Deck chairs on the titanic and other sun-traps to avoid

deck chairs on Titanic
Choose your deck chair location carefully

A deck chair on the titanic may have seemed like a great place to lounge away the days, sipping cocktails as the great ocean liner ploughed across the Atlantic, but as it turned out, it was a total disaster.

Here’s some modern day destinations that appear to be nice sun-traps, but on closer inspection are the worst places in the world to unfold your deck chairs.

Mount Etna, Sicily

Deck chair death zone
Volcanoes might melt your deck chair

It may seem obvious but generally speaking, rolling out your towel on the side of a volcano would be considered a bad idea…except if you happen to be Sicilian. Mount Etna is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and is in more or less constant activity.

The laid back locals have got so used to their island mountain’s fiery outbursts though, that they are content to sizzle in the sun at the beach while the fireworks continue unheeded. In 2000, Etna, started blowing smoke rings – but no one noticed…

Second Beach, South Africa

great white shark
Avoid shark infested waters when bathing

In the UK, a trip to the seaside brings a risk of frostbite rather than shark bite. For us, the thought of lying on a deckchair next to a shark pool, seems pretty, crazy. But to others from ‘hot countries’, being eaten alive by a razor toothed killing machine is just, ‘one of those things’.

If you get too hot and fancy a paddle – perhaps it’s best not to go to Second Beach in Port St Johns, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It’s the world’s most dangerous beach for fatal shark attacks. One every year since 2007 – think about it – every other beach in the world is safer. Paddle in the sea anyone?

Kamilo Beach, Hawaii

beach debris
Don't let your deck chair become beach debris

Most of us are pretty careful to make sure that we bag and bin our rubbish before we go home. Man as a species however, is a filthy animal and responsible for pollution on a global scale. Seen from a distance, Kamilo, ‘plastic’ Beach, Hawaii, looks like heaven.

From deckchair level, it’s a vision of hell. At one time the accumulation of debris was 10 feet deep and covered 90% of the beach. Heroic cleanup efforts by local conservationists have made inroads into the trash pile, but more keeps arriving, driven there by storms at sea from a vast ‘garbage eddy’ in the Pacific Ocean.

Copacabana Beach, Brazil

holiday theft
Copacabana - a dodgy place choice for deckchair lovers

Where? Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro. Once the centre of Brazil’s beach culture and the epitome of 1950’s chic, sadly this particular strip of sand has become a very dodgy choice for deckchair lovers. Since Barry Manilow enshrined the beach in song, vice, violence and crime have replaced the ‘music and passion’, so if you want to hang onto your wallet, maybe go somewhere else.

Having said that, the Brazilian authorities are making strides to restore the area to its former glory including spending £200,000 on deodorising a nearby sewage farm. So if you should find yourself sipping a pina colada at Copacabana and smell jasmine – it’s probably masking the stench of something else entirely.

Valdes Peninsula, Argentina

elephant seal
Avoid sunbathing next to three ton seals

The Valdes Peninsula, Argentina, is home to one of the world’s largest elephant seal colonies. These animals are gargantuan. A Southern bull can reach 16 feet in length and weighs in at a mighty three tonnes. During the mating season, alpha males fight it out over the ladies.

After bludgeoning each other with their teeth, and chests, the defeated seal drags itself off to fight another day and to the victor the spoils. Lounge on your deck chair next to the winner and you’ll get more than you bargained for!

Around the world in eight pairs of slippers

After a hard day’s work, there’s nothing better than taking off your shoes and putting on a comfortable pair of slippers.

But do you know your jutti from your mukluks? Across the world, footwear traditions vary according to culture and climate.

So put your feet up, and read on for our very own men’s slippers world tour.

Clogs

Wooden slippers
Wooden slippers

Clogs are typically associated with the Dutch, but this form of footwear was once worn right across northern Europe. Cheap, practical and surprisingly comfortable, designs vary enormously between countries. In France, clogs are called ‘sabots’ and it is thought that from this word comes ‘sabotage’.

It is not clear exactly why the footwear of the French peasantry should be linked with industrial skulduggery, but suggestions include disgruntled workers throwing their clogs into the machinery – the equivalent of putting a spanner in the works.

Espadrilles

Rope soled slippers
Rope soled slippers

The ubiquitous slipper of choice across the Pyrennean region, the name derives from the word ‘esparto’ – a tough grass from which rope for the soles was made. Canvas topped, the espadrille is the ultimate in light weight breathable footwear.

Modern espadrilles are brightly coloured slip-ons with soles made from jute. The originals were secured to the feet by laces that were wrapped around the ankles.

Tsarouhi

Greek military slippers
Greek military slippers

The Greeks are famed for their spectacular national dress. The full sleeves, embroidered waistcoat and pleated kilt worn by the Evzone guards are finished with a pair of Tsarouhi, the pompom adorned Greek slipper.

The shoe originated in the mountainous regions of the country. It has a pointed toe and the fabulous woolen pompoms, now decorative rather than functional. They were originally a rather unique way of water-proofing the shoe.

Moccasins

Native Indian slippers
Native Indian slippers

The plains Indians opted for the hard soled variety owing to the rugged nature of the terrain and the existence of cacti in the South. But the soft soled moccasins that make such comfortable slippers, were worn by the tribes from the Eastern side of North America.

These peoples typically travelled on foot across the leaf and moss padded forest floors. The footwear was particularly versatile as it offered the hunter gatherers protection for their feet while maintaining the ability to feel the ground through the sole.

Mukluks

furry snow slippers
Furry snow slippers

Made from reindeer or seal skin the mukluk is soft soled and incredibly light weight; the ultimate ‘Santa’ slipper. Its design is useless in temperate areas where water from wet ground would soon soak through the supple hides, but in the high arctic regions the mukluk is an invaluable piece of kit.

The key lies in the garment’s breathe-ability. In conditions of extreme cold, any perspiration that is not kept away from the skin becomes a dangerous contributor to frostbite, but the mukluk is dry as well as toasty.

Jutti

jutti slipper
Asian leather slippers

In Northern India and Pakistan, the discerning slipper wearer wouldn’t be seen dead without his jutti. A highly distinctive item of footwear, jutti are traditionally made from leather. They are highly decorated with embroidery, bead work and an extended toe that curls up at the end.

It is impossible to put your jutti on the wrong way round because rather than having a left and right slipper – both are the same. Over time, the leather conforms to the feet of the wearer.

Geta

Japanese Geta Slipper
Japanese wooden slippers

The Japanese geta may not look particularly comfortable but their high rise design certainly has an advantage in wet or snowy weather. The traditional geta is formed from a flat piece of wood with two wooden blocks attached beneath.

A cross between a clog and a pair of flip flops, the geta are attached to the foot via a thong which passes between the big toe and first toe. The design was very practical for wearers of the ankle length, Kimono, keeping the expensive garment clear of mud and dirt.

Churchill slipper

churchill mens slipper
The ultimate British slipper

What could be more British than the Churchill slipper? Made from the finest nappa leathers with a cushioned leather sock and real leather sole.

The epitome of elegance and style, we’re sure that however far you travel, you’ll agree that the most comfortable slippers are those designed at home!