In brief: Flying car gets approved
Machu Picchu celebrates 100 years of rediscovery, a flying car gets approved, a former Nazi resort turns youth hostel, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Plane/car hybrid takes flight
The first flying car isn't as stylish as Marty McFly's DeLorean, but at least it can take passengers where they don't need roads. Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made special exemptions — such as allowing polycarbonate windows and special tires — to allow the two-passenger Terrafugia Transition access to both road and sky. The awkward-looking offspring of aircraft and automobile is expected to be available by the end of 2012 for as much as $250,000. The Los Angeles Times has video of its first test run from 2009, and the Wall Street Journal has a more in-depth coverage.
Ten years until supersonic flights
While the Transition represents our futuristic present, the Hypermach SonicStar is what we have to look forward to in 10 years. The 20-seat business jet will reportedly reach speeds of more than 2,600 mph — twice as fast as Concorde, the previous record holder — and heights of 62,000 feet, which would offer views of earth's curvature. Cruising at mach 3.1, the aircraft should be able to travel from London to New York in only two hours, the Daily Mail reports.
Polish man ends extended airport stay
After spending 18 days at the São Paulo airport, Robert Wladyslaw Parzelski has finally returned to London. In a real-life version of the Terminal, starring Tom Hanks, a London-based Polish man took a one-way flight to Brazil on 17 June. But after his friend apparently failed to meet him, Parzelski, who was broke and unable to speak Portuguese, decided to make himself at home in the airport. Little is known about the bizarre circumstances, but apparently his trip had something to do with obtaining two Brazilian telephone sets, the Guardian reports.
Machu Picchu threatened by its own success on 100-year anniversary
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the day Hiram Bingham rediscovered Machu Picchu, and one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world gives Peruvians reason to celebrate. But popularity has its downfalls: archaeologists warn that an influx of visitors and poor management could lead to damage. The "lost city" sees an average 1,800 visitors each day (with a cap of 2,500), but some local officials and tourism companies want to allow more tourists to help improve the local economy. With erosion and vegetation damage already occurring, the Peruvian government approved a controversial road, which, in addition to other dangers, would increase crowds. Those that want to avoid the masses can always take the hidden route, and those that want to step even further back in time can view a slide show of old photographs from Machu Picchu's rediscovery.
"Sun, sand and miles of flaking Nazi concrete. Germany's newest youth hostel stands just meters away from one of the best beaches the Baltic Sea has to offer, but is located in a building with a deeply troubled past."
-Der Spiegel reports that a massive former Nazi resort now hosts a controversial 400-person youth hostel at the resort of Prora, along the coast of the island of Rügen.