Saturday snippets: 10th May 2014

By | Category: Travel news
Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan in The Kid

Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan in The Kid

A new £40m museum dedicated to the life of Charlie Chaplin will open at his Swiss home in 2016. The now run-down, 35 acre Manoir de Ban in Corsier-sur-Vevey, on the banks of Lake Geneva where Chaplin died in 1977is being restored in readiness for the opening. Why is it there is no museum to Chaplin in London his birthplace? The Cinema Museum which is in the old workhouse in Lambeth and where a Chaplin sculpure might be placed would seem a likely venue. Or maybe the Cinema Museum should be re-named.

According to Hever Castle, a second runway at Gatwick could threaten the future of the home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII and the first of his wives to go to the block. They say that increased noise could deter people from visiting the attraction. Gatwick says that there needn’t necessarily be an increased noise as planes are becoming quieter. You can tell that there is a lot of influence being brought to bear on the commission that will be recommending answers to the problem of flight capacity at Heathrow can’t you. The commission reports in the autumn.

Over the weekend of May 16 to 18 there will be special events and free entry to Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre in Scotland. This is part of Museums Galleries Scotland’s 2014 Festival of Museums. As the UK’s first military air base, RAF Montrose played a major part in both World Wars. “As well as the air station’s permanent displays of aircraft, military vehicles and wartime artefacts, the open weekend will feature re-enactments,  a display of military vehicles from days gone by, as well as opportunities to dress up in 1940s’ outfits and pose by the replica Spitfire or in its cockpit.

Palinka FestivalIf you happen to be in Hungary next weekend, then it’s capital is celebrating the Budapest Pálinka Festival, a gastronomic event where visitors can taste over 300 different types of pálinka, a special Hungarian type of brandy. All major producers come along with some smaller, family-run distilleries will showcase their finest spirits at the festival. The Pálinka Festival is billed as a trend-setting event as it showcases locally grown fruit and, as well as the chance to taste this unique spirit, visitors can enjoy Hungarian delicacies including sausages, cheese and chocolate and listen to live music. It starts on the afternoon of the 15th and on Thursday and Sunday it finishes at midnight and on Friday and Saturady, it finishes at 2am. A day pass costs: HUF 2,000 (£6.00) and includes tasting glass.

Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau along with sponsor, MasterCard Priceless Miami, will bring visitors and residents, special deals to celebrate Miami Museum Month. From May 1-31, 2014, the destination will celebrate its attractions, history, culture, and evolving art scene. Among the discounts is “Buy one, get one free,” admission to two for the price of one at any participating museum. Another deal is “join one and see them all” so when purchasing a membership at any one of the participating museums, you can visit any other participating museum for free during the month. MasterCard holders will receive 10% off the retail store at select museums. Incidentally, May is also National Burger Month in the US!

Montgomery in Alabama is the Best Historic City in the United States, according to an online poll by travel website 10Best sponsored by USA TODAY. The city beat out 19 other cities, including Boston, Philadelphia and New Orleans after 28 days of voting. For its part, Montgomery was in on the very beginnings of two of the most important events in U.S. history, the civil rights movement and the Civil War. It also was the site of the first flight school, which was started by the Wright Brothers, and the nation’s first electric streetcars. The order to fire the shot that started the Civil War was sent from Montgomery, and nearly 100 years later, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, triggering the world-changing Montgomery Bus Boycott. Incidentally, Just about Travel has heard rumours that the Rosa Parks song from BBC’s Horrible Histories is now being plaated in some US schools to teach schoolchildren about the segregation issues.

The Macau International Dragon Boat Festival takes place for a week at the end of this month. Although we featured the Taiwanese Dragon Boat festival recently, Macau’s is a big event combining a traditional celebration with the exciting pace of a sporting event. It originates from an event which took place in ancient years when Wat Yuen, a famous poet and royal minister, threw himself into a river when his king fell under the influence of corrupt officials and refused to heed Wat Yuen’s wise advice. Today, it is key event with huge crowds gathering to watch elaborately-designed dragon boats race to the sound of beating drums, as if they are looking for Wat Yuen’s body. Rowers win by grabbing the flag at the end of the course. Among the world’s oldest organised sports, the Dragon Boat Races date back over 2,000 years and take place on Macau’s Nam Van Lake.

Hong Kong Arts month

Hong Kong Arts month

Just across from Macau, Hong Kong will be celebrating Arts Month starting next week. With a bourgeoning art scene, several major players entering the market and dedicated art districts, Hong Kong, so the tourist board says, “is poised to become a vibrant international centre for the arts and culture in Asia, generating a palpable energy and buzz around the city’s art scene.” Various initiatives, from the hotly anticipated development of the West Kowloon Cultural District into a world-class arts hub to the year-round exhibitions, new gallery openings and large-scale art fairs, are breathing new life to the Hong Kong’s cultural landscape. Art Basel, staged in Hong Kong for the first time last year, will return to Hong Kong from May 15 to 18. With 245 galleries from 39 countries and territories, Art Basel showcases artistic talent from all over the globe as well as emerging and established Asian talents. Coinciding with it the Hong Kong Museum of Art is showcasing the “Living World” series by renowned Taiwanese sculptor Ju Ming until June 15.

A new £40m museum dedicated to the life of Charlie Chaplin will open at his Swiss home in 2016. The now run-down, 35 acre Manoir de Ban in Corsier-sur-Vevey, on the banks of Lake Geneva where Chaplin died in 1977is being restored in readiness for the opening. Why is it there is no museum to Chaplin in London his birthplace? The Cinema Museum which is in the old workhouse in Lambeth and where a Chaplin sculpure might be placed would seem a likely venue. Or maybe the Cinema Museum should be re-named.

ArubaOn the Caribbean island of Aruba, they provide visitors with the Carubbian Festival every Thursday evening in the island’s second city of San Nicolas, located on the southern end of the island. The evening’s fun is based around the main street where visitors are welcomed by locals and can enjoy traditional entertainment, including dancers and displays of carnival costumes, and also sample typical cuisine and drinks. Dishes include curried goat, jerk chicken, salt fish and chicken satay. This is followed a carnival procession, headed by a brass band, in which visitors are encouraged to participate. It costs around £38 and has now become so successful that it is listed as one of the top 10 destination attractions.

Figures  released by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority show that 834,771 guests checked into the emirate’s accommodation in the first three months of this year, a climb of 32 per cent on the same period in 2013. The UK remains the emirate’s second largest overseas market with a 25 per cent increase in British guests in the first quarter to 49,720. This delivered a 14 per cent increas in guest nights and we are staying, on average, quite a long time – close to four and a half nights.

Sydney Harbour Brdge - one reason why NSW is the most visited Australian state.

Sydney Harbour Brdge – one reason why NSW is the most visited Australian state.

NSW in Australia is the most visited state in  the country according to new figures just published. Last year it achieved its highest number of international visitors, nights and expenditure since 2005. From December 2012 to December 2013, NSW welcomed three million international visitors who stayed 72.8 million nights and spent $6.7 billion. The number of visitors from the UK grew by 8.4% but bigger growths were established by visitors from Hong Kong, India and China.

Finally Norway which will celebrate its national day this coming week. Every year on May 17th, the country comes alive as the country celebrates ‘National Day’, the day it became a fully independent nation. Colourful street parades take place in every village, town and city filled with marching bands and children waving banners and flags. The national costume, or Bunad as it is known, is worn by young and old, and youngsters enjoy a day eating hot dogs and ice cream so it becomes quite a memory if you happen to be holidaying in Norway at the time.

 

 

 

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