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New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world: readers’ travel tips | Christmas and New Year holidays


Winning tip: When Jesus fixed my Jeep, Chile

Our all-girls group’s plans to celebrate New Year’s Eve while camping and stargazing in Chile’s eerie Atacama Desert almost went wrong. Thanks to Jesus, it all worked out. Our tight budget led us to rent a Jeep from a backstreet car-hire firm in San Pedro. Result – a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, a friendly group of locals led by the aptly named Jesus, who had some mechanical knowledge, were also heading out to the desert and stopped to help us. Result: a shared trip, wine, food, campfires and songs in English and Spanish under the mystical Atacama skies to see out and welcome in the year in a stunning setting and with great company.
Yasmin Cox

Cold night with hot music, New Orleans

The Rock’n’Bowl in New Orleans.
‘Overrun with revellers’: the Rock’n’Bowl in New Orleans. Photograph: Ebet Roberts/Redferns

One New Year’s Eve in the early 2000s, my partner and I were housesitting a friend’s shack in New Orleans. The temperature had plunged to -5C, remarkable for Nola. Totally unprepared for this unusual cold, we put on our onesie long johns and walked to Mid-City Lanes Rock‘n’Bowl. We rented a lane, ordered po’ boys (a Louisiana sandwich) and beers, bowled, and wandered downstairs to hear legendary local singer and guitarist Snooks Eaglin (sadly no longer with us). Around 10pm, the Iguanas came onstage and the bowling lanes were overrun with revellers juggling food, drinks and kids while dancing to the Latin-tinged R&B groove music. New Year’s Eve, but just a normal night a Noo Or-lins.
Donna J Hall

Out with the old, Bologna

New Year’s Eve in Bologna.
New Year’s Eve in Bologna, when the burning of a large puppet is part of the festivities. Photograph: Getty Images

To see in 2019 we went to beautiful Bologna where there is a traditional burning of a huge effigy of a man – known as the vecchione (the old one) – in the square at midnight. This symbolises the discarding of all the bad things that happened in the old year and the welcoming in of the new. The night starts with dancing and music where people of all ages drink and enjoy life. As the clock struck 12 we hugged and the flames engulfed the wooden figure as confetti fell from the sky and balloons bounced over the crowd.
Louisa Guise

A Méri old evening, France

Wooden chalet in the mountains, Méribel, France.
Wooden chalet in the mountains, Méribel. Photograph: Nick Daly/Getty Images

In Méribel for New Year’s Eve, a couple from our chalet invites us to the local bar. We are a mixed bunch; some of us in snow boots, some dressed very fashionably. The champagne flows, glasses are raised, then raised again as the mellow sounds of a saxophonist flood the room. The fire crackles, while outside the crescent moon hangs amid twinkling stars; this is paradise. Later, we head to the village square where vin chaud is served by chalet staff as we watch expert skiers descend carrying lanterns while fireworks burst above them. The hour is upon us as we gather around a tree and welcome in the new year. Perfect.
Jean Broad

Wine and jive, Cape Town

Fireworks over Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.
Fireworks over Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. Photograph: Alamy

A sunset picnic on Table Mountain, washed down with silky-smooth Stellenbosch wines, was a great way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Cape Town at the dawn of the new millennium. As the clock ticked towards midnight, I took the cable car down to the V&A Waterfront, looking down as the mountain tops of the 12 Apostles cast their dramatic shadows over the brooding Atlantic Ocean. An all-night open-air disco carried on the fun, welcoming in the new year for a crowd of all ages and races, with the then 81-year-old Nelson Mandela appearing on the big screen from his nearby home, jiving away, to join in the celebrations.
Gonca Cox

Salsa, sea lions and sculptures in San Diego

San Diego: Darth Vader and a host of stormtroopers join the annual Balloon Parade.
San Diego: Darth Vader and a host of stormtroopers join the annual Balloon Parade. Photograph: Alamy

The welcome sunshine was not just a bonus for me, but also for the sea lions who were basking on the jetty. The Balloon Parade was a party open to everyone, and it was a friendly family atmosphere along with plenty of salsa moves. At sunset, stunning stone sculptures were silhouetted against the skyline. Standing on the boardwalk in Seaport Village was the perfect viewpoint for the midnight fireworks and their sparkling reflections in the sea. A great way to see in the new year – and all for free.
Vanessa Wright

I found Paradise, Ethiopia

The View Of Lake Abaya from Paradise Lodge
Looking out on Lake Abaya from Paradise Lodge. Photograph: Grant Rooney/Alamy

One year I spent 31 December at Paradise Lodge, overlooking Ethiopia’s Lake Chamo in the south-west of the country, where the individual tukuls (round huts) could be described as primitive or charmingly rustic, depending on your take. At the gala dinner we ate berbere-spiced wats (stews) and injera, a flatbread that reminded me of foam rubber in looks and taste. The music ranged from Amy Winehouse to traditional Ethiopian tunes, and a group of Indian visitors proved funky dancers whatever the beat. Midnight arrived, along with a huge cake, poppers, streamers and more dance music. The international partying continued until the early hours when I returned to what seemed like a palatial room.
Helen Jackson



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My travel dream for 2021: top 12 readers’ tips | Travel


Winning tip: A perfect ’stan

Covid willing, we’ll be heading to Kyrgyzstan. It’s at that perfect point where the infrastructure supports a great travel experience, but it’s not become spoiled by tourists. Bishkek is modern and vibrant, and in the stunning rural areas it’s possible to stay with nomads living the traditional life. It’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with delicious locally sourced food. Kyrgyz community-based tourism proved an affordable way to experience the life of horse-riding nomads living in yurts, and the money goes into the community itself.
Minnie Martin

Where the map takes us, Wester Ross

Evening sunlight over Achnahaird Bay, Wester Ross.
Evening sunlight over Achnahaird Bay, Wester Ross.
Photograph: Lorraine Yates/Alamy Stock Photo

The west coast of Scotland is our wild goal. During the neverending house tidy of 2020, we found the Gairloch & Ullapool area OS map and pored over it – a bit of geography home learning for my son, who liked the wriggly contour lines and the consonant-heavy names of the lochs and mountains. We’ll take the high road to Gairloch to see orca and minke (Hebridean Whale Cruises, £64 adult, £35 child), stay in a wooden wigwam at Sands campsite (from £52pp), and walk to the beach humming the Skye boat song.
Nancy Gladstone

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Guardian Travel readers’ tips

Every week we ask our readers for recommendations from their travels. A selection of tips will be featured online and may appear in print. To enter the latest competition visit the readers’ tips homepage

Island dream, Lundy

Tourists land from MS Oldenburg on Lundy Island.
The MS Oldenburg landing on Lundy. Photograph: Backyard Production/Getty Images

My son, daughter and I have been making lists of where we want to go since the first lockdown. We’ve booked a few days on Lundy for next August in the hope that it will be safe to travel again by then. It only involves a five-hour drive to Ilfracombe, Devon, and then a couple of hours on HMS Oldenburg (which for my three-year-old boy will be the holiday made before we even get there). We’ll stay in Castle Cottage, in the keep of a castle built by Henry III in 1250. There’s nothing to do but explore cliffs, beaches and lighthouses, and look for the crashed bomber plane in the heather. And there’s no internet.
Kate Attrill

All a-Twitter for York

Curtor holding an 800-year-old figure of Christ
An 800-year-old figure of Christ returned to York last year and on display at the Yorkshire Museum. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

I’d love to go to York and visit the Yorkshire Museum as their wonderful tweets – mainly about odd or mysterious items in their collection – have kept me entertained and brought history alive this year. A pint or two in the city’s ancient pubs and a wander home to characterful lodgings would just cap a cultural visit off nicely!
Liz

Mind-Boggling Whitby, North Yorkshire

Boggle Hole YHA, Robin Hood’s Bay.
Boggle Hole YHA near Robin Hood’s Bay. Photograph: Ian Bottle/Alamy

Low cost and close to home, a stay with the YHA at Boggle Hole is always a welcome relief. A converted watermill with a reception, bar and cosy sitting room complete with a log fire and leather couches, it’s in a pebbled cove overlooking the sea, with wooded cliffs on either side. Go in spring or early autumn and the prices are as low as £29 a night. Walk across the sandy beach to Robin Hoods Bay or over the jagged cliffs to Ravenscar to see the seals.
Safiya El-Gindy

Golden Glasgow

Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.
Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. Photograph: Black Jake/Getty Images

I long for the wide expansiveness of Glasgow boulevards: west-facing, bathed in the golden glow of light glancing off sandstone. I long for the cobbled alleyways, armpit-piled bookshops, curiosity shops crammed with treasure; and also the glitzy, glassy, high street emporiums filled with unafforded luxuries. I long for views of the university, the Campsie Fells, the high flats, the rivers snaking through. And the tearooms, pubs, gastropubs, curry houses, Asian street food haunts, delis and restaraunts high end and greasy spoon. It’s only two hours away but has been impossibly out of reach. I long for full immersion, to be sated by all its gritty, impossibly romantic, unabashed grandeur.
Fiona

Simply sublime, Cotswolds Way

The Cotswold Way at Crickley Hill.
The Cotswold Way at Crickley Hill. Photograph: Alamy

In 2021 I want to carry on enjoying the benefits of the simple pleasures of travelling that 2020 led us to – like walking and talking. I want to walk the Cotswolds Way from Broadway to Bath, breathing in fresh air, wondering at big skies, scanning rolling hills in the distance while getting fitter without going to gyms or swimming in chlorinated pools or using mobile apps. Its 120 miles should take about a week, staying in village pubs along the way. Travel, like life, should be about connecting reality to your imagination by inspiration, which can come in the purest, most simple of forms.
Nick

Faroes football

My dream is to fulfil a Covid-delayed bucket-list trip to see the ultimate sporting underdog story, and take my football-crazy nine-year-old on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We will be travelling to see the Faroe Islands play an international match on home turf. They’re due to play Scotland on 12 October in a World Cup qualifier. Fly into the capital, Torshavn, and you can walk to the stadium. Hire a car for the full Faroes experience: it’s the bird-watching capital of Europe. Hotel Streym in Torshavn has Atlantic views and doubles from £90.
John Connolly

Harvest festival with a difference, Ukraine

Harvest time on a farm near Lviv, Ukraine
Harvest time on a farm near Lviv, Ukraine. Photograph: Martin Charlesworth

It will take the best part of a day and a half but here’s my plan: a few buses, some trains and a flight from my home in the Ribble valley to Ukraine, crossing the Polish border at Przemyśl. I’m expecting Lviv to be “bruised but not broken” as the Ray Davies song goes, with coffee, cake and varenyky (dumpling) culture still largely intact. I plan to go in August for the Saviour of the Apple feast, an Eastern Orthodox celebration of harvest. The reason for going is not necessarily the destination or the festival but the sweet joy of a long journey to a foreign land and interaction with strangers at long last.
Martin Charlesworth

Totally ore-some, Mauritania

The iron ore train, Mauritania

For 2021, I want to travel somewhere that is remote with low population density and gives me an adrenaline rush. After a bit of research, I’ve chosen to go on the iron ore train in Mauritania. The 700km journey on a cargo train from the north of the country to the west coast takes around 34 hours. This train is among the world’s longest and heaviest and riding it is totally free. From time to time, I look at the photos and videos of the journey on the internet and instantly get goosebumps. See for yourself. It’s total madness.
Venkata K C Tata

Silk Road: Samarkand to Baku

The Registan place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
The Registan place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Photograph: Andrey Vishin/Alamy

As we enter 2021 with unbridled hope and optimism for a better year filled with limitless freedom and a vaccinated global population, never have I wanted more to return to completing my journey of the Silk Road, started in 2019. Beginning in Xi’an and Kashgar, China, I headed west to Almaty, Kazakhstan, before crossing over into Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. My trip allowed just enough time to reach dazzling Samarkand in Uzbekistan. My trip ended at the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, a breathtaking marvel from which I hope to restart my adventure in 2021. My aim is to reach Tehran, from where I will return to Baku, one of my favourite cities, for a deserved cup of coffee.
Scott Strachan

Mountain overload, Georgia

Kazbegi, Georgia.
Kazbegi, Georgia. Photograph: Franka Hummels

I want to be overwhelmed by Georgia’s Kazbegi region again. I want to get so exhausted by marvellous hikes – where I will not meet a soul – that the next day will be spent on a balcony with a book that gets little attention because the mountains take my breath away. I will only leave that balcony to eat terrific vegetarian Georgian food, with the same view. That balcony I left and want to return to is at Rooms Hotel, where doubles go for $100 – steep by Georgian standards but worth it and not as steep as those mountain slopes.
Franka Hummels





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Bo Byram must quarantine before joining Avs


Bo Byram will board a plane for Denver on Thursday morning, after spending Wednesday at his parents’ home in British Columbia.

Once he touches down in the Mile High City, however, the top Avs defensive prospect will have to quarantine for a week, because of US-Canada Covid-19 regulations.

That news was broken today by Byram’s father, who appeared on a local B.C. radio station to talk about his son’s disappointment at Tuesday’s Canada loss to the U.S. in the gold medal game of the World Juniors in Edmonton. Click on the link in my tweet below to listen to the talk.

So, that means no Bo Byram on opening night against the Blues, but I don’t think we would have seen Bo Byram play that night anyway. think the earliest we’ll see Bo play a game for the Avs is on that four-game L.A.-Anaheim swing, Jan. 19-24 (I’ll be there, did I mention there’s an Avs Travel Tip Jar?), where the Avs will have to play four games in six days.

After that? That’s all still to be determined. I think Byram will be on the taxi squad for the full year, but it’s also possible he’ll spend some time with the Colorado Eagles, after all the new regulations are ironed out with their own return-to-play plan.

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Asia Today: China city offers cash for tip on test evaders


BEIJING — A city in northern China is offering rewards of 500 yuan ($77) for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a recent coronavirus test.

The offer from the government of Nangong comes as millions in the city and its surrounding province of Hebei are being tested as part of efforts to control China’s most serious recent outbreak of COVID-19.

The offering of cash or other rewards for information on political or social nonconformists has a long history in China, but the pandemic is putting a new face on the practice. Those found noncompliant will be forced to undergo testing and a two-week quarantine at their own expense.

China has largely controlled local transmission through the use of measures considered by some to be extreme and highly intrusive, including lockdowns of entire cities and close electronic monitoring of bans on traveling to and from parts of the country.

With next month’s Lunar New Year travel rush looming, the government is telling people to stay put as much as possible and not travel to or from the capital Beijing, disrupting the country’s most important time for family gatherings. Schools are also being let out a week early, although many, including those in Hebei, have already reverted to online learning.

China on Friday reported 53 new cases, including 33 in Hebei. Of those, 31 were in the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang, host to some events for next year’s Winter Olympics.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— Thailand reported 205 new virus cases, a slight dip from previous days as it tightened controls on domestic travel. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, a spokesperson for the COVID-19 coordinating center, said Friday that 131 of the new cases were local transmissions, 58 were migrant workers and 16 international arrivals. That brought the country’s total to 9,841, including 67 deaths. Of that total, 5,367 cases have been found since the start of the new surge on Dec. 15. Infections have surged following months that saw only a handful of cases. Most of the new cases have been migrant workers from neighboring Myanmar employed in seafood markets and factories in a province next to Bangkok. Most were quarantined in their dormitories and in quickly established field hospitals. Many of the remaining cases have been blamed on itinerant gamblers, most of them stemming from a single hotspot outside Bangkok last month.

— Australia is nearly halving the number of passengers allowed to arrive by plane in a bid to prevent the spread of a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus first identified in Britain. A cleaner at a Brisbane quarantine hotel diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday is the first person infected with the variant found in the Australian community. Other cases have been detected among travelers while in hotel quarantine, where there is little risk of community spread. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said state leaders had agreed that international arrivals to New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia state airports would be halved until Feb. 15. Arrivals at Victoria were already relatively low and would remain unchanged. Quarantine workers would be tested for the virus daily. Authorities in Brisbane are locking Australia’s third-most populous city down for three days beginning Friday evening to contain the spread. Australian Chief Health Officer Paul Kelly said anyone who had been in Brisbane since Jan. 2 should also isolate.

— Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong received a vaccine against the coronavirus on Friday as the island nation started immunizing its small population. It took delivery of the first vaccines, manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, on Dec. 23 and hopes to cover its entire population of about 4.5 million and its foreign residents. The vaccine will be free. It has not said how many it has purchased but hopes to inoculate everyone by the third quarter of 2021. Health workers and the elderly will be among the first to receive the vaccine.

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US House all set to vote on impeachment of President Trump


The move came after the House passed a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to strip Trump of his duties. Pence in a letter to Pelosi, a top Democratic leader, declined to do so.

Earlier, the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler released a majority staff report for the impeachment of Trump. The 50-page report made a strong case to impeach the Republican president.

In the words of Vice President Pence, the ‘Presidency belongs to the American people, and to them alone.’ President Trump has falsely asserted he won the 2020 presidential election and repeatedly sought to overturn the results of the election. As his efforts failed again and again, President Trump continued a parallel course of conduct that foreseeably resulted in the imminent lawless actions of his supporters, who attacked the Capitol and the Congress, the report said.

This course of conduct, viewed within the context of his past actions and other attempts to subvert the presidential election, demonstrate that President Trump remains a clear and present danger to the Constitution and our democracy, the report alleged.

The House must reject this outrageous attempt to overturn the election and this incitement of violence by a sitting president against his own government.

“President Trump committed a high Crime and Misdemeanor against the Nation by inciting an insurrection at the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. The facts establish that he is unfit to remain in office a single day longer and warrant the immediate impeachment of President Trump, the report said.

In Texas, where he was travelling, Trump said that the impeachment ‘hoax’ is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of the country. It is causing tremendous anger and division and pain — far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time, Trump said.

Former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, who defended Trump a year ago in the Senate trial after the House impeached him, decried the latest impeachment move.

It comes within core political speech. And to impeach a president for having exercised his First Amendment rights would be so dangerous to the Constitution. It would lie around like a loaded weapon ready to be used by either party against the other party, Dershowitz told Fox news in an interview.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives on December 18, 2019 had approved the articles of impeachment against Trump, charging him of pressuring Ukraine to smear Joe Biden, using nearly USD 400 million in military aid as leverage.

However, the Republican-controlled Senate in February 2020 acquitted him of the two charges — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Impeachment is about preserving the Nation from a threat to the constitutional order, not imposing punishment. Nowhere did the Framers suggest that a President must be allowed to remain in office if his abuses involved speech that would otherwise be shielded from criminal regulation by the First Amendment, said the House Judiciary majority report released on Tuesday.

This would be a strange and irrational limitation: Presidents would be free to openly advocate the overthrow of the United States government, or the adoption of fascism, and Congress would be powerless to remove them on that basis, it said.

Moreover, given that many prior impeachable offenses have involved at least some conduct that might rank as protected speech, applying a rigid First Amendment rule in this field would risk obfuscating Presidential conduct whether involving speech or not that menaces the American democratic system, said the report.



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Gophers Travel to No. 5 Iowa


Men’s Basketball | 1/9/2021 3:32:00 PM

BROADCAST INFORMATION
TV: BTN – Chris Vosters (Play-by-Play); Stephen Bardo (Analyst)
Tip Time: 1:33 p.m. CT
Radio: Learfield IMG College/KFAN 100.3 FM (joined in progress)
Mike Grimm (Play-by-Play); Spencer Tollackson (Analyst)
Sirius XM: 196

SERIES INFORMATION

Series: 193rd Meeting (102-90)*

Series Away: 39-53*

Current Streak: W-1

Richard Pitino vs. Iowa: 6-6

Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 777-855*

Richard Pitino vs. Big Ten: 56-87

* – excludes vacated games

STARTING FIVE

• For the second time since Christmas night, the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Iowa Hawkeyes face each other, this time in Iowa City, Iowa. The Golden Gophers hold a 39-53 all-time record at Iowa, excluding vacated games. 

• Minnesota handed Iowa’s lone Big Ten loss of the season on Christmas night when the Gophers earned a 102-95 overtime win against the Hawkeyes. Brandon Johnson made all four his 3-point attempts in overtime and finished with 26 points and nine rebounds. Marcus Carr had 30 points on 6-for-13 shooting from 3-point range and eight assists, and Liam Robbins added 18 points and four blocks for the Gophers. Carr also hit the game-tying three-pointer to send it into overtime. He as later named the Big Ten Player of the Week. 

• Minnesota fell to No. 10 Michigan, 82-57, Wednesday night in Ann Arbor, Mich. Marcus Carr led the Gophers with 14 points in the loss. The Gophers and Wolverines will tangle again after the Iowa game, Jan. 16 at Williams Arena. 

Marcus Carr was named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 Watch List Wednesday. Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts based on their performances during the 2020-21 season thus far, the list comprises 25 student-athletes who are front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor. Carr is one of 12 guards on the list and is one of six student-athletes from the Big Ten to be recognized. Carr has scored in double figures in all 13 games this year and he has three 30-point games and six 20-point games this season. He averages 21.5 ppg which ranks third in the league and 18th nationally. In the Big Ten, Carr ranks first in assists per game (5.6) and minutes per game (35.8).

Liam Robbins is averaging 2.7 blocked shots per game. That average tops the Big Ten and ranks 16th nationally. He also is third nationally in total blocks at 35. Robbins’ game high this season has been five, done three times, while his career-high is seven when he played at Drake. 

UP NEXT

• Since beginning the season, Minnesota has its longest break in between games with the Gophers’ next action coming on Jan 16 when the Michigan Wolverines come to town. 

• Tip off is set for 1 p.m., on ESPN2 while KFAN 100.3 FM will carry the Gopher Radio Network broadcast in the Twin Cities.

 



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iOS 14 pro tip: One setting change for better photos


kitten-adi.jpg

Having a new kitten means that I’m taking a lot more photos. But trying to get a good photo of a subject that continually moves and squirms (even when sleeping) is tricky.

And it was made all the harder because Apple hid a handy Camera app feature.

Prior to iOS 14, if you held down the shutter button in the Camera app, the iPhone would go into “burst mode,” taking a bunch of photos that allowed the user to go back and find the best one.

But now in iOS 14, pressing and holding down the shutter button switches to video recording mode. That itself is a nice feature, but I want the old “burst mode” feature back.

It’s there, but again it’s hidden. And it’s also changed how it works.

Head over to Settings > Camera and you’ll see a setting called Use Volume Up for Burst.

Here's the setting you are looking for: Use Volume Up for Burst

Here’s the setting you are looking for: Use Volume Up for Burst

Now, rather than holding down the shutter button, I have to remember to hold down the volume up button.

But it’s nice to be able to quickly choose between shooting a burst of photos or shooting a quick video.

It’s a nice change. And I really like having a physical button to press on. It’s easier to find and gives me proper tactile feedback, unlike a button on a screen.

UPDATE: A reader sent me a note via Twitter (thanks, Wolfgang!) to point out that there’s another way to access “burst mode,” and that’s by pressing and holding down while simultaneously sliding the onscreen shutter button to the left if in portrait mode or down if in landscape.

 





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