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Travel News April

Now April’s over and the trees are truly in blossom, summer feels so close we can practically hear those Mediterranean waves crashing on the beach! While you’re deciding where to go on your summer holiday, read on for the latest in the world of travel and find out about Brazil’s oddest new trend, Majorca’s clamp down on street swimwear and how you can take a trip back in time with Google Maps…

Google Maps Virtual Time Travel

The latest version of Google’s Street View facility goes further than ever before, thanks to an innovative new time-lapse feature that allows browsers to travel back in time.  The search giant is making the most of seven years’ worth of footage it has accumulated since launching Street View in 2007 by letting users click on a clock icon that will show them the same location as captured in previous surveys.

The tool can be used to trace the progress of everything, from the rapid development of an urban area and the progress of a landmark building while it is actually being built (such as the Freedom Tower in New York’s Manhattan skyline) to the physical movements the earth has made in parts of Japan affected by earthquakes. While it’s still relatively early days for the ground-breaking mapping feature it’s destined to become more useful as time marches on, letting you instantly see just how certain travel spots have evolved over the years.

Brazil’s Bin Laden Bar Craze

Footie fans making the trek to Brazil for this June’s World Cup are likely to surrender to Sao Paolo’s latest bizarre bar trend – the Bin Laden-themed bar. In the Anhangabau district, one of a number of officially designated fan zones, you can find the Bar do Bin Laden and get your picture taken with landlord, Ceará Fernandes, who bears such a striking similarity to the infamous terrorist leader that he was once mistaken for him in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks by a concerned visitor.

After receiving a visit from the police, the barman sensed a publicity opportunity, promptly changing the name of his bar and appearing on national television.  Now the walls of the popular rock music bar are plastered with snapshots of Fernandes posing with customers in full Bin Laden get-up. Apparently there are reports of other Bin Laden bars popping up elsewhere in the country too. It may be in pretty poor taste but we’re betting good money that the bar will be a hit with post-match revellers keen to bag a unique selfie souvenir.

Majorca Covers Up

Majorca has taken the bold step of banning holidaymakers from wearing only bikinis and beachwear in the streets and public areas beyond the beaches. Palma City Council announced the news as part of its Good Citizen Plan, in response to growing pressure from local businesses who have grown tired of serving scantily dressed customers. Tourists who fail to don appropriate clothing could be greeted with fines of up to £500 as part of this crackdown which, according to Palma’s Mayor Alvaro Gijon, is aimed at fostering an atmosphere of ‘harmony and civility’ in the popular Balearic holiday resort of Majorca.

What do you make of this decision, would it hamper your holiday relaxation plans or do you see it as a wise move to attract a more upmarket clientele?