The wrong way to handle a bear or tarantula encounter

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In travel news this week: new airport openings and upgrades in Asia, the greatest cheese of 2024 as well as tips on how to handle encounters with roadside spiders and hungry, hungry bears.

Bears and bugs

A spider caused a car accident in California’s Death Valley National Park this week, after a Swiss tourist slammed on the brakes after spotting a tarantula. A motorcycle then crashed into the back of their vehicle. “Tarantulas are slow-moving and nonaggressive,” the park has reassured jittery visitors. Its bite is reportedly similar to a bee sting and “not deadly to humans.” So please, don’t put other road users at risk by swerving or braking.

And a section of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Parkway was closed because of multiple reports of visitors trying to feed and even hold a young bear.

Autumn is when our ursine friends are extraravenous as they fatten up for hibernation: Here’s why you should never get in the way of a hungry bear – or attempt a cuddle.

Shiny new airports and planes

Terminal 2 at Singapore Changi, perhaps the world’s glitziest airport, has fully reopened after a three-and-a-half-year upgrade. The terminal is now roomier, with increased capacity, and boasts an immersive garden and digital waterfall display.

Elsewhere in Asia, the spectacular UNESCO-listed Angkor Wat temple complex just got easier to visit, thanks to the opening of a shiny new $1.1 billion airport at Siem Reap last month.

Japan Airlines has unveiled the high-tech interiors of its 13 new A350-1000 aircraft which are due to go into service by the end of the year. We’re talking double beds, closet space and built-in headrest speakers.

Americans starting over in Europe

An American family returned to the Italian island of Ponza, offshore between Rome and Naples, to live in their ancestral cave home that’s cut into the sea cliffs. Here’s how it’s going for them.

And when this Californian couple were hit by health issues and life setbacks, they decided to make every second count: They moved to Andalusia, Spain, to make their lives “as interesting as possible.”

France’s Lot Valley was where in 2001 Robin Johnson and Jim Thaman found the rundown, empty property that they would transform into their dream home. Says Johnson, “This offered us a way to start our life together with a blank canvas.”

What a friend we have in cheeses

A dense, creamy Norwegian blue cheese, with “fruity overtones,” has been named the finest in the world at the annual World Cheese Awards held this year in Trondheim, Norway. The awards recognize international dairy delights, from faultless versions of the classics to innovative twists.

There’s a growing market today for Asian cheeses: An Australian couple set up Laos’ first dairy and buffalo farm in 2017 in the UNESCO-listed heritage town of Luang Prabang. They told CNN Travel how it actually came about through a midlife crisis.

On the Channel Island of Guernsey, the plentiful local seaweed is transformed into cheese and butter by the Seaweed Food Company. Says founder Naomi Tustin, “Seaweed is a flavor enhancer, so you find that the cheese is cheesier.”

Transatlantic flights reach ‘speed of sound’

The jet stream over the Atlantic was so strong this week that flights heading from the United States to Europe reached speeds equivalent to that of sound, cutting flight times by hours. The stream helped to strengthen Storm Ciarán, which hit Europe midweek.

If you’re out in wet weather this November, our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have this guide to the 17 best rain pants, according to experts.

Why we shouldn’t turn our back on the flying butt

The British-made Airlander 10 airship went viral for its resemblance from some angles to a generously rounded rump, but the “flying bum,” may well be a solution for climate-conscious air travel – and could become the world’s largest aircraft.

In case you missed it

A “secret room” decorated by Michelangelo is to open to the public.

It’s hidden beneath a mausoleum in Florence, Italy.

She grew up in an island hut with no running water or electricity.

Now she’s a pilot.

The monster that feeds and eats away at Lake Tahoe.

It’s a problem locals are eager to solve.

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