Aussie woman finds a ‘HUGE’ huntsman spider lurking in her toilet after she has flushed

Terrified woman finds a ‘huge’ huntsman spider lurking in her toilet after she had been sitting on the seat for 20 minutes: ‘I want to cry’

  • A Gold Coast model was horrified to find a ‘huge’ huntsman spider in her toilet
  • The model had been sitting on the toilet for 20 minutes before she saw the beast
  • The terrified woman was nearly in tears as she recorded the video 
  • She said: ‘I have no idea how I’m ever gonna go to the toilet again’

An Australian model has shared her ‘horror’ at finding a large huntsman spider hiding under her toilet seat after she had been sitting on it for 20 minutes scrolling through her phone. 

Gabriella Pizzato, who lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland, was was nearly in tears as she recorded a video of the spider crawling out from its hiding place after she stood up. 

‘I just went to the toilet, and I got up and flushed the toilet and there is a big f*****g spider under the seat. I was sitting there for about 20 minutes! Oh my god, I want to show you, it’s actually huge. I want to cry. It is huge,’ she said in a TikTok video.

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An Australian model found a 'huge' huntsman in the toilet

She had already been sitting on the toilet on her phone for 20 minutes

An Australian model found a ‘huge’ huntsman in the toilet after she had already been sitting on it on her phone for 20 minutes

As Ms Pizzato was speaking the spiders legs appeared from under the rim of the toilet.

‘Oh my god I just saw his legs. It’s like under the rim,’ she whispered.

She captioned the video ‘welcome to Australia’ and said ‘I have no idea how I’m ever gonna go to the toilet again’.

TikTok users were equally horrified and quick to comment on the footage.

‘As someone watching this on the toilet, I did not appreciate this TikTok,’ one man said.

‘You are so lucky that you found out after not during though,’ another commented.

‘The way it crawls out from hiding is something out of a f*****g horror movie,’ one woman said.

Following advice from other TikTok users, Ms Pizzato flushes and checks under the toilet seat every time before she uses it now

Following advice from other TikTok users, Ms Pizzato flushes and checks under the toilet seat every time before she uses it now

Several users warned to always flush before using the toilet.

‘I always flush before I go for this reason,’ one woman said.

Ms Pizzato later uploaded another video, this time flushing and checking under the seat of the toilet, saying ‘me every time I go to the toilet now’. 

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Travel experts review ALL FOUR classes on a British Airways Boeing 777 flight – simultaneously

According to the ‘Oscars of Aviation’, British Airways is the 11th-best airline in the world.

It was given the impressive ranking by the much-respected Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022 – but why? This fascinating video sums it up very neatly. It documents a trip four travel experts from The Points Guy UK (TPG UK) made simultaneously on a single BA Boeing 777 flight between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Washington DC, with each person occupying a different class of cabin – economy, premium economy, business class and first class.

The reviewers are each full of praise for their seats, with economy lauded for its legroom, premium economy for its comfort, business class for its privacy and first class for five-star-hotel food. But there were some criticisms, from ‘dry chicken’ to ‘poor quality headphones’. Read on for more…

FIRST CLASS

Ben Smithson had the tedious task of putting BA's first-class cabin to the test

Ben Smithson had the tedious task of putting BA’s first-class cabin to the test

Sitting furthest into the pointy end of the aircraft was Ben Smithson, with TPG UK paying 68,000 Avios, plus £545 for seat 1K.

He was really taken with his suite, revealing: ‘It was a definite upgraded experience versus British Airways business class and overall much better than I was expecting.

‘The food, from presentation to range and taste was genuine fine dining. I would be happy to be served this in a five-star hotel in London.’

Ben (above) said of first class: 'It was a definite upgraded experience versus British Airways business class'

Ben (above) said of first class: ‘It was a definite upgraded experience versus British Airways business class’

Beforehand he was able to relax in the ultra-exclusive Concorde Room lounge, which he described as ‘an airy, light-filled space to enjoy a glass of vintage Champagne while escaping the crowds in the terminal below’.

However, on the downside, he said that the seat ‘is in need of a sliding door to give it privacy’ and the entertainment screen ‘was old, clunky and fairly low resolution’.

BUSINESS CLASS

BA's business-class (Club World in BA marketing-speak) 'Club Suite' was put to the test by Liam Spencer (above)

BA’s business-class (Club World in BA marketing-speak) ‘Club Suite’ was put to the test by Liam Spencer (above)

TPG UK raided 50,000 Avios from its vaults, plus £545, for seat 15K in business class

TPG UK raided 50,000 Avios from its vaults, plus £545, for seat 15K in business class

Liam said of the business-class food (above): 'All delicious, from the starter to the main course to afternoon tea. I opted for the chicken tikka masala for lunch after a recommendation from the cabin crew and it proved to be the best curry I've ever eaten on a plane'

Liam said of the business-class food (above): ‘All delicious, from the starter to the main course to afternoon tea. I opted for the chicken tikka masala for lunch after a recommendation from the cabin crew and it proved to be the best curry I’ve ever eaten on a plane’

Liam liked his Club Suite seat but said 'it could have been wider'

Liam liked his Club Suite seat but said ‘it could have been wider’

BA’s business class (Club World in BA marketing-speak) ‘Club Suite’ was put to the test by Liam Spencer, TPG UK raiding 50,000 Avios from its vaults, plus £545, for seat 15K.

Liam had a great time, telling MailOnline Travel: ‘This was one of the most spacious business-class seats I’ve flown on. The fully-closing door allows for total privacy and was the real star of the product. The Club Suite cabin felt incredibly fresh, modern and clean.’

He liked the food, too – ‘all delicious, from the starter to the main course to afternoon tea’. He added: ‘I opted for the chicken tikka masala for lunch after a recommendation from the cabin crew and it proved to be the best curry I’ve ever eaten on a plane.’

Any negative aspects to the trip? A few niggles, it turns out.

He said: ‘The Club Suite bed could have been comfier and wider. The bedding itself was perfectly fine, but the footwell was quite narrow. My Club Suite ticket granted me access to the British Airways business class lounges at Heathrow T5. These aren’t a bad place to relax before your flight but are some way behind other business lounges in the same terminal in terms of comfort, design and dining options.’

PREMIUM ECONOMY

Head of Points Guy UK Nicky Kelvin gave BA's premium economy ('World Traveller Plus') cabin a whirl

Head of Points Guy UK Nicky Kelvin gave BA’s premium economy (‘World Traveller Plus’) cabin a whirl

Nicky said of his seat: '[It] was very spacious and comfortable and the smaller cabin gave an extra sense of privacy'

Nicky said of his seat: ‘[It] was very spacious and comfortable and the smaller cabin gave an extra sense of privacy’

The food in premium economy? 'Tasty'

The food in premium economy? ‘Tasty’

Head of Points Guy UK Nicky Kelvin gave BA’s premium economy (‘World Traveller Plus’) cabin a whirl and was full of praise for his experience, which cost his website 26,000 Avios, plus £390.

He said: ‘The seat was very spacious and comfortable and the smaller cabin gave an extra sense of privacy. The food and amenities were a true upgrade from economy and closer to what is provided in business class. Food was served on proper crockery and was very tasty and the meal large enough to satisfy any appetite.’

Any downsides? Nicky added: ‘While the seat was very comfortable for a day flight and has a decent recline, I would still find it very difficult to sleep in this seat on an overnight flight.’

ECONOMY

Sitting at the very rear of the flight (economy/’World Traveller') was Maren Gimnes (above, attempting sleep)

Sitting at the very rear of the flight (economy/’World Traveller’) was Maren Gimnes (above, attempting sleep)

Maren's seat was 37A. It cost 13,000 Avios and £290

Maren’s seat was 37A. It cost 13,000 Avios and £290

Maren enjoyed getting a whole bottle of wine with her meal but said the meat was 'very dry'

Maren enjoyed getting a whole bottle of wine with her meal but said the meat was ‘very dry’

Maren was not impressed with the economy headphones

Maren was not impressed with the economy headphones

Sitting at the very rear of the flight (economy/’World Traveller’) was Maren Gimnes, with her ticket for seat 37A costing 13,000 Avios and £290.

The ups for her? ‘Amazing and friendly crew with quick and efficient service’ was ‘up’ No.1.

This was followed by ‘a good amount of legroom’ and pleasing seat design.

She added: ‘The comfy blanket was a lot bigger than I’m used to on long-haul economy flights and I was surprised how many snacks we got between the meals. Plus, it was great to get my own bottle of wine rather than just a glass.’

Maren’s gripes? ‘There was a lot of space between the seat and the fuselage, which made it uncomfortable to rest against the window, the main dish had tasty vegetables, but the meat [chicken] was very dry, and the headphones were poor quality,’ she said.

For more information on travel tips and tricks, sign up to The Points Guy UK. To see the full British Airways Boeing 777 Heathrow to Washington DC review video click here.  

Liam, Maren, Nicky and Ben at Heathrow Terminal 5 before their flight to Washington DC

Liam, Maren, Nicky and Ben at Heathrow Terminal 5 before their flight to Washington DC

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Highlights of a caffeine-fuelled journey through Indonesia

Editor’s Note — This CNN Travel series is, or was, sponsored by the country it highlights. CNN retains full editorial control over subject matter, reporting and frequency of the articles and videos within the sponsorship, in compliance with our policy.

(CNN) — Even after traveling extensively through Indonesia for more than two decades, I sometimes struggle to grasp the true scale and diversity of the biggest island nation on the planet.

This is the world’s fourth most populous nation (home to an estimated 10% of the world’s languages) and yet many people would struggle to find Indonesia on a map.

Kopi dulu means “coffee first” in Bahasa Indonesia — which serves as a second, unifying language to the majority of Indonesians. To me, the phrase came to sum up the attitude of unhurried hospitality that is ubiquitous among the unimaginable diversity of cultures that lie along this part of the Ring of Fire of volcanic countries around the edge of the Pacific.

Whether Muslim, Hindu, Christian or animist, it sometimes seems that little ever happens without a preliminary “cup of Java.” This was fine with me since I learned very early on in my Indonesian travels not to hurry; jam karet (rubber time) is another national catchphrase that’s an ideal antidote to the routine of our hyper-scheduled Western way of life.

Where myth is indiscernible from reality

I first visited Indonesia in 1995, leading an expedition through central Borneo, and have since traveled on assignments to all the major islands. I must have explored 100 or more of the almost undocumented islands and quite a few of the estimated 12,000 that are officially listed as uninhabited even today.

Skeptics will tell you that there are no unexplored regions, but Indonesia offers a level of adventure that few countries can match. My travels through the country naturally took in most of the iconic tourism hotspots (including Borobudur Temple, the Batak Highlands and Komodo) and quite a few spots that have become almost household names despite the fact that they see comparatively few international travelers (Krakatoa, Maluku’s “Spice Islands,” Borneo).

At Palasari the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church rises in an unexpectedly regal facade against the steaming jungle backdrop.

At Palasari the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church rises in an unexpectedly regal facade against the steaming jungle backdrop.

Mark Eveleigh

In islands where myth is sometimes indiscernible from reality I talked with Tana Toraja’s “living dead,” came face-to-face with trance-dancers in Bali and met the villagers who are literally besieged by dragons in the Komodo archipelago.

I surfed the legendary reefs of G-Land, Nias and Occy’s Left, and pioneered a previously un-surfed wave in the remote Alor Archipelago.

I searched for orangutans and tracked tigers in Sumatra and I spoke to people in communities all over the islands about the great plethora of mythical creatures, spirits and hantu (ghosts) that seem to occupy every corner of this fascinating archipelago.

Indonesia’s phinisi cruisers

While island-hopping through this sprawling chain of 13,466 islands it was of course necessary to travel frequently by boat.

The southeast coast of Sulawesi remains the traditional homeland of the Bugis, an ethnic group once famed for its feared pirates who, according to legend, brought the word “boogeyman” into a million childhood nightmares.

Today the Bugis (and the closely related Konjo people) continue to construct the majestic Sulawesi schooners that are known as phinisi.

These tall-ships, which once raced before the monsoons on raiding missions, have recently become an integral part of tourism through many of Indonesia’s remotest islands. Indo Yachts, the main site for traditional liveaboards of this sort, operates 22 of Indonesia’s finest phinisi cruisers.

These vessels often represent the only viable way for travelers to visit Indonesia’s remotest islands and they are able to bring the benefits of tourism to isolated and under-represented communities without leaving a lasting impact.

Moreover, there’s an element of irresistible romance to be had from exploring a chain of paradise islands under a full sail with your bare feet on a warm teak deck.

Sulawesi's Teluk Palu Festival is an intoxicating explosion of noise and colour.

Sulawesi’s Teluk Palu Festival is an intoxicating explosion of noise and colour.

Mark Eveleigh

I explored parts of the Ring of Fire in a 65-meter luxury phinisi called Lamima (the biggest traditional Sulawesi schooner ever built) but I also often sailed in infinitely less salubrious conditions.

Among these was a traditional fishing boat, which I hired to explore the Komodo Islands and strung my hammock in the hold of a cargo-boat for a six-day voyage up Kapuas River (Indonesia’s longest, at 1,143 kilometers).

I’ve made that riverboat journey into the true heart of Borneo three times over the last two decades and have come to think of the Kapuas as the Indonesian Amazon.

Far from road weary

Despite largescale logging and oil-palm devastation, the rainforests beyond the jungle town of Putussibau represent one of the world’s great jungle adventures. With guides from the local Da’an Dayak tribe — reputed by their neighbors to be mystics and sorcerers — I paddled dugout canoes into uncharted valleys near the very center of Borneo in search of the last of Kalimantan’s rhinos.

Indonesia is listed as the second most bio-diverse country on the planet (after Brazil) and boasts more mammal species than any other country in the world.

From the wildlife markets of North Sulawesi, to the tiger reserves of Sumatra to the marine reserves of Wakatobi, I was consistently reminded of the fact that almost a quarter of Indonesia’s 667 mammals are listed as “threatened.”

By the time I reached the most easterly extremes of the Far East — in this case at the end of a trek to the border of Papua New Guinea –I’d traveled the equivalent of a roadtrip from Seattle to Tierra del Fuego or from Paris to Bangkok.

Thanks to the warm welcome that greeted me in every community I was far from road weary, however.

In fact, I wished that I could have taken “rubber time” and twisted it around on itself… then I would happily have set off to undertake the journey all over again.

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Travellers slam Virgin Atlantic’s inclusivity drive as they call on airline to lower fares instead

Virgin Atlantic has today updated its uniform policy to remove gendered clothing requirements in a move which has seen passengers criticise the airline for not focusing on passenger prices and experience instead.

Staff including plane crew and pilots will be able to choose which uniform they wear: the company’s ‘red’ option, previously most commonly worn by female flight attendants, or the ‘burgundy’ option, previously worn by male flight attendants.

This includes allowing men to wear skirts and women to wear trousers, as well as increasing the uniform options available to non-binary staff members. 

They are also introducing pronoun badges in a bid to allow staff to ‘wear uniforms that express their true identity’. 

The airline has teamed up with RuPaul’s Drag Race star Michelle Visage in a bid to ‘reflect the diversity of its workforce’ and ‘offer its people a fluid approach to its red and burgundy uniforms, meaning LGBTQ+ colleagues will be able to choose either the red or the burgundy uniform, depending on which best reflects themselves.’

The company said the change makes it ‘the most inclusive airline in the skies’ and its employees are among those who have praised the changes on social media. 

But reaction to the new policies has been mixed online, with some praising the company’s diverse attitude while others claim it is a waste of time. Others have questioned why the company doesn’t give its staff a pay rise instead or lower ticket prices.

One social media user said: ‘I would bet that the majority of Virgin Atlantic staff would rather have a pay rise than this.’ 

Staff will be able to choose whether to wear the red or burgundy uniform, with trousers also available for the red option

Staff will be able to choose whether to wear the red or burgundy uniform, with trousers also available for the red option

Virgin Atlantic Crew will now be able to choose which uniform they wear, with an end to 'gendered' clothing requirements

Virgin Atlantic Crew will now be able to choose which uniform they wear, with an end to ‘gendered’ clothing requirements

Michelle Visage, best known for being a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race, has teamed up with Virgin and says it is her 'job' to be an ally and friend to the LGBTQ+ community

Michelle Visage, best known for being a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, has teamed up with Virgin and says it is her ‘job’ to be an ally and friend to the LGBTQ+ community

The company says the move is aimed at allowing members of the LGBTQ+ community to choose the uniform which best represents them

 The company says the move is aimed at allowing members of the LGBTQ+ community to choose the uniform which best represents them

The company is also introducing optional pronoun badges, available to both staff and customers

The company is also introducing optional pronoun badges, available to both staff and customers

The company will also roll out optional pronoun badges which enable staff and customers to display which pronouns they wish to be referred to by. The badges, available from today, can be requested at check-in. 

Virgin describes today’s announcement as part of ‘an on-going drive to champion the individuality of its people and customers’ which includes allowing more customers to choose the gender-neutral ‘Mx’, ‘U’ or ‘X’ markers when booking their flights.

This option is available to all who have passports with ‘gender neutral gender markers’ – which includes passport holders in countries such as the USA, India and Pakistan, but not the UK.

Virgin is also introducing mandatory inclusivity training for all its staff at Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Atlantic Holidays, as well as inclusivity learning for tourism partners. 

The latest changes to company policy are part of the airline’s ‘Be Yourself’ campaign which earlier this year saw the airline become the first in the UK to allow staff to display their tattoos while at work.

In 2019 Virgin Atlantic was one of the first major airlines to drop a requirement for female cabin crew to wear makeup whilst on duty, as well as to wear trousers instead of a skirt.

Jaime Forsstroem, Cabin Crew at Virgin Atlantic said: ‘The updated gender identity policy is so important to me. As a non-binary person, it allows me to be myself at work and have the choice in what uniform I wear.’

Michelle Visage, Tanya Compas, Talulah-Eve and Tyreece Nye have teamed up with Virgin Atlantic to showcase the new policy in a stylised fashion shoot that has been released today.

Tyreece Nye (pictured) described the uniform changes as giving a voice to everyone in the community: 'This policy allows everyone to have a seat at the table'

Tyreece Nye (pictured) described the uniform changes as giving a voice to everyone in the community: ‘This policy allows everyone to have a seat at the table’

Michelle Visage participates in Virgin Atlantic's launch video on their new uniform policy

Michelle Visage participates in Virgin Atlantic’s launch video on their new uniform policy

Jamie Forsstrom celebrates being able to wear the uniform which best suits them as a non-binary person

Jamie Forsstrom celebrates being able to wear the uniform which best suits them as a non-binary person

Virgin Atlantic employees can also show off their tattoos in a bid to 'encourage staff to be themselves' and 'champion individuality'

Virgin Atlantic employees can also show off their tattoos in a bid to ‘encourage staff to be themselves’ and ‘champion individuality’

Virgin Atlantic were the first UK airline to allow their cabin crew to display tattoos on their arms while in uniform

Virgin Atlantic were the first UK airline to allow their cabin crew to display tattoos on their arms while in uniform

Michelle Visage said: ‘As the mother of a non-binary child, and as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, these efforts by Virgin Atlantic to further inclusivity for its people are extremely important and personal to me. 

‘People feel empowered when they are wearing what best represents them, and this gender identity policy allows people to embrace who they are and bring their full selves to work.’

In a campaign video for the airline, she added: ‘I wanted to support this campaign to effect change in this world.

‘I have a trans non-binary child so for me changing the world is my job as a mum and as a friend and an ally.’

Tyreece Nye, a non-binary performer and activist who also participated in the campaign, said: ‘This policy allows everyone to have a seat at the table. It’s not taking away from anyone, it’s just allowing everyone from the community to just have a voice.’ 

First Officer Alison Porte added: ‘It’s not about cancelling anyone.

‘It’s not about removing women or removing men. It’s just about more inclusive language.’

Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Commercial Officer says, ‘At Virgin Atlantic, we believe that everyone can take on the world, no matter who they are. 

‘That’s why it’s so important that we enable our people to embrace their individuality and be their true selves at work. 

‘It is for that reason that we want to allow our people to wear the uniform that best suits them and how they identify and ensure our customers are addressed by their preferred pronouns.’ 

The policy has received mixed responses online. Some praised the airline for its inclusivity, describing the policy as ‘progress’.

One social media user said: ‘Loving this. Acceptance matters.’

But not all agreed, with some branding the decision a ‘bad move’, with others adding they would be sticking to other airlines.

Back in January, Virgin Atlantic opened applications to recruit 400 new cabin crew.

Estelle Hollingsworth, Chief People Officer, at Virgin Atlantic said at the time: ‘It’s the best jobs that make people fly, and we couldn’t be more excited to be welcoming so many new cabin crew members to the skies with our recruitment drive.

‘We’re committed to supporting diversity both on the ground and on board, so are seeking people from all backgrounds who aspire to be the friendly, smiling and professional face that is the airline – with the iconic Virgin Atlantic style and flair. 

‘We champion difference and individuality, and it’s by encouraging all of our people to truly be themselves at work that we uphold an inclusive environment where they each can thrive.’

Virgin’s famous red uniforms had been typically worn by female staff since the airline’s inception in 1984.

Since 2014, Virgin staff have been sporting a version of the uniform created by British fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood.

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Wetherspoons announces it will sell off 32 pubs across the UK as it faces £30m losses

Punters have shared their fears that jobs will be at risk and cheap pubs which are a ‘lifeline’ for communities may be lost when Wetherspoon sells 32 of its pubs across England. 

The hospitality chain, which operates 800 pubs across the UK, said it has made the ‘commercial decision’ after previously warning it could face losses of up to £30million.

In a statement, company spokesman Eddie Gershon said: ‘On occasion, Wetherspoon does put some of its pubs up for sale. This is a commercial decision.

Scroll down to see the full list of pubs up for sale. 

The Capitol, in Forest Hill, London, is the only listed building to go up for sale out of the 32

The Capitol, in Forest Hill, London, is the only listed building to go up for sale out of the 32

As many as four in ten pubs will be closed by this time next year 

As many as four in ten pubs could be closed by this time next year, according to landlords, managers and owners.

Due to the cost of living crisis and without the help many wanted from last week’s mini-budget, pessimistic publicans believe they will have called time on their tavern by September 2023.

Only 59 per cent of UK pub managers and owners think they will still be in business in 12 months’ time, according to an ongoing bi-monthly survey of 200 pubs by Peckwater Brands.

It also showed those at the sharp end of the hospitality industry are losing faith in Liz Truss and her new cabinet – just 39 per cent now have confidence in the government, largely as a result of Kwarsi Kwarteng’s lack of help in his first budget.

Pubs – like bars, restaurants and hotels – are suffering from rampant inflation, lack of staff and high taxes and want to see measures that can help them manage costs without pricing out customers.

Two thirds of pub bosses – 68 per cent – want to see a cut in business rates, the same number want a cut in VAT and and 62 per cent want a change in visa rules to allow more foreign nationals to fill vacancies, particularly seasonal ones during busy periods.

‘We understand that customers and staff will be disappointed with it. The pubs will continue to operate as Wetherspoon outlets until they are sold.’

Customers were left concerned that if the pubs were taken over by other proprietors, the more affordable option for many friends and families who still want to enjoy socialising in the pub atmosphere despite the cost of living crisis.

Kevin Cummins wrote on Twitter: ‘OK so 32 Wetherspoon pubs are being sold off. It might not be your thing but it allows people on low income/benefits to use a neighbourhood pub at a reasonable price.

‘With energy prices as they are, it’s cheaper for people to spend an afternoon in ‘spoons.

‘When ‘spoons in Balham closed, it reopened as a generic £6.50 a pint pub. The same beer that was £2.50 was now £4 a pint more.

‘How is that catering for marginalised people? I don’t give a toss about Tim Martin but I care about people without a neighbourhood pub.’

Another added: ‘I sometimes walk past the Water House in Durham. 

‘It always seems to be full, is over the road from the bus station and near taxi ranks so ideally placed for lifts on a night out.’

A third Twitter user added: ‘I’ve been a lonely outlier on Wetherspoons before and I’ll do it again.

‘It’s a lifeline for the poor, elderly people in society who are placeless and employs many in our communities.

‘Cheering its downfall as you don’t have the same political opinion as its owner tells us all lots about you.’

Meanwhile, Adam Brooks, a publican and social commentator, added: ‘My local Wetherspoons is being sold, prime High Road position in an area with very affluent people but also nearby council estates.

‘If they are pulling out, imagine how hard the Independents are finding it. It will be a matter of “use it or lose it” for many local pubs this winter.’ 

Savills and CBRE will market the 32 properties which contain a combination of 10 freehold and 22 leasehold units.

The portfolio lists all 32 properties with annual rent ranging from £47,500 for the Malthouse in Willenhall to £288,000 for Penderel’s Oak in Holborn. 

Paul Breen, Director at Savills commented: ‘Following the success of our earlier marketing campaigns for JD Wetherspoon we are delighted to be launching these 32 properties to the market.

‘These venues are well configured and fitted to a high standard which will make them appealing to a broad range of potential buyers.’

Agents said the sales represented a ‘rare opportunity to acquire substantial, landmark public houses with a high standard of fit out in high profile locations’.

Staff are expected to be transferred with the pubs ‘upon completion’, the agents said, in accordance with regulations. 

Other pubs going up for sale include the Rising Sun in Redditch and the Resolution in Middlesborough.

One of the biggest pubs up for sale is the Grade II listed Capitol pub in Forest Hill, south east London.

The building started life as a cinema in the 1920s and remained one until the 1970s when it was transformed into a Bingo Hall until 1996.

The building still has the former cinema circle which is now used as managers’ officers and storage.

It is the only listed building to be included in the pubs which are going up for sale. 

Earlier this year, Wetherspoon’s boss Tim Martin warned of ‘considerable’ pressure on costs as staffing and energy bills jumped amid concerns that the pub chain could have to raise prices.

Pub goers saw an increase in prices include a 20p rise for a pint in London. 

Hope & Champion is the only pub not to be situated in a town or city as it is at a service station

Hope & Champion is the only pub not to be situated in a town or city as it is at a service station

Earlier this year, Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin warned of 'considerable' pressure on costs as staffing and energy bills jumped amid concerns that the pub chain could have to raise prices

Earlier this year, Wetherspoon’s boss Tim Martin warned of ‘considerable’ pressure on costs as staffing and energy bills jumped amid concerns that the pub chain could have to raise prices 

In total, 32 pubs are going up for sale including the Christopher Creeke pub in Bournemouth

In total, 32 pubs are going up for sale including the Christopher Creeke pub in Bournemouth

In the wake of the Chancellor’s ‘mini budget’ earlier this week, Martin then warned the proposed freeze on alcohol duty would not go far enough to help pubs as business chiefs warned hospitality jobs remained ‘on a knife edge’.

Responding to the announcement, Mr Martin told MailOnline: ‘An alcohol duty freeze is welcome but the real problem for pubs is that pay far higher business rates per pint than supermarkets and, in addition, pubs pay 20 per cent VAT on food sales and supermarkets pay nothing. 

‘So long as this inequality persists, pubs will decline and supermarkets will thrive.’

Which Wetherspoon pubs are set to be sold off by the company? 

These Wetherspoon locations are set to be sold off: 

Barnsley – Silkstone Inn

Beaconsfield – Hope & Champion

Bexleyheath – Wrong ‘Un

Bournemouth – Christopher Creeke

Cheltenham – Bank House

Durham – Water House

Halifax – Percy Shaw

Hanham – Jolly Sailor

Harrow – Moon on the Hill

Hove – Cliftonville Inn

London Battersea – Asparagus

London East Ham – Miller’s Well

London Eltham – Bankers Draft

London Forest Gate – Hudson Bay

London Forest Hill – Capitol

London Hornsey – Toll Gate

London Holborn – Penderel’s Oak

London Islington – Angel

London Palmers Green – Alfred Herring

Loughborough – Moon & Bell

Loughton – Last Post

Mansfield – Widow Frost

Middlesbrough – Resolution

Purley – Foxley Hatch

Redditch – Rising Sun

Sevenoaks – Sennockian

Southampton – Admiral Sir Lucius Curtis

Stafford – Butler’s Bell

Watford – Colombia Press

West Bromwich – Billiard Hall

Willenhall – Malthouse

Wirral – John Masefield

Britain’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame warns rising energy costs will delay its return to pre-pandemic profit levels

BY HARRY WISE FOR THIS IS MONEY 

Shepherd Neame has bounced back to profit but warned that a full recovery would take ‘longer than originally anticipated’ due to major inflationary pressures.

Britain’s oldest brewer does not expect to reach pre-pandemic levels of profitability until 2024/25, given the impact of surging gas and electricity prices on consumers.

Energy shortages have partly driven costs significantly higher at the Kent-based firm, as have the imposition of higher National Insurance and minimum wage rates and the end of a reduced VAT rate for the hospitality sector in April.

Warning: Britain's oldest brewer does not expect to reach pre-pandemic levels of profitability until 2024/25, given the impact of surging gas and electricity prices on consumers

Warning: Britain’s oldest brewer does not expect to reach pre-pandemic levels of profitability until 2024/25, given the impact of surging gas and electricity prices on consumers

This did not stop it from rebounding to a £6.3million profit in the year to June, against a £17.8million loss in the previous 12 months, when lockdown restrictions forced pubs to remain shut for much of the time.

Trade was boosted by healthy sales at its tenanted pubs and venues outside the M25, which both saw total income rise just ahead of pre-pandemic volumes and more than double from last year on a like-for-like basis.

Footfall outside London and in seaside areas remained relatively upbeat amidst the growth in remote working and Britons taking domestic holidays.

Demand in the capital was also hurt by rigid cross-border travel rules hampering inbound tourism and the Omicron variant’s emergence discouraging people from travelling to their office.

Shepherd Neame revealed retail sales in pubs within the M25 were 30 per cent down on 2019 levels despite rocketing 263 per cent annually.

Its chief executive, Jonathan Neame, said trade at its city centre outlets will take a bit more time to return to pre-Covid levels, while international tourism is not predicted to recover until 2024.

Recovery: Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame (pictured) said trade at its city centre outlets will take a bit more time to return to pre-Covid levels

Recovery: Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame (pictured) said trade at its city centre outlets will take a bit more time to return to pre-Covid levels

For the upcoming winter, Neame warned that sales would likely soften as consumers’ disposable income is squeezed by higher energy and fuel prices. 

These factors will also lead to the company paying more for goods like glass and carbon dioxide, which is commonly used to prevent beer from going stale.

Yet Neame expressed confidence that the company would be able to ‘deal with these issues as they arise.’ 

He added: ‘Whilst the road to full recovery may take slightly longer than originally anticipated as a result of inflationary pressures, the next few years may also present some great long-term opportunities for the business, and so we look forward to the future with confidence. 

In a widely-criticised ‘mini-Budget’ last week, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng declared that planned alcohol duty rate hikes would be scrapped, a move that could save drinkers about 7p on a pint of beer.

This came soon after the UK Government announced that energy prices for firms would be capped for six months from the start of October at a potential cost of up to £150billion for the taxpayer. 

Hospitality bosses have broadly welcomed both the measures but still said that further assistance would be needed to tackle costs and ensure the sector thrives over the long term. 

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls urged the government to lower VAT rates and find an alternative to the business rates regime or risk the loss of thousands of jobs and businesses. 

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Mechanical issues blamed for American Airlines flight moaning intercom

A moaning intercom on an American Airlines flight has given new meaning to the mile high club after one passenger likened the bizarre sound to ‘somewhere between an orgasm and vomiting.’

The strange cacophony sounded across the intercom of a flight from Los Angeles to Dallas earlier this month and was documented by actor Emerson Collins who posted a hilarious video of the incident on Twitter.

Collins said that the mystery sounds started before takeoff and despite efforts from flight crew persisted throughout the entire journey.

‘Someone on this flight seems to have broken into the intercom system and continues to make a sound that is somewhere between an orgasm and vomiting,’ Collins said.

The noises, shrouded in mystery, had flight crew perplexed with one attendant speaking over the intercom in the video reassuring passengers that they were looking into the issue.

‘Ladies and gentleman we realize there is an extremely irritating sound coming over the public announcements,’ she said.

A video was uploaded to Twitter by actor Emerson Collins (pictured) documenting mysterious sounds coming from the intercom system of an American Airlines flight

A video was uploaded to Twitter by actor Emerson Collins (pictured) documenting mysterious sounds coming from the intercom system of an American Airlines flight

In the video you can see Collins questioning where the sounds are coming from while perplexed flight crew are heard trying to unravel the mystery of the 'irritating sounds'

In the video you can see Collins questioning where the sounds are coming from while perplexed flight crew are heard trying to unravel the mystery of the ‘irritating sounds’ 

American Airlines have blamed a technical issue in the public announcement system, while passengers of different flights say they've also experienced the bizarre anomaly

American Airlines have blamed a technical issue in the public announcement system, while passengers of different flights say they’ve also experienced the bizarre anomaly 

‘The flight deck is trying to troubleshoot trying to turn it off so please be patient with us we know this is a very odd anomaly and none of us are enjoying it.

‘So we do appreciate your attention just for a few more moments until we figure out how to turn it off.’

Collins who documented the entire journey to Dallas, ends the video disappointed that there hadn’t been a ‘landing climax.’

‘We just landed I really thought it was going to happen at touch down.’

While Collins was convinced the sounds were that of a human being, others speculated the ghoulish groans could be otherworldly.

One Twitter user said: ‘A ghost in the machine? Did you look out onto the wings, just to be sure?’

Some passengers took to social media claiming the sounds were otherworldly

Some passengers took to social media claiming the sounds were otherworldly 

Passengers on different flights said the sound was similar to what it would sound like if someone was in 'extreme pain'

Passengers on different flights said the sound was similar to what it would sound like if someone was in ‘extreme pain’

Others heard 'weird phrases' on their flights and blamed the pilot for leaving his mic open

Others heard ‘weird phrases’ on their flights and blamed the pilot for leaving his mic open

Many have agreed that the sound which seems to persist the entire flight is hilarious and unsettling

Many have agreed that the sound which seems to persist the entire flight is hilarious and unsettling

Collins told Washington Post if this is the case, ‘the ghost in the machine has a hilarious sense of humor.’

‘The comedic timing of the sounds seemed entirely too planned to be able to just be some technical glitch. But honestly, I have no idea.’

Others seeing the video which garnered, 1.2 million views, raised that the incident hadn’t been isolated to the LA to Dallas flight.

One Twitter user said: ‘My wife and I experienced this during an AA flight in July. To be clear, it was just sounds like the moans and groans of someone in extreme pain.

‘The crew said that it had happened before, and had no explanation. Occurred briefly 3 or 4 times early in the flight, then stopped.’

The video uploaded by Collins shows the actor/producer laughing at the mysterious groans

The video uploaded by Collins shows the actor/producer laughing at the mysterious groans

Another passengers is seen miming to Collins to figure out what is happening on their flight between Los Angeles and Dallas

Another passengers is seen miming to Collins to figure out what is happening on their flight between Los Angeles and Dallas

The flight crew were unable to come up with a reason for the noises leaving the incident shrouded in mystery at the time of the flight

The flight crew were unable to come up with a reason for the noises leaving the incident shrouded in mystery at the time of the flight

Collins ends the video disappointed the sound did not make it to completion when the plane landed

Collins ends the video disappointed the sound did not make it to completion when the plane landed

Another Twitter user said: ‘It happened on my flight August 5 from JFK to LAX and it was an older A321 that I was on.

‘It was Flight 117. There was flight crew that was on the same plane a couple days earlier and the same thing happened. It was funny and unsettling.

American Airlines spokeswoman Sarah Jantz told Washington Post that the incident was a ‘mechanical issue’ adding in the statement that the intercom system on the airline is hardwired without any external access or WIFI components.

‘Following the initial report, our maintenance team thoroughly inspected the aircraft and the PA system and determined the sounds were caused by a mechanical issue with the PA amplifier, which raises the volume of the PA system when the engines are running,’ she said.

‘The first report the airline received was the Sept. 18 Santa Ana-Dallas flight. Our team is reviewing the additional reports.’ 

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Most Disappointing Travel Experiences Around The World

While travel can be incredible, it’s not all sunshine and roses. When it comes to visiting somewhere new, you’re bound to encounter some bumps in the road and some experiences that don’t quite live up to your expectations. So I browsed the subreddit r/travel and rounded up some experiences that travelers deemed underwhelming or disappointing. (Plus, I added a handful of my own adventures that didn’t live up to the rest.)

1.

“Visiting Rainbow Mountain in Peru. It was the first time I realized just how much some photos on Google are actually photoshopped.”

2.

“Niagara Falls on the American side was not so great. The falls you always see in the movies are Horseshoe Falls, which you can barely see from the US. You pay like $30 for a 10-minute boat ride to get drenched in stinky water. And there is nothing else to do in the area unless you go into Buffalo.”

3.

“The Great Barrier Reef really wasn’t more exciting than any other place I have snorkeled at. Also, it’s all dying, which was more sad than anything.”

4.

“Toyosu Market in Tokyo. My husband and I woke up very early to try to catch a glimpse of the fish auctions from the observation deck. Once we arrived, we couldn’t really see or hear anything at all from the public areas. The whole market felt very sterile and boring as opposed to the old bustling and lively Tsukiji Market, which we walked around the previous day and absolutely loved. We ended up getting a sushi breakfast outside of Toyosu and making the best of it, but IMO it wasn’t worth the trek.”

5.

“Seeing the Palace of Versailles outside of Paris. I know many people will disagree but I didn’t really enjoy this experience. I booked in advance but still had to wait in line for about an hour. And once inside, it was hard to really appreciate what I was looking at because the palace was flooded with pushy visitors. The gardens were by and large my favorite part. I wish I didn’t devote a day to visiting Versailles and instead spent that time in Paris where there is SO much to see.”

6.

“Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Bali. I’d seen photos of these lush, terraced rice fields in Ubud and I couldn’t wait to visit. They were incredibly beautiful but I wasn’t prepared for how the whole area was basically staged to be Instagrammed. There were heart-shaped chairs dressed up like bird nests and swings set up over the rice terraces, all staged for the perfect photo and available for a fee. All of this made the otherwise gorgeous landscape feel fake and overdone.”

7.

“Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main square and market place in Marrakesh’s medina. Of all the places we visited in Morocco, Jemaa el-Fnaa was the biggest disappointment. It’s full of knockoff clothes and guys trying to get you to take pictures with cobras. Marrakesh in general is awesome but the market is a letdown.”

8.

“Bondi Beach in Sydney. It’s a mediocre beach and during the summer, it’s always very crowded so you hardly have space to swim or enjoy yourself.”

9.

“Visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza. This might be harsh but the swarm of aggressive market vendors surrounding the pyramids makes visiting this site a bit of a nightmare. One woman in our tour group asked a guard to take her photo and he refused to return her phone unless she paid him. The whole time, we were yelled at and haggled into buying headscarves and assorted souvenirs, which ruined my experience. I spent months looking forward to the trip and felt so disappointed.”

10.

“Antelope Canyon. You’ve probably seen the iconic images. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty cool but it was waaaaay more touristy than I expected. I guess I was being naive. As soon as I got down into the canyon, I couldn’t wait for the tour to end.”

11.

“Red Beach in Santorini. Unlike many of the other Greek islands, Santorini isn’t really known for its beaches. But Red Beach is its most famous and one of the places travel guides and blogs tell you to visit. The color of the beach is definitely unique but it’s certainly not as vibrant as photos might make you believe. It was also packed with sunbathers. IMO, the best views of the beach are from the water and you’ll have a much better experience seeing Santorini’s coastline by boat. Luckily, there are tons of boat tours you can choose from to take you all around the island.”

12.

“Paris. I visited for the first time this year and I don’t think ‘hated’ is the proper word, but Paris definitely didn’t blow me away. There are some amazing sites to see there, although most of the buildings are within a few hundred years of creation. Other cities and towns in Europe have much more of their Middle Ages architecture left. For one of the cities in the world that attracts the most tourists, the people of Paris do not seem to like the outsiders at all. I think they would be perfectly content with only Parisians existing in Paris.”

13.

“The Seattle Space Needle. It was cool but visiting it up close was a really overpriced experience. Sure, the rotating restaurant was kind of fun but be prepared to really shell out the dough to eat there. The Space Needle is a lot more impressive from a distance, IMO. If you want a nice view, try going across the lake. Take a ferry or go up the Smith Tower instead.”

14.

“Taking a day trip to Siena in Tuscany. I love Tuscany and don’t get me wrong, Siena was stunning and full of so much amazing history. But I found the city itself to feel extremely touristy, lined with souvenir shops, chain stores, and overpriced restaurants. It didn’t have the same charm as any of the smaller Tuscan towns I visited. Pienza, for example, was the total opposite experience. I felt like I found this hidden gem of a medieval town nestled into the most stunning scenery in the world.”

15.

“Visiting Stonehenge is 100% not worth it. It takes forever to get there and there’s really nothing else to do but look at the rocks briefly. There’s a very small museum but that’s it. And the town closes by around 4 p.m.”

16.

“Monaco. I was in Southern France and decided to take a quick bus ride over to Monaco one day because I heard was like paradise. I was thoroughly disappointed with the place. There was nothing but high-end clothing stores; extremely overpriced, terrible food; and yacht docks. There was a complete absence of anything interesting. It felt like a place for ultra-rich people to sit around and goof off.”

17.

“Driving the Golden Circle in Iceland. Let me be clear that I think Iceland is one of the most amazing, stunning, and spectacular places I’ve ever traveled. That being said, I think the Golden Circle is a bit of a disappointment. This circle, which is easily accessible from Reykjavik and therefore a popular tourist route, takes you past Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Þingvellir National Park. The parking lots, packed with tourist busses, make you feel as if you’re at an amusement park and not surrounded by nature. If you simply rent a car and drive around Iceland to the Southern Coast, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, or the Ring Road, you’ll find incredible beauty and surreal landscapes that feel more untouched.”

18.

“Times Square on New Year’s Eve. I went a few years ago and it was awful. My group ended up leaving after about two hours of trying to secure a small view of the ball drop. We spent New Year’s Eve in a Korean BBQ restaurant instead and it was a much better experience.”

19.

“Dubrovnik. It’s extremely pretty from afar…but far from pretty. The Old Town is just one mess of tacky cafes, restaurants catering to tourists, and tour agencies. People almost had to line up to navigate their way through the narrow streets because so many cruise ships were docked. And it was even a struggle to see the landmarks because crowds of people were hovering around with selfie sticks in the air.”

20.

“Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Barcelona is a lovely city but everybody hypes up this one street that’s crowded with people. It’s practically highlighted in every tour guide of the city but I still don’t understand the draw. Every restaurant and shop on the street is an overpriced, bad-quality tourist trap. It’s much more worth your time to stroll around the Gothic neighborhood of the city rather than Las Ramblas.”

21.

“The Trevi Fountain. It looks nothing like it does in the movies. It’s small and literally down an alleyway…but hey, at least you’re in Rome.”

22.

“Petra in Jordan. The temple is a wonder but I had so many men either hit on me or ask me for money (including my tour guide). I couldn’t walk two feet without a man asking if I had a husband. It totally killed my experience.”

23.

“Mt. Rushmore was a complete letdown. We could see it from the car so when we saw the $20 parking fee to get closer, we decided to keep driving. Luckily, the Badlands are a little further down the road and they are absolutely stunning! I highly recommend visiting if you’re ever nearby.”

24.

“Khao San Road in Bangkok. I love Thailand but I absolutely hated Khao San Road. It’s totally fabricated for tourists to make travelers feel like they’re doing something exotic and adventurous. There are signs that say things like, “Take a picture eating a scorpion for $5!” and, “Fake passports sold here!” It’s all souvenir shops and bars, and compared to the rest of the wonderful country, it’s gross and fake.”

25.

“Takeshita Street in Harajuku, Tokyo. I couldn’t move my elbows an inch without bumping into someone and pretty much every shop had a 30-minute line. I went to see the Harajuku-style fashion associated with Takeshita Street but hardly saw any of that. So essentially I was packed like a sardine for hours while waiting in long lines to shop for overpriced clothes. I love Tokyo but I definitely won’t be going back to Harajuku anytime soon.”

26.

“Dubai. It’s talked up as one of the best tourist destinations in the world but when I was there, it felt like an amusement park under construction. I felt like I was constantly being shuttled from one tourist trap to another.”

27.

“Grand Canyon West. It’s known for the Skywalk that loops out over the Canyon but the entire thing is a money grab. It’s not actually part of the National Park system. Its expensive to get in and you can’t even take your phone or camera out on the Skywalk for photos. There are few trails and not much to do. Skip it and go to Grand Canyon National Park. It’s north of Flagstaff, Arizona (which is an amazing town) and the South Rim is gorgeous. One fee gets your whole car in for seven days.”

28.

“Visiting Liberty Island (home to the Statue of Liberty) in NYC. You’ll just end up craning your neck for a bad view of the statue. Instead, take the Staten Island Ferry out to Staten Island. It’s free. It’s a 30-minute trip from Financial District down to Staten Island. The ferry has concessions that serve alcohol (or you can actually bring your own on board) and it offers an awesome view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Then just jump on the next boat back to Manhattan. It takes an hour and is totally fun and worth it.”

29.

“Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Once you leave Waikiki, there’s so much more of the island to explore with beautiful beaches, good food, and more authentic culture than what you get in this one tiny area.”

30.

“Going to the top of the Empire State Building. I’d recommend going to 30 Rock instead. The view is better, it’s cheaper, it’s bigger, and the wait times are five minutes instead of five hours.”

31.

“Venice. It’s nice for all of an afternoon but it loses its charm really quickly. I’m glad I only did one night and one morning before moving on. I enjoyed some great food there though.”

32.

“Visiting Muir Woods from San Francisco. The traffic and congestion going over the bridge from San Francisco to Marin County was horrible. The woods were packed with noisy people and there was no parking. Instead, I’d recommend you go hiking in Henry Cowell State Park instead. It’s in Santa Cruz and the drive is almost as lovely as the hike.”

What do you think of this list? Do you agree or disagree? Or do you have a destination of your own to add? Tell us in the comments.

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Air force jets escort plane from SFO due to false bomb threat

Two military jets escorted a Singapore Airlines Flight that departed from San Francisco and was bound for the Southeast Asia island Tuesday because of a bomb threat that was later determined to be false, officials said.

“Our fighters escorted the airliner till it landed safely at Changi Airport,” the Republic of Singapore Air Force said in a statement posted on Twitter. 

Singapore’s Ministry of Defence said in a report on Facebook that a preliminary investigation revealed a 37-year-old man on the plane claimed a carry-on bag contained a bomb. The man also assaulted crew, the agency said. Singapore Airlines said in a statement the passenger hit a flight attendant, and crew then restrained him. 

Flight SQ33 was escorted by F-16 fighter jets to the airport, where teams from the Singapore Army’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Defence Group and Airport Police Division met the plane and started the investigation.

“The threat was subsequently verified to be false, and the suspicious person has been arrested,” the Ministry of Defence said. “Police investigations are ongoing.”

The flight, which takes more than 16 hours, departed from San Francisco International Airport at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 27 and landed at Changi Airport on Sept. 28 at 5:50 a.m. local time, the airline said. 

Singapore Airlines is regarded as one of the safest airlines, but two separate flights in 2018 and 2019 saw similar bomb hoaxes, according to CNN.

The airline said it is assisting authorities with the investigation.


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Behold the jaw-dropping crocodile-shaped football stadium in Turkey

Now THAT’S jaw-dropping! Behold the incredible crocodile-shaped football stadium in Turkey, with the ‘head’ of the reptile reaching a height of 140ft

  • The giant crocodile stadium is in Bursa in northwest Turkey and can seat up to 44,000 fans
  • On match days, the teeth and eyes of the giant reptile light up for added effect
  • The arena, called Timsah Park, which translates to ‘Crocodile Park’ in English, opened in December 2015 

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It’s certainly a snappy look. 

The city of Bursa in northwest Turkey is home to a 44,000-seat arena in the shape of a giant crocodile. 

Dwarfing the tower blocks surrounding it, the green-hued stadium features a huge ‘mouth’ that reaches a height of 140ft (43m) that sports fans can walk into, with its body curving around the pitch.

The city of Bursa in northwest Turkey is home to a 44,000-seat arena in the shape of a giant crocodile

The city of Bursa in northwest Turkey is home to a 44,000-seat arena in the shape of a giant crocodile

A shot of the stadium taken in 2017. The complex cost around £8million ($8.5million) to build

A shot of the stadium taken in 2017. The complex cost around £8million ($8.5million) to build

On match days, the teeth and eyes of the crocodile light up for added effect. 

The arena, called Timsah Park, which translates to ‘Crocodile Park’ in English, opened in December 2015 after a four-year build project that cost in the region of £8million ($8.5million). 

The design was inspired by the stadium’s home team, Bursaspor – nicknamed the ‘green crocodiles’.

According to the YouTube channel Gran Turism Football Stadium, Timsah Park also features underground parking for more than 640 cars, 35 catering points and 789 toilets. 

On match days, the teeth and eyes of the crocodile light up for added effect

On match days, the teeth and eyes of the crocodile light up for added effect

The design was inspired by the stadium's home team, Bursaspor - nicknamed the 'green crocodiles'

The design was inspired by the stadium’s home team, Bursaspor – nicknamed the ‘green crocodiles’

In December 2017, the stadium witnessed a record attendance of 38,108, when Bursaspor played Istanbul-based rivals Fenerbahce.

And what do members of the public think? Twitter user Gokhan Keskin described it as ‘the best stadium in the world’, while ‘@FuzzyRuckus’ called it ‘epic’.

For those wishing to visit Timsah Park, it is located about five kilometres from the city centre, in the north-western region of the city.


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Economy flights from Moscow to Dubai hitting $5,000 as Russians flee

The airline industry has been hamstrung by a perfect storm of challenges over recent weeks, from labor shortages and supply disruptions to rising fuel prices.

Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — One-way economy flights from Moscow to Dubai are going for as much as $5,000 and many have completely sold out in the days following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration of a “partial” mobilization of 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine.

The roughly five-hour flight cost around $350 one week before the announcement that was delivered on Sept. 21.

Current prices on UAE airlines Emirates and FlyDubai for the month between Sept. 28 and Oct. 26 are going for between $2,577 and $4,773 for a one-way economy ticket, according to those airlines’ websites. The cheaper of those prices is more than 2½ times the average monthly Russian salary of $965, according to Statista.com. Direct flights to Dubai from St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, were priced at around $2,600.

One-way economy flights to Abu Dhabi from Moscow are around $3,000 on Etihad Airways.

Flights with connections are available for lower rates, but still substantially higher than average, according to Google Travel. An economy ticket to Dubai on Azerbaijan Airlines with a layover in Baku ran for between $988 and $1,040 in the week between Sept. 28 and Oct. 6, about triple its price before the mobilization announcement.

“Russians gettin’ outta dodge,” Ian Bremmer, CEO of risk consultancy Eurasia Group, wrote on Twitter, along with a video from flight-tracking site Flightradar24.com showing masses of planes leaving Russia over the course of a few days.

For those with more money to spend, seats on private jets are an option, but their price tags have ballooned as well. Russians “are paying between £20,000 and £25,000 [$21,300 and $26,600] for a seat on a private plane,” The Guardian wrote in a report Tuesday, several times more than normal prices, citing the head of a private flying company who said demand has increase by 50 times.

Flights out of Russia in general surged in price and many sold out entirely in the days after the news, and satellite imagery as well as footage published on news outlets and social media show long lines of cars backed up for miles on Russia’s borders with Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan and several other countries. Kazakhstan’s government reported taking in nearly 100,000 Russians in the last week.

A general view of the downtown area in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 08, 2021.

Satish Kumar | Reuters

But the UAE, and Dubai in particular, is a favorite of Russian travelers and expats. Already since Western countries imposed a wave of sanctions on Russia after Putin directed his forces to invade Ukraine on Feb. 24, high volumes of Russians have moved to the sunny desert emirate where they can live sanctions-free.

They are also credited with boosting Dubai’s luxury property sector, as oligarchs and other wealthy business people snap up multimillion-dollar seaside villas, some to live in and some as a place to park their cash.

Before Russia launched its war with Ukraine, the population of Russians living in the UAE was roughly 40,000. It is all but certain to be more now.

“Everyone is leaving. So many people I know,” one Russian national living in Dubai, who spoke anonymously due to concerns for her safety, told CNBC.

“Flights [from Russia] to Dubai are fully booked for the next three-four days and the prices are crazy. Flights to Istanbul are full as well, flights to [Armenian capital] Yerevan are crazy expensive. I know five, six people who arrived in Dubai just a few days ago. They paid insane prices.”

“The problem,” she added, “is that until you receive the document that calls you for military service, you can be allowed to exit the country. However, you can’t just stay outside the country because you don’t have residency anywhere else.”

She said that many Russians arriving in Dubai to flee military deployment are staying in the houses of friends and family members. But after the UAE’s tourist visa period of 60 days passes, the plan is unknown.

Putin calls up 300,000 reservists and Russians protest, leave the country

One Dubai-based pilot from the U.K. described Russian friends and colleagues seeking ways to get themselves or their relatives to other countries.

“People are saying their friends have already gotten draft letters” despite having no military experience, the pilot said, “so this story that Russia is only mobilizing people with military experience is bulls—.” The Kremlin has tried to dispel Russians’ fears about deployment by insisting that only people with prior training would be called up.

The pilot, who spoke anonymously due to professional restrictions, added he had also received a request from a Russian acquaintance asking to live in his Dubai apartment.

It’s not clear what many of these individuals plan to do once their visitor visas run out, and those who are residents of Dubai now fear going back to Russia. The scenario they dread the most, many of them say, is that Putin closes the borders to prevent military-aged men from leaving before they or their families can get out.

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