Saturday snippets: 19th May 2018

By | Category: Travel news

You might have noticed that there was a wedding in the Berkshire town of Windsor today. Don’t even think of popping down to see the event or staying overnight because hotels for miles around have been booked out. But it also seems that hotels anywhere in the world have been offering “Royal” packages as well. One hotel in New York is apparently offering guests condoms with a Union Jack emblazoned on them and a British slang dictionary.  I can’t really imagine Kirsty Young or Huw Edwards resorting to the odd phrase or two requiring a dictionary look-up. If they did Richard Dimbleby would turn over in his grave.

Monaco have announced campaign called  ‘Green is the New Glam’ which highlights the effort of the principality to cutting greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 by 50% compared with 1990 levels and of achieving total carbon neutrality by 2050.Claiming to ending the gap between luxury and sustainability a priority I must confess that many other countries and destinations have similar aims but what prompted me to run the item was because their artwork is so appealing!

Following on from the news that fining parents for taking their children out of term time is having no effect in Wales, Malcolm Bell from Visit Cornwall said in a story run by the Plymouth Herald that “Schools could create an extra week’s holiday in May or June by putting the Baker [training] days together. That would make a big difference to families and help the tourism industry reduce congestion at peak times.” Devon County Council are quoted in the same story as saying that the experience in Wales “does not coincide with our own.” Finding an arrangement acceptable to both parents and the educational establishment looks like a long, drawn-out affair.

If you are flying into Heathrow this Saturday you might join the wedding theme by being one of the lucky 1,000 who will receive a lemon and elderflower cupcakes. Why lemon and elderflower? Because, for those of you not in the know, that is Harry and Meghan have requested as their wedding cake.  In addition to the cupcakes, visitors between 10am and 4pm will be greeted by the sight of a Yeoman of the Guard, bunting and a fanfare. Passenger flying out of the airport will get nothing!

Think of Grenada as a summer destination

Many of us look on the Caribbean as a winter sun destination. Who would travel there in summer when it is so hot? For a start the island of Grenada thinks you should. As part of its newly launched promotion campaign it is offering up to a 50% discount on hotel rates, room upgrades, complimentary massages, children discounts, complimentary yoga classes and tour discounts just to mention a few temptations. That could be quite a persuasive promotion.

Last year, Mexico announced that a new archaeological zone called the Ichkabal Mayan – dating back to 300 BC – would open in 2017. It is about 380 kilometres from Cancun, spread over more than 30 square kilometres and is believed to have been one of the most important political centres in the region during the Preclassic Mayan era. The opening was postponed to this year and then in February, it was announced that the area would not open at all in 2018. Since then Just about Travel has sought a date or even a year in which tourists might be able to visit but we know nothing. Skip the idea of visiting Ichkabal on your holiday to Mexico this year!

The Balmoral Show in Northern Ireland started last Wednesday and continues to run until Sunday. Not only is this the first big food and farming show of the year its appeal continues to attract about 100,000 people over the four days. Perhaps because this year it celebrates its 150th anniversary, there are also 650 trade stands and a larger than usual plant machinery section. Given that the Northern Ireland population is about 1.8 million it means that more than one in twenty of the entire population visits the show.

After the news earlier this week that the Club 18-30 brand may be sold comes news of another brand but this time one that will be killed off by its owners. Cosmos is to discontinue its nearly 30 year-old Archers Holidays brand at the end of the year. Cosmos says it is because it wants to concentrate on its core Cosmos, Avalon Waterways and Globus brands. No Thomson Holidays anymore, maybe no Club 18-30 and now no Archers. The holiday world is all change. Anybody remember long gone holiday brands like Sunset Holidays, Intasun, Panorama or Flying Colours?

the last resting place in St Lawrence’s Effingham, where Barnes Wallis lived for 49 years

This week has seen the 75th anniversary of the famed Dambusters raid. Only one of those who took part is still alive, ex Squadron Leader George “Johnny” Johnson, but two others were remembered A plaque was unveiled at the childhood home of Flt Sgt Bill Townsend  in the Welsh town of Chepstow and a memorial to the crew of a shot down plane was unveiled in the Netherlands. Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bouncing bomb and the designer of the Wellington bomber amongst hundreds of other things, is buried in the small Surrey village of Effingham. Although there are at least nineteen memorials or reminders of his achievements, there is little in the village he lived for nearly half a century which is probably why so few visitors go the churchyard. At 5.30pm today, an  Avro Lancaster will fly over the Royal Air Force Museum in memory of the raid and all those who were involved in the action.

In airline news, British Airways will fly direct from Heathrow to South Africa’s King Shaka International Airport in Durban three times a week starting 29 October. At present the 90,000 Britons that visit the city each year have to change to connecting flights. Ethiopian Airlines will fly from Manchester to Addis Ababa as from December 1st. From there are connections to 58 other African destinations, the airline having the largest route network in Africa. Wizz will fly from Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) to Debrecen, Hungary’s second largest city from 16 December 2018. Debrecen is the capital of Hungary’s Northern Great Plain region and once Europe’s largest Calvinist City.

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