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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > February 2017 > Globetrotter

Globetrotter

A WORLD OF TRAVEL NEWS AND DISCOVERIES

In top shape

THE GERMAN GYMNASIUM is one of london’s most curiously named restaurants, and now the country’s best-designed one too – so said the jury at the latest Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. The converted Victorian building by King’s Cross station was indeed a gym for London-based Germans in the 1860s (germangymnasium.com). See more winners at restaurantandbardesignawards.com.

PHOTOGRAPH: MARCUS PEEL

SOMETHING TO DECLARE:

It’s time to start capping visitor numbers at the world’s top tourist spots

On a rainy day in the Austrian Alps this summer, I decided to take a spontaneous break from hiking and drive two hours to see the castle of Neuschwanstein, across the border in Germany. I had visited more than 20 years before, and I remember it was busy even then. The difference in those two decades? China has started to travel. All tickets to the castle had sold out. My experience was a scenic but distant view from the grassy verge out of town where I left the car, then a meal in a Bavarian inn, where long tables of Chinese coach parties looked in bemusement at their set meal: hefty joints of pork and mounds of sauerkraut.

Neuschwanstein’s limit has been reached, but it’s not just enclosed sights under pressure: caps on visitor numbers are being discussed for Italy’s Cinque Terre coast and the Greek island of Santorini. I instinctively don’t like the idea of visitor caps – of slamming on the brakes just when travel starts to become a possibility for millions of people whose dreams of seeing far-off places were previously restricted. But now I don’t see a way round it.

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February 2017
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