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: Ubud prepares for the start of the Bali Spirit Festival, the price of French wine rockets and families of missing MH370 passengers threaten to go on hunger strike.
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18 March is…
The anniversary of the founding of American Express in 1850
Gallipoli Memorial Day in Turkey
Flag Day in Aruba
Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Europe Destination Editors: Jo Cooke, James Smart, Brana Vladisavljevic, Kate Morgan, Anna Tyler and Gemma Graham.
Crimea to adopt rouble as currency, switch to Moscow time
According to the decision of Crimea’s parliament from 17 March – to leave Ukraine and join Russia – the Russian rouble will become the official currency on the peninsula within a month. The parliament also announced that Crimea will switch to Moscow time, which is GMT plus four hours (or two hours ahead of Kyiv time), from 30 March. Read more: bbc.co.uk
Bali village, Crete. Image by Steve Talas / CC BY 2.0
New tour of Crete for Zorba the Greek’s 50th anniversary
This year sees the 50th anniversary of the release of the famous movie Zorba the Greek, starring Anthony Quinn and set in Crete. To coincide with the anniversary, a thematic tour is being offered for those interested in exploring the island’s archaeology, nature and food. The tour is planned for April and May and will be escorted by archaeologist Heinrich Hall. Read more: examiner.com
Vineyard in France. Image by Nikki Britz/ CC BY 2.0
Poor harvest sees the price of French wine skyrocket
The prices of some wines from the best known wine regions in France have soared, due to a terrible grape harvest year in 2013. The harvest was ‘historically low’ and has resulted in short supply of the good stuff. Prices from the Burgundy area have increased by 32% from the previous year, while certain Bordeaux wines climbed by 20%, according to data from France’s Ministry of Agriculture. Read more: thelocal.fr
Scottish independence: what does it all mean?
It’s only six months till Scotland’s independence referendum. With debate raging in the UK, and Catalonia and other separatist regions around the world watching with interest, the BBC has produced a guide summarising the arguments for and against independence, and the possible consequences. Read more: bbc.co.uk
UK says no to Birmingham–Brussels trains
A planned rail link between the north of England and Europe has been ditched. The £700 million link would have allowed passengers to travel between Birmingham and Brussels without changing trains – now they’ll have to walk a few hundred metres between Euston Square and St Pancras stations. The link is part of Britain’s new HS2 line, which will speed up travel between London, …read more