– Written by Victoria Philpott
As usual for this time of year there’s been some sad old stories from the slopes, so it seems an appropriate time to remind skiers and snowboarders that if you’re planning on going off-piste you need to make sure you get the right kind of travel insurance. The average cost of calling out a search and rescue team in Europe is £16,000 and most policies won’t cover off piste skiing as standard – you’ll need to pay a premium on top or a huge premium if anything does happen.
The weather has been causing trouble all over the world with floods in New South Wales in Australia, leaving thousands of residents stranded. An avalanche in Austria fell on the second son of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Prince Johan Friso, and he’s now in a coma fighting for his life. The month started with heavy snow in Europe, which has now turned to excessive heat for this time of year.
In happier, more fun news, on April 28 an Angry Birds Theme Park will open in Finland, where the game was first designed. It’ll be based in Särkänniemi Adventure Park in Tampere, and feature rides and amusement park games, as well as a special ‘Magic Place’ area with interactive games.
Blogger (s) of the month
Woah, cookiesound.com is beautiful. Mother and daughter travel photography team Ulli and Nisa Maier have been recording their travels for longer than Nisa’s been alive. Nisa says she was “on the road pretty much straight out of the maternity ward” and Ulli has been travelling since the early 70s. Their incredible photos capturing people in awful conditions, having the time of their lives and enjoying their surroundings are evocative and beautiful and definitely worth checking out.
5 reasons why we love them…
- Their photographs are literally incredible… Travelling Through Africa in the Early 70s
- The give further insight into many of the images… Floating Villages At Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia
- I know it shouldn’t be so important, but the design is just amazing… The blog!
- They link to other beautiful and informative sources, including these videos… Here We Go Go: “In Asia – Malaysia, Thailand & Laos”
- They do cool things all day long… The Gibbon Experience – Tree House in the Jungle of Laos
February’s best articles
THE WORLD: In I Want to Travel But Can’t Find a Travel Partner (aka Solo Travel Anxiety) Brooke admits that although she’s rather have found a travel partner to experience this glorious world with, she’s done alright exploring by herself. She’s got some great tips for lessening solo travel anxiety and to make friends. Cheers Brooke!
SWITZERLAND: Check out these pics of Switzerland Belalp Hexe Witches-Only Skiing Race. Hundreds of wannabe witches ski down the 7.5 mile run to remember the poor old witches who were burned at the stake. I’d love to join in at this festival!
WORLD: 10 Weird and Mysterious Places on Earth from Sky Today, and they definitely are weird. Pretty cool though and a great list if you’re looking for one to cross off. From huge stones that move themselves, bleeding geysers, red water and the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle are just a few of the weird and wonderful aspects of our world featured here.
What about us?
Never mind the Oscars (but still check out 5 of the Oscar-nominated film destinations), there’s only one lots of Awards we care about this February and that’s the HostelBookers Awards for Excellence. We’ve collated the reviews and ratings from thousands of our customers and found the best hostels for partying, cleanliness, location, solo travellers and more, around the world.
With it being London Fashion Week in February too, we’ve taken a look at 50 Unforgettable Fashion Trends and the Best Charity Shops in London. I’ve also written a handy Beginner’s Budget Guide to London and a useful London accommodation guide too.
This month the blog also features the best Things to do in Shanghai, Coolest activities in Reykjavik and the Top 10 Fun Events in Australia. And now you’ve even got the chance to write for the HostelBookers blog too. Write about anything you like, travel related of course, just email your ideas and blog address to London.Editor@hostelbookers.com.
One last blog post of joy
JAPAN: 72 Random Observations About Japan. A funny take on Neverending Voyage’s visit to Japan. It made me want to go even more, if only to take pictures of me everywhere with my fingers in a ‘peace’ sign.
Thanks to redstamp.com for the excellent images from Flickr. Please note, all images were used under the Creative Commons License at the time of posting.