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

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.