United Kingdom Travel Guide
Good news for those who have always dreamed of living out Olympic fantasies, as some of the goodies from the 2012 Olympics in London are now open to the public. You might not be able to score a gold medal, but you certainly can score some decent snapshots of yourself enjoying the equipment.
A bunch of stuff over at the brand new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was dedicated and opened up to the public last week, so go ahead and add this latest addition to your tourist to-do list when over in London.
Pictures in front of the Olympic rings are certainly an option—and a great idea—however, there’s even more included in a potential visit. Jump into the pool, take a dive off a platform, or just enjoy some of the other first-class facilities.
News has surfaced in the past few days that London is trying to open its old underground Post Office Railway, or Mail Rail, to tourists. The city still needs to raise quite a bit of money and pass public approval, but it hopes to knock the dust off this once vital mail-carrying route. If everything goes according to plan, the Mail Rail will be ready to roll by 2020.
That's a far way off, so there's no reason to get ahead of ourselves. Yet regardless of the eventual outcome, this contributor has enjoyed the historic glimpse into a previously unknown world. It may not look like much beyond a dirty, dusty subway system, but the circumstances surrounding its use and construction bring about an appreciation that goes well beyond the novelty of 1920s mechanical equipment.
Music Travel / British Airways / Spotify / Travel Songs / BCN / AMS / NAP / EDI / MLA / Airline News / → All Tags
Last month, we opened up our own iTunes playlists to share favorite travel songs we listen to when on the road. Now, British Airways and Spotify have followed suit to deliver songs that make you dream of different destinations.
Creating the ultimate soundtrack for travel to a range of BA cities is now a snap for UK-based customers of the music streaming service, Spotify. For starters, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Naples, Edinburgh and Valletta, Malta now feature their own British Airways-curated playlists. Traditional and local tunes are served up directly to your device to jam along to on your journey.
Airport News / Fun Stuff / LHR / London Travel / England Travel / New Airports / Events / AvGeek / Airport Construction / T2 at LHR / → All Tags
Since it won't be any time soon that travelers will walk the halls of Berlin's new airport (ah hem national embarrassment ah hem), it's time to throw full focus on the nearly complete Terminal 2 at London-Heathrow Airport.
Formally named "The Queen's Terminal," the $2.5 billion GBP ($3.9 billion USD) structure is nearly set to open, but it needs your help.
Heathrow is looking for hundreds and thousands of volunteers willing to play passenger and put the terminal through the paces before the official opening. This is called a "proving period," and we can say from firsthand experience (as a volunteer during T5 at JFK's proving period that it's generally great fun running around a fresh-built airport.
London Travel / Museum Travel / iPhone / iPad / Travel Apps / → All Tags
Load up your mobile phone with a nifty new app before your next trip across the pond, as there’s a new way to check out the sites in and around London.
The latest app from the Museum of London allows travelers to match up modern day sights with images from the past. It’s kind of like creating your own augmented reality of what’s going on in the city.
Airplane News / Virgin Atlantic / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / 787 / LHR / LGW / London Travel / 787-9 / Boeing / Boeing 787 / 787 Dreamliner / Dreamliner / → All Tags
After all the hype (and drama) with the introduction of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, this summer should see the arrival of another 787 sibling to the family, the 787-9. Like the long-wheelbase version to the existing 787-8, Air New Zealand will be the first to fly it, but Virgin Atlantic is hoping to get their hands on the first few of their order list too.
While the airline hasn’t formally announced launch routes yet, it did brainstorm possible destinations way back when the aircraft order was placed, before being hit with its years of production delays.
So what will it be? In addition to replacing older aircraft for routes in its existing network (we wouldn’t be surprised if it goes head to head with some of the choices British Airways has made), Virgin mentioned routes of London to cities like Bangkok, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Street Food Friday / Food Travel / Grand Cayman Travel / Caribbean Travel / Turtle Soup / → All Tags
In a new weekly Friday column, we'll explore street food and other culinary specialties from around the world. Last week, it was fried lobster in Puerto Nuevo. This week, we head back to the Caribbean and Grand Cayman to see what's cooking.
On our last day in Grand Cayman, we went in search of something we had heard was a common dish served on the island, something that might be even more controversial than the consumption of whale in Norway: We were after a taste of turtle.
Drinking at Altitude / Booze Travel / Southwest Airlines / Cayman Airways / Grand Cayman Travel / Cayman Islands Travel / → All Tags
These days, the general consensus is that airlines nickel and dime you every chance they get along the way. This is true of most of the mainstream North American carriers, but as we discovered with Southwest's ever-running happy hours and free drink days, there are still airlines out there that give you bang for your buck. Or better yet, let you have some fun on their tab.
Cayman Airways' flights allow economy class passengers to check two bags for free, and they also feature a meal and complimentary Tortuga rum punch. Yes, free unlimited alcoholic drinks in a non-transatlantic international economy class. It's not heavily advertised, but if you look closely at the list of complimentary beverages, you'll surely find it.
New Routes / British Airways / 787 / Boeing / Austin Travel / Texas Travel / AUS / SXSW / → All Tags
Even though the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival doesn't begin until this weekend, the city of Austin, TX was already in quite a flutter yesterday, with the arrival of their first transatlantic flight. Even better is that the airline is British Airways, who've put their brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the nonstop route. Right now, the flight only operates five times a week, but will increase to daily service as soon as this May.
Texans used to flying other airlines and connecting to London can check out a sample of one of the plane's seats as part of a pop-up British Airways experience in the lobby of Austin's Driskill Hotel. Of course, there's always our own 40-image photo gallery and a few things the BA 787 has that other airplanes do not.
Monday Five Thirty / Drinking Travel / Caribbean Travel / Cayman Islands Travel / Grand Cayman Travel / Island Travel / → All Tags
In celebration of the most needed happy hour of the week, we're launching a new column called “Monday, Five Thirty” that will take a look at different vices from around the world, specifically boozes and beers unique to a destination. Last week, it was Killepitsch in Dusseldorf, and now, we head to Grand Cayman to try out some of the local rum, Seven Fathoms, which is aged underwater.
Rum that hails from the Caribbean is far from breaking news, but we feature this particular brand for the unique way in which it is aged - seven fathoms, or 42 feet, under the sea off the coast of Grand Cayman. The idea definitely sounds a bit wacky on the surface, but once you dive in, it seems to make sense in theory.
At this point we have to assume that airline safety videos are in production pretty much all the time, as it seems that each and every week another airline is revealing their creative take on getting the message out. This week it’s Virgin Atlantic and their safety film. It’s their animated take on things, and it pays tribute to plenty of past themes and ideas from your favorite movies.
You might need to head to the break room for a second cup of coffee this morning before you watch the whole thing, as this video clocks in at almost a solid six minutes in length. We think this is the first major update to the carrier’s pre-flight safety announcements in over a decade, and we’ve got to say they did a good job.
The latest season of Downton Abbey may have ended but that doesn't mean you have to stop basking in the aristocratic lifestyle.
Zicasso is giving fans another chance to relive all the glamor of the 1920’s with their Downton Abbey Season 4 Tour.