Bikini-Clad Snowboarders Take To Siberian Slopes (Video)

Snowboarders worldwide usually dress warmly, covering as much skin as possible to avoid frostbite if not hypothermia. Russians are normally no exception to the rule, with winter temperatures dropping to sub-zero levels with great frequency.

To catch the attention of winter vacationers and lure them away from Moscow to Sheregesh, a Siberian resort, this video has bikini-clad snowboarders having fun on the slopes.

“We can’t guarantee a show like this every day but we’re pretty relaxed out here in Siberia,” said a Russian tourism spokesperson in a Travel Mole post today.

With some of the best snowboarding powder in Europe, Sheregesh hosts travelers every winter for its popular snowboarding and skiing during a season that lasts from November till March.

[YouTube Video via Sirdi Sa]

Photo Of The Day: Rainbow Bikini Beach

C’mon, who doesn’t like rainbows, bikinis or the beach? But you have to be honest – how often do you find all three in a single travel photo? Yet that’s exactly what we came across in today’s exuberant photo by Flickr user Enjoy Patrick Responsibly. The shot, taken in Barbados, is such a fun and clever blending of the usual travel “cliches” that we couldn’t resist posting it while simultaneously shouting “yahoo!” at the top of our lungs.

Taken any great travel photos lately? Why not add them to the Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

The Spice Isle: What the Grenada guidebooks might not tell you

Grenada is so off the radar for a lot of Americans that it leaves a lot to be learned about the country. (For one, how it’s pronounced. Answer: “Gren-ay-da.”)

But here are some of the more practical tidbits that I learned while in the island country that might also serve you well on your visit:

Keep your swimsuits to the beach. An indecent exposure law forbids it elsewhere. Cover up, even if it’s just a little bit.

Don’t wear camouflage. It’s illegal to wear it in any color or format.

Ask before taking that photo of someone.
It’s good tact in any situation (although goodbye to spontaneity), but I especially felt the need to in Grenada. In fact, a few people called me on it when I didn’t. My instinct was to snap photos left and right at the market, but I intentionally stopped to talk about and buy produce first.

US money. Yes, you can use it and businesses accept it.

Go SCUBA diving. Grenada has the most wreck dives (sunken boats) in the Caribbean.

%Gallery-77695%Drive on the left. (Also means walking on the left-hand side). But first, you have to get a local driving permit from the traffic department at the Central Police Station on the Carenage. Present your driver’s license and pay a fee of EC$30.

No need to rush the spice-buying. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to buy spice and all of the variations of spice products — for cheap, too. Consider buying it from the shopkeeper that you’ve just enjoyed a great conversation with.

Say yes to insect repellent. Mosquito bites ended up being the majority of my souvenirs.

Keep some cash on hand for your departure tax. The airport doesn’t accept credit cards for the payment. You can use either American or Eastern Caribbean cash. Adults: EC$50 (US$20). Children ages 2-12: EC$25 (US$10).

Stick to one elevation at a time. Grenada is blessed with wonders from the depths of the ocean to the heights of a 2,000-foot-high mountain. But it’s such a distance that you’ll want to avoid going SCUBA diving and seeing Grand Etang in the same day — you’re sure to get decompression sickness (the bends).

Wait to buy chocolate until later. No doubt you’ll want to bring chocolate home (Grenada Chocolate Company makes an especially good kind — plus it’s organic and made small-batch). But if you’re like me you don’t have a refrigerator in your hotel room, the chocolate is sure to melt, so pick it up at the end.

Hydrate. It’s easy to forget that you need to drink more than usual because of the weather — even when you don’t feel thirsty.

Do as the locals do. Go to the beach on Sunday for an authentic Grenadian experience — you’ll find local families lounging on the beach, and kids starting up soccer games.

Keep an ear to the local slang. For one, “bon je” (jai/jay) is used as an exclamation of awe. That said, understanding the local patois can be as difficult as learning any new language.

Alison Brick traveled through Grenada on a trip sponsored by the Grenada Board of Tourism. That said, she could write about anything that struck her fancy. (And it just so happens that these are the things that struck her fancy.) You can read more from her The Spice Isle: Grenada series here.

Piss in the ocean, not in the pool and other TripAdvisor reader thoughts

So much of life is governed by “unwritten rules,” but beaches and pools are surprisingly short of convention to cite. Public opinion is all over the map on what matters most – and what can lead to a heated conversation. But, there are still a few hot buttons that irritate the world. According to a recent survey of 3,800 people by TripAdvisor, 69 percent encounter some breach of etiquette, with 13 percent taking the cynical view that everyone breaks these undocumented standards.

The most common violations at the beach and pool are hogging beach chairs, pissing in the water and littering, while the most annoying are loud music, smoking and, yet again, draining into the water … though you can get away with doing this in the ocean if you aren’t too close to anybody. And, in praise of double standards, more respondents believe that women can get away with skimpy beach gear than feel men should wear speedos.

So, what enrages?


Hogging beach chairs: if you’re “saving” a chair for someone for to use later, 84 percent of TripAdvisor readers think you’re an asshole. According to a TripAdvisor Destination Expert, “My bugbear is when people throw a towel over one of the highly sought-after sun lounges/cabanas, and then go AWOL.”

“Bugbear”? Eh …

Unleashing the stream: 16 percent of survey respondents called this the most annoying breach of pool and beach etiquette, but 53 percent will piss in the ocean if nobody’s around.

Smokers blow: 82 percent want to ban poolside smoking, and 62 percent don’t want you puffing at the beach. Says one of these Destination Experts, “I can’t stand when on a crowded beach day people smoke one foot away from you, and then discard their butts in the sand…I don’t care at all if people choose to smoke as long as it doesn’t affect me or the beauty of the beach!”

Washing off not a big deal: 14 percent of travelers don’t bother to shower before they go into a pool (hell, it has all that chlorine anyway, right?), and 37 percent do so rarely. A substantial 69 percent find it acceptable not to bother cleaning up before swimming.

Stay away: if the beach isn’t crowded, 38 percent of respondents believe you should set up camp at least 20 feet away, and 22 percent think seven feet to 10 feet is acceptable. When the beach is crowded, you should stay at least six feet away. According to one of these TripAdvisor Destination Experts, “I find the perfect spot on the beach, far away from the intrusion of kids, pets, and game players. Then a family of 12 with undisciplined kids sits right next to me! When the beach is empty move over!”

Watch what you wear: 76 percent of respondents don’t think it’s a big deal for women to wear revealing bikinis (no word on whether hotness matters), but only 65 percent say the same for men and speedos. Only 14 percent think speedos are only appropriate in the United States. One of the Destination Experts is irritated by people who “either go topless or wear tiny little dental-floss bikinis on the beach or by the pool.” Again, I say don’t judge until you see the body that’s barely covered.

Want to learn more? Click here.

Gadlinks for Wednesday 7.8.09

Happy hump day! To get yourself over the week’s speed bump, here are today’s travel reads.

‘Til tomorrow, have a great evening!

More Gadlinks here.