Saturday snippets: 26th April 2014

By | Category: Travel news


In Croatia there over a thousand islands to explore, beaches, ski resorts, heritage sites, good food and who knows what else but are the Croatians satisfied with what they have to offer us? No. Now one institute has suggested the country considers deliberately sinking vessels of their coastline to encourage fish, different environments, divers and that means more visitors. There has been the scuttling of ships in the USA to set up artificial reefs to encourage fish. Locals and visitors flocked (if boats can be said to flock) to see the sinking of the Lulu last year so why shouldn’t more visitors come to Croatia to see not only the sinking but the eco-system that will be created? The idea is to prolong the tourist season for the country

 The public bike-sharing scheme, the Bubi isan is the acronym for Budapest Bicycle. It is due to be launched at the end of April and will be accessible via a specialised smart-card, Bubi pass or with a daily ticket. The bicycles can be used free of charge for half an hour, the next 60 minutes will cost the price of a single transport ticket (less than £1). Budapest wants to become a safer and bike-friendly capital and many improvements are taking place around the city to facilitate this. For the launch there will be around 1,000 bikes available, 74 docking stations where bikes can be picked up and returned – 57 stations on the Pest side, 16 in Buda, and one on Margitsziget (Margaret Island). In Pest, the area covered by bubi will extend to the Városliget (City Park) and the Nagykörút (Grand Boulevard), in Buda to the Víziváros and the university campus in South Buda.

Butterflies at Blenheim

Butterflies at Blenheim

Blenheim Palace‘s new Butterfly House has re-opened its doors to visitors following a £100,000 renovation project. As well as creating an entirely new structure to house the collection, the renovation programme has also increased the overall size of the butterfly area, and doubled the size of the water feature. There is also a whole new hatchery area where visitors can see the pupae develop within their chrysalises before being released in to the main area.

Scrabo Tower, one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic landmarks and a popular visitor attraction has been closed to the public due to health and safety reasons. The tower was built in 1857 as a memorial to Charles Stewart, third Marquess of Londonderry and visitors can climb the 122 steps to the top to give them panoramic views. Given that this is the second time it has had to close because of water issues, you would have thought that engineers would have come up with a long-lasting solution. Unless of course there isn’t the budget for that proper work!

The annual Battle of Clontarf reinactmenty – which took place on Good Friday, April 23, 1014 –  was a big success last weekend when at least 60,000 turned up in Dublin to see it. The Battle of Clontarf Festival, hosted by Dublin City Council, took place in St Anne’s Park in Raheny. Twice a day, 500 warriors battled in front of visitors.  Along with the battle re-enactments, the festival had displays of Viking life including a medieval village with more than 80 tents, skills and weapons demonstrations, a mounted display on horses, a Viking longboat, falconry, archery, food and music. A shame then that the council couldn’t have had a word with  DART. (for those outside the city, this is the rail line.)  They closed the line passing St Anne Park where an estimated 30,000 would have used it. Why? For maintenance work. Talk about one hand not knowing what the other was doing. I’m told that some people in Visit Dublin have made comments! And not with usual Dublin bonhomie!

Flybe is to offer flights into London City Airport.. The airline will offer services to and from Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Inverness and Exeter. Flights are due to begin on 27 October, and Flybe estimates the routes will carry about 500,000 passengers a year. Meanwhile, SAS has started a new service of flights between Edinburgh and Stavanger has begun operation, The new seasonal summer twice weekly service will fly to Stavanger on Thursday and Sundays until 5 October.

the Bard of Barnsley

the Bard of Barnsley

Center Parcs has had an ad banned by the Advertising Standards Authority. (ASA) It showed families, enjoying some of the activities at the parcs but the “small print” said that the price was available only during term-time. You will remember that there are heavy fines for removing children from school during terms. Center Parcs aren’t happy but it could be said that they were encouraging people to break the law.  Or were they just being savvy and trying to get lots of free publicity and their name bandied about throughout the media especially they had had a similar run-in previously so it is likely they knew what would happen!

At 11am today the Dundee Museum of Transport opens its doors. After four years of work the temporary premises in Market Street will be host to a weekend of events. the bus company, Stagecoach, has even laid on an historic bus to provide a free bus link from the station.

Finally, do you remember what it was like staying in B&B’s when you were a child? Ian McMillan, the Bard of Barnsley and host of BBC Radio 3’s The Verb wrote a story in the Yorkshire Post in his usual humourous style. It brought it all back to me so here is a link to that story.




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