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Black Tie International Travel  1
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Black Tie International:  Travel - Bob Nicolaides Destinations 9/12

with Bob Nicolaides

Destinations: 9/12



Waldorf-Astoria starts ‘amnesty’ program for ‘stolen’ items

Waldorf Astoria wants You? Not really.

But the iconic New York City luxury hotel is trying to expand its collection of archived items by getting guests to return items that they may have swiped (OK, the hotel refers to them as being “secretly checked out”)
by visiting guests, no questions asked.

The Waldorf’s so-called "amnesty program" applies to silverware, ashtrays and sheets that were, uh, borrowed, before 1960 and will run through Sept. 15.

The Waldorf-Astoria opened at its current location in 1931 but the hotel's history dates back to the late 1800s.

Guests of the hotel are being asked to include a brief description of the item and the approximate date it was taken.

No word on what happens to the poor souls who return their items after Sept. 15.


Byzantine Temple Found at Tempi

Archaeological excavations at Tempi, conducted by the 7th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, and headed by Ephorate director Stavroula Sdrolia, recently brought to light medievel chapel at the Ottoman-era 'Hani tis Kokonas' (Kokona Inn) site near the historic
township of

On the western and northern environs the site is surrounded by an extensive cemetery, which is one of the few finds that dates to the Mid-Byzantine period.

Sdrolia explained that the excavations at Tempi began in 2008, in the context of the construction of a new section of the national highway from Maliakos to Kleidi at Tempi.

Freebies in Wash. DC Through September

Did you know? ALL national galleries, monuments, and memorials in our nation’s capital are free to explore. Plus, local hotels are offering perks for stays through September 30, 2012. Learn more about a trip to D.C. on Expedia.

Saudis religious police ready for tourism

Religious police in Saudi Arabia will be taught about tourist attractions in the kingdom and trained on how to facilitate tourists.

The Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV), also known as the Religious Police, is to start working in tourist attractions in the kingdom after its staff received the necessary training.

In coordination with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), 450 members of the religious police received intensive training to be able to maintain law and order in tourist areas and to deal with different echelons of the society, said Sheikh Abdul Latif Al al-Sheikh, CPVPV director general.

“We signed an agreement with SCTA,” he told the Saudi newspaper al-Watan. “We provide them with the staff that we believe is suitable for the job and they pay for the training they also conduct.”

The training, he explained, included familiarizing members of the religious police with tourist attractions in the kingdom and the type of tourists expected to visit each place including foreign ones.

“They were taught how to deal with each type in a way that does not violate Islamic laws.”

Sheikh noted that the training consisted of 12 courses in 12 different areas in the kingdom and lasted for a total of five months.

“Each course included 35 trainees with the exception of the one held in Riyadh which included 50.”

He stressed the importance of cooperation between CPVPV and SCTA in the field of tourism.

“Both institutions have to work together in order to boost tourism and serve tourists within the framework of Islamic teachings,” he concluded.

Ancient Marble-Paved Road Discovered in Greece

A 230-foot section of a road built by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, during excavations for a new subway system, the Associated Press reported.

The marble-paved road, once the city’s main travel artery, was unearthed during excavations in the northern port city for the subway project due to be completed in 2016. Now the road will be raised and put on permanent display when the subway opens.

Some of the road’s large paving stones were etched with the designs of children’s board games, and others bore the marks of cart wheels. Remnants of lamps and tools and bases of marble columns were also found at the site.

Viki Tzanakouli, an archaeologist on the project, told the Associated Press that the road was about 1,800 years old, and that there was evidence of another road, built by the ancient Greeks some 500 years earlier, below it.

“We have found roads on top of each other, revealing the city’s history over the centuries,” the archeologist said. “The ancient road, and side roads perpendicular to it appear to closely follow modern roads in the city today.”

The subway project, which started in 2006, has allowed archaeologists to explore under the densely populated city, but those explorations have contributed to years of delays for the project.

In 2008, workers found more than 1,000 graves, some filled with treasure, including jewelry, coins or other pieces of art.

Escape to Cozumel

The  island of Cozumel is what dreams nare made of-turquoise waters and empty hammocks swinging lazily in the breeze above sugar-like sand. But Cozumel is more than just beaches. This idyllic island in the State of Quintana Roo, embodies Mexico’s history and culture, while providing ample opportunities for adventure. Travelers of all kinds are sure to find their little piece of heaven here.

Cozumel became a celebrated diving destination after Jacques Cousteau deemed its coral reefs one of the world’s best places for underwater exploration.


Tour drivers in Kenya accused of Maasai disturbing

TOUR drivers have denied allegations that they have been exploiting the Maasai community whenever tourists visit Manyattas in Maasai Mara.

Led by Kenya Tourists Drivers and Guides Association chairman Joseph ole Parpai, vice-chairman Andrew Mungatana and Coast Tours Drivers Association chairman Nzomo Benjamin they said tour drivers are honest.

They were reacting to media reports by British tourist Cherly Muvula who alleged that they have been exploiting the Maasai villagers by taking their money. "We are wondering where the tourist got the report yet our drivers and guides have been executing their duties effectively," Mungatana said. They threatened to file a defamation case against the tourist for terming them as "robbers."

Mungatana said they want the Briton to prove her allegations in court after she posted the remarks on internet and appeared in a section of the media.

"We cannot allow a tourist who, instead of touring the country to see beautiful sceneries, is calling us thieves," Mungatana said.

Parpai demanded to know what they have forcefully taken from the Maasai community. "If there is any complain, the tourist should have followed the right channel rather than going to social media. This has tarnished the sensitive tourism sector," Parpai said.

He said Maasai elders have never complained of such exploitation and wants to know the source of the information. "She has been colluding with a former tour guide in Maasai Mara to tarnish our tourism industry," Nzomo said.

He urged the government to investigate her conduct claiming that she is out to kill the tourism industry which is one of the country's leading sources of income. "The tourist tried to introduce the receipting system in the manyattas but she was shocked when her bid flopped. The Maasai community wants to handle the cash directly," he said 

History & Culture in Curaça

Curaçao, the hidden gem of the Caribbean, has been voted as a Top 10 Destination. The island boasts a mix of both history & culture. It's coastal city, Willemstad, with its colonial architecture, is a registered UNESCO World Heritage site

The Kahala Luxury Experience

Looking for something a bit smaller but just as luxurious? The Kahala is synonymous with luxury. It's ten minutes from world-class shopping and entertainment and is known to be a favorite destination of presidents, royalty and celebrities. The Kahala even has a private lagoon with their own resident dolphins! For a limited time, The Kahala offers a fifth night free and breakfast for two. If you desire luxurious accommodations, this is tropical splendor at its finest 1-800-367-2525  Skype 1-800-367-2525

For more of a "Local" experience, The Turtle Bay Resort is a great choice for families and fun. The locals have been known to check in as well for a long weekend to escape the busy city. About 45 minutes from Honolulu and Waikiki . You can choose from cottages, villas, guest rooms or suites, all allowing magnificent views of the magical ocean waters. Pre pay and you can save 15% on your visit!

Turtle Bay Resort 57-091 Kamehameha Highway Kahuku Oahu, Hawaii 96731 800-203-3560 Skype 800-203-3560


Joyce Brooks

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