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Posts Tagged ‘Travel and Tourism’

Homeless tours show visitors dark side of Prague | Reuters

December 18, 2012 Leave a comment

55-year-old homeless Honza B. smokes a used cigarette butt as he escorts his tour group in Prague(Reuters) – With his gravelly voice, bushy hair, an old suitcase in one hand and a pinched cigarette butt in the other, Honza Badalec is not your typical tour guide.

On his walks through Prague, Badalec steers clear of the picturesque ancient castle. Nor does he stop on the centuries-old Charles Bridge, a bustling attraction for the average visitor.

Instead, the 55-year-old veers off the well-worn cobblestones and into the rougher edges of the Czech capital, a side of one of Europe‘s most visited cities that many would rather avoid.

“I didn’t choose to be homeless,” he said after completing an evening tour.

“But I’m trying to do the best I can. I don’t steal, I don’t cheat people, I don’t abuse welfare benefits. The tours are great. They are a chance for me to explain myself better.”

Since August, about 430 people have paid 200 crowns ($10.31) to visit the places where some of Prague’s homeless gather.

Half of the proceeds go to the guide and the rest to student-run agency Pragulic, set up after it won a 1,500-euro social entrepreneurship award.

SAFETY NET DISAPPEARING

Prague’s homeless population, estimated at around 4,500, has not changed significantly in the last three years despite two recessions in the Czech Republic during that period.

Yet a common sight for tourists arriving at the city’s main railway station is groups of homeless people sharing cartons of wine.

There are around 600,000 homeless people in Europe, with about a tenth living “rough” on the streets, according to estimates cited by the U.N. Human Settlements Programme.

via Homeless tours show visitors dark side of Prague | Reuters.

Give Greece a Chance

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

You have to admire a country that can go through all that Greece has in the last few years and still be able to come up with a slogan like Give Greece a Chance. It might even have prised a laugh from a normally sour John Lennon. (Does Greece have to pay Yoko for the rights?).

In any case, Greece is Changing is a new campaign founded by a group of the country’s leading businesspeople. In their own words:

We are a network of like-minded businesspeople, colleagues and friends who cannot be silent observers as the dialogue around Greece’s road to recovery deteriorates and the substance is often overshadowed by stereotypes.

As we enter a fifth year of recession we want to rebalance the agenda. Inject some more facts into a debate sometimes overrun by fiction.

We have absolutely no political aspirations and we do not serve nor promote any special interest, personal or professional.

We are a group of people who hope to voice the concerns of those other Greeks that aspire to a constructive role within Europe, that are Europeans, that will deliver on their country’s commitment, that have already made sacrifices and are ready to do more and that just need a chance to change Greece.

Click here or on the graphic above to go the site and let’s all give Greece a chance!

Strange Random Greece Quote:

I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. – Barack Obama

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Rebranding Cape Town’s ‘Hoods’

December 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Long Street (Cape Town)

Cape Town is currently undergoing a historic rebranding as a result of the Name Your Hood initiative, which aims to provide local communities a voice and an identity, as well as provide locals and tourists alike a simpler way to navigate the city.

As part of the initiative, one of Cape Town’s hippest and up and coming areas has been named The Loop and includes the immediate blocks surrounding Bree Street and part of Loop Street, from Strand Street up to Buitensingel Street.

According to Nick Seewer, CEO of Pepper Club Luxury Hotel & Spa, which is located in The Loop area, the rebranding initiative should be welcomed and supported by hospitality players in the area, as many local and international tourists aren’t actually aware of the different neighbourhoods in the city bowl.

“Cape Town is marketed as a single destination to tourists when in fact each suburb has its own unique character. The history of each location and the people of the individual communities have their own distinct ‘flavour’ which differentiates each neighbourhood from the next.

“The majority of visitors tend to think of Long Street as the ‘heart’ of the city due to its reputation, when in fact Bree Street has the same potential, along with a diverse history and often less crowds. The Loop caters for various interests, whether it is art, history, food or shopping,” says Seewer.

via Rebranding Cape Town’s ‘Hoods’ – Cape Business News.

Strange Random Name Quote:

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.” – Chinese Proverb

 

 

 

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Flying down to Rio

March 29, 2011 1 comment

It’s the latest movie from the makers of Ice Age. There’s a lot of beautiful scenery (Rio de Janeiro), beautiful wildlife, celebrity voices and of course, several choruses of Mas Que Nada. As a bonus, we’ve added the trailer in Brazilian Portuguese for a bit of extra regional flavour. Keep an eye out for several differences between the two versions. No, no prizes, I’m afraid, just the glory 🙂

Strange Random Brazil Quote:

Latins are tenderly enthusiastic. In Brazil they throw flowers at you. In Argentina they throw themselves.” – Marlene Dietrich (German-born American Actress, 1901-1992)

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London Street Photography

February 16, 2011 1 comment

Bob Collins street photographyExcellent slideshow as a taste of the exhibition London Street Photography, due to open at the Museum of London this Friday 18th.

On the right is our favourite, by Bob Collins. Any ideas what was happening?

See the full slideshow here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12464386

Strange Random Photography Quote:

The photograph itself doesn’t interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality. – Henri Cartier Bresson

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London walks: Bermondsey ghost tour | Travel | guardian.co.uk

January 10, 2011 3 comments

London walks: Bermondsey ghost tour.

Follow storyteller Neckinger Nell as she brings Bermondsey’s streets to life with her ghostly tales of the lives and legends that make up the rich history of this traditionally working-class neighbourhood. This walking tour can be downloaded on to your mp3 player or mobile and used as an audio guide on location along with the map, which you can print out or use on your phone.

via London walks: Bermondsey ghost tour | Travel | guardian.co.uk.

More City podcasts available here.

Strange Random Ghost Quote:

Science fiction is no more written for scientists than ghost stories are written for ghosts. – Brian Aldiss

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Plnnr.com – plan your perfect stay!

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Most of us use the Internet nowadays for holidays, whether it’s for booking flights, hotels or just finding information about the place we’d like to visit.

So it’s no surprise to find new online services such as Plnnr, which can take your idea and turn it into a full city tour, complete with hotel booking and the flexibility to move at your own pace.

Step one is choosing your destination. At the moment, there are 10, including London; Dublin, Paris, Toronto, New York and ahem, Barcelona. Then choose your dates, the type of trip you’d like (with kids, cultural, best of), the intensity (from chilled to manic) and the luxury level (does anyone travel less than 5-star nowadays??) and press the button. Et voilà!

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This is what your plan looks like for a Best Of, Relaxed, 3-Star getaway in January in Barcelona. Each day’s itinerary is marked in a different colour, with the numbers of each sight explained in the left column. By clicking on the different options there, you can tell Plnnr that you’d like to spend more (or less) time visiting a specific area, that it’s a “must-see” or even that you’d like to miss it out altogether. Plnnr automatically updates your itinerary, moving visits to another slot on the same day or a different one where appropriate. If this still isn’t what you want, you can refine your requirements until you get the perfect plan. Definitely worth a try for your next break!

Here’s the video from the site explaining what Plnnr does:

Strange Random Holiday Quote:

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking – Earl Wilson

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