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Originally published Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 7:03 PM

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Machu Picchu travel snarls; new Canada carry-on rules

Peru's Machu Picchu area is struggling to recover after heavy rains caused landslides that stranded more than 2,000 tourists near the ancient citadel this past week and destroyed houses and crops.

Peru's Machu Picchu area struggling after landslides

Peru's Machu Picchu area is struggling to recover after heavy rains caused landslides that stranded more than 2,000 tourists near the ancient citadel this past week and destroyed houses and crops.

PeruRail said slides severely damaged and eroded railway tracks between Cuzco, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, the only means of access to the ancient Inca citadel.

Helicopters were being used midweek to evacuate tourists near Machu Picchu, including more than 400 Americans. Food and water were running short in the village near the ruins.

At least five deaths were caused by the days of torrential rain, including an Argentine tourist and her guide who were hiking the historic Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

Get updates at the PeruRail Web site, www.perurail.com (click on "News").

Canada eases carry-on restrictions

Canada has relaxed its carry-on luggage restrictions on flights to the United States. Passengers now are permitted to bring one carry-on bag that can include reading material, personal electronics, medications, etc., with a size limit of 22-by-16-by-9 inches. Travelers also may carry a purse or small laptop-only bag in addition to the carry-on bag.

Canada had forbidden carry-on luggage on flights to the U.S. after the attempted Dec. 25 bombing of an Amsterdam-Detroit flight. For details on the new carry-on policy, see the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (www.catsa.gc.ca) and check with your airline.

Unleash your inner dancing queen at London's ABBA exhibit

ABBAWORLD, a new museum-cum-theme park celebrating the Swedish pop band, has opened in London with enough music, mementos and memory-lane appeal to satisfy even the most fervent ABBA fan.

The spangly Swedish quartet that gave the world "Dancing Queen" and other hit songs has sold 400 million records since its 1970s heyday and spawned the hugely successful stage and film musical "Mamma Mia!"

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The band's story is told in 25 rooms spread over 30,000 square feet. Glass cases contain costumes in silk, satin and spandex. Visitors can see re-creations of Polar Studios, where the band recorded, and the seaside cabin near Stockholm where Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson composed the band's hits. And ABBA's music is inescapable throughout the new exhibit at London's Earls Court. Get details at www.abbaworld.com.

Legoland theme park to open in Florida

Legoland will open a new park in Florida in 2011 on the site of the old Cypress Gardens attraction, which closed last fall. Legoland Florida will include resort facilities with accommodations and more than 50 rides, shows and other attractions, including Lego models and interactive programs.

The company's first U.S. Legoland is in Carlsbad, Calif., and three more are in Europe, in Denmark, Germany and Britain. The Florida theme park will be the largest; a sixth park is being developed in Malaysia.

No dancing at Jefferson Memorial

So you think you can dance at the Jefferson Memorial? Think again.

A federal judge has ruled against a woman who was arrested for dancing with a group of 17 others at the memorial dedicated to President Thomas Jefferson in Washington, D.C. The woman, Mary Oberwetter, and others were dancing to music on their headphones near midnight April 12, 2008, the eve of Jefferson's birthday.

A National Park Service officer told the group to stop dancing and arrested Oberwetter when she refused. Charges against her were later dropped. But Oberwetter sued the Park Service last year, claiming a violation of her rights to free expression.

U.S. District Judge John Bates said the inside of the memorial is not a public forum where people can dance, even if it's a silent dance party.

Obese fliers may get Air France price break

Air France is promising to reimburse obese passengers it asks to buy a second seat if the plane isn't full. The company, which has long offered obese travelers the option of buying an adjoining seat at a discount, said that passengers would be fully reimbursed for the second fare in 90 percent of cases.

Obese passengers who don't reserve a second seat may not be allowed to board, at the captain's discretion, and if there is not an unoccupied adjoining seat. The policy will come into force starting in April.

Other airlines with similar policies on obese passengers include Southwest, JetBlue and American Airlines

Seattle Times staff and news services

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