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Archive for August, 2007

New Monument Unveiled at Houses of Parliament

By Linda Tancs

Outside the Houses of Parliament is a new monument, one honoring anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.  To paraphrase a quote attributed to him, Mandela once declared that when the U.K. is having elections, they don’t ask for observers from Africa.  It seems only fitting then that his statue now looms opposite the electoral body.

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New Venetian Opens

By Linda Tancs

How about a little Asian fusion?  No, not cuisine.  Just mix a little Chinese culture with some Italian-themed entertainment and the result is:  the Venetian Macao, the latest casino complex in the tiny peninsular city.  Twice the size of its Las Vegas cousin, it’s billed as the largest building in Asia.  And if its gaming revenues continue to outpace Vegas, it just might give Monte Carlo a run for its money.

Women-Friendly Hotels on the Rise

By Linda Tancs

Does your room make you look fat?  If the answer is ‘yes,’ then maybe your hotel isn’t trying hard enough to please female occupants.  In an apparent attempt to sway the considerable population of women business travelers, some hotels have taken on the charge to make their premises more female friendly.  Take the London Hilton on Park Lane, for instance.  Their 22nd floor is devoted to female travelers, reputedly adapted to a woman’s special needs (skirt hangers, anyone?).  Ditto the Wyndham chain, offering enhanced security and in-room amenities like ergonomic chairs and shower massagers.  Now if they could only align the mirrors with the outlets, we’d all be a lot more comfortable.

Bali, Indonesia

By Linda Tancs

In this week’s edition of Travelrific Travel Show, the topic is Bali, Indonesia.  Where’s the best sunset in the world?  Find out now at www.travelrificradio.com.

Driving in Sweden

By Linda Tancs

It’s been reported that comedian Bill Murray was legally driving around Stockholm in a golf cart while illegally drunk.  Golf cart?  Perhaps he thought he was back in Catalina Island.  So just how popular is this mode of transportation in the city centre?  And was he wearing a helmet?

The Bag Tax

By Linda Tancs

As environmental concerns drive consumers and businesses to forego the ubiquitous plastic shopping bag, international shoppers should be aware of certain disincentives–like bag surcharges–for the use of store-supplied plastic bags at the local grocery store.  Ireland, for instance, charges 15 cents per bag, which apparently has folks lugging their own to the market.  However, this practice is hardly new.  There was a time, 20 or so years ago, when markets in the U.K. countryside routinely charged for in-house bagging and rare was the sight of a shopper without a bag or two–or even a cart–to take away their goods.  Maybe it was the entrance of “express shopping” or mini-marts in the cities that caused the practice to abandon in favor of easy convenience for the time-challenged shopper.  Whatever the reason, let’s cheer the return of those bygone days, even if we need a little tax to get there.

New York State Fair to Open in Syracuse

By Linda Tancs

Beginning on August 23 and continuing until September 3, Syracuse will once again host the New York State Fair at its Expo Center.   The fair’s theme this year is “Gotta Be There,” the urgency of which belies 161 years of standard fare in the way of exhibits, amusements and livestock demonstrations.  Nonetheless, these sorts of things are usually well endorsed by the kids, who can travel free on Amtrak under certain conditions.  Visit www.amtrak.com for details.

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