Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Up in the air . . . US bound

AIRBERLIN is to launch #UnitedStates west coast flights – to Los Angeles and San Francisco – next spring. Berlin’s largest airline will also be increasing the frequency of its services to New York, Chicago, and Miami.



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Adam Jacot de Boinod’s Wide World of Words – Ireland

grace-card (Irish mid 19C) the six of hearts in cards

the boy with the boots (Anglo-Irish late 19C) the joker in the pack of cards

smut (Dublin) the remains of a nearly burnt-out candle

gudget (Donegal) a short thick-set man

clitherer (Hiberno-English, Galway) a woman with too much to say

crawthumper (Hiberno-English) an ostentatiously devout person


Adam Jacot de Boinod worked on the first series of BBC Television’s QI for Stephen Fry, and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World – Penguin Books, £10.


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Picture Credit: 72959997@N00/27683678883">Double Entendre Bar</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com

Visit Orlando's mobile app a first for travellers

THE NO. 1 most visited #destination in the US – #Orlando, #Florida – has unveiled another first for visitors with the beta launch of a destination mobile app that uses WayBlazer's IBM Watson-enabled technology. The app taps Watson's artificial intelligence to understand conversational language from users and offer personalized recommendations of Orlando experiences that best fit an individual's needs and preferences. 

In addition, the Visit Orlando App also features ‘augmented reality experiences’ for visitors to explore and earn savings. It can be downloaded in Apple App and Google Play stores.

Travellers begin their app experience by speaking or typing in natural language into their mobile device, the same way people normally ask questions in conversation.

Once a user asks a question, the app narrows available options based on individual-specific factors such as the traveller's interests, time of day, location, and weather. It then refines the final recommendations by applying insights from numerous data sources such as media reports, consumer and expert blogs, trusted third-party travel resources such as TripAdvisor, and Visit Orlando's database.

 Sample natural language questions a traveler could ask the app include:

  • Where can I find a scenic view of Orlando? 
  • Where can I eat that has live music? 
  • What's something adventurous to do? 

‘As the first destination to create a mobile app using this advanced level of cognitive computing, our goal is to help visitors maximize their Orlando vacation in a way that is personally meaningful to them,” said George Aguel, Visit Orlando president and CEO. ‘Visitors to Orlando can be awed and sometimes overwhelmed at the array of unique attraction, dining, shopping, and entertainment options. This innovative technology is like having your own personal Orlando expert 24/7. It analyzes numerous options, extensive data, and insights from destination experts and fellow travellers to create a recommended experience that is just right for you.’  

www.visitorlando.com


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Kenya sees increase in visitor arrivals


KENYA’S tourism industry has seen a resurgence in the first half of 2016, with visitor arrivals up 16.8% compared to the same period last year. The #Kenya Tourism Board is anticipating 1.5 million visitor arrivals for 2016, 400,000 more than in 2015.

MOUNT KENYA – the highest mountain in Kenya and second highest in #Africa – is to have a cable care, to improve access and boost tourism in the area.

ACCOLADES picked up by Kenya at this year’s World Travel Awards included: Africa's Leading National Park for the Maasai Mara National Reserve and Africa's Leading Beach Destination saw Diani Beach retain top position. Kenya Airways won Africa’s Leading Airline, and Leopard Beach Resort and Spa won the award for Africa’s Leading Family Resort.

SARUNI CAMPS has announced the opening of Kenya’s first elephant-proof photographic hide at its property, Saruni Samburu. The hide will be camouflaged next to a waterhole. The Saruni Samburu lodge has six luxury villas in 200,000 acres of wilderness.


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Picture Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=245329

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Up in the air . . .

NORWEGIAN has unveiled plans to launch two winter sun routes from Manchester Airport, with services to #GranCanaria commencing on October 30 and flights to Tenerife starting on November 1. 

Flights to Gran Canaria will operate every Friday and Sunday for the winter season, while the Tenerife route will run every Tuesday and Saturday.


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Picture Credit: By Wouter Hagens - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1765205

View Somerset artists at work

WITH more than 200 venues taking part, Somerset Open Studios (September 17-October 2) is a county wide opportunity to meet artists and makers from a range of disciplines in their working environment. It includes established names such as Richard Pomeroy and Marissa Weatherhead as well as emerging artists revealing how they work, their inspiration, and creative processes.

Disciplines range from the visual arts, sculpture, stone carving and metalwork to textiles, wood, jewellery, furniture, glass and mixed media. Meet the artist face-to-face in their own small studio, home, or temporary studio space; browse and buy or place a personal commission for a special piece.

For more details go to www.somersetartworks.org.uk or call 01458 253800 for a guide to the artists, venues, and affiliated events.


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Picture Credit: Marissa Weatherhrad

Lisbon: New viewpoints, cool bars and the ‘best rooftop bar in the world’


#LISBON might be known as one of Europe's sunniest capitals, but for many visitors it comes to life when the sun goes down. Here are some of the best options in City of Seven Hills.

Check out Lisbon's answer to London’s Shoreditch and the cantina that turns into a nightclub. Built out of shipping containers, Village Underground Lisboa is a club with an arts space.

Watch the sun set from Lisbon's newest viewpoint. Amoreiras 360º Panoramic View is the place to see Lisbon from a bird's-eye view. On the 18th floor of the Amoreiras Shopping Centre, it offers 360º views over the city and the Tagus River.

Join a street party and paint the town pink. Once a down-at-heel suburb, Cais do Sodré is now one of the city's coolest neighbourhoods and a hub of great clubs, bars, and original shops. Rua Nova do Carvalho (known as Pink Street) is the liveliest spot for nightlife.

Recognized by the UCity Guides as the Best Rooftop Bar in the World, Silk Club on the 7th floor of the listed Espaço Chiado building offers vistas over Lisbon. The boutique Bairro Alto Hotel opened in 2005 and a decade later it is still impossible to find a hotel in this part of the city that can claim better views. Its roof terrace bar, ever-popular with locals and visitors, is famous for its 37 different gin brands!

During the day, Alcântara is a great place to relax by the river. After sunset, the neighbourhood turns into a nightlife hub. At both Alcântara Docks and Santo Amaro Docks, visitors will find plenty of bars and restaurants in converted warehouses.

www.visitlisboa.com

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Up in the air …

LONDON CITY has become the first airport in the UK to play music to passengers in security screening areas. The airport taken the advice of music psychologists from the University of Sheffield, who say that background music might provide a positive distraction for passengers in security areas. The airport has now started playing a series of tunes to its passengers, including Adele and Ed Sheeran.


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Monday, 29 August 2016

Adam Jacot de Boinod’s Wide World of Cultures

  • It is a Russian superstition to slip a coin into a shoe before going into an exam. Some Indians believe that if you take your shoes off and don't arrange them neatly in a pair, it means that you'll have a fight with someone. 
  • The archbishop of #Cyprus is the only person on the island allowed to write in purple ink. 
  • Amongst senior British civil servants "C" (Chief of MI6 - and always called "C" in conversation) and the Chief of the General Staff both write in green ink. 
  • Jade is thought to be very lucky in the Orient, while in #Africa it is said that it will conjure up rain. In South America it is used to cure spleen problems, and in New Zealand fertility symbols are made from it. 
  • Number plates on Swiss cars belong to the driver, not the vehicle, and last for life. 

Adam Jacot de Boinod worked on the first series of BBC Television’s QI for Stephen Fry, and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World – Penguin Books, £10.


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Brexit bonus for UK tourism

MOST of the ‘experts’ working in Britain’s tourism sector kept themselves busy during the country’s June referendum on its European Union membership issuing dire warnings of catastrophe and collapse if Brits voted the ‘wrong’ way – the wrong being to vote in favour of leaving the EU. Post-June statistics compiled by tourism bodies, however, suggest that in the short-term at least, the experts got it, er, wrong.

According to the Tourism Alliance – with members including the British Hospitality Association, the Association of British Travel Agents, and regional tourist boards – billions of pounds have flowed into the industry since the June 23 Leave vote.

There has been a substantial increase in visitors from abroad and in Brits opting for a staycation.

The extra takings in 2016 for staycations alone are estimated to be £2.4 billion. While £1 billion of that was spent before June 23, the total additional staycation income for 2016 is expected to be £1.4 billion. An extra £725 million has been spent so far across Britain’s popular tourist destinations. And hundreds of millions more are set to be spent thanks to the growth in foreign visitors.

The falling pound since the Brexit vote has made holidays more expensive for Britons going abroad and cheaper for foreign tourists coming here – giving Britain’s tourism industry a double boost.

Other factors adding to the boom are recent good weather, low interest rates and fears of terrorism across the Channel. .

Tourism Alliance director Kurt Janson said the additional £2.4 billion has the potential to create some 40,000 new jobs in the sector.

Businesses in Blackpool said the seaside town was having one of its best seasons ever, and Visit Cornwall said tourism across the county was up by more than four percent.


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Egypt launches passenger ferry between Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh


A FERRY service between the Egyptian resorts of Hurghada and #SharmElSheikh has opened. The service can carry 300 passengers and will operate on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. The crossing takes two hours and is currently priced at 630 Egyptian Pounds (£59) for an adult return journey.

The announcement was made by the country’s tourism minister, who said the service will make it easy for foreign visitors to experience both resorts.

The service is part of a concerted effort to increase the number of tourists visiting #Egypt. It follows a recent trip by a British parliamentary delegation to Sharm el-Sheikh, which inspected levels of safety and security, and commented positively on both.

Recently, UK prime minister Theresa May and Egypt’s President Sisi had a ‘positive’ phone call discussing ongoing security improvements at Sharm el-Sheikh airport. Mrs May praised the Egyptian government’s efforts to improve security at the airport and said the UK government would continue working closely with the Egyptians on this issue.


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Picture Credit: 14417999@N00/185002368">De grote Sfinx, Horus aan de Horizon</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Ireland-New England flights

AER LINGUS will launch its first direct flight from Dublin to Hartford Bradley International Airport in #Connecticut on September 28. 

This new four times weekly service will position Hartford as New England’s second international gateway, alongside Boston Airport.

Not only does Aer Lingus open up a direct route to New England for Irish travellers, but Brits can also reap the benefits of flying this route by clearing US customs in Ireland before arriving in the US.

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Picture Credit: 10159247@N04/10302198553">Fall Folliage in New England</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com

Adam Jacot de Boinod gets lost in translation

  • Pepsi’s slogan ‘Come Alive with Pepsi’ was dropped in China after it was translated as Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave’. 

  • When General Motors tried to market the Chevy Nova car in Central and South America, they overlooked the fact that No va means, ‘it doesn't go’ in Spanish. 

  • When American Airlines wanted to advertise its leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its ‘Fly In Leather’ campaign literally, which meant (vuela en cuero) Fly Naked in Spanish. 

Adam Jacot de Boinod worked on the first series of BBC Television’s QI for Stephen Fry, and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World – Penguin Books, £10.


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Picture Credit: 39160147@N03/27256764966">Pepsi Emoji Displays, 5/2016, pics by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube #Pepsi #Emojis</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com

All-aboard

The Learn to Sail #Bermuda courses are designed for those taking their first sailing experience or those seeking to improve their skills, ranging from half a day up to five-day courses for ages five and above. Junior lessons are available year-round and adult #sailing is available from September to May.

At the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, prices start from £110 per person, based on two people taking a three-hour lesson or £450 per person for a week-long course.

www.gotobermuda.co.uk/Bermuda_Sailing/Sailing_in_Bermuda



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Picture Credit: 65447217@N00/27711821720 From the top of the lighthouse via photopin.com

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Welcome to …

Adam Jacot de Boinod’s

Wide World of Language Mistakes

  • On a detour sign in Japan: Stop: Drive Sideways 
  • In a Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions 
  • Over the bathroom sink in a Mexican hotel: The water has been passed personally by the hotel manager 
  • In a hotel room in Cambodia: Sorry for guests who have problem, and thank for guests who have no problem 

Adam Jacot de Boinod worked on the first series of BBC Television’s QI for Stephen Fry, and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World – Penguin Books, £10.

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Self-catering discounts in France & Spain until the end of 2016

From the Archives . . . 

BRITTANY FERRIES HOLIDAYS  has announced a promotion on self-catering holidays to #France and #Spain this summer. More than 110 French cottages and 30 Spanish houses are on offer, with discounts of up to 25 percent on the company’s ferry-inclusive prices. Discounts are available throughout the summer season, including the school holidays, and until the end of 2016.

Gite and French cottage locations are offered in Brittany, Normandy, Poitou Charentes, the Loire, and beyond. Spanish properties are located in Asturias and Cantabria.


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Helpful Holidays expands in Cornwall and Devon

WEST COUNTRY agency Helpful Holidays has added 23 self-catering properties to its existing collection of more than 700 holiday homes.

Prices start from £275 (£138 per person) for an autumn week at Peony, a base for two in Exmouth. A the top end of the price range is Nirvana, a four-bedroom Georgian house in the Cornish fishing village of Kingsand – at £1,830 (£204 per person) for a summer High Season week. Grade II listed, it has out-to-sea views and access straight to the beach via the slipway opposite.

In the South Hams village of Loddiswell, there’s the The Cottage, a picture-perfect thatched Devon cottage for four. Prices from £351 per week (£88 per person).

www.helpfulholidays.co.uk


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Fancy a short break . . . in Mumbai?


A recent TripAdvisor study finds #Mumbai is the second cheapest city in the world for a short break.

Comparing the cost of a short three day break between 27 key city destinations around the world the cheapest top ten cities were:

  1. Hanoi
  2. Mumbai
  3. Cape Town
  4. Kuala Lumpar
  5. Bangkok
  6. Moscow
  7. Bali
  8. Madrid
  9. Berlin
  10. Vienna


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Picture Credit: 111661024@N07/28697653420 Mumbai Independence Day via photopin.com

Friday, 26 August 2016

Namibia via Angola

KLM will start flights to Namibia via Angola from October this year.

The flights from Amsterdam to Windhoek,Namibia via Luanda, Angola will operate three times a week.


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Picture Credit: 10258866@N00/28670121711 Namib desert via photopin.com

Welcome to … Wales

Adam Jacot de Boinod’s  -
Wide World of Words - Wales


gambo a home-made cart, often incorporating old pram wheels (also called a bono - short for boneshaker or a bogey)

bar cwtch! a warning for others to stay away from one’s cwtch (spot, place) while picking blackberries etc.

blaggudy rough, dirty (esp. of a football or rugby team)

yorks the practice of tying colliers’ and other workmen’s trousers above the ankles to prevent dirt and dust from reaching the upper parts of the body


Adam Jacot de Boinod worked on the first series of BBC Television’s QI for Stephen Fry, and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World – Penguin Books, £10.


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Book a walk on Guernsey

THE GUERNSEY AUTUMN WALKING FESTIVAL (September 3-18) will offer visitors a choice of more than 50 morning, afternoon, and evening guided walks to explore the island –and Herm – and learn from local experts about their history and attractions.

Organised by Bailiwick of Guernsey Guild of Accredited Guides, the walks range from rambles through the island’s interior scenic landscape to exploring the rugged coastal paths.

Prices start from £7 per person per walk and are led by Guernsey’s gold and silver accredited guides. The walks vary in difficulty and length (ranging from one to six hours) and are suitable for all ages and abilities.

Examples of walks include:

Coast to Coast – East to West – The guide takes visitors across the length of the island from Jerbourg in the south-eastern tip to Lihou Island in the west, passing quiet green lanes and Ruettes Tranquilles – Guernsey’s network of rural roads. Price: £15, Ability level: Ramble, Length: 11 miles.

Ready or Not – This walk explores the island’s 18th and 20th century fortifications, traversing Houmet headland through the eyes of Captain Basset who was overseeing fortification of the headland at the end of the 18th century under the threat of invasion by the French. The guide will also cover the occupation of the island by the Germans in WW2. Price: £8, Ability level: Amble, Length: 1.5 miles.

Where the Sea No Longer Reaches – The guide invites visitors to uncover what Georgian troop movements, leprosy, burial chambers, German railway and labour camps, salt extraction, the Battle of Hastings, rabbits, and carp have in common in a circular walk that traces the old western shoreline of the Braye du Valle before the two islands of Guernsey were joined in 1805. The walk includes the La Garenne d’Anneville nature reserve. Price: £8, Ability level: Medium, Length: 4 miles.

Herm Above & Beyond – Herm Island resident Lesley Bailey will lead a walk around the northern part of Herm, visiting areas not normally accessible to the public. The walk offers the chance to hear stories about life on Herm and enjoy the views looking back to Guernsey and out to sea. Price: £8, Ability level: Ramble.

Pre-booking is advised to guarantee a place. For more information on accredited guides and individual walks, go to www.guernseyguidedtours.com.

Getting to Guernsey: Direct flights to Guernsey operate year-round from London City, Gatwick and Stansted, as well as many regional UK airports with Aurigny (www.aurigny.com), Blue Islands (www.blueislands.com) and Flybe (www.flybe.com). Condor operates ferry services from Poole and Portsmouth, and takes approximately three and seven hours respectively.



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Where to next? . . .


I can’t think of anything that excites a great sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Bill Bryson


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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Wide World of Product Names

Adam Jacot de Boinod’s   Wide World of Product Names

  • Polio - Czech detergent 
  • Vaccine - Dutch aftershave 
  • Climax - Kenyan disinfectant 
  • Naked - New Zealand fruit and nut bar 
  • Noisy - French butter 
  • Last Climax - Japanese tissues 


Adam Jacot de Boinod worked on the first series of BBC Television’s QI for Stephen Fry, and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World – Penguin Books, £10.


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How do we mainstream sustainable tourism?




by Jeremy Smith

THIS QUESTION – which should be at the heart of all our discussions – was the theme of an inspiring event I attended at the United Nations. After two days of discussions, workshops, walking tours, networking events and more, all organized by Travel + Social Good, these were the five thoughts left running round my mind as I try to answer it.

Stop worrying about labels 

It really doesn’t matter whether it’s called eco, sustainable, responsible, geo, fair trade, pro-poor tourism or whatever. No one outside of a very small inward-looking clique cares, and it makes those who obsess about such things sound like the People’s Front of Judea from the Life of Brian. It’s called tourism. Either we do it well … or we don’t.

End the snobby ‘I am a traveller … they are tourists’ divide 

It’s perfectly possible to go on a responsible, sustainable holiday as a tourist. It’s equally easy to be a selfish, wasteful traveller. It’s not what sort of holiday I choose to take that matters. It’s how I choose to take it.

All tourism is luxury 

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization there are about one billion tourists going on foreign holidays each year. It sounds a lot, until you view it in the context of this being a planet of 7.5 billion people. What it means is there were 6.5 billion men, women and children who didn’t nip off for a weekend in Bruges, rent a villa in Tuscany, trek the Camino or see any other country than the one they live and work in for pleasure last year. That’s 86% of the world. Of course some forms of tourism are more luxurious than others. But before we argue the toss between backpacking and glamping, boutique and heritage, cheap flights and Lears, we need to check our collective privilege. Because it’s the 6.5 billion non-tourists who mostly provide our sustainable local food, clean our award-winning eco-lodges, feature in our idyllic snaps of peasant-in-paddy-fields-at-sunset – and more often than not are the ones most negatively affected by the environmental impacts our trips leave behind.

Tourism has to be regenerative

As mentioned in point one, it’s not about the labels. What matters is what we do. It is no longer enough just to aim to reduce tourism’s negative impacts, or even to remove them altogether. We have to make the world better, better for us, and for the 6.5 billion who weren’t lucky enough to go abroad last year. Whether we are working to re-wild denuded habitats, employ circular economy approaches to our supply chains, re-invigorate dwindling cultures, or to nurture an idea that being a human in this world has to be about more than just work – our luxury industry has to leave the world better than we found it. When we start from this premise, our business models become very different indeed.

Know when enough is enough

#Travel has always been driven by the desire to discover new places and explore where no one has gone before. Yet we have reached a point where there are very few of those places left, at the very same time as many of the places we love most have become so saturated with visitors that what lured us there first is being destroyed. It’s one thing to develop destination marketing and management strategies that seek to spread people into less visited areas. But we have also to acknowledge that such an approach must set limits to avoid creating a solution that simply expands the very negative impacts it was adopted to avoid. Otherwise we’re going to end up with all-inclusive resorts in the Antarctic and theme parks in the Galapagos. We need to leave some places alone.

Jeremy Smith is a writer and editor specialising in tourism communication. He works with responsible and sustainable travel businesses, and is co-author of Rough Guides' only guidebook dedicated to responsible tourism, Clean Breaks - 500 New Ways to See the World. www.jmcsmith.co.uk


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VisitScotland : To boldly glow..

SCOTTISH tourism is boldly going where few destinations have gone before, with its designated Dark Sky Communities proving a hit with stargazers. Now, VisitScotland hopes that Moffat’s designation as Europe’s first Dark Sky Town will add to the country’s astronomical allure.

In February, the Dumfries and Galloway town joined Coll, the first Dark Sky Island in Europe, and Galloway Forest Park, one of only four Dark Sky Parks in the western world, as one of the best places on earth to study the sky at night.

Another place to study the night sky is at the edge of Galloway Forest Park, where the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory in East Ayrshire is a four-star VisitScotland attraction.

A recent report estimates that the Dark Sky Park is taking in an additional £500,000 over the winter months purely related to dark sky tourism with the expectation for that to rise to around £1 million.

Keith Muir, head of Tourism & Communication at Forestry Commission Scotland, which owns the park, said: ‘The Dark Sky Rangers are now in place and beginning to get some trade, and more local accommodation providers are being affected by the increase in astro-tourism.’

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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

To end the day with . . .

I don’t mind doing the bracing British beach bit, anoraks and gumboots and soggy fish fingers in the Sun-‘n’-Sands Café, so long as no one suggests I am supposed to enjoy it. Katherine Whitehorn

No matter what happens, travel gives you a story to tell.
Jewish Proverb


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Explore Indonesia





The Wonderful #Indonesia Travel Pass enables travellers to explore the country beyond the capital – and Bali –with the itinerary of their choice, giving them the opportunity to go to tropical beaches, see underwater landscapes, and visit World Heritage sites, and multi-cultural cities with a flexible flight ticket that allows travel between three and five destinations.

The pass can also be purchased in different categories: Adventure, Underwater, Heritage, and Explore.

The pass is available from Garuda Indonesia sales offices and via selected travel agents and must be purchased outside Indonesia in combination with a Garuda Indonesia international return ticket.

www.garuda-indonesia.com



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Don't look down . . .




The worlds biggest and longest glass bridge opens at Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon in central #China.

Located between two mountain peaks it is made up of 99 clear glass panels and can accommodate up to 800 people at a time.

With visibility over the top and sides and the bottom this is not for the faint hearted!


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Picture Credit: By Carlos Adampol Galindo from DF, México - Zhangjiajie, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45070865

Strictly cricket in Little England

Coming soon in the latest issue of Go Holiday magazine …

Jules Older discovers #Barbados: flying fish, fierce cricket, perfect weather, major music, afternoon tea, and rum drinks with a parasol.

*Go Holiday magazine back issues available on Magzter now


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Picture Credit: 120459374@N07/28392461823">DJI_0234</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Travel Talk . . .

We’ve never had a holiday. A week or two at Balmoral, or ten days at Sandringham, is the nearest we get. 

Princess Anne

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Welcome to . . .


Adam Jacot de Boinod’s  Wide World of Cultures 

  • In Myanmar, it is taboo for a pregnant woman to go to a funeral or visit a cemetery, while in Bhutan passing a funeral is good luck and passing a wedding is bad luck. 
  • Cambodians associate colours with luck or the lack of it: Monday is orange and a good day for spending and not lending money; Wednesday is green and not a good haircutting day; Saturday is black and a bad day to attempt anything too ambitious but a good day for getting in touch with one's ancestry. 
  • Armenians from the former Soviet Union believe that giving an even number of flowers brings bad luck. 
  • Among Latin Americans, the gift of a knife or knives suggests the cutting of a relationship; yet this notion can be blunted by including a coin with the knives. 
  • In Hong Kong, present your gift with both hands. 
  • In the Middle East, a handkerchief suggests tears or parting, and therefore is inappropriate as a gift. 

Adam Jacot de Boinod worked on the first series of BBC Television’s QI for Stephen Fry, and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World – Penguin Books, £10.


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Picture Credit: 78678985@N04/28449838232">Floating gardens</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com

London’s royal parks in focus


A PROMOTIONAL VIDEO about London’s eight royal parks – which attract more than 77 million visitors a year – park can be seen on YouTube. Shot in 2015/16, the 2-minute, 22-second Park Stories film shows highlights of all of the parks, which cover 5,000 acres and cost approximately £36 million a year to manage.

The film features history and heritage and flora and fauna –Richmond and Bushy Parks are both Special Sites of Scientific Interest – and highlights the protected view of St Paul’s Cathedral from Richmond and the iconic views of the city from Greenwich Park and Primrose Hill … as well as one of London’s most famous streets, The Mall.

The parks are home to an abundance of wildlife deer, ducks, swans, bees, butterflies, and bats.

The video – One City, Eight Parks, Millions of Stories – can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-F3yS6UKj0

Those 8 royal parks:

  • Bushy Park 
  • Green Park 
  • Hyde Park 
  • Kensington Gardens 
  • Regents Park & Primrose Hill 
  • Richmond Park 
  • St. James's Park


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Corrie cobbles head out on UK tour

THE COBBLES, sets, props, costumes, and memorabilia from Coronation Street will start a UK tour this month (August 27). Coronation Street On Tour will premiere in Glasgow before relocating to Belfast next year, subject to full planning permission.

A purpose-built inflatable showdome – the largest touring structure in the UK – will feature the authentic sets and memorabilia from the soap’s set in the fictional north- west town of Weatherfield.

Alison King, who plays Carla Connor in the show, will welcome groups in a virtual reality format, before visitors take the tour of settings such as Roy’s Rolls and the Kabin.

Visitors can also step through the doors of the Rovers Return pub for a souvenir picture behind the bar.

ITV, in partnership with Continuum Attractions, unveiled the plans following the ‘unprecedented’ success of Coronation Street: The Tour in Manchester, which welcomed almost one million visitors during its 18-month run.


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