Best Blogs of the Week
I read a lot of travel blogs every week. Every day, even. Since I’m constantly coming across good reads, I’ve decided to highlight some of the best and most interesting posts, photos, videos and general blogging gems from all over the web that I’ve discovered in the past week.
Though I try to read a diverse sampling of things, there’s no way that I can possibly get to it all. So, if you have an interesting post that you’d like me to check out and consider for next week, please let me know in the comments! Who knows? Maybe I’ll fall in love with it. At the very least, I’ll leave you my two cents in a comment.
What I'm Reading
Lorna gets some good advice and insight from some unlikely sources — from the little people in her life; from kids. Children often surprise us with their inquisitiveness and excitement about life, whether it's exploring a local museum or wanting to take a daytrip to Hollywood from Arizona. But there are things to be learned from their enthusiasm, as Lorna points out in this post. My favorite lesson? To use your “magination.”
The folks over at Trans-Americas recently were in Antarctica, and got up close and personal with a lot of the marine life. Jealous? Yeah, me too. But be prepared to become even more jealous when you check out their amazing pictures. If you didn't want to go to Antarctica before, I'll bet you will now. (To read their first post about Antarctica, go here.)
It's likely you've at least heard of Petra before. It's also likely that you've seen photos of the ancient city's famous Treasury building, hewn into a cliff, before (hint: they used it in “Indian Jones and the Last Crusade”). Todd had seen all these things, too, and had a vision of Petra built up in his mind. And the experience — complete with a walk through a winding canyon and a donkey ride — did not disappoint. This place is definitely getting added to my bucket list.
Lindsay recently went to a lecture given by Andrew Zimmern, hoping to come away with a better understanding of the Travel Channel personality and the intention of his show, “Bizarre Foods.” She came away with that and more. Here, she sums up Zimmern's talk, from delving into the transformative power of travel, to talking about being a jerk abroad, to why Zimmern eats such weird things. Definitely a good read worth your time.
Glaciers, deserts, creepy crawlies and vicious mammals — Argentina definitely has all of these. But Keith highlights some different ways for travelers to die in Argentina that perhaps you haven't considered. Like Death by Beef.
And now time for a bit of shameless self-promotion. Last week, I was featured over at y Travel Blog for randomly “winning” their weekly “Post Your URL” day on Facebook (it happens every Friday if you're interested). My prize was an interview on their site, and they asked some really good questions! Check it out if you're interested to learn more about me.
What in the World?
Bad winter weather has holiday travel snarled across the European continent. A bad winter storm that struck suddenly over the weekend is still wreaking havoc in London, where Heathrow Airport was still mostly shut down on Monday. Travelers are angry that the cleanup isn't moving along at a quicker pace, since most other European airports got things flowing normally again on Monday. Train travel has also been bogged down because of the storm, and people trying to get home for the holidays are (understandably) unhappy and growing ever more impatient.
The U.N. failed to mediate very much between North Korea and South Korea over the weekend, and South Korea went on to carry out military drills on Monday despite the North's warning of retaliation. South Korea evacuated some areas near its land border with the North, and had those living on islands move into underground bunkers in case the North made good on its threats. North Korea was all bark and no bite, however, and backed down from attack. Instead, it's now supposedly offering up concessions on its nuclear program. North Korea has played this game before, though, when it wanted something, and usually doesn't follow through. The South is playing it safe, and is readying for an attack from the North.
Plans are under way to build an international airport to serve Cambodia‘s Angkor temples within the next couple of years. The planned Siem Reap International Airport will be located 25 miles east of Angkor Wat, Cambodia's main tourist attraction. Construction is set to begin in mid-2011, with operations to start in late 2015. When it opens, the airport will be able to handle 4 million passengers a year, and a planned expansion will raise that number to 15 million. Cambodia currently has about 2.3 million visitors per year, with about half of them visiting the temples.
President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a nuclear arms treaty way back in April to cap nuclear weapons and reinstate weapons inspections in order to try to reset the relationship between the former Cold War foes. There was one catch, however — Congress had to approve the New START treaty, by a 2/3 vote in the Senate. In the current political climate, Obama is having a tough time convincing enough cranky senators to approve the treaty. What sounds like a pretty good deal to me (lessen the number of nukes, restart inspections, and play nice again) is getting bogged down in partisanship and politics. Ugh.
A powerful storm is currently pounding California, bringing drenching rain, heavy snow and high winds. That's right, rain, wind AND snow, all in one nice pre-Christmas package. Virtually the whole state has been affected by the storm system, and forecasters are warning that the worst is yet to come. Even stronger storms could dump another 5-10 inches of rain on the state today and tomorrow. Fears are now turned to major flooding and landslides, since some areas of the state have received more than a foot of rain.
A wedding reception in Brazil turned deadly when the groom announced he had a “surprise” for everyone, and then shot his new wife, his best man, and then himself. They all died. Motive for the sudden killings was unknown, though authorities say it was most likely premeditated, since the groom stashed the gun in his father's truck. So sad.
On Monday, Venezuela‘s congress passed a law that extends rules for broadcast media to the Internet, and bars some types of online messages. Messages that “disrespect public authorities,” “incite or promote hatred or crimes,” or are aimed at creating “anxiety” in the population are henceforth banned from the Internet. Opponents say the law could be restrictive of free speech, and questions remain over how the measure will be enforced.
A massive oil pipeline explosion over the weekend killed 28 people in the town of San Martin Texmelucan in the Mexican state of Puebla. 32 homes were also destroyed in the blast, and 83 more were damaged. Authorities say thieves attempting to siphon cruide caused a leak in the pipeline, and the spilled oil was later ignited by a spark from an unknown source.
Earth Striking Back
Speaking of all this terrible weather all over the world, 2010 has set a record of being the worst year as far as natural disasters go in at least a generation. Estimates are that 260,000 people died in natural disasters around the world in 2010, compared to only 15,000 in 2009. Admittedly, 2010 was a pretty terrible year, beginning with the devastating earthquake in Haiti, moving on to the searing heat in Russia and massive flooding the in the Middle-East, and moving on to earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions in Asia. The world has not been kind this year. But, experts say a lot of it is our own fault for constructing poorly-built, overcrowded cities along dangerous fault lines and in flood zones, and for contributing so much to global warming.
What do you think — are we asking for it?
Today's round-up was sponsored by air tickets from fly.com/uk.