The Smurfs are now the tourism ambassadors of Brussels

The campaign was launched simultaneously in cities across Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Britain, with the assistance of the Brussels-born blue inhabitants who were dispatched to promote their city.

The Brussels tourism office is dispatching a special delegation of Smurfs as part of a major tourism campaign aimed at bringing back tourists following last year’s terrorist attack.

Dubbed “Where will Brussels take you” the tourism offensive is meant to boost lagging visitor numbers following the terror attacks which killed 32 people at the Brussels airport and metro station last spring.

“Numerous actions were undertaken immediately after the attacks and have yielded positive results,” said Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President in a statement.

“We have witnessed a very clear recovery of tourism in Brussels at the beginning of the year.

The campaign ‘Where will Brussels take you’ represents an additional effort and aims at revealing our region’s hidden secrets – the best and most remarkable of what Brussels has to offer.”

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The campaign was launched simultaneously in cities across Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Britain, with the assistance of the Brussels-born blue inhabitants who were dispatched to promote their city.

An online platform called ­takemeto.­brussels has also been launched to help visitors personalise their trip.

The site offers recommendations on the best restaurants, Instagram-worthy sites, museums for kids, best coffee and wine bars.

As part of the promotional campaign, the tourism office is also giving away a city break to Brussels every week, which includes accommodation and transportation within Europe.

The campaign ends Oct 31.

Read also: It’s time to visit Smurf village

Source – TheJakartaPost

The most attractive holiday destinations

When it comes to vacation destinations, everyone has his or her own preferences, of course. A helping hand can of course be useful, so has the World Economic Forum made a list of the most attractive holiday destinations in the world.

The researchers are looking at issues such as safety, nature, infrastructure, health and value. This has resulted in the following top ten:

1/ Spain
2/ France
3/ Germany
4/ Japan
5/ Great-Britain
6/ United States
7/ Australia
8/ Italy
9/ Canada
10/ Switzerland

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Berlin’s airport debacle: Five years late and counting

You think you have a travel story from hell? Try this one: The inaugural flight from Berlin’s new international airport is almost five years late, and no one can say when it might take off.

The airport’s planned launch in June 2012 was scrapped a month before its unveiling because of fire safety issues, and it’s since been pushed back three times. With costs piling up at €13 million ($14 million) a month, the operating company in March saw the departure of its third chief in four years. The black eye for Germany’s exalted engineering prowess threatens to undermine a tourism boom in Berlin, and there’s talk of scrapping a plan to shutter Tegel, one of the city’s existing airports. “This airport should have been a world-class showpiece for Germany,” says Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, which has long sought to introduce service to Berlin. “It’s an embarrassment.”

The bill for Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt—most people call it BER—has more than doubled, to some €5 billion, since construction began in 2006. And the delayed opening has wounded local restaurants as well as airlines Air Berlin Plc and Deutsche Lufthansa AG, which had expected to expand routes from the capital. Instead, Germany’s biggest city has fewer overseas flights than Düsseldorf (with less than a quarter of Berlin’s population).

The list of construction defects reads like a bad joke: Automatic doors lacked electricity, escalators were too short, and a smoke-extraction system was so complex, yet ineffective, it was dubbed “the Monster,” according to daily tabloid Bild. To keep the air flowing and limit mold growth, empty trains run to an empty station in the basement of BER’s glass-clad terminal. Upstairs there’s everything an airport needs—except passengers.

Once BER opens, it may already be too small. It was designed to accommodate 27 million passengers annually—ample for the 18 million arrivals in Berlin in 2006. But last year, Tegel and the city’s other functioning airport, Schönefeld, handled 33 million passengers. And BER will have 118 check-in counters, about 80 fewer than the combined number at Tegel and Schönefeld. “Resolving the capacity problem of BER will take another several years,” says Simon Morris, vice president at aviation adviser ICF International.

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Porsche will builds a high-performance Panamera Hybrid

German brand builds on new Panamera range with high-tech plug-in hybrid variant.

Porsche has wasted little time building upon its initial three model strong second-generation Panamera line-up.
 
Just two months after the unveiling of the 4S, 4S Diesel and Turbo, the German car maker has now unveiled the 4 E-Hybrid ? the fourth and most technically advanced of the new 2017 Panamera models to date.
 
One of two petrol-electric hybrid models planned to join the new Panamera line-up, the four-wheel drive Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is set to make its public premiere at the 2016 Paris motor show later this month prior to the start of Australian deliveries in 2017.

Priced at $242,600 (plus on-road costs), it succeeds the earlier 4 S E-Hybrid with a claimed 50km electric range, combined consumption of just 2.5L/100km on the European test cycle along with an official 0-100km time of 4.6sec and 278km/h top speed.
 
At the heart of the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is a newly developed petrol-electric drivetrain also set to appear in next year’s Cayenne E-Hybrid. It uses Porsche’s recently unveiled twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine tuned to 243kW and 450Nm of torque in combination with an electric motor mounted in the front of the gearbox capable of delivering up to 100kW and 400Nm of torque.
 
Together, the combustion engine and electric motor provide a combined system output of 340kW and sturdy 700Nm. This provides the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid with 34kW and 110Nm more than the first-generation Panamera S E-Hybrid it replaces in the Porsche line-up.  
 
It is also 16kW and 150Nm up on the second-generation Panamera 4S, which is powered by a more heavily tuned version of Porsche’s twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 engine, albeit without the assistance of an electric motor.
 
Significantly, Porsche has altered the programming of the electric motor to provide greater emphasis on performance. It now kicks in the moment the throttle is depressed. Previously, the throttle needed to be 80 per cent engaged before the reserves of the electric motor were combined with those of the combustion engine in an earlier strategy aimed at optimizing economy.

According to Porsche, the new programming is based on that originally developed for the 918 Spyder. It allows the driver to call up additional power from the electric motor at all times.   
 
The result is a 0.9sec reduction in the 0-100km/h time along with a 8km/h increase in top speed over the superseded Panamera S E-Hybrid at 4.6sec and  278km/h respectively. The official fuel economy figure of 2.5L/100km on the European test cycle also makes it more economical than its predecessor, which was rated at 3.1L/100km.  
 
As on other second-generation Panamera models revealed to date, drive is channelled through a new eight-speed dual clutch gearbox and multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system. The earlier Panamera S E-Hybrid, on the other hand, used an eight-speed torque converter-equipped automatic gearbox.
  
Altogether, there are six different driving modes. They include the Sport and Sport Plus modes of other new Panamera models equipped with the Sport Chrono package, along with the E-Hybrid specific modes of E-power, Hybrid Auto, E-Hold and E-Charge.
  
As with its predecessor, Porsche’s latest hybrid model is programmed to start in E-power mode. With a fully charged battery, it is claimed to provide a pure electric range of up to 50km at speeds limited to 140km/h.
  
Power for the Panamera E-Hybrid’s electric motor is provided by a liquid cooled lithium ion battery. Despite boasting a 4.7kWh increase in energy storage at 14.1kWh, it is claimed to weigh no less than unit used by the older Panamera S E-Hybrid.
 
Porsche says the battery can be charged in 5.8 hours using a standard 3.6kW charger, while an optional 7.2kW charger is claimed to reduce the charging time to 3.6 hours. Charging can be started via the Porsche Communication Management infotainment system or remotely via the Porsche Car Connect app. An auxiliary air conditioner also now allows the cabin to be cooled during charging.
 
A so-called power meter allows the driver to keep tabs of the operation of the hybrid driveline via a standard 12.3 inch touch screen display. Similar to that found on the 918 Spyder, it provides detailed data on energy storage, including the amount of electrical energy being used in real time as well as that recovered through recuperation. There is also a boost assistant that displays the energy available for boosting performance via the electric motor as well as a hybrid assistant that provides information on how to regulate the electric drive for maximum economy.
 
The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid rides on a standard air suspension. The newly developed underpinnings use a three chamber design in combination with electronic damper control and dynamic chassis control that supports torque vectoring and active roll stabilisation.

Read all the latest Porsche news and reviews here
 

Bayern Munich 5-1 Arsenal

GOAL! 1-0 Bayern! Goal Arjen Robben


The Dutchman cut in from the right inside and sends the ball left glittering off the far post.
Typical Robben goal.

29 ‘- GOAL! 1-1 Arsenal! Goal Alexis Sánchez

The Chilean sees his weak placed penalty saved by Neuer, but does his work in the rebound.
How is it possible.

45’+1′ – End of first half

Arsenal had in the first half only 21 percent of ball possession, but created in the counter some good opportunities. The team from Wenger has even more shots on goal (5) than Bayern (3).

52 ‘- GOAL! 2-1 Bayern! Goal Robert Lewandowski
Pool revancheert himself for the loss penalty for rest by him. He towers over Mustafi and plays very fine touch. Attack from the booklet through via Robben a principal Lahm.

55′- GOAL! 3-1 Bayern! goal Thiago
What a phenomenal goal! The Spanish international will only be put to Ospina with a sublime backheel by Lewandowski. Arsenal is reviewed fully at this stage by an unleashed Bayern.

62′- GOAL! 4-1 Bayern! goal Thiago
The midfielder hits a dropping ball through a forest of legs with a fluke behind Ospina. Arsenal will be lost, when Wenger intervenes?

87 ‘- GOAL! 5-1 Bayern! Goal Thomas Müller
Oxlade-Chamberlain loses the ball as an amateur and that you should not do this at Bayern. Substitute Müller must give the final push.

90 ‘+ 3’ – End of the second half!

Star-packed Berlin film festival

Penelope Cruz, Hugh Jackman, Catherine Deneuve, Richard Gere and Robert Pattinson are among the high-wattage stars due on the red carpet at February’s Berlin film festival, organisers said Tuesday as they unveiled the line-up.

The 67th Berlinale is the first major cinema showcase in Europe each year and presents nearly 400 productions from around the world. 

The 11-day event will kick off in the German capital February 9 with the world premiere of the French biopic “Django” about Gypsy-jazz great Django Reinhardt and his family’s persecution in Nazi-occupied Paris.

Eighteen films will vie for the Golden Bear top prize, which last year went to harrowing Italian refugee documentary “Fire at Sea” from a jury led by Meryl Streep.

This year Dutch director Paul Verhoeven (“Basic Instinct”, “Elle”) will lead the seven-member jury including US actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and Mexican actor and director Diego Luna (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”). 

Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick told reporters that the event, known as the most politically minded of Europe’s top festivals, would shine a light on what he called dark times in the West.

“The programme we have put together features films that deal with themes of courage and confidence and do it with a whole lot of humour,” he said. 

“You never know what is going to be happening in the world when you start assembling the line-up but it’s as if the filmmakers were able to look into the future and see current developments. But despite all the turmoil in the world, it’s an upbeat programme.”

Veterans and popcorn fare 

In keeping with its long post-war tradition, the festival will mix arthouse cinema from European veterans including Poland’s Agnieszka Holland (“Europa Europa”), Britain’s Sally Potter, Germany’s Volker Schloendorff, previous Golden Bear winner Calin Peter Netzer of Romania and Aki Kaurismaki of Finland with popcorn fare.

The latest Wolverine instalment of the X-Men superhero series “Logan” starring Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Richard E. Grant will have its world premiere in Berlin and “T2: Trainspotting”, the sequel to the drug-fuelled Scottish cult classic will get a gala screening.

Potter (“Orlando”), one of four women directors in competition, has pulled together a cast including Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Kristin Scott Thomas and Timothy Spall for the comedy “The Party” set in a house in present-day London.

Gere stars with Steve Coogan, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall and Chloe Sevigny in the thriller “The Dinner” by US director Oren Moverman (“Love and Mercy”), an adaptation of the Dutch novel by Herman Koch.

Cruz joins Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”) in the Spanish production “The Queen of Spain” set in the 1950s under Franco, screening in the Berlinale Special sidebar section.

French production “The Midwife” by Martin Provost stars Deneuve as the mysterious former mistress of the title character’s father.

And Pattinson is due in Berlin for a screening of James Gray’s “The Lost City of Z” an adaptation of a bestseller by David Grann of the New Yorker.

Source: TheNation / News Guru

Borussia Dortmund proudly presents ‘pearl’ Alexander Isak

The Swedish top talent Alexander Isak has preferred Borussia Dortmund over ‘numerous European clubs’.
The seventeen-year-old striker signed in Germany for a long time.

Because Isak (17) is not yet eighteen, must Borussia Dortmund get permission from the FIFA to complete the transfer. All parties expect that green light will come in the foreseeable future and AIK Solna striker get to work at BVB.

“Alexander is a pearl that was coveted by many European clubs,” said technical director Michael Zorc. “We are very pleased that he has chosen for Dortmund. We are like the player believes that this is a transfer with great prospects.”

About the surrender do both clubs not comment. Reportedly has Borussia Dortmund nearly nine million euros paid for the Swedish talent that gets a contract until mid-2022.

On Twitter: @BVB

‘Tulips production to 2 billion pieces’

HILLEGOM – The Tulips production exceeds this year is expected for the first time limit of 2 billion tulips. Which provides for the Royal General Bulb Growers (KAVB).

According to the trade association’s demand for the famous flower especially abroad firmly in the elevator. Last year production was 1.9 billion cut tulips and a decade ago, there were still approximately one billion pieces.

Export

Approximately nine out of ten tulips are destined for export. Main market is Germany. There are likely a billion tulip there and the demand is still there.

Also in Russia is the tulip according to André Hoogendijk, deputy director of the KAVB still popular. Russians cut by the dire economic situation in the country firmly on flowers, but the relatively inexpensive tulip is just additional demand, so the industry leader.

National Tulip Day

Saturday is the National Tulip Day, the day when the start of a new tulip season is officially celebrated. On the Dam in Amsterdam puts the industry a temporary garden with more than 200,000 tulips. The total turnover of the Dutch tulip production is about 300 million.