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It's Reformation Day!

Today marks the 500th anniversary of the the start of the Protestant Reformation. It was on October 31, 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Schlosskirche (Palace Church) in Wittenberg, Germany. The country has been celebrating the anniversary all year long, culminating in ceremonies today at the Schlosskirche, attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Nailing his theses to the church door may seem like a provocative act in hindsight, but this was actually a standard way of posing questions for community discussion. Luther had no intention of breaking with the Catholic Church. There's a good synopsis of the events here.

Travel Thought for the Week

“Since life is short and the world is wide, the sooner you start exploring it the better. Soon enough the time will come when you are too tired to move farther than the terrace of the best hotel. Go. Now.”

– Simon Raven, British novelist, Travel: A Moral Primer, 1968

Catalunya declares independence from Spain

The regional parliament of Catalunya has voted 70-10 to secede from Spain, and officially declared itself to be an independent republic. The national government of Spain immediately invoked its constitutional emergency powers and moved to seize control of the region.

A stroll in Edinburgh

In April 2007 this Hand Crafted Tour group joined 18th century Scottish poet Robert Fergusson for a stroll along Edinburgh's Royal Mile. The street runs right through the heart of the old town, stretching from Edinburgh Castle at the top to the Palace of Holyrood at the bottom. Hand Crafted Travel can help you plan what to see – and understand what you're seeing – whether you are on a guided tour, or on you own self-guided trip. #tbt

Creative Flight Safety Videos

Recognizing that many people don't pay any attention to the pre-flight safety briefing, many airlines are getting creative with new videos.

Here's a recent effort from British Airways:

Virgin America put out a music video version of their safety briefing a few years ago:

But my all time favorite is Air New Zealand's video, celebrating that country's role as the filming location for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

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