Saturday snippets: 9th June 2018

By | Category: Travel news
bronze of Burmese

A bronze of the Queen’s horse Burmese which she rode at the annual Trooping the Colour. She now rides in a coach.

Today is the Trooping the Colour, one of those heritage spectacles that we do so well and which the rest of the world either envies or sends its media to record the event. With the new Duchess of Sussex in evidence this year there may be more visitors to London than usual already to catch a glimpse of her either on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the traditional flypast after the trooping or at the trooping itself in Horse Guard’s Parade. You can enter a ballot to sit in the stands and watch the event. Generally the ballot opens in January and seats cost between £2 and £35.

The Outer Hebrides or, as they are sometimes known, the Western Isles has been awarded World Craft City status, one of only 24 in the world. It is due to Harris Tweed, cloth woven by hand in the Western Isles with wool yarn from island sheep. When I was given my first Harris Tweed jacket I was told that it would see me out. I also have my fathers which I still wear and which did see him out! Will the award induce more visitors to visit the Outer Hebrides? Probably.

Staying in Scotland, the UK’s highest railway is to be closed for a month for maintenance work. The funicular railway near Aviemore will be out-of-action from 4th of June until the 4th of July. The railway, between November and April, is used by over a hundred thousand people but fewer outside the ski season hence the maintenance work is being done now.

Victor Hugo’s House, Hauteville House, St Peter Port. Image © Chris George

Holidaymakers on Guernsey will be disappointed to learn that they cannot visit Hauteville House, the former home (he lived there for fifteen years) of Victor Hugo. The reason is that a €3 million essential restoration is underway and that won’t be completed until 2019. Usually about 20,000 people visit the house during the spring and summer. Interestingly the house isn’t owned by the island but by the city of Paris and is run by Paris Musées, which is also responsible for the conservation of Hugo’s other house on the Place des Vosges in Paris. Many readers may not know that Hugo was an artists as well as a writer but an exhibition called Hugo – Visions in Exile at Guernsey Museum between 22 June and 16 September shows some of the drawings ( they’ve been in France for decades) are on display.

The BBC has said that the boss of Emirates Airline wants aircraft without windows. Why? Because, he says, it will make planes faster, more fuel efficient and safer. Emirates has unveiled a new First Class Suite on board its latest aircraft (Boeing 777-300ER aircraft) that has virtual windows. Passengers will see images projected in from outside the aircraft using fibre-optic cameras. Whilst airlines might like windowless planes, as a passenger would you?

The Miró Mallorca Foundació – the museum in Palma which honours the life and work of Catalan artist Joan Miró – will celebrate its 25th anniversary with the renovation and re-opening of the ‘Taller Sert’ (Sert’s workshop) in June 2018. Designed by Miró’s friend Josep Lluis Sert – the workshop, which is connected to his house – became the artist’s main studio in 1956 and was where he created most of his work until his death. When it re-opens there will be additional exhibits to see and studio will be exactly how it was before Miró passed away.

6% have said that they missed their flight due to security issues

In a survey undertaken on behalf of the flight comparison site, www.jetcost.co.uk the majority of those polled said that they’d had a negative experience when going through security. 53% said that they thought there is too much security at airports and 12% answering that they thought there should be more.  When asked if airport security is a necessary measure, 84% said yes and 16% said that they believe it is unnecessary. When relevant participants were asked why they thought airport security wasn’t needed, the majority answered that it ‘takes too long; (65%), while 31% believe going through security is ‘demeaning’ and 14% believe that it is ‘ineffective at preventing crime’.  6%  claimed that they had actually missed their flight due to security timescales. Could it be that those people just didn’t leave enough time?

In another survey, this time by Condor Ferries 63% of Britons agree that fellow passengers need better etiquette when travelling on public transport. What aggrieves us?   The top five gripes are drunkenness (60%), body odour (49%), other passengers on their mobiles (37%), loud eating (29%) and people putting their feet on seats. (28%.)  The other main moans are singing or whistling (19%), having very personal conversations (11%), public displays of affection (8%), loud laughter (8%) and complaining (7%).  But if things irk you can you say from this survey that 93% will just tut-tut but do nothing about it?

 

Greece

Greece is beginning a new targeted promotion to get us to holiday there. Last Monday, the tourism ministry said that it wanted to persuade us to think of the country as an all-year round destination. A video, “Greece – Α 365-day destination” is being translated into a number of different languages for the thirty markets in which the promotion will run. Tourism Minister, Elena Kountoura said,  that the goal is to establish Greece within the 10 (and perhaps the five) most popular and attractive destinations worldwide. This year has already seen an increase of 14% in tourists.

Amidst the closure of over thirty House of Fraser stores which has focused attention n the high street, 679 high street travel agencies closed last year. This was due to competition from online suppliers. The Local Data Company says that after pubs and banks, travel agencies were the third largest industry to see closures. Whilst we complain about banks and pubs there are few complaints when a travel agency closes. As travel is one of the fastest growing online products you would imagine there will continue to be a high level of closures over the next few years.

lake District

Lake District

Last week I mentioned that trains had been withdrawn from the Lake District line for a few weeks. This week the effect on tourism is noticeable as fewer visitors have been seen proving once again how important the railway network is for holidaymakers and day-trippers. Perhaps the furore might spur the rail company to end the replacement service and find trains. Better still, why don’t they use a heritage steam company to lay on services. That would encourage even more visitors to the Lake District.

Finally, at the end of next week National Picnic Week begins and runs until the 14th of June. I have to confess that I was never a great one for picnics being put off by ants, flies and a dislike of lumpy hard ground on which to sit. It was only be looking at their website that I learnt that one of the staples of picnics, the Scotch egg, was invented 280 years this year by Fortnum & Mason. Apparently the most popular constituent of a picnic today are crisps.  Millions do enjoy picnics with each of us, on average,  having three picnics per year.

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