The European Union’s 112 Emergency Hotline

February 12, 2009 on 8:59 am | In Europe travel, France Travel, Germany travel, Spain Travel, country travel information, travel news | Comments Off

In 1991, the European Union insituted a 112 emergency telephone helpline, but it has had a rocky history.  Service seems to be shaping up.  A current review of the system and some of its remaining problems has been published in DW-World.  The article might be of interest to you if you plan to travel in Europe, especially if you plan to drive in Europe.

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Some Areas Of Tibet Closed Until The End Of March

February 12, 2009 on 8:49 am | In China travel, travel news, travel restrictions | Comments Off

Although weather makes winter travel  in Tibet difficult anyway, portions of Tibet are being closed by the Chinese government ahead of the 50th Anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising.  Several areas of the country are never available for tourism, but a number that were open recently have been closed to avoid any of the problems that occured last year on the anniversary date.  See this article from Yahoo and the Associated Press for more information.

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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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Wild Weather Continues in Europe

February 10, 2009 on 11:04 am | In France Travel, Spain Travel, UK Travel, country travel information, travel news | Comments Off

Yesterday, we reported on the storms expected to hit the UK and Europe and they appear to have been doozies, influencing air travel, land travel, ferries and most other conveyances that would be used by tourists.  Read this article from Bloomberg for all the details.


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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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