December 18, 2015 540 Views in Headlines, News, Origination, Technology Acquisition Chronos Solutions Cogent Road 2015-12-18 Staff Writer Chronos Solutions recently announced its agreement to acquire San Diego-based mortgage technology company Cogent Road.According to Chronos Solutions, the acquisition will further expand its suite of products and services that support mortgage lenders and mortgage technology talent. The Cogent Road suite consists of LOS, verification, and credit/data platforms.Chronos Solutions CEO Matt Martin said that the acquisition brings more than 300 customers to the company’s family, in addition to adding to its broad suite of origination services.“Cogent Road offers an incredible array of superior origination technology,” Martin said. “The combination of these products with Chronos’ already-formidable suite of origination solutions empowers us to deliver end-to-end service to originators of any size.”The announcement noted that Cogent Road develops three core products for the mortgage origination market:Funding Suite is a premier credit and data purchasing platform designed for mortgage lenders. Funding Suite not only provides credit information but does so in a format that allows lenders to analyze ways to improve a borrower’s credit real time as well as tracks spend at the loan level.Tax Door is a fully automated tax transcript solution that allows users to order verified income data via Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts without requiring signed 4506Ts. Tax Door has a 100 percent success rate, where the industry is used to one in the 15 percent range.Roohmz is one of the leading loan origination systems in the industry.“Cogent Road prides itself on delivering flexible, robust technology designed to move the origination industry forward,” said William DiPaolohe, Cogent Road CEO. “In collaboration with Chronos’ wide variety of services and resources, we can deliver at elite levels virtually any service a mortgage lender might require.”In January, Chronos made its first acquisition of Realtybid.com, an online real estate auction marketplace, which has grown 800 percent since the deal occurred. “We expect to achieve similar levels of growth and success with Cogent Road as well,” Martin explained. The Cogent Road acquisition will mark the firm’s second acquisition.The announcement noted that financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.Martin further stated that Chronos intends to grow the Cogent Road acquisition into a mortgage and real estate technology lab, based in San Diego. “We expect to announce multiple new products and services in the coming year with the help of Cogent Road’s talented team,” he continued. Chronos Solutions Acquires Cogent Road Share
The increased popularity of the single-family rental (SFR) market in the last two years has led to an increased number of SFR homes built for the expressed purpose of renting. The market for detached SFR homes built-for-rent is on the rise despite a falling market share in the last three years, according to Robert Dietz, Vice President for Tax and Market Analysis for NAHB.For the fourth quarter of 2015, built-for-rent SFR homes accounted for about 3.5 percent of all SFR starts, according to data from the Census Bureau (Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design) and analysis from the National Association of Home Builders. While that market share is higher than the historical average of 2.8 percent, it is more than 2 percentage points lower than the market share at the start of 2013, just three years ago (5.8 percent).Meanwhile, the number of SFR homes built for the purpose of renting ticked up from 25,000 in 2014 to 26,000 in 2015, according to NAHB.“The market for single-family for-sale homes is growing faster,” Dietz said, noting that this was also the custom home market was also experiencing similar movements. “The 2014-2015 volume is higher than, for example, prior years, but market share is falling as the for-sale segment expands.”Dietz continued, “With the onset of the Great Recession, the share of built-for-rent homes rose. Despite the current elevated market concentration, the total number of single-family starts built-for-rent remains fairly low in terms of the total building market.”The share of built-for-rent SFR homes comprises a considerably smaller share of the total SFR portion of the nation’s stock of rental housing. According to a report from John Burns Real Estate Consulting in August 2015, about 12.7 million households rented a single-family detached home, which made up about 29 percent of the 44.3 million total renters nationwide.Burns noted in his report that the SFR market has traditionally been a “mom and pop” business (with about 54 percent of SFR landlords renting out only one house, according to data from RentRange), institutional investors were beginning to take note of the more than 12 million SFR detached home renters. He said he believes the competition of single-family rental homes with the detached resale and new home market has created a need for new homes to be built for single-family rentals.“Clearly, there is a subset of renters who will pay a premium to rent new, as evidenced by the 200K+ apartment units that are built and leased every year,” Burns said. “If it works for apartment developers, why has there not been much attempt to build single-family homes for rent? Those days are now ending.” February 24, 2016 731 Views in Data, Headlines, News Built for Rent Single-Family Rental 2016-02-24 Staff Writer Single-Family Built-for-Rent Market is on the Rise Share
Whereas the inaugural ACES Risk Management (ARMCO) Mortgage QC Industry report covering Q1 found that TRID-related loan defects were trending upward since TRID launched in October 2015, the latest ARMCO report covering Q2 found that actions taken to correct these defects are showing positive outcomes.Although the Legal/Regulatory/Compliance category was still the top defect category, there was a substantial drop in this category as a percentage of total loan defects from Q1 to Q2 (from 50 percent down to 34 percent, the first decline in nine months). There was little change in the Loan Package Documentation from Q1 to Q2 (held steady at 26 percent), according to ARMCO.“While TRID-related defects are still driving the majority of Legal/Regulatory/Compliance defects, we’re seeing a decline in defects in this category as a result of corrective action planning lenders undertook through the first six months of 2016,” said Phil McCall, COO for ARMCO. “As lenders determine the most effective strategies for addressing TRID-related defects, we expect to see this category decline further.”What corrective actions are lenders taking? Based on input from the lenders who contributed, the most reported corrective action taken was “working diligently with their loan origination system (LOS), internal personnel and external providers during the first six months post-TRID to implement automated solutions to mitigate many of the common data errors seen earlier in the implementation phase,” according to ARMCO. “An example of this collaboration is the concerted effort to standardize the naming conventions of all loan fees to provide consistency in how fees are disclosed from the initial LE thru the final CD.”Also, according to ARMCO, other strategies lenders are employing are the utilization of ad hoc training in order to address process errors and the implementation of best practices to “mitigate errors identified during early implementation.”The overall critical defect rate peaked in Q1 at 1.92 percent, but fell to 1.63 percent in Q2, according to ARMCO. This rate had been on an upward path since TRID went into effect in October 2015, from 0.77 percent in Q3 2015 up to 1.21 percent in Q4 2015 and 1.92 percent in Q2 2016.The ACES dataset includes quality control data from more than 60 lenders covering more than 60,000 loans. Click here to view the full report. Compliance Loan Defects TRID 2016-12-01 Seth Welborn December 1, 2016 817 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Lenders are Addressing TRID-Related Defects Share
December 5, 2016 1,500 Views Industry Reacts to Choice of Carson for HUD Secretary Ben Carson HUD President-Elect Donald Trump 2016-12-05 Rachel Williams in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Dr. Ben CarsonAs initially reported by MReport, President-elect Donald Trump has been on-record that he favored Dr. Ben Carson as the next HUD Secretary. On Monday, CNN reported that this preference became official with Trump’s transition team announcing the appointment.According to CNN, in the announcement Trump praised Carson, 65, for his intelligence and tenacity, saying, “Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities. We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who became a household name last year when he began a campaign to win the Republican nomination for the presidency, has never served in a government position.”Dr Carson is an intelligent, impassioned, and empathetic individual,” said Tim Rood, Chairman of The Collingwood Group. “Sometimes the very best policy makers are those who listen and sometimes, good leaders who are not steeped in the subject matter are better listeners than those who believe they have all the answers. After a challenging eight years, what HUD and the country really needs now is an opportunity for our public officials to address problems from a fresh and open-minded perspective and listen to the industry.”“Hailing from Detroit, Dr. Carson is all too familiar with the housing issues related to inner-city housing,” said Ed Delgado, Five Star Institute President and CEO. “It is our hope that, as HUD Secretary, he puts forth policies and programs intended to rebuild markets hard hit by the Great Recession.”National Association of Realtors President William E. Brown stated, “Realtors know that the incoming Secretary of Housing and Urban Development has a big job ahead. Potential homebuyers face a range of hurdles, from rising prices to mortgage credit that’s burdened by fees and extra costs. We congratulate Dr. Carson on accepting this important challenge and wish him the very best of luck in meeting the task ahead. While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans. The National Association of Realtors and its 1.2 million members looks forward to working with Dr. Carson to fulfill this important mission.”Ed Brady, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said, “NAHB congratulates Dr. Carson on his nomination as HUD secretary. He is a thoughtful leader who is sure to assemble a professional team of policy experts and be a great spokesperson for housing. Upon his confirmation to the Cabinet post, NAHB looks forward to working with Dr. Carson to promote pro-housing policies that support homeownership, provide rental housing opportunities for low- and middle-income households, and remove regulatory barriers that are needlessly raising housing costs for hard-working American families.”Carson, who was raised in the inner city of Detroit, told Neil Cavuto on November 22 that the inner cities are in “terrible shape” and need “real attention.””You know, there have been so many promises made over the last several decades, and nothing has been done,” Carson said. “So it certainly is something that has been a long-term interest of mine. And I’ll be thinking and praying about it seriously.”Trump’s initial announcement in November that he was considering Carson to lead HUD came as a surprise to many because Carson reportedly said on November 15 that he does not want to serve in the Trump Administration.On November 21, however, Carson told Fox News that he would give “very serious consideration” if he were offered a cabinet position in the Trump Administration. He explained his position via Facebook later that same day, saying, “There is no reversal of my position in terms of working with the Trump administration. I have always made it clear that I preferred to work outside of the government as an advisor, but if called upon, I would serve inside of the government. I believe it is important to have voices that are outside of the administration combating media bias and the divisiveness that has infected our country.”I am thrilled to nominate Dr. @RealBenCarson as our next Secretary of the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development: https://t.co/zYGi8fGnL5 pic.twitter.com/1D9NXlHc2b— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2016In the days following that Fox News interview, Carson dropped a couple of hints that he would play a key role in the new Trump Administration. On November 23, he tweeted, “An announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again.” That same day, he announced via Twitter, “We have much work to do in strengthening every aspect of our nation and ensuring that both our physical & spiritual infrastructure is solid.”“Hailing from Detroit, Dr. Carson is all too familiar with the housing issues related to inner-city housing,” said Ed Delgado, Five Star Institute President and CEO. “It is our hope that, as HUD Secretary, he puts forth policies and programs intended to rebuild markets hard hit by the Great Recession.”While Carson does not have any experience with housing policy or with serving in government, he has previously spoken out about housing policy. In 2015, Carson wrote an editorial for the Washington Times criticizing an Obama Administration triumph, HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which Carson said was “designed to ‘desegregate’ housing by withholding funds from communities that fail to demonstrate their projects ‘affirmatively further’ fair housing.”Carson pointed out that mandated busing following the landmark Brown v. The Board of Education decision failed to make any progress toward integrating schools, and he does not believe the AFFH will fare any better when it comes to housing.“These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse,” Carson wrote in the Washington Times. “There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous.” Share
Apartment List Apartmentlist.com Home buying Millennials Renters 2017-05-26 Brianna Gilpin Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News The rate of homeowners in the U.S. has reached a historic low. Many question if the largest living generation, millennials, will purchase homes at similar rates to previous generations. Apartment List’s annual renter survey included input from 24,000 millennials, which they analyzed to better understand homeownership plans.According to Apartment List, 80 percent of renters in the U.S. plan to eventually purchase a home; however affording a home is a significant obstacle. Apartment List said, based on current saving rates, millennials, born between 1982 and 2004, vastly underestimate the amount of savings necessary for a down payment. Many millennials may need up to a decade to save up the needed amount, per Apartment List’s analysis.In many parts of the country, recent improvements in the labor market have not meant that entry-level homes have been more affordable to millennials. According to Apartment List, this leaves millennials with three choices: extend their budgets and purchase at higher debt-to-income ratios, heightening the risk of mortgage default; migrate to more affordable areas; or delay buying a home.Using Dallas as an example of this trend, apartment list found that of 82 percent of millennials that plan to buy, 72 percent are waiting because they cannot afford to buy. Forty-five percent of millennials are not ready to settle down and 37 percent are waiting for marriage to purchase a home. The expected amount of years to save for a down payment was 5.1 years, however based on their current savings rate, Dallas millennials will need 9.3 years on average to save enough for a 20 percent down payment.Though millennials in Dallas estimate the down payment to be $20,380, based on the median apartment condo price, a 20 percent down payment would be $33,660, 39 percent more than the estimated amount.Apartment List said homeownership has traditionally been a key component of the American Dream and the primary driver of wealth creation for families. Despite recent leveling off following the aftermath of the 2008 housing market collapse, rates have not shown signs of recovering to its pre-recession peak. Lack of savings combined with the shortage of affordable starter homes could leave a large amount of millennials renting for years. May 26, 2017 660 Views Millennials: Want to Buy, Forced to Rent
D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Now, if he takes the next step like Prisco suggests hewill, chances are good the second-year pro will find hisway back to the Pro Bowl (assuming it still exists),albeit for a different reason than before. Comments Share Peterson finished the year with 64 tackles, twointerceptions and 13 passes defensed, showing that theability is there to become one of the league’s bettercornerbacks. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories Patrick Peterson may have been a Pro Bowler as a rookie in2011, but that has not stopped a prominent NFL writer topick him as a breakout candidate for 2012. In fact, if CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco isright, Peterson, who is an impact player in the returngame, will become the cover corner the team needs.Yes, he flashed as a return man, but I think he will takea huge step forward as a cover corner this season. You sawmore of it in the second half last season.
Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The National Football League’s Cardinals have played 25 seasons in the state of Arizona. In those 25 seasons, 28 different quarterbacks have started a game for the team. Of those 28 different quarterbacks, just one — Kurt Warner — threw for more than 4,000 yards in a Cardinals uniform (once), and only Warner tossed more than 21 touchdowns in a single season (three times). In the franchise’s history, only two quarterbacks have eclipsed 4,000 yards and just seven times has a passer thrown for more than 21 touchdowns. 0 Comments Share Carson Palmer, whom the Cardinals just traded for Tuesday, passed for 4,018 yards and 22 touchdowns last season as an Oakland Raider. If he posted those stats in Arizona, his season would go down in the annals of the team’s history as one of the best of all-time.That right there says two things: one, the team’s history at the position is, well, dreadful. And two, Palmer, at 33, still has quite a bit left in the tank. And for the record, Warner was 33 when the Cardinals signed him back in 2005 (and turned 34 before he ever took a snap for the team). Can lightning strike twice?This is not to say Palmer is guaranteed to become the next Warner, but he arrives with similar baggage. An older QB whose best days appear to be behind him, Palmer was had for conditional late picks because few believe he’s capable of playing at an elite level and leading a team. Warner was available as a free agent for similar reasons. In Arizona, Palmer will have an offense that fits his style of play, a Pro Bowl receiver to throw the ball to and a coach who believes in him. Oh, he’ll also probably have a bit of a chip on his shoulder.The one thing he does not appear to have is a stable offensive line in front of him, though head coach Bruce Arians has expressed great confidence in the group and also has the seventh overall selection in the upcoming draft at his disposal. And note, you do not go out and acquire an old, pocket-passing quarterback without making sure your offensive line can keep him upright. The yardage total would place Palmer 11th on the team’s all-time list; the touchdowns would put him in a tie for eighth. Who wouldn’t take that? – / 11 At the very least, you have to once again give the Cardinals credit. Two years ago they paid a hefty price to acquire Kevin Kolb, who was an unproven QB some thought to be the best on the market; now they paid a bargain-basement price for Palmer, who has 29,465 yards, 189 touchdowns and a pair of Pro Bowls on his résumé. For a team that has tried various options in replacing Warner — a high draft pick (Matt Leinart), a cannon-armed former Pro Bowler (Derek Anderson), an undrafted free agent (Max Hall), a late-round pick with a strong arm (John Skelton) or a high-profile player just waiting for an opportunity (Kevin Kolb) — it appears the Cardinals have finally decided the best way to replace Warner is to try and find the next one.And that could be Palmer.While he may not lead the Cardinals to the same heights Warner did, you can’t fault the Cardinals for trying. After all, given what we’ve seen at the position the last three years, mere competence will be a refreshing upgrade that could, get this team back to the postseason. The good news is Palmer has proven himself to be better than competent. Look at it this way: an “average” Palmer season is roughly 3,274 yards with 21 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
TEMPE, Ariz. — Carson Palmer is no longer injured.Well, at least he’s no longer injured to the point where he is unable to practice or do what a normal, healthy quarterback would do throughout the week.“It’s just nice to practice and be able to study the night before and know what you’re putting in, and then go out and test it and practice and kind of have some trial and error of different coverages, different plays,” Palmer said Wednesday. “It’s nice to be psychologically prepared because you know you’ve done it in practice and you know you’ve repped those plays and had those looks. Top Stories “I just look forward to today’s practice, tomorrow and Friday and getting ready to play Sunday.”Palmer is preparing for his third game since returning from a nerve injury that sidelined him for three of the team’s matchups. He did not put in a full week of practice prior to facing Washington, and last week he was listed as “limited” for two of the team’s practices in preparation for the Oakland Raiders.His name was nowhere to be found on Wednesday’s Week 8 injury report, indicating his shoulder is fine and the issue is a thing of the past.“Yeah, knock on wood hopefully we don’t have to talk about that one anymore,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said, while actually knocking on the wooden table he was seated at.According to the 34-year-old Palmer that’s essentially the case, as he said he’s at a point in the recovery process where he does not even think of the nerve.“Yeah, I’m there right now,” he said. “I’m actually able to lift now, upper-body, which I wasn’t able to lift for I think five weeks is what it was. Definitely had a lot of atrophy so starting to get some strength back and starting to put in a little extra weight on top, which is good. You get sick of going in the weight room and not being able to do things and that was a month of that. It’s good to be doing that stuff again.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling In two games since his return, Palmer has completed 50-of-77 passes for 503 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. On the season, he is completing 66.1 percent of his passes for 807 yards with six touchdowns and just one pick. He is not quite back to the player he was before the injury, but he gets a little closer with every day that passes.“It’s throwing strength and all those things come with throwing, and to get that back it takes a couple weeks,” he said. “It doesn’t take months, it doesn’t take a month — it takes a couple weeks. It’s hard to say right now, but I would think going into Dallas week I’d feel close to 100 percent.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires
Receivers J.J. Nelson and John Brown walk the field during training camp on Aug. 2. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Peters admitted his initial thought upon getting hurt took him back to last year’s injury, but being able to walk off the field and into the locker room was a sign that whatever he did was probably not all that devastating.Like Arians, Peters feels like a bullet was dodged.“For sure,” he said. “Just sitting out last year on such a good team, you just really want to be a part of it and do your part to help the team, and that’s no different now.“I’m just excited that it’s not too serious and we’ll be able to get back soon.”The 28-year-old said he was physically back to 100 percent and was working the rust off in practice. Peters said it’s disappointing that he’ll miss some time because he enjoys the reps. He is hopeful about making it back in time to get enough work in before Week 1.The key, however, is not rushing his return.“It’s just smart to make sure everything is 100 percent and healthy before we go back out there,” he said. “It’s a lot of pressure — sometimes you’ve got to get in there and take on double teams and that sort of thing, so you definitely want to be ready before you step back into that.” – / 23 He said Mathieu is “looking at probably two weeks” with the same going for Rucker, as well.“I think (Robert) Nkemdiche is probably less than that,” Arians added. “(Elie) Bouka about the same — probably less than two.”The coach joked that the funny thing with trainers is that the injuries were projected to be three weeks and now, with one week in the books, he’s ready to shorten the timeline even if the trainers are not.One player whose timeline may be hastened is Bethel’s, as the CB is on the sidelines while rookie Brandon Williams is trying to earn a starting job that at one time seemed reserved for him.“He’s taking hellacious advantage of it,” Arians said. “I imagine Justin is probably getting healthier; he’s seeing it too.”A SCARE BUT ONLY THATAs Arians said, the injury Peters suffered Tuesday ended up not being all that bad.But for a player who missed all of last season with an Achilles injury, the simple fact of getting hurt at all was at first a frightening proposition.“Freaked out for a second, that being the same leg as the Achilles, but really has nothing to do with that and it’s just something minor, and we’ll work through it,” Peters said. “Hopefully, get back pretty soon.” 0 Comments Share Some of those players have already returned; many have not.Following Thursday’s morning walk-through and before the afternoon practice, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians provided some updates on the walking wounded.“Good news on Alani Fua: he will not need surgery,” Arians said of the second-year pro who suffered a knee injury earlier in the week. “Corey Peters is just plantar fasciitis, so we kind of dodged a bullet on those two.“Everybody else is still the same.”Arians said Brown is still going through the concussion protocol, adding they will take their time with the third-year pro and not rush him back.“We’re going to take our time and make sure he’s completely healed,” the coach said.In the cases of Peters and Brown, with their respective ailments, the timetable for a return is a little unclear. Peters said he’s heard recovery can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple weeks, noting it’s really about pain level. And Brown, of course, will get back on the field when his symptoms subside and he gets cleared by the team’s doctors.As for the rest of the injured, Arians has some ideas on when they’ll be back. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals have gone through five practices — three of which have seen them in pads — and not surprisingly, their injury list has grown.The good news, however, is none of the ailments appear to be serious.The Cardinals entered camp with Tyrann Mathieu, Frostee Rucker, Justin Bethel and Zack Wagenmann on the PUP list, and since that time have also seen John Brown, J. J. Nelson, Jermaine Gresham, Red Bryant, Evan Mathis, Alani Fua and Corey Peters, among others, miss some time. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories
TEMPE, Ariz. – Ask Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to talk about himself and he quickly ducks, dodges or simply ignores the question.Now ask Fitzgerald about any of his teammates, coaches or opponents — past or present — and he’ll speak in glowing terms.The trick is to find a happy medium. And one was found Thursday.With 26 receiving yards this week against Tennessee, Fitzgerald will move past 2018 Hall of Fame semifinalist Randy Moss (15,292) for third place on the NFL’s all-time receiving yardage list. Top Stories Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) tries to elude Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) “Well, I’m not there yet. I got work to do,” Fitzgerald said. “But, to look up to somebody like that for so long and respect him and love the person that he is, it really means a lot. It’s humbling. It makes you appreciative. Some of things that I’m able to do in my career are things that I learned from him.”A new left tackle?It’s looking more and more like rookie Will Holden will be the Cardinals’ starting left tackle on Sunday. Jared Veldheer missed a second straight day of practice with an elbow injury.“I feel comfortable over there,” said Holden, who has played in five games including a start at left guard against San Francisco in Week 4. “Every week you dress, you always got to be ready. We’ve had a few injuries this year, so when your number is called, you just have to ready at all times, whether that’s on gameday, in practice, you name it. You always have to be ready.”In addition to Veldheer, running back Adrian Peterson (neck) sat out practice again, while Josh Mauro (ankle) and Patrick Peterson (hamstring) went from limited to not practicing, according to Thursday’s injury report.Wide receiver John Brown (toe) and defensive lineman Corey Peters (ankle) were upgraded to limited. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 5 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Dollar linebacker Deone Bucannon (ankle), long snapper Dustin Drescher (elbow), tight end Troy Niklas (hip/knee), center A.Q. Shipley (shoulder) and running back Kerwynn Williams (ribs) were each upgraded to full participation.Amos Jones ignores the noiseLike most coaches, special teams coordinator Amos Jones does not listen to talk radio or bother to read what’s written about him, whether in the newspaper or online.“I don’t read articles,” he told ArizonaSports.com on Thursday. “I don’t get many interviews, probably because I’m not a good interviewer or I’m not going to throw anybody underneath the bus. But, the thing is I don’t pay attention to outside stuff.”And there’s been quite a bit of outside noise, going back to last season concerning the Cardinals’ special teams play.This season, it’s been much of the same. Special teams will perform well one week (Week 12 against Jacksonville) and then just the opposite the next week (Week 13 against the Rams).“I did get a ‘fire Amos Jones’ letter from an envelope that was from an American Express company this spring. I kept it, but then I realized I didn’t have an American Express card anyway, so they weren’t mad at me for not paying my bill but it was a ‘fire Amos Jones’ (letter). “Well, I love Randy. He taught me this game. I grew up immortalizing him, watching him, trying to emulate what he was doing every single day,” he said. “Any time that you can have your name mentioned in the same sentence as Randy Moss, you got to be happy.”Moss was one of the many Minnesota Vikings players who took a then-young Fitzgerald under their wing. They showed up at his Friday night high school football games. They gave him their used cleats and gloves.In return, Fitzgerald would wash their cars to earn some spending money. And how did Moss pay?“Straight cash, homey,” Fitzgerald said, smiling, repeating an often quoted Moss line. “He only paid in cash. I don’t think he’s ever wrote a check.”Moss had two cars, according to Fitzgerald. He had a Range Rover and 740 BMW, a blue one. Fitzgerald borrowed one — he didn’t say which one — for prom and “I brought it back without a scratch.”Moss was always very, very generous.“He’s always been over-the-top kind to me,” Fitzgerald said.Fitzgerald has moved up five spots on the all-time receiving yardage list in the last nine games. Last week, he passed Isaac Bruce (15,208) for fourth place.Moving ahead of Moss, though, would take on added significance. “Winning and losing in this business is such a fine line,” Jones said. “The bottom line for us as coaches is, it’s about those guys in the room, about their respect, my peers’ respect in and around the league.”A dozen players now on IRThe Cardinals’ list of players on injured reserve grew by one on Thursday, when the team added safety Rudy Ford. That makes 12 players.Ford had played 10 games — all on special teams — before a knee issue sidelined him the past two weeks and now has ended his rookie season. Ford was a sixth-round draft pick, the 208th overall selection, out of Auburn.Safety Harlan Miller has been elevated to the active roster from the practice squad.
Go back to the e-newsletter >United Airlines announced today that it will introduce the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft to replace the Boeing 777-200 on its daily Sydney–San Francisco and Sydney–Los Angeles services, effective 27 March and 28 March 2016 respectively. UA already operates its Melbourne-Los Angeles route using the 787-9.Alison Espley, UA’s Managing Director, Japan and Pacific, Sales said: “This is another great milestone for United in Australia. We’re excited about introducing the game-changing 787-9 on both our routes from Sydney. This aircraft has redefined flying for our Melbourne customers and we’re delighted that our Sydney passengers will now also enjoy the superior inflight comfort and amenities that the Dreamliner offers. This announcement demonstrates United’s continued strong commitment to the Australian market, which we have been serving for almost 30 years.”UA, the North American launch customer for the 787-9, deployed the aircraft type internationally for the first time last year when it introduced a nonstop service between Melbourne and Los Angeles, breaking a world record for the longest 787 route to date. UA offers Australian customers more than 200 daily connections via its San Francisco and LAX hubs to over 90 destinations across the United States.The 787-9 has a total of 252 seats in 2 cabins – 48 in United BusinessFirst, with seats arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration, and 204 in United Economy, including 63 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space. United BusinessFirst offers a superior business-class service. The BusinessFirst seat reclines 180 degrees into a 1.98m lie-flat bed and features a personal on-demand entertainment system with a 39cm touch-screen monitor. BusinessFirst amenities include laptop power, USB ports and a multi-course meal with complimentary wines.United Economy offers complimentary food, beer, wine, soft drinks and inflight entertainment. Seats feature an adjustable headrest and a 22.8cm personal seat-back monitor delivering a personal on-demand inflight entertainment system.United Economy Plus offers up to 12.7cm of extra legroom. Located near the front of the Economy cabin, the seats give the added benefit of allowing a swifter exit from the plane upon arrival. The aircraft offers satellite-based Wi-Fi and power outlets.UA currently has 19 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in its fleet and expects to take delivery of 6 more 787 Dreamliners by the end of 2015.Go back to the e-newsletter >
Go back to the e-newsletterMSC Cruises’ annual 96-hour sale is back and is the perfect excuse for holidaymakers to book their next adventure, with savings of up to 50 per cent.Valid on selected itineraries travelling between February and November 2016, travellers are encouraged to take advantage with over 90 departures to choose from.Discover some of the world’s most beautiful destinations and enjoy exceptional value with savings available across 11 of MSC’s luxury ships. With itineraries cruising the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Northern Europe, and selected Grand Voyages, there is sure to be something for everyone.Bag a bargain and explore the Mediterranean with a seven-night cruise departing from Genoa on board MSC Preziosa starting at $426 per person.Holiday makers are encouraged to take advantage and cruise for longer with the option to combine itineraries. Combine the seven-nights east and seven-nights west cruise to embark on a 14-night Caribbean adventure on board MSC Divina starting from $1099 per person.The sale begins midnight 26 January 2016 and ends midnight 29 January 2016 EST.Go back to the e-newsletter
The answer? Nothing. Australians are showing the love to brands from overseas more than home-grown companies, according to the inaugural NetBase Top 50 Brand Love List, released today. The report places Instagram as the most loved brand in Australia with Telstra – ranking at only number 11 – the first Australian brand to make the overall list.“Australians have a real love and passion for connectivity and social media with Social Media, SMS and Technology industries featuring heavily in the top 10 Love List. It could be due to Australia being so far away from the rest of the world geographically, that Aussies love the way social channels keep them connected to the rest of the world. This is quite different from the UK counterparts who tend to favour more luxury brands such as Chanel and Christian Dior,” said NetBase Chief Marketing Officer, Paige Leidig.The top 10 global brands loved by Australians were revealed as:1. Instagram2. Facebook3. Amazon4. Twitter5. Apple6. Snapchat7. Pokémon8. Pinterest9. Etsy10. Playstation / SonyHome-grown brands“We would like to see more Australian brands using social to connect with and service their customers, the first local brand to appear in the list was Telstra at number 11 of the overall ranking. The most popular home-grown brands ranking showed quite a few surprises – while it is commonly perceived that Aussies hate the telcos, NetBase revealed that two of them are featured in the top five.The top 10 Australian brands loved by Australians were revealed as:1. Telstra2. Qantas3. Optus4. Woolworths5. Virgin Australia6. Macquarie7. Westpac8. ANZ9. Vegemite10. Westfield“Fans were very excited about Optus’ sports coverage and partnership with the English Premier League but it was Telstra that has stolen the hearts of the homeland, by providing consistent positive customer service experience even during difficult times like outages and payment errors.“Woolworths is still winning the war on social against rival Coles in the NetBase Love List, with customers discussing the greatest value they can get from their Woolies supermarkets. Airlines – Qantas and Virgin Australia and financial services – Macquarie, Westpac, ANZ – also featured heavily in the home-grown ranking.” said Mr Leidig.The NetBase Top 50 Love List takes a close look at the brands Aussies express the most love for in social media, using patented natural language processing technology to showcase the strongest, most positive consumer emotions towards brands.The Automotive (16 per cent), Retail (16 per cent) and Technology (14 per cent) industries feature most within the overall Australian Top 50 Brand Love List, however that number is not reflected in the volume of positive mentions, with Social Media & SMS (71 per cent) taking up a significant piece of the pie before eCommerce (eight per cent) and Technology (six per cent).This report heralds the arrival in Australia of NetBase, the global leader in enterprise social analytics, as recognised by Forrester.“We are here to help companies understand how to enhance their social media strategy to meet business goals such as boosting customer engagement; and build a tribe of loyal followers. Social is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but should play an integral part in every business and marketing strategy,” said Mr Leidig.
Etihad Airways has been named The Middle East’s Leading Airline at the World Travel Awards Middle East, representing a decade of dominance in the category, and one of four accolades during at the ceremony at The St. Regis Dubai.The national airline of the UAE also won awards for the Middle East’s Leading Airline – First Class, the Middle East’s Leading Airport Lounge for its First Class Lounge & Spa at Abu Dhabi International Airport and the Middle East’s Leading Cabin Crew.Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “These awards are about excellence in the travel and tourism industry, and since winning The Middle East’s Leading Airline award for the first time in 2006, our journey of excellence has been remarkable.“This recognition demonstrates a sustained focus on delivering the very best products, service and value through innovation in a competitive marketplace. This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our staff and business partners, and, of course, the support of guests globally who have chosen to travel with us.”Etihad Airways has grown from 22 aircraft, flying to 43 destinations and supported by 4369 staff in 2006 – to a fleet of 123 aircraft, serving 117 destinations with nearly 27,000 multi-national staff today.The Abu Dhabi-based airline has become synonymous with the highest standards in products and service, including the best First Class offering in the world. The First Apartment aboard the Airbus 380 and the First Suite on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are at the forefront of luxury air travel, building on the award-winning First Class experience on the A330, A340 and Boeing 777 fleet. The Residence, with its elite Butlers, is in a league of its own within the A380. The airline continues to be the world’s only full service carrier offering a three-room suite in the sky.Mr Baumgartner added: “It is also a major achievement to win the Middle East’s Leading Airport Lounge following the opening in May of Etihad Airways’ First Class Lounge & Spa at Abu Dhabi International Airport. What we now offer is quite simply the best airline hospitality experience in the world.”Inspiration for the lounge comes from the finest examples of hotels, private members’ clubs and restaurants. The facility includes an à la carte restaurant, cigar lounge, Six Senses Spa, fitness room, Style & Shave barbers, nail bar and children’s play room – all to ensure guests can relax, re-energise and be immersed in entertainment ahead of their flights.While Etihad Airways boasts a modern fleet of aircraft, the airline exudes a classic elegance with its Italian-designed cabin crew uniforms. The airline’s international cabin crew are highly trained, while the warmth and friendliness they bring to the cabin environment reflect the importance of personality during recruitment. Also enhancing the experience are the Onboard Chefs, Food and Beverage Managers, Butlers and Flying Nannies.Now in its 23rd year, the World Travel Awards celebrates excellence across key sectors of the travel and tourism industry. Winners are initially selected at six regional ceremonies, including the Middle East event, before progressing to a year-end global finale. Votes are cast by travel industry executives and travel consumers.
One of Europe’s most famous luxury hotels has undergone such a face-lift that it is more a face transplant. Go into Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin and your mouth opens in amazement. Gone was the dark and Germanic front desk and concierge area that had been there since 1998. In its place is a light and airy theatre. Also, there is a lovely new MD, Matthias Al-Amiry, a would-be professional handball player who, following an accident when he was 18, diverted to hospitality through his love of people and travel (banking, he says, would have been just too boring).The Jagdfeld family has been synonymous with this 383-room hotel for as long as most can remember. Originally, in 1998, the main designer was Ezra Attia, from London, with bedrooms by AB Living Design, from Stockholm. Now Jagdfeld Design is leading the transformation. The ballroom is next to receive the magic wand and I was lucky enough to see the renderings of future bedroom looks, which will add soft green or purple to the palette (why did designers ever think browns were attractive?). Apart from the colour scheme, as always, I loved room 518; a walk-through space from foyer to living-bedroom to bathroom, then toilet and foyer, or vice versa. Three pairs of French windows look down at Unter den Linden and to the left the Brandenburg Gate.As always, I am addicted to this hotel’s divine breakfast, though it has moved from the ground floor Quarré, which now only serves lunch and dinner. Today, from the lobby, you take 28 aquamarine-carpeted stone steps, or a lift, up to the mezzanine that goes around the lobby and then sit at one of the crisp white tables right next to the parapet and you can see all the activity below. The small meeting room next to it is now the permanent breakfast buffet, with attendant chef. Add the luxury of the caviar and blini selection. There are half a dozen smoothie types, the cheeses and meats (and fish) that Germans love for breakfast, and stacks of glorious floral plates, surprisingly from the traditional china company Dibbern, which are sure to make you smile.I smile at so many unique memories of this luxury hotel. In the morning, shoes returned after cleaning are set outside appropriate doors, in black fabric bags on white-lined black trays. Your newspapers hang outside your door in a shallow fabric bag from which you can easily extract your Financial Times and International New York Times without the least bit of a tussle.Another big plus for staying in a great hotel is having a 24/7 concierge team. My trip coincided with the folks at Berlin’s Tegel Airport going on strike. I later heard stories of others taking cars, at €1200, to Hamburg Airport. The concierge team at Hotel Adlon Kempinski, via a colleague in Bremen, were able to get myself on a flight out of Hannover: they arranged a suitable train (a mere €118) to Hannover and drove me to Berlin’s hauptbahnhof in a Maybach. While I waited, a considerable baritone from the city’s Staatsoper was singing in the four-floor open concourse, his rich tones relayed to, and much appreciated by, the thousands of travellers hurrying this way and that, like a Lowry painting. I doubted that the concierge team at Hotel Adlon Kempinski arranged the concert, but for them nothing is impossible.(Mary Gostelow travels over 300 days a year, doing one-night stands in top hotels around the world. Read her daily travelogue, www.girlahead.com)
Katarina Line, Croatia’s premier small ship cruise company and DMC, has announced that it will be introducing new, more luxurious and modern vessels for 2018 as part of a fleet-wide rebranding programme that raises its category of ships to six from its current four-category designations of Deluxe, A+, A and B.Beginning with the 2018 cruise season, the new categories will be:Deluxe Superior, newer and larger ships that are a minimum of 47 metres long, built or updated within the past yearDeluxe, state-of-the-art ships between 41 and 47 metres longPremium Superior, newer category A+ ships similar to the current Deluxe ships but a bit smaller in lengthPremium, the smaller of Katarina’s spacious, steel-hulled ships.Katarina Line’s more traditional wooden ships will be classified in two additional categories: Traditional Ensuite, featuring cabins with private shower/toilets; and Traditional, a smaller line of wooden ships with shared showers and toilets. Both categories will also feature an air-conditioned salon.“The popularity of small ship cruising in the Mediterranean has increased the demand for larger, more luxurious vessels that cater for the new generation of travellers. These travellers are seeking soft adventures ‘on the high seas’ with more lavish accommodation, gourmet dining and superior, personalised service,” said Daniel Hauptfeld, marketing director for Katarina Line.Each of Katarina Line’s new vessel categories is distinguished by ship design and facilities, as well as by different levels of service, onboard dining, excursions, and other amenities. For example, all Deluxe Superior vessels include live entertainment twice a week and four-course meals. Ships in the Deluxe category will offer similar amenities as the Deluxe Superior, though with live entertainment only once a week. Ships in the Premium Superior, slightly smaller in length, will include daily breakfast and lunch, and a Captain’s dinner and three guided sightseeing tours based on one-week cruises, whereas the Premium category ships will offer only one guided sightseeing tour, based on a one-week cruise.“It’s all about meeting the needs of the widest range of cruise clients, from those who seek the more intimate, basic cruise experience founded upon the long tradition of wooden ships, to the most demanding cruise clients who expect the very best in luxury and service,” said Hauptfeld. “Our new rebranding will allow travellers of every budget to pick the perfect vessel to meet their needs.”
RelatedSkyEurope leads LCCs on e-ticketing transitionSkyEurope Airlines has become the first low cost carrier (LCC) to meet international aviation requirements.Abacus partners Indian airlineAsia’s largest global distribution system has announced it will be partnering with Indian low cost airline.Singapore joins low cost terminal trendPlans are in place for a huge expansion project to bolster the budget airline terminal at a leading Asian travel hub. Low cost airlines and more established ‘legacy carriers’ are catering to different markets – and both should be accommodated by GDS systems, it has been claimed.GDS specialist Travelport told Eyefortravel.com that the Asian market was experiencing a low cost carrier (LCC) travel boom, but insisted that legacy carriers are also innovating.Simon Nowroz, Travelport managing director for Asia, said: “In Asia we have seen new low cost terminals and airports in cities like Singapore and Kuala Lumpur built to cater for the ever growing number of low cost carriers.”The recent construction of the dedicated Singapore Airport Budget Terminal marked an encroachment of low cost airlines on the traditional territory of legacy carriers, but the more established airlines were claimed by Mr Nowroz to be taking on their low budget rivals with newly competitive pricing, as well as flight route expansions and investment in new aircraft.”Legacy carriers are not standing still and cannot be underestimated,” he added, suggesting that a strong market remained for both – and could be best exploited by adapting GDS products to new LCC involvement.Galileo Low Cost Air in the Pacific was cited as a means of capturing web fares outside the GDS and comparing them with GDS fares within a single display, while the group has also acquired GDS Worldspan and combined it with Galileo to create Travelport GDS, providing wider resources and supplier relationships.Travelport rival Sabre last year claimed that the most important market in Asian aviation was not LCCs but value focused carriers (VFCs), identifying a hybrid of traditional airlines and budget carriers that corresponded to the nature of the Asian travel market.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
Air Berlin launched its first flight to Oslo from Berlin-Tegel last Friday (April 24th).The inaugural flight was operated using a Boeing 737-700, with passengers and crew greeted by columns of water at Oslo-Gardermoen Airport.Commenting on the launch of the route, Thorsten Scherzer, Air Berlin’s head of sales, said: “Although our service between Berlin-Tegel and Oslo-Gardermoen is our first venture into the Norwegian market, we are delighted with the encouraging demand for the new route.”That is why we have now added a Sunday flight to the daily flights from Monday to Friday.”Air Berlin is currently the only airline to offer non-stop flights to Oslo-Gardermoen from Berlin-Tegel.Germany’s second-largest airline recently won a European Business Award in the customer focus category.In doing so, Air Berlin fought off competition from Dell and Deutsche Telekom Kundenservice GmbH.The European Business Awards, which have been issued every year since 2006, are a recognition of successful and innovative companies within the European Union. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedAir Berlin to expand flights network this summerAir Berlin will introduce new flights to a number of destinations this summer including Jersey, Oslo and VeniceAir Berlin to launch new flights to Tel Aviv in JulyAir Berlin will be launching flights to Israel for the first time as part of its 2009 summer schedule.Air Berlin to launch new flights between Dusseldorf and St PetersburgAir Berlin to launch new flights between Dusseldorf and St Petersburg
RelatedWorld’s top 10 most romantic destinationsFrom Lover to Kissing, get in the mood for love with these 10 most romantically-named places in the world.Valentine’s Day is dead: the world’s most unromantic destinationsNo date this Valentine’s Day? Celebrate being free and single by visiting some of the least romantic destinations in the world, where you’ll realise loving yourself is just as important as a tacky card and a heart-shaped box of chocolates.Travelling Solo? Ask Skyscanner!Travelling Solo? Ask Skyscanner! Dear Skyscanner,As a recently single woman, I’m not particularly looking forward to Valentine’s Day. Where can I go to escape the love fest – or perhaps even find a little love for myself?Celine, DublinDear Celine,Whether you’re single and looking for love, or whether you just want to get away from all those loved-up love birds, try one of these destinations.New YorkIf you want to meet someone, New York has one of the most lively dating scenes in the world, where you can strike up conversation with a stranger in a bar and not be branded a weirdo. If, on the other hand, you just want to have fun, it’s a great place to hang out too.Places to avoid over Valentines? Central Park will almost certainly be invaded by smooching couples, and so too will the classic photo opportunity stops like the Empire State Building and top of the Rockefeller Centre. Instead do what the locals do – head to the Meatpacking District where there’s bound to be less take up of commercialised slush.The High Line may attract the odd fashionable couple strolling hand-in-hand, but the former elevated rail track is worth a visit for a brief and beautiful view of one of the city’s most fashionable districts. Below it, there’s plenty to discover. Wander around Chelsea Market at 75 9th Avenue and stock up on nibbles and cookware, or just take a pew and have a coffee at Ninth Street Espresso. If shopping is more your thing, there are countless edgy boutiques and independent stores in the Meatpacking District. Try Ten Thousand Things for jewellery and trinkets, Scoop for clothes, or the Earnest Sew Company for denim.The restaurant options are countless – Pastis is a favourite French bistro among New Yorkers for brunch, including oatmeal, eggs with ‘homefries’ and French toast. Or there’s Fusion south-east Asian cuisine at Fatty Crab, where the crab dishes make far too much mess to be considered a romantic meal choice. New York evenings should always end, or start with cocktails, and in this part of town the Living Room, the bar of the Standard hotel, which straddles the High Line, serves some dreamy concoctions alongside a live DJ soundtrack.Avoiding couples in New York’s hotels is no easy task over Valentines, but the shared bathrooms in some of the rooms at The Jane should put them off. Don’t let it put you off though – this fashionable, budget hotel is done out in the style of retro railways carriages, has the superb Cafe Gitane for breakfast and costs from £70 a night. Find flights to New York StockholmYou can rest assured that Stockholm is well off the romantic cities radar thanks to the cold weather at this time of year, which leaves you to explore this beautiful city and its beautiful people with mates, or even on your own.Warning – it will more than likely be below zero, but if you go prepared and wrap up warm, there’s plenty to enjoy. Start indoors with the Bonniers Konsthall art gallery, a striking glass building on Torsgatan with lots of thought-provoking modern exhibits. Be sure to pop into the new cafe, Spetsen, which compliments the art with a modern take on Swedish food.The hip area of Sodermalm should be relatively tourist-free, and has a cracking cafe culture. Warm up over coffee and cake at Cafe String, famous for its furniture (which is all for sale if something takes your fancy). It hosts regular gigs, theatre and poetry nights. If you’re a fan of vintage, head to Beyond Retro on Åsögatan, for its cool clothes and live music on Sunday afternoons.For lunch and dinner, head over to Östermalm for a huge choice of restaurants. The food hall is great fun for lunch and you can taste local food like cloudberries without having to commit to an expensive plate of one thing in a restaurant. There are plenty of cafes nearby if you need a hot drink stop. If it’s early, Cafe Foam on Karlavägen is highly regarded for its breakfast and brunch.For the evening try East on Stureplan for its fusion Asian cuisine and sleek interior. The couple-magnets are likely to be Sturehof, a restaurant on Sturegallerian that’s known for oysters, the food of love, and Och Himlen Därtill on Skatteskrapan, a restaurant with stratospheric views and cherubs on the wall.One of the most fashionable new hotels in Stockholm is Hotel Skeppsholmen (www.hotelskeppsholmen.com), a 17th century building on the island of the same name. Next door is the Moderna Museet, National Museum and Opera House. It is a beautiful hotel and for that reason may attract some love birds, but it’s worth suffering their smooching.Much of the original features remain and the breakfast is legendary, as is the “fika”, a traditional snack of coffee, lemonade and a choice of cakes and cookies. Furthermore, the restaurant encourages “social dining”, where hotel guests mix with locals, which should add a bit of ambience. Rooms cost from around £170 a night. Find flights to Stockholm. SevilleIf those two cities are a little chilly for your fingers and toes, perhaps Seville would suit you better, where it could get up to the high teens in degrees C at this time of year.The city’s most popular site, Alcazar, has to be seen to be believed, a collection of lavish royal palaces built at various stages in Andalusia’s history. Make time for a quick stop at the Baths of Lady María de Padilla beneath the Patio del Crucero, reminiscent of Istanbul’s Basilica for its dramatic lighting and the echoey quality of these former water reservoirs.Seville’s cathedral in Plaza Virgen de los Reyes is worth a visit for its intricate Gothic features and the curious remains of the building’s former life as a mosque – a minaret and courtyard planted with orange trees. It’s the third largest cathedral in the world after St Peter’s in Rome and London’s St Paul’s.Also wander the Moorish quarter, Santa Cruz, next to Alcázar, for its narrow streets, suggestive balconies and the cafes of Los Venerables. If you’re in town on a Thursday, head to the flea market on Calle Feria in the afternoon to rifle through the bargain antiques and flamenco memorabilia.Dining is Seville is great fun, loud and lively, with diners picking at small tapas dishes until late into the evening. Taberna Colniales on Plaza del Cristo de Burgos is an affordable and modern tapas bar – a far cry from quiet romantic haunts. Another good spot is Bar Eslava on Calle Eslava, which is busy at 9pm (which is early for Seville) and serves great tapas, including the popular honey-coated ribs. Avoid Casa Robles in Barrio Santa Cruz, one of the city’s most famous restaurants, but always popular with couples and a touch over-priced.One of the city’s most charming places to stay is Casa No 7, a six-bedroomed guesthouse close to the Santa Cruz district. It is elegant, with antique furnishings, white linen and a pretty central courtyard. Rooms cost from £150 a night including a hearty and delicious breakfast. Find flights to Seville.Answer by Ginny Light – TimesOnline travel editorGot a travel question? Email email@example.com and we’ll get our panel of travel experts to answer your question.Read more: Ask SkyscannerReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
Related5 Adventures in AfricaWith Africa in the limelight thanks to the 2010 World Cup, there is no better time to visit this magnificent continent.Adventure Travel Around the WorldAdventure travel expert Catrionna Grant from Tucan Travel introduces the world’s top spots for exciting travel optionsCheap Vs Chic: SafariWhether you’re a lover of the great outdoors or not, the safari is the ultimate wildlife experience. Dear Skyscanner,I’ve always wanted to see the wildebeest migration in Africa. Where and when are the best places to catch this natural phenomenon?Sarah, NewcastleDear Sarah,The wildebeest migration truly is one of the most incredible sights in Africa. There are quite a few different options on where and when to watch it, so let’s break it down: What is the wildebeest migration?The wildebeest is a horned mammal that looks like a water buffalo or large antelope. The wildebeest migration is the annual trek from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to the Masai Mara in Kenya, and back, in search of fresh grazing. It’s one of the best-known and most spectacular movement of animals in the world. It is estimated that over one million wildebeests, adults and calves, join the migration in a wild stampede across plains and rivers.When does it happen?The wildebeests are actually always on the move, completing a 1,000km-odd circuit over the course of a year. However, there are times of the year when it is best to catch them. In late June and July they begin their move north from Tanzania to Kenya, crossing the northern Serengeti into the Masai Mara. Around October time they head back to Tanzania. This does vary though, according to the rains, so check one of the many websites dedicated to tracking the migration. The wildebeest blog is regularly updated, as is the WildWatch website.Is it just wildebeests or will I see other animals?Joining the wildebeests are zebra, gazelles, and in places you will also see elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes and eagles, as well as predators to the migratory herds, namely lions and crocodiles who lie in wait at river crossings, the most dangerous parts of the route for the wildebeest.Any tips for catching the action?Keep an eye on the times when they will cross the Grumeti River in Tanzania and the Mara River in Kenya, as these crossings are spectacular to watch.Where should I stay?It depends on when you go, but in late June and early July, it’s the Grumeti River crossing, so you want to be in Tanzania. The camps nearby include the Serengeti Serene Safari Lodge, a series of luxury, camouflaged pods in the plains that offers game drives, nature trails, balloon safaris, bush barbecues and more. The view comes at a price though, upwards of £300 a night, although packages are available at certain times of year.Soon afterwards, usually in July, it’s the Mara River crossing in Kenya, and one of the best-placed camps is the smaller Sayari Mara Camp, which has 15 permanent ‘tents’, with ensuite bathrooms and more than a touch of luxury. Each tent has hot showers, effective mosquito nets, cold drinks and gourmet food, and there’s even a spa. Packages cost from around £300 a night.If you’re worried about missing out on the migration, it’s a good idea to book a mobile tented camp such as Serengeti Safari Camp, which has just five tents that sleep 12 people and moves around Tanzania throughout the year to follow the animals. Each tent has a shower and toilet, comfortable bed, and dressing area and there is a lounging and dining tent. It costs from £280 a night although there are offers that include trips to other mobile camps and longer stays. Answer by Ginny Light – TimesOnline travel editorGot a travel question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get our panel of travel experts to answer your question.Read more: Ask SkyscannerReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
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