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Category: Portugal 🇵🇹 (Page 1 of 2)

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UNESCO designates 15 new Geoparks

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) on July 10, 2020 at it’s meeting in Paris, designated 15 new Geoparks. There are now 162 designated sites across 44 countries.

UNESCO said »

These sites of exceptional geological and cultural significance showcase the beauty and diversity of planet Earth. Today 162 sites across the world document our planet’s evolution over 4.6 billion years, unlocking our history preserved in the rock record to learn from the past and support local communities.

More » UNESCO

More » Wikipedia entry for UNESCO Global Geoparks

 

When international flights were cancelled due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Juan Manuel Ballestero solo sailed across the Atlantic for 85-days from Portugal to Argentina to be with his 90 year old father

When flights to his native Argentina were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, 47 year-old Juan Manuel Ballestero devised an ambitious plan to be with his parents » to single-handedly sail his small 29 foot Ohlson 29 from Porto Santo, Portugal, 12,000 kilometres across the Atlantic ocean, to Mar del Plata, Argentina.

BBC »

Explorer’s Web »

What do you do when you’re prohibited from international air travel but can’t fathom being away from your aged father? Sail 12,000km across the Atlantic, of course.

Juan Manuel Ballestero lives on the small Portuguese island of Porto Santo. When Argentina cancelled all international flights in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he reasoned that the best alternative to reach his 90-year-old father was by sailing. Ballestero‘s voyage from Port Santo to Mar del Plata took 86 days. He arrived on June 17 to a celebrity’s welcome.

NY Times »

So he said he loaded his 29-foot sailboat with canned tuna, fruit and rice and set sail in mid-March.

“I didn’t want to stay like a coward on an island where there were no cases,” Mr. Ballestero said. “I wanted to do everything possible to return home. The most important thing for me was to be with my family.”

Sailing across the Atlantic in a small boat is challenging in the best of circumstances. The added difficulties of doing it during a pandemic became clear three weeks into the trip.

On April 12, the authorities in Cape Verde refused to allow him to dock at the island nation to restock his supply of food and fuel, said Mr. Ballestero.

While he didn’t get to celebrate his father’s 90th birthday in May, he did make it home in time for Father’s Day.

Switzerland remains the best country in the world » Canada has moved up to the second spot » U.S. News 2020 Best Countries rankings

For Switzerland, the 2020 ranking is the the fourth consecutive yearhas been judged No. 1 by residents of 36 countries. Canada was chosen second, overtaking Japan in the U.S. News’ fifth annual survey.

The Best Countries report, produced from an annual global survey of more than 20,000 people in 36 countries including the United States, reflects increasingly negative views of the world and within countries. Nearly half of survey respondents say conditions around the world have worsened in the past year. Likewise, an increased percentage of people say the gap between the rich and poor has grown and that nationalism is increasing.

According to the ranking, here are the Top 25 Countries in the World

  1. Switzerland
  2. Canada
  3. Japan
  4. Germany
  5. Australia
  6. United Kingdom
  7. United States
  8. Sweden
  9. Netherlands
  10. Norway
  11. New Zealand
  12. France
  13. Denmark
  14. Finland
  15. China
  16. Singapore
  17. Italy
  18. Austria
  19. Spain
  20. South Korea
  21. Luxembourg
  22. United Arab Emirates
  23. Russia
  24. Portugal
  25. India

The Bottom 5 of the U.S. News 2020 Best Countries rankings are

  • Lebanon
  • Serbia
  • Oman
  • Belarus
  • Tunisia

See the full report.

 

 

LGBT travel index puts Sweden, Canada, and Norway at the top

The LGBTQ+ Danger Index lists the 25 safest countries for LGBTQ+ travellers »

1. 🇸🇪 Sweden
2. 🇨🇦 Canada
3. 🇳🇴 Norway
4. 🇵🇹 Portugal
5. 🇧🇪 Belgium
6. 🇬🇧 United Kingdom
7. 🇫🇮 Finland
8. 🇫🇷 France
9. 🇮🇸 Iceland
10. 🇪🇸 Spain
11. 🇲🇹 Malta
12. 🇳🇿 New Zealand
13. 🇳🇱 Netherlands
14. 🇩🇰 Denmark
15. 🇿🇦 South Africa
16. 🇮🇪 Ireland
17. 🇦🇺 Australia
18. 🇺🇾 Uruguay
19. 🇨🇴 Colombia
20. 🇦🇹 Austria
21. 🇩🇪 Germany
22. 🇸🇮 Slovenia
23. 🇱🇺 Luxembourg
24. 🇺🇸 United States
25. 🇬🇺 Guam

 

Antonia Wilson, writing in the Guardian »

Sweden has been named the most LGBT-friendly country in the world for travellers according to new research into gay rights in 150 countries.

The LGBTQ+ Danger Index was created by ranking the 150 most-visited countries using eight factors, including legalised same-sex marriage, worker protection and whether, based on Gallup poll findings, it is a good place to live.

Canada ranked second-safest, followed by Norway, Portugal and Belgium. The UK is sixth safest on the list, but the US does not make the top 20. The researchers, American couple Asher and Lyric Fergusson, who blog about staying safe while travelling, said one reason the US is only at number 24 is because gay rights vary from state to state.

Read the whole article in The Guardian »

Japan and Singapore top 2019 list of world’s most powerful passports

Euan McKirdy and Maureen O’Hare at CNN write »

Japan and Singapore have held onto their position as the world’s most travel-friendly passports.

That’s the view of the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country’s travel document affords.

Singapore and Japan’s passports have topped the rankings thanks to both documents offering access to 190 countries each.

South Korea rubs shoulders with Finland and Germany in second place, with citizens of all three countries able to access 188 jurisdictions around the world without a prior visa.

Finland has benefited from recent changes to Pakistan‘s formerly highly restrictive visa policy. Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Spain, Malta, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the United States or the UK.

Read more of this article at CNN »

The best passports in 2019 are:

1. Japan, Singapore (190 destinations)
2. Finland, Germany, South Korea (188)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (187)
4. France, Spain, Sweden (186)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal (185)
6. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland (184)
7. Malta, Czech Republic (183)
8. New Zealand (182)
9. Australia, Lithuania, Slovakia (181)
10. Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Slovenia (180)
More at the Henley Passport Index

Notes

» Canada has been ranked 6th four years in a row. They were ranked 2nd in 2014, then dropped to 4th in 2015, and have been holding steady in 6th since 2016.

» The USA been on a steady decline since 2014 when they were ranked 1st. They dropped to 2nd in 2015, 4th in 2016, 5th in 2017 and 2018, and to 6th this year.

» The UK has been on a steady decline in the rankings, dropping from 1st in 2015, to 3rd in 2016, to 4th in 2017, to 5th in 2018, to 6th this year.

World’s Most Powerful Passports as of Q3 2019

The Henley Passport Index has released its third quarter ranking of the world’s most powerful passports in 2019.

The index is compiled from data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and measures global mobility based on visa-free access to destinations. It also uses data from the index’s 14-year history, “to show how travel mobility has changed over the past decade, looking at which passports have gained in strength and which have fallen behind.”

Japan and Singapore hold the world’s strongest passports, with Visa-free access to 189 destinations. South Korea dropped to second place, joining Germany and Finland with Visa-free access to 187 destinations.

The United Arab Emirates entered the top 20 index for the first time in the list’s 14-year-history, moving up an astonishing 41 spots. Other countries that climbed standings include Taiwan, which climbed 24 places over the past ten years and ranks 30th.

The USA and the UK each dropped to the lowest position they’ve held since 2010, sharing the sixth spot with Canada, Greece, Norway, Belgium and Ireland.

Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Malta, Spain, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the USA or the UK.

Afghanistan is once again at the other end of the rankings, with its citizens needing a prior visa for all but 25 destinations worldwide.

Most Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:
1. Japan, Singapore (189 Destinations)
2. South Korea, Germany, Finland (187)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (186)
4. France, Sweden, Spain (185)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland (184)
6. Canada, Norway, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, UK, US (183)
7. Malta (182)
8. Czechia (181)
9. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Lithuania (180)
10. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia (179)

The Least Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:

101. Bangladesh, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, North Korea (39 Destinations)
102. Nepal (38)
103. Libya, Palestinian, Sudan (37)
104. Yemen (33)
105. Somalia (31)
106. Pakistan (30)
107. Syria (29)
108. Iraq (27)
109. Afghanistan (25)

Source: Henley Passport Index

Best Countries for Quality of Life

Through all phases of life, Canada and Scandinavian countries treat their citizens well, according to US News.

  1. Canada
  2. Sweden
  3. Denmark
  4. Norway
  5. Switzerland
  6. Finland
  7. Australia
  8. Netherlands
  9. New Zealand
  10. Germany
  11. Belgium
  12. United Kingdom
  13. Japan
  14. Luxemburg
  15. Ireland
  16. France
  17. USA
  18. Singapore
  19. Portugal
  20. China
  21. Spain
  22. Italy
  23. South Korea
  24. Poland
  25. Czech Republic

More info at US News

Reference: Living 2.0

The Worlds Most Powerful Passports, as of January 2019

  1. Japan (190 countries can be visited without a visa)
  2. Singapore, South Korea (189)
  3. Germany, France (188)
  4. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden (187)
  5. Luxembourg, Spain (186)
  6. Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, U.K., U.S. (185)
  7. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland (184)
  8. Czech Republic (183)
  9. Malta (182)
  10. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand (181)

London-based consulting firm Henley & Partners, using data from the International Air Transport Association, compiles this index of passports that allow visa-free travel.

In the past, this was an annual list, released every January. The list is now being updated every few months.

Since January 2018, Germany has been knocked out of top spot, while both the U,K. and U.S. passports have dropped one place in the rankings.

More at Lonely PlanetTraveller,  CNN

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