Continued Travel Woes for Europe

February 10, 2012 on 2:35 pm | In Belgium travel, Czech Republic travel, Denmark travel, Europe travel, France Travel, Germany travel, Italy travel, London travel, Netherlands travel, ThereArePlaces.com, air travel, england travel, hungary travel, russia travel, things travelers need to know, travel weather warning | Comments Off

Cold weather, ice, snow and blizzard force winds continue to wreak havoc with those attempting to travel on the “Continent”, particularly those traveling in Eastern Europe. Section of the Danube River in Romania have been closed to traffic and other sections have frozen over for the first time in twenty-five years. See this detailed review at CNN for more information. These articles from the UPI and France24 provide details on various aspects of the continued weather troubles plaguing Europe.

Click for the ThereArePlaces Website

Costa Cruise Liner Runs Aground Off Italy’s West Coast

January 13, 2012 on 11:14 pm | In Italy, Italy travel, ThereArePlaces.com, Travel Safety, cruise travel, things travelers need to know, travel, travel alert, travel news | 4 Comments

The Costa Concordia Cruise liner ran aground on a sand bar near the Island “Isola del Giglio: off the west coast of Italy, killing six and endangering 3,000 passengers and a crew of 1,000. Several hundred remain on the aground, but severely listing boat. Several were injured during the rescue. For more information see this article by CNN

While looking for news about the boat, we ran across this promo for the Concordia in Costa’s US website. Next, you may find this description of the rescue posted on the Costa UK website to be of interest.

From Costa Cruises
Saturday, January 14th

Time 5.00 am
It is a tragedy that deeply affects our company. Our first thoughts go to the victims and we would like to express our condolences and our closeness to their families and friends. In this moment all our efforts are focused on the completion of the last emergency operations, besides providing assistance to the guests and the crew who were onboard in order to have them going back home as soon as possible. The emergency procedures started promptly to evacuate the ship. The slope, gradually taken over by the ship, made the evacuation extremely difficult. We would like to express our profound gratitude to the Coast Guard and all the forces co-ordinated by the Coast Guard, including the authorities and citizens of the island “Isola del Giglio”, who have been involved in the rescue and assistance to guests and crew members. The company will fully co-operate with the relevant Authorities in order to determine the causes of what happened.”

Time 1.00 am
Costa Cruises confirms the evacuation of about 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members on board of the Costa Concordia. An incident occured near the island ‘Isola del Giglio’ of the coast of Italy. The evacuation started promptly, but the position of the ship has worsened, making it more complicated to complete the last part of the evacuation. At this moment, the cause of the incident cannot yet be confirmed. The Company is currently working with the highest commitment to provide all the needed assistance. The Costa Concordia was sailing across the Mediterranean Sea, starting from Civitavecchia with scheduled calls to Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari and Palermo. About 1.000 passengers of Italian nationality were onboard, as well as more of 500 Germans, about 160 French and about 1.000 crew members. ”

“The Guests had to embark today in Savona and in subsequent ports will be contacted directly by Costa Cruises.”

Click for the ThereArePlaces Website

Torrential Rains in France and Italy

November 7, 2011 on 9:08 am | In France, France Travel, Italy, Italy travel, ThereArePlaces.com, air travel, things travelers need to know, travel alert, travel weather warning | 2 Comments

Seemingly unending rains have descended on parts of Europe, with France and Italy being especially hard hit. Many rivers are nearing flood stage and the problem has closed several noted attractions including Pompeii in southern Italy near Naples. Read this account of the action from Euronews for more details. Also, see this article by Reuters for more information on the rains in France.

Travelers in southern France, Italy or northern Spain should exercise extreme caution if visiting the affected areas. If possible, avoid driving in the areas of these countries having problems with flooding. If you are forced to navigate these areas, inquire locally for advice.

Click for the ThereArePlaces Website

Ouch – Travel Troubles Everywhere

October 16, 2011 on 6:57 pm | In Egypt travel, Europe travel, France Travel, Greece Travel, Italy travel, London travel, Mexico travel, Paris Travel, Spain Travel, Travel Safety, UK Travel, air travel, england travel, international travel, new york travel, personal travel, rome travel, strikes and travel, things travelers need to know, travel alert, travel alert Greece, travel new york city, travel warnings | 2 Comments

Where to start?

Two of the largest labor unions in Greece have announced a 48 hour nationwide strike for October 19 and 20. Currently, lawyers are on strike, as are customs officers who are on a ten-day strike. See the Belfast Telegraph for details.

The “Occupy Wall Street has gone international with demonstrations in London, Toronto, Mexico City, Madrid, Rome and other locations. Unfortunately, the demonstrations turned violent in Rome. See this article from CNN for a top level overview of the demonstrations.

In Egypt, reform leaders are criticizing Egypt’s Military leadership, while the friction between the Copts (Christians) and some sects of believers in Islam, continues.

All in all, not a good week for travelers, at least those in the centers of major cities around the world. We are unsure what lies ahead for the demonstrations in Europe and the United States, but urge you to search local news sources to see if the activity might interfere with any travel you have planned. Other hotspots such as Greece and Egypt look to be long term problems that might just wind up with you taking these potential travel destinations off your bucket list, at least for a while.

Click for the ThereArePlaces Website

New Travel Tax for Visitors to Rome – Payable in Cash Only

January 5, 2011 on 7:45 pm | In Italy travel, ThereArePlaces.com, rome travel, things travelers need to know, travel news | Comments Off

Authorities in Rome implemented a new tourism task over the New Year Holiday. If you stay at a four or five star hotel, you will have to pay an extra €3 per person per night, or €2 per person per night for a three star or less hotel. If you choose to camp, it’s an additional €1 per person per night. The worst aspect of this wrongheaded tax is that you must pay it in CASH on departure! The good news is that the tax only has to be paid for the first ten nights of your stay (about 7 nights longer than the average visit) and does not apply to guests younger than 10 years (or to anyone staying at youth hostels). See this article in the Daily Mail for more details

While the new tax is designed, in part, to help the city with maintenance costs related to is large number of visitors, the fees will also be used to promote Rome as a tourist destination – to attract more people that can be taxed for visiting. Has Rome forgotten how much money tourists spend while visiting? Or that we pay entrance fees to explore numerous of the Eternal City’s attractions. Well, they know they have a captive audience, since you can only see Rome when in Rome.

Even though the fee is modest, we suspect that people will be irritated by this gratuitous fee, enraged by the requirement to pay in cash and maybe they will cut their trip short to compensate. Unfortunately, we have a feeling we are just spitting into the wind, as more and more destinations will begin to charge additional travel taxes, just like Rome. Eventually everyone will begin wondering – “Where did all the tourists go?” That’s easy, we stayed home because we could not afford to travel. Why — well, it seems that our own governments raised taxes on income and airline tickets while we were reading about the tax increase for tourists visiting Rome. Happy New Year.

Click for the ThereArePlaces Website

Yowie – It’s cold outside!

December 18, 2010 on 11:13 am | In Copenhagen travel, Denmark travel, France Travel, Germany travel, Italy travel, London travel, air travel, things travelers need to know, travel weather warning | Comments Off

Europe and the British Isles are reeling under snow and record breaking cold. See this article in the Guardian for more information, or this from CTV.

In Britain, Gatwick Airport was closed due the weather and British airways suspended all flights out of Heathrow. Airports across Europe were canceling flights by the hundreds and many smaller airports (even as far south as Florence, Italy) were closed. Highways in Denmark were treacherous, as were roadways across much of the Netherlands, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. In Rome, the city’s fabulous fountains iced over and snow was swirling around the Colosseum.

According to the weather forecasts, it does not look like the problems will go away soon. In fact, this may go down as the coldest December in the United Kingdom since weather statistics have been kept on an official basis. If you are planning on traveling to the UK or Europe for Christmas, bring plenty of patience, prepare for traffic jams and expect canceled flights. Most of all dress warm, wear layers and bring a winter coat. Leave those flip-flops at home and wear waterproof boots.

Click for the ThereArePlaces Website

Rome Riots and Berlusconi’s Vote

December 14, 2010 on 10:15 am | In Italy, Italy travel, ThereArePlaces.com, rome travel, things travelers need to know, travel, travel alert | Comments Off

Italy’s embattled Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, survived a no-confidence vote in the Italian Parliament today. Just a few day’s ago it looked certain that he would lose this vote and that his government would be dissolved and elections held. However, the vote supported his continuing in office and this enraged many of the citizens of Italy, particularly those in their twenties.

In Rome, dissatisfaction with the result of the vote lead to rioting, which was focused in the areas popular with tourists. Other demonstrations were held in Milan, Palermo, Genoa and in other locations around the country. It is unclear at this time whether the demonstrations were one-time events of if they will continue over the next few weeks. See this AFP article at Yahoo news for an excellent recap of the situation.

Travelers planning on visiting Rome or other cities in Italy over the next week or two should pay close attention to this situation and check local news sources in Italy for more information about the latest developments.

Click for the ThereArePlaces Website

EU-Wide Strike on September 29, 2010

August 25, 2010 on 10:09 am | In Europe travel, France Travel, Germany travel, Greece Travel, Italy travel, Spain Travel, england travel, strikes and travel | Comments Off

On September 29, 2010 many of Europe’s trade unions are planing an EU-wide protest against the austerity measures imposed by governments in the region. For more details see this excellent article published by the European Voice.

While numerous pan-European actions are still being considered, there are currently plans for strikes in Spain, Italy, Portugal and a mass demonstration in Brussels (that could exceed 70,000 participants).

If you plan on traveling in the EU during this period, be prepared for some inconvenience. We recommend avoiding Brussels on September 29, as the demonstration is being held in advance of a meeting of the EU Finance Ministers in the city on the 30th and 31st of September.

Click for the ThereArePlaces Website

Snow in Rome?

February 12, 2010 on 7:49 am | In Italy, Italy travel, ThereArePlaces.com, country travel information, rome travel, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel weather warning | 1 Comment

Today Rome experienced a rare snowfall that closed the Coliseum and a local airport. Although the amount of snow was minor, more may fall in the next 24 to 36 hours. See this article from Bloomberg in Business Week for more details.

Click for the ThereArePlaces Website

Venice Underwater

December 23, 2009 on 7:11 pm | In Italy travel, ThereArePlaces.com, things travelers need to know, travel warnings, travel weather warning | Comments Off

Venice is undergoing serious flooding due to a seasonal combination of tides and significant rain. See this article from the AP that details the problem. If you had been planning a quick Christmas holiday in Venice, we recommend a change in plans.

In a somewhat humorous note, the AP coverage (unless now corrected) shows a Google map of Rome, (where the AP story was filed), rather than a map of Venice, which is the geographic focus of the story.

Click for the ThereArePlaces Website

Next Page

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