On a restaurant wall, on the 26th floor of the Club Lusitano building on Ice House Street, in Central, hangs a broken aeroplane propeller. It is a relic of the first-ever flight from Portugal to Macau . Or at least what was supposed to have been. Portuguese pilots José Manuel Sarmento de Beires and António Jacinto da Silva Brito Paes, and engineer Manuel António Gouveia, left Lisbon in a French three-seater Breguet biplane on April 2, 1924, hoping to “bring news from the Motherland to old Macao and all her scattered sons in the Far East”. After a troubled journey, they crashed in India on May 7 and had to buy a new two-seater aircraft, leaving Gouveia to follow on by train and ship. The plane eventually reached the skies above Macau on June 20, but bad weather prevented a landing. The aviators made instead for Hong Kong but were blown off course and crash-landed in a cemetery across the border, in Shenzhen. They had to travel to Kowloon by train. What remained of the aircraft was later retrieved. Gouveia arrived in Hong Kong by ship on June 24, and the following day a Portuguese gunboat was sent from Macau to collect the three men. When first female solo traveller Ida Pfeiffer visited Hong Kong in 1847 The people of Macau were forgiving of the misplaced landing and their delight at hard-proven potential air links with Portugal was made clear. “When the aviators stepped ashore the jetty was invaded by the crowds,” reported The Hongkong Telegraph . “Young ladies showered flowers on the airmen as they landed, His Excellency the Governor being the first to greet the aviators. Then amidst the cheers of the onlookers, the party moved to the Town Hall, flowers being thrown out of the windows all along the route.” However, it would be more than 70 years before the first commercial flights from Portugal to Macau began. TAP Air Portugal launched a scheduled service just after the opening of Macau’s airport, in 1995, but it was not sustainable and ended after a couple of loss-making years. Air Macau marks its 25th anniversary this year, but currently flies only as far west as Bangkok, Thailand, and seems unlikely to ever set its sights on Lisbon. Photographs and an article about the 1924 flight, as well as a photo of the wall-mounted propeller, can be found at clublusitano.com . The Oberoi Marrakech is now taking reservations While the Oberoi Casablanca seems to have vanished from the radar since it was announced several years ago, the long-awaited Oberoi Marrakech is now taking reservations from December 1. Located on the Moroccan city’s eastern outskirts, “within twenty-eight acres of Mediterranean orchards with fragrant citrus trees and centuries old olive groves” and with views of the distant Atlas Mountains, the property was originally expected to open in early 2016. For a virtual tour and opening rates, visit oberoihotels.com . Air France flies daily from Hong Kong to Paris, and from there to Marrakech. Lonely Planet publishes 18th edition of India guide First published in 1981, with 700 pages and hand-drawn maps, the 18th edition of Lonely Planet’s extensive India guide will be released on October 1. Now containing 1,256 pages, rather better maps and available also in a PDF edition by individual chapters, it can be previewed and purchased at shop.lonelyplanet.com. The ever-expanding Guides by Lonely Planet app also contains up-to-date mini-guides for 13 Indian cities, which can be downloaded free of charge. Deal of the week – Connexus Travel’s Northern Lights tour Priced from HK$12,290 per person (twin share), Connexus Travel’s Land of Northern Lights tour includes round-trip flights from Hong Kong to Reykjavik, Iceland, via the Finnish capital, Helsinki, with Finnair, five nights’ accommodation and three days of coach touring. Three nights will be spent in Reykjavik and two in the south, in Hella, for Northern Lights viewing and tours to various waterfalls, an optional glacier hike and other activities. The hotels at this price point are the fairly basic Hotel Cabin (Reykjavik) and Arhus Cottages (Hella), or you can upgrade somewhat to the Hotel Klettur and Stracta Hotel from HK$14,290 per person. Daily breakfast, airport transfers and entrance to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa and other sites are included with the package, which will be available until April. For details, select the Packages link at connexustravel.com .