Travel- skiing: Something Alpine To Declare; News From The Travel World

Trouble spots:

Flying in stormy weather.

"When lightning flashes and thunder crashes and Heaven opens its floodgates, even birds prefer to walk. How do aircraft manage to fly in stormy weather?" The new edition of the Austrian Airlines magazine, Skylines, proceeds to answer this conundrum under the interesting heading Fliegen trotz Blitz und Donner: "Advanced technology enables modern airliners to transport their passengers safely even in adverse weather conditions. Before take- off the crew are supplied with the latest data on cloud cover, precipitation, wind and temperatures, while satellites transmit images of the current weather situation.

"The cockpit also contains equipment which closely monitors the developing weather situation during the flight. The weather radar unit searches the airspace ahead, picking out even the tiniest cloud by day and by night.

"In conjunction with air traffic control, the crew can thus avoid troughs of bad weather in good time. Not that modern airliners cannot fly straight through storms, despite the turbulence they cause. And lightning has no effect on an aircraft because it is a Faraday cage."

True or False 1:

The Salt Lake City Winter Olympics organising committee should be curling with embarrassment after this week's expulsion of six IOC members?

True. But whatever the shortcomings of Olympic officials, the distinguished sport of curling will get its second Olympic outing on the Ogden Ice Sheet in February 2002.

The sport's international governing body is based in Edinburgh, but the world championships will take place in St John, Canada, in April this year; 001 506 633 8327 for details.

This information, and much more about every other sport short of tiddlywinks, appears in the encyclopaedic new book Live Sport Live, the sporting traveller's guide to the world by Jeremy Edwards. Sporting travellers can plan their journeys for years to come. The book costs pounds 12.99 from Live Live Publishing, 3 Sumatra Road, London NW6 1PS.

True or False 2:

This winter's avalanches in the Alps have led to widespread cancellations.

With a few local exceptions, this is false. There is some anecdotal evidence that resorts dependent on a lot of local skiers have seen bookings drop substantially, but many resorts have actually benefited. Despite the heavy loss of life in the Austrian and French Alps in February, many skiers remain undeterred. Indeed, the heavy snowfalls that contributed to the avalanches have actually attracted late-season skiers to the region.

A spokeswoman for the Ski Club of Great Britain says last-minute breaks are selling fast: "Between now and Easter, demand is very strong - partly because of the school holidays getting under way, but also because conditions in the Alps are so good." Demand for North America is also strong.

A likely story:

The cheapest way to reach the Alps is by road.

Pack out your car with four passengers and you can reach Europe's best ski areas relatively inexpensively. But be warned that the cost of using Alpine roads can be high.

Even if you dodge the high tolls on French autoroutes by using routes nationales - or driving south through Germany - be warned about two extra costs. If you plan to use the motorways in Switzerland, you'll have to buy a special permit - a one-year vignette, price pounds 18. More details, and the pass itself, from the Swiss tourist office in London (0171-734 1921).

Austria also requires all vehicles using motorways and other main roads to display an Autobahn Vignette sticker on the windscreen. You can buy it at border crossings and petrol stations on highways leading into Austria, as well as tobacconists in Austria itself. Fines for failing to display the sticker are high.

These rules apply equally, of course, to summer visitors. The Austrian authorities also warn that "tourists driving rented vehicles should pay close attention to the provisions of their rental contract. Many contracts prohibit drivers from taking rented vehicles into Eastern European countries. Drivers attempting to enter countries listed as prohibited on the car rental contract may be arrested, fined, and/or convicted of attempted auto theft. The vehicle can be held by Austrian police for the car rental company".

Austrian National Tourist Office: 0171-629 0461.

Bargain of the Week:

Skiing in South America.

As the winter sports season in Europe begins to wind down, keen skiers could already be casting an eye on the southern hemisphere.

In the Andes, the season will start to get under way in June - so you will be in time to take advantage of an astonishingly good deal from the Colombian national airline, Avianca.

Through specialist agents such as South American Experience (0171-976 5511), the airline will take you via Bogota to Buenos Aires or Santiago de Chile for pounds 406 return, including all taxes. The offer is valid for outward travel up to and including 22 June, returning any time within three months.

Anyone in search of a warmer holiday can take advantage of the same price to any Avianca domestic destination, or Quito, Lima or Panama City. If you can travel before the end of April, you get the same deal for just pounds 376 - the best fare ever to these destinations.

You can expect yet more bargains to become available as other airlines respond.

Simon Calder

Arts and Entertainment
Kate Bush: 'I'm going to miss everyone so much'
Arts and Entertainment
Boy George performing with Culture Club at Heaven

musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years

Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
books

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
film
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
News
Owen said he finds films boring but Tom Hanks managed to hold his attention in Forrest Gump
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
Music Album is set to enter UK top 40 at lowest chart position in 30 years
Arts and Entertainment
The Michael McIntyre Chat Show airs its first episode on Monday 10 March 2014
Comedy
Arts and Entertainment

Review

These heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
books'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' sees the writer become the third Australian to win the accolade
Arts and Entertainment
New diva of drama: Kristin Scott Thomas as Electra
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London