Cable car passengers airlifted to safety in French Alps ordeal, ‘Rocky’ steps under threat in Philadelphia and Tanzania is set to slash elephant hunting quota

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: passengers rescued in French cable car terror, hundreds evacuated in Costa del Sol fire outbreak, plans for a major revamp at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Tanzania expected to cut elephant hunting permits by 50%.


Asia & the Pacific

The Americas

Middle East & Africa


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

Cable car above Grenoble. Image by Tom Caswell / CC BY 2.0.
Cable car above Grenoble. Image by Tom Caswell / CC BY 2.0

Terrifying cable car rescue in the French Alps Several cable cars carrying dozens of passengers derailed and became blocked above the French Alps in the city of Grenoble on Sunday evening after a sudden strong gust of wind. 37 people had to be rescued, with some airlifted to safety by helicopter while others abseiled down. The rescue took three hours and fortunately no one was hurt. Read more:

Hailstorms devastate vineyards in the Burgundy region Fierce hailstorms in the Burgundy region have caused severe damage to some of the most prestigious vineyards in France over the weekend. Winegrowers are predicting around 40-80% of the grape harvest could be lost. Read more:

Tourists evacuated from Costa del Sol More than 600 people, including tourists, were evacuated from Competa on the Costa del Sol  at the weekend after a wildfire swept through the area. The fire has now been brought under control. Read more: 

Wildfire destroys hotels and forest in Antalya A huge fire at the weekend destroyed 125 hectares of forest and buildings, including four hotels, near Adrasan Bay in Antalya, Turkey. Known for its sandy beaches, Adrasan Bay is one of the last undeveloped parts of the Antalyan coast. Read more:

Mediterranean lighthouses getting a makeover Nine historic but abandoned lighthouses across the Mediterranean are going to be restored over the next 18 months in a bid to stimulate tourism in less visited areas. The multi-country MED-PHARES project intends to bring lighthouses and watchtowers back to life in Italy, Tunisia, Lebanon and France, with the first being situated in Sardinia. If successful, the plan could be rolled out to more lighthouses in the region. Read more:

Museum of London Docklands. Image by Ewan Munro / CC BY-SA 2.0
Museum of London Docklands. Image by Ewan Munro / CC BY-SA 2.0

Museum builds bridges to the past The Museum of London Docklands is hosting its largest ever art exhibition, exploring London’s bridges. Their combined histories take in statues, wartime camouflage, serial killers, motorcycle gangs and airborne buses, detailed in this potted history. Read more:

Name-calling a problem in traditional Iceland Iceland’s regulations are under the spotlight after a ten-year-old child’s passport renewal was turned down because she did not have an Icelandic name. Harriet Cardew, the daughter of an Icelandic mother and a British father, has a name that is not approved by the National Registry. Her family have previously got round the restriction by giving Harriet and her brother Duncan the names Stúlka and Drengur (‘girl’ and ‘boy’) on passports. Read more:


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

Paro airport, Bhutan. Image by Zachary Collier / CC BY 2.0.
Paro airport, Bhutan. Image by Zachary Collier / CC BY 2.0.

Bhutan airport expansion stalls Work on the expansion of Paro airport in Bhutan has stalled over unpaid bills by the Bhutan Department of Civil Aviation. The project is backed by the government of India but contractors have not been paid since April, and plans for additional flights to Paro are on hold until the airport can build enough apron space to accommodate extra aircraft. Read more:

Polar blast heading for New Zealand The New Zealand ski season should be in full swing this week with a polar blast from Antarctica predicted for Wednesday which could see temperatures hit icy lows on the South Island. Snow is expected at low altitudes with the potential for snowfalls in Wellington on the North Island. Read more:

Making a batch of Chai. Image by Scott Dexter / CC BY-SA 2.0.
Making a batch of Chai. Image by Scott Dexter / CC BY-SA 2.0.

The story of chai India consumes 837,000 tonnes of tea every year, most of it served as chai, boiled up on a stove with milk, sugar and spices. Documentary makers Zach Marks and Resham Gellatly have created a photo homage to the subcontinent’s favourite hot drink. See more:

Indonesia deforestation surpasses Brazil Indonesia lost virgin forests the size of Ireland between 2002-2012 despite a moratorium meant to protect them, a new study has revealed. Lowland and wetland forests in Sumatra and Kalimantan – home to critically endangered orangutans and Sumatran tigers – were among the worst affected. Read more:


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

"Rocky Steps" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Image by Alonso Javier Torres / CC BY 2.0.
‘Rocky’ steps, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Image by Alonso Javier Torres / CC BY 2.0

‘Rocky’ steps in Philadelphia could be removed The steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, made famous in the Rocky films as the place Sylvester Stallone’s character runs up in triumph, could be dramatically changed if a new plan goes ahead. Plans for a major expansion of the museum unveiled last week include a 24-foot window in the center of the stairs which would provide a view of the city skyline from inside but remove some of the steps. Read more:

Anti-suicide nets to be added to Golden Gate Bridge The Golden Gate Bridge is one of San Francisco’s most popular attractions and it’s also one of the most popular places for people to commit suicide, so authorities have now decided to take action. Nets will be added to both sides of the bridge, extending 20 feet out, with the aim of dramatically cutting the number of deaths (46 in 2013). Read more:

Plastic bag ban in Los Angeles The latest phase in Los Angeles’ banning of plastic bags rolls out on Tuesday. The ban was introduced last year for large supermarkets and extends to small grocery stores and gas stations on July 1. Those in favour say that it is a huge step forward environmentally, but opponents argue that it isn’t practical. Read more:

Search for missing rafter begins in Grand Canyon Officials have begun searching for a man who reportedly fell into the Colorado River during a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. Park authorities say they received a call on Friday from a private river trip company reporting that the man was missing. Search and rescue teams searched the area by boat and air over the weekend, but they have not yet found any signs of the missing rafter. Read more:

Local residents object to dinosaur theme park planned near Arequipa The regional government of Arequipa, Peru has recently approved the construction of a $1.4 million dinosaur theme park near Yura, 650 miles southeast of Lima. Local residents are concerned the plan is a squandering of public funds that could be better spent improving infrastructure as the dirt-road town lacks running water or a sewage system. Death rates from diarrhea and kidney-related disease are high and some locals have gone for up to two weeks without water. The mayor of Arequipa has defended the construction of the park, saying that it honors the prehistoric legacy of the region. readmore:

New flights, visa changes open Europe to Colombia Following the lead of several other airlines that recently announced new services between Europe and Colombia’s capital, Bogota, TAP Portugal will launch four direct weekly flights from Lisbon to Bogota on Tuesday. The move comes just months after the EU voted to ease visa restrictions on Colombians visiting the Schengen zone. Read more:


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

African bush elephant, Tanzania. Image by Pius Mahimbi / CC BY-SA 2.0.
African bush elephant, Tanzania. Image by Pius Mahimbi / CC BY-SA 2.0

Tanzania cuts elephant hunting permits by 50% The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism in Tanzania is reportedly cutting their annual hunting quota for elephant by 50 %. The government hopes the move will help restore herds that have been decimated by poaching. Some sources say that it is too little too late, while others believe it is a good start. Read more:

Street art gallery launches in Cairo A new gallery has opened in downtown Cairo, dedicated to all forms of street art. Called ‘Heytan’ meaning ‘walls’, the five-room gallery will host seminars, display works by street artists and electronically archive their work. Their first exhibit features murals of local street vendors. Read more:

Ramadan meal service offered on Emirates flights Dubai-based airline Emirates will be offering a special meal service to those observing the Ramadan fast this month. Iftar (the meal that breaks the fast) boxes will be handed out at boarding gates, while meals will be served at the correct timings on board. A tool that enables exact Ramadan timings to be calculated based on the plane’s longitude, latitude and altitude has been developed for this purpose in conjunction with the Dubai Astronomy Group. Read more:

Gorilla naming ceremony in Parc National des Volcans Thousands of Musanze District residents, dignitaries and visitors will congregate in Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans Tuesday to celebrate the 10th annual Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony. Operating under the theme ‘A Decade: Conserving-Empowering-Growing’, the event will name 18 baby mountain gorillas and include several entertainment acts. Read more:

UN links environmental crime with terrorism The United Nations has warned international delegates at a meeting in Nairobi that terrorist groups are funding their activities through environmental crime, particularly in Africa. Events at the UN environmental conference have been dominated with discussions about the illicit trade in wildlife, poaching of elephant and rhino, and illegal logging. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated: ‘Preserving the world is important and it’s my goal to fix everything that is wrong.’