December 17 (TravelAndy): If you are an Alaska Airlines guest with an ugly sweater to wear, you are in for a treat this holiday season.
Alaska Airlines passengers wearing ugly holiday sweaters to the airport on December 21 will be able to board their flight early.
The airlines’ offer is part of National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day promotions, which it will be celebrating for the second consecutive year. It will include all Alaska and Horizon Air flights across Alaska’s 116-city chain, and will be available to all its flyers and employees for one day.
The celebration is intended for spreading joy among flyers during the holiday season. Passengers can tweet their photos and videos enjoying the holidays, with the hashtags #iFlyAlaska and #UglySweaterDay. The airlines is also playing holiday-themed boarding music and films through the month.
December 16 (TravelAndy): Winter sports enthusiasts all over the world have a reason to cheer as America’s 2018-19 ski season has finally arrived, and the ski resorts are all set to make the most of it.
The mercury dipped below average in November and early December, rendering it conducive for ski resorts to have a good and early start. Numerous winter storms deposited large amounts of snow along the slopes of several resorts, such as Keystone, Breckenridge, and Vail, in Colorado, Snowshoe in Virginia, and Seven Springs and Hidden Valley on Pennsylvania, enabling them to open early. Vail’s Blue Sky Basin opened in the first week of December, making it its earliest opening since 2002.
While the Rockies have had one of the best beginnings in years, thanks to the cold wave it saw a month back, the Northeast too received a considerable portion of snow, with New England standing to benefit from it. In Vermont, Stowe experienced over 60 inches of snow by November-end, preparing vast stretches for the season.
December 15 (TravelAndy): You have heard the legend of Robert the Bruce and the spider where the king gets inspired by the tiny arachnid’s persistence.
Scotland’s national tourism organisation has launched an online interactive map highlighting the the historic sites linked with Robert the Bruce and the Scottish Wars of Independence.
Robert the Bruce, hailed as one of the greatest monarchs of Scotland, led the country to its independence from the English crown in the early 14th century. The map is an attempt to aid travellers in unravelling the history behind the King of Scots by following in his footsteps. Continue reading Trace Robert the Bruce sites with interactive map
December 14 (TravelAndy): Now is a fascinating time to explore Madhya Pradesh, not just because of the diversity it offers in terms of breathtaking landscapes, forest covers, fauna, heritage, and art and handicrafts, but also because it celebrates all of those through festivals, and other cultural performances, while sharing it with the outside world.
Bhopal, the capital city will host ‘Hriday Drishyam’, a two-day musical event from December 15 to 16, to bring together the finest and most loved Indian classical and jazz musicians on the same platform — Hariprasad Chaurasia on flute, Smita Nagdev on sitar, Shruti and Ninad Adhikari on santoor, and the band Golpe Tierra, among several others. The festival, all set to take place at Minto Hall, Shaurya Smarak, Bharat Bhavan, and Iqbal Maidan, has made entrance free for music lovers.
December 16 will see locals and travellers alike getting ready for the ‘Go Heritage Run’ in the exquisite temple town of Orchha. The annual event, organised in different locations every year, is an effort to delve into the cultural depths of the state. The run, slated to start at 6am from Sheesh Mahal, will take the participants through roads and trails sharing glimpses of ‘chhatris’ and temples from the Bundela era.
December 13 (TravelAndy): Perth Airport has introduced sleeping pods at its T1 zone, making it the first airport in Australia with this facility.
The airport has installed eight pods in collaboration with Smarte Carte and Finnish company GoSleep.
According to Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown, the pods would be perfect for passengers who either arrived early or had some time between connecting flights, as they connected their flights in different ways, many with a short stopover. Continue reading Perth Airport introduces sleeping pods for passengers
December 12 (TravelAndy): A nip in the air, and the land of the maharajas beckons one and all to join in its rich festivities — Ranakpur Festival, Winter Festival at Mount Abu, Camel Festival, Kite Festival, and Jaipur Literature Fest, all to be held in the chilly months of December 2018, and January 2019.
Ranakpur, located in the district of Pali, is all set to host the annual Ranakpur Festival, organised by the Department of Tourism, Rajasthan, on December 21 and 22. One of the most loved festivals of the state, it takes visitors, both local and international, to a journey to the depths of the local art and culture through fun activities. The winter nights come alive with cultural performances at the open-air amphitheatre at the Sun Temple, while daytime sees nature hikes at the foothills of the Aravalli range, along with hot air ballooning, tours of the Ranakpur Jain temple, and yoga sessions.
Mount Abu’s Winter Festival will see thousands pouring in from all corners of the world on December 29 and 30, like every year. The festival offers an intimate insight into Rajasthan’s rich heritage — gorgeous handicrafts, scrumptious food, literature, eye-catching performances, even kite-flying and rowing contests, all set against the stunning background of Mount Abu. While the festival kicks off with a magnificent procession, it ends with floating of earthen lamps in the water, a tradition known as ‘Deepdaan’, in the evening, followed by a fantastic display of fireworks.
December 11 (TravelAndy): All roads lead to Kerala at this time of the year, what with the advent of the Theyyam season, the International Film Festival of Kerala, and a host of other festivities.
The 23rd International Film Festival of Kerala will see Thiruvananthapuram, the host city, turn into a film hub as filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts from across the globe make a beeline for their favourite films. The festival, organised by the Kerala Staye Chalachitra Academy on behalf of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala, will continue through December 13, and screen 190 films.
Theyyam, an ancient dance form practised in the temples of Northern Kerala’s Malabar region, invokes the Gods through detailed and fearful makeup, costumes, masks, and physical movements. Art lovers from different parts of the world throng to Kerala every year to experience these spectacular performances believed to be have begun over eight centuries ago. The season usually lasts between October-November and May, depending on the Malayalam calendar. Thekkumbadu Koolom Thazhekkavu Bhagavathy Temple will host Theyyam performances from December 16 to 21, while dancers will perform at Muthuvadathu Kalari from December 25 to 26. Location for some of the January performances include Chirakutty Puthiyakavu (Vayalile Kottam) from January 1 to 8, 2019, Pariyaram Sree Udayapuram Temple from January 1 to 8, Chekkicheri Bhagavathy Devasthanam on January 8 and 9, and Kannom Sree Anjuthengil Aviar Paradevatha Temple from January 11 to 13.
December 10 (TravelAndy): The most wonderful time of the year is also among one of the best to visit New York City, when it offers an extensive fare of holiday events to choose from – spectaculars, ballets, holiday markets, comedy, and music.
Everyone’s holiday favourite ‘The Nutcracker’ alone is all set to be presented in a variety of forms. One can catch ‘George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker’, running since 1954, at New York City Ballet through December 30, or New York Theater Ballet’s one-hour version at Florence Gould Hall between December 14 and 16. While Mark Morris’s Pop Arty ‘The Hard Nut’ will show from December 14 to 23, Ditto Company XIV’s burlesque ‘Nutcracker Rouge’ will run through Jan 13, 2019. ‘The Bang Group: Nut/Cracked’ from December 20 to 22, ‘Los Nutcrackers: A Christmas Carajo’ through December 15, and ‘Micro-Nutcracker’ on December 16 are some of the deconstructed takes on the classic.
Spectaculars are a tradition the city adores, and the Rockettes return to the Radio City Music Hall with their annual ‘Christmas Spectacular’, to run through January 1, 2019. ‘A Harlemettes Holiday’, a pageant produced by the Harlem School of Arts will run from December 14 to 16.
December 9 (TravelAndy): Come winter, and Vancouver finds itself high on holiday spirit. This season, like all other years, the Canadian city is busy spreading yuletide cheer with spectacular events — be it the Aurora Winter Festival, Vancouver Christmas market, ‘A Charlie Brown Holiday Double Bill’, or ‘VanDusen Botanical Garden presents Festival of Lights 2018’, ‘Lights of Hope’, and ‘Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas’, among several others.
A celebration of magical winter experiences, the Aurora Winter Festival creates an imaginary village by the North Pole studded with amusement rides, Santa’s Workshop, skating on the Frozen River, live entertainment, Christmas market, fantastic light displays, and food. The festival, running from November 23 to December 30, at Concord Pacific Place, is a winter wonderland both kids and adults would enjoy.
Vancouver Christmas Market, one of the most-awaited holiday events, returns to entertain visitors between November 21 and December 24, at Jack Poole Plaza, from 11.30am to 9.30pm. Whether it is a floating Santa underneath the Olympic Cauldron, a gleaming 30-foot tall walk-in Christmas tree, a 20-foot long tunnel decked up with 10,000 lights, or German and Spanish delicacies, and handcrafted gifts, this market is hard to resist.
December 8 (NTIN): Amid fears of further street violence by the “yellow vest” group, the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris is expected to remain closed today, media reports said. Some other attractions could remain closed too.
Across France, 89,000 police officers will be on duty and armoured vehicles will be deployed in the capital, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was quoted as saying by BBC.
Police have asked shops and restaurants on Paris’s Champs-Elysees to remain closed on the day, reports said.
Some museums will also remain closed.
The French administration has blinked in the face of the Yellow Jacket protests with France Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday declaring a roll back of the fuel tax hike that had resulted in violent protests across the country, latest reports said.
According to the BBC, the suspension in the tax hike will be in place for six months. Philippe said the people’s anger must be heard and the measures would only be implemented after debate with the affected people.
December 7 (NITN): Etihad Airways has launched its first ever scheduled flights linking Abu Dhabi and Barcelona.
The inaugural flight, EY49, departed Abu Dhabi earlier this week carrying a special delegation including dignitaries, media representatives, influencers and senior members of Etihad Airways’ management team.
The UAE national airline is celebrating the occasion in style by hosting a special event held at the historic Capella dels Angels, a sixteenth-century Gothic building which is now part of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), attended by leading figures from the local government, diplomats, media, corporate partners and travel trade.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We have been tremendously excited about the launch of this service and what better time to arrive here than the month Etihad celebrates its 15th anniversary.
December 6 (TravelAndy): Amtrak has launched a deal offering rooms for two for the price of one for a select range of destinations across America. The offer is valid for journeys made between January 7 and May 23, 2019.
The sale is applicable for Amtrak’s roomettes, private rooms with sleeping accommodations. Some of the other facilities include access to the Amtrak Metropolitan lounges, complimentary snacks and beverage, fresh bed linen and towels, Wi-Fi, showers, climate control, individual reading lights, work areas at some stations, as well as an attendant to look after the passengers’ needs.
Large panoramic windows and spacious seating by day that can be converted into two individual beds at night ensure travellers can enjoy the beautiful landscapes from the comfort of their private rooms during the chilly winter nights or pleasant spring mornings. Continue reading Amtrak offers 2-for-1 roomettes for select US destinations