Europe Held Hostage by a…Volcano!

April 15, 2010 on 8:33 am | In Copenhagen travel, Denmark travel, Europe travel, France Travel, Germany travel, Ireland travel, London travel, Netherlands travel, Paris Travel, Scotland travel, ThereArePlaces.com, Travel Safety, air travel, england travel, international travel, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel warnings, travel weather warning | 1 Comment

The eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokul volcano (located near the island’s south coast, approximately 149 kilometers (92 miles) southeast of Reykjavik) has the potential to cause much damage to the country and the world’s climate. Today, however, the volcano’s cloud of steam and smoke, spread across Western Europe and the UK by prevailing winds, has become a major hazard to air travel.

Many of the airports in Europe, particularly those along the western coast zone of Europe, have closed in response to the threat that the volcanic cloud poses. Concentrations of volcanic ash and dust can decrease visibility during flights at higher altitudes and damage or cause engine shutdowns in jet-powered aircraft at any altitude.

For detailed information on the event and the response, see this article in the Wall Street Journal.

For some great photos of the volcano and detailed information on the eruption,see this excellent presentation from the Detroit Free Press.

The volcanic eruption in Iceland has created a major problem for all air travelers in Europe, as well as those planning on flying to Europe. The length of the eruption and the wind patterns can vary and there is no easy way to tell when air traffic will resume normal patterns. If you are planning on traveling to or in Europe in the next week, be sure to contact your airline, well in advance, to see what information they can offer. If you are in Europe and trying to return home, this will be a frustrating week, as volcanic eruptions are one of those situations beyond the control of the airlines or anyone else.

Click for the ThereArePlaces Website

Castles In England, Scotland and Wales

March 29, 2010 on 1:27 pm | In Scotland travel, ThereArePlaces.com, United Kingdom, Wales Travel, england travel, history and travel, things travelers need to know | Comments Off

When we were kids at play or just daydreaming castles seemed to occupy our thoughts, as did knights, princes, princesses and all things medieval. For years we thought that the castles at Disneyland and Disney World were authentic. (By the way, why is Disneyland one word and Disney World two words?)

Later in life we had the opportunity to visit our first real castles when we toured England, Scotland and Wales. It was a surprise to find out that the term castles encompasses palaces and fortified manor homes, as well as the defensive bastions that, to us, were the “real stuff” of castles.

Caerphilly Castle in Caerphilly, Wales is a brute of a fortress

The castles of Great Britain are enchanting and always well worth a visit. We generally took a tour to find out the “historic” details of the castle, although most of our time was spent exploring every nook and cranny we could enter. Our legs were aching by the end of the day, as climbing stairways is the only way to see the top section of these historic castles. We would reach the top of the towers and peer out across the countryside, checking the visibility profiles and estimating how hard it would be to attack and conquer the castle.

Castles were a good defensive bet, at least until the development of gunpowder and cannons. Until then, most defensive fortresses appropriately engineered with thick walls could withstand sieges, unless they were done in by treachery – which was often the case.

Bodiam Castle is a beauty, but was built for show and not for defense.

You get the picture. We like castles. So, if you do too, you might be interested to the ThereArePlaces Guide to the Best Castles in England, Scotland and Wales. If you happen to be planning a trip to Great Britain, take a look. Even if this area is not on your travel agenda, why not take a look at our castle guide and begin remembering the pleasures of pretending to be “In the days of old…”.

Click for the ThereArePlaces Website

Previous Page

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds.Feed Shark Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^