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Below you will find a selection of the most recent entries from bloggers in our Travel section.

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  • Rachel Beacher is a British journalist who would be ready to backpack around the world tomorrow if she could find an easy way to carry two small and unruly children. She most enjoys travelling to places that are family-friendly, and easily accessible from Geneva. Before becoming an expat in Switzerland, Rachel was a writer and editor for UK newspapers and magazines. She moved to Lausanne in early 2013, speaks passable French, and has been writing travel articles for over 15 years. She is the co-founder of Living In Sion.

powdair

By Rachel Beacher, Journalist

For short haul travel, sometimes the queues at Geneva airport can be longer than your flight. From December, a new airline will offer alternative routes for people travelling between Swiss Romandy and the UK, and a few other European destinations.

Powdair will operate out of the tiny, picturesque airport in Sion, Valais from 11 December. It will run flights between Sion and eight UK, Belgian and Swiss destinations - London City, London Luton, London Southend, Southampton, Bristol, Manchester, Antwerp and Zürich.

It represents a viable alternative for families from the Geneva area who will have already decamped to the mountains, or who have friends and family visiting over the winter and don't want their visitors to waste too much precious skiing time on travelling. The airline's efficiency has yet to be proven, but it is hard to imagine that the queues could be anything like as long as at Geneva because the footfall at Sion airport will be so much smaller.

Powdair's prices are more expensive than most budget airlines – starting at CHF 176 for one way – but  they are all-inclusive which means you can bring a suitcase, transport your skis, snowboards or golf clubs, and enjoy an in-flight drink and snack without paying any extra. Transfers to resorts will also be bookable on the website.

The company is billing itself as a 'mountain sports airline'. It will run all year round and is targeted not just at people coming to ski in the region, but also summer tourists, residents and businesspeople.

Rachel Beacher LEGOLAND Windsor Resort fireworksLegoland Windsor Resort Fireworks

By Rachel Beacher, Journalist

Back in the days before the British government was intent on destroying itself, Guy Fawkes was infamous for his foiled attempt to blow up the House of Lords.
The thwarting of this 17th century terrorist plot is remembered every year in the UK with public fireworks displays across the country.

These days the celebrations span several weeks up to 5 November, with some of the best Bonfire Night shows at amusement parks, where you can stay in on-site hotels if you choose to travel for the weekend. Here is a selection of this year's events, most of which are just a short flight away in the UK.

Legoland, Windsor, Berkshire

27 and 28 October
Ninjago-themed displays, where you can use 3D glasses to watch the fireworks explode into thousands of tiny Lego bricks. The shows mark the opening of Lego Ninjago World and coincide with a Brick or Treat Halloween festival, which runs until 30 October. Under-threes go free. The park has two hotels that look like they've been built out of giant Lego bricks.
Nearest airport: Heathrow

1 port de pollensa
Port de Pollença

By Rachel Beacher, Journalist

Flight bookings have just opened for this autumn and winter 2017/18. For people planning how to spend the colder months, where better than a picturesque Mallorcan port?

'Everyone – the English, the Americans – they all came to Mallorca in the winter.'

So observed the thriller writer Agatha Christie in 1935 in her short story 'Problem at Pollensa Bay'. Indeed, at the time, the major towns of Mallorca were so busy that the author's hero sought refuge towards the less popular north east coast of the island and by chance came across a pretty and bohemian bolthole – Port de Pollença.

I visited Port de Pollença during those pesky school holidays in October, when the weather is usually failing in Vaud and it is still many months until ski season.

I found it to be enduringly enchanting and unmistakably recognisable from Christie's pre-war portrait.

She describes how a private detective, attempting to escape from his work and from the bothersomeness of people in general, falls in love immediately with 'a small hotel standing on the edge of the sea looking out over a view that in the misty haze of a fine morning had the exquisite vagueness of a Japanese print.'

RB alexandra palace fireworks 2015 web
Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival 2015

By Rachel Beacher, Journalist

This weekend the UK will celebrate Guy Fawkes Night, the closest thing the Brits have to Swiss National Day or the Fourth of July.

The fireworks-themed festival commemorates the eleventh-hour capture of a gang of traitors who were attempting to blow up Parliament with 2,500kg of gunpowder. People today burn effigies of Guy Fawkes, the most famous of the group of Catholic plotters, because he was found hiding in the cellars of the House of Lords on 5 November, 1605. Each year there are thousands of public bonfires and fireworks displays held across the country – with the biggest and most breathtaking events in London, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators.

Also known as Bonfire Night, the events are generally extremely family friendly, with children always expected. Tickets, usually free or inexpensive, are required for entry to most events, with the exceptions of Victoria Park and Blackheath. But the shows can be seen from miles around and there are even special viewing cruises along the Thames.

With the plunge of the pound since the UK's shock Brexit vote, it's a great time for people from mainland Europe to head to London for sightseeing and shopping.