This Week in Travel: A McDonald’s Opened Up Next to the Vatican, People Are Not Lovin’ it

“There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.” — Zora Neale Hurston

#1 Welcome to Hollyweed

Who: An artist and videographer named Zach Fernandez says he and his ex-wife are behind the prank.

Where: The Hollywood Sign on Mount Lee in Los Angeles, California.

What: No one was tripping this past weekend when the famous Hollywood Sign appeared to spell out “Hollyweed” instead. Some people think the stunt may have been a cheeky celebration for California’s legalisation of recreational marijuana use. Fernandez, who has since claimed responsibility for the stunt, was reported to have altered the sign using giant tarpaulins at night, pasting over sections of the alphabets. He tells Buzzfeed News he wanted to give people something to smile and laugh out loud about, because “2016 was a crazy year, dude.”

#2 Love Actually, Actually

Who: A man named Tim Brown.

Where: Gatwick Airport in the UK.

What: Everyone’s favourite holiday movie “Love Actually” seemed to have inspired real-life events this year, when someone snapped a man rushing to the airport on Christmas Eve holding just a mistletoe. The internet dubbed him ‘Mistletoe Man’ and people were dying to know how the scene panned out. Brown eventually found Chillman’s tweet and came forth as the man himself, confirming that he was on the way to surprise his girlfriend. What a lucky girl!

#3 Not a Very Happy Meal


Who: The fast-food chain that needs no introduction.

Where: Vatican City in Rome, Italy; the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

What: Despite criticism from religious leaders and locals, a McDonald’s restaurant has just opened up outside the walls of the Vatican. Plans were announced last October, quickly drawing in strong opposition as people perceived it to be a downright insult to the religion and architecture of the Vatican. Manuel Tosti, who runs a family restaurant across the street from the new McDonald’s, tells CBS News that his business is affected too — “It’s a multinational that has the same food everywhere, whereas we do pasta.” The strange this is, a Vatican agency seems to be the ones that leased the space to the franchise…

#4 The Queen’s Haunting Housemates 


Who: Queen Silvia of Sweden.

Where: The Royal Palace in Stockholm, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What: “There are small friends … ghosts. They’re all very friendly but you sometimes feel that you’re not completely alone,” the Queen revealed in a documentary that aired last night in Sweden. The Queen resides in the palace with her husband King Carl XVI Gustaf, who did not weigh in on the subject, unfortunately. Who did add to the mystery was the King’s sister, Princess Christina, sharing, “There is much energy in this house. It would be strange if it didn’t take the form of guises.” If you love a good spooking, consider these haunted hotels for a trip.

#5 Back to Bali


Who: Couples, families and friends looking for a stylish stay.

Where: Villa Suar in Seminyak.

What: This luxurious property consists of chic and spacious 1-3 bedroom villas. Each villa features contains en-suite bedrooms, not to mention their own swimming pool, lush tropical garden, media room and a nanny, chef and butler service. The villas are located within a short walking distance from the beach, fashion boutiques and interior design stores. Staff can also help organise a Balinese massage for guests either at the villa or at one of the many spas around Seminyak.

Enjoy your weekend!

Photo credit: Main, 3 and 4.

Diandra Soliano

Our resident Wander Woman with a passion for languages, big cities and bronzer. When she's not listening to The Smiths a little too loudly at the office (after hours!), she can be found singing along to the soundtrack of Les Miserables with her two cats for an audience.

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