Travel news: Romanian frescoes, baby lions, Quran theme park and fake giant squid

Dealu Frumos fortified church, Transylvania. Photo: vutu, CC BY 2.0

Lonely Planet’s destination editors have scoured the world to curate a quirky selection of headlines. In today’s news, new frescoes were discovered in Romania’s fortified churches, the first baby lions born in a decade in Zambia, a new Quran theme park to be built in Dubai and a fake giant squid has the world reeling.

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

Dealu Frumos fortified church, Transylvania. Photo: vutu, CC BY 2.0

Frescoes discovered in Romania’s fortified churches
Frescoes dating from the 15th and 16th century have been discovered during restoration work in three fortified churches in the Transylvania region of Romania. The restoration is part of a European-funded project and the aim is to finish by the end of the year. There are around 200 fortified churches in Romania and 26 are already on the tourist trail. Source

Kraków looks to EU to help fund new metro system
Authorities in Kraków, Poland are attempting to secure €1.18 billion from the EU to fund a new metro system in the city. If the application is successful, the first line could open in 2022, strengthening the city’s bid to host the Winter Olympics that year. Source

Norway launches appeal against WTO seal ruling
Norway has appealed against a WTO ruling that supports an EU ban on the import and sale of seal products. EU officials say there is overwhelming support for the ban and point to scientific evidence indicating that the slaughter methods employed are cruel. Opponents in Norway dispute the science behind these claims, adding that Atlantic fishing communities rely upon the income that seal hunting generates. Source

Macedonian capital gets Green Routes planner app
Skopje Green Routes is a new mobile app developed by the Social Innovation Hub and the city authorities with UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) support. It’s based on a Google Maps platform and helps plan smarter, greener, quicker and cheaper travel around Skopje by analysing factors including traffic congestion, air pollution, cycling infrastructure and public transport. Source

Rapid growth in hostels in Croatia
An increase in the number of young people visiting Croatia has led to a 40% rise in the number of people staying in youth hostels in the past year. Forty new hostels opened in 2013, representing a 50% rise in the total number, which has gone up to 120. Source

Sarajevo to mark several important anniversaries in 2014
Bosnia & Hercegovina’s capital Sarajevo is expecting 2014 to be a big year. The centenary of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in the city, which triggered the start of WWI, will be marked in June. February sees the 30th anniversary of the Winter Olympics held in the city and the 30th anniversary of the Sarajevska Zima winter festival. In …read more


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