Something To Declare: Bolivia; fly to Europe; Zaragoza
Where to go, how to save, what to avoid
Saturday 13 September 2008
Warning of the week: Bolivia
"Delicate" is how the Foreign Office describes the political situation in this beautiful South American nation. Travellers should "avoid the region of Tarija for the present", according to an official bulletin published this week.
Highways from Argentina and Paraguay in Tarija have been blockaded, and in a separate announcement the US State Department warns protesters "have reacted with force when travellers attempt to pass through or go around roadblocks and occasionally have used explosives to press their point".
"There have also been clashes in and around the city of Santa Cruz," says the Foreign Office. This is Bolivia's second city, and the arrival point for many backpackers heading west across South America. The city's airport is subject to severe disruptions, as are airports in Riberalta and Guayaramerin. American Airlines has cancelled some flights.
But André de Mendonca, director of the specialist South American Experience, says: "Road blocks and protests are par for the course in Bolivia. People are still travelling there, and we are happy to send them."
Bargain of the week: fly to Europe in style
British Airways is offering deep discounts on short-haul business-class travel in its current autumn sale (for which you must book by 23 September). A business-class seat on the link from London City to Nice is available for £270 return. Between Gatwick and Faro in southern Portugal, Club Europe fares as low as £189 are on sale – though availability is scarce at this price. The same price applies to Rome, but only from Gatwick; Heathrow fares are much higher. But from Heathrow to the main Cyprus airport, Larnaca, Club Europe costs only £409 for many dates in November. Besides more comfortable seats, club class gives you a bigger luggage allowance and access to the lounge.
Destination of the week: Zaragoza
This beautiful city in north-eastern Spain usually finds itself at the end of the Spanish gazetteer. But three big events this year have put the city firmly on the map. First, Zaragoza's Delicias station became the mid-point on the high-speed rail link between Madrid and Barcelona. Next, Expo 2008 – which reaches a triumphant conclusion tomorrow – brought more than 100 countries and millions of visitors together. And it became the first Spanish destination to feature in a film version of our city-break series 48 Hours. Join Simon Calder in his fearless quest to eat, drink and see as much as possible within two days. Watch or download at www.independent.co.uk/zaragoza
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