For centuries, Slane Castle has been home to Irish nobility. But in the past few decades, a following of a different sort has flocked to its hallowed halls. Michael Daly on seeing Eminem perform at this Irish castle turned music venue.
What Lord Henry termed a “very weird week” began with the return of the portrait of an illustrious ancestor that had been badly damaged when a fire gutted part of Slane Castle in 1991.
Eminem rises onto the stage through a cloud of smoke during a concert featuring Jay-Z at Yankee Stadium on September 13, 2010. Henry William Paget, marquis of Anglesey, was lord lieutenant-general and general governor of Ireland. (Chad Batka/The New York Times, via Redux; Michael Nicholson/Corbis)
The week was now ending with Eminem becoming the latest music megastar to play on the sloping grounds of this historic site outside of Dublin, Ireland.
Some 80,000 partying fans were waiting for Eminem’s imminent arrival as the present lord of the castle, Lord Henry, took a moment to show a reporter the 18th-century painting of his great-great-great-great-grandfather Henry Paget that was finally back home.
There’s a new buzz in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley as some of the world’s most magnificent temples and palaces are fixed up. Isabella Tree on the monuments, the towering Himalayas, and a million-plus deities—three of them very much alive—of Nepal’s buzzing Kathmandu Valley.
by Isabella Tree
A hush descended on the tiny stone courtyard, an expectant lull in which every footfall, every cough, the beating of a pigeon’s wings resounded like a thunderclap. Outside, Kathmandu’s diurnal jangling of rickshaw bells and motorbike horns seemed part of another world. At a nod from their guide, a group of Japanese tourists put away their cameras.
Without warning, a child appeared at the window. No more than eight or nine years old, she gazed sternly down on the assembled foreigners, pouting slightly, looking mildly inconvenienced. Her eyes were exaggerated with thick lines of kohl reaching all the way to her temples. She had bright-red lips and her hair was bound up tightly in a topknot. Dressed entirely in red, she had gold ornaments around her neck and bangles on her wrists. Her tiny hands, with red-painted fingernails, clasped a wooden rail across the bottom of the window, as if she were a captain at a ship’s helm.
Just as suddenly she was gone, leaving a flutter of red curtains.
Amid a wave of consolidation sweeping the industry, prices are rising and competition on certain routes is decreasing.
In a move that surprised the markets and the airline industry, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block a pending merger between American Airlines and US Airways. In the months since the the two large airlines agreed to join forces, consumers have fretted that the deal would reduce competition and result in higher fares.
A USAir jet passes behind two American Airlines planes at Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, December 18, 1996. (Mike Derer/AP)
On Tuesday, the federal government signaled that it agrees. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that his actions were prompted by worries for the consumer: “Airline travel is vital to millions of American consumers who fly regularly for either business or pleasure. By challenging this merger, the Department of Justice is saying that the American people deserve better. This transaction would result in consumers paying the price—in higher airfares, higher fees, and fewer choices. Today’s action proves our determination to fight for the best interests of consumers by ensuring robust competition in the marketplace.”
In February, a deal worth $11 billion was struck to bring American Airlines’ parent company, AMR Corp., out of bankruptcy and into the arms of US Airways, which has had its own brushes with bankruptcy over the past decade. The merger has since been awaiting regulatory approval. The DOJ’s suit will go on to a federal district court where it will be decided whether an injunction will be issued, keeping the merger from occurring before a real trial. Bert Foer, president of the Washington, D.C.–based American Antitrust Institute, said that if an injunction is issued, it is unlikely that American and US Airways will continue to pursue the merger.
Says it violates antitrust laws.
Not so fast, New American. The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit challenging the $11 billion merger of US Airways and American Airlines, announced in February. The proposed consolidation, the complaint argues, would create the world’s largest airline, reduce competition, and “result in passengers paying higher air fares and receiving less service.” Last year, travelers spent more than $70 billion on airfare and airlines have “in tandem, raised fares, imposed new and higher fees and reduced service,” the department said. Both companies’ stocks fell following the DOJ’s announcement.
But for now, focus is on space and Hyperloop.
Today: electric cars. Tomorrow: the sound barrier? Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX looks to be setting his sights next on express passenger air travel. Musk, frustrated that no options have risen to replace the defunct Concorde, suggested that once his current projects are more established he might be the one to do it. His "ultimate form of transport" would be a supersonic, electric-powered aircraft that could take off vertically like a space shuttle, with no need for land-gobbling runways. And that's not all: on Monday, he's set to reveal plans for a super-fast intercity transport system called Hyperloop. With air, space, land and loops under his belt, what's left to conquer?
Pamplona-inspired events set for next summer.
When you hear the words “Bull Run,” you’re probably thinking of the two legendary Civil War battles that share the name. But come next August, the term might remind you of something similarly violent, though a lot less bloody. The Great Bull Run, an event inspired by the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, will be held in several U.S. cities next summer. The event, which will feature bulls rushing through a fenced course while human participants try to stay out of their way, is set to debut August 24 in Richmond, Virginia. Events are also planned for Georgia, Texas, Florida, California, Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. We’d advise you not to wear your red t-shirt.
When Lonely Planet announced last month that 70 to 80 staffers would be laid off, the twitterverse erupted with remembrances of a bygone era. Not so, says Tony Wheeler, co-founder of Lonely Planet Publications, who recalls the fun early days of travel-guide writing, but says they're far from over.
“There’s a military checkpoint ahead,” my guide said. “Lie down on the floor, and we’ll cover you with a tarpaulin until we get past.”
Burmese pack a local train during rush hour, in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). (Paula Bronstein/Getty)
It was 1983, and I was updating Lonely Planet’s Burma guide. Since visitors could only get a visa for seven days, it was going to be a non-stop race around the country, although at that time the list of places you could visit was distinctly limited. Things were changing. For one thing, I’d been able to rent a Hilux, the Toyota pickup truck which would later become known as the Taliban’s wheels-of-choice. Having my own transport would make my trip much easier. I could avoid the never-ending trips on the local buses and trains and the flights on Union of Burma Airways, a trip that could easily end very quickly. In 15 years, the tiny airline managed to crash 10 aircraft.
Of course, like so much else in Burma at the time, renting a car was semi-illegal, so my driver had to fuel up for the entire week-long trip before we left Rangoon. He didn’t have permits to buy fuel outside the capital, so I huddled beneath the tarp alongside a collection of five gallon containers of gas. We were entering Prome and, like my semi-illegal rent-a-truck, visiting this riverside town was also probably semi-illegal, although we were pretty certain that once we’d passed the checkpoints at the town edge everything would be OK. It was part of what made travelling around countries like Burma and writing guidebooks about them so much fun.
From a submerged Bar Refaeli to a Mediterranean idyll, a voyeur’s look at the stars’ sun-soaked scenes.
Wildlife, storytelling, dung, and other things I encountered on my Zambian safari.
The bouillabaisse is just as tasty, but Europe’s 2013 Capital of Culture now has a lot more to offer. Anna Watson Carl reports.
More than a natural wonder, Cappadocia's formations have been a safe haven to many. Nina Strochlic reports.
Tony Wheeler, co-founder of Lonely Planet Publications, remembers the fun early days of travel guide writing, but says they're not over yet.
Miley Cyrus’ fav new haunt is Beacher’s Madhouse, the craziest club in Los Angeles.
Take the vacation of a lifetime—in beautiful North Korea? That’s Uri Tours’ pitch. Lloyd Grove reports.
In ‘Mapping Manhattan,’ explore the city via 75 New Yorkers’ personal geographies. By Allison McNearney.