Durant and Cheryl ImbodenEFVblog.com is the "Travel & Cruise News" section of Durant and Cheryl Imboden's Europeforvisitors.com, a vacation-planning site that's read by several million travelers from 200+ countries every year.

In this blog, we publish news about European travel and cruising, point you to new or updated articles at Europe for Visitors, and post random items that are interesting, useful, or fun.

Personal plugs: If you're a fan of Venice, Italy, take a look at our Venice Travel Blog--and if you're fond of dogs, our "Maggie in Venice" blog may entertain you.


The Montague Ski Lodge: alpine atmosphere in central London

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ABOVE: In a few weeks, The Montague's deck will be transformed into a mountain ski lodge.

Red Carnation Hotels has a knack for knocking the stuffiness out of the four- and five-star hotel experience, and this winter, it's doing so again with a reprise of The Montague Ski Lodge at The Montague on the Gardens in central London.

From November 19, 2014 to January 30, 2015, the hotel's outdoor deck will be "magically transformed into a mountain ski lodge for the winter season, complete with falling snow, pine trees, snowmen, reindeer, piste maps, and twinkling lights."

The Ski Lodge's bar will offer après-ski drinks such as Jägermeister; apple, pear, peach and watermelon Schnapps; sherry trifle; mandarin, candy cane- and toffee-flavored vodkas; and winter warmers such as mulled wine and spiced cider.

To visit the Ski Lodge, Londoners and tourists can purchase a "ski pass" that's valid for a repast of mini turkey burgers, bratwurst, deep-fried Camembert, and a choice of three drinks from the Ski Lodge's bar menu. The price is £25 (about US 42).

If you're from out of town, you may prefer to book a "Montague Ski Lodge"package that includes two nights at the hotel, a full English breakfast, and access to the Ski Lodge.

What? You really want to ski? Then take a "Ski Lodge selfie" and post it on Faceback, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #SkiMontague. You'll be entered into a prize drawing for a three-night weekend at the Hotel d'Angleterre in Geneva, Switzerland with flights, ski hire, and lift pass included.

For more information about The Montague Ski Lodge, see:

Montague Ski Lodge

To learn more about the hotel, or to book a room, visit:

The Montague on the Gardens 

BELOW: A street view of The Montague on the Gardens, sans reindeer and snowmen.

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Photos: Red Carnation Hotels.

Source: Arnelle Kendall.


A backpack with a beltpack from MindShift Gear

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ABOVE: The rotation180° Travel Away Backpack from MindShift Gear.

Backpacks are handy, but you wouldn't want to use a backpack for your passport, wallet, camera, and smartphone--or would you? With the new rotation180° Travel Away Backpack from MindShift Gear, you can enjoy the storage space of a backpack and the security of a rotating hidden or front-mounted beltpack at the same time.

According to MindShift, "In one swift motion, the wearer can rotate the concealed beltpack to the front for instantaneous and secure access to camera, passports, guidebooks, tablets, or other travel essentials." And when you (a.k.a. "the wearer") want to make the beltpack less obvious, you can rotate it back into a "secure locked channel" between the backpack and your back until you need it again.

The beltpack is large enough to carry a small tablet (such as an iPad Mini), a point-and-shoot camera, your passport, cash, and other small items.

The backpack has dedicated pockets to conceal a laptop (up to 15 inches) and a 10-inch tablet, along with pockets or compartments for clothing and other gear. If you wish, you can remove the beltpack and wear it without the backpack for local sightseeing.

We haven't had a chance to field-test the rotation180° Travel Away Backpack, but the concept sounds brilliant. What's more, the Travel Away backpack is only one of four rotation180° backpacks, including a versatile (if pricey) Professional model for serious photographers who need to keep their camera gear instantly at hand.

For more information on all four r180° backpacks from MindShift Gear, visit:

www.mindshift.com

BELOW: A video of the rotating beltpack in action on the r180° Professional backpack:

 


Go surfing at Munich International Airport

Surfing at Munich Airport

ABOVE: A surfer catches a wave at MUC.

For the fourth summer in a row, Munich International Airport (MUC) will wow spectators and thrill participants at its "Surf & Style" event from July 30 through August 24.

Pumps will create a standing wave 10 meters (33 feet) wide and 1.5 meters (5 feet) high in an outdoor basin at Munich Airport Center, a short walk from the passenger terminals. The surfing attraction will be open daily from 3 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., and admission is free.

Up to 10 people at a time will be allowed into the basin, with 45-minute time windows. Anyone 8 years or older can participate, and all of the necessary equipment such as boards, wetsuits, etc. can be borrowed free of charge.

Twice a day, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., the airport will offer 45-minute beginner sessions with a support bar in place and professional surfing instructors on hand for safety and advice. 

In addition, the airport is offering three-day surfing camps for children and teens, with levels from beginner to advanced.

Would you rather watch the action than ride the waves? Take advantage of the free beach area, which has palm trees, lounge chairs, a cocktail bar, and a grandstand. (Up to five hours of parking is also free in the P20 lot.)

For more information on "Surf & Style" 2014, visit:

www.munich-airport.de/surfandstyle

Also see our articles about Munich International Airport and our Munich Travel Guide at Europeforvisitors.com.

Photo: Flughafen München GmbH.

Source: Meryl Pearlstein, MDP Publicity.