Monday, November 28, 2016

Getting high in Dubai

 Next time you’re thinking to yourself how boring it is washing the home windows, give a thought to the blokes whose job it is to wash those of the world’s tallest building, the 830-metre high Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Because these 36 hardy souls face a daunting 24,348 individual windows covering some 120,000 square metres, or roughly six-and-a-half times the size of the Sydney Cricket Ground, and it takes them close to four months to clean the lot – after which they take a short break, then start the job all over again.
And they do it in often howling winds, temperatures reaching into the top-40s under a cloudless sky, sand storms that can swirl around the lower levels… and at their highest point with the ground more than three-quarters of a kilometre below them.

            It takes these men close to four months to clean the 24,348 windows of the

          world’s tallest building, and when they finish they start all over again. (Wikimedia)

These cleaners, who use nothing more than traditional squeegees and buckets of soapy water, dangle in harnesses from Australian designed and built cage machines that move horizontally and vertically on special tracks around the building, and wear “moon suits” for protection against the searing heat and winds.
And interestingly they say they never tire of the view from their lofty eyrie, in particular watching the 250 aircraft including some eighty-five A380s of the local Emirates Airlines, plus other world operators, as they fly below them into and out of the nearby Dubai Airport.


            The world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, reaches over three-quarters of a

          kilometre into the sky, and cost US$1.5b to complete and open in 2010. (Burj Khalifa


At 830 metres high, or nearly three times that of Paris’s Eiffel Tower and twice as high as New York’s Empire State Building, the Burj Khalifa was opened in January 2010 at a cost of 1.5-billion United States dollars.

Courtesy of Get Up & Go guest blogger David Ellis.






Sunday, November 20, 2016

New Hotel Windsor Will Deliver Melbourne's First Six-Star Hotel

New Hotel Windsor Will Deliver Melbourne's First Six-Star Hotel: Work will begin on Melbourne's first six-star hotel in the New Year following the selection of a preferred contractor for the $350 million redevelopment of the Hotel Windsor.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Add a 4-Night Deluxe Eco Beach Stay to your Kimberley Cruise for only $200pp!

Add a 4-Night Deluxe Eco Beach Stay to your Kimberley Cruise for only $200pp!: Book one of Aurora Expeditions' 2017 Kimberley Coast adventures by 31 January 2017, and add a Deluxe Beach Stay at award-winning Ramada Eco Beach Resort in Broome for only $200! Conditions apply...

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween ghost story

Sarah’s haunting love for her brother

In his continuing search for the more weird and wondrous in this world, Get Up & Go guest blogger David Ellis says that bizarrely, people in London still claim today they’ve been asked by Sarah Whitehead the same repeated question: “Have you seen my brother?”

Bizarrely, because Sarah’s brother was hanged in London in 1812 for forgery at The Bank of England where he worked, and Sarah herself died 25 years later.

But to this day, people swear they’ve been stopped near the bank on Threadneedle Street by a little old lady dressed in widow’s weeds of long black gown and black veil from another era, and asked that question…

Knowing how close Sarah was to her brother Paul (often misidentified in the media as Philip,) family members withheld from her that he had been hanged, and she began going regularly to the bank to ask his whereabouts when he didn’t return to the home that they shared.

No one would say, until a clerk finally blurted out the truth, and at that moment Sarah’s mind snapped. She donned widow’s weeds and every day for six years returned asking to see Paul, ultimately also demanding money she said the bank now owed her.

In 1818 the bank agreed to pay her a significant amount on condition she not visit them again, and Sarah agreed. But after her death, her ghost – dubbed The Black Nun – began appearing regularly in the bank and along Threadneedle Street, with scores of sightings of her continuing to this day, 179 years after her death.

And each time she politely asks those she encounters the same question: “Have you seen my brother?” and when told “No,” simply vanishes…

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This takes trains to new lengths

A freight train from Yiwu in eastern China to Madrid in Spain takes three weeks to cover more than 10,000 kilometres in eight countries – or over twice the distance from Sydney to Perth and back, making it the longest freight train journey in the world.

First run in November 2014 the YXE International Container Train has so far made more than thirty such trips, each time carrying around 80 containers packed with Chinese-made toys, tradesmen’s hand-tools, computer parts, kitchen gadgets, clothing, stationery and fashion trinkets for Madrid’s outdoor markets.

About to leave on the world’s now-longest freight train journey,
the Yiwu (eastern China) to Madrid freight train will
cover 10,000+ kilometres in three weeks.
And returning with Spanish-made olive oil, wine, sunflower oil and cured ham for an increasingly affluent Chinese market-place.

Passing through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France, the Yiwu-Madrid freight train is in fact four separate trains, as all 80-plus containers on board have to be moved to different freight wagons hauled by different locomotives on three occasions due to differing rail gauges in those other countries.

But despite this, the train still takes just half the six weeks it would take to move those containers by sea.

And Yiwu, where the journey begins, is the world’s biggest centre for fake goods –with Chinese-made counterfeits of countless of the world’s top names and brands on offer at its vast wholesale market-place.

Courtesy of Guest blogger David Ellis

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Savvy Travel Tips for the Intrepid Adventurer

Adventure travel is a key holiday trend for 2016,[i] and Aussies are paving the way as adrenaline junkies. With summer on the horizon in the Southern hemisphere and blankets of snow set to descend in the North, now is the perfect time to plan an adventure trip – no matter what you’re into.

Claudio Saita, Deputy CEO and Executive Director in Australia for Tokio Marine, underwriters for World2Cover travel insurance, said: “Research shows the adventure travel market is worth around AU$343 billion a year worldwide,[ii] and a whopping 2.7% of Australia’s 12.9 million travellers reported engaging in some kind of adventure activity on their last holiday.[iii]

“Those who travelled overseas were substantially more likely to have done something adventurous while they were away compared to those who holidayed domestically, and activities can be anything from “hard” adventure such as trekking, bungee jumping or white water rafting, to “soft” adventure like birdwatching, camping or cycling.”

Whether you’re planning to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef this summer, one of the Natural Wonders of the World, or whizz down the world’s steepest zipline in Queenstown this spring, the team at World2Cover has these tips to keep your status as daredevil, not disaster:
  1. Do your homework – Accidents usually happen when you are not prepared. While planning your trip, research the month you intend to travel in as the season can greatly effect conditions. For example, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is not advised during the rainy season (March – May).[iv] Once you’re at your destination be sure to check out conditions before any adventure, such as when high and low tide are if in the water and how rough the waves look if you’re jet skiing. 
  2. Travel smart – If you’re travelling to volatile countries, such as Turkey or Egypt, you can register to be emailed updated travel advice from the Australian Government with Smart Traveller. This is completely customised, allowing you to register your travel plans so you only get updates on relevant countries. 
  3. Equip yourself – Whether you plan on skiing, snorkelling or mountain climbing, be sure you have correctly fitting gear from head to toe. Loose equipment will be uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst. If in doubt, its best to seek a professional for advice and a fitting. 
  4. Train – If you’re planning on activities that require physical exertion, such as hiking, biking, or running, or just have a lot planned for jam-packed trip, it’s a good idea to start a training routine. It doesn’t have to be rigorous, but it will prevent potential injuries down the track once you throw yourself into your adventure. [v]
  5. Check your cover – Make the time to read your insurance product disclosure statement to ensure you are fully protected for all your activities and the whole trip. Consider additional specialised cover if you are focussing your adventure on a particular type of activity – for example, winter sports cover. 
For more information on the comprehensive range of coverage options from World2Cover, visit www.world2cover.com.au.

Note: The information in this article is of a general nature. It does not take into account your specific needs or circumstances, so you should look at your objectives and requirements and seek financial advice before making any insurance decisions. Limits, conditions and exclusions apply to all policies. Please read the full PDS to ensure the cover is right for your circumstances.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The day Swedish drivers swapped sides

Get Up & Go guest blogger David Ellis says that when Sweden decided to change to driving on the right side of the road 49 years ago this month, more than 80% of drivers opposed the idea saying it would result in roadway carnage.

After all, they argued, Swedes had been driving on the left side of the road since the first horses and buggies hit the streets 233 years before in 1734.

But with all neighbouring countries driving on the right-hand side of the road, and the majority of Sweden’s vehicles being left-hand drive imports, the government swept aside public opposition, and decreed in 1963 that driving on the right-hand side of the road would become law at 5am on 3 September 1967.

A massive education program was initiated called Dagen H (Dagen meaning “day” and H for Hogertrafik “right-hand traffic.”) Dagen H logos were printed on everything from milk cartons to bras, 130,000 Dagen H reminder signs erected along roadways nationwide, and Dagen H stickers slapped on anything that moved.

CHANGING from driving on the left-hand side of the road to the
right-hand side had its confusion for drivers in Sweden in 1967, but the country survived.

One-way roads, crossings, roundabouts and flyovers had to be redesigned, and 360,000 road signs were changed country-wide. Traffic lights were reversed and road lines repainted during the night before the change-over– and buses had to have new passenger doors cut into their right-hand sides.

Then on 3 September only essential vehicles were allowed from 0100 to 0600, with these forced to stop at 0450, and at 0500 to cross carefully to the other side of the road.

And on the first “working Monday” after, there were 125 non-fatal traffic accidents nationwide – compared with 198 normally.