Purim is a holiday celebration like no other
Mediterranean cruises are on sale, the world's first "carbon-neutral city" is in the works, Copenhagen claims the world's best chef, Time magazine picks its 25 "must-have" travel apps, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
American cruise lines on sale in Europe this summer
It's a simple case of supply and demand: US cruise lines Carnival and Royal Caribbean thought they could boost revenue by adding several ships to their European routes this summer. But the crowds haven't shown up, so the companies are now discounting their fares, reports The Chicago Tribune. For example, the Carnival Magic, which debuted in Europe this week, has 12-night cruises from $849, much lower than comparable itineraries on similar ships in the Caribbean, says USA Today.
World's first 'zero-carbon city' is in the works
The city-state of Abu Dhabi has started to promote Masdar City, a planned desert suburb that will be powered entirely by solar power and other renewable energy, reports the UAE's The National. The city hopes to draw 40,000 residents to its planned low-rise buildings, which will be made from recycled materials. Monthly fairs in Abu Dhabi have begun, letting locals try out the "personal rapid transit" vehicles that will replace gas-powered cars in this development project. The blog Green Prophet has a slideshow of this and other attractions.
'25 must-have travel apps'
Time magazine has put together a list of "must-have" travel apps. Some surprising choices include Find My iPhone/Where's My Droid, self-explanatory; SitOrSquat: Bathroom Finder, also self-explanatory (iPhone only); and Seesmic, a digital tool for tracking your high-priority friends on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter (iPhone and Android). Read the full list.
The Swedish chef takes top honors
In mid-April, Swedish chef, René Redzepi, replaced Spaniard Ferran Adrià from the restaurant El Bulli as the world's top chef on the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants 2011 ranking. Der Spiegel sent a correspondent to Copenhagen to check out the Redzepi's gourmet restaurant Noma, where all of the ingredients are from Scandinavia. Recent highlights were elk tongue, raw live crab and strawberries with hay and chamomile. Good luck getting a table, though. "Reservation requests are accepted on its website only once every three months."
The mega re-tweet
We scour Twitter to highlight a standout travel tweet.
"The crazy thing re: Bin Laden being in Abbottabad is that it's tourist town, like if he'd been caught in Vail."
-- @ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that strives to produce investigative journalism in the public interest.
Lonely Planet's guide to Pakistan notes that Abbottabad, the location of Osama Bin Laden's compound, features "shady gardens, church bells and wide streets" as well as a "vibrant bazaar." It recommends eight hotels and six restaurants there.