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Passionate experience junkie. Lover of the arts and architecture. Want to see and share the world, one village at a time.

5 Distilled Travel Tidbits From Around the World: July 2015


Selfies Gone Mad

Selfies Gone Mad

In an “epidemic of narcissism and recklessness,” as told by the New York Times today, travelers are making asses of themselves. This is a story of the selfie gone terribly wrong, where the desire to post one’s photo or video on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, is causing folks to pose naked or cause drunken disturbances.

“Officials in popular tourist destinations from Spain and Malaysia are starting to push back, and are considering tough new measures to control the most destructive behavior,” the Times went on to say. Barcelona’s new mayor is even freezing all new hotel permits, in part to stop the tide of bad tourists.

Two women were arrested on charges of vandalism after scratching words into a wall of the Colosseum in Rome before snapping a photo, and in Cremona, Italy, two other travelers climbed up a 18 ft-tall statue of Hercules, causing his crown to fall and smash to bits.

What do you think of this trend?

Undergound biking KY

Go Underground?

Under the heading Weird Stuff is this: there’s an underground dirt-biking park in Louisville Kentucky. The 320,000 sq. ft. abandoned limestone mine opened a few months ago and caters to all levels of riding on different courses. One of the promoted benefits of the underground park is that you don’t have to worry about the weather, and the cave stays a constant year-round temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit.

Would you like it?

If you"re wealthy, you pay big.

If you”re wealthy, you pay big.

Anyone who’s traveled to Scandinavia knows it’s a very expensive place to do anything — like eat, sleep or get around. Conrad and I had toast and coffee in the Oslo airport one time. Final bill: $40. Yes, it’s a tough place to be on a budget. But did you know that the locals can feel the financial pinch in an especially irksome way?

In Finland, speeding ticket fines are calculated according to the driver’s income. Case in point: Reima Kuisla, a millionaire businessman in Helsinki recently received a $58,000 ticket for exceeding the 50 m.p.h. limit. For someone making $50,000/year, the same infraction would result in a $370 fine.

The pay-according-to-income has been in force in Finland since the 1920s for all manner of crimes, but only since 1970 for speeding tickets. Prior to 1970, Finland’s roads had no speed limits.

Everyone wants to go to Cuba

Everyone wants to go to Cuba

The port at Havana, Cuba is getting crowded with cruise ships. In 2012, only 24 ships came-a-knocking. By 2014 the number had jumped to a whopping 139, and as of May 2015, 174 cruise ships docked in Havana.

That’s all good news for tourists and  of course for Cuba, but there’s one glitch. Because of an undersea traffic tunnel in the harbor, only small ships can pass. Larger, deeper ships holding thousands of travelers can’t go. So the industrial harbor at Mariel, down the coast, is being looked at as a possible substitute for docking the larger, and more tourist-laden ships.

Dollar Bill

The board of Irish-based Ryan Air okayed U.S.-to-Europe flights starting at less than $15. Really? Time will tell because the service is not slated to start for “a few years.” With budget airlines Norwegian Air and WOW, Ryan Air has to keep up and they have certainly started a buzz with the promised low fare. When it is offered, flights will leave from only four U.S. cities: Boston, New York, Chicago, and Miami.

A quick search just now proved that U.S. is still not on their roster, but I’ll be watching. Will you?

House sitting

Wishing you safe and happy travels,


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18 Responses to “5 Distilled Travel Tidbits From Around the World: July 2015”

  1. Interesting round-up of tidbits. I don’t understand the tourists doing the destructive and disrespectful things. I want to say “What were they thinking?”, but obviously they weren’t.
    Donna Janke recently posted..Meet Me At The ForksMy Profile

    July 13, 2015 at 9:59 am Reply
    • Hi Donna,
      Indeed. What were they thinking?
      Thanks for stopping by!

      July 14, 2015 at 7:11 pm Reply
  2. What interesting snippets, Josie!
    The first one is a constant form of annoyance to those of us interested in looking at the sites rather than photographing ourselves in front of them.
    Now one of us will say as we’re driving down the road – look at all those people facing the road – there must be something interesting to see behind them!
    It is really tragic that vandalism and drunken, disorderly behavior is becoming more the norm also!
    Yasha Langford recently posted..From Dakar Dunes to Engineering ExcellenceMy Profile

    July 13, 2015 at 10:02 am Reply
    • Hi Yasha,
      Yes it is true — vandalism and disorderly behavior is truly the worst part of the scenario. Unfortunately there’s always going to be unthinking people.
      Thank you my friend for stopping by.

      July 14, 2015 at 7:10 pm Reply
  3. Great travel tidbits. Just one thing….I recently was scheduled to fly on Ryanair, booked on Opodo, to travel to Spain from Rome. There was a Ryanair baggage handlers strike in Spain (they cut their pay) so they said we couldn’t check our luggage. I asked for a credit for the flight. The only thing they gave me was a baggage credit. Plus, Opodo and Ryanair both charged me for the same flight. So I had to book another carrier, last minute, and pay top dollar.

    July 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm Reply
    • Hi Karen,
      I’m so sorry for your hassle and extra expense incurred during your travels.
      It is very true that the bargain airlines have policies that have a high potential to turn ugly when things go wrong. You got caught in a confluence of wrongness! I hope this means for you that you’ve paid those dues — and that your chances are good that you’ll not walk into a similar situation.
      Wishing you safe and happy travels — and thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

      July 14, 2015 at 7:06 pm Reply
  4. Love the potpourri of information. We are some of the many that want to see Cuba, thanks to your info we will know to book a smaller ship. Good stuff!
    The Gypsynesters recently posted..What My Special Needs Niece Has Taught Me about Life and LaughterMy Profile

    July 15, 2015 at 8:02 pm Reply
    • I hope you get to go to Cuba David and Veronica! I would enjoy seeing videos of your adventures there.
      Take care,

      July 15, 2015 at 10:06 pm Reply
  5. This is an interesting list. Note that I will not be flying Ryan air ever, most likely, because I refuse their pay to pee policy.
    Carole Terwilliger Meyers recently posted..Travel Articles: Best Souvenirs of ChinaMy Profile

    July 16, 2015 at 4:54 pm Reply
    • Hi Carole,
      Thank you for the greatest comment!

      July 17, 2015 at 7:15 am Reply
  6. You stopped me dead with that first photograph. Anyone we know?:-)
    Irene S. Levine recently posted..Nantucket Whaling Museum gears up for Hollywood thrillerMy Profile

    July 17, 2015 at 10:58 pm Reply
    • Hi Irene,
      A little random nudity now and again is healthy, no? Haha, seriously though, it’s nobody we know — purely a random pic. Thanks for stopping by.

      July 18, 2015 at 7:15 am Reply
  7. Wow, Josie, this is quite a collection of different things! Tourists have misbehaved since the dawn of time. Hence, the disparagement. It does seem like people are taking it to more extremes since the days of the “Ugly American” though. We’ve flown Ryan a couple of times. We do prefer Vueling as a budget carrier. The models are the same but it seems like Vueling is a little more personable.
    Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru recently posted..Art Nouveau in Brussels: 12 Ways to EnjoyMy Profile

    July 19, 2015 at 12:34 pm Reply
    • Hi Betsy,
      Thanks for bringing up Vueling. I do forget about them. Did you know they have hotels, too? We walked into the lobby of one in Barcelona to check it out and it seemed pretty okay. No luxury, so similar to the airline.
      Thanks for weighing in,

      July 19, 2015 at 6:04 pm Reply
  8. Interesting stuff! The Finnish speeding ticket system surprised me – wow, by income? Never heard anything like that
    And I wish the selfie stick had never been invented. Despicable thing 🙂
    Frank (bbqboy).
    Frank recently posted..A year of Airbnb apartments (July 2014 – July 2015)My Profile

    August 2, 2015 at 8:50 pm Reply
  9. I am a tad worried about a $15 Europe to USA airfare – worried that they might go bust! How inventive that Finland charges Fines according to income 🙂 Love to read your interesting collection of tidbits.
    budget jan recently posted..About Townsville at Strand Ephemera Townsville 2015My Profile

    August 6, 2015 at 6:41 pm Reply
    • Thanks Jan!
      Awww, you’re such a conscientious traveler — being concerned about Ryan Air’s profit margin! Me? I’d be dancing all the way on the plane for a $15 fare to cross the Atlantic!
      Thanks so much for stopping by, my Aussie friend!

      August 6, 2015 at 7:30 pm Reply
  10. Love your magazine style tidbits!
    And what a revelation the Finnish speeding fines – I actually think that’s a great idea – It hurts everyone proportionately equally! 🙂
    Linda ~ Journey Jottings recently posted..The One Thing All Travellers Will Forget…My Profile

    August 18, 2015 at 9:14 am Reply

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