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Sweden’s ICEHOTEL Will Now Be Open Year-Round Thanks to Solar Panels

Every year since the winter of 1989-1990, sculptors have erected a seasonal hotel made entirely of ice from the Torne River in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. And each year, when spring came, the ice installation would melt. This year, however, brings a new era for the famous hotel, as contemporist reports. In addition to the seasonal hotel, there will be year-round lodgings made of ice.

During warmer weather, the ICEHOTEL 365 will be cooled using solar panel technology. The 22,600-square-foot hotel—with each room sculpted by a different international artist—will be kept at around 23°F year-round. Since the city is so far north, about 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the summer brings near-constant daylight. According to the hotel, by the end of the summer, the solar panels will harvest the equivalent of 100 consecutive days of sunshine.

The hotel will have concrete outer walls, but the inner walls will all be made of ice. The power created by all the approximately 6500 square feet of solar panels will be able to power restaurants, offices, and the warm rooms that allow guests to defrost from the icy rooms, in addition to keeping the structure from melting. The hotel notes that as climate change makes winters shorter, this system will keep the ICEHOTEL from being forced to close earlier and earlier.

And now if you can’t get a reservation in the winter, you can schedule a visit for any other time of the year.

[h/t contemporist]

All images courtesy ICEHOTEL

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Dream Job Alert: WOW Air Wants to Pay You to Move to Iceland and Travel the World
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WOW Air, the airline already known for its cheap flights to Iceland, has outdone themselves with their latest travel opportunity. According to Travel + Leisure, WOW wants to pay one lucky globetrotter and a friend to spend the summer traveling the world from Iceland.

After moving to an apartment in downtown Reykjavik, the new travel guide and a companion of their choice will be sent on eight WOW Air trips abroad and four within Iceland. During their adventures, the guide will be responsible documenting each spot they visit with photos, vlogs, and Instagram stories. This "digital travel guide" will give aspiring travelers an inside look at the food, culture, and cost of each destination on their agenda. The job, which lasts from June 1 to August 15, comes with a $4000 a month salary and free transportation and housing.

WOW Air is based in Iceland, but the airline takes passengers to cities around the world. Paris, Barcelona, Los Angeles, and Tel Aviv are just a few of the 36 locations on its destination list.

Candidates who are 18 years or older and have a Facebook profile can apply for the epic summer job by creating a two-minute video travel guide of their hometown. Applications are due May 14, and the winner will be announced May 18. If you aren't lucky enough to secure the gig, there's still time left to plan a summer trip to Iceland on your own.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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See the Spot That Inspired Sleeping Beauty's Castle
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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

When Walt and Lillian Disney took a European vacation prior to the construction of Disneyland, they were particularly inspired by one location in southwest Bavaria, Germany: Neuschwanstein Castle. Built by King of Bavaria Ludwig II starting in 1869, the castle was meant to have serious dramatic flair; the king hired a stage designer from Munich, Christian Jank, to design it.

Walt Disney went on to use Neuschwanstein as the basis for Sleeping Beauty's castle in Disneyland, but Ludwig II—known as the "fairytale king" for his love of plays, stories, and music—had far from a fairy-tale ending. In fact, he only lived in the still-unfinished castle for six months before his cabinet had him declared insane and replaced him. He died under mysterious circumstances, found drowned in waist-deep water, not long after.

You can learn more about the castle, and see some beautiful footage, in this video from Great Big Story.

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