Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Sunday, 1 May 2016
|Medieval Limeuil on the Dordogne river (image courtesy www.bergerac-tourisme.com|
|Chateau de Bergerac image courtesywww.bergerac-tourisme.com|
Saturday, 30 April 2016
|Old Ironsides - USS Constitution in Boston Harbour. Norwegian waste to fly there from Cork|
Friday, 29 April 2016
Plans to launch new cut price trans-Atlantic flights have run into a fresh wave of fierce opposition in the US. A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives clearly aims to stymie attempts by low cot Norwegian to fly to America under an EU flag. US unions are up in arms, arguing this will undermine their pay and conditions. The airline already operates from London to the US under its parent company's name. Last week the Department of Transportation in Washington gave Norwegian tentative approval to launch services between Cork and Boston operated by an Irish based subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI). This should allow it to cut the cost of operating from EU countries to various long haul destinations - not just those in North America. Opponents say it is taking advantage of labour laws that are more relaxed in Ireland than in Norway. The DoT sought additional comment from interested parties by May 13. A statement from the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, a coalition of 32 member unions, said allowing NAI to operate with cheap labour would destroy fair competition. This is not the first time the House has moved to stop airlines flying to the US under what protesters see as flags of convenience. The big question now is whether anything has changed to prompt the Senate, which didn't act on a previous attempt at legislation, to join the opposition.
Friday, 22 April 2016
Once upon a time, decades ago when the word jogging hadn't been invented, it was faintly embarrassing to be seen running in the street. "You're a bit late for the Olympics mate", people would yell at you from passing cars weeks after the closing ceremony, or "Come on Brendan Foster". To avoid looking too conspicuous I would run in corduroy trousers and - until my first knee injury sent e shopping for some purpose designed footwear - a pair of Hush Puppies. But, as a frequent long haul traveller, I quickly twigged that a bit of vigorous exercise was the best way to combat jet lag. No sooner had I checked into a hotel in Los Angeles following an afternoon arrival, say, than I would pull on the gear and hit the pavements for a half hour or so. The worst thing about jet leg is not feeling like dinner when, wherever you are, it's dinner time. Exercise is a short, sharp, corrective shock to the body clock. And even if it's a short haul trip, running blows away the cobwebs and loosens muscles atrophied by confinement in a cramped aircraft seat. Modern running shoes weigh only a few ounces. OK - I know far more hotels now have fitness rooms than when I started - and swimming is an alternative - but running on a treadmill is boring and getting out in the streets can represent a quick and efficient introduction to a destination. This has been recognised in many cities by small tourism operators who have launched organised jogging tours taking the local sights. There's a long list at gorunningtours.com but in case your destination isn't covered just Google running tours in whichever city you're planning to visit. I've run in well over 300 places around the world. From Hawaii to Delhi I have braved the embarrassment of crossing posh hotel lobbies in shorts and a T-shirt and sharing lifts later, lathered in sweat, with guests who wished they could put clothes pegs on their noses. I have been tracked by a dingo in the outback of Australia's Northern Territory, laboured through yielding white sand around Bird Island in the Seychelles, encountered a poisonous snake in Tasmania and what I took to be a bear (admittedly at fairly safe distance) in Ontario. After astonishing the locals in sub zero temperatures during a visit to Beijing in 1980, not long after China opened its doors to foreign tourists, I discovered to my dismay that the water was off in my hotel. There was nothing for it but to wash with the water left in a flask for tea making. While on the subject of water I've learned, the hard way, the importance of hydration. On a fearsomely hot and humid summer day Tennessee, I was forced to drag my feet slowly for at least two miles back to my hotel (where else but a train carriage at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel?) after a sudden, dramatic draining of energy. I've also learned, after feeling my heart rate zoom in the US Rocky Mountains, that even if you're conditioned to ski at altitude, you might find running a bridge too far. Occasionally a in Petra, Jordan, dogs have driven me off the streets or potholed, uneven pavements - as in Sofia and Puebla, Mexico - have forced me on to hotel treadmills. But I've run some lovely routes, which I plan to describe in a later article.
Monday, 18 April 2016
|Image courtesy Gatwick Airport|
Saturday, 16 April 2016
|Razzmatazz as Norwegian launches London-Boston flights|