tv The Travel Show BBC News July 29, 2021 1:30am-2:00am BST
this is bbc news. we will have the headlines and all the main news stories for you at the top of the hour, straight after this programme. this week on the travel show: out running covid at the olympic games. the big names rocking central park this summer. siberia's mystery blast craters. you have an exploding crater on land. that is not something i imagined. and the fears for the future of flamenco. hello and welcome to tokyo.
the host city for this summer's olympic and paralympic games and thronging with tourists and sport fans from all over the world. maybe not. the state of emergency declared earlier this month following a new wave of covid cases means that international and now local spectators are not allowed in to any event in and around tokyo. nonetheless, trainers and medical staff have headed here from all around the world
for a more subdued games. there were plenty of people here in tokyo who were delighted to see the olympic opening ceremony on friday. even if they had to resign themselves to only being able to watch it live on tv rather than in person at this vast stadium. however, they could be a minority as recent survey showed thatjust over 50% of people here did not want to see the games go ahead. japan has declared a state of emergency for tokyo that will run throughout its hosting of the games. a public concern has grown over what impact the influx of thousands of athletes, support staff, officials and press from overseas could have on the infection rate. for me, like many people here in tokyo, the olympics has been a real rollercoaster.
in 2019 tickets for athletics and diving events were quickly allocated. and then last year we were not even sure if the olympics would go ahead and then we were told this year that our tickets would have to go back into another lottery because of limited capacity of the stadiums and then finally, two weeks ago we were told that there would be no spectators at all in any tokyo events. and here there was meant to be a fans zone with a big screen tvs but that idea was quickly quashed. precovid, japan was originally expecting around 35 million visitors in 2020. but now only vaccinated athletes and officials can attend the tokyo games this year. that number has been massively reduced. and with a capacity of the olympic village limited, many of tokyo's hotels are playing host to athletes and sports support staff from all over the world with strict sanitising protocols, regular testing and in some cases, curfews and other restrictions
now in place. this hotel was not allowed to tell me which teams would be staying here but they were willing to show me some of the adjustments they had made to ensure that their sporting guests have a happy and healthy stay. in addition to ensuring the hotel is covid secure, the carpenters here have also been busy at work in readiness for some extra tall special guests. we had requests for larger beds so these are wooden bases for the extension and we will have 12 of them. so i can assume you will have some very tall athletes staying? you are correct. the normal size bed is two metres so we're extending it by 30 centimetres. here we are. this is the room where we have put a larger bed for our guests. wow. this is a big bed. good, hey?
and you cannot notice where our carpenters have made the extension. very neat. and it is notjust a good night sleep that the olympic competitors need. nutrition plays a vital role in their performance so the kitchens here have had to adjust their menus accordingly. they want at least eight different salad bars, celery, cucumberand broccoli, you know? i have designed a menu, here i have added three carbs, five different vegetables. the nutritionist and the chef look at it and they come back to us and see if it is ok or not. so it all has to go back to their nutritionist? yes. so i see we have salad, grains, is there a dessert? a little dessert. we cannot have too much sugar because when you add sugar... the dessert is more
like a bite. energy bowls. —— energy balls. so what are we making today? apricot cashew bites. this is what olympic athletes will be eating. that is good. it is good, actually. not quite the dessert i was expecting. i think everybody is getting used to the new normal, getting to ease with the fact that these olympics are now without spectators so there is a drop in demand. however, everybody is still preparing for the groups that are coming, the people they have to look after and making sure the event is well executed. traditionally, every olympic games always now has a small army of local volunteers who sign up to help ensure that visitors have the best experience possible.
but with the ban on spectators and overseas tourists, many of the volunteers have either been stood down or seen their duties changed. where do we get the bus from? you are here now. mak san was looking forward to meeting travellers from all over the world, but now he is using his english to help out at the press centre instead. i wish the olympics would succeed without any problems. are you looking forward to seeing some athletes and some olympic events? yes. i love sports. i was a pe teacher. so this is your dream job? yes. my dream job. of course, a modern olympic games is not just about sport. there is usually a whole host of marketing opportunities, corporate events and collectables associated with each games.
daniel, tell me about these pins. every national olympic committee likes to have their own pin and athletes, it gives them an opportunity to give them, a gift from their country to somebody from another country that they may not necessarily interact with. this rwanda versus godzilla... what is? we have the rwanda team mascot against godzilla. it is an epic pin. this is a mega mecha. moving parts pin. that is great. there is an entire network of collectors from all over the world. it is known as the unofficial olympic sport, collecting pins and trading pins. so, unfortunately, there are many collectors who would normally come to the games just to go pin trading and just to collect.
it will be a little more difficult this time around to get their hands on some of these prized possessions. it is estimated that back in 2019, over a quarter of a million fans from overseas travelled to japan to see the rugby world cup championship. staying, on average, a16 nights and each spending —— staying, on average, for 16 nights and each spending around £a000, or5500 us dollars on their trip. so hopes were high that the postponed olympics would bring in even bigger numbers, more revenue and greater positive publicity for the country. i don't think there has ever been any event that had the demand that the tokyo 2020 had. they really wanted to come and experience japan. the japanese hospitality, the food, the culture. it is only the fourth time in history that there has been a summer games held in asia so i think itjust provided a unique catalyst for the entire world to go, "i want to be there." and, i guess, that is
what makes it incredibly disappointing. so no matter how you feel about the games, tokyo 2020 is happening at a unique and historic moment in time. and many people will want to capture that and reflect on it. the shops here are still full of memorabilia and souvenirs. how much will be sold, however, is unclear given the lack of overseas tourists. one thing is clear, however. you can expect souvenirs to maybe become items in their own right. because they certainly represent a very different olympic games.
the edinburgh festival looks a bit different this year. they are going ahead. the international festival has moved many of its performances outside and kicks off with a three day event in the royal botanic gardens. the fringe, meanwhile, mixes its socially distance live in person shows with a live online offering that starts on august six. new york is planning what some people are calling a mega—concert on the great lawn of central park. bruce springsteen, paul simon and jennifer hudson will headline the event, which is part of week—long celebrations of the city's reopening. 60,000 people are expected to go, with different sections allocated to vaccinated and unvaccinated spectators. berlin's museum island has a new landmark, the humbolt forum. this vast building brings together the ethnological museum and the museum of asian art in one enormous reconstructed baroque palace.
its remit is to be a symbol of tolerance and diversity, but there has been controversy over its decision to house artefacts looted from parts of the world once colonised by europe. and barely a year goes by without dubai opening something enormous. this time it's the world's deepest pool. deep dive dubai goes downjust over 60 metres and holds enough water to fill six olympic—sized swimming pools. they have built an abandoned city at the bottom to explore, along with a library and an arcade. still to come on this week's travel show: the blast craters causing confusion in siberia. and with one final click of the castanets, a flamenco venue saying goodbye
for the last time. so don't go away. next this week, we are in russia on the remote siberian peninsula of yamal. scientists they have noticed enormous blast holes appearing in a landscape and it has had them scratching their heads. so we thought we would catch up with them to find out more. i first heard about these craters when i was contacted by a reporter in 2014, i came back to my e—mail and thought this is a crazy e—mail i got, this person is talking about these craters and i didn't have accessibility to the news, ijust didn't believe it. i got back to the us and i read a little more and wow, this is a thing that happened.
so this idea that what is the cause of these, is this something that is new that is happening, is this related to climate, is this something that is a risk to people who are in the arctic, to the gas and oil infrastructure, which is quite close to the area where these craters have been occurring? and then is there some long—term impact on global climate, because there is methane that is coming out of these craters? it is an area where there is very thick layer of ice called tabular ice, and there is also an area where there is a lot of cryo—pegs, which is an area of ground that is within the frozen permafrost, so it is an unfrozen sandwich, it is surrounded by permafrost, it is unfrozen ground, and the idea of how these forms is that these very deep deposits of gas are sort of finding their way to this unfrozen pocket, this cryo—peg or italic, and then as pressure builds up
it raises the ground up, and it explodes. how many more of them are out there? what we're trying to do is use satellite data to view these what we have first done is create a change detection map which is an automated method of picking up pixels on the peninsula that have changed in some way. that algorithm was built based on sort of what we know about the craters. so once we have this change in texture map we have a team who are using high—resolution imagery to look through each one of these pixels and say, does this look like a crater, does this look like something else, and from there once we have something that we think looks like a crater or could have been a crater, we are getting a series of very high—resolution imagery to try and figure out where these forms.
why are they happening now? it is really tricky to identify. i would not be surprised and i do think it is likely that warming temperatures are at least in part contributing to making the ground unstable, allowing these explosions to happen. to me they are more an indicator of what is happening, and a very shocking indicator of what is happening in the arctic. and there is nowhere else on the planet that i know of where climate change is causing the physical structure of the ground to change. it is quite startling.
the unfolding mystery of siberia's enormous blast craters. right, to spain next an art form that so many of us see on our holidays. flamenco happens in venues called tablaos, which like so many venues have had to close the good. we have met some dancers in madrid who are now facing an uncertain future.
don't forget you can catch up with our more recent adventures on the bbc iplayer and we are on social media two. just search bbc travel and you won't be far off. but until next time, keep planning, stay safe and we will see you very soon. goodbye. hello. wednesday brought us another day of some sunny spells, but some really heavy downpours and frequent thunderstorms with lightning and hail, too. this was the picture in telford during wednesday afternoon. now, the outlook is for the unsettled theme to continue, so i think thursday will bring another day of sunshine and showers.
it'll be quite cool and breezy. but the showers won't be as heavy or as frequent as they have been over recent days. that's down to the fact that this area of low pressure that's bringing all of this showery weather is just drifting its way off towards the north and north—east. we have got another area of low pressure developing in the south west, and that'll be more of a player through thursday night into friday. so, for much of northern ireland, scotland and northern england, quite a cloudy start to the day with some showery rain. further south across england and much of wales, largely dry with some sunshine around. there will be some brightness developing in the north during the afternoon, but down towards the south west, expect some rain to arrive later in the day. the breeze picking up here, too. it will be quite a blustery feeling sort of day and not particularly warm for this time of year. but temperatures generally somewhere between 18—22 degrees for most of us. not too bad down towards the south east, a drier day here than we have seen recently. now, into thursday night, the showers in the north will gradually ease away, but our tension turns to the south west of england where this area of really heavy rain will move its way in and look at those wind gusts around about a0 to 50 mph,
unseasonably strong gusts of wind through the english channel, through the bristol channel as well. so, it's going to be very blustery in the south first thing friday morning and a pretty wet start to the day, too. whereas further north, it's looking mostly dry to start the friday and quite a bit of dry weather for friday across parts of scotland, northern ireland and northern england just a few showers around. further south across england and wales, we've got that initially heavy rain and brisk winds which gradually clears towards the east through the day, and then a return to some sunshine and scattered showers around, too. temperatures cooler in recent days, around 17—20 degrees on friday. and then heading towards the weekend, low pressure still not far away, but it is starting to move off towards the east. we've got a northerly air flow coming down and higher pressure out in the atlantic is trying to nudge its way in. so, between weather systems as we head through the course of the weekend. perhaps one or two showers around, but quite a bit of dry weather through saturday and sunday, too. some sunny spells and temperatures on the cool side for this time of year. bye— bye.
so we thought we would catch up with them to find out more. welcome to bbc news, i'm ben boulos. our top stories: as us covid cases continue to rise, federal workers could be required to have a jab, in a nationwide vaccination push. japan records the highest daily number of coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic. the delta variant, and the olympics, are being blamed for the surge. i'm sarah mulkerrins live in tokyo on day 6 of the olympics, where we have had the first medals of the day in the rowing. golds for croatia, new zealand and ireland. simone biles pulls out of another olympic event, the star of the us gymnastic team explains the issues that caused her to withdraw.