Something to declare: Cairo; Japan; Luxembourg
Saturday 03 November 2007
Destination of the week: cheaper Cairo
The Egyptian capital gets new competition from tomorrow, when BMI (0870 60 70 555; www.flybmi.com) starts daily flights from Heathrow. The airline has a joint operation with Egyptair on the route, which means you can mix-and-match flights on the two carriers. A fare of £290.50 is available for a wide range of dates – exactly the same as the prevailing lowest fare on British Airways (0870 850 9 850; www.ba.com). But the increase in capacity is likely to force fares down on both non-stop and indirect services. The Italian airline, Alitalia, currently has a promotional fare of £226 return on a wide range of dates from Heathrow, though some departures require a change of plane in both Rome and Milan en route to Cairo; book on www.alitalia.com.
Warning of the week: Japanese border control
Following the lead of the United States, the Japanese authorities will this month start photographing and fingerprinting visitors. According to Japan Today, foreign nationals will undergo the new procedures from 20 November. Exceptions will be made for under-16s, diplomats and Koreans.
Bargain of the week: Luxembourg
As the richest member of the EU, the Grand Duchy rarely features in the bargain stakes. But the latest British Airways sale has flights from Gatwick to Luxembourg for £70 return. The same fare applies to Prague – further away, but much more competitive, too – with Pisa available at just £75 return. A couple of bargains in the south of France: Marseille from Gatwick for £59.70 return, Nice just £5 more. For all these fares book on www.ba.com by 13 November for travel between 7 January and 8 February. Peak dates and departures are likely to be more expensive.
Events of the week: visit London, see the world
Three events in the capital this month could inspire your future journeys. "Summer in the Mara and winters in the Antarctic" is how the wildlife photographer Jonathan Scott describes his ideal destinations, and he will be talking about both this month. On 6 November, he and his wife, Angie, will present "Antarctica – Journey to a surprisingly fragile Eden" at the Royal Geographical Society in west London. The couple have made more than 20 visits to the "seventh continent". And on 12 November, Jonathan Scott is joined by the photographer Paul Goldstein for a presentation on the Masai Mara on behalf of Friends of Conservation. The event takes place at Imperial College, also in west London. Tickets (£12 and £15 respectively) are being sold through the adventure tour operator, Exodus, on 0845 430 1214.
Arabia Felix: the Architecture of Yemen is the title of a dramatic new exhibition that opens on 8 November at The Royal Institute of British Architects (020-7580 5533; www.architecture.com) in central London. The exhibition celebrates the architecture of Yemen, which is both environmentally friendly and sustainable – though many of the cities and buildings featured are now threatened with destruction. The exhibition is open 10am-6pm (Saturdays to 5pm) daily except Sundays, admission free. It runs until 19 January.
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