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(CNN) – Come on, 2022, give us your best shot. We are bruised and we fought, but we are waiting for better days.
Here are CNN Travel’s biggest stories this week.
22 places to go in 2022
The past few years have proven that traveling is a privilege, not a right, but we still have so much to be thankful for on our small, well-connected planet. We’ve put together a wishlist of 22 dream destinations all over the world that inspire us, from national parks to remote islands and other less visited places.
There is Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of Peru, considered a refuge for the Incas the royalty and energetic vibes of burgeoning Naples, the cradle of Italy of pizzas. Or if you want to get knee deep in nature, you can try the Congo Basin and Gabon National Parks – all turning 20 this year – or the Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert National Park in the Australian outback.
When the Covid Grinch wasn’t busy sentencing us to eat turkey alone in our bedrooms, it was tearing up airline crews and helping to cancel thousands of vacation flights around the world, especially to the United States. United.
Festive cheering was particularly lacking on a Delta flight to Atlanta on Dec. 23 when a woman allegedly punched another passenger, resulting in a charge of federal assault.
Big ben bang again
New Years celebrations in London and New York have been canceled or scaled back, but at least the cities’ iconic attractions have been able to put on their festive sparkle.
In the British capital, where the public festivities were canceled, Big Ben slipped from his scaffolding and banged again after a much needed four year repair project. In Manhattan, the Times Square New Years Eve ball was covered in Irish Waterford crystals for the city’s small-scale celebration.
Good news for Americans at home and abroad, the U.S. National Park Service is waiving entry fees for five days in 2022 at all national park sites, and the U.S. Department of State is allowing henceforth to certain citizens to return to the country with expired passports.
The Times Square ball is 12 feet in diameter and weighs 11,875 pounds.
The travel situation in Europe has not improved
Three new destinations have been added to the CDC’s riskiest travel category: a Mediterranean archipelago, an Eastern European country renowned for its vineyards, as well as the largest country in Northern Europe.
Operators of Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, the fixed rail link between Britain and mainland Europe, on December 29 warned British citizens living in the EU that they can no longer transit through France by road to reach their continental homes.
Livin ‘La Dolce Vita
Renderings of the new Orient Express La Dolce Vita have been revealed and, as you would expect from the world’s most glamorous rail company, they are exquisite.
The Orient Express last crossed Italy in 1977, when the Paris-Istanbul service ended, but from 2023 a luxury package of new 11-car trains will cross 14 of the country’s regions and 131 of its cities, as well as countries beyond.
The journey that inspired Lonely Planet
It was the 1970s and Tony and Maureen Wheeler had a dream: to travel from London to Sydney by land, or at least as much as they could. They embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime journey that forever changed global travel.
It was the 1970s, and Tony and Maureen Wheeler had a dream: to travel from London to Sydney by land, or at least as much as they could. They embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime journey that forever changed global travel.
In case you missed it
A Russian and an American had a first date on Christmas Day.
Baby are you alright You barely touched your marzipan pigs.
The island where cats outnumber humans six times.