Problems in Copenhagen’s Norrebro District

March 3, 2009 on 11:34 am | In Copenhagen travel, Europe travel,, Uncategorized, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel warnings | Comments Off

Norrebro is a neighborhood of Copenhagen, Denmark that has been likened by some to Greenwich Village in New York City.  We do not include Norrebro as one of Copenhagen’s Best Places to Visit in our ThereArePlaces Guide to Denmark, as we regard it as a little too edgy for most visitors.  We read earlier today that The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office has advised travellers to be cautious when visiting Norrebo, as it has become the scene of significant gang violence.  Read this article from the Copenhagen Post Online for more information.

Last week we read another article on Norrebro indicating that a volunteer group providing a neighborhood watch function in this section of Copenhagen had thrown in the towel and given up “policing” the area because of the dangers involved.  We recommend that you avoid Norrebro, at least for the time being.

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Drug Troubles in Mexico and Tourism

February 11, 2009 on 8:46 am | In Mexico travel, Uncategorized, travel warnings, vacation travel | Comments Off

Mexico’s Cancun, the Riviera Maya and the Mexican Riviera are great places to visit.  As a matter of fact, we have just added detailed coverage of these areas in our Guide to the Best Places In Mexico . 

However, Mexico has been having a great deal of problems with drug gangs.  Although the Mexican government points out that visitors to the country’s tourist zones are as safe in Mexico as they are when visiting other countries, it is clear that  tourists who deal or consume illegal drugs while in Mexico are looking for trouble.   Recently, MSNBC published a great article on the drug problem in Mexico and we think it would be useful for anyone planning travel to Mexico to read.  So, here it is .  Although this is not the type of article you find at most travel sites, we think it fall under our rubric of Things Tourists Need To Know.

As a postcript, the Attorney General of Mexico recently announced that the number of murders in 2008 clocked in at 5,400, more than twice the 2007 figure of 2,477.  Already in 2009 there have been more than 400 drug related murders, according to other sources.  Three of these murders were of a well-known ex-general and his aides, who was brought to Ciudad Cancun to make sure the violence in the drug trade did not spin out of control and into the tourist area  (Hotel Zone).

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Storms In Paris, Snow In The UK, Fires In Australia – Travelers In The Breach

February 9, 2009 on 12:12 pm | In Australia Travel, France, France Travel, Paris Travel, UK Travel, Uncategorized, United Kingdom, Wales Travel, travel news | Comments Off

It continues to be a hard-weather winter in Europe.  Both de Gaulle and Orly airports have closed for the evening due to expected high winds of up to 120kph (75mph) and are scheduled to reopen on Tuesday morning  at 0700,  De Gaulle is one of the busiest airports in Europe, so the closure will play havoc with travel throughout the continent.

Across the Channel, rain, snow and flooding are plaguing the United Kingdom in the south and west after the most largest snowfall in the last 18 years.  Blizzard conditions are expected in Wales tonight and tomorrow.  Throughout the country roads and bridges are icy and many municipalities are running short of road salt to melt the ice.  Expect difficult travel conditions if you are traveling in the UK by car during the next week. If you are interested in recreation you should know that the skiing is Scotland has benefitted the large snowfall.

Fires, some natural and some set, have killed over 170 in south eastern Austrlia, north and east of Melbourne.  The effect of the fires has been influenced by high temperatures and drought conditions that have plagued parts of Australia over the last several years

A good overview of all of these stories can be found at the BBC or by searching a news aggregator.

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Blog Restart And All Sorts Of New Content For You To Discover

February 9, 2009 on 11:32 am | In, Uncategorized, travel news | Comments Off

We’ve been very busy in late 2008 and 2009 adding new content to ThereArePlaces.  We have a new section on the Romantic Road in Germany’s lovely Bavaria.  In the process we added some new sights in Munich, Germany and explored Salzburg, Austria to create a new detailed guide to the city of Mozart’s birth. 

In January we added new sections to our Best Places to Visit in Mexico, including new sections on Cancun, the ancient Mayan city of  Chichen Itza, Isla Cozumel and the Riviera Maya along the Caribbean.  Of course, we added guide to the excellent Mayan sites of Tulum and Coba.  Not wanting to ignore the Pacific Coast, we added a multipage guide to the Mexican Riviera focused on Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Varta, Ixtapa and Acapulco, with an extended section on Cabo San Lucas.

Returning east , we added a new section to our coverage of the United Kingdom, but one focused on the best castles to visit in England, Scotland and Wales.

Of course, there is also our new section on Ireland,

In addition, we updated our section on travel advice and rebadged it “Things Travelers Need To Know“, because it finally dawned on us that this is exactly the right name for this section of the ThereArePlaces website.

Hope you enjoy our efforts on your behalf.  Let us know what we might add to help you have your best vacation ever.

Finally, we have decided to restart this blog, which we have allowed to lay fallow for some time.  There is a lot of news on the travel front, some good and some bad.  We suspect it is harder for you to find some of this information than it is for us, so we will be passing the items we consider interesting along to you.

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UK Airport Strikes in January?

December 27, 2007 on 10:38 am | In London, Uncategorized, United Kingdom, country travel information, strikes | 3 Comments

Recent labor unrest at BAA managed airports in the United Kingdom may results in strikes that will cripple aviation traffic in January.  At this time 24-hour  strikes are scheduled for January 7, 14 and a 48-hour strike is scheduled to start early morning on January 17th.  Heathrow, Gatwick and 5 other UK airports would be affected by the strikes.  See this BBC article for more information.

The Strikes in France Ebb and Flow

November 20, 2007 on 3:37 pm | In France, Uncategorized, country travel information, personal travel, strikes, travel warnings | Comments Off

The rail strike in France worsened this week, but negotiations begin tomorrow and that  may lead to the end of the rail problem.  Unfortunately, many of the French civil service workers went on strike today and this group included air traffic controllers.  Numerous flights have been cancelled in both of airports serving Paris. 

Bad news continues for air travelers as the main pilots union in France has called from a strike from Saturday through Tuesday.  For tourists, it continues to be a difficult time to travel in France.  See this article in the Herald Tribune for all the messy details.

Rail Strike Continues in France

November 18, 2007 on 1:54 pm | In France, Uncategorized, country travel information, personal travel, strikes, travel news, travel warnings | Comments Off

Well, it is not pleasant but fairly predictable that the transportation unions in France decided to extend their strike to Monday, November 19th and perhaps beyond.  There is a negotiation session scheduled for Wednesday and some hope has been extended that the strike will end before then.

As it now stands, there is little rail traffiic, the Paris Metro has some closed lines and around half of the buses in the city are running.  Officials hope to have half of the TGV lines running Monday, but you should call ahead to determine which lines and their schedule.


November is shaping up as strike time in France

November 2, 2007 on 9:16 am | In France, Uncategorized, country travel information, personal travel, strikes, travel news, travel warnings | 7 Comments

President Nicholas Sarkozy of France has been trying to invigorate the country’s economy by changing the country’s generous pension programs.  His actions, however, have been met by adverse reactions, including strikes.  More are coming this month in the rail and energy areas.  If you are planning November travel in France see this article in Expatica for more information.

Transit Strike in France This Week

October 16, 2007 on 8:35 pm | In France, Uncategorized, country travel information, personal travel, strikes, travel news | Comments Off

French authorities are concerned that a country-wide transit strike will wreak havoc on the country’s transportation infrastructure this week.   See this article in the Herald Tribune .

New update on U.S. Passports

October 11, 2007 on 9:40 pm | In France, US Department of State, Uncategorized, passports, personal travel | Comments Off

 The Department of State issued this press release today regarding passports and passport processing time.  If you plan to travel abroad next spring and do not yet have your passport APPLY NOW.

Here is the text of the document from the Department of State

In January 2007, the air phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative came into effect.  Americans complied in record-breaking unanticipated numbers, and our delivery system was unable to guarantee the same level of service we previously had maintained.  In order to process the extraordinary demand, the State Department temporarily detailed close to 500 additional employees to the effort and simultaneously began a robust hiring program.  Four hundred new employees have come on board since last May, and we are committed to continue to hire staff as needed.

Passport applications are currently taking between four and six weeks for routine service, and three weeks for expedited service.  Fall is traditionally our low demand season, so we urge prospective applicants to apply now.  January historically marks the beginning of our busy season, and demand may cause us to amend our website to reflect a possibly longer processing time.  Readers are urged to check (TSG) regularly, or apply now if contemplating international travel.
Should you have additional questions after visiting TSG, please contact the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778).

All persons traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean region are now required to present one of the following documents to enter or re-enter the United States:
·        A valid passport;

·        DHS-issued (SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST); OR

·        A U.S. Coast Guard Mariner Document.
For U.S. Armed Forces on active duty, traveling on official orders, no passport is required.
See for full details. 

Further information on port of entry procedures and requirements is available
Get Your Passport NOW!
·        If planning or even considering international trips, don’t wait – apply for a passport NOW!

·        Historically, we receive fewer passport applications during the fall – making it the best time to apply.

·        We are currently processing routine applications within four to six weeks.

For the latest information on obtaining a U.S. passport, we urge you to regularly visit our web site:


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