French high-speed rail line expanding

While the idea of high-speed rail service remains an elusive thing in the U.S., other nations continue to pull away by creating or expanding such services.

In France, for example, the new Eastern-European TGV line is set for completion and implementation by June 10.

The new high-speed train, expected to hit an averaage speed of 200 mph, will whisk passengers between Strasbourg, in the French province of Alsace, and the tiny country of Luxembourg to the northwest in less than 2 1/2 hours.

If you're planning on traveling in that area this year -- and I highly recommend the historic and picturesque slice of Europe, TGV is offering deep ticket discounts via its Web site for the summer months, with tickets going on sale April 10.

TGV, in operation for 25 years, links numerous French cities at average speeds of 186 mph. It is regarded as the cornerstone of the European high-speed rail network connecting France to London, Brussels, Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich, Torino, Milan, and more.

Luxembourg Profile & History
Strasbourg Tourist Office
• How to Travel in Europe by Rail

Learn a New Language: Rosetta Stone

Hong Kong home for first Heineken airport bar

Heineken International is creating a chain of branded bars in airports worldwide.

The Dutch brewer debuted its beer bar in the Hong Kong International Airport, complete with Heineken-branded equipment, T-shirts and consumables. Its own beer is the only one available on tap, but it will sell bottled versions of other brands.

According to several industry research reports, beer is the No. 2 most popular drink in airports, behind only coffee.

Erik van de Ven, manager Duty Free & Travel Retail Heineken International, commented: “In a highly cosmopolitan environment like a major airport, there are clear commercial benefits to using the only truly international premium beer brand, Heineken, as the unique attraction for travellers. Experience demonstrates that branded bars in local markets attract more consumers and are substantially more profitable than unbranded bars. In an airport environment we expect even better results.”

The first Heineken Bar has a seating capacity of 70. It sells a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. The bar also broadcasts Heineken-sponsored international sport, film and music events.

Discover Hong Kong
CIA World Factbook
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices in the U.S.

Learn a New Language: Rosetta Stone

Blog Archive