Tags Posts tagged with "Europe"

Europe

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On this episode, I talk with Charles Snyder, native Californian, poet, playwright, actor, educator, and all around Renaissance Man now living in Spain. Charles’s poetry has been published in Abernathy and A Gypsy’s Journal, and just this month, his essay “Negotiating Worlds Black and White,” a piece on being bi-racial in America will be published in the 2Leaf Press collection, Beiging of America. We’ll talk all about life in Spain, straddling the color line in America and abroad, writing, self-love, breathing, bodies, and a whole lot more. Tune in and get lifted!

Music:
“My Favorite Things” – John Coltrane

Fly Brother Radio Show Theme Song:
“La Femme d’Argent” by Air

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By Killarney’s lakes and fells emerald isles and winding bays
mountain pass and woodland dells mem’ry ever fondly strays…

This year, Fly Brother publisher Ernest White II will be joining a slate of established and engaging journalists, industry experts, influencers, and—naturally—bloggers to speak about the ins-and-outs of travel at TBEX Europe 2017. Bonnie wee Killarney, a town of 14,000 in the southwest of Ireland, is the site of the shenanigans, as several hundred presenters, tourism bureaus, travel companies, and travel junkies come together for networking and business opportunities, as well as learning to be more astute travelers and effective storytellers.

This event threatens to be a magical one, though, taking place for the second time on the Emerald Isle, and the castles and culture of fabled Killarney only enhance the allure of the experience. The people of Ireland know how to do three things particularly well: tell stories, dance, and welcome visitors. Fly Brother spoke at TBEX Europe 2013 in Dublin, so he has succumbed to Irish hospitality and has lived to tell the tale. Why don’t you come and live it for yourself? 😀

TBEX Europe 2017 is in Killarney, Ireland, from October 3-5, 2017. Register today!

Shannon (SNN) is the closest international airport to Killarney, with daily seasonal service through October from New York-JFK on Aer Lingus and Delta Air Lines, and from Newark on United Airlines. Bus service is available from Shannon Airport to Killarney, a journey of 2-3 hours.

 

Image credit: Sami Pyylampi via Flickr

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This summer, Europe gets that much closer when Norwegian Air starts its new routes from the Northeastern U.S. on its brand-spanking-new Boeing 737-MAX jets, augmenting its already extensive 787 long-haul transatlantic service. The airline officially announced the routes in February, along with introductory fares as low as $65 each way—and you can still find some cheap tickets if your dates are flexible and you’re open to discovering a destination you hadn’t considered before.

Image by Eric Salard via Flickr.

In fact, by flying a smaller, more fuel-efficient airplane, Norwegian is connecting cities in the U.S. and Europe that had never, or very rarely, had transatlantic service up to now. Beginning in June, you can fly nonstop from Providence, Hartford, and New York’s Stewart International—about 60 miles north of Manhattan—to Cork, Shannon, and Dublin in Ireland, Belfast in Northern Ireland, Edinburgh in Scotland, and Bergen in Norway (above), all cities on the western edge of Europe and just barely longer than flights from the Northeast to Los Angeles. In fact, you can’t even fly nonstop from Providence to LA…but you can to Ireland!

Norwegian’s new 737-MAX transatlantic routes.

Check Norwegian’s website for fares and flight times, then off you fly!

Also, listen as Norwegian’s senior public relations manager Réal Hamilton-Romeo talks travel on the FLY BROTHER RADIO SHOW.

Bergen image by Andrés Nieto Porras via Flickr.

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On this episode, I talk to Réal Hamilton-Romeo, senior public relations manager for low-cost international carrier Norwegian Air, lifelong airline brat, and traveling mom. Having built a public relations career with start-ups and young, dynamic companies like ShopKeep, JetBlue and now Norwegian, Réal spends her days advocating for increased connections across borders and boundaries. Tune in and get lifted!

Music:
“Return to Paradise (Mark de Clive-Lowe Remix)” – Shirley Horne

Fly Brother Radio Show Theme Song:
“La Femme d’Argent” by Air

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Russia got Hungary, ate Turkey, fell on Greece and broke China. We learned that little ditty in nursery school, and while it may not have happened in that order, there was obviously some allusion to the Soviet Union’s global sphere of influence during much of the 20th century. As menacing as that may have seemed, the glories of Mother Russia were still extolled to many a traveler, as evidenced by these lovely vintage travel posters. Добро пожаловать!


 

Have you been to Russia?

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This week, I’ll be heading east for an eclectic, exciting three-week sojourn to England, South Africa, and Egypt. The trip is ostensibly for work—I’ve got a media event happening in each place—but there’s obviously a bit of fun to be had as well. Here’s the rundown…

Transit Brunch in NYC with Oneika the Traveller
On Friday, I stop through the Big Apple en route from Miami to London just long enough to catch up with my girl Oneika the Traveller, who, probably against her better judgment, agreed to be a guest on the Fly Brother Radio Show. You can catch the episode this Saturday morning at 10AM Eastern on the Ndustry Entertainment Network.

World Travel Market in London
From Saturday til Tuesday, I’ll be hanging out in Londontowne at the biggest B2B travel fair on the planet, World Travel Market. There will be hobnobbing and schmoozing with tourism bureaus and travel companies from around the world, but also with journalists, bloggers, travelers, and the bartenders and waitstaff, too. It’s a great place for interaction and networking with decision makers in the travel industry, and the event is free.

Victoria Dock by Bill Tyne via Flickr
Victoria Dock from ExCeL London by Bill Tyne via Flickr

Essence Fest in Durban
After WTM and a few afternoons connecting with England-based friends, I’ll head down to the city of the Southern sun, Durban. The first international edition of the Essence Music Festival is happening there next week, which I’ll be covering for the Fly Brother Radio Show. Still, Durbs has other charms, including an intense culinary scene centered around Indian cuisine and a lengthy history as the center of Zulu culture. Quietly, sun-splashed Durban is one of my favorite cities in Africa.

central-durban-by-ernest-white-ii
Central Durban by Ernest White II

Nile River Cruise from Luxor to Aswan
Finally, I head due north to Luxor, site of the historic Egyptian city of Thebes and home to some of the greatest preserved temples and monuments of Ancient Egypt. From there, I’ll sail into Upper Egypt with a group of fly folks on a multiday Nile River cruise organized by travel collective Up in the Air Life, covering the trip in words and images here at FLY, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The cruise ends with a stop in the venerable market town of Aswan before I continue on to chaotic Cairo and home.

temple-of-luxor-by-vasenkaphotography-via-flickr
Temple of Luxor by VasenkaPhotography via Flickr

Be sure to follow along on all the social medias! Have you ever been to any of these places?

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One of the things I love about flying foreign carriers is the little bits of culture that you get to experience on the airline. With SAS, which connects the three Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden to the rest of the world, you get a very Nordic combination of friendliness and efficiency that make traveling with the airline an enjoyable experience. Since 1946, SAS (read as an acronym in English, but pronounced “sass” in Scandinavia) has used geography to its advantage in offering one of the shortest routes between continents in the northern hemisphere via the North Pole. In fact, in the days when multiple refueling stops were required for long-haul aircraft, SAS was the first airline to provide transpolar passenger service: a thrice-weekly flight from Los Angeles to Copenhagen—with fuel stops in Canada and Greenland—and free onward connections into Europe.

SAS vintage poster

With its main hub at Copenhagen Airport and two smaller hubs in Oslo and Stockholm, SAS competes directly with Finnair for the lucrative Asia-Europe market, and with Icelandair and low-cost airline Norwegian for passengers between Europe and North America. As a member of the Star Alliance and with a fleet of spacious, slickly refurbished Airbus A-330 jets, and a trio of comfortable, beautifully designed transit hubs, SAS is one of my favorite airlines for transatlantic travel. As long as expectations aren’t as high for the intra-European operation—the only free beverages are tea and coffee, and the leg-room is a bit tight—I think you’ll end up flying Scandinavian at every opportunity.

SAS

SAS Scandinavian Airlines flies daily from Boston, Chicago-O’Hare, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington-Dulles to Scandinavia.

 

Images courtesy SAS Group

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“I don’t care where we go.
I don’t care what we do.
I don’t care, pretty baby,
Just take me with u.”

Ever since Prince first whisked Apollonia off on his motorcycle to get purified in the waters of Lake Minnetonka in the 1984 rock film Purple Rain, The Artist has been an unlikely source of travel inspiration. Not only was his music daring, provocative, and unlike anything else played on urban contemporary radio in the ’80s and ’90s, Prince pushed the boundaries of identity and cultural expectation in a way that I could relate to even before realizing it.

Prince—music incarnate—came to represent the absolute expansiveness of blackness by hailing from a geographic and cultural region not traditionally associated with black culture. But he also opened up the possibilities of language and experience to me well before I even understood what was happening. I was ten years old when the goofy but sumptuous Under the Cherry Moon first aired on cable TV. Ridiculous script and laughable acting aside, it’s the brilliant cinematography, exotic setting (Nice, n’est-ce pas?), and lush, phenomenal score that still makes me want to―just for a moment―run off and be a gigolo on the Riviera. Indeed, half of the songs on Parade, the film’s masterpiece of a companion album, feature the sensuous vowels of French, with “Vous êtes très belle” joining that other soulful French refrain, “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?,” on the list of half-baked French phrases that every American of a certain age knows.

But beyond the language,  Prince made it okay to think differently, to desire a life beyond your own immediate borders, and to go after that life. In flamboyantly seducing every socialite and debutante on the Côte d’Azur, he made it okay to travel abroad and to live, unabashedly. And in heels, too.

Thank you, sweet Prince.
__________

Let Prince take you on a trip to the Moon:

 

Image by Robert Whitman

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In the filtered sunlight of the bus window, the little boy’s straight, yellow hair streamed from the top of his head like a sparkler. He peeked over at me, again, and this time, I gave him the most sour grimace I could muster. “What are you looking at?” I thought, again, but didn’t say because he was, after all, a child. But so was I, really: a 16-year-old spending the summer between his junior and senior years of high school in the northernmost province of Sweden, a hair south of the Arctic Circle.

I must have been the last foreign exchange student placed with a host family because, of all the American students placed in Sweden that summer, I was the farthest north and the furthest away from the capital city of Stockholm, where I had requested to be placed. The hamlet of Råneå was an hour outside of Luleå, itself not even topping 50,000 people and whose most famous export was ‘70s model and Bond girl Maud Adams. A bus that ran three or four times a day connected the town to the city, and neither town nor city was very racially diverse in 1994.

In fact, aside from a brown-skinned Sri Lankan girl adopted by Swedish parents in Råneå, it seemed I was the only other person of color in that section of the province, a flat, swampy expanse with Mesozoic-sized mosquitos and a sun that never set in summer. Not so very different from Florida, after all. The adults and other teenagers I was around—mostly, my host sisters’ friends—didn’t seem too scandalized by the skin tone difference: The Oprah Winfrey Show aired on Swedish television and two of the star players on Sweden’s World Cup soccer team were half-black.

But the little boy on the bus couldn’t stop looking. And finally, I stopped grimacing and smiled. He smiled, too, then I got off the bus.

 

Image by Daniel Glifberg via Flickr.

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The beauty of Stockholm is most vivid in the city’s quiet interstices: the shush of an electric blue pendeltåg as it shoots down the railroad track and into a tunnel, the muted hum of designer baby stroller wheels on concrete, the hush of smoke wafting from a cup of coffee caressed in slender, pale fingers. Yes, train horns wail, babies cry, and coffee drinkers chat, but the quietness that permeates the noise in the Swedish capital wraps around you like a blanket against the Nordic air, something warm and sustaining, not stifling.

I experienced this quiet riot first hand, going into a local supermarket for a few grocery items—mjölk for my tea and coffee, and smör with which to cook the eggs and spread on the Wasa multigrain crackers I was also buying. Sweden has several different thicknesses of milk, the least desirable of which, in my opinion, having the consistency of Elmer’s Glue. But I’d learned the names of milk with acceptable levels of viscosity years ago and asked the tall, fashion-forward stockboy where I could find some in the well-stocked but shoebox-sized store. I prefaced my question with a humble, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak Swedish,” and he prefaced his response a quiet, reassuring smile completely unexpected from a person under 30. I sensed a combination of pride in his own English proficiency and the surprise of an encounter with a wayward American with a voice vaguely reminiscent of Will Smith’s (so I’ve been told).

Once I scored the right milk, the stockboy peeked around the corner to ask if I’d found everything I needed, his calm, bright solicitousness another example of the quiet beauty that undergirds life in the north. He made me feel welcome in his store, his city, his country, as did the many other newsstand cashiers, coffee baristas, restaurant waiters, postal clerks, and airport bus service reps with whom I interacted in the city. Those quiet spaces between words are when the welcome is warmest.

That is the beauty of Stockholm.

 

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
Fly | Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) | nonstops from the USA on Delta, Norwegian, SAS, United
Eat | The Hairy Pig or Stockholms Gastabud (Swedish) | Chili Masala (Indian) | Farang (East Asian)
Stay | First – Nobis Hotel | Biz – Lydmar Hotel | Econ – Ånedin Hostel
See | Gamla Stan, Djurgården, Fotografiska, Historiska Museet, the Stockholm Archipelago
Play | Summer: Trädgården and Patricia for clubbing | Year-round: music and/or dancing at Södra Teatern, Stampen, Fasching, Marie Laveau, Bambaataa Bambaataa at Le Bon Palais, The Can Jam at the Hard Rock Café

 

Image by Thomas Fabian via Flickr.