Saturday snippets: 19th July 2014

By | Category: Travel news
Colosseum in Rome

Colosseum in Rome

Since the beginning of July in Italy, new rules have been introduced for all state museums and archaeological sites in Italy. Free entry is now available on the first Sunday of every month and there will be a charge of all visitors over the age of 25 of just €1 on two scheduled open museum nights a year. From 1st July 2014 free entry tickets will only apply to under those under the age of 18. Reductions will remain for under 25s, but there will be no more free entry or reductions for those over 65. But – some small compensation – there will be free entry for everyone on the Sunday of the month. And, on every Friday, the major Museums (including the Colosseum, Pompeii and the Uffizi Galleries) will remain open until 10pm. The new pricing only applies to state-run museums and archaeological sites, not those in private hands. Local and private museums will continue to apply their own charging systems.

‘Star Wars’ creator, George Lucas, has announced Chicago as the future home for his collection of art and movie memorabilia. The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a dream project for the famed director, aims to be a gathering place to experience narrative art and the evolution of moving images. Given the popularity of the Star Wars exhibition in  Paris at the moment, Chicago will attract many more visitors from around the world.

Singapore gardens

Singapore gardens

In Singapore, Gardens by the Bay recently welcomed its 10-millionth visitor through the door, having opened just two years ago. The striking gardens have proved to be very popular with visitors and they are an ideal place to visit if you are transiting at the airport. For July, visitors can see a brand new floral display – Persian Garden. The gardens will also play centre stage to the Singapore Youth Festival celebrations. August will focus on two major events, namely the Singapore Garden Festival and the Orchid Extravaganza floral display.

We are not visiting the United States as much according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The figures for March (the most recent) show that despite us being able to buy more dollars for our pounds than has been the case for years, 21% fewer of visited the country. For the year to date it is down 10%. Why? Given the amount of money that Brand America is spending to entice us to go, clearly something isn’t helping. Air fares are much higher than last year APD is higher so these could be contributing factors. Or is it because there are no new headline rides at Disney or Universal in either California or Florida this year?

Lake Bratan on Bali in Indonesia

Lake Bratan on Bali in Indonesia

UK visitors to Indonesia reached a record total of 48,871 in the first quarter of the year. In April this year a total of 19,809 of us visited the country, an increase of 18.2 per cent on the same month in 2013. This will increase, partially helped by the fact that, after a long absence, their national airline – Garuda – will begin flying direct from Gatwick from 8th September 2014.

In St Lucia, it is only a month away to one of the sights of the year. Each year, coral release millions of packets of egg and sperm cells that appear underwater as massive pink and white clouds. They slowly drift to the surface where fertilization occurs. The next day the sea will be partially covered by pink slicks of coral larvae which represents the next generation of one of the ocean’s most vital organisms. Within a few weeks the larvae will settle on the bottom and begin the process of reef building. In St. Lucia the spawning takes place off the beaches of Anse Chastanet . In 2014 it will take place between 16 and 18 August.

UK holidaymakers to Croatia have increased by 10 per cent in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year. This year has also seen a massive 17 per cent rise in Irish visitors to Croatia against the same period in 2013. In total, 140,519 Brits holidayed in Croatia while 14,184 Irish visited the destination between January-June 2014.  It looks as though Croatia will have a fourth consecutive year of growth and prove to be one of the top short-haul destinations for UK & Irish travellers.

Remaining in Croatia, the closed courtyards belonging to the state or families in Zagreb’s Upper Town, will open their gates to visitors for the first time.  Only open between the 18th of July and the 27th, the programme called ‘Each courtyard has its story’ will describe the history behind each courtyard and secret garden and drinks. Snacks and live music will also be on offer. From the beautiful courtyard of the Balbi Palace and the fascinating garden of the State Archive to the inner courtyard of a renowned Croatian sculptor, tourists and locals alike will be able to enjoy a different side of the capital this July.

Buccaneer Bay

Buccaneer Bay

In Cornwall, Buccaneer Bay – the pirate attraction – has opened for the summer with a new offering for visitors. An interactive pirate experience allows trippers to experience the mysterious life of the Cornish pirate. Families must take the parley to learn all about life as a Pirate as they explore Prussia Cove, Smuggler’s Dens, craggy nooks and Cornish coves on the theatrical Pirate Tour. The interactive performances run throughout the day with story-telling tailored and targeted to all ages and mixed groups. Children are given a treasure map with genuine (!) golden coins when they solve the clues.

Whilst at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, the UK’s biggest ever festival for kids, LolliBop, runs from 15th – 17th August. It has live music, theatre, walk-about performance, sport, literacy, interactive demos, workshops, dance lessons, circus skills, cooking classes and more… and if that’s not all, LolliBop plays host to some of the hottest and most popular names in kid’s entertainment.

The De Havilland Tiger Moth Rally takes place at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire from 16th – 17th August.  Showcasing the very ‘Best of British’ with some of the country’s top vintage cars and aeroplanes showing off their style in a Garden Party environment. The vintage de Havilland biplanes and an extensive range of other classic types will be on show. The VIP ‘Members Enclosure’ recollects the golden age of aviation in the 1930s, when flying clubs across Great Britain hosted summer ‘at homes’ for pilots and guests.

Finally, Belgium is forever linked with beer because it produces some of the most sought-after brews. To chronicle the fact a new museum has opened in the favourite day trip city of Bruges. The Bruges Beer Museum, which opened on 5 July 2014, is located on the Market Square. The three storey museum will include a tasting room for up to 200 visitors  (not that I will spend too much time there!) and two other floors of interactive features. the website isn’t up and running at the time of writing but I have provided a link for future nterest!

 

 

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