business questions in the House of Commons.

Apple already has six different skin tones, and over a dozen hair styles for its characters but has faced criticism on social media for not introducing a redhead.

One twitter user said “Oh great. Another emoji update and still no redhead emoji @AppleSupport I’m looking at you.”

Another tweeted: “I’m not being funny but why is there no redhead/ginger haired emoji?? Where’s the equality?!”

Keen users may have to wait a while longer for their wishes though, as Mr Burge told the Telegraph: “With Unicode 10.0 just months away from release, the redhead emoji would likely appear in 2018 at the earliest.”

Adding an emoji to a phone is not as simple as just designing one: standards must be agreed between different operators and applied uniformly to prevent confusion.

Emoji are sent over networks from phone to phone as Unicode symbols but represented on each phone as the cartoons we see, and different platforms, from iOS to Android, Facebook and WhatsApp all represent them differently.

Emoji have also been in the news after Lambeth council accidentally sent out council tax statements with crying face symbols next to the amounts due. The council apologised to residents after the evidence was put to them by the Telegraph.


😀  😀  😀  😀  😀  😀  😀


The Secret Lives of Off-Season Santas

I just LOVE this feature from the HuffPost – spread a little Christmas Cheer..!   – Nedag00176_


Santa Claus certainly has a presents at Christmas, but what does he do the rest of the year?

This question intrigued Miami Beach-based photographer Mary Beth Koeth.

“Being a total Santa skeptic in my younger years, I wanted to capture the real stories of the men behind the fuzzy white beards and sleek velvety duds,” she told The Huffington Post.

So, Koeth set out to create a series of stunning photos that offer glimpses into the lives of off-season Santas. Here are their answers, as told to Koeth.

Santa Joe waves goodbye to frigid winters and heads to a condo in Florida.

Joe Corcoran, also known as Santa Joe, is an Irish Catholic from the Bronx and is also the New York City Bloomingdales Santa. Several years back, Corcoran and his wife bought a condo in Oriole Gardens Retirement Community in Margate, Florida. Eighty of the units in the community are filled with his family and friends from back in the Bronx. He told Koeth: We all grew up with each other and want to grow old together.”

Santa Roy works at an investigative firm and picks up the banjo.

Roy Strohacker is a retired police officer. In 1984, he was named one of the top 10 law enforcement officers in the state of Florida. He currently operates his own investigative agency and has more than 40 years in the law enforcement and investigative field. In his spare time, Strohacker plays banjo with his son and sings with the Great American Dixie Band. He also collects American political memorabilia like old flags and Japanese swords and reads and translates Japanese.

Santa Lance rocks out in a band to beat the summertime blues.

Lance Willock, 77, is a former salesman from Peoria, Illinois. Music has always been his passion. He would run home from work on Fridays, dapper up, and meet with his band to entertain at one of the many local hotspots.

“I met my wife, Rosemary, while playing in a club. She never knew it was going to end up like this … in fact, she’d probably run the other way if she thought about it,” he told Koeth. Willock and Rosemary live in a retirement community in Stuart, Florida.

Santa John runs a Mensa chapter.

John Snyder, 67, is a Vietnam vet with a purple heart and was born and raised in Queens, New York.

“When I got out of the army, I wanted to be a playboy for a while before I settled down — to sow my wild oats so to speak. Well, I met my wife, fell for her and married her right away, so I had to give that all up,” he told Koeth.

John served as the president of Mensa, the largest and oldest high IQ society, for several years in South Florida. Snyder and his wife Theresa are both active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and currently reside in Kendall, Florida.

Santa Gregg does woodwork ― and also reminisces about his days as a former stripper (you read that right).

Gregg Henry is a carpenter at Michael Rybovich & Sons Boat Works in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

“I make big, expensive toys for very wealthy boys and girls,” he told Koeth.. His career in woodworking started 40 years ago.

“The only thing I haven’t done is coffin making. I don’t really have much interest in that,” he said. Many years ago, following a painful divorce, Henry spent two years being a male exotic dancer.

“My stage name was Grizzly Gregg because I had the beard and everything back then. I found that taking off your shoes is really hard to do when you’re standing up,” Henry said.

Santa Ernie just chills out in the summer with his partner of 23 years.

Ernie Tedrow is originally from Baltimore, Maryland. After his mother passed away, he moved to Orlando and started in the hotel business where he worked his way up to director of sales and marketing.

“One week a month I would travel. I’d fly to Chicago in the morning, pick up the client in a limousine, take them to Oprah’s restaurant for lunch, sign a half million dollar contract, take them back to the office, fly back and be home for dinner. I absolutely loved it,” he told Koeth..

Tedrow now lives in Tamarac, Florida with Everett, his partner of twenty-three years. He is a community association manager for condos and homeowner association in South Florida. “I figured, I’m fat, old, and bald … and I have a career!”




Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans

Source: the New Yorker



MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said.

While reaffirming the gloomy assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said.