In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel
Victoria Falls bungee jumper survives after cord snaps during descent
Erin Langworthy’s cord snapped as she leapt from a bridge over a gorge 111 metres above the Zambezi river.
An Australian tourist survived after getting more thrills than she had bargained during a bungee jump in Zambia when the cord attached to her feet snapped, sending her plunging into fast flowing rapids below.
Footage of the incident shows Erin Langworthy, 22, leaping from a bridge which crosses a gorge 111 metres above the Zambezi river at Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall.
It shows the cord snapping as she reached the bottom of her descent, when she was still around 20 metres above the water, the Zambia Post reported.
With her feet still tied, Langworthy plunged head first into the Zambezi before swimming to the side of the river.
“It was quite scary because a couple of times the rope actually got caught on some rocks or debris,” she told Australia’s Channel Nine television network.
“I actually had to swim down and yank the bungee cord out of whatever it was caught on to make it to the surface.”
No Pants Subway Ride 2012: The day when D.C. Metro riders wore no pants
On Sunday, Jan. 8, a couple hundred Metro riders finally rebelled. Pants, these riders decided, were far too constraining, and they planned to simultaneously drop their while riding on the D.C. Metro system. People gathered, anxious, laughing, and ready to unveil, at Hancock Park next to L’Enfant Plaza Metro station yesterday afternoon at 2 p.m. I was there, and I was ready to lose my pants on the Metro, too, in the name of transit reporting.
The No Pants Subway Ride is now a global event, begun a decade ago thanks to the comedic geniuses of Improv Everywhere. Our local Capitol Improv helped spur on D.C.’s pantsless transit crusade, and shortly after 2 p.m., began a brief presentation about the No Pants protocol, which they’d stressed was all in good fun and shouldn’t be too risque. The scores of riders were surprisingly diverse, with all ages and races represented and attracted by a Facebook event that sported hundreds of attendees. They carried bags and purses in which to stuff their soon-to-be-abandoned pants. But the sun was shining and the weather was astonishingly mild for a January afternoon. See photos of the gathering and subsequent ride here. The atmosphere contained no negativity and only a sense of fun and anticipation.
Europe’s largest free Wi-Fi zone comes to London
Landmark deal between O2, Westminster council and Kensington and Chelsea council will turn part of the capital into Europe’s largest free wireless hub.
Later this year, visitors and residents in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea will be able to access the internet for free following the announcement of the councils’ deal with network operator O2.
The deal, which will run at no cost to the councils or the taxpayers, sees O2 install transmitters on lamp posts and other street furniture in the boroughs from this month onwards and will be partially operational by the time of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London in June. Initially free access will be concentrated in areas which are especially popular with tourists, ensuring visitors to the London 2012 Olympic Games will be able to avail of the service when sightseeing at some of the capital’s most famous attractions, before being rolled out across the entirety of both boroughs.
Birmingham among New York Times’ places to go in 2012
Birmingham has been ranked among the top 20 international destinations to visit in 2012, in a list compiled by the New York Times.
The city was ranked 19th in the list of 45 places the newspaper recommended people visit and was chosen because of its growing culinary reputation.
It was ranked ahead of Vienna, the Maldives and finished one place higher than outer space.
Other UK locations to feature in the list include London, Glasgow and Wales.
David Else, who wrote the Lonely Planet Guide to Great Britain, said: “What these kind of lists are hoping to achieve is to intrigue and inspire tourists to discover places that are not normally on people’s radars.”
Jerry Blackett, chief executive of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group, said: “The rise in popularity of Birmingham as a leisure and tourist destination has been rapid.
“Birmingham’s cultural, entertainment and gastronomic attractions do now indeed compete with the very best – it’s official.”