Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Egypt: Mexican tourists killed by military

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

but the military blame the tourist agency.

Two reports:
Egyptian army kills Mexican tourists by mistake
– Interior ministry says military personnel believed group was a convoy of terrorists

Egyptian military forces mistakenly attacked a convoy of tourists on Sunday night, leaving at least 12 Mexicans and Egyptians dead and 10 others wounded, the country’s interior ministry has revealed.

Soldiers thought the convoy belonged to an Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State terrorist group against which they had recently been fighting tough battles in the area. Mexico has confirmed that at least two of the dead are Mexican.

Tourists in Egypt Were Killed With BombsMexican foreign minister says bombs were dropped from helicopters and planes (emphasis added)

Egyptian security forces used planes and helicopters to bomb Mexican tourists and their guides, who Egyptian officials said were mistaken for terrorists, survivors told Mexican officials after the attack that left 12 dead.

An Egyptian tourism ministry spokeswoman refused to comment on the allegations and other government officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the tourists were in a restricted area where military and police forces were pursuing suspected terrorists. Tourism ministry spokeswoman Rasha el Azaizy accused the tour company that organized the trip of procedural violations that she claimed led to the tragedy.
. . .
However, a representative of the company that organized the excursion, Windows of Egypt, said the group had all necessary permits from authorities and even had a police escort when they came under fire from jet fighters and helicopters late Sunday afternoon.

Egypt’s tourist industry is in shambles.

“Economy class cabin hexagon”? No. Just no.

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

I’m under the weather with sinus issues, with the TV on mute watching some guys build weird decks on the DIY channel and reading blogs, when Allahpundit’s post made my sinuses screech:
Internet comes together in shared loathing for freaky new airplane seating design

Yessiree, Zodiac Seats France, supplier of Airbus (who float sadistic trial balloons every so often), is proposing

alternating forward and backward facing seats placed side by side.

Like so,

Obviously designed for the short-legged, by the short-legged, who don’t need to get out to go to the toilet.

Airbus, on the other hand, has come up with the flying donut,

Rather than donuts, Airbus is finding inspiration in Dante, which Dante surely would add as the 10th circle were he alive today, even when he found inspiration in Virgil,

So whatever your air travel misery is right now, just keep in mind it’ll get worse.

Carping about What Pope Doesn’t See: Devil’s Dung Can Be Fertilizer and other perfect Latin American idiots shall resume shortly.

Linked to by Dustbury. Thanks!

Linked to by American Digest. Thanks!

“You will not like Cuba”

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Today’s must-read, via Carlos Eire,Luis Ball’s article,
You Will Not Like Cuba
Media Hype Sells Product That Does Not Exist

Maybe those readers who plan to visit this Caribbean paradise would like to know something that Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times have omitted: their phone conversations will be bugged, and possibly they will be secretly filmed in their hotel rooms. Remember, this is not Berlin after the fall of the Wall; this is Berlin before!

Twenty years ago, Fidel Castro began to promote his imprisoned island to foreign tourists. Canadian and Spanish tourists initially poured in. Eventually, however, word got out that Cuba was not much fun.+

Today, they still trickle in, but the boom in tourism that the Castros expected has not materialized. Those who do visit Cuba do so because it is, by far, the cheapest destination in the Caribbean. Those Europeans and Canadians who can pay more ignore Cuba as a destination.

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. My father worked for many years at what then was at one of the top hotels in the Caribbean. I sincerely do not understand why anyone would go to Cuba when you can find, not only in Puerto Rico, but all across the Caribbean, top-rated resorts (where, as a bonus, you are not subsidizing a murderous Communist regime intent on not changing).

As Capitol Hill Cubans point out, business will not bring change to Cuba,

The business community has been a key supporter of some of the worst dictatorships in modern times — all for the sake of stability.

A brief video of a street in downtown Havana, “in a good part of town,” and keep in mind Cuba received in 2014 US$300 million in trade from the US and 3 million international tourists:

Click on the photo above for more on Cuba travel.

Recommended reading:


Persona Non Grata: A Memoir of Disenchantment with the Cuban Revolution

Today’s vision of hell, airline travel edition:

Friday, April 17th, 2015

From Airbus, the folks who floated the standing up flights trial balloon, this:

Could cattle class get any worse? Introducing BUDGET economy where airlines are squeezing an extra seat in every row
Airbus are increasing their seats from 10 to 11 seats in every row
The addition will see Airbus creating a fourth cheaper class called Choice
The change is to be launched in 2017 on the Airbus 380 model
Airbus state the move is to reflect 90 per cent of fliers using economy
Thankfully seat widths will remain at the standard 18 inches

“Thankfully” nothing – When the seats are so narrow that the little head pillows are shown narrow side up, you know it’s hell.

Those seats are not wide enough for the average adult, but the 3rd graders may do OK.

Pity the fool who gets the aisle seat, too. Those are narrow aisles.

As for BUDGET economy, a friend just told me that the EU countries are charging a US$500 travel tax on flights from the US. How’s that for “BUDGET economy”?

Puerto Rico: In search of roast pork

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Where to Find the Best Roast Pork in Puerto Rico
Crispy, tender, salty, smoky lechón asado—whole pig roasted slowly on a spit—is a holiday specialty on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Here’s where to find the ultimate places to indulge

Then there is the charcoal vs. gas debate. Many purists say that to find the best lechoneras, you should look for the smoke, which means they are cooking with charcoal. “When you cook with gas, the residue of the gas lingers on the meat,” said Junior Rivera, proprietor of Lechonera Angelito’s Place in Trujillo Alto, a laid-back town southwest of the capital. “Charcoal is natural wood and is always going to give a better flavor.” Yet some veterans, such as the Lopezes of El Paso, use propane. “It’s faster, more efficient, cleaner and more economical,” said Ms. Lopez, who believes seasoning is more important than fuel.

I drool just thinking of it.

The curious incident of the Carnival Magic in Belize UPDATED

Friday, October 17th, 2014


#Ebola, a cruise ship, an international incident; my latest article, The curious incident of the Carnival Magic in Belize is up at Da Tech Guy Blog.

The curious incident will probably put the kibosh on Caribbean holiday tourism for a long time.

An Outbreak of Epidemiological Hysteria.

As Tyler Durden said, It’s almost as if the administration is doing everything in its power to spread a panic.

Argentina: Cristina’s vultures

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez has taken time between Botox injections to indulge in more name-calling.

No longer satisfied to refer to Argentina’s creditors as vulture funds, she now has vulture airlines:

Cristina tilda de ‘buitres con turbinas’ a American Airlines Cristina dubs American Airlines ‘vultures with turbines’


American Airlines will not sell tickets in Argentina more than 90 days in advance. Cristina says this is an “attack against the country to cause uncertainty” about the currency.

Considering how Argentina joins the Venezuela School of Economics by passing laws

that cap consumer prices of goods, set profit margins for private businesses and levy fines on companies found to be making “artificial or unjustified” profits

AA is worrying about getting paid. Over in Venezuela, the government is withholding US$3.6 billion in airline ticket revenue.

Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!

Cuba/Venezuela: $10,000 “melange of Communism” trips

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Make sure you bring your own soap and toilet paper: “Get up close and personal with the locals that make up the melange of Communism.”

The Sydney Morning Herald calls it ‘Travel for the mind’ with George Negus – Venezuela & Cuba
READER OFFER: With George’s instinctive journalistic interest, this two-country excursion will awaken and engage your mind.


SMH readers are flying to Venezuela for a $10,000 per head socialism celebration while Venezuelans are trying to fly out

“Of course, I’d rather fly,” he said. “But there are no seats available.” Cordova said that he had tried for a month to get a seat on an airplane, to no avail. That’s because the economic policies that have driven him to leave Venezuela have also made it exceedingly hard for people to depart by air.

That’s the “melange of Communism” for you.

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Do heed those travel warnings

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Today’s article on why you should check out the State Deprtment’s travel warnings before you go: Do heed those travel warnings

Colombia: Good news on the Casona

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Ace featured this breathtakingly beautiful photo,

The location is the Casona del Tequendama in Colombia, which has the reputation of being haunted:

In 1924, the then-luxurious Hotel (Refugio d)el Salto was inaugurated on the cliff facing the waterfall but due to contamination of the river water, believed to be a result of the popular locale, it was closed in the early 90′s. There has been talk of reopening it and restoring it to its former glory (but as a museum or even a police station) which might help rid the place of its apparent ghosts. They are said to haunt the hotel and according to the caretaker, are believed to be from the old days when bar fights on the second story would end up on its balcony, sometimes resulting in a drunk patron losing more than the fight.

On the other hand, there are stories of those who checked out (of life) by jumping off the cliff. That’s right, despite its beauty or perhaps because of it, the falls is a place where people have been known to say their goodbyes. When one would find a letter or some sort of personal item without an owner, it was thought to have been left behind.

In the photo above, it looks haunting, like something Lord Byron would have loved,

But my Soul wanders; I demand it back
To meditate amongst decay, and stand
A ruin amidst ruins; there to track
Fall’n states and buried greatness, o’er a land
Which was the mightiest in its old command,
And is the loveliest, and must ever be
The master-mould of Nature’s heavenly hand;
Wherein were cast the heroic and the free,—
The beautiful — the brave — the Lords of earth and sea,

Or a vacation spot for the Addams family.

The good news is that the French government is funding the building’s restauration along with local authorities (link in Spanish).

Let’s hope the restoration is completed and the building becomes viable.