Saturday snippets: July 15th 2017

By | Category: Travel news
mamite jar in bag for liquid items inspection

Now business people needn’t have their Marmite confiscated!

Without doubt the most important story of the week is the fact that Marmite have brought out a 70gm jar so that people can take it with them in the hand luggage when they fly abroad. Apparently, the company says, Marmite was the most confiscated branded food item at London City Airport. Being primarily a business airport, business people probably weren’t carrying hold luggage with them hence the problems with the supermarket size jars. Frankly, I am a Vegemite person  so it wouldn’t bother me but obviously Marmite have spotted a market gap to placate business people who would be lost without their daily shot of the black, yeasty gloup!

If you have taken the wrong currency with you for a holiday it looks like you aren’t alone. A survey on behalf of Globetrotters, suggests that u to 10% of us have done it. Top of the list is Turkey where people seem to think that the euro is the currency. The lire, on the other hand, is what you should have and because it isn’t the euro, the exchange rate hasn’t appreciated against the pound but declined  so you actually get about 10% more than   you would have done before the Brexit slump in June 2016.

Although the Burrell Collection in Glasgow has closed whilst some refurbishment goes on, you can see some of the collection at the Kelvingrove instead. Burrell built up one of the finest collections of tapestries from all over the world spanning the medieval, renaissance and Georgian eras  and some will be on display until November this year including two that have never been on display since 1901.

sculptured had at the National Memorial Arboretum

the everyman composite sculpture by Stephen Dixon.

In 1917, there were some horrific battles during WWI. One such was at Passchendaele during which there were over half a million casualties on both sides. In commemoration of the battle, a sculpture built from clay taken from the battlefield site and representing soldiers from each side has been unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire. Prof. Stephen Dixon from Manchester School of Art has created what the NMA says is an ‘everyman’ composite sculpture inspired by photographs of soldiers from the six nations involved in the battle.  The metre-high portrait is the central feature of the Arboretum’s new ‘Passchendaele: Mud and Memory exhibition.

This year the Ironbridge Gorge Museums celebrate their 50th anniversary and, as part of that, the power and innovation behind the Industrial Revolution. During the summer, at Blists Hill Victorian Town various steam machines will be in action on different days.  The Town’s replica of Trevithick’s Coalbrookdale 1802 locomotive and the newly restored Winding Engine will be amongst the machines in steam. On Wednesday mornings see there will be an iron casting demonstration and blazing furnace in the Town’s Iron Foundry. Over at Enginuity in Coalbrookdale enamelling, pewter casting and paddleboat making workshops will take place between 10.30am and 3.15pm on different weeks. Between 26th and 30th July, and again from 7th to 13th August, you can decorate copper key rings using enamel beads and watch as they are fixed in place using high temperatures in a mini-furnace. For a full list of events, click here.

If there was ever proof needed that airports are not just for passengers to catch flights then I give you Vienna Airport in Austria as an example. It has a ‘Seaside Vienna Airport’ pop-up market until September 22nd where you can eat there, lounge and watch maritime designs which includes a fifty kilogram anchor. You can buy postcards carrying images of the airport in days gone by and if you really want to get into a holiday spirit you can go to the funny photo wall to make holiday photos directly from the pop-up market. All that to see and you don’t have to be a passenger. Non-flyers can enter into the spirit if the fun as well!

Indonesian Weekend

Next weekend (22nd & 23rd of July) is Indonesia Weekend, a two-day festival of Indonesian food, culture and fashion which will be held at Potter’s Field Park, beside Tower Bridge in London. It will also promote the country’s tourism. There will be plenty of Indonesian cuisine available for visitors to sample as well as music and dancing displays.

Yet more action is underway to stem the flow of fraudulent travel sickness claims. Justice Secretary David Lidington has said that the government is determined to tackle the compensation culture which has penalised the honest majority for too long. Ministers have asked the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, which is responsible for setting rules on legal costs, to urgently look at the rules governing the costs of holiday claims because, although there is a system for controlling costs for more personal injury claims in England and Wales, there isn’t on overseas holiday claims. The tightening of the rules should mean that that pay-outs for tour operators will be subject to stricter controls. At the same time, the Civil Justice Council will look at the rules around how low-value personal injury claims are handled to reduce the incentives to bring claims lacking merit.

From the people that brought you underground zip-lining in a slate cavern of North Wales comes summer zip-line fun in London. Claimed to be the fastest in the world it is located in Archbishop’s Park on London’s Southbank opposite St Thomas’s Hospital. I just mention that for those not knowing London’s geography not because of any link between the two! It opened earlier this week and will stay until the end of September. Riders will reach speeds of around 50mph as they travel the 225-metre wire in just over 30 seconds and it should be possible to catch a glimpse of many well-known London features such as Big Ben, the Shard and the London Eye.

WOW air linking Bristol, Gatwick and Edinburgh with Chicago

The Icelandic low-cost airline, WOW air, will fly a daily service to Chicago which will rival another low-cost airline –Norwegian. Unlike Norwegian, the WOW air flights will go via Reykjavik but this means that passengers can catch flights locally from Bristol and Edinburgh as well as Gatwick to connect at the Icelandic capital for the Chicago flight. Fares start at £139.99 nearly £40 cheaper than Norwegian’s.

According to the insurance company, Schofields, Airbnb has become the “haven” for single holidaymakers. Why? Because  74% of those staying in an Airbnb property did so to avoid extra charges levied by hotels because they were travelling on their own. The survey covered only solo travellers, a holiday group that has had to pay quite significant charges in order to stay in hotels.  As many  as 78% of the responders said that they had been charged an extra single person supplement. Given how important Airbnb has become it looks as though shrewd hoteliers will have to find a way of competing by getting rid altogether of those hated single person supplements.

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