Happy St Patrick’s Day

Happy St Patrick's Day

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Celebrating will likely be different where you are due to Covid-19 and its lockdown restrictions, but as the world slowly starts to get back to normal, we are reminded of what we miss and how we would usually celebrate this occasion.

There’s always an atmosphere in the air on St Patrick’s Day: people wearing green clothing, leprechauns, overcrowded pubs and Irish bars. Whilst this year will be different, there are plenty of content you can enjoy. Read our blog here, about how to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. You’ll feel nostalgia and excitement for next year. Click here for fun facts on the background of St Patrick’s Day.

There is plenty to keep you occupied during lockdown. In the meantime, everyone at Pilot wishes you a happy St Patrick’s Day!

Written by Kaz Bosali

Commemorating Napoleon

Commemorating Napoleon

Written by Ian Cross, edited by Kaz Bosali

The 5th of May this year will mark the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death on the isolated island of St Helena where he had been exiled after his defeat by the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo.

Although Napoleon remains a divisive figure, plans are underway in France to commemorate the milestone.

Much of the urban footprint of modern Paris, including thoroughfares and monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe, was the work of Napoleon. He also established the Banque de France and the civil and legal “Code Napoleon” which is still in use in France today.

But Napoleon also sewed chaos and carnage throughout Europe caused by expansionist wars.

To find out more, checkout our one hour special: Wellington Versus Napoleon: Aftermath of Waterloo

Discover more about Napoleon’s birth place here

Last Resting Place of Rome’s First Emperor Restored After 1800 Years

Last Resting Place of Rome’s First Emperor Restored After 1800 Years

Written by Ian Cross, edited by Kaz Bosali

The Roman Empire’s first Emperor, Augustus, built his mausoleum when he was only 34 years old, but it was another 40 years before he was laid to rest there.

Caesar’s adopted son and heir left many great monuments in the Eternal City and beyond, but his gigantic cylindrical mausoleum was sacked by the Visigoths in 410, fell into ruin and by the end of the 10th century was little more than an earthen mound overgrown with trees.

Declared an archaeological site by Mussolini, it has now only just been restored after a 12 year project costing more than 12 million Euros.

For further details and tickets visit mausoleodiaugusto.it

Have a read of our study guide on Rome, here

Travel in the COVID-Zone

Travel in the COVID-Zone

Cardiff named UK’s most bike friendly city

Following the cycling booms that occurred during lockdowns right the way across Europe, Cardiff in Wales has been named the UK’s most bike friendly city by route-finding app Komoot!

Participants were asked to rate a range of factors including cycling infrastructure, such as cycle lanes and signage, local cycling facilities, countryside accessibility and their sense of personal safety when it comes to cycling in the city.

The Food of Quarantine

The BBC took a look at the kind of foods being delivered to the rooms of those quarantining around the world. Spoiler: It largely resembles a cross between plane food, hospital food and a classic British school dinner… Yum?

Let us know on Twitter if you experienced this kind of quarantine food and what you thought of it!

Other Coronavirus News & Statistics


Main image: Cardiff Ajax and Arbis heading for top 10s, Jun, Flickr Creative Commons

Borderlines: Stop the Spread!

Borderlines: Stop the Spread!

Following the emergence of an allegedly more contagious strain of COVID-19, multiple nations have put the shutters down with the UK.

After a hard year of restrictions of varying degrees, in places all around the globe, it is time to revisit the ever changing history of the world’s borders and barriers!

This episode of the Globe Guides explores the theme of Borderlines!

From Historic walled cities such as Fez and Jerusalem, to divided capitals such as Berlin and Nicosia, this show uncovers the history behind these division and the reason why many of them remain to this day.

Megan McCormick visits the Great Wall of China while Ian Wright takes a trip to the DMZ in Korea. Justine Shapiro and Megan both learn about the history and future of the Berlin wall in Germany, while Zay Harding see one of the world’s most recently constructed walls, the West Bank barrier, and learns about the effect that its construction has caused.

Listen to our podcast here!

In London…

London has found itself locked down over the Christmas period, with trips to leave the capital to now be prohibited.

In the rest of the UK…

The UK has found itself in a spot of bother with its European neighbours this week after scientists claim to have discovered a strain of much more highly transmissible COVID-19.


Main image: Guardians – Downing Street, Phil Dolby, Flickr Creative Commons

Travel in the COVID-Zone

Travel in the COVID-Zone

China asks cabin crew to wear nappies

In a bizarre bid to reduce the risk of virus transmission, the Chinese aviation authorities have asked the cabin crew on certain Chinese charter flights to wear nappies!

The rule, as set out by China’s latest 49-page set of guidelines, applies to charter flights heading to and from destinations with infection rates of 500 per million.

Other advice put forward includes for cabin crew to wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, goggles and shoe covers.

The crew of flights on regular schedules don’t have to wear nappies, though multiple forms of protective gear are being employed by a variety of airlines, depending on their destinations.

Read: Phobic Traveller: The Next Chapter for Air Travel

Vaccines hit the ground running!

Healthcare providers in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States among others have ramped up efforts to vaccinate vulnerable people against the Coronavirus since a number of vaccines, each from different pharmaceutical companies and research teams, have been approved for use.

Meanwhile, the so-called COVAX initiative has set out to help provide poorer nations with a share of the global supply.

Run, Forrest! Run!

More Coronavirus News & Statistics

  • Europe tightens COVID restrictions ahead of Christmas. Germany will return to a national lockdown until January 10th, but with the restrictions relaxed slightly from 24 to 26 December, allowing a limited amount of festive household mixing.
  • Worldometers: Up to date Coronavirus statistics

Main image: B-18007 China Airlines with special Boeing livery Boeing 777-309(ER) coming in from Taipei (TPE) @ Frankfurt (FRA) / 01.06.2018, Oliver Holzbauer, Flickr Creative Commons

Remembrance, Veterans and Armistice Day 2020

Remembrance, Veterans and Armistice Day 2020
November 11, 2020

Remembrance Day, as it is known in the Commonwealth, and Veterans Day, as it is known in the Americas, is celebrated every November 11.

Remembrance Day has its roots in the Armistice signed at the end of WWI, becoming immortalized as the day the Great War ended. However, the Armistice – agreement to ceasefire on both sides – which was signed on 11 Novermber 1918, did not formally become the end of the war until the Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28 June 1919. The ceasefire did however last for the full duration between the armistice and the peace treaty being signed.

Study Guide: What Caused World War I

Following the outbreak of WWII, the Commonwealth nations decided to change the name from Armistice Day to Remembrance Day to honour all the fallen and not just those of WWI.

During WWII and in the many wars that would follow, including the Vietnam war, the Gulf war, Afghanistan and Iraq, millions more would perish as servicemen from all around the world fought for their countries.

Hence, Remembrance and Veterans Day celebrate the bravery of these service personnel, both fallen and returned heroes, and gives thanks and recognition for the service that they have given.

Large celebrations and commemorations often take place, including ‘Remembrance Sunday’ across the Commonwealth, the Sunday closest to the 11th of November, where crowds gather to mark their respect with a 2 minute display of silence, and Veterans festivals in the US such as the celebrations we visited in San Diego.

2020 has marked other important war anniversaries, most notably the end of WWII in Europe and the Pacific, and the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp 75 years ago, and the beginning of the reunification of Vietnam 45 years ago following the end of the Vietnam war.

Watch FREE: Grass Roots – Veterans Day in San Diego

Grass Roots – Veterans Day in San Diego

Main image: World War I Cemetery in The Somme Valley, Pilot Productions.

Where next? Travel beyond the COVID-Zone

Where next? Travel beyond the COVID-Zone

Leaving aside the all-consuming question of when, we’ve been thinking about all of the places that we just can’t wait to travel to.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

One of Europe’s most unique cities, Amsterdam is known for its relaxed, liberal atmosphere, beautiful historic canals and its love of cycling. With a wealth of diverse, rich museums, lush green parks and thriving nightlife, Amsterdam is one of the most tourist-friendly cities in the world, accommodating to a variety of different tastes. There really is something for everybody here.

Made it onto the world’s most welcoming cities list, and the top cities for millennials to live list

Top 10 Things To See & Do In Amsterdam

Beijing, China

China’s capital is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a rich, extensive history stretching back over three millennia. This history is exemplified by the plethora of physical relics, which convey a rich portrait of the city’s long, illustrious history. However, Beijing is not just a blast from China’s past but a thriving, massive modern city. The ancient and the ultra-modern sit side by side in one of the most world’s most culturally and historically rich cities.

The Top 10 Things to See & Do In Beijing

Watch: Pocket Guides – Beijing

Athens, Greece

One of the oldest cities in the world, Athens is also one of the most culturally and historically rich. The birthplace of democracy and by extension Western Civilization, Athen’s evolution has been critical to the culture of the world around it, and it remains a more vital destination than ever. In addition to the unparalleled wealth of ancient treasures it still houses, the city has emerged as one of Europe’s premier modern cultural destinations.

Study Guide: Ancient Greece

Read: Athenian Civilisation and Ancient Greece

Read: A Pocket Guide To Athens

Read: Top 10 Things To See & Do In Athens

Read: The Food of Greece

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City is the biggest and most densely populated city in the whole of the Americas, its vast size matched by its rich cultural and historical identity. A bustling cosmopolitan city, Mexico City is a thriving centre for contemporary culture and the site of several breathtaking historical sites.

Read: Top 10 Things To See & Do In Mexico City

Watch: Pocket Guides – Mexico City

Watch: Empire Builders – The Maya

Watch: Bazaar – Mexico City

Sumatra, Indonesia

One of Indonesia’s most beautiful islands, Sumatra is known for its jaw-dropping natural landscapes and diverse range of wildlife. With many of the endemic species under threat due to deforestation and natural disasters, the island is definitely worth a visit to glimpse some of the world’s rarest creatures while you still can.

Being the coffee obsessives that we are, we’re very keen to drink some of the highly sought after Sumatra speciality crop. In fact, the highest rated coffees in the whole of Indonesia come from northern Sumatra where the Gayo Mountain, Lintong, and Mandheling coffees take top prizes as among the best in the world.

Read: Top 5 Things To See & Do In Sumatra

Read: Southeast Asian Coffee

Study Guide: A Global Guide To Coffee Tasting

Watch: The Story of… Coffee

Cuzco, Peru

The historical capital of Peru and the Incan Empire, Cuzco is the country’s most historically and culturally rich city, which has cemented its status as one of the country’s premier tourist destinations. With both Incan and Spanish Colonial relics adorning the city, Cuzco is a must-see destination for those travelling to Peru.

Read: The Top 10 Things To See & Do In Cuzco

Study Guide: Inca Empire

DVD: Around The World – Conquistadors, Aztecs & Incas

Watch: Bazaar – Peru

Algeria

Algeria has blossomed, since its independence in 1962, into a must-see travel destination that is ripe with ancient culture, classical history and genial hospitality.

Series (coming soon): Hidden Algeria

Read: Visiting the Middle East: Customs & Culture

Read: North Africa’s Natives: The Berbers

Travel in the COVID-Zone

Travel in the COVID-Zone
October 13, 2020

Cruise Ships dismantled for scrap metal

A number of disused cruise ships are being dismantled and sold for their scrap metal value following the disastrous impact of the coronavirus on the cruise ship industry.

The ships are being stripped down at a ship-breakers yards, the Aliaga Ship Recycling Facility, in Turkey.

Machu Picchu opened up for one lone tourist

Peru has opened the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu for a single Japanese tourist who had been waiting for almost seven months to visit the world heritage site.

Jesse Katayama was due to visit Machu Picchu in March before it was closed due to coronavirus. He went into lockdown with the rest of the nation, finding himself stranded.

Mr Katayama submitted a request to the ministry of culture and was granted special access to see the World Heritage Site before his return journey to Japan.

The ancient Inca citadel – Peru’s top tourist attraction – is expected to re-open next month, although no exact date has been given.

Jesse Katamaya’s Instagram

Lunch at Singapore Airlines, anyone?

Another quirky initiative by an airline has grabbed headlines this week, with Singapore’s national carrier offering lunch on a plane without a flight.

Diners, travel lovers and aviation enthusiasts have purchased tickets priced between $40 and $500, with every available seat selling out.

The airline is also offering home delivery of its meals, which also includes the airline’s tableware and amenity kits.

Phobic Traveller: The Next Chapter for Air Travel

Other Coronavirus News & Statistics

  • World Health Organization director-general has warned against allowing coronavirus to spread in the hope of achieving so-called herd immunity, saying the idea is “scientifically and ethically problematic”.
  • Texas has overtaken California as the state with the second highest Coronavirus death toll, after New York.
  • Trump returns to campaign trail less than 2 weeks after positive Coronavirus test. On Sunday, 11 days post positive test, Trump’s doctor said he was no longer a COVID transmission risk to others and said later on Monday that his most recent tests had all come back negative.
  • Worldometers: Up to date Coronavirus statistics

Main image: Machu Picchu, Pilot Productions ©

Travel in the COVID-Zone

Travel in the COVID-Zone
October 6, 2020

President Trump and First Lady contract coronavirus

U.S President Donald Trump tested positive for the COVID-19 on Thursday sparking widespread alarm and concern for his health. The President, who has previously expressed skepticism of the coronavirus, spent three nights in hospital receiving treatment before quickly reappearing to put on a strong face for the American public.

The president himself has expressed in a number of statements that he is feeling better. With the presidential election looming, he has made it clear that the show must go on.

Aside from the condition of his health, a number of people have criticised the President for maintaining a busy schedule whilst remaining potentially contagious to others.

Other world leaders who previously contracted the virus include Brazil’s Jair Bolsanaro and the UK’s Boris Johnson.

Air pollution in New Delhi expected to worsen COVID-19

India’s capital is bracing itself for its annual ‘air pollution season’ where officials expect the poor air quality and other pollution related health issues to exacerbate the already serious coronavirus health crisis.

The air quality in New Delhi drastically deteriorates between October and December — to levels which are often considered ‘hazardous’ — due to various factors including stubble burning after the harvest, vehicle pollution, cold weather and post-monsoon low atmospheric pressure.

Cycling is still wheelie popular in Europe

A combination of a summer of fantastic weather, the desire to avoid public transport, and err… the pandemic… have proved the perfect series of events for the cycling industry.

Other Coronavirus News & Statistics

  • Paris has once again closed bars and restaurants as officials raise their coronavirus alert level to maximum.
  • Virgin Atlantic has become the first UK airline to introduce COVID-19 pre-flight testing at its Heathrow base for its cabin crew and pilots.
  • Worldometers: Up to date Coronavirus statistics

Main image: Donald Trump, Gage Skidmore, Flickr Creative Commons