Something To Declare: Bath blossoms; Brisbane via Dallas; San Francisco in style; Fiesta de San Fermin, Pamplona
Saturday 14 May 2011
Bargain of the week: Bath blossoms
This morning the city of Bath gains a free museum. When the Holburne Museum reopens after a three-year, £12m transformation, admission will be free – tempting more visitors to the grand structure that commands the eastern end of Great Pulteney Street.
The museum began life in 1795 as the Sydney Hotel, and became the home for the collection of Sir William Holburne. While the façade remains the same, the building behind has been expanded – with an extension that doubles the display space. As with Sir John Soane's Museum in London, it reflects the acquisitions – and interests – of a 19th-century collector.
From a travel perspective, the most intriguing document is the early 19th-century passport that Sir William Holburne used on his Grand Tour. The Holburne Museum (01225 388564; holburne.org) opens 10am-5pm daily (Sundays from 11am).
At the opposite end of the street, the Victoria Art Gallery also offers free admission – and its diverse collection includes a work by Peter Blake.
Destination of the week: Brisbane via Dallas
The capital of Queensland fell off the map a decade ago when direct services from London ended, but this weekend it gets a new connection possibility: the biggest city in Texas. Qantas has started a new, non-stop link from Sydney to Dallas-Fort Worth, but due to headwinds it cannot return to Sydney in a single hop. Instead, it is touching down to refuel 90 minutes short, at Brisbane – opening up the option of flying to Queensland via Texas rather than the usual stopovers in Singapore, Hong Kong or Dubai.
Tip of the week: San Francisco in style
This week the first scheduled service of the Airbus A380 landed in the Golden Gate city. Lufthansa is deploying the Superjumbo on its daily service from Frankfurt. It offers travellers from regional UK airports – Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh – a more comfortable alternative than the 747s via other hub cities.
Warning of the week: Fiesta de San Fermin, Pamplona
You may wish to avoid the fine city in the foothills of the Pyrenees between 6 and 14 July, when the event more popularly known as the "Running of the Bulls" takes place. In the latest edition of TNT magazine, Laura Adcock notes it "involves nutters (mainly tourists) legging it through the streets in front of a herd of angry bulls".
The Australian government warns: "Participating in the running of the bulls is dangerous. Each year, some participants are seriously injured and there have been numerous deaths associated with this event. Some Australians jump off fountains during the festivities in Pamplona. This activity has resulted in severe injuries and death. Your travel insurance may not cover you if you participate in the running of the bulls or jumping from fountains."
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