In brief: The secret lives of travel writers
Every Friday, we help you navigate the week’s most important and interesting travel news stories.
Breaking travel news for travellers.
Scoot, the budget branch of Singapore Airlines, recently joined AirAsia X and Malaysia Airlines in testing out a special section of its planes for those who don't want to be seated near kids. For an extra fee, passengers will get more legroom as well as seatmates who have reached their at least their 12th birthday. [NBC News]
Simple's out when it comes to theme parks. As a vice president at Cartoon Network put it, “Kids today have very high expectations. And the storylines are very complex in kids’ media today.” Legoland, SeaWorld and other theme parks are finding that they must step up their game in order to capture and hold visitors' attention. [Washington Post]
After reading Alex Renton's opinionated survey of how to approach a visit to Edinburgh, you'll know what to skip (ghost tours, deep-fried Mars bars) and what to relish (New Town, the art galleries and the many characterful pubs). [Intelligent Life]
Amazing things that should happen more often
Its fruit may be "unattractive and coarse textured", but a pear tree in the US is still going strong after nearly 400 years. This botanical Methuselah was planted by the English Puritan John Endicott in 1630, soon after he arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony to become its first governor. [Treehugger]
By her own admission, travel writer Ellen Himelfarb hates to leave the comfy embrace of her couch. So why bother? She mounts a thoughtful attempt at an explanation. [Globe and Mail]
To generalise wildly, writers are prickly. This can be seen in the list of the places that have most influenced five Australian novelists, including Alison Lester and Richard Flanagan. Robert Drewe finds Windy Harbour, near Australia's southwesternmost point, perfect for writing: "Around the corner from the Indian Ocean, it's the sort of wild, remote coastline that could harbour fictional smugglers. It ticks all my nostalgic boxes with its 1950s-style holiday shacks, pounding surf, pristine sandy beaches, rugged limestone cliffs and caves, excellent fishing—and few people." [Stuff.co.nz]
Photos and videos that went viral on the Web this week
We are in awe of Nightvision, a stop-motion video that captures some of the most famous buildings in 36 cities and 21 countries in Europe. Getting the 20,000 photographs and stitching it all together was an odyssey that took the artist Luke Shepard some three months, but the results are well worth it.
Ready for takeoff
All set to go, but too soon to tell what’s ahead
The sprawling and timeless city of Delhi has history around just about every turn, but many sites are difficult to reach. The Aga Khan Trust hopes to change that by knitting some of those heritage sites together to create a 1,200-acre park. The plans would unify such disparate sites as Buddhist stupas, Mughal tombs, fort ruins, a zoo and a tree nursery. Overcoming the bureaucratic and physical hurdles will take lots of effort, of course, but here's hoping it comes to pass. [AP/Skift]