Posts from ‘January, 2009’

Travel pods for Heathrow


YouTube direct

Heathrow airport is one of the world’s busiest and with its five different terminals it can be a nightmare to navigate with sometimes huge distances to travel between flights and to the carpark.

Well they have come up with a futuristic and novel way to help move people around, with the trial introduction of a pod system which should move travellers easily and swiftly around the complex.

Starting trials in the next few weeks from the brand new terminal five will be a driver-less pod system which runs on a 4 km track. Each pf the pods carry a family and luggage from the terminal to the airport. The system is that smart all the rider needs to do is swipe tickets, or frequent flyer card onto the computer or type in the flight number and the pod will instantly take them there travelling at speeds of about 40kph. 

It is hoped the 4km trial will extend to the whole airport and cover the 48km needed to move between all terminals. The pod is a battery powered vehicle which recharges when not in use and it is environmentally friendly emitting no CO2 and uses about 70 percent less energy than that of a modern vehicle, and with much of the system on elevated rails it keeps away from the nasty traffic of the airport.

Called ULTra Personal Transport System the initial investment has cost in the vicinity of 25 million pounds for the 18 pods and tracks.  There are also plans underway for Daventry and Norhamptonshire to use similar systems, and if successful we might see them rolled out throughout the world.

Dine in a A380 without taking off

Recently in the Taiwanese capital Taipei a novel restaurant opened which has caused a bit of interest around the world. Known as the A380 In Flight Kitchen the restaurant is themed as the giant Airbus A380. There is although a bit square, airline like seating for 84 people and people are served by waitresses dressed as flight attendants and serve their food on plastic trays.  People queue up to board with their boarding passes before the ‘flight’ and are welcomed aboard by the head steward before being show to their seats. The restaurant looks and functions just like a aircraft but its really just a clever fit out in a shopping centre and guests never leave the ground. Taiwan has a history of interesting dining experiences, they have one restaurant which is set up as a hospital ward and we did a story a few months back about one which was a giant toilet block where diners sat on toilets- said a lot for their food.

The Stalin Museum

Nasty old Stalin

Nasty old Stalin

We like off beat museums at tripandom and there are plenty of them around the world, but very few are dedicated to dictators. One such museum is the Stalin Museum in the city of Gori, Georgia. The museum shows the life of the Russian dictator Joseph Stalin who was born in the city and went on to lead the USSR from 1922 to 1953. The museum features his personal train carriage, his childhood home as well as many artifacts from his life as well as plenty of statues and artworks of him. Hit up the next page for a short news video about the museum as well as the link to their website where you can see a few galleries of the exhibits. Read the rest of this entry »

Frugal Fun in Las Vegas

Paris Las Vegas

Paris Las Vegas

Though Las Vegas still remains one of the top spots for high rollers, with upscale boutiques at the Palazzo Las Vegas, a high-stakes poker room at the Bellagio, and $25,000+ a night suites at The Palms Las Vegas, travelers are beginning to discover why Sin City is one of the best locations for a penny-pinching vacation. In these difficult economic times, everyone’s looking for new ways to save and cutting back on expenses. But a vacation doesn’t have to be one of the things you cut out from your budget. This year, try booking a trip to Las Vegas, where you can save on discounted shows and hotel rooms. Read the rest of this entry »

Penguins come to Melbourne

majestic king penquins at Melbourne Aquarium

majestic king penguins at Melbourne Aquarium

Melbourne Australia is known for it’s Philip Island fairy penguins but now penguins from the Antarctic are finding their home in this great city. A magnificent new exhibit costing $28 million dollars has just opened at the Melbourne Aquarium featuring five king penguins and 13 very inquisitive gentoo penguins. Bred in captivity these majestic birds have been the biggest attraction these school holidays with thousands of families visiting the aquarium to enjoy these amazing creatures.  The enclosure is kept at Antarctic temperatures and is covered in shaved ice and snow there is also a huge pond where the penguins can dive and play. Visitors can view the penguins both on the snow and from a huge glass pane window on the pond.  The Melbourne Aquarium is the only place you can see either King or Gentoo penguins in Australia. The aquarium also features a very interesting Antarctic exhibition so visitors can not only see and learn about the penguins but learn a bit about this cold and mysterious southern continent. Read the rest of this entry »

Orlando Features Fun in the Sun During Winter

Toontown at Disneys Magic Kingdom

Toontown at Disneys Magic Kingdom

While the rest of country is battling icy winds and heavy snowfalls, Orlando’s enjoying pleasant 70-degree highs and sunny skies. Jealous? You don’t have to be – winter is one of the best times for planning a vacation to Orlando, especially given all the fun you can have at Universal Studios Orlando, Walt Disney World , and SeaWorld Orlando . It’s the off-season for tourism in Orlando, meaning fewer crowds and shorter lines on your favorite rides. Throw in the pleasant weather, and there’s no doubt that Orlando is looking pretty good this time of year. You may just want to consider ditching work and taking time off to enjoy some of these Orlando theme park highlights. Read the rest of this entry »

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim

The Guggenheim

Dating back to 1959 the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has become one of the best-known landmarks in New York City and is one of the 20th century’s most important architectural buildings. The Guggenheim Museum is home to a renowned permanent collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art as well as featuring special exhibitions throughout the year. The Museum is located on Fifth Avenue at the corner of 89th Street in the Upper East Side in New York City. The museum overlooks  Central Park and is great spot to start a walk across the park around the Central Park Reservoir across to Central Park West where you will run into the memorial to John Lennon. Known as Strawberry Fields, the memorial sits in the park opposite his old apartment building (The Dakota) on the opposite side of the park from the Guggenheim. Read the rest of this entry »