Something To Declare: Copacabana; luggage on the Stansted Express; Dubai; North Korea


Destination of the week: Copacabana

Destination of the week: Copacabana

"Beaches in Brazil and New South Wales, a nightclub in New York, a small town in Bolivia and a song by Barry Manilow (pictured below)" - these are some of the uses of the name Copacabana documented in the new Footprint Guide to Rio de Janeiro by Alex Robinson (£7.99). The author says that the original Copacabana was a port on Lake Titicaca, the high-altitude lake between Bolivia and Peru.

In 1576, some fishermen at the port commissioned a descendant of the Inca emperors to carve a statue of the Virgin Mary. Copies of this statue became popular as talismans with transatlantic sailors, and after one vessel narrowly escaped disaster on a voyage to Brazil, her captain built a chapel to Nossa Senhora de Copacabana upon reaching Rio. The district, and the beach, adopted the name.

Now that the carnival is over in Rio, you can reach the city for less than £600 return on flights booked through discount agents. The deals on Air France via Paris and Lufthansa via Frankfurt are particularly good, and since British Airways and Varig (Brazil's national carrier) no longer fly non-stop from the UK to Rio, there is little advantage in taking a "direct" flight via Sao Paulo. To get to the original Copacabana, fly to La Paz; on this occasion, Varig's service from Heathrow via Sao Paulo to the Bolivian capital is good value at below £600. From La Paz, you can catch a bus to Copacabana; the journey takes four or five hours.

Warning of the week: luggage on the Stansted Express

Anti-social travellers on the rail link between London Liverpool Street and Stansted airport are being targeted by train staff. Those who place baggage on seats rather than in the racks are charged the standard single fare of £14.50.

Bargain of the week: Dubai

The most appealing of the cities of the United Arab Emirates is at the centre of a price war, with "sixth-freedom" carriers chasing customers by forcing fares lower. ("Sixth-freedom" is jargon for flying from A to B via C, where C is the airline's home base.)

The return fare from the UK for travel between now and Easter has traditionally been around £300. But the Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad is selling flights from Heathrow for £240 through discount agents. Good prices are available from other UK airports. From Manchester, you could pay as little as £287 return on Qatar Airways via Doha.

Programme of the week: North Korea

The Great Leader, the Dear Leader and the Tour Leader will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Monday at 11am. Tony Pletts visits Pyongyang with Nicholas Bonner, a landscape architect who has become North Korea's leading tour operator.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Ashdown Group: Print Designer - High Wycombe - Permanent £28K

    £25000 - £28000 per annum + 24 days holiday, bonus, etc.: Ashdown Group: Print...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager

    £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager required for ...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator

    £25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator A...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
    Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

    That's a bit rich

    The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
    Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
    Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

    Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

    Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
    A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

    Britain's Atlantis

    Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

    David Starkey's assessment
    Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

    'An enormous privilege and adventure'

    Oliver Sacks writing about his life
    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
    Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

    Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

    Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago