Grown-up Travel Guide News Update – 28.12.2011

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

Google Speeds Up Travel Searches, Annoys Travel Search Sites

Google is causing trouble again.  This time, the search giant is making waves for travel sites like KayakExpediaand Orbitz.  But its defenders say it is helping travelers find flights faster and as for the  airlines, they like anything that cuts out the middleman sites like Orbitz and Expedia.

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes in the seemingly simple search business, but screenshots are sometimes worth a thousand words, as someone might have once said had there been screenshots way back when.

Say you’re going from Washington Dulles to Los Angeles International, a busy route with many flights. We tried three different ways of finding available flights.

Continue reading this story


China’s new bullet train can reach 500km/h

China has unveiled a prototype train capable of reaching speeds up to 500km/h, state media say, as the nation pushes ahead with high-speed rail despite a fatal crash.

China has built the world’s largest high-speed rail system from scratch in less than a decade, but a collision between two high-speed trains in July that killed at least 40 people led it to suspend new projects.

The new experimental train was unveiled in the eastern province of Shandong at the weekend by state-owned train maker CSR Corp, the China Daily newspaper said.

The train, whose sleek design was inspired by an ancient Chinese sword, was built using plastic reinforced with carbon fibre and magnesium alloy to reduce weight and therefore increase speed, the report said.

There was no indication of when the six-car train would be put into commercial use.

Continue reading this story


Travellers opt for bad body odour over crying kids

New Zealand Herald

Australians would much rather travel alongside someone with bad body odour than parents with crying kids, research shows.

More than 40 per cent of travellers ranked neglectful parents and their wailing children the number one flight horror, according to a survey by online travel agent Zuji Australia, ahead of those who neglected to shower (20 per cent).

Other top-ranked nightmare travel neighbours included non-stop talkers and arm-rest hoggers.

But the prospect of sitting next to a stinker or sulker on a plane is not enough to deter Australians from visiting family at Christmas time.

Continue reading this story


Legendary Buenos Aires cafe to make way for Nike shop

Mail and Guardian

It has been described as the most British corner of Buenos Aires, a landmark once frequented by writers such as Graham Greene and Jorge Luis Borges. But the grand old Cafe Richmond where until recently powerful politicians mingled with laid-back bohemians is being replaced by a Nike shop.

Thousands of people have signed a petition against the planned opening where the now-closed cafe stands on Florida Street, a pedestrian walkway that is one of the city’s main tourist attractions.

“It is horrific, barbaric,” said Robert Cox, former editor of the English-language Buenos Aires Herald and a patron of the cafe since he first arrived from London 50 years ago. “The Richmond was the only place you could get a decent cup of tea.”

During the 1920s and 30s the Richmond was home to the “Florida group” of artists, Borges the most notable among them, who met there regularly. Greene was another frequent visitor and the Richmond appears in The Honorary Consul, his 1973 bestseller that was later made into a film starring Richard Gere and Michael Caine. “The Richmond is haunted by Greene’s presence even now,” said Cox.

Continue reading this story