“Borat” does it again, but this time it was organizers of a sports event in Kuwait and not Sacha Baron Cohen who slipped up.
The obscene anthem from the 2006 satirical film rather than the country’s true national anthem was played Thursday at an awards ceremony for a Kazakhstan athlete who had won a gold medal for shooting at the 10th Arab Shooting Championship, according to media reports.
Maria Dmitrienko remains calm in a video posted on YouTube (see above) while listening to lyrics from the made-up song that insults other countries and touts the country’s “clean prostitutes.” Toward the end of the ceremony, she leaves the stage smiling, possibly realizing what had happened.
Kazakhstan’s shooting team has demanded an apology. The Guardianreports organizers apparently downloaded the wrong song — and also got the Serbian anthem wrong too.
This isn’t the first time Kazakhstan’s national anthem was messed up. At a ski event in northern Kazakhstan earlier this month, a bit of “Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin was played briefly in error before the true anthem played, the Guardian story says.
Book a stay at the brand new Alberto-Caffè Carcani hotel, which opens next month in the town of Ascona, Switzerland. Located on the lakeside promenade at Piazza G Motta, the hotel is part of the Tschuggen Hotel Group and offers 25 double rooms with lake or mountain views. Caffè Carcani restaurant opens on April 26 and boasts an outdoor terrace with views over the lake. The three-star hotel has a special opening package from 360 Swiss francs (Dh388) per person, per night, in a double room. including breakfast, Wi-Fi, a cruise to the nearby Brissago islands, admission to the Botanical Gardens on the island, and taxes. The offer is valid from April 26 to May 31. Call 00 41 91 785 1717 or visit www.carcani.ch for reservations.
Travel 3,500 years back in time on an eight-day trip through some of Greece’s most important historic sites, including the Acropolis of Athens and the Peloponnese region, from ancient Olympia and ancient Epidavros to Mycenae, Nafplion, Sparta and ancient Nemea. The base will be Tripolis of Arcadia, in the heart of the Peloponnese, from where day trips will be organised to various destinations. Visitors also get a free day in Nafplion to explore Palamidi castle – accessed by a 999-step stairway with magnificent views at the top. From €890 (Dh4,265) per person, including accommodation, transport, guides, entrance to sites and some meals. International airfare not included. Book through www.responsibletravel.com.
Sail the waterways between Luxor and Aswan aboard a beautifully crafted dahabiya – and minus the crowds – with this seven-night Egypt tour organised by Bales Worldwide. Along the way, you’ll stop at Philae, the High Dam, Kom Ombo, the Temple of Horus at Edfu, the Valley of Kings, Medinet Habu, the Colossi of Memnon, the Valley of Kings, Karnak and Luxor’s East Bank.
The week-long cruise costs Dh10,670 per person, including accommodation (based on two sharing), some meals and drinks, sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary, entrance fees to sites and local offshore transport. International airfare not included. Visit www.balesworldwide.com for more details.
Track orang-utans in the rainforests of Sumatra and relax by the scenic Lake Toba in an immense volcanic crater on this 18-day trip through Indonesia’s islands, each different with their own culture and architecture. You’ll also get to spend a day on the beaches of Bali, explore Java’s temples, visit the World Heritage Site of Borobudur, and the Hindu temple of Candi Prambanan. The trip costs from £1,289 (Dh7,422) for 18 days, including accommodation, some meals, domestic flights, sightseeing and local transport (boat and private minibus) and the services of an experienced guide. International airfare not included. Visit www.exodus.co.uk to book.
Last weekend’s big storm in the Sierra gave the spring ski and snowboard season a huge boost. Mammoth Mountain received between 4 and 6 feet, bringing the total so far this year to 17 feet.
Closer to Los Angeles, Mountain High — in the San Gabriel Mountains near Wrightwood — received nearly 2 feet from the storm and will be open into April.
At Lake Tahoe, resorts are calling it “Miracle March,” with upward of 11 feet of new snow reported at Squaw Valley. Alpine Meadows got a similar amount. And Kirkwood, south of Tahoe, received a respectable 9 feet of snow.
“This is a big help for us,” said Joani Lynch, a spokeswoman for Mammoth. “We are committed to keeping the entire mountain open through April 22. After that, we think we can make it to Memorial Day at the Main Lodge.”
Last year, a record-setter with 616 inches or 51-plus feet of snowfall, Mammoth was open through July 5.
Lynch said a new storm on the horizon could drop 12-18 inches.
“The calendar says spring, but we often get big storms during that month, “ she said. “So you never know.”
To lure skiers and snowboarders to the resort, Mammoth is offering $89 adult lift tickets for $69, if they are purchased by Tuesday. In addition, two-for-one flight deals to Mammoth from Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego airports are on sale through Tuesday.
Die-hards who buy their Mammoth 2012-13 season passes early can start using them April 15. The cost is $659, which pays for itself in about seven days. For other Mammoth deals, go to www.mammothmountain.com.
Tahoe resorts say they should be open well into April and perhaps May, depending on the weather. Many are offering bargains. To celebrate spring, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are offering “Springback 4 packs” for $244 for adults and $99 for kids, the equivalent of $61 a day for adults and $25 a day for kids.
Farther north, there will be skiing and snowboarding well into the summer on the Palmer Snowfield above Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon and on the Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain in British Columbia.
Imagine a place where people are assigned to a district by lottery, where they hone archery and slingshot skills and zip-line through dense forests to fight to the death for their own survival.
It happens in the movie “The Hunger Games,” which opened Friday, but it also will start happening in the woods of North Carolina, where the movie was shot.
OK, maybe not the fight to the death part. But the much-anticipated movie has spawned a “Hunger Games” adventure weekend where children as young as 10 years old (with an adult) can role-play and learn outdoor skills at DuPont State Recreational Forest outside Asheville, which provided the backdrop for key scenes in the film.
“Fans are going to see the film, then probably want to see the film again, and then after they’ve seen it a couple of times, they’ll want to go see the locations,” says Wit Tuttell, director of tourism marketing for the state’s Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development. The movie is based on the popular books written by Suzanne Collins about a dystopian society where children fight, gladiator-style, for their survival.
The tourism website outlines a self-guided “Hunger Games” tour that takes about four days to hit the highlights from Charlotte to Asheville and back. And Tuttell says he’s working with a company that’s promoting touring the state’s “Hunger Games” side to German tourists.
Itinerary highlights include seeing the Capital (a.k.a. Charlotte), District 12 (the town of Hildebran) and the Arena (the DuPont state forest, between Brevard and Hendersonville). And of course, there’s Price’s Chicken Coop, where actor Lenny Kravitz fell in love with the fried chicken while on location.
Do states really draw tourists because of their movie quotient? Tuttell points to Lake Lure, southeast of Asheville, which provided the setting for the famous lift-dance scene with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the original 1987 film “Dirty Dancing.” Fans have found their way to the lake ever since. “There’s a Dirty Dancing Festival that happens every year at Lake Lure,” Tuttell says. “And that film was made 25 years ago, before IMDB was even around.”
Here are details for “Hunger Games” fans who want in on the tours.
–“Hunger Games” 4-Day Itinerary
–12 Places to Experience “The Hunger Games”
–“Hunger Games” Fan Tour Adventure Weekend runs on selected dates from April through September. The cost is $389 per person and includes two nights in a lodge, outdoor skill-building events, meals and more.