Travel news: Chinese New Year flashmob, dumping in the Great Barrier Reef, Japanese bean-throwing fest

Robert the Bruce statue, Bannockburn, by Shadowgate. CC BY 2.0

Happy Chinese New Year! Today, Lonely Planet’s destination editors have curated the world’s stories: a lunar new year flashmob in Shanghai, approval given for sediment dumping in the Great Barrier Reef, and beans go flying around Japan for the Setsubun festival.

Europe
Asia
The Americas
Middle East & Africa
Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific
Weird, Odd & Just Plain Fun

EUROPE

Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Europe Destination Editors: Jo Cooke, James Smart, Brana Vladisavljevic, Kate Morgan and Gemma Graham.

Robert the Bruce statue, Bannockburn, by Shadowgate. CC BY 2.0

Seven hundred years on, Bannockburn is back – & in 3D
The new Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre, which celebrates the victory of Scottish king Robert the Bruce over the English army of Edward II, will feature a giant 3D combat game for visitors. ‘You can feel the adrenalin, pressure and fear involved in a real medieval battle,” claim the organisers. The centre, near Stirling, opens on 1 March, ahead of the battle’s 700th anniversary in June. Source

Academics study Roman basilica found in Iznik lake, Turkey
A Roman basilica found under Iznik lake in Turkey is exciting historians, who believe it was destroyed by an earthquake and submerged some 1250 years ago. The 1600 year-old-church was discovered by aerial photographers and is thought to have been built in honour of St Neophytos, who was killed by Roman soldiers in AD 303. Neophytos is traditionally celebrated on 21 January, the same day that the basilica was rediscovered. Source

Madrid city hall misplaces…everything
Madrid city hall managed to lose some €600,000 worth of artworks since 1990, reports El Pais. Some of the 170 lost paintings have been recovered, while the current mayor has pledged to find all remaining pieces by March. Other lost items include a conference table with 15 chairs and a 12m-long carpet. Source

Greece records highest increase in hotel stays in EU for 2013
According to Eurostat data for 2013, out of all the EU member states Greece had the highest increase in overnight stays in hotels last year. The increase is 11.9% compared to the previous year. Source

First Marriott International hotel opens in Sochi
The five-star Sochi Marriott Krasnaya Polyana Hotel is a luxurious ski and spa hotel located half an hour from Sochi Airport by express train, at the Krasnaya Polyana ski resort in the Caucasus Mountains. It’s also next to a new convention centre as well as an entertainment centre with a water park. Source

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week wraps up in Amsterdam
The winter edition of the 20th anniversary of Fashion Week in Amsterdam has been dubbed an international success. The event attracted over 25,000 visitors where 418 models covered a joint distance of almost 42km in the catwalk shows. UK entertainment TV show E! will be broadcasting the shows in the coming months. The Fashion Week summer edition will be held in Amsterdam from 4-14 July. Source

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