Skiers across Europe will be delighted with the news of an extended ski season across the continent thanks to record snow depths at this late stage of the season. What is normally the tail end of spring ski season will be extended a bit longer as skiers rush to take advantage of an epic season across the board.
There are still nine resorts open in France, mostly offering skiing on glacier pistes. Val d’Isere and Tignes are boasting the most premium conditions with firm snow that is over 300cm deep. In Austria, Sölden is running about two-thirds of their lift capacity, providing skiers with the chance to experience the perfect combination of warm and sunny weather partnered with deep spring snow conditions. A forecast for clear skies over the Swiss Alps in the coming weeks promises skiers some excellent ski conditions. Ten of Switzerland’s most popular resorts are offering uplift for glacier skiing next week, with Zermatt operating 16 of their 52 lifts for the high elevation opportunities. Over in Italy, Cervinia is still offering all 15 of its lifts for its customers wanting to take advantage of the 430cm base depth of snow on its highest peaks.
Although the conditions are not as favorable across the pond, there are limited resorts in North America still in business. British Columbia’s Whistler resort will be operating until May, with Blackcomb Glacier seeing most of the action. Resorts in Summit County, Colorado are also still operating on a limited basis.
In only one year, BofI Holding’s chairman of the board Paul Grinberg visited 99 of the 100 restaurants on the official 2017 list of the “100 Best Restaurants in the World.” Yeah, it’s pretty safe to say Mr. Grinberg is one of the business world’s most intense foodies.
Thanks to Grinberg’s job, he has to travel pretty much year round (and it also doesn’t hurt that he has plenty of disposable income to throw towards fine-dining experiences). In addition to testing out restaurants on the official list, Grinberg has visited hundreds of other Michelin-starred eateries over the past decade.
So, with all this experience eating around the world, what are some of Grinberg’s top picks for hungry tourists? One Grinberg’s all-time favorites Peruvian restaurant Maido at 399 Calle San Martin Street in Lima. Grinberg says he adores how the chefs at Maido are able to seamlessly blend the traditional flavors of Peru with Japanese cuisine. A few other honorable mentions on Grinberg’s list include Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet in Shanghai, Le Calandre in Rubano, and Alinea in Chicago.
Grinberg said he was inspired to start his fine-dining trek around the world just 12 years ago when he visited the highly-reviewed Le Bernardin at 155 W 51st Street in Manhattan. The experience at this restaurant was so exquisite that Grinberg decided to dedicate a large portion of his finances to eating at the world’s best restaurants.
In interviews with the press, Grinberg revealed a few of the odd things he had to do to ensure he visited as many of this year’s best-reviewed restaurants as possible. Some of interesting things Grinberg had to do include traveling 12 hours by plane for one meal, eating two dinners in one evening, and gulping down sushi rolls for dinner every day for one whole week.
Speaking of sushi, the only restaurant on the 100 best list Grinberg hasn’t visited is Sushi Saito in Tokyo’s Minato district. Even though Grinberg called dozens of times before his visit to Japan, he still wasn’t able to get into this exclusive restaurant.
An attraction in Copenhagen’s Harbor is about to make a huge splash. Architecture firm Kengo Kuma & Associates has revealed preliminary drawings of a futurist and luxurious public pool at Copenhagen’s new Waterfront Culture Center. The Japanese firm won the competition to design and build the aquatic center, featuring a myriad of indoor and outdoor pools that cascade down into the awaiting sea. A network of glass pools will be intertwined with brick pyramids that guests can frolick about.
Located on an unused artificial island in Copenhagan’s harbor, the new Waterfront Culture Center will also feature spaces for other activities designed to promote health and physical activity. The center will be the focus of the Christiansholm island, which is aiming to be a central part of the attempt to revitalize Copenhagen’s waterfront and provide more recreational and leisure opportunities for visitors and residents alike. The Waterfront Culture Center will join the island’s retail space, food stalls, and science and technology museum. No opening date has been released for the pool and center yet.
Yuki Ikeguchi, the project’s lead architect, stated that the goal of the center is to honor the rich sea culture of Denmark’s heritage by seamlessly blending the elements of the land into the elements of the water. The purpose of the center is to not create a standalone building but to create a site that is an extension of the water, offering a multi-dimensional experience to all visitors.
Faith Coates and Alan Hogan do not have a lot of money, but they still have managed to travel the world. They divide their time between Spain, England, Ireland and Cyprus. They do not rent or own any of these homes. They are housesitters. Faith and Alan offer to look after people’s pets and property in exchange for free housing.
Faith never thought that she would be able to travel because of her limited income. She stated that she and her husband have been able to see places that they never thought that they would be able to see. Faith and Alan decided to start traveling after they retired.
They sold their house and most of their belongings and moved to Mexico. They looked online for people who were looking for long-term sittings. They do not pay their bills with housesitting. However, they are able to get free housing and utilities. They pay for their own transportation and food.
Faith and Alan earn an income from promoting their blog. Their life is fun, but it does have challenges. They once had to rush a dog to the vet because it had an allergic reaction. Faith and Alan plan to continue housesitting even if they decide to settle down in one place. They stated that housesitting allows them to try out different places to live.
Ireland is the place that they would like to settle permanently. They stated that it is stunningly beautiful.
A recent announcement from the General Entertainment Authority, the government entertainment agency highlights steps Saudi Arabia is taking to merge with Hollywood culture.
The General Entertainment Authority shared that it is finalizing deals with Cirque du Soleil and AMC Theaters. This aligns with efforts by the Crown Prince to reform the image of Saudi Arabia, a top oil producing nation. These partnerships, along with other new relationships with festival promotion company IMG Artists, touring company Feld Entertainment, and National Geographic Encounter highlight the potential of Saudi Arabia as an investment opportunity and signals change in the culture. Plans to open cinemas by 2030 show the focus on attempts to modernize the culture and add diversity to the economy.
Cirque du Soleil will premier its first show in September to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s National Day. Saudi Arabia is, geographically, the fifth largest state in Asia, with over 28 million people. Currently, the economy is one of the least diversified, relying heavily on extraction of oil resources. Travel to Saudi Arabia has been difficult. Islamic law is strictly enforced and regulations prohibit the public practice of any form of religion other than Islam. Crimes such as adultery, possession of alcohol/drugs, and homosexual acts can be punishable by death. If you follow the customs and rules, it can be an intriguing and unforgettable trip. With adventures and history, it will broaden your travel experiences. These new cultural items, including movies and shows, will continue to work to increase tourism to the country.
The results are in and Singapore’s Changi Airport has won its sixth straight title of world’s best airport according to the well-regarded Skytrax World Airport Awards. Singapore Changi is a first class operation, featuring a vibrant mix of amenities and maximum airport efficiency. In 2017 Changi saw over 62.2 million passengers pass through its gates with more than 373,000 landings and takeoffs. The airport serves an impressive list of over 400 destinations globally, making it a top gateway to the continent of Asia. Changi earned bragging rights in the business traveler sector with over two dozen airport lounges, appealing to frequent travelers from all over the world. Other eclectic amenities include two free 24-hour movie theaters, a relaxing sunflower garden, and a fun rooftop pool, all designed to entertain travelers and provide unique airport experiences. 2019 will feature even more offerings with the opening of the $1 billion Jewel Changi Airport, housing over 300 retail and dining destinations and a massive children’s play area.
Asia boasted housing the top four airports in the world, with Seoul, South Korea’s Incheon airport landing at number two, Japan’s Tokyo Haneda location taking third, and Hong Kong’s airport coming in at fourth. Qatar’s location in Doha rounded out the top five. British Columbia’s airport in Vancouver was the highest rated airport in North America, coming in at number 14 on the list. Denver International Airport in Colorado rated the top airport in the United States with a list showing of 29th place.
It’s no secret that Walt Disney World is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Recent estimates show that the Magic Kingdom welcomes at least 20 million guests every single year. Of course, that’s not including the millions of tourists who visit Disney World’s three other parks (Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and the Animal Kingdom) as well as the Disney Springs shopping area.
First-time travelers are understandably intimidated while planning their vacation to the House of Mouse. Thankfully, travel experts have just revealed a major tip: book your Disney vacation between January and mid-February.
While there’s never a “dead” time at Disney World, guests will notice that there are fewer crowds to contend with during these two months. Visitors should also notice that it’s far more affordable to book a room at an official Disney hotel during these months.
Another nice thing about visiting during this short off-peak season is that the weather is extremely mild, especially if you’re traveling from a chilly state. Average temps in Orlando between January and February are in the high 60s or low 70s Fahrenheit.
The only thing travel experts say you have to double-check is whether there’s a Disney marathon scheduled during the week you’re booking your Orlando vacation. Disney World usually sponsors one half-marathon early in the year that attracts hundreds of joggers.
If you can’t make January or February work for your schedule, fear not! The second best time to book a trip to Disney World is in the autumn far away from holidays like Halloween or Thanksgiving. While it’s not as good as the January-February timeframe, you’ll find better deals during the fall than the peak summer season.
Dog lovers have yet another stop to add to their travel bucket lists: the Dackelmuseum (English: Dachshund Museum) in Passau, Germany. The new Dackelmuseum features thousands of fascinating items relating to…yep, you guessed it, the hotdog!
The museum’s two founders, both of whom are dachshund owners themselves, have been collecting memorabilia associated with the wiener dog for years. After two decades of gathering wiener dog wonders, the two florists decided to quit their day jobs and devote all their energy to the Dackelmuseum. Amazingly, it only took the couple a few months to bring this museum from concept to reality.
There are approximately 4,500 dachshund-related items guests can examine in the 80-square meter museum. The collection includes everything from wiener dog adverts and stamps to fine art and porcelain. Some of the more unique items in the Dackelmuseum include a loaf of bread and a huge golden statue – both in the shape of a dachshund, of course.
Staff members hope everyone who walks through the Dackelmuseum will gain a greater appreciation for the dachshund’s long and important role as a hunting dog. More importantly, however, the Dackelmuseum wants everyone to share in the joy dachshunds bring into our lives.
Most dog experts believe Germans began breeding dachshunds in the Medieval Era to help get rid of pesky badgers. Indeed, the name “dachshunds” translates to “badger dog” in English. For it’s various hunting roles, dachshunds are placed in the Hound Group in dog competitions.
According to the American Kennel Club, the dachshund remains one of the world’s most popular breeds. Most dachshunds have a lifespan of between 13-16 years.
Dackelmuseum formally opened to the public on April 2nd. Visitors can find the Dakelmuseum at Große Messergasse 1 near Dom St. Stephan.
Irish air carrier Ryanair announced this week that it is teaming up with the new Austrian airline LaudaMotion to offer low-cost airfares to travelers flying within Europe. LaudaMotion is an upstart budget airline founded by former Formula One driver Niki Lauda.
The new airline will be based out of Vienna and will serve much of Europe. Ryanair will initially offer a 24.9% stake in the LaudaMotion. Upon approval by the European Union regulatory officials, this stake could rise to as much as 75% of the company.
This move is meant to increase competition in the market space currently dominated by European and international airline giant Lufthansa. LaudaMotion will offer flights from originating points in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria and will travel to popular short-haul vacation destinations. Germany flights will begin this week, with flights from Switzerland launching in April, and Austria beginning in June. Tickets are on sale already with a starting price point of 59 euros (approximately $74).
To promote growth, Ryanair has agreed to lease six of its Boeing 737s to LaudaMotion and an additional 30 more aircraft within the next three years. Ryanair has also committed to providing LaudaMotion with 50 million euros (approximately $61 million) in operational funding. Aviation experts predict that LaudaMotion will grow quickly now that it has access to Ryanair’s established financial resources and aircraft. The big winners in this partnership will be European travelers who will now be provided with greater travel options and lower fares.
According to a survey that took into account a multitude of factors, such as the cost of bread, gas and wine, Singapore is now the most expensive city in the world. Also, due to the tumbling U.S. dollar, the cities of Los Angeles and New York did not rank as highly as they did last year. Finishing in the 14th and 13th spots respectively, these American hotspots were far from the top.
Although some other Asian cities did make the most expensive list, many European cities also cracked the top 10. With Zurich and Paris in a dead heat for the second spot, Oslo, Copenhagen and Geneva also popped up. Although Tokyo has been making these kinds of lists for a very long time now—and even headlining most of them—the Japanese city actually finished in the eleventh spot this year. Directly above Tokyo was the Australian city of Sydney, which shot up a whopping four positions since last year.
As far as the Middle East goes, Tel Aviv was the only city to crack the list. But with geopolitics swirling and churning up quite a storm lately, it seems as if anything could happen with the economies of all cities making this list in 2018. Regardless, it should be interesting to see if Singapore manages to snag the top spot again in 2019!