Saturday snippets:16th of July 2016

By | Category: Travel news
Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

If you are planning on holidaying in Cambodia and visiting the Angkor Wat temple complex be aware that a new dress code has been introduced. This has come about because of the surprising displays by some people of taking naked selfies at the UNESCO World Heritage site.  The Phnom Penh Post says that visitors will be required to wear pants or skirts below the knees and a T-shirt that covers the shoulders.  But it sounds as though the authorities will not be too heavy handed as those incorrectly dressed will be told what is acceptable and asked to return when properly dressed. In the first six months of 2016, nearly 1.1 million people have visited the site.

Following the success of Jon Platt in persuading the courts to let him take his children out of school in term time, his local council, the Isle of Wight – is appealing the decision. In the meantime BBC research has shown that at least nine councils in England have dropped legal proceedings against parents while a further six have decided not to issue fines. Of the 80 councils which responded to the BBC’s request for information, Trafford, Dudley, Wakefield, Portsmouth, Devon, Warwickshire, Sandwell, Derby and South Gloucestershire said they had dropped legal action against parents. Bury, Derby, Southwark, Oldham, Cornwall, Dorset and Lambeth have stopped issuing fines, according to the BBC. However, 49 councils said they weren’t changing any of their procedures so for those people living outside those areas be warned that you might still face a fine until this matter is eventually resolved.

Lady Luck to be sunk off Pompano Beach in florida

Lady Luck to be sunk off Pompano Beach in florida

In previous stories Just about Travel have mentioned that ships have been scuttled to create reefs and attract fish which, in turn attracts, tourists. The Greater Fort Lauderdale area in Florida, “home to the largest collection of warm-water wrecks in the Western world,” as it claims, has a new vessel – Lady Luck     – which will be scuttled a week today off Pompano Beach. But this ship is a little different. The tanker will sink and then be the world’s first underwater art gallery. Taking inspiration from the ships name, artist Dennis MacDonald has created a casino themed installation allowing divers to navigate poker tables and slot machines as they explore the vessel. Divers will be able to explore 16 staterooms, the captain’s deck, galley, engine room, tanker holding bays and a collection of rotating underwater art exhibits.

For those heading to the Caribeean this summer holiday, Crop Over is Barbados’ biggest, loudest and best-loved festival, during which the whole island is taken over by the party spirit with the festival culminating on the first Monday of August, known as Kadooment Day. Events leading up to the Grand Kadooment Parade include Cohobblopot – an evening with performances by some of the hottest musical bands and artists from Barbados and the Caribbean and Pic-o-De-Crop, where Calypsonians compete for prizes and titles.  Kadooment Day on 1 August marks the end of Crop Over with a festival and parade, complete with bright costumes, music, and plenty of rum.

Tim Peake

Tim Peake

As astronaut, Tim Peake, returns home to the UK this week from acclimatisation after his space travel, the National Space Academy is launching its. Astro Camp Summer which will highlight the work and training of Tim and his colleagues, showing children and adults how to follow in his footsteps, or those of the crew who made his mission possible. Over seven, different themed weeks visitors will be able to see all aspects of astronaut training, including all the interesting things that happen to the human body in space.  From fitness to diet, rockets to experiments, visitors can even be involved with some of the experiments designed by the National Space Academy team that Peake took into space!

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced an investigation into moves by online travel agents, Expedia and, to change their contracts and which prevented hotels from offering cheaper room rates on competing online travel agents’ sites than are offered on Expedia and I know we have some readers who own or run hotels so if you have comments the CMA would like to hear from you. Their questionnaire can be accessed by clicking here.

Did you know David Bowie was an avid art collector? I didn’t. Sotheby’s will be selling his collection which includes 267 paintings and more than 120 items of 20th Century furniture and sculpture.. Among them, a striking 1960s stereo cabinet created by the Italian designers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni as well as works by artists including Damien Hirst, Henry Moore and Marcel Duchamp. They are on free display at Sotheby’s in London, before being sold at auction in November when buyers are expected to stump up to £10 million for the collection.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong.  Has officially been opened at Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando. Bringing the legend of King Kong forward, the adventure begins as guests are transported deep into a mysterious world, where their mission is to discover creatures of unknown origin with the 8th Wonder Expedition Company, the research team leading the excursion. After braving ancient temple ruins and encountering hostile natives, they board a massive 40-foot-long, 17-ton expedition vehicle to navigate the increasingly foreboding terrain. The specially designed expedition vehicle, which operates on a completely trackless ride system, takes visitors deeper into the island, where they soon find themselves in the midst of a struggle between beasts. Those creatures then turn on the expedition and King Kong, nearly three storeys tall comes to their assistance.  I hope I haven’t given too much away!

The route between the Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne is the third busiest air route in the world. Flights take about an hour and a half and then there is the time taken to get to the airport, the hour long stay at the terminal and the journey the other end in to the city. If you can do it in less than between 3-4 hours you are doing well. In twenty years’ time there might be an alternative as there is a private plan to build a high-speed rail link which will take between 110 minutes and 165 minutes depending on the number of stops. It sounds viable since no public money is involved. There have been ideas like this before. Will this happen?

Okuma Louboutin Boots - c Portland Art Museum.

Okuma Louboutin Boots – c Portland Art Museum.

It isn’t only in Venice that there is a Biennale. In the US state of Oregon, the largest city – Portland – has its own version which started last weekend and runs until the middle of September. The Portland 2016 Biennial of Contemporary Art as 25 different venues of which 10 are in Portland itself and, contrary to the name, the rest are scattered in the state. At the Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, in Portland, there is work from 107 artists’ studios. New this year, the first annual Converge 45 is a multi-day event showcasing international, national and regional contemporary art. Portland’s leading arts institutions, galleries and artist-run spaces are collaborating to host exhibitions, conversations, performances and tours on Visitors’ Weekend (July 29–31).

Aer Lingus has rolled out its Express Bag Drop service. This lets travellers self-tag and check-in their bags once they have their boarding card printed or downloaded to their mobile device. They can then deposit their bag and proceed towards departures. Mike Rutter, chief operating officer, Aer Lingus, claims it cuts the time people need to spend in the check-in area by at least 66%.

In airline news, easyJet have announced a new route from London Gatwick to La Palma – the most north westerly Canary Island which will start from 1 November 2016. Jet 2 will launch ten new routes for the winter season. To Grenoble there will be flights from East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford and Newcastle airports. From Leeds Bradford there will be flights to Berlin and Edinburgh will have new routes to Fuerteventura and Turin whilst Glasgow will be linked with Geneva. Finally, Manchester will have flights to Sofia. In addition there will be almost an additional 400,000 seats on existing flights to Spanish resorts.

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