Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2014 New Zealand Oyster Festival

In the port of Bluff, near Invercargill on New Zealand's South Island, the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival will be held May 24, 2014, to celebrate the Bluff oyster, a local delicacy.

Tickets cost $25 each and can be purchased in advance through Ticket Direct New Zealand.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Phone App About Beaches in North America

The app Waterkeeper Swim Guide, available on iOS and Android devices, has data on many beaches in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The app detects the user's location and shows which beaches are safe to swim in, accessing recent data from government agencies and local Waterkeeper Alliance chapters. The data is also available online at www.theswimguide.org.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Richard III Visitor Centre, Leicester

In Leicester's city center, just steps away from where the king's bones were found buried in a car park in August 2012, a new Richard III Visitor Centre will open in March 2014 with the exhibition "Richard III: Dynasty, Death and Discover." Richard, who died in 1485, was the last king of the House of York.

The larger space will expand the current exhibition, Richard III: Leicester's Search for a King," located a short hop away in The Guildhall near the Cathedral. The Guildhall is open daily from 11 to 4:30 and admission is free.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Damage Done to Offa's Dyke

Offa's Dyke, a protected World Heritage Site located in Wales, was damaged in August when someone used a bulldozer to carve out a 50 yard section and used the dirt to fill in a nearby road. This criminal offense is being investigated by local authorities.

The dyke is a popular walking trail, a 1,200 year old earthwork stretching about 80 miles from the Wye Valley to Wrexham. The dyke is thought to have been built in the eith century by King Offa of Mercia.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tour Aruba's Desalination Plant

With little reliable rainfall, Aruba's water needs are provided for by a high-quality desalinization system, resulting in expensive water costs for local residents and little greenery away from resorts and the few golf courses on the island.

The positive, for everyone, is the purest tasting drinking water directly from the tap. This translates into zero money spent on bottled water.

Free tours of the plant, which is the world's second largest, are available on Thursday mornings at 9:30. Call 297 585 4805 to reserve a tour. (The world's largest desalination plant is the Jebel Ali Desalination Plant (Phase 2) in the United Arab Emirates.)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Follow the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail

The NZ Wine Trail is a 240-mile self-drive touring route that covers the major wine producing areas of both the South and North Island, including Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay and Marlborough.

A map of the route is available online, along with same 6 and 7 day itineraries with suggestions for sightseeing, dining, winery visits and more.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Reopening of Black Watch Museum

At Balhousie Castle in Perth, Scotland, the Black Watch Museum reopened on June 25 following a one year renovation and expansion.

One of the most famous regiments in Scotland, the Black Watch was formed in 1715 to calm the troubles in the Highlands and it has fought in many of the biggest conflicts of the past 300 years, including the American Revolution, both World Wars, and more recently in Afghanistan and Iraq. Open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 4, admittance is approximately $11.50 per adult.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Andes Gondolas in Chile, South America

Chile's Valle Nevado Ski Resort located in the Andes Mountains less than an hour's drive east of Santiago, has opened the first mountain gondola system in the country -- starting from the day-visitor parking lot, enabling skiers and nonskiers alike, a convenient way to reach the Bajo Zero restaurant, located at mid-mountain.

Seventy gondolas holding six passengers each travel nearly 1,000 meters to reach a point 400 meters above the valley floor. One day tickets, valid for unlimited round trip rides (approximately one hour) cost about $30 per person. A ticket that includes lunch at the restaurant is also available.

The gondola operated year-round from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.