tv The Travel Show BBC News December 22, 2020 3:30am-4:01am GMT
this is bbc news, the headlines: at least a0 countries have now put restrictions on travel to and from the uk, after the government here admitted the new, more infectious coronavirus variant is out of control. european union officials are trying to agree co—ordinated, strengthened, health protocols — for people travelling from britain. 32 years after the pan am disaster over lockerbie in scotland, the us has announced that terrorism charges have been brought against a libyan man accused of making the explosives that brought down the aircraft. 270 people lost their lives. us president—electjoe biden has appeared before the media to receive the covid—19 vaccine. mr biden and his wifejill were given their first doses publically in an effort to boost confidence in its safety and encourage others to take up the vaccine ahead of its widespread distribution next year.
many of the uk's highest infection rates are in london and the south—east of england, where the new variant of coronavirus is believed to be particularly prevalent. millions of people have had to change their christmas plans at the last minute, or abandon them completely. our home editor mark easton has been to thurrock in essex, one of the worst—affected areas. thurrock‘s christmas wonderland is closed — by law. the vast lakeside shopping centre almost deserted on what should have been one of the busiest days. but santa claus‘s grotto, another sign of the times. this part of essex appears to be the current epicentre of the outbreak, with the fastest—rising rate of infection anywhere in tier 4. plans have been thrown into chaos. people are making the best of it, but the joy and good will of christmas 2020 have been replaced by fear, frustration, and, in some cases, fury. yes, i'm saving christmas, and then, no. you're not having christmas.
how do you feel about that? i'm really angry. what the prime minister is offering is doolally. who is doolally? the prime minister. really? why? he should have locked it from the beginning, not now. i can't see my daughter, can't see my son, nephew, niece, brother. it was all planned for. we just have to change everything, you know, we have already bought food. it would have been nice to not make those plans, and then have the disappointment. i had to bury someone on wednesday, we found out we were going into tier 3, and then tier 4. i was in a state all weekend over it, to be fair. it is not very nice, having to cancel christmas. bit of a touch, really. i was meant to be going to the mother—in—law‘s, but i ain't going now, so it was a right touch. see you later. well, i was hugely impressed by your lights. while dad was isolating after being in hospital, the page family determined they would decorate their home
for christmas like never before. it's just been a horrendously awfulyear, so, ithink the lights help everyone. even when we are driving around, looking around at other people‘ lights, it cheers you up. on this, the darkest day of the year, people are looking for light. finding christmas joy where they can. mark easton, bbc news, thurrock, in essex. now it's time for the travel show. this week on the show: santa locked down in lapland. we try to offer all the visitors that christmas spirit and joy, despite of the challenging times. fixing the world's longest wall with the help of technology. is it true that 30% of the original wall has vanished? i think so, yeah. and a little warm holiday glow as months of enforced separation comes to
an end for one couple. hello and welcome to the programme, coming to you this week from a rather rainy norfolk in the east of england. well, christmas is most definitely on its way, and so many of us love to travel during december — but unfortunately this year isn't quite the same. still, sit tight, stay patient and let us bring the world to you. first up, traditionally, many of us love to travel around this time of year, but with so many restrictions currently, what's happening in those places where christmas
is a year—round obsession? well, it feels like a long time ago now, but around this time last year i was in the village of thursford for the uk's biggest annual christmas show. for over a0 years, people have been flocking here to see a traditional all—singing, all—dancing seasonal spectacular that's broken records and become a regular fixture in the christmas calendar of many people here in the uk. 150 artists take part each year, and last year, for one night only, i was lucky enough to be one of them. of course this year, things will be different. but christmas is far from cancelled. sadly there's no show — instead the vast performance spaces and grounds have been
transformed into a huge, dazzling light trail for people to explore. since first opening back in 1977, the cushing family have run the site and put on the annual christmas extravaganza. this is your baby, you've built this up from nothing, this business. yes. how hard was it personally for you to take the decision not to have the performers here? well, it was rather like a bereavement to stop it, so yes you're right, i have worked on christmas here for over a0 years. it starts almost as soon as one show is finished, and to produce it, write it, and direct it has been a major part of my life. so it is notjust me, it's the team i had around me, which have all, a lot of them have been living in the area for 20 years or more, the production team. so that emotional loss was difficult to cope with. in theory you could have shut down entirely, kept hold
of those pennies and waited until 2021, but you didn't, looking around, you really took steps to do something different. really a new business. i was confident that it would work, and confident it'd be a success because of the loyalty we have had from so many people, i have had literally hundreds of letters to say "we are coming to yourjourney of light because we've been coming to thursford for years," and i think that when they get here they won't be disappointed, because we have been working on this sincejuly. but of course, it's notjust thursford that's had to adapt this christmas. even for santa claus himself and his helpers up in santa's village in finnish lapland, things are a little different this year. i'm antti nikander, the busy elf. my position is head of development in this village. santa claus village is an international tourism centre in the middle of the official hometown
of santa claus, rovaniemi. we have normally more than 500,000 visitors in a year, they are coming from more than 100 countries. christmastime is the busiest time in our village, and we will receive during the busiest days, more than 5,000 people, and now we will receive maximum one third of that amount. 2,260 kilometres from here is london! finland has imposed strict measures on incoming visitors, effectively closing the borders to international tourists, which means that almost all of the visitors this year are from finland. we try to offer all the visitors that christmas spirit and joy, despite of these challenging times. the most valuable christmas
present is that vaccination. after that, we are able to focus and plan for the future. santa receives around half a million letters each year from children around the world. the elves sort them for santa in the post room and this year they have been as inundated as ever. i am riitta, riitta the elf, and i am working here in santa claus‘s main post office at the arctic circle. this is a real post office, but also i am helping santa claus with his letters. so, children write to santa claus, they make wish lists, also they tell about their families. and the letters, they are a little bit different when they come from western countries, then they have a little story about themselves, about the children's life and hobbies, but they have bigger lists. because of coronavirus, the post office was forced to close this year for seven
months, for the first time in its history. people, they cannot receive now, theirfamilies, but they can send a parcel. it's like santa claus sends those, although it is them. but of course the real magic happens in santa's office. in grottos around the world, children traditionally meet santa and reel off their wish lists for presents. but this year, social distancing means that santa has to do most of this virtually. although on the plus side, this does mean that a chat with santa is now open to anyone, like me earlier on today. 0h hello christa! hello santa. how are you today? very well on this dark morning in london. christa, what do you think — are you on the nice
the naughty list? you know what, i think, given this year i have been stuck at home, i haven't had to be naughty, santa, so i would like to think i am always on the nice list, but i think especially in 2020 i am on the nice list. so santa, tell me a bit about your year this year. of course it's difficult because we are doing it like this, people aren't so close, but this is the new way to do things and everybody should think about this way to do things, because you have to be close with people, and at the moment it's not possible in the normal way, so this is a very good way to do it. so i like it actually. and have you noticed any difference in the kinds of gifts that kids are wanting from santa this year? small changes — of course, the toys and those things, but quite many children want to have time with their parents, and that is quite heart—warming, i think, and this is the christmas to do that.
and so this year, i imagine you've got lots of questions about what your activities are going to be on christmas eve — it's your big night of the year, how is covid going to affect you this year, santa? not too much, because that's the magic of christmas. yes. i'm going to deliver all of those presents normally, don't worry, they are going to come there, but for social distancing, please stay in bed and sleep. back here in thursford, christmas celebrations are already in full swing. well, i guess it can't match the energy of the big show we saw last year, but there's plenty of noise and the set is spectacular and the people here seem to be really enjoying themselves. and there are people, on a rainy night in the middle of a pandemic, which is in
itself quite incredible. still to come on the travel show: we're in china, watching the cutting edge science being used to restore parts of the great wall. and the couples forced apart by border closures getting back together for christmas. up next, the latest in our series about the brand—new tech being used to restore and protect our most ancient treasures. the question is this week, how do you protect a monument that is 20,000 kilometres long? amanda headed to china to find out. this part of the great wall of china, located a two—hour drive from beijing, is not where tourists normally go. thejiankou section is perched on a mountain ridge at 1200 metres above sea level.
you have to hike up a mountain to get here. this didn'tjust make it less accessible to tourists, it also made it very difficult to repair. so give me a sense — what kind of shape was this section in before the repairs started, because we are sitting on a part that has been repaired. yeah. was it dangerous before? yeah. every year, maybe one or two people are dead on this period of the wall. hiking? hiking, yeah.
some — some hiking and fallen — falling down. for years, thejiankou section of the wall was considered so dilapidated, it's even been given a special name, part of the wild wall. so 25 years ago, i came up with this term wild wall to differentiate it from the tourist wall. the tourist wall are the places where the wall is being rebuilt, you buy a ticket, there's often a cable car. but the wilderness wall, which is, you know, there are thousands of kilometres of it, actually constitutes the world's greatest open air museum. william lindsay is a historian who fell so in love with thejiankou section of the wall, he moved here in the 1990s. is it true that 30% of the original wall — or walls, i should say — has vanished? i think so, yeah.
and tradition. you can see the mountains here. the machines can't come here. we have to use people. but we should use technologies to help these people to do this work better. you have seen that even in nowadays, people rebuild the walls using ancient ways — they use animals to carry the bricks and they use people to carry all the bricks. 0ther bricks! yeah, all the bricks on the wall! we can't use any machines or mechanic ways to rebuild the wall. we use people to do this. people whose work is now being helped by cutting—edge technology. so can you take me through, step by step, how this
process actually worked? 800 photos? and how long does it take? and if you did not have drone own footage and people had to go up and do all of this just themselves — so looking at things, taking photos themselves, measuring — how does that compare to this process? that drone footage was used with an algorithm to create a 3d model of the wall. it meant that every stage
could be closely monitored. if, for example, 100 stones were taken off part of the wall and then had to be replaced, the engineers could refer to the 3d model of the original wall to know exactly how they needed to be put back. the project has been so successful, they are now repairing a different part of the wall at xifengkou, 300 kilometres, or 185 miles, from beijing, using the same software and the same principles. this is the second project of the rebuilding ofjiankou great wall. the third one will it start maybe next year. 0oh! yeah. that's exciting! yeah. drones? hmm, of course! laughs. yeah, of course! amanda reporting there from the great wall of china. and there will be more from our future of the past series next year. this christmas, many of us
will be spending less time with our loved ones than we would like and there are some couples who have been separated because of border closures and travel bans who are desperate to see their partners. well, tens of thousands of people in this situation have rallied together to share tips and advice, as well as their own sweet successes, and we have met one of them. ryan ejezie ended up making the longest layover of his life when he was desperate to see his partner elena in america. and the only way he could get there was to fly to croatia and spend two weeks in quarantine before heading first to istanbul, and then finally onto the us. all i was seeing, all year, was just news. you'rejust bombarded with covid news. it's just like this travel is not happening. lockdown is getting worse. cases are rising. so when i started to see other people, real human beings, in the same situation, tackling the same challenges
and being able to ask them just straight up on facebook and get a response, i — then that planted the seed and then, i could think "yes, this is possible". love is not tourism is a grassroots global movement dedicated to reuniting binational couples and families who have been separated by travel bans and border closures, shutting down of the visa processes due to the pandemic. it was very meaningful to meet people, even just online, and to hear their stories. also to hear our successes and to collaborate. i wake up in the morning and then i'm like "let's do it! let's just commit! let's just go for it!" so friday morning, book a flight to croatia, booked two weeks airbnb. saturday, i'm in croatia. stewardess over pa: on behalf of the captain and the entire
crew, i'd like to welcome you here to zagreb. i'm too deep! i'm too — too committed to this! i'm either going to go all the way and get there or it's not going to work. i was worried! for sure, i was worried. i think when i initially booked everything, i got a huge rush. i'm excited, i'm like "well, i've booked this, i'm flying tomorrow, there's not even time. let me pack everything, let me get to heathrow, let me get to croatia". really empowered, i'm taking control of everything. i have not even told work that i'm going to be working in another country, haven't told work i'm going to be in america, working in another completely different time zone. we are more than willing to quarantine before, after — that is not an issue for any of us, and it never has been. we have always advocated for safe protocols where we prove that we have a real relationship and that we abide by any rules that are in the country and we will go
actually above and beyond those rules if need be, because we want people to know that we want you to be safe but at the same time, we understand that love is essential and our relationships are absolutely vital right now. only the night before i actually flew to turkey did i then check on the website just one last time. i did not get much sleep that night because i'm like everything is running through my head of everything that could go wrong but when the actual date came, it was just like a regular travel day. once i finally got in, it was just like finally! finally! it's all come! i have completed it! and it felt like a good accomplishment. a lot of stress was relieved from my shoulders. just for the whole notion of the whole idea of doing a two—week quarantine, or the longest layover i will ever do in my life, that was filled with a lot of sense of empowerment,
of taking control of myself and taking control of my life. but when i got to america, it was just relief! it was just relief that it was done. i think as a community, we give each other hope every time that we successfully reunite, one partner at a time, one family at a time. that gives us hope. there is light at the end of the tunnel. i think many of us have seen the successes in various countries, and that has motivated us to ask for the same kinds of protocols and exemptions in our own countries. she's coming here tomorrow for a month, which is amazing. and can't wait! can't wait! she just has to do a quarantine in england, as is the current rules, which is a bit nicer for her — no loneliness in croatia for her. but, yeah, i'm excited.
it should be a fun christmas because of it, so... hey, travel show. we are currently at home quarantining and getting ready for christmas. it's been a crazy year but we managed to make it work. we are getting engaged and now spending christmas and new year's together, so from the both of us, merry christmas. well, that's all we have time for on this week's programme butjoin us next time, when ade‘s taking a look back at the year that was 2020. a disastrous year for anyone who loves to travel. but among all the gloom, some moments of inspiration that give us hope for the months to come. groans. laughs. i can't do it! until then, you can find all of our recent adventures on the bbc iplayer. we are on social media, too, in all the usual places. but for now, from me
christa larwood and the rest of the travel show team, take care and we'll see you in 2021. hello there. the next couple of days, we are going to hold onto this north—south divide with northern areas seeing the colder, drier, brighter weather with some sunshine, a few showers, wintry on the hills. further south, it will continue to be fairly mild, but rather cloudy and wet thanks to low pressure nearby. this is the pressure chart as we head on into tuesday. we still have this weather front straddling southern areas, further north, though, we have got higher pressure. so, here, plenty of sunshine for northern ireland, scotland, much of northern england, midlands and into north wales. more cloud, though, across the south of the country, some spots of rain at times,
and here it will be milder. further north, it's going to be another chilly one with temperatures into single digits, some of these showers could be wintry on the hills because of the temperatures being quite low. but, again, double figures in the south. as we head through tuesday night, we see a new area of low—pressure push—up from the south—west. that's going to increase the cloud, outbreaks of rain across the southern half of the country. further north, it will tend to be clear again, there will be a few showers, which will be wintry, as temperatures will fall to around freezing for many — a touch of frost here. further south, though, you can see a—io degrees. so into wednesday, we've got this area of low—pressure, quite a vigorous system. more isobars on the charts, so through the day, it start to get windier. but, there is still some milder air with this area of low pressure. so, the southern half of the country stays cloudy, wet and mild, further north, it will be colder. but the cold air will win out as we move on into the christmas period. so, this is the chart for wednesday.
much of england and wales, perhaps even southern scotland will be cloudy with outbreaks of rain, some of it heavy in the south, and there is a chance of further flooding, as the rain is falling on saturated ground. another mild day here, 6—11 or 12 degrees in the south, but for scotland and northern ireland, a bright one with sunshine, one or two showers, wintry on the hills and low single digits. 0ur area of low—pressure begins to slide away into the near continent, it allows this high—pressure to topple in and bring us colder northerly winds. it pushes the rain away from the south—east. we could see showers in northern areas, particularly around the coast, and these will be wintry because it will be cold. but for many, it will be dry with more sunshine around, noticeably colder, particularly in the south a—7 degrees. so that's for christmas eve. christmas day, a cold start, could see some frost around, and with high—pressure around, it should be dry with variable amounts of cloud and some sunshine. but then it starts to become more unsettled again into boxing day.
at least a0 countries put restrictions on uk travel, as the country concedes it can't contain a more infectious variant of coronavirus. 32 years after the lockerbie disaster, america charges a libyan man with making the bomb which blew up pan am flight 103. a shot made for the cameras — us president—electjoe biden becomes the latest leading figure to get a virus vaccine on live tv. a special report from china. we speak to the scientist whose laboratory is suspected, by some, of being the origin of the outbreak.