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environment

Environment, Travel

SKI’ing in Lanzarote

Hotel vs Villa: The Princesa Yaiza Experience

Soon as it starts getting into Autumn – darker nights and gloomier skies – my husband’s thoughts turn to ‘where can we go to get some sun over Christmas and New Year?’. Now I am more of a ‘snow and fairy lights’ type of person… well that’s what I tell myself. With a ‘complex’ family structure – thats one way to describe it – exiting the country (UK) is a good way to extract ourselves from seasonal challenges, but it’s more than that. This is our third Christmas and New Year in Lanzarote, first time in a hotel rather than villa. Let’s look at how that went and explore how you can SKI’ing in Lanzarote when there is no snow or snow dome! Read on to find out more….

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Environment, Travel

Antarctic Ambassadors

This is quite an introduction from the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO):

‘Antarctica is a unique and one of the most perfectly preserved regions on the planet…. see how we work to keep it that way’.

IAATO

Since the first mainland Antarctic landing, thought to be by the sealer Captain John Davis on 7th February 1821 to the first tourist expedition in mid-1900’s there have and always will be, people who want to experience Antarctica. Initially it was the science, pursuit of knowledge and of course geographic claim that were the key reasons for making the treacherous journey to this remote land. With the Artic being more accessible and cheaper to reach, Antarctica escaped mass tourism until the 1900’s then this is what happened…

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Travel

It’s like ordering Fish & Chips and Being Brought Chicken & Jacket Potato!

The ‘Dusseldorf Europcar’ Experience

We do quite a bit of European travel, generally hiring car’s whether that’s in Germany, Italy or Lanzarote. So much easier than standing in that queue at the airport waiting for a taxi. We pre-order online, choose the car make and model we would like ahead of time, always automatic as they drive on the wrong side of the road (haha!). We add our flight number and arrival time, as well as the return drop off time. Well thats perfect as they know you are coming, right? Until you are stood in front of the desk ready to pick up your car….

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Travel

Shaping Guest Perceptions Positively

Part 3 of 3: Cliveden House Hotel, Taplow – what a welcome

We had friends from Germany visiting in the summer, with two young energetic children and a baby. It was a long weekend only but I always like to plan activities ahead with several options. Mainly ensuring places to run around for the children. 

The National Trust property, Cliveden House came up in conversation. Beautiful grounds going down to the Thames although the stately mansion house, previously owned by the Astor family steeped in history and political scandals, is now a Relais&Chateaux hotel.  We wondered what it would be like to stay in this historic hotel? 

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Travel

Getting more ‘Polar’

Part 2 of 3: Scott Polar Research Institute – Polar Museum, Cambridge

Planning  our short trip away in the UK following  some medical ‘stuff’  I had always wanted to visit the Scott Polar Museum at the research centre in Cambridge.  My blog last week, our short stay at The Graduate Cambridge, was part 1 of 3 with this visit being the main reason for the Cambridge trip

2024 will bring a trip to the Arctic for me in June  – totally different of course in every way to the Antarctica trip but still with some common threads through explorers like Roald Amundsen reaching both the South and North Pole, I thought a history lesson at the museum was a good place to start.

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Travel

Messing About on the River – Cambridge

Part 1 of 3: Graduate Cambridge Hotel

It’s funny what drives a short getaway, especially in November! Because of some medical stuff that had been going on we wanted a short trip to celebrate a 6 week recovery point. Criteria equalled not going too far in the car – my husband hates being driven, and I was driving! – and places we could easily walk. Combine that with something interesting to do, hmm thats not hard for me, the Scott Polar Museum = tick! A friend had mentioned Cliveden House and the beautiful grounds – a National Trust property but with the house now being a Relais & Chateaux hotel. I can see a mini-break coming together nicely.

This is part one, first stop Cambridge.

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Environment, Travel

Citizen Science Anyone?

And can you guess who Antarctica’s most beloved citizens are?

Do you know how difficult it is to get a good photograph of any part of a whale? Well you have to be lucky enough to see them in the first place of course and then have the camera ready just at that exact time they breach to capture that tail or fin. What I didn’t know before our Antarctica trip (2019) is that these whale photographs, capturing precious memories for each of the passengers, could make a much wider contribution….

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Environment, Travel

When a Gift to Yourself is a Gift to the Planet

Remember the very successful Charity Auction in July for both South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT) and the UK Antarctica Heritage Trust (UKAHT)? There were some fabulous donations and some surprising ones – Four Seasons Maldives kindly donated 5 large Coral Frames to the auction! What’s the link? It’s kind of like connecting the dots – except with oceans instead! The Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean to be precise, they are joined – get out a map and check it out. But still the SGHT Team and Four Seasons ‘ummed and ahhed’ over whether the ‘ocean restoration and conservation’ association between these two distant places would result in auction bids for the frames. It did!

Curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to know the stories behind the like-minded people who successfully bid on the coral frames. Fortunately, they both agreed to let me share some insights….

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Environment, Travel

We’ve Lost Five Times the British Isles worth of Sea-Ice from Antarctica! 

Scientists are trying to unravel the cause of the shrinking sea-ice, or ice that floats, on the surface of Antarctica’s Oceans. Currently its much lower than has previously been measured as a September ‘average’.  In fact the area of ice that is missing is about five times the size of the British Isles. 

I can’t imagine how you go about measuring the sea-ice around Antarctica, but whatever way you look at it, we are missing A LOT!

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