Arena Travel Blog

Latest News from Arena Travel

  • News from the Bridge Room in Austria


    Host report by Barry & Maggie Watts:

    Seefeld has played host to the Olympic Nordic disciplines no fewer than three times – in 1964, 1976 and 2012 and the Olympiaregion Seefeld has been selected as the venue for the Nordic World Ski Championships in 2019. It is clear that the region is incredibly proud to be able to host the prestigious Nordic sporting event once more and there is already much evidence that preparations are in hand.

    Seefeld sits on a plateau 4000ft above sea level and roughly 2000ft above the Innsbruck valley. The surrounding mountains rise another 2,500ft and many of their slopes are ideal for skiing. The town enjoys sunshine for much of the year including the winter; a major factor in its popularity as a ski resort.

    In the Summer the area takes on a new beauty of it’s own. The surrounding mountains, still etched with residual snow fields above the tree-line, provide a dramatic backdrop to every viewpoint. The sun shines almost every day so the alpine slopes are lit a vivid green and alpine flowers abound. The ski lifts are open and the ski slopes are used for a range of Summer sports such as hiking, running biking and extreme golf!

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  • News from the Bridge Room in Menorca 2017

    Host report by Toby Mace:

    This 2 week holiday is a well-known First For Bridge fixture. The first week is spent in the 5 star La Quinta Hotel on the Western side of the island. This offered chances to visit the old capital and very scenic town Ciutadella. You can navigate by bus or hire car to plentiful unspoilt sandy beaches in the area ripe for a quick swim. The water at this time of year is perfect in the hotel outdoor pool or the sea (with only a smattering of jelly fish to watch out for, but thankfully none in the pool!).

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  • Textile History of Japan

    It’s no secret that a country as culturally rich and beautiful as Japan has an equally detailed textile history to match, so we’ve put a short history together for you to get a taste for these mesmerising textiles! Japanese textiles are world-famous for their intricate design and beautiful colour pallets, which have been evolving for centuries, yet still retain much of their original style and technique.

    Japanese textile designers and weavers have always used a variety of materials including silk, hemp, ramie, cotton and other fibres coupled with an array of weaves and decorative treatments. Read on to find out more about what an important role textiles have played for this stunning country, just waiting for you to discover.

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  • News from the Bridge Room in Sicily

    Host report by Pauline Durie:

    Sicily is a beautiful island of rolling green hills interspersed with a few vast plains growing oranges and lemons amongst others. Agriculture is the way of life here and the food reflects this. Apparently some of the cattle seen grazing on the hillside are world famous for producing the best beef. As you drive from the airport to the resort you are already enamoured by the scenery and then arrive at a hotel that surely has one of the most beautiful settings on the island. Flowers of all colours and species are the highlight in the spacious gardens and strolling around these was popular. The large pool complex with its islands of trees and flowers was probably the most popular feature. The beach was a few metres from the pool and several guests enjoyed swimming in the sea.

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  • News from the Bridge Room in the Rhine Valley


    A message from Tom Townsend:

    "I hope you all had a superb time in the Rhine Valley, and a safe journey home. It was good to meet you there, and talk about bridge and other things.
    We had three seminars. As well as discussing a few hands from your tournaments, we worked our way through my problem sheets on opening leads. E-mail me if you would like to receive these, or if you ever have what you feel may be suitable material for my Daily Telegraph column: I'm always pleased to hear from my readers.
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  • New Laws of Duplicate Bridge 2017

    New Laws of Duplicate Bridge 2017

    To keep-up with the evolution of the game, the WBF undertakes a review of the Laws every ten years or so. The 2007 Law Book will now be replaced with a new 2017 version. The 2017 law changes come into affect this summer and will be used in EBU tournaments by August and be adopted in clubs by September. Everyone is required to introduce the new law by the end of September, therefore, Arena Travel will be using the new laws in its Autumn programme.

    Further information on the changes can be found at the EBU website.

  • News from the Bridge Room in Poreč, April 2017

    Host report by Barry Watts:

    The Istrian Peninsula of Croatia lies at the North-Eastern end of the Adriatic. It is unlike other parts of the Mediterranean because the limestone Karst geology makes it a region of beautiful islands and mountains. The red soil in the plains and the region’s higher rainfall have led to centuries of prosperous agriculture; most notably, wine and olive farming. Occupation of the area by Rome, Venice and then Austria has produced towns and villages of great beauty with all the architectural influences of these cultures.

    Our holiday was in the town of Poreč on the western shore of the Istrian peninsula. The Island of Sveti Nicola lies across the entrance to the bay, making it a natural harbour that has been occupied for over 2000 years. Today it is part of the most popular tourist areas of Croatia.

    The Valamar Riviera hotel sits in a prime position on the harbour of the old town of Poreč. Part of the hotel complex is the Villa Parentino on the end of the Poreč promontory. The villa built by the family Polensi in 1887 looks across the Northern Adriatic and on a clear day Venice can be seen across the bay. That alone puts the history of this natural harbour into perspective.

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  • Show us your stash!

    Last month we shared with you lots of ways of how to spring clean your yarn stash. This inspired us to speak to our lovely experts and have a nosy around their textile grottos! So, this month we asked them to show us their stash and to describe it in a few words... Continue reading
  • Expert Focus : Sarah Hazell

    This month we chat to our brand-new crochet expert Sarah Hazell. Sarah will be taking a small group of crocheters out on an adventure to the stunning Austrian Tyrol this Autumn. She will be leading workshops over-looking picture postcard scenery of green pastures, onion-domed churches and craggy alpine peaks. Sarah is passionate about colour, pattern and texture. Her stand-alone collections are designed with an emphasis on the creation of sustainable clothes and accessories. Read on to learn more about the inspiration behind Sarah’s designs and what she is most looking forward to on our trip to Austria!

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  • News from the Bridge Room in Majorca 2017

    Host report by Toby & Janette Mace:

    We returned once again to the splendid Bella Playa Hotel, with its excellent spa and capacious bridge room, that we manged to fill with 19 tables every evening and 20 at the peak. The beautiful weather didn't dent the afternoon sessions much with a peak turnout of 9 tables during our stay. In fact there was only one day of rain over the two weeks, preceded by some impressive overnight thunder. The outdoor pool always looked very inviting but I only saw one person in it over the 2 weeks - you really need a wetsuit to enjoy it in late March, easier just to work on the sun tan on a poolside lounger. Many people opted for the indoor pool with its hot tubs, saunas and steam room.

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