Eveline Harvey

Eveline Harvey is nzherald.co.nz's travel editor.

Desktop globetrotter: August 19

A SHOW FOR AVIATION ENTHUSIASTS: Last week saw the annual staging of the Abbotsford International Airshow in Vancouver, Canada. The first show, back in 1962, was an attempt to promote flying from Abbotsford Airport, which wasn't being used at the time.

Over the last 48 years, it's become a major fixture on the international aviation scene, showcasing both former and current models of aircraft used by militaries from around the world.

The Airshow's president and CEO, Ron Price, who has been involved with the event for more than 30 of its 48 years, told the Abbotsford Times his favourite moment in the show's history was in 1989, when aircraft from the Soviet Union made an appearance, despite the fact the Berlin Wall was still standing.

Vancouver Sun reporter Tiffany Crawford got a first-hand experience of the G-forces fighter jet pilots are subjected to when she was taken for a spin in an F16 ahead of last week's show.


Click here
for a gallery of images from this year's show.

BAREBACK HORSE RACING: Siena's Palio horse race, which sees jockeys ride bareback around the Tuscan city's Piazza del Campo, once again attracted thousands of spectators last week.

Dating back to 1656 in its current form, Siena's Palio is one of the world's oldest horse races and is held twice a year on July 2 and August 16.

As with all events involving animals however, there are some who have raised questions about the welfare of the horses involved.

Italy's Minister of Tourism, Michela Brambilla, caused a stir when she suggested earlier this month that - in the wake of Spain's Catalonia region deciding to ban bullfighting - her country should consider curtailing similar dangerous events. Inhabitants of Siena interpreted her comments as an attack on the Palio, though Brambilla later issued a statement insisting she had not specifically demanded that the event be banned.

GROUSE SEASON: Another tradition which doesn't find favour with all is the UK's annual grouse shooting season, which started on August 12.

Referred to as 'The Glorious Twelfth', advocates say the annual hunt attracts tourists from all over the world who are hoping to bag themselves a wild red grouse - a bird species now only found in Britain. And it's not just the hunters who are happy, foodies who've been craving grouse-inspired dishes can finally find them on restaurant menus once more. Website foodepedia.co.uk has compiled a list of British restaurants with the game bird on the menu.

However conservationists have warned of a decline in grouse numbers due to loss of habitat, and some are concerned there aren't better protection measures in place to ensure the species' survival. In Northern Ireland, there have also been calls to bring the start of the hunting season in line with that of The Republic of Ireland, which starts on September 1.

CREATE YOUR OWN IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT: Last week it was Steven Slater. This week, the flight attendant making news for out-of-the-ordinary behaviour was a stewardess aboard a Lufthansa flight between Tel Aviv and Frankfurt, who happily joined in when passengers started a mile-high pillow fight.

Although the YouTube clip of the incident is dated June 28, the story first hit the headlines in Germany a little over a week ago. Since then, this video of the fun-loving flight attendant, who is yet to be identified, has been viewed around the world.

PARTY IN THE STREETS: The world's biggest techno street festival, Zurich's Street Parade, took place last weekend, attracting some 650,000 revellers. Photographer Dominik Baumann, who works for the Swiss publication Blick took more than 3000 pictures from a stationary camera and created this video montage of the parade:

In case you were wondering...

Carbon credits. What exactly are they and can they really minimise the impact of your world travels?

This article on howstuffworks.com does a good job of rounding up some of the most often asked questions and explains the theory behind carbon offsets. It also links widely to other sites that may be of interest.

And finally, from Belgium...

The video's title says it all really. Behold the colourful spectacle that is Belgium's International Bathtub Regatta.

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