England and Ireland – The Royal Visit

May 16, 2011 on 5:27 pm | In Ireland travel, Terrorism and travel, The Troubles, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel warnings | Comments Off

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh will embark on a historic four-day visit of Ireland this week and will be in Dublin tomorrow. While many citizens of Ireland welcome the British monarch, the visit is not popular with the dissident republican groups who want Britain out of Ireland.

The security for this event will be massive and ordinary tourists may want to avoid anywhere the Royal Couple will be traveling in Ireland over the remainder of this week.

See this article in the U.K.’s Independent for more details.

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Northern Ireland Police Officer Killed

April 2, 2011 on 2:01 pm | In Ireland travel, Northern Ireland travel, Travel Safety, things travelers need to know, travel alert | Comments Off

A young officer in the Police Service of Northern Ireland was killed by a bomb attached underneath his car as he drove to work in Omagh, County Tyrone. Details are provided in an article by the Guardian. Unfortunately, dissident Republican terrorists appear to be determined to disrupt the power sharing agreement between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. While there were several years of relative peace in Northern Ireland, it appears, potentially, to be drawing near a close as the terrorists have attempted several bombings and shootings in the last year.

We recommend that tourists considering travel to Northern Ireland to exercise caution during their journey, as the danger from Republican terrorists appears to be increasing in frequency and intensity.

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Greece, Ireland and Portugal – Travel Values?

January 20, 2011 on 9:57 am | In Greece Travel, Ireland travel, Spain Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, portugal travel, things travelers need to know, travel news | 1 Comment

We noticed a travel article in the New York Times today whose author indicated that travel to some countries in Europe could be a bargain this year because of difficulties related to the global economic downturn. The article targeted (the links here are to our descriptions of the best places to visit in these countries) Greece, Ireland and Portugal while indicating that Spain may be the next economic trouble spot.

Travel during hard economic times is not without its problems. Flight schedules may be limited, public transportation spotty, critical services may be limited and there may be public demonstrations reflecting the tensions between the government austerity measures and the its citizens’ views of the world.

The upside is that costs may be down, tourism venues should be less crowded and you may be able to find bargains of one sort or another almost every place you visit. In other words, if you intend to travel to any of the countries mentioned, this spring could be a great time for a visit at reduced rates. As always, make sure bargain travel is just that – an opportunity that delivers value for a reduced price.

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More Air Travel Woes in France

December 24, 2010 on 8:53 am | In Europe travel, France Travel, Germany travel, Ireland travel, Paris Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, air travel, england travel, things travelers need to know, travel weather warning | 1 Comment

Winter in Europe seems to be the gift that keeps on giving and one that does not want to go away. Today’s weather-related focus is Paris, where Charles de Gaulle Airport is dealing with two problems. First, heavy snow accumulations on the roof of one of the airport’s terminals has caused its evacuation. Second, the airport is running out of deicing fluid and has asked airlines to cancel flights because of the problem.

Over half of the flights scheduled to arrive or depart from Charles de Gaulle Airport have been canceled with more cancellations expected tomorrow. By the way, Orly, the other Paris airport has enough deicer and has not canceled any flights, so this may be an option for some. Information on the deicing problem at de Gaulle Airport and conditions at several other European airports are described in this article from Bloomberg.

To all of our readers, we wish you a Happy Holiday Season filled with rest, relaxation and good times. May the next year be your best ever.

Thanks for reading our blog and visiting our website ThereArePlaces.com.

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Cold and Snow Continues in the UK and Europe

December 19, 2010 on 9:39 am | In France Travel, Germany travel, Ireland travel, London travel, Scotland travel, UK Travel, air travel, international travel, things travelers need to know, travel weather warning | Comments Off

The weather-related travel misery we noted yesterday continues today in the United Kingdom and Europe. It now looks as if planes might start flying on Monday, but even that is not a sure thing at this point.

See these articles by CNN and Bloomberg for more information. The CNN article has a slide show of winter scenes across Europe that might help you judge the snowfall and how cold it is in some of these locations.

We note that this has been a unique storm in the annals of weather history, but are equally sure that this is no comfort to those stuck because of it.

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More Air Travel Woes – Volcano and Strike

May 10, 2010 on 8:15 am | In Europe travel, Ireland travel, ThereArePlaces.com, air travel, personal travel, strikes and travel, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel warnings, volcano travel warning | 1 Comment

Well, the Eyjafjallajokul Volcano is at it again and it is expected that air travel to and in Europe may be disrupted later this week (see this article at CNN). In addition, the cloud of volcanic ash is causing travel disruptions in the UK especially Ireland, as described in this article from the Clare Herald. Finally, it appears that the ash clouds that were causing problems in Europe last week are now over the eastern Mediterranean according to this article in Haaretz.

It appears that there is continued life in Iceland’s volcano and this may spell trouble for air travelers this summer. If you are going to travel to (and around) Europe this summer, this might be the time to consider travel insurance – but be sure that the policy offers protection from acts of nature (most policies do not provide this type of rider).

If all of that wasn’t enough, the cabin crews of British Airways are at it again, announcing four separate five-day strikes in May and June. The strikes are scheduled to begin on May 18 -22, but we can only hope that the matter is settled before then. See the BBC for more details.

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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.

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The Troubles…again?

March 3, 2010 on 11:10 am | In Ireland travel, Northern Ireland travel, Terrorism and travel, ThereArePlaces.com, personal travel, things travelers need to know, travel warnings | Comments Off

The Republic of Ireland’s Justice Minister indicated that the threat of attacks by dissident Republicans in Northern Ireland is now as high as at any time during the thirty years of the “The Troubles”. See this story for more details.

For those of you unfamililar with the situation, there are many factions in Northern Ireland that are not in favor of reconciliation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Religion and political persuasion are cited as the major differences causing “The Troubles”.

The attacks by various dissident groups increased dramatically in 2009, although the actions have been confined to Northern Ireland. Those of you planning travel in the Republic of Ireland should experience no difficulty with “The Troubles. However, if you are going to travel in the north of the Republic and want cross into Northern Ireland to explore Belfast, the Giants’s Causeway or the Bushmill’s distillery, you should exercise caution in the portion of your travels inside of the borders of Northern Ireland. Check local news, avoid towns where there has been recent activity and avoid any area planning a parade.

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More Floods in Ireland This Week?

December 7, 2009 on 9:30 am | In Ireland travel, things travelers need to know, travel warnings | Comments Off

It looks like it is going to be a wet week in Western Ireland and more flooding may be the result. See this article in the Ireland Times for more details. This may not be a good week to to explore the west, specifially the Galway region. We recommend you redirect your touring to less challenged areas of the Emerald Isle during the next few days.

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Strike in Ireland

November 24, 2009 on 7:55 am | In Ireland travel, ThereArePlaces.com, strikes, things travelers need to know | 1 Comment

The Republic of Ireland was on strike today and it was the largest public strike in 30 years. Ireland’s economy has been particularly hard hit by the downturn and a decline in property values is causing considerable angst in the country. The government has been cutting benefits, pensions and a host of services in order to attempt to balance its budget, but apparently has been doing so with enough consultation with those being influenced by these actions.

It is likely that airports will expereince slowdowns and it that customs services will be significantly understaffed as a result of today’s strike. Be prepared for slow going. Many hospitals have closed to appointments today and the Garda (police) have indicated that speeding tickets will not be given today. While today’s strike will cause difficulty for travelers, it may be just the buildup to further government cuts expected in mid-December and more civil unrest.

If you are planning travel in Ireland, keep an eye on the local press and be prepared for additional strikes in December.

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