Under Rated Spokane -16 Top Things for a Great Visit

Spokane: the city where half the people mispronounce it, and the other half can’t find it on a map. It’s located in eastern Washington and has a rich history in railroads and mining, along with a vibrant arts scene and stunning natural landscapes. With the Spokane River winding through the city, it combines historic architecture with contemporary development, creating a unique and intriguing place to explore. Home to 233,000, the city flies under the radar as a tourist destination. Yet, I have immensely enjoyed my visits there. It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts,…

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Stranded? What To Do When Your Airline Collapses

Question: “How do you create a small airline?” Answer: “Buy a big one and wait for a couple of years.” Boom boom! The airline industry is very volatile, as many thousands find out every year. I have flown 125 airlines since 1968. Of those, 41 do not exist anymore. Names such as Air Berlin, Alitalia, Ansett, Malev, and Pan Am no longer grace the skies. This year: Last year, we saw the demise of Aeromar, Air Moldova, Flybe, Flyr, Go First, MYAirways, Niceair, and Viva (full list and background information at link). If you or…

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Stranded? What To Do When Your Airline Collapses

Question: “How do you create a small airline?” Answer: “Buy a big one and wait for a couple of years.” (Source: Pixabay ) If you or a friend or family member are ever affected by the collapse of an airline, here’s what you need to do: 1. Find All Documentation: Keep a record of all your communications, booking details, and any expenses incurred. This is crucial for insurance claims and other legal actions. 2. Check for Official Announcements: Visit the airline’s website or social media platforms for information on the collapse. Don’t call; it’s usually…

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Running the amazing Bloomsday, a favourite road race

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” —John Bingham When I woke up on Sunday to the sound of rain, there was a moment of hesitation. Did I really want to run my eighth Lilac Bloomsday Run in Spokane, Washington in weather that looked as unforgiving as this?? It was 9°C /48°F, windy and pouring with rain. I struggled through the grey to walk down to join 30,000 at the starting lines. Spokane is a city in Eastern Washington that 231,133 people call home. The city…

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Riding the Big Trains: Sensational Rail Journeys Through Wales/ Cymru

I have now completed travel across (almost) the entire Welsh mainline railway network. Every line through almost every station! Now I am working my way through the nation’s Heritage trains! Even as a dedicated train enthusiast, I find navigating Wales/Cymru’s railway network more confusing and frustrating than it should be. But through all the challenges and surprises, I’ve learnt to untangle the mysteries of Welsh rail travel. Here’s what I’ve learned: Major Welsh Train Routes You can essentially divide the railway system of Wales/Cymru into nine distinct routes. Here is a summary with more detailed…

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Whimsical Portmeirion, Home of “The Prisoner”

I am a fan of the weird 1960s TV series called “The Prisoner”. This cult classic was written by and starred the actor Patrick McGoohan, who had previously worked on a top-rated British TV series called “Danger Man”. The Prisoner is an enigmatic, brilliant TV series that has left a lasting impression on fans worldwide. If you don’t know it, here is an explanation (language warning): “The Prisoner” was filmed in the strange, whimsical, and wonderful village of Portmeirion in Wales. I had an unforgettable day visiting Portmeirion. Walking through its winding streets felt like…

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The Magic of Aviation: Re-Connecting with my BOAC Boeing 707

In 1971, I flew on a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) Boeing 707 from the Middle East to Hong Kong. This flight left a lasting impression on me, and it was an unforgettable experience. Little did I know that 53 years later, I’d reconnect with this plane at the National Museum of Flight in Scotland today. I had already notched up more flights than the average child of the 1960s. Having spent my childhood in Australia, Africa, The Middle East, and the UK, we criss-crossed continents by ship, plane, and train, hence my multiple flight…

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Journey to a Kinder World through better Chocolate choices

Are you like me and LOVE Indulging in chocolate? I think it is a universal pleasure. Every human on the planet consumes an average of roughly one kilogram of food annually. I know I sample chocolate wherever I travel to! Good chocolate please. With a projected 5.6% increase in chocolate revenue, surpassing even the forecasted growth of the world economy, it’s evident that chocolate holds a significant place in our lives and markets. However, amidst this prosperity lies a stark reality: the plight of cocoa farmers, trapped in cycles of poverty and exploitation. Despite the…

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Tarmac to Takeoff: A Blistering Hot Charity Run on Bangkok Airport’s New Runway 3

As the dawn broke last Sunday morning, 17th March 2024, I joined around 5000 runners for a charity run on Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport’s new Runway 3. In July, 2024 the airport will open this 4 kilometre (2.4 mile) new runway for active use on the western part of the airport, the same side as the main warehouse and the current western runway. The two existing runways presently handle 60 plane movements an hour. When Runway Three opens, the capacity will jump to 94 planes an hour. After some obligatory speeches, the 10km runners began their…

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One of the World’s most Unusual Flights in the world’s most Controversial Business Seat.

Boarding Qantas Flight 291 is like stepping into a paradox where the expected norms are all flipped on their heads. The flight belongs to Qantas but Finnair provides the plane, pilots crew and service. Meals, amenity kit, and entertainment are all provided by Qantas and all carry Qantas branding. But the true twist comes with the cabin crew—rather than Finnish, they’re all Singaporean, adding another layer of fascination to this already unconventional flight experience. And right in the middle is the Finnair business seat, which is like no other and which has divided its users…

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