Off the Beaten Path in Europe

hay castle

Hay Castle, Europe's largest secondhand bookstore. Photo via castlewales.com.

If you’ve already visited and toured through most of the major cities and sights of Europe, I highly recommend checking out the Los Angeles Times‘ online special all about Europe’s hidden gems. It’s a great resource for vacation inspiration–here are just a few cool tidbits I found in this feature that had me champing at the bit for a trip to Europe:

Hay Castle and Book Stalls, Hay-on-Wye, Britain: A quaint British town that’s a book-lover’s paradise, Hay is home to over 30 bookstores, many of which offer specialty and secondhand volumes. The Hay Castle bookshop sounds like heaven to me–it’s touted as Europe’s largest used book store and it’s all housed in a gorgeous castle!

The Viaduct, Millau, France: This soaring suspension bridge is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, and a starkly beautiful feat of engineering.

Lake Myvatn, Iceland: The fourth largest natural lake in Iceland, Myvatn was formed during a massive volcanic eruption. It’s a place of stunning (sometimes slightly eerie) beauty, and it’s also a world-renowned bird-watching spot.

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