Category Archives: Travel

“Steven got on a plane like most people get on a bus”

The Man with the Golden Airline Ticket
“My dad was one of the only people with a good-for-life, go-anywhere American Airlines pass. Then they took it away. This is the true story of having—and losing—a superpower.” By Caroline Rothstein.

“In the early 1980s, American rolled out AAirpass, a prepaid membership program that let very frequent flyers purchase discounted tickets by locking in a certain number of annual miles they presumed they might fly in advance. My 30-something-year-old father, having been a frequent flyer for his entire life, purchased one. Then, a few years later, American introduced something straight out an avid traveler’s fantasy: an unlimited ticket.

In 1987, amidst a lucrative year as a Bear Stearns stockbroker, my father became one of only a few dozen people on earth to purchase an unlimited, lifetime AAirpass. A quarter of a million dollars gave him access to fly first class anywhere in the world on American for the rest of his life. He flew so much it paid for itself.”

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Legendäres, legales Bauwerk

Deutsche Welle: Bauarbeiten an Sagrada Familia erstmals legal. “Nach 137 Jahren dürfen Architekten, Ingenieure und Bauarbeiter endlich an der unvollendeten Basilika Sagrada Familia in Barcelona werkeln, ohne das Gesetz zu brechen. Eine Baugenehmigung hatte bisher gefehlt.”

“Die Behörden der katalanischen Metropole hatten erst 2016 entdeckt, dass Gaudí 1882 ohne jegliche Bewilligung mit dem Bau seiner Kirche begonnen hatte. Drei Jahre später beantragte er eine Baugenehmigung, bekam aber nie eine Antwort. Unverdrossen baute er weiter, bis er im Juni 1926 von einer Straßenbahn erfasst wurde und wenige Tage später starb. In seinem 100. Todesjahr sollen die Bauarbeiten endlich abgeschlossen werden.”

“[E]ngagement is growing, but it’s vapid, devoid of the deeper reflection that being in nature is meant to inspire”

The Walrus: How Selfie Culture Ruins the Great Outdoors for Everyone Else. “Social media has made natural spaces more popular. It could also destroy them.”

“For years, natural reserves have been seen as havens from the modern world, places where quotidian life gives way to quiet reflection and contemplation, often in relative isolation. But social media has disrupted the way we interact with the environment. With the right hashtag, anyone can view thousands of potential destinations—and choose which to visit based on aesthetics alone. A single social-media post can expose lesser-known or isolated places to the world. And that means good places can no longer hide. “They used to be local parks,” says Mairi Welman, head of communications for the District of North Vancouver, which manages two popular parks near the city. “But now we’re starting to see international visitors coming—and those parks were never designed to handle those kinds of numbers.” The influx has resulted in a host of problems, from woefully unprepared hikers getting hurt to people “using the environment as a bathroom.” And then there’s the parking: “There have literally been screaming matches and fist fights over parking spots,” she says. “It can be like a shopping mall at Christmas.””

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Notre Dame

Deutsche Welle: Spenden für Wiederaufbau von Notre-Dame. “Nach der immensen Zerstörung der Pariser Kathedrale Notre-Dame stehen bereits mehrere Hundert Millionen Euro für den Wiederaufbau des Wahrzeichens bereit. Bürgermeisterin Hidalgo schlug eine Geberkonferenz vor.”

Notre-Dame: Kölns Ex-Dombaumeisterin Schock-Werner bietet Hilfe an. “Notre-Dame in Flammen: In kürzester Zeit verbrannten weite Teile des Daches über dem Hauptschiff, ein Turm stürzte ein. Kölns ehemalige Dombaumeisterin Barbara Schock-Werner zieht eine erste Schadensbilanz aus der Ferne.”

The Guardian: Notre Dame was ‘15 to 30 minutes’ away from complete destruction. “Firefighters risked their lives to stop the raging fire spreading to the two belfry towers.”

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“UK to leave ‘as soon as possible'”

Deutsche Welle: Brexit delayed until October 31, EU and UK agree. “Theresa May has accepted an offer from Brussels to extend the Brexit deadline to October 31. The delay could force the UK to take part in European elections unless it can pass a divorce deal through parliament.”

Der Brexit wird nochmal aufgeschoben – mit Bedingungen. “Fast hätte Frankreich eine Einigung mit Großbritannien verhindert und einen Chaos-Brexit provoziert. Doch jetzt hat London bis Ende Oktober Zeit, um den Austritt zu ordnen. Christoph Hasselbach berichtet aus Brüssel.”