Oktoberfest raise security level after recent attacks

ORGANISERS of the world’s biggest beer festival, Munich’s Oktoberfest, have raised security after Islamist attacks in Germany last month, including banning rucksacks, introducing security checks at all entrances and erecting fencing. Drawing some six million tourists, the Oktoberfest is a major highlight of the year for residents and visitors alike. This year’s festival runs from […]

Drones to be used in Benidorm

SPANISH police have started using drones to help patrol some of the country’s most popular beaches. Police in Benidorm, on Spain’s eastern coast, rolled out the technology in July this year. They are using the in-built camera on the light unmanned aircraft to detect swimmers in trouble or boats that may need help. They said […]

China opens longest and highest mountain bridge

THE world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge opened last Saturday (20) in China’s spectacular Zhangjiajie mountains – the inspiration for 2009 American blockbuster Avatar. Some 430 metres (1,400 feet) long and suspended 300 metres above the earth, the bridge spans the canyon between two mountain cliffs in Zhangjiajie park in China’s central Hunan province. The […]

Prague castle security effecting tourists

NEW security checks at Prague Castle, which attracts nearly two million tourists annually, have caused queues of visitors at peak times, sparking criticism from tourist businesses. The vast historical complex overlooking the medieval city centre is the seat of the president, Milos Zeman. His office says security had to be tightened in response to terrorism […]

Dubai opera house to inspire arts and culture

A BOAT-SHAPED hulk of steel and glass at the foot of the world’s tallest tower, Dubai’s new opera house is set to boost the cultural life of the Gulf’s business hub. Workers are putting the final touches on the venue, a short walk from the 828-metre (2,700-foot) Burj Khalifa, as it prepares to host Spanish […]

Finland public saunas

IS STRIPPING down and getting sweaty with strangers your kind of thing? In Finland, despite an astounding two million private saunas, the hottest trend sweeping the sweat-tank loving country is public saunas. They are Helsinki’s coolest spots this summer, drawing Finns and tourists of all ages to unwind on wooden benches in slick waterfront locales […]


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East Java’s blue lava spectacle

BRILLIANT blue flames light up the night sky above Kawah Ijen, casting an eerie electric glow as they flow down the sides of the active volcano in remote Indonesia. Hot sulphuric gases – escaping at high pressure through cracks in the mountain – ignite upon contact with air, burning a fantastic, iridescent blue. This strange […]

Pamplona bull-running festival kicks off

THOUSANDS of revellers wearing red and white sprayed each other with red wine in Pamplona’s main square last Wednesday (6) for the start of Spain’s famed San Fermin bull-running festival. The nine-day fiesta got underway at midday to cries of “Viva San Fermin!” at city hall, followed seconds later by the firing of a firecracker […]

Luxury of restoring Roman history

Tod’s, whose billionaire owner Diego Della Valle reportedly put up €25 million for the works, said it was proud to have been part of the restoration of “a true historical symbol of Italy”. The Colosseum is the latest in a string of famous Italian monuments to have been renovated with funds from private donors, often […]