Travel news: Fast rail projects in Europe and Asia

Here are the rest of CNN Travel’s biggest stories right now.

On the rails

Spain has cemented its place as Europe’s high-speed rail capital with the launch of iryo, the fourth competing brand in the country’s expanding fast train market. With wider options for travelers, it should hopefully drive down prices too.
The Southeast Asian country of Laos is now more accessible than ever thanks to a new semi-high-speed train, with cross-country journey times cut by as much as 75%. As well as being a godsend for citizens, it opens up tourist destinations such as Luang Prabang, the country’s picturesque former royal capital, and Luang Namtha, a trekking region thick with forested mountains.
Finally, passengers are enjoying a ride on a “floating train” in Thailand that appears to skim over the surface of one of the country’s largest reservoirs. This seasonal route is available on weekends from November to February.

Spectacular Greek projects

When the Corinth Canal was built in Greece in the 19th century, it was one of the most significant infrastructural feats the world had ever seen and the realization of a vision 2,500 years in the making. Now there are plans for a new museum at the site in 2024.
Athens’ Ellinikon International Airport was also once a busy gateway to Greece, welcoming high-rolling visitors from around the world during the glamorous Jet Age. It’s lain empty for almost two decades, but is now set to get a new life as an enormous 600-acre coastal park, packed with sports venues, food outlets and outdoor theaters.

Fisherman’s friends

A UK fisherman on a trip to France recently caught a 67-pound goldfish: That’s about 67 times bigger than your average domestic splasher. The Carrot — as the fish has been named — was released back into the water to continue living large.
If you like your fish with a little more bite, bull sharks are considered by some to be the most aggressive sharks in the world. If you’re brave enough, you can now swim with them in Cuba. Without even a cage for protection.
Bull shark attacks on humans are rare, but it wouldn’t hurt to watch our video beforehand on how to avoid an unwelcome shark encounter.

Our changing world

A 40-year love story

Annie McDonald and Steven Berger felt an instant connection when they met briefly on vacation in Mexico in 1981. Four months later, Annie was diagnosed with cancer — and Steven was right by her side.

In case you missed it

Why buy one Pacific island when you can buy a 100-plus archipelago of them?

The darkest of dark tourism: Singapore has a Hell’s Museum.

Fly Atlantic is based in Northern Ireland and hopes to start operating in 2024.

Misbehaving traveler of the week

A ginger cat named Smells apparently stowed away unseen in a traveler’s case bound for a flight from New York to Florida. Luckily TSA spotted the suspicious cat-shaped outline as the bag passed through the X-ray machine and the kitty was freed unharmed.
If you’re planning a vacation with your cat or dog intentionally in tow, our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have put together this guide on what you need to know, according to experts.

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