Thursday, October 2, 2014

Chauvet Cave Paintings

In the actual 91,000 square foot Chauvet Cave closed to the public, a 37,000 square foot replica cave has opened in the Rhone-Alpes region of France. The replica is an attempt to duplicate the experience of seeing the Chauvet Cave which contains more than 1,000 drawings, including hundreds of drawings of 14 animal species.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bavaria Now More Handicapped Accessible

The website of the Bavaria tourism board now has a listing of 30 certified accessible hotels throught the region and more than 40 trips and sights suitable for those with limited mobility.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

No More Big Ships in Venice

Starting December 1, 2014, cruise ships that are larger than 96,000 tonnes will no longer be allowed to enter the Guidecca Canal to pass by sites such as the Doge's Palace or St. Mark's Square.

This ban is the result of an agreement between the Cruise Line International Association and Italy's government after years of complains from environmentalists and Venetians.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Going Through Security? Make Sure Your Electronics Have Power

If you are flying into the U.S., especially from Europe, make sure your laptop, cell phone, etc. is not dead. You may very well be required to power it up at security. If you can't, you may be given the option of putting it in your checked luggage (which you've already checked ... duh!), or it being confiscated.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Keep Track With Homing PIN

HomingPin, a company based in England, makes baggage loops, key rings and stickers for phones, tablets and computers, all with unique numbers that help airport personnel track the item for owners if the item is lost or misplaced.

When the number is put into the WorldTracer system, the owner can learn immediately where their item is and can be helped in recovering it.

The tags can be purchased and registered at the website. A pack of 15 PINS with tags cost around $17 and includes a year of tracking service.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sarajevo City Hall Open Again

The city hall in Sarajevo first opened in 1896. It was closed in 1992 and reopened on May 9, 2014.

The reopening was timed for the centenary of World War I. It was the building Archduke Ferdinand and his wife left soon before they were assassinated in 1914. In 1949 it was converted into a library. During the Bosnian War it was shelled and burned and almost two million books, including rare manuscripts, were lost.

The building now hold the national and university libraries, a museum and the city council.

Friday, August 29, 2014

New Trains Too Wide in France

Here's a funny one. Apparently the French national train operator SNCF and France's train operator, RFF, don't communicate very well.

SNCF discovered in May that 2,000 new trains it had ordered were built about 7.5 inches wider than the older trains, making them too wide for some stations. The station dimensions were given to SNCF by RFF, which had neglected to measure stations built more than 50 years ago.

RFF is now spending about $68 million to adjust the stations so the new trains will be fit.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

No Swimwear in Palma, Mallorca

In May, the city of Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca (Majorca), in the Mediterranean, enacted laws requiring that appropriate clothing be worn in public areas.

Men and women caught wearing swimwear around town or going shirtless will be assessed fines. The ordinances have also banned drinking on the streets.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Where To Find ATMs in Japan

Typically, I head for a bank when looking for an ATM. Not so in Japan.

I just returned and had three bank machines spit my ATM card back out at me. It wasn't until I read the helpful hints on a foldout map I picked up that I learned international ATMs can be found at post offices and 7-11s.

While wandering one of the multitude of shopping arcades, I came across a 7-11. As promised, inside was a clearly labeled international ATM and my withdrawal of yen went quickly and smoothly.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Opening of Glacier Skywalk in Alberta, Canada

The new Glacier Skywalk opens May 1, 2014 opens off the Icefields Parkway. A path has a series of stations explaining the areas geology and history. Visitors then reach the u-shaped skywalk which juts out 98 feet from the cliff face.

Through the glass floor of the open air walkway, visitors can look down 918 feet to the valley below, home to the 125 square mile Columbia Icefield.

The skywalk is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in May, from 9 to 6 in June, July and August, 10 to 5 in September and 10 to 4 in October. Entry fee is CAD $24.95.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Norway's 200 Anniversary

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Norwegian constitution, the Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo is holding an exhibition through July 2014, "1814: The Game for Denmark and Norway."

The exhibit traces Norway's history with almost 300 items of historical significance, including cloth and paintings. Open 11 a.m. to 3 pm.. Monday through Friday and until 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Entrance fee is NOK110.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Purcahse Turkey Visas On-line

Beginning April 14, 2014, Turkey is changing to an online application and will issue e-visas. They will no longer be available for purchase at border checkpoints or airports. The price for a tourism visa is $20. The visa is emailed to approved applicants and must be printed out to show at Customs and Immigration and must be carried at all times while in Turkey.

Visit the Republic of Turkey website for more information.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

China Now Offers Visa Free Cities

China now has a program that offers transit passengers a 72 hour visa free visit to any of the following cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongquing, Shenyang and Dalian. Travel is limited though with no visits outside of the city permitted.

A visitor with a confirmed ongoing plane ticket to another county can apply for the free visa visit at the entry/exit department in the international airport in any of the cities.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Translation Services

Most of the time, when traveling abroad, all that a tourist needs is a small traveler’s dictionary with common words and phrases.  However if you are conducting business, it is helpful to have access to a company that can provide you with translation services.

This is a commonly requested service when conducting real estate transactions. While the majority of international business is conducted in English, paperwork for real estate purchases would be in the local language. For anyone considering buying property in a foreign country, fully understanding the documents required is a necessity and the only way to do that is to have them translated into English.

Actually, you should have translated into English any legal documents that you are required to sign to make sure that you fully understand its ins and outs and the legal implications. You never want to sign any legal document that you do not fully understand. The only way to protect yourself is by having it first translated into English by a reputable translation company.

Doing business in a foreign country is not difficult. Just be sure to follow all the necessary legal steps and make sure you have any documents you receive translated along the way.