Freak summer snowstorm hits Norway, train fares to rise in India, Mt Etna disrupts flights and Abu Dhabi tourists warned to carry ID even on the beach

Get the best travel news here curated by Lonely Planet Destination Editors, who use their expertise to bring you the stories that matter from all over the world. In today’s edition: Freak summer snowstorm hits Tromsø, Norway for first time in one hundred years, Indian Railways expected to increase fares to stem massive losses, Mt Etna erupts causing flight disruptions and Abu Dhabi police warn tourists to carry ID at all times, including when taking a trip to the beach.

Asia & the Pacific
The Americas
Middle East & Africa
Weird, odd & just plain fun


17 June is …

Bunker Hill Day, Boston, USA

Soviet Occupation Day, Latvia

National Day, Iceland


Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Europe Destination Editors: Jo CookeJames SmartBrana VladisavljevicKate MorganAnna Tyler and Gemma Graham.

A snow covered Tromso, Norway
A snow covered Tromso, Norway. Image by thomas_oliver /CC BY 2.0

So much for summer: freak snowstorm hits Norway
Tromsø in Norway is experiencing snow in June for the first time in living memory. The unseasonable weather in the north of the country is due to an icy wind from the North Pole and higher areas in the south and west of the country may also see snowfall in the next few days. Local records show that it last snowed in summer in Tromsø about 100 years ago. Read more:

Endangered turtles seized at Prague airport
Customs officials in the Czech Republic have seized 47 endangered black-breasted turtles at Prague’s  Vaclav Havel airport. The animals were discovered when X-raying luggage belonging to 47-year-old Russian national called Innocent Kapustin. The man faces up to ten years in prison if convicted of trading endangered species. The turtles are now being cared for at Prague Zoo. Read more:

The Hayward Gallery
The Hayward Gallery. Image by Mark Hillary / CC BY 2.0

New exhibition features presidents, bears and art-world bee battle
A new exhibition about the human condition at London’s Hayward Gallery features a bear hugging a policeman, JFK in a coffin and a woman-shaped candle that will gradually melt as the exhibition progresses. But the most controversial piece in Human Factor (June 17– Sept 7) is a nude concrete woman with a beehive for a head. She’s onto her second bee batch, after the first were massacred by tougher bees from a hive on the roof of the National Theatre. Read more:

British slavery under the spotlight
As the film Belle, which tells the story of a mixed-race woman in eighteenth-century London, is released, the New York Times explores the history of slavery in the UK. Its account takes in Kenwood House, the Museum of London Docklands and the National Portrait Gallery in a story of politics, sugar and brutality. Read more:

Russian wins Young Chef of the Year award
Russian chef Sergey Berezutskiy from As East Is restaurant in Moscow has won the Young Chef of the Year award at the 2014 S. Pellegrino Cooking Cup, held in Venice. Ten chefs from across the world, all under 30 years of age, took part in the competition. The jury was composed of famous chefs and the challenges for the competitors included the presentation of a personal dish. Read more:

Greece is Europe’s top cruise destination
Greece is one of the top cruising destinations in Europe, according to the annual report from the Cruise Lines International Association Europe. The islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu are all listed among the most popular European ports of call for cruise ships. Read more: 

New budget airline launched in Croatia
Croatia’s first low-cost airline has announced that its first flights will commence on June 30. Dalmatian will offer regular flights between Zagreb and 12 cities in central Europe with prices starting from €29.99. Read more: 

Mt Etna erupts, causing flight disruptions
Europe’s most active volcano, Mt Etna  in Sicily, has erupted once more, shooting molten lava and ash into the sky. Flights to the nearby Catania airport had to be diverted around the eruption, causing delays and disruptions, although the airport itself remained open. Read more:

Austria adds nine traditions to its UNESCO cultural heritage
Nine traditions have been added to Austria’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage by the country’s UNESCO commission bringing the number to 77. Among the traditions are a group of ballad singers, the Mordsgschicht singers, a group of craftsmen still making the Jew’s harp and the largest festival in Tyrol – the Gauderfest in Zell am Ziller. Read more:


Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Asia & the Pacific Destination Editors: Megan EavesSarah ReidJoe BindlossLaura Crawford and Tasmin Waby.

Train fares in India set to soar
Train fares in India set to soar. Image by Rupert Taylor-Price / CC BY 2.0

Fare hike expected on Indian Railways
The operator of the national rail network in India is expected to raise its fares by up to 14% in a bid to stem massive losses. The nation’s largest employer, Indian Railways transports 13 million passengers daily, but loses 300,000,000 rupees (US$5 million) a day in the process. Read more:

Solomon Islands flood repatriation nearing completion
The final evacuees are leaving refugee camps established after the April flood that devastated Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. At its peak the camps housed 10,000 people. It has been reported that the government has also made some new land available for resettlement. Read more:

Dark Mofo unlocks dark memories
The art installation by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer with 18 powerful search lights criss-crossing Hobart’s sky, has rekindled memories of WWII bombing raids in the UK for some viewers. The artists says his inspiration for the display was the US–Mexico border patrol. The searchlights are controlled by the public and is one of the headline installations of the winter festival which is on until June 22. Read more:

Jakarta launches tourist bus service
Accessing the Indonesian capital’s major attractions just became easier, thanks to the roll-out of a free city tour bus service. The double-decker buses make an 11km loop of Jakarta’s city centre from 7am-7pm daily.  Read more:

Bali Arts Festival in full swing
Bali’s cultural event of the year offers visitors a rare opportunity to take in traditional Indonesian dances that are no longer widely performed, along with handicraft exhibitions and other cultural events. Held at Denpasar Arts Center, the festival runs until 12 July. Read more:

Maldives wins top luxury destination award
The Maldives has won the award for best luxury destination for the second year running in the Seven Star Global Luxury Awards. The islands beat the Bahamas, Fiji and the Seychelles to the top gong, which is awarded for the tourist destination that best serves the luxury travel market. Read more:

Iconic Taiwan department store reopens after 70 years
The Hayashi Department Store in Tainan, Taiwan has reopened after nearly 70 years. The store opened in 1932 under Japanese colonial rule and was later damaged during WWII. It was used as an office and storage, but reopened on June 14 as a functioning department store, which maintains Taiwan’s oldest elevator. Read more:

South Korea to offer direct bullet trains to Incheon airport
South Korea’s high speed rail system, Korea Train eXpress (KTX), is set to begin direct services to the country’s main international airport, Incheon, on June 30. Previously, travellers had to change trains in Seoul or Yonsan, but the new system will allow direct travel from other parts of Korea in only a few hours. Read more:

Philippines carrier launches new Sydney–Manila service
Low-cost Philippines carrier Cebu Pacific will begin operating direct flights between Sydney and Manila from September. The airline hopes to tap into growing tourism market, stating that the number of Australians visiting the Philippines has increased by 25% in the past two years. Read more:


Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Americas Destination Editors: Clifton WilkinsonDora WhitakerAlex Howard and MaSovaida Morgan

Iconic Washington DC, one of USA's most walkable cities
Iconic Washington DC. Image by John Haslam /CC BY 2.0

Washington DC tops list of USA’s most walkable cities
Washington DC has the most urban area of any US city that is ‘walkable’, according to a new report published on Tuesday by George Washington University. Neighbourhoods where the focus is on walking rather than driving account for 42% of the metro area of DC, whereas in cities such as Phoenix and Orlando the area is around 5% to 6%. Read more:

‘Watergate’ carpark to be demolished
It has been over 40 years since the Watergate scandal shook the US political system, but the famous car park in Rosslyn, Virginia, where Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward met with ‘Deep Throat’, his secret Watergate source at the FBI, will now be demolished. The meeting provided crucial information in the scandal that eventually saw the resignation of President Nixon. The 1960s buildings housing the garage will be replaced no sooner than January 2017. Read more:

Food trucks healthier option than restaurants
Food trucks are still all the rage in Los Angeles and despite some people giving them the nickname “roach coach” because of dubious hygiene standards, a recent report has shown that the trucks have only half the health violations of the city’s restaurants. The report looked at seven US cities and only in Seattle did restaurants come out better than trucks. Read more:

Senior citizen ‘breaks bad’ in California
The last thing police expected to find when they randomly pulled over 64-year old Robert Short was a stash of methamphetamine in his car. Authorities discovered $1700 worth of the drug and arrested the retiree on suspicion of operating a meth lab from his home in a retirement community in Fresno , California. Read more:

Slot player wins over $1 million
It was a Florida woman’s lucky night when she hit a $1,094,560.56 jackpot at a slot machine in the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The winner, who was only described as a Florida resident in a press release issued today, was visiting Vegas on a family trip on June 7 when she hit the jackpot on the “Wheel of Fortune” MegaJackpots game. IGT, the company that produces the MegaJackpots game, said the woman decided to extend her stay in Las Vegas after her win. Read more:

New Mexico Tourism Department unveils Breakfast Burrito Byway
Foodies can now sample New Mexico’s Breakfast Burrito Byway, a travel itinerary created by the tourism board and dedicated to the morning meal. The tortilla-wrapped mixture of egg, chilli and cheese originated in the state in the 1970s, according to the tourism department’s press release. To decide which stops to include, customers nominated and voted on their favorite burrito businesses, collectively casting over 46,000 votes. The top 50 breakfast burrito locales were added to the itinerary. Read more:

Pre-Inca textile returns to Peru
An ancient Paracas funeral shroud that was smuggled out of Peru 80 years ago  by a Swedish diplomat has been returned to the country. The Shroud of Gothenburg is one of four ancient textiles being returned to Peru under an intergovernmental agreement, and another 85 textiles will be returned to the country by 2021. The textile features more than 80 interwoven hues of blue, green, yellow and red, in a pattern of 32 frames. Researchers believe the images on the shroud functioned as a calendar for farming seasons. Read more:


Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Middle East & Africa Destination Editors: Helen Elfer and Matt Phillips.

Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi. Image by Shenli Leong / CC BY 2.0

Abu Dhabi police warn tourists to carry ID
Tourists in Abu Dhabi have been warned that they must carry identification with them at all times, including on the beach. The Tourist Police Section is distributing guides in a number of different languages reminding tourists to do so and warning them against  ‘uncivilised and inappropriate behaviour’ according to Colonel Dr. Rashid Mohammad Borshid, Head of the Criminal Investigation Department. Read

British embassy likely to open in Tehran
The Uk’s Foreign Secretary William Hague will announce a plan on Tuesday that is expected to lead to the re-opening of a British embassy in Iran’s capital Tehran. Britain suspended its diplomatic relations with Iran after the previous embassy was attacked in 2011. No date has been set yet for re-opening but the move would mean significantly easier travel to Iran for British tourists. Read more:

Second attack near Mpeketoni kills at least ten
Somalia’s al-Shabab militants, who claimed responsibility for Sunday evening’s killings in Mpeketoni, Kenya, have raided a second nearby village and killed at least ten. The attack appeared to target men, as women and children were left unharmed. Although Mpeketoni is about 90 minutes by road from Lamu Island, it is not a tourist resort. BBC’s correspondent said it appeared that attackers were not interested in foreigners or their interests. Read more:


China proposes pink tallest towers, will also be smog filters
China has proposed the construction of a set of giant pink towers that will double as smog filters in the central city of Wuhan . The eco-friendly Phoenix Towers would eclipse the current world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and would act as air and water filters, collect solar, wind, and hydrogen power, house a vertical garden, collect rainwater, and also be home to restaurants and businesses. Read more: