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April 07, 2007

Celebrating Easter Abroad

Bilby
He's less cuddly than a bunny, but the Aussies love their "Easter Bilby."
Photo: Queensland gov. EPA

By Tara Kyle

In the spirit of Easter, I thought I'd highlight a few of the stranger ways the holiday is being acknowledged around the world.

Mexico City: The middle and upper classes in landlocked Mexico City typically spend Easter fleeing for the coasts,  but this year the city hosted the grand opening of a fake beach, according to Worldhum.  The idea of a spit of sand alongside a noisy road junction sounds pretty bizarre, not to mention that Reuters reports the government spent $200k on it. But I felt more sympathetic when I read Mayor Marcelo Ebrard's justification: "There are those upset by the artificial beaches. Perhaps they can get to other beaches, but this was built for the majority, and it's free."

Australia: TreeHugger reminds us that in Australia it's time to "get hopping" for the "Easter Bilby." This little furball is sadly endangered, and since 1999 has been the subject of a passionate "Save the Bilby" campaign.

London:  Chocolatier Thornton's built an 860-pound chocolate billboard for Easter week, Jaunted reports, only to watch passersby devour it within three hours of its Tuesday opening.

What are some other Easter traditions you've encountered?

December 01, 2006

Travel With V.I.P. Access Worldwide

By Wendy Perrin

Each year for the December issue of Conde Nast Traveler I and my team, fellow staffers Brook Wilkinson and Kathryn Maier, compile "The Fabulous 50" -- a list of 50 of the best insider-access travel experiences worldwide.  "Insider access" means access to places, people, and events that are off-limits to the general public -- from museums and monuments to archaeological digs, royal families, indigenous peoples, and traditional festivals, all of which give you special insights into a foreign culture.  You too can have these experiences . . . IF you know the right sources to contact (which, of course, we provide).

I'm amused to see that the blogger behind lifeasdaddy seems ready to book himself on the experience Brook tested for this year's feature article accompanying the list. She patrolled Sydney Harbor by Jet Ski, helicopter, etc., tracking down sharks with Australia's ace Surf Life Savers.  Mr. LifeAsDaddy expressed zero interest whatsoever in replicating MY experience.  Then again, all I did was discover a lost civilization in ancient Mesopotamia.

Continue reading "Travel With V.I.P. Access Worldwide" »