Simon Calder shares his passport tips when travelling to Turkey this summer | Travel News | Travel


“That hasn’t happened with the new blue, British passport. 

“But we used to get 10 years and nine months when we were in the EU – that wasn’t a problem at all.” 

Passport holders should also have a “full black page for entry and exit stamps” in their passport when travelling to Turkey, gov.uk explains. 

As for visas, British citizens travelling to Turkey for tourist or business purposes are able to travel without a visa for visits of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.





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Travel tips: Rick Steves’ guide to eastern Turkey


If you’re looking for maximum cultural thrills in Turkey, head east.

I’m in Kastamonu, five hours northeast of the Turkish capital of Ankara. It’s a town that has yet to figure out the business of tourism. The business hotel where I’m staying is cheap and comfortable, but not slick. I hand a postcard to the boy at the desk, hoping he can mail it for me. He looks it over a couple of times on both sides, compliments me, and politely hands it back. As I leave, he raises his right hand and says, “Hello.”

While changing money, I’m spotted by the bank manager, who invites me into his office for tea. I am his first American customer, so he wants to celebrate.

Outside, a gaggle of men wearing grays, blacks, and browns is shuffling quietly down the street in a funeral procession. A casket floats over them as each man jostles to the front to pay his respects by “giving it a shoulder.” Turkey is a land of ceremonies. Everyday life here is punctuated with colourful, meaningful events. I’m always on the lookout, traveling with sharp eyes, hoping to add to my knowledge of the folk culture. Who knows, as the dust from the funeral procession clears, I may see a proud eight-year-old boy dressed like a prince or a sultan on a horse — riding to his ritual circumcision.

My plan is to continue driving inland, exploring further into Anatolia. While Istanbul and the western coast get the lion’s share of Turkey’s tourism, I’m looking for maximum cultural thrills, so I know I should head east.

Under 10,000-foot peaks, my guide and I drive up onto the burnt, barren, 5,000-foot-high Anatolian plateau to Erzurum, the main city of eastern Turkey. Life is hard here. Blood feuds, a holdover from justice under the Ottomans, are still a leading cause of imprisonment. Winters are below-zero killers. Villages spread out onto the plateau like brown weeds, each with the same economy: ducks, dung, and hay. But Allah has given this land some pleasant surprises. It’s a harsh land, but gentle at the same time. The parched plain hides lush valleys where rooftops sport colourful patches of sun-dried apricots. You can crack open the sweet, thin-shelled hazelnuts with your teeth. Teenage boys prefer girls who dress modestly, and shepherd children still play the eagle-bone flute.

Entering a village, we pass under a banner announcing, “No love is better than the love for your land and your nation.” The town takes us warmly into its callused hands. A man with a donkey cart wheels us on an impromptu tour. Each house wears a tall hat of hay—food for the cattle and insulation for the winter. Mountains of cow pies are neatly stacked, promising warmth and cooking fuel for the six months of snowed-in winter on the way. Veiled mothers strain to look through my camera’s viewfinder to see their children’s mugging faces. The town’s annually elected policeman brags that he keeps the place safe from terrorists. Children scamper around women who are busy beating raw wool with sticks—a rainbow of browns that will one day be woven into a carpet to soften a stone sofa, warm up a mud-brick wall, or serve as a daughter’s dowry.

Driving east from Erzurum, we set our sights on the northeast corner of Turkey, marked by the 17,000-foot summit of Mount Ararat. Villages growing between ancient rivers of lava expertly milk the land for subsistence living. After a quick reread of the flood story in Genesis, I think that this stark, sun-drenched, and windswept land has changed little since Noah docked.

On a ridge high above our car, I can make out the figure of a lone man silhouetted against a bright blue sky waving at us. The sight reminds me that this is a part of West Asia where mighty nations come together, denying the Kurds who live here a land of their own. The lone sentry is one of 10 million Kurdish Turks; many of them would like their own country. The turmoil in Iraq—and the prospect that those Kurds could form an autonomous nation—has reignited this prickly issue. One thing is for sure: Turkey does not want to share a border with an independent Kurdistan.

When I get up early the next morning to see the sun rise over Mount Ararat, I also see a long convoy of Turkish army vehicles. It reminds me that our world is a complicated place in which the daily news is just a shadow play of reality. What’s so often missing is humanity. And to get that, you need to travel.

This article was adapted from Rick’s new book, For the Love of Europe.

Rick Steves (ricksteves.com) writes European guidebooks, hosts travel shows on public TV and radio, and organizes European tours. You can email Rick at rick@ricksteves.com and follow his blog on Facebook.





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Gözen Holding Orders 100 Vx4 Aircraft From Avolon to Bring Zero Emissions Air Travel to Turkey


DUBLIN & ISTANBUL–()–Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, announces that Gözen Holding, one of Turkey’s leading aviation conglomerates and owner of Freebird Airlines, has committed to purchase or lease up to 50 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon, with the option to purchase or lease up to 50 additional aircraft. As a result of this announcement, Avolon has now placed its entire 500 VX4 eVTOL aircraft orderbook, with the orderbook being oversubscribed by 50 options.

As part of the agreement, Avolon, through its investment and innovation affiliate Avolon-e, has formed a strategic partnership with Gözen Holding to commercialise zero-emissions eVTOL travel and develop an industry leading urban air mobility (‘UAM’) platform in Turkey. Avolon and Gözen Holding will collaborate in a Working Group to identify and target local partners, research potential market opportunities, as well as infrastructure and certification requirements for UAM. The partnership will allow Avolon to leverage Gözen Holding’s expertise in airline operations, pilot training, airport handling and security, airline representation as well as digital platforms, while Gözen Holding will benefit from Avolon’s deep industry expertise and global platform of UAM Working Groups, which are active in Brazil (with GOL), Greenland (with Air Greenland), Japan (with Japan Airlines) and Southeast Asia (with AirAsia).

Dómhnal Slattery, CEO of Avolon commented: “Today marks an important milestone on our eVTOL journey, as we have now fully placed our VX4 orderbook with some of the leading international airlines and aviation companies all over the world. The opportunities to deploy the VX4 are enormous and, as is evident with our placement progress to date, zero emissions eVTOL air travel will reshape the short-haul travel market. Our partnership with Gözen Holding will create a pioneer in UAM in Turkey, bringing sustainable air travel to the region.

The strong demand for our VX4 orderbook and for zero emissions travel, confirms our view that demand for eVTOL aircraft would always outstrip supply. As a result, we will continue working with other partners that want to purchase or lease the VX4 in order to fully size the potential market and demand for this aircraft.”

Mekin Gözen, CEO of Gözen Holding, commented: “We are delighted to announce our partnership and VX4 order with Avolon. As an integral part of the Turkish aviation industry, we feel it is incumbent upon us to be at the forefront of the sustainability movement and that is why we identified Avolon, and Vertical’s VX4, as the zero-emissions eVTOL aircraft that will revolutionise air travel. With over 15 million people living in Istanbul, the city is consistently faced with congestion which hinders both the cities’ development and attractiveness as a tourist and business location. We strongly believe that the deployment of the VX4 will dramatically reshape Istanbul and the rest of Turkey. Our partnership with Avolon will see us create an eVTOL ecosystem in the country and is the first step in delivering sustainable air travel to the region, position it as a global leader.”

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical commented: “We are delighted that Turkey has been added to the global destinations where the VX4 will fly. We look forward to welcoming Gözen into the Vertical family and continue to celebrate our growing partnership with Avolon.”

UAM Opportunity in Istanbul and Turkey

The UAM market potential in Istanbul, Turkey and surrounding countries is significant. Istanbul offers one of the most unique opportunities worldwide for eVTOLs due to its distant airports, traffic congestion and vast waterway networks. With over 50 million people using ferries or city boats in Istanbul every year, eVTOLs offer a faster, quieter and more sustainable form of travel, helping reduce travellers’ environmental footprint. Istanbul’s ancient and modern city and surrounding attractions such as Cappadocia, Troy, Mount Ida, Antalya, Izmir, Çeşme, Bodrum, Marmaris, and Fethiye present compelling eVTOL use cases that the Working Group will explore. These attractions make the country one of the most sought-after tourist and business destinations in the world.

About Avolon’s VX4 Orderbook

In June 2021, Avolon ordered 500 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Vertical Aerospace (NYSE: EVTL) (‘Vertical’), valued at US$2 billion. Since announcing that order, Avolon placed 250 VX4 aircraft with GOL and Grupo Comporte in Brazil, up to 100 aircraft with Japan Airlines in Japan, a minimum of 100 aircraft with AirAsia, and up to 100 aircraft with Gözen Holding. Avolon has now fully placed the entirety of its initial VX4 orderbook, with the orderbook being oversubscribed by 50 options.

About VX4 eVTOL Aircraft

The four passenger, one pilot VX4 is projected to have speeds up to 200mph, a range over 100 miles, near silent when in flight, zero operating emissions and low cost per passenger mile. Upon its introduction, the VX4 will be designed to the safest certification standards, set by EASA, at the same level as commercial aircraft. The VX4 is expected to open up advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers and transform how we travel. Find out more: vertical-aerospace.com

About Avolon

Headquartered in Ireland, with offices in the United States, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, Avolon provides aircraft leasing and lease management services. Avolon is 70% owned by an indirect subsidiary of Bohai Leasing Co., Ltd., a public company listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SLE: 000415) and 30% owned by ORIX Aviation Systems, a subsidiary of ORIX Corporation which is listed on the Tokyo and New York Stock Exchanges (TSE: 8591; NYSE: IX). Avolon is the world’s second largest aircraft leasing business with an owned, managed and committed fleet, as of 31 December 2021, of 824 aircraft.

Website: www.avolon.aero

Twitter: @avolon_aero

About Gözen Holding

Gözen Holding is a group of companies, active in the field of airlines, representation, surveillance, fuel, controlling, brokerage, security and training in the aviation industry. Based on its experience and know-how gained over 43 years, Gözen Holding has become a brand in the industry by gathering its companies Gözen Air Services, Freebird Airlines, Freebird Airlines Europe, Gözen Security Services, Free Bird Travel, IFTC International Flight Training Center, AFSC Antalya Flight Simulator Center, Flydog K9 Services, and Gözen Digital Aviation under the same roof.

Gözen Holding continues its successful activities in the field of tourism and aviation sector with its more than 3,500 employees.

Website: https://www.gozenholding.com

About Vertical Aerospace

Vertical Aerospace is pioneering electric aviation. The company was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Ovo Group, a leading energy and technology group and Europe’s largest independent energy retailer. Over the past five years, Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have over 1,700 combined years of engineering experience, and have certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems.

Vertical’s top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification allows for a lean cost structure and enables production at scale. Vertical has a market-leading pre-order book (by value) for a total of up to 1,350 aircraft from American Airlines, Avolon, Bristow and Iberojet, which includes conditional pre-order options from Virgin Atlantic and Marubeni, and in doing so, is creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market.

Vertical’s ordinary shares listed on the NYSE in December 2021 under the ticker “EVTL”. Find out more: www.vertical-aerospace.com





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Turkey briefly stops traffic in Bosphorus Strait to defuse mine | News


The strait is opened after a stray mine has been removed from the key waterway linking the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

Turkey’s military has deactivated a mine that had drifted in from the Black Sea, setting off a loud explosion in the process, days after Russia warned several of them had washed away from Ukrainian ports.

On Saturday, defence minister Hulusi Akar described the object, first discovered by fishermen in the upper Bosphorus strait, as an old type of mine and said he was in touch with both Russian and Ukrainian authorities about it.

The explosion was heard north of Istanbul, an area where naval vessels and military planes and helicopters were active.

“The mine, determined to be an old type, was neutralised by our team…and naval forces continue their vigilant work,” Akar said in a televised statement.

Brief halt in traffic

Maritime traffic has safely been opened after coordination with the Turkish coastguard and naval forces, the minister added.

Earlier on Saturday, the coastguard said two-way ship traffic had been suspended after a civilian commercial vessel detected a mine-like object.

The coastguard had warned vessels to stay away from the round object bobbing on the waves, and a dive team initially moved in to investigate.

Turkey shares Black Sea borders with Russia and Ukraine, which Moscow invaded last month.

Russia’s main intelligence agency said on Monday that several mines had drifted out to sea after breaking off from cables near Ukrainian ports, a claim dismissed by Kyiv as disinformation and an attempt to close off parts of the sea.

Commenting on rumours that underwater mines laid by Ukraine to deter Russian attacks in the ongoing war might drift across the Black Sea, Akar said both the Russian and Ukrainian sides had been notified and that coordination is ongoing.

The Black Sea is a major shipping artery for grain and oil products. It is connected to the Marmara and then Mediterranean seas via the Bosphorus, which runs through the heart of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city with 16 million residents, and the Dardanelles Strait in the northwest of Turkey.



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Turkey opens record-breaking bridge between Europe and Asia


Istanbul (Reuters) — President Tayyip Erdogan opened a massive suspension bridge across Turkey’s Dardanelles Strait on Friday, the latest in a series of major infrastructure projects which he has prioritized during his two decades in power.

Connecting Turkey’s European and Asian shores, the 1915 Canakkale Bridge was built by Turkish and South Korean firms with an investment of €2.5 billion ($2.8 billion). It has the longest main span — the distance between the two towers — of any suspension bridge in the world.

Such mega projects have been central to Erdogan’s achievements since his AK Party first came to power in 2002, including a new Istanbul airport, rail and road tunnels beneath Istanbul’s Bosphorus strait, and a bridge over it.

“These works will continue to provide profit for the state for many years,” Erdogan said at an opening ceremony on the anniversary of a 1915 Ottoman naval victory against French and British forces in the Dardanelles during World War One.

“These projects have a large share in putting our country ahead in investment, workforce and exports,” he said.

Last year he launched what he previously called his “crazy project”: a $15 billion canal in Istanbul intended to relieve pressure on the busy Bosphorus Strait. However critics have questioned the project’s viability given Turkey’s economic woes, environmental risks and public opposition.

Costly venture

The aerobatic team of the Turkish Air Force perform at the inauguration of 1915 Canakkale Bridge.

The aerobatic team of the Turkish Air Force perform at the inauguration of 1915 Canakkale Bridge.

Sergen Sezgin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Ahead of national elections scheduled for 2023, opinion polls have shown a slide in the popularity of Erdogan and his AK Party, boosting the opposition’s prospects of ousting him.

The main opposition CHP has criticised the potential cost of the bridge to the public purse, with media reports saying the build-operate-transfer agreement includes an annual payment guarantee of €380 million ($420 million) to the operators or a total €6 billion over the duration of the accord.

Erdogan said the price for passenger vehicles to use the bridge would be 200 lira ($13.50).

Work on the Dardanelles bridge project was launched in March 2017, with more than 5,000 workers involved in the construction.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated the bridge, part series of major infrastructure projects.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated the bridge, part series of major infrastructure projects.

Ali Atmaca/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The 2,023 meter (1.25 mile) length of its midspan is an allusion to the Turkish Republic’s 100th anniversary in 2023.

It is the fourth bridge linking the European and Asian shores in Turkey, alongside the three built in Istanbul.

Its towers are 318 meters (347.8 yards) high and the total length of the bridge is 4.6 km (2.9 miles) including the approach viaducts.

Until now, vehicles travelling between Anatolia and the Gallipoli peninsula had to cross the Dardanelles in a one-hour ferry journey, which including waiting time amounted to as much as five hours. The journey will now take around six minutes.

Top image credit: Sergen Sezgin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images



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Turkey issues travel warning for Ukraine amid escalating tensions


ANKARA

Turkey issues travel warning for Ukraine amid escalating tensions

Turkey on Feb. 12 issued a travel warning for eastern Ukraine and called on its citizens to avoid visiting the region.

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Turkey closely follows the security situation in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.

“In this context, it is recommended that our citizens refrain from traveling to the eastern border regions of Ukraine unless they have to,” said the ministry.

Ankara also recommended the Turkish citizens take all possible precautions for their safety and contact Turkey’s embassy in Kyiv before their compulsory travel.

Efforts to defuse the crisis in Ukraine via a frenzy of telephone diplomacy failed to ease tensions on Feb. 11, with U.S. President Joe Biden warning that Russia will face “swift and severe costs” if its troops carry out an invasion.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin slammed Western claims that Moscow was planning such a move as a “provocative speculation” that could lead to conflict in the ex-Soviet country, according to a Russian readout of a call with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Weeks of tensions that have seen Russia nearly surround its western neighbor with more than 100,000 troops intensified after Washington warned that an all-out invasion could begin “any day” and Russia launched its biggest naval drills in years across the Black Sea.

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Moscow and Kyiv have long been at odds over Donbass due to separatist ethnic Russians.

Amid escalation in the region, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu held a phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart on Feb. 12, the Foreign Ministry said.

Turkey earlier announced its readiness to do everything in its power to defuse tension between Russia and Ukraine and establish peace in the region.

Ankara makes efforts to mediate between Russia and Ukraine and offered the leaders of the two countries for a meeting in Turkey.

Turkey also attempts to hold the next meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk group between Ukraine and Russia in Istanbul.

Mevlut Cavusoglu,



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Singapore launches vaccinated travel lanes with Thailand, Cambodia, Fiji, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Turkey


RECOGNITION OF EU DIGITAL VACCINE CERTIFICATE

From Dec 7, Singapore will accept vaccination certificates issued in the European Union Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC) format as valid proof for VTL travel, said CAAS.

This comes after the European Commission announced on Wednesday that it would recognise the Singapore HealthCerts as equivalent to the EU DCC, connecting Singapore to this “trust framework”, said the authority.

With this, travellers from VTL countries with EU DCC certificates – even if those were issued in a non-VTL country – will be able to travel to Singapore on VTL, said CAAS.

These travellers must still meet other VTL conditions, it added.

RESTRICTIONS TIGHTENED FOR SOME COUNTRIES

Separately, Singapore will tighten border measures for six European countries, following the “worsening situation” in those locations.

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Liechtenstein and Slovakia will be classified as Category III countries from 11.59pm on Dec 1, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a separate news release.

Travellers from Category III countries are required to serve a 10-day stay-home notice at their place of accommodation, in addition to COVID-19 testing.

Belize, Costa Rica, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Panama, Peru and Uruguay will also be classified as Category III countries from 11.59pm on Dec 1.

MOH said it will also classify Thailand, Argentina, Kuwait, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan and Romania as Category II countries from the same date.

Those arriving from Category II countries must serve a seven-day stay-home notice at their place of accommodation and be tested for COVID-19.

UPDATE ON VTL TRAVELLERS

As of 11.59pm on Thursday, 79,335 vaccinated travel passes have been issued for entry into Singapore between Sep 8 and Jan 27, 2022, said CAAS.

This number does not include Singaporeans, permanent residents and children aged 12 and below travelling under the VTL, who do not need to apply for a vaccinated travel pass.

Just over 37,000 VTL travellers have entered Singapore as of Thursday, added CAAS.

More than 20,000 of these are short-term visitors or long-term pass holders. About 15,000 are Singaporeans or permanent residents, and about 1,700 are children.



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5 cool SoCal turkey trots, but no stuffing (yourself)


If you sat out last year’s Thanksgiving race because of COVID-19 cancelations, take heart. In-person turkey trots are back for 2021, and they are a great way to kick off the holiday and raise money for community charities. Just don’t brag about all the calories you burned while loading up your dinner plate.

Runners who finish a 5K in 30 minutes burn about 342 to 517 calories, depending on how much they weigh. (Those numbers come from the American Council on Exercise, which compared the number of calories burned per minute during different physical activities.) The harder numbers: Americans consume more than 3,000 calories and 159 grams of fat when they eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal, according to the Calorie Control Council. Ouch.

Runners World magazine says you should stop linking the two numbers. “The idea that if you run more, you can eat more, or if you run less, you should eat less is totally false,” this 2020 story reports. “That twisted thought pattern implies that you have to earn your food, or that running is punishment for eating. Nope. We run because we love to run, and we eat in a way that fuels our runs — it’s as simple as that.”

Bottom line: Enjoy running or walking your turkey trot and enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner (maybe lightening up on the fat in preparing some dishes) without overdoing it.

There are lots of road races planned for Nov. 25. Here are five that get you moving and give back.

Turkey Trot Los Angeles: This is the classic 5K or 10K downtown run that starts at L.A. City Hall. The race supports the Midnight Mission and its services for the homeless. Entry costs $48 to $52. Kids Widdle Wobble for 12 and younger; .5 to 1-mile run/walk. $28.

Ventura Turkey Trot 5K & Kids 1K: The flat and fast course asks participants to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging’s food drive. Entry costs $35 (plus fees) for the 5K and $15 for the Kids 1K (14 and younger).

Turkey Trot Long Beach: There’s nothing like a beach run to kick off Thanksgiving Day. The Long Beach trot starts at the Granada boat launch east of Belmont Pier and continues to Shoreline Village. Runners and walkers are asked to bring nonperishable food items (there’s a list of needed goods on the website). Proceeds benefit the Community Action Team, which runs community programs and events year-round. Entry costs $40 for the 5K/10K and $30 for the Kids Half-Mile Wingding.

Drumstick Dash LA: Routes for the 5K and 10K take runners through the NoHo Arts District along Lankershim and Magnolia boulevards in North Hollywood. Proceeds benefit Hope of the Valley, which provides meals for homeless people. Sign up before midnight tonight and pay $38 for each race. The half-mile Lil Gobbler Kids Run costs $10. (Prices increase Friday.)

Dana Point Turkey Trot: Dana Point Harbor in Orange County provides the setting for 5K, 10K and 15K combo routes. Proceeds benefit two charities: the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley and the Music Preserves Foundation. Entry costs $43 to $58, depending on the route. Also $20 for the Kids 1-Mile Gobble Wobble (ages 2 to 12).

3 things to do this week

People in hard hats gather on a trail.

Learn to rock scramble with the Wilderness Travel Course.

(Matthew Hengst)

1. How to stay safe in the outdoors? Take this 10-week Sierra Club course. Going into the outdoors can be scary — and it should be. Confidence on the trail comes from experience and skill-building, both of which are covered in the 10-week Wilderness Travel Course developed by the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club. The course teaches navigation, rock scrambling, snow travel, mountain safety and other skills you’ll need to safely explore the mountains and deserts of Southern California and beyond. Students can sign up for the course held at four locations: West L.A., Orange County, San Gabriel Valley and Long Beach. Classes and field trips cost $380 to $415 (if you sign up before Dec. 15) and run January through March. Check out the schedule of classes and other course info here.

People gathered for a hike.

Hike for charity in Cherry Canyon.

(Thomas Lenz)

2. Join a charity hike that explores this La Cañada-Flintridge canyon. Have you never set foot in the San Rafael Hills, a gentle range south of the San Gabriel Mountains and east of the Verdugo Mountains? Here’s your chance to change that. The annual Will Hike for Food trek asks hikers to bring nonperishable food items before taking off on a 3-mile hike in Cherry Canyon. Expect good views of the San Gabriel Valley to the east and the mountains to the north (unless it’s foggy). Food gathered at the hike benefits the Pasadena-based Friends in Deed nonprofit organization. The event, organized by NobodyHikesInLA.com with WalkingPasadena.com and WeekendSherpa.com, takes place at 9 a.m. Nov. 27. Meet at the Cherry Canyon trailhead (near 4168 Hampstead Road in La Cañada-Flintridge). More details here.

A skier leaps above the snow in "Winter Starts Now."

Amie Engerbretson in “Winter Starts Now.”

(Warren Miller Entertainment)

3. It’s Warren Miller time! The 2021 ski movie comes to SoCal. Nothing stokes winter sports like a Miller film. Even if you aren’t a skier or snowboarder, these movies ignite wonder and awe about all that pros and amateurs do in the snowy outdoors. “Winter Starts Now,” the 72nd in the long-running series, follows big mountain skiers Marcus Caston and Connery Lundin in Alaska, a community of skiers and boarders on Maine’s Sugarloaf Mountain and pros on the mountains at big resorts. Miller was passionate about skiing when he made his first film in 1950. Though he died in 2018, the annual films timed to kick off the winter season continue. “Winter Starts Now” shows Nov. 23 at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, Nov. 24 at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo, Dec. 7 at Regency Theatres in Santa Ana, Dec. 8 at the Art Theatre of Long Beach, Dec. 9 at the Landmark Theater in Los Angeles, Dec. 10 at Hermosa Beach Community Theatre and Dec. 11 at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas. (It also streams on Outside+.) Tickets are available here.

Wild things

Sea otters in a shallow Morro Bay cove.

Sea otters hanging out in a shallow Morro Bay cove.

(Mary Forgione; photo illustration by Micah Fluellen; Getty Images)

I got a great tip about where to see sea otters up close — not from a naturalist but from a server at an Italian restaurant in Morro Bay. She sent me out at night to look for otters in the town’s coastal waters. I couldn’t see a thing in the dark. However, the next morning, all was revealed. The otters anchored themselves in a shallow cove on the Embarcadero walking path that leads to Morro Rock. I didn’t need binoculars to watch the furry creatures flipping, twisting and scratching their heads. Sometimes they cuddle with their babies too. It’s an easy spot to find; ask the locals if you need help. Other good otter viewing sites: Elkhorn Slough (between Santa Cruz and Monterey) and Monterey Bay. By the way, sea otters, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1977, have been hailed as ecosystem superheroes by at least one organization. The reason: They eat sea urchins, which feed on kelp. Too many sea urchins and there go the kelp beds. Sea otters keep the urchin population in check and, in turn, contribute to a healthy coastal habitat.

The must-read

Woman before a fan in her home putting water on her face.

Felisa Benitez, 86, wipes the sweat from her brow outside her home at the San Fernando Gardens Public Housing in Pacoima, where temperatures reached 99 degrees in August.

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Government agencies provide air quality rankings every day to warn people about pollution risks. What about heat waves? California may become the first state in the nation to start a ranking system for heat waves, according to this L.A. Times story. California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who will sponsor a bill to develop the ranking system, told The Times: “Without a way to rank heat waves, we treat extreme heat more like a weather story when it’s really a public health crisis.” The move comes after a Times investigation found that heat kills more Californians than the state previously reported and that heat waves disproportionately affect the poor as well as communities of color. Read The Times heat wave stories here.

P.S.

Visitors enjoy the grand view at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park.

Visitors enjoy the grand view at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park.

(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times; photo illustration by Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)

It’s worth noting that Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park currently is open. Snow may soon shut the road to the point, which has commanding views of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley. When the road is closed, cross-country skiers and snowshoers tackle the 10-plus-mile, one-way route. By the way, Glacier Point Road will be closed in 2022 while workers repave and improve it. It isn’t slated to reopen until spring 2023. That means the only way to get there will be by hiking the Four Mile, Panorama or Pohono trails.

Send us your thoughts

Share anything that’s on your mind. The Wild is written for you and delivered to your inbox for free. Drop us a line at TheWild@latimes.com.

Click to view the web version of this newsletter and share it with others, and sign up to have it sent weekly to your inbox. I’m Mary Forgione, and I write The Wild. I’ve been exploring trails and open spaces in Southern California for four decades.

Mary Forgione





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Turkey travel: Which Thanksgiving foods can you take on a plane?


CLEVELAND (WJW) – Thanksgiving weekend travel is famous for clogging airports. And to keep things running smoothly at security checkpoints, the Transportation Security Administration has announced which holiday foods travelers are allowed to take with them on the plane.

Coming from afar won’t squelch peoples’ desire to bring their famous pumpkin pie or classic yams and marshmallows along for the ride to share with family and friends, so TSA has made it simple with some “food for thought.”

“If it’s a solid item, then it can go through a checkpoint,” TSA said in a press release. “However, if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, and it’s larger than 3.4 ounces, then it should go in a checked bag.”

These carry-on Thanksgiving foods are good to go:

  • Baked goods: Yes, that includes pumpkin pie
  • Meat: Frozen, cooked or otherwise, all meat is allowed, but please remember to package correctly.
  • Stuffing in all forms
  • Casseroles
  • Mac ‘n Cheese: Fully cooked or not
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • Candy
  • Spices

Food items allowed to be taken through security should still be placed in a plastic bag to make TSA screeners’ jobs easier, especially since food often needs additional security screening.

Thanksgiving foods that need to be placed in checked baggage:

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Gravy
  • Wine, champagne, sparking apple cider
  • Canned fruit or vegetables
  • Preserves, jams and jellies
  • Maple syrup
  • Anything else that has liquid or could be considered “spreadable”

Find full TSA travel guidelines right here.



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Turkey travel: Which Thanksgiving foods can you take on a plane?


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reminding travelers of the Thanksgiving foods they can and can’t bring in carry-on bags. (Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (WJW) – Thanksgiving weekend travel is famous for clogging airports. And to keep things running smoothly at security checkpoints, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced which holiday foods travelers are allowed to take with them on the plane.

Coming from afar won’t squelch peoples’ desire to bring their famous pumpkin pie or classic yams and marshmallows along for the ride to share with family and friends, so TSA has made it simple with some “food for thought.”

“If it’s a solid item, then it can go through a checkpoint,” TSA said in a press release. “However, if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, and it’s larger than 3.4 ounces, then it should go in a checked bag.”

These carry-on Thanksgiving foods are good to go:

  • Baked goods: Yes, that includes pumpkin pie
  • Meat: Frozen, cooked or otherwise, all meat is allowed, but please remember to package correctly.
  • Stuffing in all forms
  • Casseroles: Midwesterners, rejoice!
  • Mac ‘n Cheese: Fully cooked or not
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • Candy: But do keep this in your carry-on, as otherwise, you may be asked to share
  • Spices

Food items allowed to be taken through security should still be placed in a plastic bag to make TSA screeners’ jobs easier, especially since food often needs additional security screening.

Thanksgiving foods that need to be placed in checked baggage:

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Gravy
  • Wine, champagne, sparking apple cider
  • Canned fruit or vegetables
  • Preserves, jams and jellies
  • Maple syrup
  • Anything else that has liquid or could be considered “spreadable”

Find full TSA travel guidelines right here.

**Related video below: Now is time to get vaccinated before Thanksgiving, Ohio’s top doctor says.



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