Sunday, May 20, 2018

Laws You Don't Want to Break When Traveling

1. Wearing Camouflage

Where You Can't Do It: Several countries in the Caribbean, including Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago. It's also forbidden in Oman and for those on an African river cruise or safari tour organized by a cruise line. It’s illegal to wear camouflage clothing in countries like Zimbabwe.

Why: Camo patterns can be trendy in the U.S. but leave them behind when you venture out in these countries. Laws ban civilians from donning gear or outfits that could lead to other people thinking that they are with the military or law enforcement.

2. Public Displays of Affection

Where You Can't Do It: United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi); Egypt; India; Indonesia

Why: Countries with a strong state religion, such as Islam or Hinduism, often see kissing as a violation of their decency or obscenity codes and foreigners have been fined, deported and arrested for making out in public. Even in countries where it's technically not illegal, like Jordan or Morocco, you'll attract angry looks. 

3. Forget to Flush the Toilet

Where You Can't Do It: Singapore

Why: Singapore has a host of laws intended to keep its busy city-state clean (although contrary to popular opinion, you can chew gum in public -- you just can't deposit the gooey mess anywhere outside a trash can, as littering is also against the law). And we're not exactly sure how they would enforce this one, which applies to public facilities. But Singapore has a low tolerance toward rule-breakers.

4. Unusual Bike Riding

Where You Can't Do It: Mexico; Austria

Why: In Mexico, keep both feet on the pedals or else; one-footed bike riding is illegal. In Austria, both hands have to be touching the bike.

5. Post a Photo of Your Beer

Where You Can't Do It: Thailand

Why: With a strong Buddhist culture, Thailand is extremely strict on drinking, at least on paper; laws prohibit drinking in the daytime, outside of lunch hours and there are many places you can't drink, including public parks and places of worship, including temples. But perhaps the weirdest law prohibits the advertisement of drinks and alcoholic brands -- including on social media.

6. Snacking on Church Steps or Monuments

Where You Can't Do It: Florence and Rome, Italy

Why: These places are so beautiful. Pretty obvious the cities don't want tourists leaving litter.

7. Feeding the Pigeons

Where You Can't Do It: Venice, Italy; San Francisco

Why: For many years, it's been illegal to feed pigeons in St. Mark's Square, as the city tries to rid itself of what many describe as "flying vermin." 

8. Wearing Stilettos

Where You Can't Do It: Greece

Why: Pointy-heeled shoes are forbidden at ancient monuments and sites in Athens and elsewhere in Greece, the reason being that the sharp tips dig into the fragile marble. And if you have a walking stick, make sure the rubber tip is on ... for the very same reason.

9. Using Facebook

Where You Can't Do It: China

Why: China is a huge tourism destination. But the government still has iron-clad control over the internet, and popular sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube, among others are forbidden.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

One Pass to visit Barcelona Archaeological Collections

In Barcelona, Spain, you can now purchase the Arqueoticket which gives the visitor access to four archaeological collections in Barcelona museums.

The pass, which costs euro 14.50, allows admission to the Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya, the Museu Egipci de Barcelona, the Museu d'Historia de Barcelona and the Born Centre de Cultura i Memoria.

The pass can be purchased online or on-site at any of the listed museums.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

French Train Strikes Through June

French train workers began striking against labor reforms on April 2, with strikes scheduled to occur two days out of every five for three months. It is expected that only trains operating between stations in France would have interrupted service, with no effect on international train service.

The strikes were announced after President Emmanuel Macron proposed to sign new hires in many public sectors to different contracts with few benefits. Many other unions, including energy trades and waste management, were also striking.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Maya Bay Thai Beach to Close

Thailand's National Park & Wildlife Department announced that the beach at Maya Bay, on southwestern Thailand's Phi Phi Le island, will be closed for four months starting June 1. The purpose is to allow the sea environment to recover. An environmental survey found that parts of the coral reef around the beach had been damaged and the amount of sea life had diminished.

When the beach reopens again, the number of visitors will be limited to 2000 per day. Additionally, boats will not be allowed to anchor in the bay.

Many of Thailands beaches and marine areas are normally closed for several summer months to allow them to recover. Before this, Maya Bay had been open all year around.

Monday, April 30, 2018

New Gallery Opens in the Uffizi Galleries

The Uffizi Galleries, in Florence, Italy, has opened a new gallery of eight rooms to display the works of Caravaggio and other 17th century artists.

The gallery is closed on Mondays. The adust fee has been raised from euro 8 to euro 20 during the peak season from March 1 to October 31, and to euro 12 in the offseason. Entry on the first Sunday of each month is free but the number of tickets available is limited.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

First Solo Exhibit of Peter Bruegel the Elder to be Held in Vienna

Image result for pieter bruegel the elder

The very first solo exhibit of 16th-century Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder will be on
display from October 2, 1018, to Jan 13, 2019, at Vienna's Kunsthistoriches Museum. 

Works will include the museum's own collection of 12 pieces, including "The (Great) Tower of Babel," plus loaned pieces.

A Bruegel exhibit ticket, with timed entry, costs euro 20 and includes entry to the permanent collection (adult euro 15 adult, euro 11 senior, and under 19 free).

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Some Updates on Travel Warnings

Still some places you may want to think about avoiding. The Syrian civil war has spilled over with other countries involved such as Turkey and Iran. Boko Haram is still active in northeastern Nigeria.

There have been earthquakes in Papua New Guinea, Oaxaca Mexico, Taiwan and off the coast of Peru.

The Indonesian volcano of Mt. Sinabung has erupted again. The previous eruption was in 2010.

The Maldives are in a state of emergency due to political upheaval. 

Violence has affected the Carnival celebration in Rio and the army was called in to help the police.

And there has been a measles outbreak in Europe. In 2017, more than 20,000 cases were reported as compared to 5,273 in 2016. More than 5,000 each was reported in Romania and Italy.