Game of thrones’ ‘Azure window’ CRUMBLES: Malta's 164ft-high arched cliff washes away after being hit by heavy storms

Malta's famed Azure Window has crumbled into the sea after being pummelled by stormy weather.

Geologists had long warned that the arched cliff structure, on the north-western coast of the small island of Gozo, was eroding and last year visitors had been banned from walking on top of it or sailing beneath it. But on Wednesday morning their prediction came true and the natural wonder dramatically collapsed with a 'loud whoomph' according to Roger Chessell, a local resident who witnessed its boulders crashing down hundreds of feet into the Sea.

Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat described the event as 'sad' and 'heartbreaking'.

He added on Twitter that the 164 foot-high limestone landmark had always faced 'unavoidable natural corrosion' but finally 'that sad day arrived'. The natural site had lured millions of tourists over the years. It has also been used as a backdrop in dozens of films and most recently it featured in the first season of the HBO series Game of Thrones in the Dothraki wedding scene.

Malta's Environment Minister Jose Herrera said that the environmental conditions surrounding the Azure Window were behind its eventual collapse. Its exposed positioning meant it was constantly battered by strong winds and violent waves. 'What nature created, it took away,' Dr Herrera said in a press conference. Malta's tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis admitted the country had lost a prime visitor asset. However, he maintained that Gozo has a lot more to offer than the Azure Window.

There's Never Been a Better Time to Travel in Europe

British holiday makers heading to Europe received a welcome boost recently after the pound soared to a seven-year high against the single currency. Sterling rose above 1.42 euros – a level not seen since January 2008 – giving families more ‘bang for their buck’ on the Continent.

The euro has tumbled against a host of currencies from around the world in recent months as the threat of recession and deflation hangs over the single currency bloc. The fall accelerated last month when the European Central Bank outlined plans to pump at least £850billion of emergency funds into the eurozone’s struggling economy. The prospect of a flood of cash being created through so-called quantitative easing has lowered the value of the euro.

The situation in Greece, where the new Left-wing government is at loggerheads with the rest of Europe over its debts, has also undermined confidence in the single currency. It is feared that Greece will default on its debts and be forced to leave the euro – plunging the region and the currency back into crisis.

Chris Saint, head of currency dealing at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the pound’s rise against the euro ‘has a bit further to run’. He blamed the ‘impasse between Greece and the rest of the eurozone’ and added that ‘there doesn’t seem to be much common ground’.

The Ultimate European Road Trip

Is this the ultimate European Road Trip?

The journey takes in 45 stop-offs in total and includes countries such as the UK, Portugal, Bulgaria, Estonia and Finland. Covering 16,287 miles and 14 days of driving, It is advisable allow three months in order to spend some time exploring each of the cities.

If you are thinking about doing a road trip, you could use the above map to help with choosing your destinations and we'd be delighted to assist you in putting the trip together.

Destinations On The Ultimate European Road Trip

How to Pack Your Suitcase Like a Pro

If you've ever had problems closing your suitcase, this video will show you just how to make the most out of every inch - so you can stop wrestling your case and start enjoying your trip!

You can see more of Tom Ayzenberg on his travelblog: http://imflyingaroundthecountry.com

Retirees Lead The Way With Adventurous Travel

A quarter of retirees say they want to reward themselves with a relaxing cruise in the sun-soaked Caribbean, while 23 per cent are keen to take a scenic train trip across Europe. Showing their adventurous side, 20 per cent say they want to view the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas strip during an exhilarating helicopter ride. Travelling Route 66 features in the "must do" list and rounding out the top five is a romantic gondola ride in Venice.

TOP BUCKET LIST DESTINATIONS

~ View Aurora Borealis, Norway (29%)
~ Go on a cruise in the Caribbean (25%)
~ Inter rail across Europe (23%)
~ Take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and the Las Vegas strip (20%)
~ Ride a gondola in Venice (18%)
~ Walk the Great Wall of China (18%)
~ Go on Route 66 road trip in US (18%)
~ See the Taj Mahal in India (17%)
~ Go on an African safari (17%)
~ Visit the pyramids in Egypt (15%)

New Airline Cabin Luggage Sizes

Airlines are set to adopt a new rule on cabin luggage that will reduce the size of bags passengers can take on planes. Aviation bosses introduced the guidelines last night and eight major carriers have already signed up, according to The Telegraph - with more expected to adopt the process in the coming months.

New carry on bag sizes:
55cm (21.5 inches) tall
35cm (13.5 inches) wide
20cm (7.5 inches) deep

Atlantic City - On the Up

From Atlantic City’s humble beginnings as the summer home of the Lenni-Lenape Indians to the vision of creating a tourist attraction in 1854 by Dr. Jonathan Pitney, a local physician, Atlantic City boasts a rich and varied history.

Atlantic City offers something for everyone. From the boardwalk to the bay, our great city has become a world-class destination and a "must see" attraction for millions of visitors annually. From fine dining and entertainment, to a wide array of shopping and, of course, casino excitement...we're "always turned on"!

Furthermore, Atlantic City is also a great place to live with stable neighborhoods and proud citizens who truly care for their community. As Mayor, it is my goal to unite Atlantic City and make a positive difference in the lives of others. The City of Atlantic City is concerned with improving the quality of life of our citizens. We also encourage development and support a partnership between business, industry, government and community.

Atlantic City is very unique, having both a small town charm coupled with an international "big city" identity. We are truly among the most diverse communities in America. In closing, please be sure to visit this website frequently to learn more about the City of Atlantic City, and more importantly...don’t forget to make Atlantic City your No.1 destination!

http://www.cityofatlanticcity.org

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