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Coming and Going: Colombia Has Heart; Baggage Fee Hikes

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

ART BEAT

Colombia Has a {heart}

When you think of Colombia, hearts don't immediately pop to mind. Coffee beans, perhaps, or maybe that other "c" word, but not necessarily valentines. However, as part of a new tourism campaign, "Discover Colombia Through Its Heart," the country is planning to spread the love with an exhibit of heart-shaped sculptures sprinkled around Washington.

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To illustrate the idea that "Colombia Is Passion!," 47 fiberglass creations of varying designs will be installed in such areas as Georgetown, Adams Morgan, the Mall and Union Station.

The seven 13-foot-tall artworks inside the train station will be interactive, each highlighting a Colombian theme. For example, the musical heart features a headset playing Colombian music, the urban model is decorated with city scenes encased in glass balls, and the java heart is a lovey-dovey couch where guests are served Juan Valdez coffee.

The sculptures dotting city streets are eight feet tall and are inscribed with quotes or facts relating to the country. For example, Colombia is the second-largest flower exporter in the world and is first in biodiversity per square mile. All the works were created by Colombians in their native land, which boasts a rich legacy of artists, including author Gabriel García Márquez and Fernando Botero, famed sculptor of zaftig women.

The exhibit runs Sept. 5-15, then moves to New York Sept. 22-28.

For more information on Colombia and the campaign: http://www.colombia.travel/en/index.php or http://www.colombiaespasion.com.

UPRIGHT AND LOCKED

Baggage Fee Hike

Bag fee update: Virgin America (http://www.virginamerica.com) is raising its checked bag fees on flights booked on or after Aug. 21 and for all flights from Sept. 10 on. For travelers in the main cabin, checked bags are now $20 apiece, up from $15. Main cabin select and refundable fare travelers get the first bag free, while first-class passengers get two free checked bags, with all additional bags, up to 10, at $20 apiece. This hike reminded CoGo of Virgin's generous first-bag weight limit -- 70 pounds! -- and relatively low additional-bag charges; legacy carriers charge upward of $100 for excess bags.

Speaking of legacy carriers, last week Continental and American joined Delta and US Airways in charging transatlantic travelers for a second checked bag. While the first bag is still free, a second one will be $50 starting Sept. 14 (American), Sept. 15 (Continental) and Oct. 7 (US Airways); Delta began charging the fee July 1. The fees apply to flights from the United States (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) to, from or through most European countries, plus India (on American). See airlines' Web sites for details.

Reporting: Andrea Sachs, Christina Talcott

Help feed CoGo. Send travel news, road reports and juicy tattles to: cogo@washpost.com. By mail: CoGo, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.


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