In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel
Tourists stealing cobblestones and mosaic from ancient Rome
Tourists are stealing cobblestones, marble mile markers and bits of mosaic from ancient Rome and are being caught at customs trying to smuggle them home, airport police have disclosed.
Dozens of the square stones used by Romans 2,000 years ago to pave roads are ending up in passengers hand luggage.
Security staff screening bags at the Italian capital’s main airports at Fiumicino and Ciampino have reported a surge in findings as x-ray scanners pick up the objects when luggage is screened and they in turn call police.
On Sunday, police in Rome put on display a vast collection of the cobblestones and artefacts that they have seized from passenger luggage in the first six months of this year.
The majority of those caught are “northern Europeans” and several British tourists have been among those caught red handed and left embarrassed in front of other passengers when items are pulled from their luggage.
Ancient Romans used volcanic stone to make the cobbles for the roads that led away from the city and they date back 2,000 years.
Australian skiers rejoice in 70cm of snow
Skiers and snowboarder were basking in deep powder snow over the weekend after a huge storm hit Australian ski resorts.
Mt Hotham in Victoria received 70cm of fresh snow since Thursday – the most of any resort in the country.
“It was a busy weekend after news broke that Heavenly Valley would open two weeks earlier than last year,” spokeswoman Gina Woodward said.
“The snow conditions were outstanding. It certainly was a case of ‘pinch me is it June?”
Nearby Falls Creek received 46cm of snow and Mt Buller 32cm. In NSW Australia’s largest ski resort Perisher received 43cm and nearby Thredbo 37cm.
“Hotham traditionally does well from those systems,” Richard Tribe, from Ski.com.au, said.
“The storm started on Thursday and it was basically snowing on and off all weekend.
“This front system is just petering out. They might even get up to 5cm of snow today.”
Richard Quest: Keeping fit on a business trip is a state of mind
It starts with the best of ambitions: a determination to keep to a rigorous workout routine and a sensible diet. It ends as we collapse into bed having had a double helping of dessert and having failed to do any exercise at all.
It is a sad fact that a life of travel is usually inextricably linked with an unhealthy way of living it. This is especially frustrating for me, because I would best be described as a gymaholic at home. So why is it so hard to keep fit on the road?
Let’s start with the idea that you get up early and go to the gym. Fine, except you probably got to bed way too late after a long meeting. If I do make it to the hotel gym, the chances are it’s just a converted meeting room laughingly called “the fitness centre” and the “equipment” is some multi-purpose contraption with levers, pulleys and cables that promises to work every part of the body. Except that it has been poorly maintained, squeals like a train, and is probably wickedly dangerous.
So, I choose to run on a treadmill instead. I rapidly discover the room isn’t properly ventilated for several people engaged in this sort of behaviour. And, before long, I decide to abandon the whole thing.
Then comes the diet. My trainer tells me to eat every three hours or so with a balanced meal of protein, carbs and fats. In theory this is perfectly possible: there are lots of healthy options with most breakfast buffets; they just rarely find their way on to my plate. As for lunch: don’t make me laugh. It’s grab a snack here or there.
Dinner is the most difficult. Remember the old rule? “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.” Tell that to the Italian Chamber of Commerce, which insists on treating you to a repast worthy of a state banquet.
Etihad Airways makes unusual pitch: Grow its own food
It may fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but Etihad Airways is betting airline food can be a selling point that will differentiate it from its luxury-focused Middle East rivals.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline has purchased 200 hens and three beehives, which Reuters writes is part of a “fight to win customers by appealing to their palates.”
Etihad says it will use those resources to produce organically grown eggs and honey to be served exclusively to its passengers.
“We are thrilled to be the only airline in the world offering organic eggs and honey directly from our own locally raised hens and bees,” Etihad says in a statement.
In its own words, Etihad says “eggs produced by the hens will be used in Etihad Airways’ Diamond First Class dishes, including the hugely popular ‘eggs any style’ breakfast option, prepared fresh by the Etihad onboard chefs.”
Also on the developing block: “A line of signature pickles,” which Etihad says “are made entirely organic items including paprika, chili, onion, capsicum, and dates.” The airline says they will be served with warm bread and “a range of cheese.”