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
music

Arts and Entertainment
Creep show: Tim Cockerill in ‘Spider House’

TVEnough to make ardent arachnophobes think twice

Arts and Entertainment
Steven, Ella Jade and Sarah in the boardroom
tvThe Apprentice contestants take a battering from the business mogul
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Jewel in the crown: drawings from ‘The Letter for the King’, an adventure about a boy and his mission to save a medieval realm
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Juergen Wolf won the Young Masters Art Prize 2014 with his mixed media painting on wood, 'Untitled'
art
Arts and Entertainment
Iron Man and Captain America in a scene from
filmThe upcoming 'Black Panther' film will feature a solo black male lead, while a female superhero will take centre stage in 'Captain Marvel'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Imperial War Museum, pictured, has campaigned to display copyrighted works during the First World War centenary
art
Arts and Entertainment
American Horror Story veteran Sarah Paulson plays conjoined twins Dot and Bette Tattler
tvReview: Yes, it’s depraved for the most part but strangely enough it has heart to it
Arts and Entertainment
The mind behind Game of Thrones George R. R. Martin
books

Will explain back story to fictional kingdom Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Dorothy in Return to Oz

film Unintentionally terrifying children's movies to get you howling (in fear, tears or laughter)
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Robert James-Collier as under-butler Thomas

TVLady Edith and Thomas show sad signs of the time
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Dad's Army cast hit the big screen

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge

books
Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning?
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
music review
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
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.

    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

    "I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
    Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

    11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

    Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
    Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

    Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

    The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
    Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

    The school that means business

    Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
    10 best tablets

    The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

    They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
    Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

    Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

    The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
    Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

    Pete Jenson's a Different League

    Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
    John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
    The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

    The killer instinct

    Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
    Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

    Clothing the gap

    A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

    The Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain