February 27, 2020

Travel

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Are fat fliers being discriminated against by airlines?
Travel

(CNN) — Earlier this year, a family of three women from New Zealand -- a mom and her two adult daughters -- made headlines around the world when they were denied the business class seats they'd paid for on a Thai Airways flight because they were too big to fit into them. Ironically, the family -- Huhana Iripa and daughters Tere and Renell -- had purchased business class seats because they'd assumed those would be bigger and more comfortable. But because Thai Airways' plane seat models made it impossible to put seatbelt extenders onto business class seats, the three women were moved into coach class and given seatbelt extenders.While the Iripas' story went viral and resulted in a refund from the airline for the difference in cost between the business seats they'd paid for and the coach ones they ended up flying in, stories like these are not anomalies.
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London street named for Freddie Mercury
Travel

(CNN) — A suburban London street has been renamed in honor of late musician Freddie Mercury.The street, now called Freddie Mercury Close, is located in Feltham, west London, which is where Mercury's family settled after moving from Zanzibar.However, Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, did not grow up on that street. The Bulsara family lived nearby at 22 Gladstone Avenue, which is marked with one of the round blue plaques that the UK uses to commemorate places that have historical connections. The neighborhood, which is close to Heathrow Airport, is also home to a community of Zoroastrians -- the faith that Mercury's family practiced.Before forming the rock band Queen in 1970, Farrokh Bulsara worked as a baggage handler at the airport.
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The Art Show at the Armory: Blue-Chip Brands Show Their Best
Travel

Trust me, even if you’ve been looking at art for a long, long time (or even longer than that), you will see work at the Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory you have not seen before, by artists you may never have heard of. This is not because the Art Show, organized by the Art Dealers Association of America, is dedicated to showing the young and hip. Quite the opposite, ADAA represents blue-chip galleries that show high-quality work. But it has a terrific roundup of art by lesser-known artists, many dead or left out of art history for all the ordinary reasons (gender, geographical location or the idiosyncrasies of their work at a given moment). And despite the density, the fair is very manageable compared with other mega-fairs in New York.
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The Black Taxidermist Who Made History at Chicago's Field Museum
Travel

In a grainy, 1950s film from the Field Museum of Natural History, in Chicago, a man tenderly washes the remains of a weaver bird. The bird is dead, but the act is tender. He dries it with compressed air, stuffs it, and mounts it with wire in the museum’s diorama of African marsh birds. The film shows a number of people working on the diorama; all of them are white, except for the man stuffing the birds. His name is Carl Cotton, and he was the first African-American taxidermist to work at the Field Museum. For nearly 25 years, until his death in 1971, Cotton helped immortalize many of the animals that are currently on display at the museum.
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'Travelling Light' in Calgary, Alberta
Travel

Picture a map, with a circle designed to draw your eye to a particular place. That shape is telling you where to look. Now imagine it rendered in 3D, and plopped down on a freeway bridge. That’s what’s going on with a massive, wheel-shaped streetlamp in Calgary. Standing roughly 55 feet tall, the steel hoop, which is formally known as "Travelling Light," is the blue of an impossibly clear sky. It frames the landscape behind it, as though you’re looking through a viewfinder. The work was conceptualized by the Berlin-based collective inges idee, and built and installed by local companies. The wheel was completed in 2013, and has been inciting puzzlement and a dash of ire ever since.
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36 Hours in Queenstown, New Zealand
Travel

The adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown, the South Island’s magnetic mountain resort, thrives on adrenaline. Site of the first commercial bungee-jumping operation — established in 1988 over the Kawarau River — Queenstown is the place to test your courage by jumping off, flying over or skimming above things. During the winter (June through September), visitors flock to four ski areas in the surrounding Southern Alps. The rest of the year, Queenstown serves as the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, Fiordland National Park in the west, and countless hikes, including multiday treks on the Milford, RouteburnGreenstone and Caples tracks. In March, the beginning of fall, the crowds have eased but the weather is still great for outdoor adventures. The Akarua Arrowtown Autumn Festival in nearby Arrowtown is from April 16 to 20, and the LUMA Southern Light Project, which brings light installations to Queenstown Gardens, takes place May 29 to June 1. On the shores of glacially carved Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s third largest lake, Queenstown offers a respite from the wild with sophisticated dining and shopping, each with a distinct Kiwi accent.
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The Daily Race to Find Jersey Artifacts Before the Tide Comes In
Travel

When the water laps up on the granite rocks and sandy embankments off the coast of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, ancient artifacts get wet. It isn’t a disaster. It’s been happening for thousands of years, in fact, in a daily rhythm—the water rushing in rivulets that turn into torrents along the beachy landscape, sweeping across the miles of exposed seabed and rising above it.This May, alongside the gulls and crustaceans that skitter about, archaeologists will scamper away from the rising sea as their fieldwork is submerged. They’ll retreat.With its pockmarked and inundated topography, the intertidal reef known as the Violet Bank is awash with history. Yet despite its name, the bank is a changing gradient of blues, grays, greens, and browns—a cryptic mix of rocky earth and transient sea. Now a preferred spot for low-water fishing—or pêche à pied‚ where locals chat in Jèrriais and probe the ebb tide for shellfish—the evanescent landscape remains treacherous, catching unsuspecting visitors with its rapid tidal shifts.
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Buque Cañonero C-07 Guanajuato (C-07 Guanajuato Gunship) in Boca del Río, Mexico
Travel

In the 1930s, the Mexican Navy ordered a number of ships from Spain. The Guanajuato was among them, along with the Durango, Querétaro, Potosí, and Zacatecas—all ironically named after landlocked states in Mexico.Of these, Guanajuato and Zacatecas went on to have some of the most interesting histories. While the Zacatecas was commandeered by the Spanish Navy during the country's civil war and renamed Calvo Sotelo, the Guanajuato, along with the three other ships, were delivered to the Mexican Navy in 1936. The Guanajuato, which measures 80 meters (262 feet) long and housed a crew of more than 100 people, did not see much action during her military career. The ship was decommissioned in 2001, and donated to the Aquarium of Veracruz, then donated again to the neighboring municipality of Boca del Río. In 2008, the vessel was re-inaugurated as an interactive museum.
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Drvengrad in Mokra Gora, Serbia
Travel

Located in western Serbia, this traditional village was built by the film director Emir Kusturica for his award-winning movie Život je čudo (Life is a Miracle). Known as Drvengrad (which translates to "Timber Town"), or Küstendorf, the village was built at the meeting point of the Zlatibor and Tara mountains (Mokra Gora).The town's main landmark is the Church of Saint Sava, which is built in the manner of Russian wooden churches. Scattered around the main square of the village are authentic log cabins and timber houses that were relocated from other parts of Serbia and Republika Srpska.The village streets are named after famous people from culture and science. The main street is named after the Nobel prize winner Ivo Andrić, and other streets and squares named after the Cuban revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara, the Argentinian football player Diego Maradona, the film directors Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman, the Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, and the scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla. 
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Mobius Arch in Lone Pine, California
Travel

The Mobius Arch is a twisted stone portal and natural frame for Mount Whitney nestled in the Alabama Hills. Through its lens, the High Sierra mountain range, nearby stone formations, and sky present new facets waiting to be exposed amid the bright morning sun or under the glow of the night stars. The arch spans nearly seven feet and is known as one of the more recognizable arches in the region. Its name derives from its surface only containing one side and one boundary. The loop and surrounding landscape is a popular filming location, as classics such as, The Lone Ranger were filmed nearby. The Mobius Arch Trail is a relatively gentle hike that journeys toward the arch. 
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China’s Ban on Wildlife Trade a Big Step, but Has Loopholes, Conservationists Say
Travel

China this week announced a permanent ban on wildlife trade and consumption that international conservationists greeted as a major step, but one with troublesome loopholes for trade in wild animals for medicinal uses.A wild animal market in Wuhan may have been where the outbreak of Covid-19 began, and pangolins, in particular, have been proposed as a possible host of the virus before it jumped to peopleChina had already banned the wildlife markets. The action on Monday by a standing committee of the 13th National People’s Congress went further. The decision on “Comprehensively Prohibiting the Illegal Trade of Wild Animals, Eliminating the Bad Habits of Wild Animal Consumption, and Protecting the Health and Safety of the People,” bans all trade and eating of non-aquatic wild animals.
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The Bittersweet Thrill of Iceboating in a Warming World
Travel

James “T” Thieler has spent his whole life chasing thrills in sailboats. He first got his feet wet near Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he commanded his parents’ beat-up Hobie 16 catamaran through choppy water under the blistering sun. The most rousing part was “torturing” the boat, he says, trying to jump massive waves and drive the bucking thing high up on the shore. Thieler planned to spend adulthood floating around the Caribbean and working on boats, but by 1998, he found himself in Maine, instead. Up there, winters had sharp teeth, but sailors were undeterred. When there was little open water (also known as “soft water”) to be found, a cohort of them took to rivers and ponds in light, sleek, sail-driven crafts that could coast across the ice with runners or skates affixed to their hulls. It was extreme—fast, cold, and odd—and that piqued his interest. “I thought, ‘Boy, that looks really next-level,’” he says.
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Alaska Tourism Officials See an Opportunity in Coronavirus
Travel

As cases of the coronavirus continue to multiply in China, and concerns about the disease have led travelers to cancel upcoming trips to other Asian countries, tourism officials in Alaska see an opportunity.Officials with Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Visit Anchorage, the tourism marketing organization for Alaska’s largest city, have begun lobbying airlines, travel agents and tour operators to increase airline service, reroute cruises and generally get the word out about the sights and attractions of the northernmost state.The end goal? To draw visitors to Alaska who had wanted to go to Asia, as well as fill the hole created by Chinese tourists canceling trips to Alaska.“Tour operators that were selling tour packages into Asia are seeing significant cancellations because of concerns about coronavirus, but people with those packages still want to travel somewhere,” said Jim Szczesniak, manager at the Anchorage airport. “What we’re working on is attracting the demand from those people who want to travel.”
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Shelter House in Emmaus, Pennsylvania
Travel

In the 18th century, rural Pennsylvania wasn't an easy place to live. Established settlements were scarce, and the fear of attacks by Native Americans was constant (if ultimately unfulfilled). But for settlers looking for safety, there were places that could provide food and shelter. Nearly a decade before the Moravians started their famous community at Bethlehem, settlers 10 miles south erected their own place of sanctuary. Built around 1734, the Shelter House—from the German zufluchtshaus—now stands as the oldest continually occupied structure in the Lehigh Valley.The medieval-type log building was constructed along a well-traveled path traversing South Mountain, on the outskirts of what would become Emmaus. Originally conceived as a refuge in the event of violence, Shelter House evolved into a place for settlers to get much-needed rest, food, and drink as they staked their claim in the area.
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On the trail of African American writers and artists in Paris
Travel

Josephine Baker in Paris, circa 1926 (Photo by Gaston Paris/Roger Viollet via Getty Images)Paris (CNN) — Writer James Baldwin was 24 when he arrived in Paris in 1948, with only $40 in his pocket. Entertainer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker was just 19 when she left the United States and began dazzling Parisian crowds in 1925 draped in just a pink flamingo feather.Despite their humble beginnings, these iconic figures escaped the permeating and oppressive racism of America and blossomed in the City of Light to become trailblazers of literary and artistic expression lasting for decades to come. With roots stretching to the Harlem Renaissance and well beyond, black American artists arriving in Paris during this period experienced a freedom to pursue and express themselves through literature, music, stage performance and art.
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Puente de Sant Jordi (San Jorge Bridge) in Alcoi, Spain
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Built between 1925 and 1931, this reinforced concrete bridge crosses over the deep valley of the River Riquer in Alcoi, Spain. It is a magnificent example of the Art Deco style, and possibly the country's largest structure in that style. Known as the Puente de San Jorge in Spanish or the Pont de Sant Jordi in Valencian, the bridge is a symbol of the city, and a remarkable survivor of the heavy bombing raids that Alcoi suffered in 1938 during the Spanish Civil War. The structure was designed by the architect Victor Eusa, and construction was led by the structural engineers Carmelo Monzón Repares and Vicente Redón. The scale and ambition of the are matched by the attention to detail in the decoration. Seeing the bridge illuminated at night, one feels like they have been  transported back to the 1920s.
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You Should NOT Visit Syria Right Now
Travel

If you’re like me, you associate travel with positive emotions: the feeling of the sun on your shoulders halfway around the world, of breaking bread with people from cultures different than your own, and the inner joy of making your way across unknown lands safely.Travel improves our lives, broadens our horizons, and helps us understand the world we inhabit.Yet these are experiences few humans will ever have.As widespread as it has become in recent years, travel is still a privilege afforded only to a few.That is especially true of war zones, where residents are more concerned about living through the day than seeing the wonders of the world. Things we take for granted — the ability to turn on a tap and get drinkable water, to flick a switch and get light, to walk to the store and find food on the shelves — are rare or absent for those suffering through such conflicts.
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Should you travel during the coronavirus outbreak?
Travel

(CNN) — With new cases of novel coronavirus reported daily in countries across the globe, many travelers are wondering if they should cancel or postpone existing plans and hold off on booking trips."Should I cancel my trip to Rome and Florence?" one CNN reader is wondering. "What is the threshold for rethinking domestic travel plans?," another asks.Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. It's very much an individual calculation, experts say, taking a number of factors -- the traveler, their companions, the destination and more -- into consideration.In a situation that's unpredictable and evolving quickly, solid information is key."Find a very small number of sources of information that you trust, and you trust them both because they're competent and because you think they're working on your behalf," advises Baruch Fischhoff, a psychologist and professor in the department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.
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'Fugetsu En'nen' in Tokyo, Japan
Travel

Home to numerous museums, temples, shopping areas, and a large zoo, Ueno is one of the most popular districts in Tokyo. For those visiting the district, bypassing this strange mural near the entrance/exit of the area station is sure to captivate the curious eye. Created by Japanese-Mexican artist Luis Nishizawa, this public art piece titled "Fugetsu En’nen" (“Revelrous Dance of Wind and Moon”) depicts a young boy emerging from the gaping mouth of a koi fish, reaching for a colorful pinwheel.The key to understanding this work lies in an understanding of Japanese tradition. On May 5th every year, Japan celebrates Children’s Day, a national holiday where children are honored for their strength and to have happiness bestowed upon them. The holiday was known as Boys' Day until about 1948. The tradition derived from an ancient ceremony called Tango-no-Sekku. On this holiday, people fly carp-shaped windsocks called koinobori of many colors on a pole (on top of which they occasionally put a little pinwheel). The idea is based on the well-known Chinese myth of a carp swimming up a waterfall and growing into a dragon, a tale also used to describe the evolution of a certain Pokémon.
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Martin Luther King Park Statue in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Travel

On January 15, 2020, this four-foot bronze statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. was placed in the Martin Luther King Park in Amsterdam without anyone knowing.The statue is the second in the same park, after a small likeness of King on a large wooden pedestal, which was part of temporary Monument for Martin Luther King. The project Monument for Martin Luther King was developed in 2018, 50 years after the activist's assassination. Fifty identical statues were placed across the globe in locations that refer to slavery and places that emphasize the importance to end racism and fight for equality. After the temporary monument was put up, there was widespread community support for a permanent memorial.  Many believed that there should have already been one in the park that was named after him. But after picking a location for the new statue, the planning process slowed. The leaders of Monument for Martin Luther King decided to take things into their own hands, and had a statue installed on King's birthday.
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Climate activists just blocked plans to expand Heathrow, one of the world's biggest airports
Travel

London (CNN) — The British government's contentious plans to build a third runway at London's Heathrow Airport have been blocked by an appeals court on environmental grounds, in a landmark victory for climate campaigners.Judges in the closely-watched case at London's Court of Appeal said the UK government, which threw its support behind the proposal, had failed to take into account what impact the move would have on Britain's commitments under the Paris Agreement.The decision could scupper plans to expand one of the world's busiest airports, and was celebrated on the court's steps on Thursday by a number of climate groups that had brought the legal action against the UK's Transport Secretary.
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The Exiled Prince Behind Los Angeles's Only Fresh-Pasta Food Truck
Travel

On a night out in downtown Los Angeles in 2016, Emanuele Filiberto wanted pasta, and nothing else would do. “I saw hamburger trucks, taco trucks, even sushi trucks,” he says. “The closest thing was mac and cheese, but you cannot ask an Italian person to eat mac and cheese.”Within six months he had his own pasta truck—a shiny, royal blue colossus streaked with the colors of the Italian flag—called the Prince of Venice. It was his first foray into the food-truck industry. A pasta devotee, Filiberto refused to let mobility compromise the quality of his dishes, and became the first person in the world to put a fresh pasta machine in a commercial food truck. “Nobody told me it was a bad idea,” he says over the phone.
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Torture Museum Bruges in Brugge, Belgium
Travel

Located underneath one of the oldest stone buildings in Bruges, dating from around the 10th or 11th century, is a collection of medieval torture devices. The Torture Museum of Brugge is located in a former fortress that was designed to protect Bruges. During the 14th century, the building became known as "the Old Stone" as it became the site of a medieval prison. The museum now plays host to more than 100 different torture devices, all displayed in chronological order.   As visitors wander through the rooms of the former prison, they also journey through a time where torture was a widespread form of punishment and public executions were the norm. The various devices on display range from the 13th century to the 18th century. It's a wonderfully dark journey with tons of intriguing information. Many of the devices are equipped with mannequins displaying how they were used, which creates a lurid atmosphere. A few of the items on display are the wooden horse, chair of torture, and a device designed to compress the stomach known as the caretaker's daughter. 
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Virus Fears Leave Venice Tourist Spots Empty
Travel

First came the flood, then came the disease.Over the past three months, the tourism industry of Venice, has had its share of plagues.Flooding in November, prompted by exceptionally high tides, led to mass cancellations. Now as Italy experiences the biggest coronavirus outbreak outside Asia, a similar and unwelcome drop-off is occurring.According to Associazione Venezia Albergatori, an association of local hotel owners, 50 percent of reservations in Venice have been canceled in the last week. “The situation is dramatic for the industry,” said Vittorio Bonacini, the chairman.Mr. Bonacini estimates that since November, Venetian tourism, worth 3 billion euro or about $3.3 billion, “has probably lost 800 million euro.” Since the outbreak began on Feb. 21, he said, Venice hotels have lost almost 70 percent of their international visitors.
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This Harry Potter-themed day spa welcomes guests from any Hogwarts house
Travel

(CNN) — A Tennessee spa is designed to have you feeling like you're at Hogwarts, the famed school attended by Harry Potter and his friends. The rooms in Wand & Willow Day Spa, owned by licensed esthetician, massage therapist and "Harry Potter" superfan Wendy Piedad, are decorated with Potter-themed fixtures, including bowtruckles, nifflers and owls, according to CNN affiliate WTVF in Nashville.Other decorative elements include tapestries like the ones seen hanging in the Gryffindor common hall in the movies.A portrait of the Fat Lady hangs on one door as a replica of the portrait that guarded the entrance to Gryffindor Tower in the blockbuster films. Harry Potter-themed spells and potions also protect the perimeters of some rooms.
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