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Norwegian’s summer flights from the UK to the US
It’s so tempting. So tempting to just press ‘book’, because Norwegian are launching a new service this summer of direct flights from London Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, New York and LA. Prices are ridiculously low for the introductory period, meaning that a return ticket to Orlando or San Francisco in Aug/Sept can cost as little as £500. It’s certainly a low-cost airline, but it has a pretty good industry reputation.
“There’s great demand for high quality flights at a low fare between the UK and the U.S., particularly to and from London Gatwick, where no other airline currently offers these routes. We are looking forward to welcoming many new customers on board our brand new aircraft,” said Norwegian’s CEO Bjørn Kjos.
If it works well, and prices stay relatively low, this could be a real bargain for transatlantic flights. I don’t yet have travel plans for Summer – so do I hit ‘book’?!
European destinations for Semana Santa
In the week leading up to Easter Sunday, Europe’s Catholic countries are awash with tradition. Seville puts on one of the biggest and most eerily atmospheric processions in Spain, with participants dressed in the slightly scary capirotes – the tall, cone-shaped hats. France’s holy site of Lourdes sees an influx of pilgrims and a huge swell of crowds for mass services, as well as on the streets to enjoy the parades. In Portugal, the northern city of Braga leads proceedings – with over 30 churches, its religious credentials are well-regarded within this Catholic country. Rather than capirotes, here it’s long, black veils with large eye holes cut out. But it isn’t all dark; as Visit Portugal explains:
The city is decorated with motifs related to the occasion and the passos, street-side altars, are filled with flowers and lights, complementing the sumptuousness of the churches.
A British Easter Egg Trail
Semana Santa may be a week-long spectacle combining religious tradition, haunting processions and grand parades, but in Britain, we’re just too excited by the first rays of sun and the first buds on the trees to get into all that heavy stuff. Instead, around Easter weekend, stately homes across the UK will open their doors (and more importantly, their gardens) to put on huge Easter Egg hunts. The eggs are supplied by Cadbury’s and as they say:
You’re invited to come and enjoy a great family day out where you can explore some of Britain’s most inspiring places from spring woodlands and coastal trails, to historic homes and castles. As always, there will be plenty of fun for the whole family and this year, your kids get to be Eggsplorers for the day!
Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and pray for sunshine!
How to make a cup of tea
I have been in Portugal for the last month, which has served to remind me, afresh, of how other countries simply don’t understand tea. Outside of the UK, it is always a disappointing affair. I see your green tea, your herbal, caffeine-free hibiscus-root and peppermint, and I raise you one cup of English breakfast tea. With milk. Brewed in a teapot. It’s not a drink to stimulate and energise you aggressively like coffee; it’s not a health freak like herbal tea. It’s a drink which soothes, which says: ‘let’s sit down and have a chat’, a mender of small heartbreaks, a welcome home at the end of a long day.
I know that it sounds crazy to outsiders, this obsession with tea, but George Orwell agrees with me, and you can argue with him at your peril. I will leave you with his rather wonderful musings on tea, put together by the good people at Brainpickings.