Riding the rails through Europe is an often-romanticized journey - unless, of course, you're referring to a subway system. In that case, the only time people bump into each other tends to cause annoyance, with most choosing to sit alone and stare at a book or advertisement in a desperate attempt to avoid eye contact with fellow travelers (not to mention buskers).
But an initiative by the Prague public transport system intends to change the way people feel about getting from here to there by introducing singles-only "love trains," Spiegel Online is reporting. A spokesman for Ropid, the city's public transport authority, told the news outlet the initiative is part of a long-term campaign that aims to bring to light activities you can do while riding public transport that you cannot do inside your car (like reading or playing games on your cellphone ... or in this case, getting to know a complete stranger). Ropid plans to work with dating agencies to help facilitate the program, which will only operate on nights and weekends - cause as GOOD points out, you don't want to risk running into Mr. Right before you've had your morning coffee.
Would train travel be more appealing if you were allowed to bring Fido and Fifi along? That's precisely what four members of the House of Representatives are proposing in a new bill that would require Amtrak to allow dogs and cats, reports The Hill, a blog that tracks the ongoings on Capitol Hill.
Under the "Pets on Trains Act of 2013," one car of each passenger train would allow furry friends, who would need to be brought aboard in kennels or crates that conform to standards set by Amtrak. The service could only be used on trips less than 750 miles in length, and a fee would be required. Currently, Amtrak only allows specially trained service animals on trains.
When introducing the bill on Tuesday, the sponsoring Representatives pulled at other Congresspeople's heartstrings, explaining that pets are part of people's families. "If I can take [my dog Lily] on a plane, why can't I travel with her on Amtrak, too?" asked Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), one of the bill's cosponsors. If things pan out, it won't be long before dogs and cats will be able to ride the rails alongside their owners.
Game of Thrones fans can now visit familiar filming locations on new walking tours around Belfast, Northern Ireland and Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Here all all the details for you Game of Thrones fans out there, courtesy of tour company Viator:
In Belfast, a 9-hour private tour takes visitors along the Causeway Coastal Route, which should be instantly recognizable to any fans of the HBO series. Pose for photos on the Dark Hedges road before crossing the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and see the caves where Melisandre of Asshai gave birth to a shadow baby before stopping for lunch at Ballintoy Harbour, which is known as Lordsport Harbour in the series. The tour also includes a stop at the UNESCO-listed Giant's Causeway.
Four-hour walking tours in Dubrovnik take fans to the setting of King's Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms in the series. Visitors will check out Lovrijenac Fortress and climb the city walls that were attacked by the Baratheons in the first series, from which point they can look out over Blackwater Bay. According to Viator, a guide will also take visitors to several city parks used to film countryside scenes in the series.
In addition to Northern Ireland and Croatia, Game of Thrones has also filmed in Malta, Iceland and Morocco - but no tours have been announced there as of now. The fact that these tours have been developed, however, is a powerful testament to the effect popular culture has on tourism.
The outlook isn't good for those seeking cheap accommodations in New York; CNET is reporting Nigel Warren, a tenant who leased out his rented apartment through Airbnb, now faces a $2,400 fine for breaking a state law.
The news outlet reports that although Airbnb stepped in to defend the host, it was ruled the rental infringed upon the illegal hotel law, a statute banning property owners from renting their homes on a temporary basis when they are not present. The fine was originally issued to the landlord, but Warren officially accepted responsibility for posting the listing online.
When using his GoPro to capture grizzlies in Alaska, Brad Josephs got a little more than he bargained for when one of the bears tried to eat his camera. As the curious bear tried to decide whether or not to eat the camera, Josephs caught some eerie footage of the inside of its mouth.
"Amazingly there was no damage to the camera," said Josephs on the YouTube page for the video. With all those teeth, it seems pretty amazing to me, too.
What was once one of the world's most famous ships is now rusting away in an Italian shipyard. The U.S.S. Williamsburg, a naval ship that became President Harry Truman's personal yacht in 1945 and was once considered an American treasure, could be scrapped within a few years if a last-minute attempt to save the ship fails, NBC Nightly News reports.
Each week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) details some of the items they uncovered during airport searches on their blog. This week the administration found not only a record 50 firearms (45 which were loaded), but also a curious cane that concealed a 2.5-inch knife (pictured).
According to the blog, even the woman carrying the cane was surprised to find the blade inside when she tried to pass through a security checkpoint at Washington Dulles International Airport.
"It's important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure no prohibited items are inside," said the TSA. "If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag, you could be cited and quite possibly arrested by local law enforcement."
At airports this week, officials also found 10 stun guns, two inert grenades and a can of tear gas.
After four months of testing, the Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" will once again take to the skies in North America today. United Airlines is the first to kick off service, sending the Dreamliner skyward on a flight from Houston to Chicago scheduled for 11 a.m. this morning.
Earlier this year, the federal government grounded all 787 flights due to overheating concerns on the aircraft's lithium-ion batteries. The grounding hit both Boeing and the airlines hard, causing snags in proposed routes and forcing some airlines to lease planes. According to Associated Press, the grounding hurt United's first-quarter earnings by as much as $11 million - which is why we questioned whether or not the 787 is ready for flight, or whether the billions of dollars that have already been invested in the planes have caused things to be pushed along a little too quickly.
But according to several sources, passengers don't seem too worried. United spokeswoman Christen David told Associated Press the company "saw strong demand for the flight from the first weekend it opened for sale." United is starting slowly with domestic flights, and will then move into international flights in June with a new Denver-to-Tokyo service.
Seven months after Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York City-area beaches, construction will begin on replacement pavilions for those that were destroyed in the storm. Here's a peek at what destinations like Rockaway Beach and Coney Island will look like, courtesy of Garrison Architects, the firm that was asked to create these modular pavilions.
Structures include bathrooms for the public, stands for lifeguards and offices for beach staff, all of which sit on concrete stilts in order to meet standards put in place by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). According to architecture blog Architizer, the materials used to produce the pavilions, like galvanized steel frames, will ensure the structures resist severe weather in the future. The pavilions also have double-ventilated roofs with solar panels on top to save on energy consumption.
According to the architects, the pavilions will be built in Pennsylvania and then transferred via flatbed trucks to New York, where cranes will set them on pile foundations. Ramps and stairs will connect the structures to each other and provide access to the beaches and boardwalks. The new facilities should be put in place just in time for summer.
In what would otherwise make for a great comedy sketch, an Air India captain took a bathroom break during a flight Tuesday night and returned to find a jammed cockpit door. But according to a report by USA Today, this was no laughing matter: after all efforts failed to open the door - even from the inside - the co-pilot landed the plane at the nearest airport, where ground maintenance staff fixed the problem. The plane then resumed its flight, which was making its way from New Delhi to Bangalore.