This morning, CNN reported that a bomb had killed 14 and injured 20 in a cafe in Marrakesh, Morocco, a town that is a tourist favorite. The cafe, which was packed with tourists, is located on the Place Jemaa el Fna, a popular bazaar area. See this article from CNN for more details. An article from Reuters indicated that the incident may have been the work of a suicide bomber.
All tourist traveling in Morocco should be alert for possible terrorism, as there is a growing tension between the Moroccan monarchy and the citizens of the country. Currently, ThereArePlaces does not provide coverage of Morocco.
The United States Department of State has issued an extremely detailed Travel Warning for those who might want to visit or live in Mexico. It contains the usual note that millions safely visit Mexico each year, as well as the obligatory statement that the Mexican government takes considerable effort to ensure the safety of visitors to Mexico. However, travel to Mexico appears to be increasingly dangerous for the casual traveler, especially those intent on exploring areas outside of tourist zones.
The introduction to the Travel Warning includes this quote: “Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes. Nevertheless, crime and violence are serious problems and can occur anywhere. While most victims of violence are Mexican citizens associated with criminal activity, the security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well.
It is imperative that you understand the risks involved in travel to Mexico and how best to avoid dangerous situations. Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where criminal activity might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable.“
The remainder of the Travel Warning contains much more dire information and highlights the areas and problems that tourist visiting sections of Mexico may encounter. As expected, the most dangerous areas for tourists visiting Mexico are along the U.S. Border, specifically in Northern Baja California, Nogales and Northern Sonora, Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila and Zacatecas, Monterrey and Nuevo Leon, as well as Tamaulipas. The Travel Warning also includes a detailed examination of violence in other parts of Mexico.
If you are planning travel to Mexico, be sure and read the Mexico Travel Warning. The full text is available here from the State Department of the United States.
Late yesterday we launched our new guide to the best places to visit in Chicago
Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect, once said, “Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful city left in the word.” We think Chicago is gorgeous and full of fun attractions. While creating the ThereArePlaces guide we revisited many of the places we used to frequent when we lived in Chicago and decided that the city is better than ever.
Chicago’s geographical setting is sublimely beautiful. Chicago’s planners clearly have spent a lot of time figuring out how to make the city work and they have created a masterpiece. Chicago is a wonderful place for a family vacation, offering every age group a variety of attractions that they will find appealing.
Take a look, and book your tickets, as our Chicago guide is waiting for you.
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.