Grown-up Travel Guide News Update – 06.01.2012

In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel

Brusselicious 2012: the top 10 events at the Brussels food festival

The Guardian

Brussels’ year-long food festival is as ambitious and wacky as the name – Brusselicious – suggests, with events taking place everywhere from a gourmet tram to a restaurant suspended above the city, not to mention a tour of the best frites in town.

The French may beg to differ, but for my money the Belgian capital is often a far better place to eat out than its more famous neighbour, Paris. So when the Belgians decide to organise a year-long food festival – Brusselicious – you can be sure that it will reveal some creative haute-cuisine from the city’s outstanding young chefs, as well as being fun, irreverent, surreal, and quirky. There are dozens of events organised throughout the year, with reservations on already open. Here are my top 10 events.

Sky-high dining

The most gastronomic and breathtaking event of Brusselicious is the four-week extravaganza in June that lives up to its vertiginous title –Dinner in the Sky. Just imagine a 22-person dining space, with a Michelin-starred chef in the middle, suspended high in the sky from a towering crane, with guests strapping on safety belts before being allowed to nibble the amuse-gueules. Each week, this floating restaurant will move to a different emblematic site in Brussels – the Atomium, Parc du Cinquantenaire, Palais Royal and Cambre forest – accompanied by a different celebrity chef. The price is expected to be sky high too, in the region of €150pp, but it will unforgettable, so book early.

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Maldives Rangali Islands resort’s underwater hotel room

A hotel is offering newlyweds the ultimate honeymoon suite – an underwater room with incredible views of the underwater kingdom.

The wedding package at the Maldives Rangali Islands resort promises an unforgettable night below the Indian Ocean, complete with champagne breakfast and aquatic entertainment.

The glass domed aquarium is traditionally the hotel’s Ithaa restaurant. However, the space will be converted into a luxurious bedroom for honeymoon bookings.

Resort owners Conrad Hotels have introduced the concept to celebrate the hotel’s fifth anniversary.

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Woman gives birth on plane to Wuhan

A WOMAN gave birth to a baby girl on a flight from southwest China’s Sichuan Province to Wuhan with the help of some young female crew members who were trained to handle in-flight childbirth, China Eastern Airlines said yesterday.

Feng Yu, who was near the end of her term, felt the first contractions around 9am when on China Eastern’s flight MU2652 bound for Wuhan, Hubei Province, from Chengdu.

The 23-year-old gave birth to a 3-kilogram baby in the air with the help of four attendants, Wang Ru, a press officer with the Shanghai-based airline’s Wuhan branch, said yesterday.

“I was frightened when the baby’s head came out but the body was still stuck. … I asked myself to calm down and firmly held the woman’s hand and tried hard to recall what I had learned from emergency training,” said Zuo Lei, the purser of the flight who helped the delivery.

Feng’s water had broken when her aunt called for help at 9:30am, 50 minutes into the two-hour flight, Zuo said.

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Does Landing a Plane Deserve a Round of Applause?

ABC News

Q: Why do people applaud when planes land? Isn’t the pilot just doing his job? I don’t expect a round of applause for hitting my quarterly sales goals. And I don’t suppose he can hear it through the cabin door, anyway.

A: Okay, maybe the applause is a little silly, but what’s the harm? I think some people do it because they’re nervous fliers and are grateful the plane landed safely… some people applaud for particularly smooth landings… and a whole lot of people clap because everyone else is doing it and it’s a break from the monotony of sitting still.

I don’t have a problem with it—I can think of plenty of worse things people could do on a plane than clap when it lands. And yes, it is the pilot’s job, but come on—that’s a pretty darn difficult job. (If anyone deserves a round of applause, it’s the pilots who landed sans air-traffic control support.) If you don’t want to clap, don’t clap.

Q: I recently flew from Paris to JFK and was seated next to an unaccompanied minor. She was 10 and apparently makes this trip twice a year to see her father, who lives in France. Well, she brought absolutely nothing to keep herself occupied on the flight. No magazines, no cell phone with games, no iPod—nothing. So she spent the whole flight talking to me. What was I watching on the video screen, could I help her turn the volume up on hers, could she read my magazine when I was done with it—it was awful. What could I have done? I felt bad she was traveling by herself, but I felt like I was babysitting.

A: Oh, what rotten luck. You’d think that if she makes this trip twice a year, she’d have known to bring something to do! And I know that if I were the parent of a kid flying unaccompanied, I’d make darn sure that they had a carry-on bag well stocked with books and toys and snacks.

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