Winter sun…where to warm up without spending pounds on energy bills
Chalkmarks: Vienna, Austria

Good morning. This is what happened in the world of travel this week: Friday 21st October 2022

The PMs just keep coming. That’s three so far this year. On a rainy afternoon yesterday Liz Truss quit as Prime Minister, after 44 days in the job. It was shocking. Twitter blew up: she was trending with #ByeLiz #GeneralElectionNow #ToryShambles and #ToriesMustGo. The Daily Star announced the lettuce had won and Ryanair posted Liz Truss a ticket to anywhere. They even gave her Priority boarding, which was very generous. So, where to go? Today, she can cosy up and read this week’s travel headlines. Like Truss we’ll be brief!

Anyone for a holiday?

The warm up: Since the temperature has tumbled and the rain has started to pour in the UK, many are thinking of breaking out. The secret of hunkering down and keeping warm this winter is to head somewhere hot. Speaking of Which? the travel consumer magazine put out a list of destinations for last-minute breaks in November. Their six hotspots include Gran Canaria, Spain, Cyprus, Dubai, Florida, Mauritius and Thailand – all where the temperature’s 20C or above. Leave the knits at home!

Everyone’s talking about Mexico: The readers of Conde Nast Traveller have spoken and voted for their best cities in the world 2022. From the top, the winners are Mumbai, India in tenth place, followed by Cape Town, South Africa, Québec City, Canada, Mérida, Mexico, Tokyo, Japan, San Sebastián, Spain, Bangkok, Thailand, Victoria, Canada, Singapore and finally San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, took to the No1 spot for its “low crime rate, thriving cultural scene and endless culinary possibilities”.

Making waves: A bow of a ship comes into shot, gliding through a blue ocean and the camera pans out revealing The Icon of the Seas. This is the Royal Caribbean introducing its latest cruise liner on Thursday. This will be the largest ship on the high seas when it’s ready in January 2024. It’s so big it’ll have neighbourhoods from the Hideaway and Chill island to the AquaDome waterpark with the biggest slides on the water. It’ll also have all the bars and restaurants you expect on a Royal Caribbean – plus what’s become their onboard signature: all the latest tech. Watch this space. Here’s Cruise Lowdown with the lowdown. Here’s us on the Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas in 2015 – back when it was the third largest ship in the world. It’s now joint 19th.

Come on over: A new cheap flight is coming that will operate between Gatwick and New York. Norway’s budget airline Norse Atlantic Airways will start flying next summer with prices at around £250. Seriously?That’s a bargain. The Sun has the story. We love to go to the Big Apple, especially for the shops. Here’s what we got up to the last time we went.

Have you seen our pictures: Our fantastic travel photos, which capture some of our favourite destinations around the world, are now available for sale on Alamy. Woohoo!

Sekt in the city: Don’t go to Germany just for the beer, it’s home to the Riesling grape which comes from the Rhineland region. Grown on the steep banks of the river in slate rocks, the vines hold the warmth of the sun long into the evening which enhance their sweetness. In Koblenz, you’ll find Weingut-Hagn – a family run business that has been growing vines for some 300 years. Visit Mainz (just outside Frankfurt), known for its old town, and listed as one of the world’s Great Wine Capitals. Further along the Rhine you’ll find Kupferberg for a tasting of bubbly Sekt. Here’s how we got to know our grapes. Cheers.

Foodie adventure: Mamma Mia. Pull up a stool, dangle your legs and get stuck into aperitivo. It’s not wrong to start a weekend break in Italy, sipping a glass of Prosecco but it’s the perfect excuse in Emilia-Romana to revisit the classics: Campari, Cinzano, bright orange Aperol and even a sparkling Lambrusco. Bellissima. Italy is also a top spot for great food. From the moment you step off the plane, it’s ragu, lasagne, Mortadella ham, green olives and nearby Modena is home to Balsamic, delicious drizzled over gelato.  Here’s what we got up to when we went. Read all about it.

The pound: Watching the pound rise on Monday was beautiful. After the mini-Budget, if you had a tenner, it was worth almost the same as ten dollars. It really hit the cost of going on holiday. Thank you Jeremy Hunt for scrapping all Liz Truss’ economic plans. The uncertainty was over and his plan going forward is to keep the economy stable. The pound though is struggling today and fell again to £1 to $1.11 due to the new Tory leadership race. PA Media had the details.

Strikes: What we all want to know is when are they. We are fully on board with that (see what we did!). So here they are: the three dates for your November diary are Thursday 3rd, Saturday 5th and Monday 7th November.  If you have more questions, here are the answers from Sky News. And here Simon Calder gives us a reminder what the disruption and walk outs are all about.

The name is Bond: Bond Street station. This is the latest station to open on the new Elizabeth Line aka Crossrail in London this year. It was expected back December 2018 but who’s keeping track? Now, it’s going to open on Monday and already the reviews are Double-0 wow. There are two new entrances – near Oxford Street and another near Regent Street. A trip from Liverpool Street to Bond Street should take 8 minutes – currently it’s about 20 minutes on the Central line. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan described the station as “arguably the most beautiful, stylish, spacious station in Europe” and a “really good example of British engineering”. TfL gives us a tour.

In case you don’t follow us on social media you really should. Here we are, here too and over here. Say hola muchacha! 

Where will we be next Friday?

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