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?
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.
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
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.
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?
Wishing you safe and happy travels,