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View from the top of Toco Mountain at 18,385 feet on the border of Chile and Bolivia
Beautiful, isn't it? The Atacama offers an awe-inspiring combination of desert landscape, towering peaks, and refreshing lagoons, and travelers should spend as much time as they possibly can exploring these incredible outdoor opportunities. Just make sure you don't do it alone.
Hiking alone, or in a group that lacks someone with knowledge of the area, is never a good idea. It's a pretty basic rule of thumb when it comes to the wilderness. But it's even more true in Atacama. One wrong step, and you could find yourself missing half your leg. No, it's not the monsters from the movie Tremors. The real reason is perhaps even more peculiar: There are thousands of active landmines stashed throughout the region.
Travelers to the United Kingdom will be in for a surprise next Monday, August 4, when the country suddenly turns off the lights.
The Telegraph explains:
The Houses of Parliament, Blackpool Illuminations and Tower Bridge will go dark on August 4 to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War.
They are among hundreds of sites taking part in Lights Out, a Government-backed project aiming to achieve a nationwide switch-off from 10-11pm – the hour in which Britain declared itself at war with Germany 100 years ago.
The Foreign Office will leave a single lamp burning in a room overlooking the Cenotaph, and another in a room overlooking St James’s Park. The inspiration for the event is the remark made by Sir Edward Grey, foreign secretary, on August 3 1914.
Knowing that war was imminent, he gazed out at gas lamps being lit in St James’s Park and said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”
Travel Alerts / War Travel / Delta / Airlines / Airline News / Richard Anderson / Ukraine Travel / → All Tags
When Delta yesterday announced their decision to stop flights to Tel Aviv, Israel "until further notice," they stood alone.
Within the next two hours, that move was echoed by United and US Airways, and eventually the Federal Aviation Administration themselves, who set forth a 24-hour ban on US airline flights to Israel, a ban which was extended today for a further 24 hours.
Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta, stood in front of the CNBC cameras this morning to explain their early and precedent-setting action, which goes beyond the single incident of the rocket attack nearby Ben Gurion International Airport to address danger due to "the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza."
Travel Alerts / Tel Aviv Travel / Israel Travel / Travel News / Airlines / Airline News / Delta / SkyTeam / TLV / War Travel / MH17 / → All Tags
Update: 12:30pm EST, July 23: Although yesterday's FAA ban on flights to Israel was originally only for 24 hours, it has been extended to last another 24 at the least. This only applies to US airlines, so flights to Israel on El Al out of JFK are still operating normally.
Update: 1pm EST: FAA has issued a notice (NOTAM) prohibiting US airlines from flying to or from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Int’l Airport for up to 24 hours.
Update: 12pm EST: US Airways, United and American Airlines now join Delta in temporarily suspending Tel Aviv flights.
At approximately 11am EST today, Delta updated their Israel travel adivsory from a warning that flights may be disrupted, to the fact that their flights from New York-JFK to Tel Aviv will not be operating at all "until further notice."
The stoppage is a temporary hiatus necessitated by escalating violence in Israel; the final straw comes with the report of a rocket attack in the vicinity of Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport. Naturally the danger calls to mind last week's Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 tragedy, caused by a ground-to-air missile. While airlines continue to divert their flight paths clear of Ukrainian air space, there are other war zones to consider.
Vietnam Travel / Hanoi Travel / Historical Travel / B-52 / Huu Tiep Lake / War Travel / Tragedies / → All Tags
Besides some of the cheapest beer in the world, visitors to Hanoi will find the city to be rich in history, specifically as it relates to America and the Vietnam War. There is much to see and to learn almost forty years since the end of the war, and trips to the National Museum of History and the Military History Museum are a good place to start.
But if you want to get a taste of what day-to-day life was like for locals during the 70s, a trip to Huu Tiep Lake should be on the itinerary. In 1972, as America bombed the city, a B-52 Stratofortress bomber was shot down and crashed into a small lake. It still rests there today, just poking above the surface.
It's more of a pond than a lake, and what surprised us most was its location in a colorful, intimate little neighborhood in west Hanoi. Half of it is sticking out above the water, revealing the top of the tires and a look at some of the damaged undercarriage. It's just been left there, untouched.
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AMC is hoping it will have the same luck with its newest series, Turn, that it's had with the pop culture phenomenons Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead.
Turn is a Revolutionary War period drama based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring.
Fury, starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf, is a World War II drama following the trials of a tank squadron as they infiltrate Nazi territory. The movie's not due out in theaters until November 2014, but the crew has nearly concluded filming and Pitt's congratulated himself for his own hard work by buying an airplane.
Since this is Brad Pitt we're talking about, the airplane in question won't just be any old thing; the purchase is in fact a WWII Spitfire flown by the Royal Air Force. The price tag? A cool $3.3 million.
Historical Travel / Events / Lake Erie Travel / Ohio Travel / Great Lakes Travel / War Travel / Military Travel / → All Tags
The War of 1812 actually didn't happen in 1812. In truth, it was a 32-month conflict between the US and Great Britain which stretched from June 1812 to February 1815, with one of the most notable turning-of-the-tides going down in 1813. On September 10, Captain Oliver Hazard Perry flew the flag "Don't Give Up the Ship" on the ships of his fleet as they went head-to-head (or cannon-to-cannon) with the Royal Navy, eventually winning the Battle of Lake Erie.
His victory is essentially the reason why (most of) Lake Erie, Detroit and much of eastern Michigan and northern Ohio belong to the United States.
Naturally this is a huge frickin' deal, and 2013 marks the bicentennial of the battle. To celebrate, ports of the Lake Erie Islands are banding together to host a gathering of 18 tall ships and re-enactments, and the public is welcome to do more than watch; you may sign up to join the crew on a ship, be a part of the land militia, or just volunteer to help the onboard tours when the ships pull into port.
As has been well-documented by scientists and statisticians, travel has never been less dangerous. In both broad and specific senses that's a very good thing, since more people can travel to more places, but for dangerous travel aficionados it's becoming a problem.
As has also been well-documented by scientists and statisticians, British tourists are among the world's worst people. They throw stag parties that are by turns crude and destructive, and their outrward behavior is sometimes indistinguishable from low-level rioting. Where do you think this post is going?
Right about now, you might be day-dreaming of a beach vacation or somewhere the sun shines all day and the people are hot, hot, hot. Come with us on a Spanish adventure, more specifically to Barcelona. The city is known for fine beaches, partying until the wee hours of the morning, tapas and lots of sangria. While we partook in a little of eachmaybe more than a little when it came to the sangriawe brought a little history and culture into our days with a castle visit.
Montjuďc, historically speaking, was the the area that the medieval Jewish community buried their dead, thus the Catalan translation of Jewish Mountain. Now it sits to welcome cruise and cargo ships from the Mediterranean, all the while keeping a watchful eye on the city below. The park area is not easy to reach; either by climbing the steps on the front or riding the funicular from the port, it takes some sweat or fears.
Livery / Airplanes / Lists / Veterans Day Travel / War Travel / Charity Travel / American Airlines / → All Tags
We spotted (and Instagrammed) this Flagship Independence yellow-ribboned jet at JFK recently
With so much awful press for American Airlines lately, we'd like to point out one very positive continuing agenda of AA: their honoring of both enlisted military and veterans. There's several specific ways we can think of where AA deserves a round of applause for this:
· Veterans Day may have been yesterday, but their Yellow Ribbon Fleet flies year-round. At least six of the airline's planes have been painted with a special livery featuring a yellow ribbon of remembrance on the tail and "In support of all who serve" on the fuselage.
· Honor Flights. Ever been in an airport and see the hallway lined with American flags for a procession? That's for one of American's special flights where, for free, they transport veterans to visit the landmarks and monuments to their service in DC. We actually encountered one arriving AA Honor Flight at SFO and it can be quite a moving moment.
France Travel / Historical Travel / Normandy Travel / Canada Travel / War Travel / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Utah, Omaha, Juno, Gold, Sword...fifty miles of the Normandy coastline in northern France that changed the world forever as the British, Canadian and American armed forces invaded Europe on D-Day: June 6th, 1944.
Driving the entire length of these beaches on our recent stay in Normandy, we find it's a seriously bizarre mix of post-war seaside houses, golden sandy beaches, concrete bunkers and war memorials.
Of all the World War II heritage sites in this historic area, we found the Canadian Juno Beach Centre, just to the west of Courseulles-sur-Mer, the most informative of the lot.