In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel
Barcelona to build indoor ski hill
Barcelona is not far from the Pyrenees but now it wants to build an artificial ski slope on the shores of the Mediterranean. In 2015 residents will be able to switch from beach to ski-wear without leaving the city.
Many people have heard of Ski Dubai, the emirate’s indoor ski resort on the edge of the desert. To amuse tourists and rich Emiratis, this energy extravaganza produces 30 tonnes of snow a day.
The Dutch company behind Barcelona’s Snow World project says the complex will be carbon-neutral. With scope for ice-skating and skiing, the 39,000-square-metre dome will be part of a vast redevelopment scheme for the southern part of the city.
Barcelona city council has launched two huge projects for the sustainable redevelopment of the Marina del Prat Vermell industrial estate and the adjoining Zona Franca. A new residential neighbourhood with a broad social mix will be built, with public amenities and parks.
Business activities will be integrated with the housing and connected to the city centre by the underground system. The two developments will be served by three plants generating heating and air-conditioning streams, fuelled by methanisation, solar power and plant waste from the city, primarily from Collserola, the world’s largest metropolitan park. Dalkia, a subsidiary of the French conglomerate Véolia Environnement, has won the tender for this part of the project.
Thousands of British skiers trapped in Austria after 10ft snowfall
Officials say tens of thousands of holidaymakers in the Tirol are cut off after more than 10ft of snow fell in just 48 hours, cutting off popular Austrian resorts like Ischgl, Galtur and St Anton am Arlberg.
In Ischgl, nearly 1,000 British tourists are ‘trapped’, while one Russian visitor reportedly managed to leave the resort by helicopter.
Many huge trees have collapsed under the weight of the snow, further complicating road clearances.
In Ischgl alone – one of the most popular resorts in Austria with British skiers – 13,000 people have been able to move down the road to other parts of the Paznaun valley, though most are skiers and boarders who had travelled specifically to the area for the snow and will still have been able to ski in the village to which they travelled.
“Although the roads have been closed, the resort itself has been operating as normal with skiers and boarders experiencing amazingly good conditions,” said Paznaun-Ischgl Tourist Director Andreas Steibl.
This is your captain speaking, I’m passing out – Plane panic as British Airways pilots almost pass out at controls of A321 jet
A British Airways jet has made an emergency landing after both pilots almost “passed out” at the controls.
The drama unfolded shortly after the Airbus A321 plane took off from Heathrow Airport, the UK’s Daily Mail reported.
The captain and first officer reported they were feeling light headed as the jet climbed at 20,000 feet.
Passengers say they heard the “panicked” captain call a cabin crew member for help.
The pilots were given oxygen masks and requested an emergency return to Heathrow where the plane landed safely.
An unidentified person writing on a professional pilots’ website wrote that they were on the flight when about 20 minutes in “a very abrupt and panicked message came over the PA from the pilot” and that the plane headed back to Heathrow “at great speed”.
Australian man dies in freak ‘tubing’ accident in Laos
Sydney Morning Herald
A Sydney man has died after leaping from a tower into a river, while tubing in Laos.
Lee Hudswell, 26, of Cronulla in the Sutherland Shire, was on holidays in the south-east Asian country, experiencing the popular river entertainment of floating along on an inner tube.
Brad Haigh, from New Zealand, saw the accident that occurred in the riverside town of Vang Vieng yesterday.
He said that Mr Hudswell jumped from a tower and landed badly in the river about 4pm.
“People put him on his side, and tried to resuscitate him. But nobody knew what was happening. He jumped into the river, which is what everyone does, but there was no first aid on the river and no one knew what to do.
“He was taken to hospital in a tuk tuk. It was shocking. Last year 22 people died here in the river.