Bath in Beer

Bath in Beer!! Yes, that old tale about it being therapeutic has been around since Cleopatra I believe

Beer at U.S. Airports
The quality of economy air travel deteriorates every year. However, there is one glimmer on the horizon where things have actually improved - airport beer outlets. Within many airports you are no longer forced to settle for the local mass produced chemically enhanced beer. Today travellers have access to local breweries that in some airports have outlets, one even doing the brewing on-site.

Being delayed at these airports has suddenly become a lot more enjoyable! Also with so many budget carriers charging for all the extras like food and drink, once on board, best to fill the tank and bladder at these better airports.

Martial Arts for Cabin Crew?

In the bad old days of bad behaviour onboard aircraft, flight attendants were just armed with a few withering put-downs and perhaps a killer smile. Forget that. These days push your luck over drinks trolley generosity and you might get a Kung Fu chop.

Hong Kong Airlines has spearheaded the way by making the learning of the martial art of ‘wing chun’ compulsory for all cabin crew.

The airline says it has to tackle at least three disruptive passengers every week plus the training is perfect for honing fitness. Not to mention, “wing chun can be used in small confined spaces, so is ideal for airplanes”. The airline’s media rep said that female crew-members can’t usually “handle a fat guy, particularly if he is drunk” but because of the training it’s now “quite easy”.


Museums Around the World
I don't know about you, but when I travel I like to visit museums. My preferences are for technical orientated museums, but I also like museums conserving unusual themes - example the Delhi Toilet museum!!.

We have a page on one of our websites which has started to list some. We would be interested to near from you with suggestions of museums we could highlight?

Europe and its many Statitical and Geographical wonders

Lonely Planet’s Europe book reveals an amazing list of Euroepan superlatives, starting with the statistical stuff, there's the world's largest country (Russia), which boasts the deepest lake (Lake Baikal) and the longest river (Volga). There's the largest island (Greenland); and the smallest country (the Vatican).

Andorrans have the world's highest life expectancy (83 years), Moscow has more billionaires than any other city, and Scotland has the highest proportion of natural redheads.

Slovenia has the oldest vine in the world, Armenia is home to the last Caucasian leopards and Malta's megalithic temples are the oldest freestanding structures.

And if that doesn't impress you, there's the astounding contribution that Europe has made to global culture and science."

With that collection of superlatives, an armchair traveller sitting down with The Europe Book is convinced to explore some more and in this publisher's inimitable way, the journey is beautifully illustrated with photographs from every corner of the Continent.

But this is not just a good looking coffee table tome, but comprehensive facts and figure summary for as many countries as there are states in America are delivered with quirky and engaging writing, and skilfully avoids the mix of dull lists and rhapsodic travelese often generated in this corner of the publishing world.

Broken into manageable bites, readers can graze on any given country's landscape, history, people, marketplace, natural beauty, ecotourism, wild things, and myths and legends,  and each comes with a grab-bibliography of film literature and architecture reference, plus a recommendation on essential experiences.

And random facts: Andorra is "rucked and buckled" and before the skiing boom had a population of just 6000; Moldova spends the largest proportion of its budget on education than any country in the world; Montenegro's people are among Europe's tallest, second only to the Dutch . . .

The book doesn't shy from predicting how the future will unfold.  In a section called "Where now?" The Europe Book expands on the idea of continually changing borders as its members shuffle for position.

"At its eastern limits, Europe is generally accepted as meeting Asia at the Ural Mountains (for this book we've included the whole of Russia).

"To the south, some geographers cut Europe off at the Black Sea and the Bosphorus, but political and cultural common ground make a more interesting border below Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan."  "On the other flanks, the Atlantic and Mediterranean split Europe from the Americas and Africa."

"Internally, Europe's borders have merged and diverged over the years. Throughout history, wars and ideologies have created empires and dynasties, unions and alliances."  "It is hard to believe that less than a lifetime ago the continent was a bloody battleground at war with itself and the world."

"Or that a physical and symbolic wedge such as the Iron Curtain really bisected Europe, separating East from West."

"Today the focus is on coalition, expressed by many countries' eagerness to join the European Union. And yet not all wish to accede, and so the borders within this peninsula continue to shift."

"There's no doubt Europe is an awe- inspiringly rich place, with global achievements, a fascinating history and plenty to titillate."  "For any globetrotter, it's considered a must-see, a place to be 'done' at least once. But it's rather like an onion – its multiple layers make it simply impossible to digest in one bite."

"More temptingly (and with less tears), it's an endless pass-the-parcel just begging to be unwrapped time and time again, as magical and exciting as you'd expect from the home of Father Christmas."

The only logical response is to step out and buy a ticket to . . . Now, where was that again?

The Europe Book, Lonely Planet, in hard back will cost you $79.99.

EUROPE AT A GLANCE (An extract from The Europe Book)





SMALLEST COUNTRIES: Yes, grand things really do come in small packages – the Vatican is the smallest country in the world, followed by Monaco. Whether it's popes or playboys, no one can question the influence that these countries have on the international stage.

LARGEST COUNTRY: From one extreme to another – at 17 million square kilometres Russia is the largest country in the world.

MUSICAL HIGH NOTE: Famous for its sensational sounds, Vienna's Staatsoper is the place to hear classical music and opera in Europe.

BEST BITE: If your smile needs a little tweak, thank Liechtenstein for being the world's largest exporter of dentures.

BALMIEST BEACH-HOPPING: With 1400 islands, of which only 170 are inhabited, sandy paradise is only a boat ride away in the Greek Islands.

SPOOKIEST SPOT: For serious shivers, Transylvania wins fangs down with blood-sucking vampires, werewolves and Count Dracula himself – make sure you don't forget your garlic!

PRETTIEST PICTURE: Thanks to mouthwatering art, beautiful buildings and a sexy populace, Italy is unquestionably the best-looking country in Europe.

HIGHEST MOUNTAIN: With towering twin peaks, one 5642 metres and the other 5621 metres, Russia's Mt Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe.

BEST UNDERWATER ACTION: Caves, tunnels, reefs, genuine wrecks, a scuppered tugboat and marvellous marine life make Malta and Gozo's dive spots the best in Europe.

NOISIEST COUNTRY: After Japan, Spain is the noisiest country in the world. A quarter of all Spaniards are exposed to more than the 65 decibels deemed acceptable by the World Health Organisation. Ssssh

TALLEST GENE POOL: For tall, blonde and handsome look no further than the Netherlands, where the average height for a man is 1.8 metres.

BRAVEST MENU CHOICE: Hakarl (rotten shark meat) served with a welcome shot of potent brennivin (schnapps) is one of Iceland's more curious snacks, and a bold choice in any language.

LONGEST RIVER: Europe's longest river, the Volga, flows a mighty 3700km from the Valdai Hills, northwest of Moscow, south to the Caspian Sea.

MOST MULTICULTURAL CITY: With more than 300 languages spoken every day in London, the English capital buzzes with multiculturalism.
MOST UNASSUMING NATURAL BEAUTY: According to local legend, when God was creating the world he saved the best bits for Georgia.  With snowcapped mountains, raging rivers, lush fauna and a medley of national parks, who's to argue?




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