JourneyEtc


China unveils plans to open Ping-Pong Paddle Hotel

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Have you ever watched a table tennis match on the sports channel and was amazed with how ping-pong players from China can give that little, white ball a spin and make it land on the table even when they are meters away from the table? I bet yes. No wonder this sport has inspired hotel designers in China as they announced the planned hotel taking the shape of an upside down paddle as part of a sports complex worth roughly $46 million.

A newspaper in China reports that the Ping-pong hotel will feature rounded windows for the rooms of the hotel so it will look like the dotted texture of the racket while the handle will be designed to be an observatioin where guests and travelers can view the cityscape of Huainan.


Shapecation: Archipelago resembling Gorbachev’s birthmark attracts travellers

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Travel industry observers have coined the term “shapecation” recently have been producing some loud buzz as tourists flock to a Russian archipelago that appears to resemble the birthmark of the former leader of USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev.

The place is called Durak Aprel and tour operators have been reporting a jump in interest of travellers to this archipelago just off the coast of Siberia.

The aerial pictures of Durak Aprel have been linked by travel trenders and shapecation fanatics to the marks of the forehead of Gorbachev.


French troops take control of Abidjan Airport in Ivory Coast

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According to news agencies, French forces has gained control of the Abidjan airport as the bloody battle for government leadership in Ivory Coast continues. France will also be sending in additional soldiers to strengthen their hold of the area.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary of the British government, has asked Laurent Gbagbo to step down to avoid more bloodshed. Hague reiterated the need to open an investigation of all the reported abuses in Ivory Coast and responsible individuals be held accountable.

Recently mass graves were discovered in Duekoue where 1000 bodies were dumped. Members of the Red Cross are in the area to gather evidences.

The fighting has been going on for months now, as Gbagbo refused to step down despite the victory of his political opponent Alassane Ouattara during the elections last November.


Lufthansa, British Airways, and Delta announce new routes

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Florida is getting more attention this week as airliners announced new routes. Here are the new flights in case you are looking for some good deals:

Lufthansa

Lufthansa is bring their big A380s to Miami, Florida starting this week. It is the first ever flight of the carrier to this state and by June, passengers can expect that they can travel to and from Frankfurt and Southern Florida every day of the week. This October, Lufthansa will re-activate the seasonal route between Dusseldorf and Miami.

April also marks the start of Lufthansa’s Frankfurt-Beijing connection. The airline improves its schedule and will be bringing passengers in and out of Germany and the Mainland throughout the week.

Delta

Delta recently announced their flights to help passengers cross between the Unnited States and London. This week, they announced more services that can save you from the driving hassles in Florida. They now have connections between Jacksonville and Miami, Tampa, and Orlando.


Waldorf Astoria opens London Syon Park

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The 2011 calendar will be marked with a lot of London hotel openings. Recently, another luxury brand of the Waldorf Astoria Hotels, the London Syon Park, opened its doors.

The opening is actually a bit delayed but everyone lets them off the hook because of the ice cream bar, butterfly world, an in house plastic surgeon, and a ton of rich and famous during their opening. The hotel also boasts of an orchard with berries, apples, and pears which are used as ingredients in their restaurants.

Basing on the pictures over the internet, the exterior of the hotel is not very appealing for a five star hotel. But some features like those of the Brownie Bar is heaven for those who love sweets.

The rates are pretty reasonable too for a London luxury hotel. A night at the King Syon Garden Room will cost you £289 a night while the King Presidential Suite which is the most expensive in their line up will cost you £3109 a night.


Restaurant Opening: The Cube hits scenic spots in Europe

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In case you want a unique dining experience, you should try the hip pop up restaurant called The Cube which is headed to please taste buds in different tourist spots in Europe. Do not be fooled by the name, this restaurant is not an old warehouse or an old joint but it will be a pop up restaurant on top of the mountains of Europe and other famous landmarks.

The Cube will be pleasing diners in Brussels atop the Parc du Cinquantenaire from 25 March through 3 July. The Electrolux commissioned dining place will be heading to Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and Russia where it will cater to food lovers for four to twelve weeks in each of these places. Check out their website and see how they tickled the imagination of diners in Rome while on top of the Palazzo della Civilta and in Switzerland at the edge of a cliff.


Korean Air postepones delivery of 787 Dreamliner

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Korean Air recently announced that the delivery of the 787 Dreamliner planes ordered frfom Boeing will be postponed. This is another set back that follows the delays during the development of the aircraft in the last three years with a report of a fire due to faulty electricals with a test airplane.

Korean Air will be expecting delivery by 2016 or a 5 years off the original schedule.

Boeing commits to the roll out of the 787s during the third quarter of this year with the ANA as the first company to get the new airplanes. British Airways will also be among the first in Europe to fly the new aircraft.

For now, Korean Air will be using the A330s from Airbus that were acquired in 2010 as replacement for the undelivered 787s.


Narita Airport resumes operations; Japan dealing with more nuclear plant problems

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Amid all the bad news after the big earthquake and monstrous tsunami that hit Japan recently, the country is slowly trying to get up from the biggest tragedy it has faced since World War II.

Narita Airport now resumes its operations with flights going as scheduled after being affected by the tsunami that hit parts of the country half an hour after the magnitude 8.9 earthquake last Friday.

A number of countries though have advised their peoples to avoid going to parts of Japan at the moment especially when aftershocks are still being felt and are still expected. Experts in Japan have announced that there is a probability of an aftershock as strong as magnitude 7.0 to occur in the next few days. An earthquake as strong as this may trigger another tsunami and more aftershocks. Authorities have also warned everyone to stay away from coastal areas.