Awesome Tips Bucket List Worthy
•Volcanic Ash Still Wreaking Havoc: The great clouds of ash released by the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull (pronounced EYE-a-fyat-la-jo-kutl) volcano continue to ground thousands of flights flying in and out of airports in Northern and Central Europe, including London, Paris, and Berlin. Transatlantic flights are expected to be cancelled or delayed until at least Saturday – and possibly longer since the volcano is still erupting.
•More Beans Please!: Passengers cooling their heels at London’s Gatwick Airport (waiting for the volcanic ash to dissipate) can seek refuge at the newly installed Heinz relaxation lounge whose ketchup red walls invoke the company’s most famous product. The concept behind the lounge is to soothe harried travelers by offering Heinz comfort food such as baked beans and tomato soup (which are also on sale at both Gatwick’s and Heathrow’s Duty Free shops).
•Horses Benefit from NYC Carriage Ride Price Hikes: New York’s City Council passed a bill that raise the fare for horse-drawn carriage rides while improving conditions for horses. The first in over 20 years, the new fare hike will see prices increase from $34 for the first half hour to $50 for the first 20 minutes. Although tourists might gripe, the increase is for a good cause – it will subsidize the horses’ obligatory five weeks of paid vacation at a stable with surrounding pasture. The bill’s other equine-friendly clauses include limiting the working age of carriage horses to between 5 and 26 years, banning early morning (3am-7am) shifts, and mandating that stalls be spacious enough for their occupants to lie down in.
•Back to Nature (for Free!): Just in time for spring, next week is National Park Week in the U.S. From April 17-25, lovers of the great outdoors will have free access to 392 national parks. Aside from waived entrance fees, visitors can take advantage of special events (such as a guided Moonlight Canoe Trek through Louisiana’s Jean Lafitte National Park) as well as discounts on accommodations, food, and souvenirs within parks’ boundaries.
•Porter and Sunwing Add New Routes: Gearing up for summer, two Canadian airlines are adding new destinations to their pre-existing routes. In addition to its recently inaugurated Toronto-Sudbury flights, beginning June 25 Porter Airlines, will add Toronto-Moncton, Ottawa-Moncton, and Montreal–Halifax routes. Meanwhile, Sunwing Airlines, is adding biweekly flights from Toronto to Amsterdam (July 1-September 9) as well as to Gander and St. John’s, Newfoundland (June 25-September 7).