Tectonic: Italian Volcanic Island Of Stromboli is Erupting

Tectonic: Italian Volcanic Island Of Stromboli is Erupting

A volcano has erupted on the Italian island of Stromboli, killing one hiker and injuring a second. Lava streams and rocks have been slowly making their way down the volcano’s slopes following the eruption yesterday afternoon.

WATCH ON DVD: Volcanoes & Extreme Landscapes

Stromboli has a population of around 500, and its volcano is very active with frequent minor eruptions, making for an adrenaline junky’s paradise. As many as 7000 tourists flock to the island every summer to take in its incredible natural beauty, challenging landscape and Italian Island charm.

READ: Fireworks Night: Trekking Mount Stromboli

Yesterday’s eruption is described as a ‘major eruption’ with two major explosive events occurring. Tourist’s and locals alike have described scenes of people fleeing hotels and restaurants and jumping into the sea in a state of panic.

READ: Study Guide: Volcanoes

The Aeolian Islands, where Stromboli is situated, are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea, and are listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for providing “an outstanding record of volcanic island building and destruction, and ongoing volcanic phenomena”. Stromboli has been in a state of almost continuous eruption for the past 2000 years, its eruptions characterised as short and mild blasts of lava and rock and a slow and viscous flow of lava.

WATCH ON DVD: Globe Trekker – Cosica, Sicily & Sardinia where traveller Ian Wright visits the spitting summit of stromboli

 

Main Image: Flrnt, Stromboli, Flickr Creative Commons

By Sofi Pickering

Decommissioned Turkish Plane Becomes A Diving Attraction

Decommissioned Turkish Plane Becomes A Diving Attraction

A decommissioned Airbus A330 has been sunk in the Gulf of Saros, Erdine, Turkey in order to attract diving tourism.

The operation, which involved slowly submerging the 90 Ton aircraft with deflatable flotation devices, took 4 hours to complete, and saw the plane reach the Aegean seabed at a depth of 30m.

The Gulf of Saros is located in northern Turkey close to the border with Bulgaria and provides a great location for a new diving attraction due to its close proximity to Istanbul. The plane was sunk by a local tourism board and under the sponsorship of Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project in a bid to promote tourism to the area.

The plane at 65m long is the worlds largest object yet to be sunk on purpose. Local officials believe that the site will not only bring tourism, but that it will also be of great benefit to local aquatic life.

This monumental effort is part of a greater artificial reef project which hopes to boost Turkey’s aquatic population, and has already seen very positive results.

Don’t miss our episode on Istanbul, where we travel to Erdine, and discover some of the other great tourism that Turkey has to offer!

Main Image: Caleb Maclennan, The Aegean, Flickr Creative Commons

 

The Queen’s Former Malta Home Is Up For Sale

The Queen's Former Malta Home Is Up For Sale

Despite the fact that she has travelled the world extensively during her reign, one fact little known about Queen Elizabeth II is that before she became Queen, she actually lived overseas. Her and her husband, Prince Phillip, lived on the Mediterranean island of Malta while he dutifully served in the Royal Navy from 1949-1951 .

The grand neoclassical Villa Guardamangia is the only place outside of the UK that a British Monarch has ever called ‘home’. Excitingly, it is currently privately owned and up for sale!

Currently listed for just under €6 Million by Maltese luxury estate agents Homes Of Quality, the listing describes the property as “an amazing grand Palazzo style property (…) with documented great historical value (…) complimented with sea views over Marsamxett Harbour (…) crying out for a great conversion and will make a superb residence or possibly a commercial venue.”

Located in Pieta, just outside the capital city of Malta, Valetta, the Maltese government have previously displayed interest in buying the property to renovate it as a tourist attraction. It is currently in a state of disrepair. It is reported that the Queen asked to visit the house, of which she holds fond memories, when on a state visit in 2012 but that the current owners refused.

Malta has a long and colourful history, gaining independence from British Rule in only 1964, and declaring itself a Republic in 1974. Prior to then, due to its desirable central Mediterranean location it had also been ruled by the French, Knights of St. John, Greeks, Arabs, Romans and more! The marks left by these ancient rulers make for a wonderful culture filled visit!

To learn more about the history of Malta, why not order our 6 part series Ottomans vs Christians Battle For The Mediterranean, or watch part 3 of the series on Vimeo!

By Sofi Pickering

Italian Island Of Capri Bans Single Use Plastics

Italian Island Of Capri Bans Single Use Plastics

Capri has become the latest Italian resort to introduce a ban on single use plastics, and are imposing hefty fines of up to 500 Euros on anyone seen using any disposable and non-compostable plastics. The move not only targets the mass-tourism that the Island sees over the summer months, but also beach vendors selling goods accompanied with plastic cups, plates and cutlery, and plastic carrier bags which are not compostable.

Read: Etihad Airways Goes Plastic Free For Earth Day

Capri is an island set in the picturesque and naturally stunning bay of Naples, and with an ever increasing pressure on coastal municipalities to target ocean pollution, the government has vowed to step-up and help the global effort.

As an example of a beautiful place which could easily be spoiled from the effects of plastic pollution, Capri’s mayor, Giovanni De Martino, has made it clear that Capri can not avoid participating in the initiative, and that it is not only a bid to keep the tourist areas tidy, but more the non-touristic areas which feel the effects of the pollution most. He wishes to set an example of how the whole world can do their part to stop and reverse the damage.

Local campaign group Legambiente have been pursuing an aggressive campaign of keeping the seas clean – “The Sea Doesn’t Ask, But He Needs You” – and they have praised the efforts of the island in the creation of this new legislation which came into effect from May 1st.

The plastic-free movement has been gaining traction in Capri since around 2012, with large organisations such as Project Aware, a worldwide scuba cleanup operation, and Oceanus, a local non-profit research group collaborating in helping people to move away from single use plastic carrier bags.

Capri is not the only place in Italy to bring such legislation into effect, so if you are planning a trip then please check before you travel so as to avoid any embarrassment or hefty fines. If ending plastic pollution is something that you feel passionate about, then please check up on local clean-ups in the area you are travelling to before you go. Organisations such as 4Ocean, Project Aware, Ocean Conservancy, National Trust and many more offer opportunities to get together with others and tidy up the oceans one piece at a time.

Why not download our episode of Globetrekker – Southern Italy?  

Main Image: Visit to Capri, martin-vmorris, Flickr Creatice Commons

By Sofi Pickering

 

Marie Antoinette’s Newly Restored Apartments Open to The Public for the First Time in 3 Years

Marie Antoinette's Newly Restored Apartments Open to The Public for the First Time in 3 Years

After 3 years of renovation at the Chateau de Versailles, Marie Antoinette’s private chambers have been re-opened to the public for viewing.

The renovation, which began in 2016, was carried out in order to ensure the safety and longevity of all of the public collections that the Chateau houses. This included upgrading fire safety, and modernising the climate control which is designed to preserve the collections as well as possible – a technique employed by many museums around the world.

The large scale operation required full closure of the building, and so the Chateau used the opportunity to carry out a heritage restoration of the Queen’s apartments.

The Chateau was the Queen’s official residence alongside French King Louis XVI in the years prior the the French Revolution.

“Thus, the room of the Queen’s Guards has regained the magnificence of its decor, thanks to the patronage of the American Friends of Versailles and the Society of the Friends of Versailles,” the Chateau de Versailles said in a press release. “In the Queen’s room, the restorers were also able to reveal the original appearance of the spectacular rococo decoration, which thus finds all its legibility and virtuosity.”

Some of her furniture remains in their original positions, such as Marie Antoinette’s jewellery cabinet. The Queen was well known for her love of flamboyant jewellery in her younger years, and her collections have since fetched record amounts at auction.

Other pieces were replaced with similar items or remade to look like the original. The tapestries hanging on the bed and walls were re-woven in Lyon using the original patterns. Many of the original pieces had been auctioned off between October 1793 and January 1795 by the new revolutionary government after the abolition of the Monarchy.

The Queen was not known for her popularity amongst her peers or the people, and as a result spent much time away from the Chateau itself, and at her private retreat in the Hameau de la Reine. The French tabloids had long-before chosen Antoinette as their scapegoat in depicting the wrongs in French society, despite her later preference for a more humble existence away from the mischievousness of the Elite Society at the Chateau.

Her attitude was ambiguous at the outbreak of the Revolution, and she seemed uncertain whether to seek reconciliation from the people, or to run away.  Antoinette demonstrated great courage before the Revolutionary Tribunal, and before her execution on 16 October 1793.

To find out more about Court life at the Chateau de Versailles prior to the revolution, please download and enjoy Empire Builders: Kings of Europe: France, The Austro-Hungarians and the Russian Tsars – or order the DVD here!

Main image: Versailles, Kimberley Vardeman, Flickr Creative Commons

By Sofi Pickering

Turkey’s President Seeks To Turn Hagia Sophia Into Mosque

Turkey's President Seeks To Turn Hagia Sophia Into Mosque

Turkey’s President, Tayyip Erdogan, has stated Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia should be re-titled as a mosque instead of a museum.

Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the foremost cathedral in Christendom for 900 years before becoming one of Islam’s greatest mosques for 500 years until 1935, when it was converted to a museum.

President Erdogan has brought up the issue of Hagia Sophia before. He does not say whether the status of the landmark site will also change.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has condemned Erdogan’s comments.

“Hagia Sophia bears profound historical and spiritual significance to Muslims and Christians alike, and its status as a museum must be maintained,” USCIRF Chair says in a statement.

The Turkish strongman has provoked strong nationalist and Islamic sentiments during his time in power celebrating in particular the achievements of the country’s Ottoman past.

Watch our Empire Builders – Moslem Empires and Empire Builders – Christian Empires episodes to find out more about the history of Istanbul and its changing religions and cultures.

Tenerife Gears Up To Host Deep-Sea Themed Carnival For 2019

Tenerife Gears Up To Host Deep-Sea Themed Carnival For 2019

The much-anticipated Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife will return in 2019 with a deep-sea theme that will see the island’s streets flooded with music, dancing and celebration for a month-long calendar of festivities. With vibrant parades, show-stopping costumes and unmissable dance performances that rival Rio, the Carnival promises even more fun and creativity this year, with its main events taking place between the 20th February and 10th March.

The internationally renowned Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the Canary Islands’ largest and most anticipated festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of people of all ages to Tenerife’s capital city every year. Considered the world’s second largest carnival after Rio, visitors fill the city’s squares and streets to dance salsa and view the spectacularly put together parades, which are all free for visitors.

Among the highlights of this year’s Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are:

  • Carnival Queen Election Gala (20th February, 8pm): Considered by many as the highlight of the Carnival, the spectacular Carnival Queen candidates are often the focus of the stunning iconic images each year. Shimmering sequins, feathers, colours, fabrics and textures – the huge structures that the aspirant queens wear look truly amazing, and every costume seems to have been inspired by a fairy tale. The beauty and flair of the wearers make it even more difficult to choose one favourite design.
  • Opening Parade (1st March): The queen’s costume, her maids of honour and the Carnival groups take on a whole new level when seen close up parading down the streets of Santa Cruz, followed by costumed performers, dance troupes and musical groups.
  • Family-friendly Day Carnival (3rd March): The other face of Carnival: the daytime festivities. Groups of friends, children and families stream by in their finest costumes. Under the bright light of day, people of all ages and origins share the streets looking to have a good time.
  • Coso Apoteosis Parade (5th March): On Carnival Tuesday, when everyone’s muscles ache from Monday night’s dancing and their faces are still speckled with glitter, the city is once again filled with colour to celebrate the Grand Final Parade.
  • The Burial of the Sardine (6th March): The Burial of the Sardine takes place on Ash Wednesday and features a crazy, irreverent procession of weeping “widows” with a huge model fish, which is finally “cremated”.
  • Fireworks (10th March): The Carnival ends with a show-stopping fireworks display.

Together with Santa Cruz, other Tenerife towns will be also celebrating their own carnivals in February and March with lively street parades and parties, including Puerto de la Cruz, Los Cristianos and Los Gigantes.

More information

Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife 

Travel to the Spanish Islands with Globe Trekker!

Most Instagrammable Spots Along The Mediterranean Coastline

Most Instagrammable Spots Along The Mediterranean Coastline

Set along 28,000 miles of beautiful coastline, there’s a magnitude of opportunity for avid photographers to capture scenes of turquoise waters, secluded landscapes and historical sites in the Mediterranean. To help those deciding where on this famous coastline they want to snap next, read on for the most Instagram-worthy locations.

Kassiopi, Greece

Situated on the affluent north coast of Corfu, the popular horseshoe bay of Kassiopi is relaxed by day – perfect for a snorkel in the shallow shingle bay – yet close to the heart of the village, which comes alive at night. The village itself is steeped in history, with Emperor Nero and Cicero some of its ancient visitors. Nowadays, the village has transformed into something of a luxury hotspot, with stunning blue coastal views by day and the twinkling lights of tavernas creating a buzz at night.

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Loviste, Croatia

This little town on the Peljesac peninsula, far away from the light pollution of large cities and tourist hotspots, is the perfect spot to unwind and capture some great snaps. Enjoy the calm, warmer waters of the bay by paddleboard before spending a night stargazing from the beach.

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Fethiye, Turquise Coast, Turkey

Turkey’s Turquoise Coast has quite the history; legend has it that Marc Anthony declared the whole coast as a gift for his lover, Cleopatra. Discover the area both underwater and from the sky; with ancient ruins to snorkel and the famous Oludeniz beach to paraglide above, these glistening turquoise waters are an Instagrammer’s dream.

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Diamond Bay, Croatia

Hidden away on Vis Island, Diamond Bay is home to the crystal clear waters of Stiniva Cove and the ancient Blue Grotto. Paddle into the caves to experience deep blue caverns teeming with sea life. Film buffs may also recognise the island’s quaint villages and golden orchards from Mamma Mia 2.

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Hydra, Greece

Named after the natural springs found across the island, Hydra is a rustic gem. Vehicles are banned on the island, so donkeys remain the most popular method of transport and the pristine forests that line the beaches are not to be missed. With many beaches only accessible by boat, Hydra is the perfect destination to watch the sunset in solitude.

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Cala Junco, Italy

Located on the most beautiful of the Aeolian Islands, Panarea is the home of Cala Junco, a stony shored beach with crystal clear waters, rocky outlets and hidden coves to discover. A short ride away from neighbouring towns that are popular with the yachting elite, Cala Junco gives a taste of Italian luxury, without the matching price tag. Head into town for fashionable Italian boutiques and to rub shoulders with Uma Thurman, Naomi Campbell, The Dolce and Gabanna designers, all famous fans of this beautiful island.

medsailors-sicily-stromboli-snorkelling

More information

Med Sailors
Offering balanced sailing holidays in the Mediterranean, MedSailors create seven-day trips for 20-35 year olds in Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Italy and Antigua. Trips are created to offer authentic, memorable experiences while providing holidaymakers the opportunity to relax and, if they want to, learn new skills.

All images © Med Sailors

Want know more about all things Mediterranean? Read our diverse range of articles below.

Location lovers follow in the footsteps of their TV heroes: Rise in number of people coming to Wales

Location lovers follow in the footsteps of their TV heroes: Rise in number of people coming to Wales

A North Wales hotel says the increasing number of high-profile feature films and TV programmes being made in the principality is proving a real boost for the local tourism industry.

Steve Lee, manager of the Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberis, says productions such as Journey’s End, Requiem, Britannia, and Keeping Faith, are providing a stimulus to the local economy.

“We’re getting a lot of ‘first-timers’ who may have seen the region on their favourite TV show and want to come along and experience the landscape,” said Steve. “Places like Snowdonia have always been popular for their dramatic beauty, but there is now a whole new audience coming here and discovering it for themselves.

Steve says location lovers now make up a growing percentage of Royal Victoria guests, alongside the regular hill walkers, triathletes and railway enthusiasts.

South West coach firm, Bakers Dolphin, says it has also seen an increase in the number of people keen to experience wonder of Wales as captured on film and TV.

“You can’t beat North Wales for glorious scenery,” said Amanda Harrington, sales and marketing director of Bakers Dolphin, “and the Royal Victoria’s a big favourite with our guests”.

“Films like Guy Ritchie’s ‘King Arthur’, and the S4C series ‘Hidden’, which was shot at locations in Snowdonia, are attracting a whole new audience of coach trippers.”

In 2017, the Lonely Planet placed North Wales fourth in in the publisher’s annual Best in Travel list as one of the top five places in the world to visit, the only UK destination to be featured in its rankings.

Tourism is estimated to be worth more than £5 billion to Wales as a whole.

For episodes, articles, short-form content and tips galore about Wales, then click here to read our destination guide!

 

Brits vote for the top 20 British bucket list experiences

Brits vote for the top 20 British bucket list experiences

Seeing Giant’s Causeway, whale watching in Scotland and visiting the Roman Baths have emerged among a list of British bucket list aspirations, a study has found. Spending the day at the Wimbledon tennis tournament, walking along Hadrian’s Wall and celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge also featured. A number of other quintessentially British experiences made it on to the list of must-dos, including enjoying a clotted cream tea in Cornwall and staying in a thatched cottage in the Cotswolds.

Despite these dreams, the survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by Sykes Holiday Cottages, revealed just how unexplored the UK really is, as Brits are more likely to have visited France, Spain and Italy than England’s home counties. According to the stats more than 6 in 10 (63%) have spent time in Spain, compared to just a third who’ve been to Surrey. And more Brits have visited France (67%) than Cornwall, Manchester and even London. In fact, the same number of us have travelled across the globe to Australia as those who have been across the border to Aberdeenshire (16%)!

And although Giant’s Causeway tops Brits’ home-based bucket list, only a quarter of the nation have visited Northern Ireland, where it’s located.

Graham Donoghue, CEO at Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “Despite a desire to tick off our British bucket list experiences, these results show how undiscovered the country actually is. Lots of us are more likely to get on a plane or a ferry and go abroad than take in everything the UK has to offer. Although it’s brilliant to travel to other countries and cultures, many people would be surprised at how much there is to see just a hundred miles away from their hometown – Britain isn’t called great for nothing!”

The study also found that the average Brit has visited just 15 out of nearly 50 counties in the UK – although more than 1 in 10 (11%) admit they’ve been to a maximum of three. In comparison, the average person has travelled to 10 different countries around the world.

The north-south divide is also ever-apparent in Brits’ travel choices, as almost 1 in 5 southerners said they’ve never ventured up north. And nearly half (48%) of the population of Wales and Scotland haven’t ever been to each other’s country.

The decision to holiday abroad must be affecting our knowledge of the UK, as a 10th of Brits think Land’s End is in Scotland – when that couldn’t be further from its location at the very foot of Cornwall. A further 12% think the Brecon Beacons is in Scotland, and 6% are even convinced that London is in the north west of the country.

Brits’ top 20 British bucket list experiences:

  1. Visit Giant’s Causeway
  2. Go whale watching in the Scottish Highlands
  3. Visit Bath’s Roman Baths
  4. Walk along Hadrian’s Wall
  5. See in the summer solstice at Stonehenge
  6. Spend a day at Wimbledon
  7. Enjoy a clotted cream tea in Cornwall
  8. Stay in a thatched cottage in the Cotswolds
  9. Visit the Edinburgh Festival
  10. Visit Buckingham Palace
  11. Watch a show on London’s West End
  12. See the White Cliffs of Dover
  13. Eat fresh fish and chips in Whitby
  14. Walk through Cheddar Gorge
  15. Climb Mount Snowdon
  16. Take a boat trip on Lake Windermere
  17. Stargazing in Northumberland
  18. See the crown jewels at the Tower of London
  19. Look for Nessie at Loch Ness
  20. Search for fossils on the Jurassic Coast

Read our array of travel articles about the above destinations to start planning your next English adventure now: