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Archive for May, 2011

Things that annoys me just a bit.. May 22

I travel a bit both for pleasure and business and there are a couple of things that annoys me just a bit. It is not like I loose any sleep over these issues but they do puzzle me. First up…picture that you are landing with a plane somewhere. After the wheels touch the ground the flight attendant normally starts announcing “Welcome to [the city you are landing in], please remain seated with your seatbelt fastened…etc etc” You know the drill if you have been on a few flights. In Norway they also announce that cell phones should be remained switched off (as e.g. SAS does not allow flight mode during take off and landing) until the fasten seatbelt sign has been switched off. So what is the first sound you hear while the announcement is in progress? Of course it is the start up tune from various Nokia, SonyEricsson and other cell phones. I’m not sure it would kill people to just respect the rules and keep the phone switched off for another 60 second (it doesn’t take long to park at the gate at e.g. Stavanger airport) – is it really that important to switch on the phone to check your messages? Most of the time the passengers have to wait a bit inside the plane after it has been parked as it takes a bit of time for passengers to disembark. This means that you actually have a chance then to switch on the phone.

The next thing that puzzles me is the situation around the baggage belt. For some reason people rush to the baggage belt and most of the time they get there before their luggage. So where is the natural place to park your trolley? For most people this seems to be right next to the belt…as close as possible so that no one else can squeeze between the trolley and the belt. I’m not sure why people do this…it is not like the baggage will come any faster due to this. This wall of people and trolleys makes it almost impossible to see when the suitcases comes onto the baggage belt and when it does, you have to break through the wall of people to get it. And even if the people are about to get a 25 kg heavy and huge Samsonite suitcase right into their legs, they still don’t want to move as they want to make sure that they occupy the little space next to the belt. This has been mentioned on various travel sites and this normally sparks a debate. In the debates almost everyone agrees that this is annoying – so how can it be that 99% of the passengers coming out of the plane is squeezed into the baggage belt? I guess we will never know Winking smile

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com – trip reports and pictures

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Best travel apps for the iPhone May 09

I love the iPhone as a travel gadget – there are lots of very useful tools (and quite a number of rubbish tools as well) that you can download as apps. AOLTravel has looked into that and here is their list of the 11 best travel apps. One of the apps on the list this year is Gowalla , the app that allows you to check in at places when you travel, write something about them and build a sort of virtual passport as you go along. I think it is a fun app and you can see my profile on http://gowalla.com/users/gardkarlsen . I think Google MyMaps is probably the best travel tool on the iPhone but note that accessing the internet and using apps that require data traffic can be very, very expensive indeed (I experienced this in 5 minutes in Shanghai). The solution can be to buy a new sim card when you travel as that is normally not that expensive. What are your favorite travel apps?

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TripAdvisor Travelers’ Award 2011 May 05

It is that time of the year again. Good old TripAdvisor has published the list of the best destinations – the Travelers’ Award 2011. But let’s not beat around the bush – the winner this year is Cape Town in South Africa. I have had the pleasure of visiting this city a few times and it is a beautiful city indeed. It can offer spectacular mountains, amazing views from the top, beautiful beaches, excellent wine districts close by and great restaurants at affordable prices. So if you have a chance to visit Cape Town don’t hesitate – it is recommended. Here is a Cape Town trip report with photos, links and maps that I made after our last trip there. This list continues with places like Sydney, Machu Piccu, Paris, Rio, New York City, Rome, London, Barcelona and Hong Kong – many of the usual suspects in other words. Click on the links on the various cities to read my trip reports. I also had the pleasure of visiting Sydney twice last year but that was more or less “all work and no play” so I don’t have the same feelings for that town as I have to Cape Town. Well, click on the TripAdvisor logo on top to get to the Travelers’ Award 2011.