We're attending a family reunion in Staffordshire, England, and we would also like to visit Cork, Ireland, to look into our genealogy. How can we get from England to Ireland and take a guided trip while in Cork?
The best, and quickest, way from England to Ireland is by air. In fact, flights on low-cost carrier Ryanair (ryanair. com) are dirt-cheap. We found advance-purchase round-trip fares from Birmingham to Dublin for 1.98 pounds ... that's less than $4.
A word of warning: Fees and taxes will increase the cost considerably, although it's still a bargain. In the case of the fare above, fees are $75 round-trip.
From Dublin, you can reach Cork by train. On irishrail.ie, we found round-trip fares for about $80. Ireland's tourism site, discoverireland.com, is a good primer for learning the basics of Cork City, but try www.corkkerry.ie, the regional tourism site, for tours.
Our family is reluctant to visit China after reading about the cruel dog massacre because of a rabies outbreak. I know there have been protests, but do you have an update?
The recent crackdown on dogs ended in December, when Chinese President Hu Jintao called a stop to the confiscation of dogs in Beijing ... largely because he was "unhappy about the complaints and international media coverage" regarding the crackdown, according to the South China Morning Post.
A rabies outbreak in southwest China in late summer resulted in more than 50,000 dogs being killed, some as their owners watched. That killing has stopped, too.
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News