Educational travel blog
November 29, 2017
Each year at this time, our employees and group leaders start getting ready for Passports' annual Yuletide In [City] International Teacher Convention. We've had so many fun times in so many different cities each December, and London is one of our favorites. In fact, London was the very first city to host Passports' Yuletide conventions way back in the beginning. There's nothing quite like Dickens' London and all the decorations and festivities surrounding the holidays in this fascinating destination to get you into the holiday spirit.
We happen to be running into a lot of newsworthy items about London, the royal family, and more, so we thought we'd share three of our favorites here for your enjoyment!
BUSES POWERED BY JAVA!
London's famous transportation system is trying out a new biofuel: COFFEE! Yep, that's right, the same ingredients we all consume in the morning are now being blended together with diesel fuel to create a resource for fueling London's buses. Reportedly, a bio-tech company has produced sufficient amounts of fuel by extracting oil from coffee waste -- enough to run one bus for an entire year!
Other bio-fuels are already being used by London's transport department, including meat tallow and cooking oils. There are nearly 10,000 buses to fuel in London alone, so this is no small undertaking.
Here's how it works: there are approximately 200,000 tons of coffee "waste" created annually by coffee shops, coffee factories and so forth in and around London. This waste is collected by an extraction method, and blended into a B20 bio-fuel by processing with diesel fuel.
There is not even a need to modify the vehicles, the fuel can simply be used on the existing equipment.
Read all about it here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-england-london-42044852
Above: a red double-decker bus crosses Tower Bridge
THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT!
For the young ones!! Check out the Traveling With Arthur app by Marshmallow Games. Ok, admittedly, this app can be used to travel virtually from your living room, but we sure hope it will get you interested in a real trip.
The app, created by Marshmallow Games, an educational app creator, is designed for children aged 6 or older, and is suitable for all family members. There are no ads, and parental control is featured. This app was tested by teachers and their students.
In the Traveling With Arthur app, you get to "travel the world in a single tap".
The initial premise is two travelers, Arthur and Mambo, who accidentally got each others luggage while traveling, and became great friends, travel to London together.
This app is specific to London, and you can even take a "selfie" that makes it appear that you're actually IN London at a famous landmark. It's basically a city guide for children, and at just $1.99 why not give it a try? The app includes games and iMessage features.
Check the link below for all the info on Traveling with Arthur - the London city guide for kids by Marshmallow Games
Above: The city of London
A ROYAL WEDDING (YAY!)
She's no relation to the president of Passports, Dave Markle, but we still can't help but be totally excited to learn that American actress Meghan Markle will be marrying Prince Harry next spring at Windsor Castle!!
Any royal wedding is always a big deal for us Anglophiles, but this one strikes a real chord in our hearts because, even though she may not be officially called "Princess", it's rare indeed for a royal bride to be American-born. The last American to join the family was Wallis Simpson. She married King Edward VII, but he had to abdicate the throne in order to marry the woman he loved.
Harry, being 6th in line to the throne, isn't under intense pressure to get permission from the Queen in order to marry, but he still has to get that permission! This stems from a law passed by "mad" King George III in the late 1700s, who was so incensed by his brother, Prince Henry's, intentions to marry a woman King George disliked, that he ruled that any of his direct descendants would need sovereign permission to marry.
More recently, in 2011, England's Prime Minister, David Cameron, changed the law, making it only applicable to the first six royals in line for the throne. Harry is a direct descendant of King George, and he's 5th in line at the moment. That being said, Queen Elizabeth has never yet withheld permission to marry from any member of the royal family, and with the announcement of their engagement yesterday, it seems like a sure thing that a royal wedding will take place in 2018.
It is up to Her Majesty The Queen to give Prince Harry and his bride their official titles. Meghan will not be officially called "Princess Meghan", but she will be technically called "Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Wales" (Henry being Harry's real name). Royal followers speculate that their official titles will be "the Duke and Duchess of Sussex", with Meghan Markle being called "Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex".
Articles about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle abound on the search engines right now. We like this one from NBC News.
Above: Windsor Castle
Above: The changing of the guard at Windsor Castle
*All photos courtesy of Kathleen Mueller
passports Educational Group Travel partners with teachers across the United States to provide high-quality educational travel experiences to their students. Educational tours visit destinations around the world - primarily France, Italy, England, Spain and Costa Rica - at low, guaranteed prices.
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