Eighty Times around the World

Jules Verne’s character Phileas Fogg traveled by steamer, train, elephant and horse around the world to demonstrate it was possible to do so. It took eighty days. Today, I completed my 80th navigation of the globe. This is a touch over two million miles (3.2 million kilometres), a feat which has taken me just over half a century of flying. This is what it looks like: I have flown to 62 of the 80 countries, I have visited. The rest I have reached by bus, train, car and in one case foot. Importantly, my travels…

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2019 End of Year RTW Trip- lets go!

This is my Christmas-New Year Round the World trip. Flying out this week for an intensive few weeks. Five European Cities, five Asian cities, four in the Americas with an Australian start and finish. I would love some suggestions for Tallin (never been) and Berlin which I have not been to for five years. Christmas markets, two weddings and lots of catch ups with friends will be all part of the experience. I go from 37 degrees Celsius (99F) to minus four (25F) so packing all in one carry on bag is always a challenge.…

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HK airlines exits US market- cuts more capacity

Hong Kong airlines initially operated a nice collection of routes around Asia. Then, the airline embarked on a massive expansion, ordering a very large number of new planes and using them to new long distance destinations in the Australian, New Zealand and North American. In June 2017, Skytrax announced that Hong Kong Airlines was the second-best airline in the Asia region and 24th best internationally. Having flown them a few times, they are definitely a great airline. The trouble is they have been losing money and things really came unstuck over the last year with resignations…

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Romantic Hoi An

Just spent a lovely weekend in what I believe to be Asia’s most romantic city. The name translates as “peaceful meeting place”. Hội An  started as a trading port in about 1595. The city became the most important trade port on the East Vietnam Sea during the 16th and 17th centuries.  It declined in the 18th century and was almost untouched for almost 200 years. In 1999 the old town was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It has become more and more popular. Last year, six million people visited the city which has…

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Is Adria Airways finished?

Overshadowed by the collapse of Thomas Cook, Slovenia’s Adria suspended flights for two days on Monday and Tuesday. They have now extended the shutdown: “Adria Airways announces that it will continue with temporarily ceased majority of its flight operations also on Thursday, 26 September and Friday, 27 September. During these two additional days, the company will maintain a connection to its most important hub in Frankfurt. The Airline plans to operate on both days evening flights on route Ljubljana – Frankfurt – Ljubljana.” Two flights a day is cold comfort for the people stranded across…

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Almost everything on the Thomas Cook collapse–including Passenger & Staff Rights

Thomas Cook who lived from 1808 to 1892 began his career by running a successful one-day railway excursion for 500 temperance campaigners at a shilling a head from Leicester to Loughborough, a 19km (11 mile journey) on 5 July, 1841. He invented new payment systems for hotels and travel bookings, sold travel goods, organised excursions and ran a small alcohol free hotel in Fleet Street, London before he retired in 1878. There is a statue dedicated to him, outside Leicester Railway Station in the UK  which was unveiled on 14 January 1994. His son took…

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Living with the Tourists

I am currently residing part of the year in a country with 40 million tourists a year, most of which come to the city I stay in. Some behave well and some horrify me! It’s been a fascinating learning journey being on the « other side » of the travel equation? Are you living in such a situation? What is it like for you? What do you wish visitors to your city knew about customs and behaviour?

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Air NZ becomes Air AllBlacks in brilliant new safety video

I have been a huge fan of Air New Zealand safety videos and have run out of superlatives for their amazing productions over the years (with one exception).  But lets face it, the Qantas safety video brings a tear to my eye and the Oman ones are cool too so I may just be a softie for a good air safety video presentation. Their newest one, launched this week and which apparently took nine months to make will be hard for Aussies, South Africans and French people to sit through as it hammers home the…

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And Russia makes 77

I am filling in my globe with all of the countries, territories and regions I have visited.  With the addition of Russia this week, I have made it to 77 countries. I only count a country if I have left the airport. So while, I have transited through Doha and Johannesburg airports, I do not include Qatar and  South South Africa in my tally. I have been to about two thirds of the countries in both Asia and Europe and exactly half of all the nations in the Oceania region of the planet. African exploration…

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