Tourist dies at Norwegian waterfall, gunmen attack Borneo resort, US bike lanes set to double, air-con skate park opens in Dubai

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: Russian tourist dies falling at Vøringsfossen in Norway, dive resort closed off Borneo after gunmen attack, US bike lanes set to double by 2016, air-con skate park opens in Dubai.

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

YOUR WORLD TODAY

14 July is…

The anniversary of the shooting of Billy the Kid, New Mexico, USA

The birthday of Princess Victoria, Sweden

Bastille Day, France

 

EUROPE

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

Vøringsfossen waterfall, Norway. Image by Esther Westerveld / CC BY 2.0
Vøringsfossen waterfall, Norway. Image by Esther Westerveld / CC BY 2.0

Tourist dies in Vøringsfossen fall
A Russian national has died in Norway after falling 145 meters into Vøringsfossen, a waterfall attraction located between Oslo and Bergen. The woman is believed to have been on her own. A number of visitors have died at the falls in recent years and work is due to begin later this year to make the area more secure. Read more: thelocal.no

Yekaterinburg unveils futuristic ‘Russia One’ tram
A new Russian-built tram called ‘Russia One’ has been presented to the public at a trade fair in Yekaterinburg. The silent, low-floor tram has already been dubbed ‘iPhone on rails’ because of its futuristic design. It’s equipped with a satellite navigation system, wi-fi, GPS, video cameras and air conditioning. Its speed is comparable to that of an electric train, it can travel on batteries for up to 50km and will continue to operate even if one of the cars breaks down. Production is scheduled for the start of 2016. Read more: rbth.co.uk

Istanbul metrobus prices to rise
Metrobus prices are set to rise and new buses are to be launched in Istanbul to combat overcrowding. The increase is yet to be confirmed but will target peak commuter times in the city. Approximately 800,000 people currently use the metrobus network daily. Read more: todayszaman.com

Safety measures ban all recording equipment in the Pamplona bull run. Image by Abir AnwaR / CC BY 2.0
Safety measures ban all recording equipment in the Pamplona bull run. Image by Abir AnwaR / CC BY 2.0

Pamplona police seek bull running selfie-taker
Police in the Spanish city of Pamplona are looking for a man who appeared to take a ‘selfie’ in front of charging bulls during the San Fermín festival. He was pictured by Spanish media in the final stages of Friday’s bull run and has drawn criticism for his reckless behaviour. The local authorities have banned all recording equipment for safety reasons. If found the man faces a fine of up to €3,000. Read more: guardian.com

Hellenic Seaplanes postpone flights launch for 2015
Hellenic Seaplanes have postponed the launch of their seaplane flights between Greek islands until May 2015. The flights were originally scheduled to launch this summer. According to the company’s management, the reservation system will be activated by October 2014. Hellenic Seaplanes will initially operate ten waterways mainly around the Sporades, but aim to increase this to one hundred waterways throughout Greece in 2016. Read more: news.gtp.gr

France celebrates Bastille Day
Bastille Day celebrations are in full swing across France as July 14 commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789. Ceremonies taking place in Paris include a morning military parade on the Champs-Elysées and a 35 minute fireworks display, which can be viewed from the Champs de Mars, from around 11pm. Read more: en.paris.info

Climbers scaling Mount Blanc. Image by Cristian Bortes / CC BY 2.0
Climbers scaling Mount Blanc. Image by Cristian Bortes / CC BY 2.0

‘Ad hoc alpinists’ anger St Germain mayor
The mayor of St Gervais, France whose constituency covers Mont Blanc, reacted angrily to an incident last week in which a Polish climber demanded to be airlifted off Europe’s highest mountain because he didn’t want to walk back down. Following the incident the mayor said, ‘The demands of these ‘ad hoc alpinists’ reflect the urban consumer’s state of mind, which demands security and service at all times…it is not an amusement park.’ Read more: telegraph.co.uk

Operation to refloat the Costa Concordia under way
Work has begun on a complex operation to refloat the wreck of the Costa Concordia and tow it away to Genoa to be dismantled. The huge cruise ship has been lying off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio for more than two years since it ran aground in January 2012 causing the loss of 32 lives. Read more: telegraph.co.uk

Map shows most and least visited regions of Italy
Milan’s Corriere della Sera newspaper has published a map of Italy showing the regions resized according to how many foreign tourists visit them. The map makes it easy to see that Veneto (home to Venice), Tuscany and Lazio (home to Rome) are the most popular regions, but it also makes it easy to spot the less visited areas (such as Marche, Abruzzo, Umbria, Basilicata, Molise and Calabria) if you fancy getting off the beaten track. Read more: corriere.it

 

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

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

Mabul Island, Borneo. Image by Jeremy Eades / CC BY-SA 2.0
Mabul Island, Borneo. Image by Jeremy Eades / CC BY-SA 2.0

Gunmen attack Borneo dive resort
A dive resort on Mabul Island, off the southeast coast of Borneo, has been temporarily closed after gunmen thought to be Filipino terrorists ambushed the resort on Saturday killing one policeman and kidnapping another. The incident is the latest in a string of attacks in Malaysia’s Sabah state which is home to some of the world’s top dive sites. Read more: nst.com.my

Singapore Food Festival kicks off
Themed ‘A Walk Down Memory Lane’, this year’s installment of the Singapore Food Festival relives the best memories of the festival’s 20-year history via an array of dining experiences held across the city until July 20.  Highlights include the Nyonya Mobile kitchen serving modern interpretations of Peranakan fare and the Ion Orchard Food Trail exploring the nation’s signature delights that have withstood the test of time. Read more: yoursingapore.com

Guilin newest Chinese city to offer visa-free scheme
Guilin will become the ninth city in China to offer a 72-hour visa-free scheme to foreign tourists. The scheme will take effect on July 28 and offer travellers from 51 countries the chance to visit Guilin without applying for a visa first. Guilin is a popular destination for its proximity to the karst landscape along the Li River. Read more: news.xinhuanet.com

Kedarnath suffers after devastating floods. Image by rajkumar1220 / CC BY 2.0
Kedarnath suffers after devastating floods. Image by rajkumar1220 / CC BY 2.0

Pilgrims trapped at Indian shrine
Thousands of pilgrims have been trapped by landslides at the famous temple of Kedarnath in the Himalayan state of Uttarkhand in India. One of the highly revered Char Dham temples, Kedarnath, only recently reopened to pilgrims after devastating floods in June 2013. Read more: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Nepal rejects last rites for Tibetan lama
The government of Nepal has refused to allow the body of Shamar Rinpoche, the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, to be transported from India to Kathmandu for funeral rites. The guru was formerly head of the Shar Minub monastery in Kathmandu, and the ban is viewed by many as an attempt to placate China, which is playing an increasing economic role in the impoverished Himalayan nation. Read more: hindustantimes.com

South Korean military warns of landmine threat along coasts
South Korea’s military has issued a warning that landmines from North Korea may have washed up along the country’s coasts and rivers. Korea  is experiencing a heavier-than-usual rainy season allowing mines to float down rivers and coastlines from the north. Visitors are warned not to approach or open any wooden boxes which typically contain the mines. Read more: koreaherald.com

THE AMERICAS

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

US goes green with promise of new bike lanes. Image by Paul Krueger / CC BY 2.0
US goes green with promise of new bike lanes. Image by Paul Krueger / CC BY 2.0

Bike lanes in US cities set to double by 2016
Bike lanes in US cities are set to double by 2016, according to a report by Colorado-based PeopleForBikes advocacy group. Bike-sharing schemes and related infrastructure has already seen the number of bike lanes double since 2011 in the US as municipalities see the benefit of attracting bicycle-commuting millennials to their cities. The mayor of Chicago has promised 100 miles of bike lanes by next year and there are 200 other projects planned across the country. Read more: bloomberg.com

Camping for horror movie fans on the West Coast
If standard camping seems just too dull and having a real-life Blair Witch experience is your kind of thing, then head to California and the Pacific Northwest in the next few weeks to enjoy the Great Horror Campout. Taking place overnight, campers can get attacked by zombies and imprisoned in cages in an attempt to be named Hellmaster. The next one takes place in Sacramento on Friday. Read more: greathorrorcampout.com

Posh shops flooded in San Francisco
A burst water pipe sent gallons of water pouring into the storage rooms of some of San Francisco‘s most upscale stores on Saturday. Shops around Union Square like Bulgari and Chanel were flooded for around six hours causing damage to stock before firefighters managed to contain the water. Read more: sanfrancisco.cbs.local

Man catches 482-pound halibut
While fishing off the coast of Southeast Alaska, a Californian man reeled in what might be the largest halibut caught in the Pacific Ocean in the last decade, but the catch won’t set a record. The 482-pound halibut was first shot, harpooned and then pulled aboard which disqualifies the catch from setting a world record. According to the International Game and Fish association, the use of tools other than a net or gaff bars entry into the record book. Read more: adn.com

Interns track Donner Party
Interns for the US Bureau of Land Management took a three-day trek across the Utah desert following part of the path of the Donner Party. In 1846 the Donner Party went across Utah’s Great Salt Lake Desert in order to get to California, but the difficult path delayed the group and they became stranded upon reaching the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The Donner Party later starved, some died and several turned to cannibalism. The interns however, arrived to their destination intact and unharmed. Read more: reviewjournal.com

Pitch invader attempts smooch on German player in World Cup final
Russian comedian Vitaly Zdorovetskiy tried to gatecrash the World Cup final in Rio on Sunday, managing to make his way onto the pitch during the second half of the match before attempting to kiss German player Benedikt Hoewedes. The live broadcast of the game cut away to a night-time shot of Rio during the stunt, but basketball star LeBron James caught the action and shared footage on Instagram. Read more: buzzfeed.com

MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

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

Dubai opens luxury skate park. Image by rafael-castillo / CC BY 2.0
Dubai opens luxury skate park. Image by rafael-castillo / CC BY 2.0

Air-con skatepark opens in Dubai
A new skatepark has opened in Dubai’s Al Quoz district. Zoo Skatepark is fully air-conditioned, allowing skateboarders to use it throughout the hot summer months. Facilities include beginner slopes as well half pipes, quarter pipes, and a vert bowl for the more experienced. Lessons are available. Read more: thenational.ae

Buildings collapse in Casablanca leaving 15 dead
The death toll from three residential buildings that collapsed in Casablanca, Morocco has risen to fifteen according to officials and includes Moroccan actress Amal Maarouf. The reason for the buildings’ collapse is still unclear but many have said shoddy construction work is common in the city. Read more: moroccoworldnews.com and middleeasteye.net

Travellers advised against all but essential visits to Lamu, Kenya. Image by Cessna 206 / CC BY 2.0
Travellers advised against all but essential visits to Lamu, Kenya. Image by Cessna 206 / CC BY 2.0

FCO includes Lamu County in updated Kenya travel advisory
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its travel advisory to Kenya, with a new warning to avoid all but essential travel to Lamu County and areas north of the Tana River in Tana County. The change is due to recent attacks in the Mpeketoni area that has left at least 85 Kenyans dead. Read more: gov.co.uk https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kenya

WEIRD, ODD & JUST PLAIN FUN

Unwitting Circle Line tourists get more than they bargained for. Image by Isaac Wedin / CC BY 2.0
Unwitting Circle Line tourists get more than they bargained for. Image by Isaac Wedin / CC BY 2.0

Tourists witness New York police pulling body from water
Tourists aboard the Brooklyn Circle Line sightseeing cruise boat were given a true taste of New York  life on Sunday when they witnessed the NYPD pulling a decomposed body from the water. The police were called to Spuyten Duyvil Creek at around 3pm after reports that a body was floating in the river. The tour boat just happened to be passing at the same time. Read more: nydailynews.com
Dora Whitaker

Germany’s nudists in decline
The heady days of the nudist movement in Germany may soon be over, according to Kurt Fischer, the president of the German Federation of Naturist Clubs (DFK). The country’s 145 clubs have been falling in numbers by around 2 per cent a year, and now only around 40,000 dedicated followers of the movement remain. Fischer says a change in working patterns and rival leisure opportunities have contributed to the decline. Read more: thelocal.de
Gemma Graham