October Travel Society Digest

This most recent digest is full of interesting tidbits, from sinking duck boats to scented tours, painted book edges, and the rudest cities in US. Enjoy!

Can you please Tweet with soap in your mouth?

where-do-twitter-f-bombs-come-from-heat-map-shows-rudest-places-d67d65dd2d (1)Recently, a creative researcher at www.vertalab.com, a small team of engineers and designers located in Ukraine, developed an application to work with Twitter to track patterns in what people are saying. The team checked polite tweets – those including “Good Morning” – vs impolite tweets: those including “eff” you – and it turns out that certain cities (Los Angeles) and regions (the Northeast) do emerge as being much ruder than others. Just another thing to keep in mind when you’re booking your holiday. image © Mashable 2012

Scented Tours – a new way to travel

The Camino de Santiago is a medieval pilgrimage, inspiring millions of pilgrims through the centuries. It also has been a unique source of healing for all of those who walked it. Many pilgrims still use this pilgrimage as a way to balance their life, find some answers or simply take some time away from our busy lives. There are many tour companies offering guided walks of the Camino, but repeat pilgrims are looking for something new. So, the innovative folks over at FOLLOW THE CAMINO™ have launched a Scented Spiritual Journey – an entirely new Camino Tour with an added “scented element”.

On this unique tour you will follow the last part of the French Way, from Sarria to Santiago, the very famous last 100km with a special Aromatic Camino kit and with the advice and comfort of an aromatherapy expert, Pam Conrad. Popular examples in these regions are lavender, rosemary, thyme, bergamot and some eucalyptus to name just a few. Connecting your walk with the aromatic plants and their gifts are a perfect way to fully experience your Camino.

The Camino Zen Aromatic tours will include Aromatic Camino Kits to support your journey as well as two experiential aromatherapy sessions with Pam, customized for physical, emotional and spiritual support as well as aromatic education. Daily aromatips will be provided too. Prices start at 795 euros, fully inclusive (8 days/7 nights, rustic charm B&B accommodation, dinners, transfers, etc.). For full details, call The Travel Society.

Lucky (or not so lucky?) Duckies

Duck_Tour_boat_beachingThis hasn’t been a good year so far for amphibious tourist boats. These purpose-built vehicles were first used in 1946 for city tours in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Since then, they’ve gained worldwide momentum, and are often used for city tours in places as far-flung as Singapore, Washington, Toronto and Belfast.

Despite their widespread popularity for tours of “river and harbour cities” a handful of operators seem to be making the news. In March of this year, Liverpool’s Duckmarine sank during a tour (passengers were able to safely disembark before it went down). Then, in June, the same company (!) had another boat go down with passengers on board – this time the vessel took on water very quickly and they were forced to jump into the water, some swimming to safety and others being rescued by passing boats. Not to be outdone, London’s duck boat tour just had their own incident; a fire on board, resulting in a number of passengers being forced to jump into the water for safety.

As always, our advice when it comes to cruises is, be sure you know where your lifejacket is!


Secret painted book edges

OK – so it’s not exactly travel news, but it might be of interest to people who like to read. Earlier this month over on The Travel Society Facebook page, we posted a link about fore-edge paintings on books, and lots of people thought the story was pretty neat. Although it’s new to some of us, this practice, where artists paint sometimes very elaborate scenes on the outward-facing edge of books Arch_of_Traianus,_Ancona_-_Tasso_in_Prison;_-_the_Bridge_of_Sighshas been going on since as early as the 10th century. The scenes aren’t always visible at first – some of the books were painted with the pages fanned out on an angle, so that the image can only be seen when the book is held in the same way. Not surprisingly, this extra level of mystique just adds to their desirability. Asking prices on eBay go up to US $1,700 for particularly good examples of “fanned” fore-edge book paintings. We just think it’s marvellous that people would invest the time and effort to paint something so beautiful – that may never be seen!