Travel Briefs

The tourism offices of Portugal and Spain are collaborating on the website, offering information on arts, wine, beaches and special events in both countries.

Every year on the second bank holiday Monday in May in Gloucestershire, England, dozens of competitors hurl themselves down the slope of Coopers Hill in pursuit of a round of Double Gloucester cheese.

Starting at noon on May 26, 2008, there will be four downhill races, with competitors from around the world and over 2,000 spectators. There is no admission cost, and parking costs £5 (near $10). Visit

On the southwest coast of Wales, the annual Mud Festival takes place in 2008 on Sept. 6-7. Showcasing mud’s importance in estuaries, activities include welly wanging (the throwing of a Wellington boot as far into the estuary as one can), tug-of-war, mud hut construction and a “mud safari” walk in the estuary.

Admission to the WWT National Wetland Centre Wales (Llwynhendy, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA14 9SH; phone 01554 741087, fax 01554 744101 or visit


Any of 80 upscale bed-and-breakfasts around London can be booked through Uptown Reservations (8 Kelso Place, Kensington, London W8 5QD, U.K.; phone 0044 020 7937 2001, fax 7937 6660, All close to public transit and with bath or shower, double and twin rooms cost £95-£105 (near $195-$216) per night and singles, £72-£80 ($148-$164), including breakfast and tax.

A “Phuket Town Treasure Map” shows a 2-kilometer walking trail of the Old Town of Phuket, Thailand, identifying historic buildings, shops and restaurants and offering snippets of information. 

For a copy, contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket office (73-75 Phuket Rd., Muang, Phuket, 83000 Thailand; phone [66] 076 211 036 or 212 213, fax 076 213 582,

In August, the Transportation Security Administration imposed at U.S. airports an additional security screening of persons wearing head coverings such as turbans, scarves, cowboy hats or berets, and people who refused to remove them could be denied boarding. However, in October the guidelines were modified.

Those wearing such head coverings now may be subjected to secondary screening, including pat-downs, wandings or passing through a portal designed to check for explosive traces. If...


As of Jan. 1, 2008, there is no smoking allowed in any public area of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. This includes bars, cafés, restaurants, airline lounges and passageways to/from the parking area. There will not even be any “substitute smoking facilities for passengers.”

With half a million new residents each year, New Delhi, India, is sprawling into the natural habitats of Rhesus macaques, and now the monkeys are moving into neighborhoods and wreaking havoc.

They have ransacked apartments and even the office of the Ministry of Defense, scattering secret files outside. In the Shastri Park neighborhood, monkeys have bitten several people. They have even attacked patients being rolled into the hospital, taking IV bottles to drink the fluids.