Category Archives: travel

Thomas Cook travelers stranded

Thomas Cook has ceased trading after talks failed to produce a funding lifeline for the ailing travel company, placing 9,000 British jobs at risk and triggering a huge repatriation effort to bring home 150,000 UK holidaymakers overseas.

The Civil Aviation Authority announced at 2 AM on September 23 that the world’s oldest holiday company had gone into administration and that all flights and bookings had been cancelled.

“If you are currently abroad and your flight was with Thomas Cook we are providing new flights to return you to the UK. These repatriation flights will only be operating for the next two weeks (until 6 October 2019). After this date you will have to make your own travel arrangements. From a small number of locations, passengers will have to book their own return flights” the company announcement said.

 

Stromboli eruption safety concerns

Italy Stromboli volcano in Mediterranean  has erupted for the second time in two months, sending huge plumes of smoke and forming ash clouds in the air.

No injuries have been reported on the island, though local officials have advised tourists and nearby residents to remain cautious. As the eruption occurred, witnesses to the event took some incredible footage.

 Stromboli erupted in what local authorities in Italy considered might be classified a “paroxysmal event.” This is where a pyroclastic flow — a rapid moving plume of gas, rock, and volcanic ash — is shot out from the volcano. Italy‘s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said the smoke plume reached a height of 2 kilometers (1.2 miles).

Elena Schiera, who enjoyed sailing on a boat with her family near the island when the volcano erupted, shared several videos of their escape from the cloud of smoke. “All of a sudden we heard a loud bang and saw a large black cloud spewing out of the Stromboli crater and pouring into the sea,” she told CNN.

 

UK prepares post-Brexit travel

“The rules for travel to most countries in Europe change if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal ”  the UK government announces.

“After 12 April 2019:

  1. You should have at least 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.
  2. If you renewed a passport before it expired, up to 9 extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.

The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.” FCO Travel advise explains.

Venice introduces visitors fee

With the slogan ‘make sure we don’t become like Venice‘, they do not mean that they sink into the water, but drown under mass tourism. With a tourist tax the city of Doges hopes to avert the disaster. Will that work and, if so, who will follow the Venetian example, Knack magazine inquires, rising issue of problems of mass tourism.

Venice suffers as consequence its own beauty. On the Rialto Bridge, in front of the Doge’s Palace or on San Marco, for example, it is teeming with tourists every day. If the sun is out, the “ant’s nest” will be even more dense.

“Nobody wants to be like Venice anymore,” the Spanish portal El Confidencial recently wrote in an article about mass tourism becoming problematic. However, the Municipality of Venice hopes to have an effective solution: entrance fees. That is “a measure that you won’t find anywhere else in the world,” says Mayor Luigi Brugnaro.

When the initiative is put into practice, it is not yet certain, but according to Mr Brugnaro it may already be introduced this summer. If that succeeds, then every visitor to Venice must pay three euros (€3) this year.

Next year, that amount must rise to six euros (€6). Depending on the season or an exceptional tourist excess, that amount can be elevated up to eight euros (€8). In between high touristic seasons the entrance falls back to three euros (€3). Those who have booked a hotel in the city do not have to pay the tourist tax, the measure will be applied only to day travelers.

Rescue on Nanga Parbat delayed

A group of Russian mountaineers willing to search for two missing climbers, an Italian and a Briton, on Himalayan peak Nanga Parbat have decided to cancel the mission because of the high risk of avalanche. Previously four Russian mountaineers led by Vassily Pivtsov volunteered to start a rescue operation, but weather conditions have changed drastically.

Italian Daniele Nardi and Briton Tom Ballard, who were attempting a rare winter ascent of the world’s ninth highest peak, were last heard from on February 25 at Camp 4.

A plan B offered by Basque climber Alex Txikon, who had made available three special drones that can fly at high altitude, was also abandoned because of an inability of a helicopter trip to the area, sources said later.

AMENDED 1/03/2019 23:35 (GMT+1)

The weather conditions have worsened, there is still high risk of avalanche, so Pivtsov group will not undertake the rescue operation tomorrow”, – the spokesperson Elena Laletina (St.Petersburg, Russia) said to Europe Diplomatic. We know both of them, and worry very much about Tom and Daniele, who has a little baby waiting for his father at home”, she added. However Laletina declined to answer if and when the rescue operation will resume, explaining the volatile weather situation does not allow to make any predictions.

The video of avalanche on Mummery Spur, Nanga Parbat has been posted by the spokesperson of Pivtsov group, Elena Laletina on her page.

Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi last made contact from an altitude of about 6,300m (20,669ft) on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan, February 25.

Nanga Parbat map

Daniele Nardi (42) an Italian mountaineer. He has five eight thousand, 25 mountaineering expeditions active, more open in alpine style, and is famous for being the first mountaineer in history, born “below the Po”, to have climbed Everest and K2, the two highest peaks in the world. He was also the first mountaineer in the world able to climb the Sperone Mummery (6,450 meters) of Nanga Parbat in the middle of winter in February 2013.

Tom Ballard (30) a British climber, first to complete a solo ascendance to all six major north faces of the Alps in one winter. His mother Alison Hargreaves, was the first woman to reach the top of Everest unaided. She perished without trace in 1995 aged 33, while descending from K2 peak in Himalaya.

AMENDED: Bodies of both climbers were found. Stefano Pontecorvo, the Italian ambassador to Pakistan, confirmed Spanish climber Alex Txikon found the bodies on the Mummery Spur trail

https://mobile.twitter.com/pontecorvoste/status/1104438451397689345

Japan considers visa-free for Russians

Moscow has welcomed the deliberations in Tokyo for ending the visa system for Russians travelling to Japan, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Such discussions are undoubtedly welcomed and this fits into the general course towards further developing [bilateral] relations,” the Kremlin spokesman said.

Although the visa issue was not discussed at the latest talks between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the spokesman added.

The Japanese newspaper Sankei earlier reported that Tokyo was looking into cancelling short-term entry visas for Russian citizens, which means that they would be able to enter Japan visa-free for 90 days, if they register data of their passports in any Japanese consulate in advance, the newspaper writes.
Earlier Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there can be a pilot visa-free prjoect between  Sakhalin and Hokkaido.

The visa  issue might be discussed between the Russian and Japanese foreign ministers, at during Munich Security Conference set for February 16, the newspaper writes.

Tourism to Japan is booming: last year 31 travelers enjoyed visit to the Land of the Rising Sun.

 

Italy tourist “high tight”

The Colosseum stays the Italy’s most visited art site through 2018 followed by Pompeii and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the culture ministry announced.

State museums and archaeological sites were visited by more than 55 million people last year, a rise of five million in comparison to the previous year, the ministry underlined, and subsequently the benefits have risen by 35.4 million euros to almost 230 million euros, it said.

Colosseum inter

State museums and archaeological sites were visited by more than 55 million people last year, a rise of five million in comparison to the previous year, the ministry underlined, and subsequently the benefits have risen by 35.4 million euros to almost 230 million euros, they said.

MANN Director  Paolo Giulierini said being involved in the project is a “great honour”.
We hope it will bring many visitors both to the exhibitions as well as to our museum, considering the constant growth of Chinese tourists who are passionate about archaeology,” he said.

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence said it set records in visitor numbers and revenues last year. More than four million visitors entered the storied Florentine art gallery, 6% up on 2017, according to the announcement.
Revenues were 50.5% up on 2017 at 34 million euros.
The Gallery Director Eike Schmidt gave credit to the new season ticket and said the Museum results were seeing “exponential growth“.

However the mass tourism needs harnessing, and that is why one of the most successful sites in the world plans to charge day-trippers to enter the city and oblige people to “reserve access” before coming as “useless and damaging”.

Venice’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, announced that an entry tax would be implemented from 1 May. Each visitor will be charged €3 (£2.65), a cost that will rise to between €6 and €10, depending on the time of year, from 1 January 2020. The charge is expected to be added to the cost of arriving in the city by either train, cruise ship, bus or plane.

 

 

 

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