Tag: EuropeView All Tags
Beer / Beer Travel / Belgium / Belgium Travel / Brussels / Brussels Travel / Alcohol / Bars / Cafes / Drinking / Europe / Europe Travel / → All Tags
In honor of North Carolina declaring April "Beer Month" you should know about this itsy-bitsy authentic beer parlour that we found in the capital of beer -- Brussels.
Even if you’re not a huge fan of the brewskie, it would pretty much be sacrilege not to go to a beer tavern in Brussels, the place of pilgrimage for many a beer-lover. There are beer halls, taverns and cafés aplenty, but if you want to go to a quirky original populated by locals rather than tourists, La Fleur en Papier Doré is the place.
This small tavern and café, dating from the middle of the 1700s, was once a convent and we suspect that the good nuns who lived there took a nip or two of the stuff in their time. Later it became a haunt of the Surrealist artistes –- René Magritte’s crowd. This artistic group, and the other writers and artists who followed, apparently liked to indulge in more drink than they could afford. All you need to do when you’re at La Fleur en Papier Doré is look up at the drawings and paintings crowding the jam-packed walls to see how cash-strapped artists paid their overdue bills in kind. As a shout-out to its past, the tavern still hosts exhibitions and writer’s evenings.
We headed there on a sweltering hot August summer day to find a cool cave fronted by a super-friendly barmaid. We picked a table in the back and settled in for what was to be a lesson in the history of Belgian beers. (Pics of this little gem follow below!)
Airline Industry / Europe / Europe Travel / Travel News / Airline News / Ryanair / Airline Fees / → All Tags
The European Union is considering changing the regulations that govern how airlines have to compensate/assist/not-screw-over passengers that they've stranded. Whether it's because they don't like their airline industry or because they do like their passengers is an open question, but changes they're nonetheless making.
The E.U. is already a relatively OK place to be a passenger. Under EU261, airlines have to refund ticket prices for cancellations and long delays, plus there are all kinds of rules about how geographically close airlines have to get their passengers when flights are diverted to alternate airports.
The implementation of those rules is admittedly imperfect. The refund rule sometimes ends with passengers taking airlines to court, and the geography regulation has its own loopholes (Ryanair once kind of hilariously met the rule by dropping passengers off on a nearby island rather than the one they were bound for. Close enough!) But at a minimum, the E.U. has been trying.
Jaunted writers have been blogging about dangerous travel guru Robert Young Pelton almost as long as there's been a Jaunted. We first linked to his Come Back Alive site in 2006 after it was listed by the Times as one of their Top 100 Travel sites.
Then he popped up a few years later when he brushed off the CDC's swine flu bulletin about Mexico travel and told CNN that "people can and should travel wherever they want to, regardless of warnings."
Now, via Tim Leffel, we discover this wonderful interview with Pelton, where he half-reassuringly half-plaintively muses that the world is running out of places where travelers can get made dead. "It's putting me out of business," he says, complaining that "there aren’t wars anymore." This is all in the context of producing the new edition of his book The World's Most Dangerous Places, which originally had 26 countries and now is barely going to get up to a dozen.
Winter Travel / Travel News / Britain Travel / Britain / Europe Travel / Europe / London / London Travel / Emirates / LHR / Travel Delays / → All Tags
American travelers delayed for two days in the Midwest will be feeling lucky that they're not in Europe. Half the continentand pretty much all of Britainis frozen over, with many travelers expected to not get home until after Christmas. Travel reports are being brought to you by the letters H and O, the number 2, and the words "chaos," "misery" and "havoc."
But beneath all the articles about the weather itself, there's this other theme developing, where travelers are endlessly griping at British airport authorities over the weather. The Associated Press ran the headline "Anger rises as travel havoc snarls Britain, Europe," and relayed quotes from snarky politicians about how airports should have shovels or something.
Religious Travel / Holy Travel / Spain Travel / Spain / Israel Travel / Israel / Europe Travel / Europe / → All Tags
Europeans are fond of complaining that American imports are ruining their culture, and usually we're like "shut up, we need our Chipotle." In this very specific case, though, they might have a point. Europe's first Christian theme parkmodeled after the ones in the American South and South Americais now set to open in Mallorca, Spain. Inexplicably.
We of course usually recommend a different religious travel solution. If if you want to see what the Holy Land looks like, our reasoning goes, you should actually take a trip to the Holy Land and see it. From the United States that might be prohibitive with the cost, but a flight from Spain to Israel on one of Europe's billion LCC's is fairly affordable. When you factor in the Euro/Shekel exchange rate you're almost saving money. We understand there are pluses and minusesin Israel you can only walk on the "Jesus trail" while in religious theme parks you can actually meet Jesusbut we kind of prefer our way. Even if there are no "live resurrections," as this theme park promises.
Airline Strikes / Airline Industry / British Airways / Virgin America / US Airways / Europe Travel / Europe / Airline News / → All Tags
Following up on the weekend strikes in London and Paris, the phrase that the Associated Press is going with this mornning is "season of strikes in Europe." Put bluntly: there's not enough money to go around, and workers aren't going to go to their jobs unless they get more of it. It's not just Greece, although of course it's Greece too. Spain and the Czech Republic are hosed as well, and when you add them to the UK, France, and Italy you start to run out of countries that aren't going broke.
Now this is normally where we'd tell you that bad times overseas equal good travel opportunities from here. The problem is that you actually have to be able to get to those places, and a wave of airline strikes is about to start making that dicey. Virgin Atlantic just narrowly averted a strike, but they're pretty much the only ones. British Airways workers apparently have decided to walk out again, because that's who they are and that's what they do. Meanwhile roughly the entire country of India is facing labor-driven transportation disruptions.
Google Maps / Google / Europe Travel / Europe / Germany Travel / Germany / Technology / Travel News / → All Tags
You can use Google Maps Street View to find the world's most picturesque street. Or to virtually wander around the San Diego Zoo. Or to plan a bike ride through Boulder. What you can't do is use it to view any part of Germany, since privacy watchdogs have been holding up Mountain Views's expansion into the country. There are currently 23 countries with Street View-enabled cities, and exactly none of them are German. All of that is going to change in the coming months, now that the search giant has met the German government's demands for privacy protections. Twenty German cities are slated for addition by the end of the year.
Under the deal, Google will blur out faces and license plates automatically. Homes will of course be included by default, but Google has agreed to blur them out too if owners submit a simple request. Even a fax will work. Reports say that 10,000 Germans have already submitted their requests, which is a huge number of people who don't want pictures of their front yard on the internet.
Europe Travel / Europe / Tourism / Politics / Greece Travel / Money / Political Travel / → All Tags
This morning brings further confirmation of last week's story about how Greek turmoil is opening up absurd tourism opportunities, as hotels in Athens are talking about losing 1 in 10 of their guests, and cutting prices accordingly.
Far more broadly, Europe's economic problems have sent the Euro tumbling against the dollar, and a continued slide is more likely than not. We put up a broad overview of how Greece's problems interact with the Eurozone earlier this year, but now things are quickly coming to a head.
So, should you go to Europe now or what? Find out, after the jump
Credit Cards / Europe / Technology / France / Travel News / Paris / → All Tags
As if the cratering dollar wasn't enough of a problem for US tourists, the New York Times reports that even trying to use American credit cards in Europe is getting difficult. The problem is in the so-called chip-and-PIN verification technology that much of the world is adopting as an alternative to magnetic strip cards. Instead of swiping your card you're supposed punch in a personal ID that needs to match the one encoded on the chip. Only problem: US credit cards mostly don't have those chips.
The writeup manages to convey the issue with all the cosmopolitan awareness we've come to expect from the NYT Travel section. They relate the story of a passive-aggressive couple in Paris whohaving had their cards rejected by bike kiosksjust walked around sullenly telling no one in particular how would awesome if they could ride a bike. Obnoxious. But that doesn't make the problem any less real:
The end of summer is upon us, but that's no reason to stop partying: A bunch of European cities--plus Toronto--are about to start a round of all-night parties they call White Nights.
White Nights--or the sexier sounding French version Nuit Blanche--are celebrations with open-all-night museums, circus troop performances and opera, jazz and rock concerts that go 'til morning. A group of cities have now banded together to get a bit of a White Nights Circuit going, so if you've got some free time in the next month, check out these White Nights:
- Rome: September 8
- Madrid: September 22
- Brussels and Toronto: September 29
- Paris and Valletta, Malta: October 6
So if you're into partying all night or just getting ultra-cultural in Europe, start adjusting your sleep pattern now.
In the ongoing war between budget airlines and good ol' train travel, the Eurostar train line is busily pumping out its own good PR. Eurostar trains generally travel between London and Paris, with a few trips to Brussels, Euro Disney and the south of France. They reckon they're fast, convenient, and recently, punctual.
Yep, punctuality is the big Eurostar news of the week. Between May 7 and May 13, 98.5% of trains arrived on time (or early!). And the big news: on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week, 100% of the Eurostar trains were punctual. Eurostar is quick to point out that performance like this "easily outstrips airlines." Add to that the assumption that the carbon footprint is smaller and it almost seems logical to take the train. Except when you see an airfare for just a couple of pounds.
· Eurostar Records Best Ever Punctuality [Flightmapping]
· One or One and a Half Tickets, Sir? [Jaunted]
Eurovision / Music / Europe / → All Tags
Greetings to all who spent last night watching the usual odd servings of how-could-they-ever-think-they'd-win finalists in the Eurovision Song Contest. From Germany's jazzed up Roger Cicero explaining how women rule the world to Ukraine's weirdly-dressed-up song, "Dancing Lasha Tumbai," which curiously was the favorite to win.
When it came down to judging time--Europeans can call or text to vote for anyone except for their own nation--it was even more apparent than normal that the more neighbors you have, the more votes you get. Even when a tiny country gives you a top vote, you get the same number of points as if the whole of Germany or France vote for you. Poor old England got nearly no votes (their entry's quality was questionable too, but that goes for nearly all of them), and former eastern bloc countries with plenty of small neighbors did well. And the winner? A (we personally think) not particularly stunning song from Serbian singer Marija. Media explosions about votes from neighbors has reached higher levels than ever this year, so maybe a new voting system is on the cards for Eurovision 2008 in Belgrade.
· Eurovision: Need Good Neighbours [Times UK]
· Eurovision Song-O-Mat Rocks Our World [Jaunted]