February 2010

Hi, I’ve been reading articles again and I’d like to make a few things clear.

I’m not a very good writer and I don’t have an editor (but sometimes I get someone to spell check).

I just like to write down my thoughts somewhere – this is better than a journal because this has a built in spell checker and really cool formatting options that allow me to add nice pictures and a nice Google Maps. I am not trying to pass this off as a travel guide – I’m just not that good at writing – If I was that would be my job – this is just a hobby.

I just though I’d make this clear in case someone tried to highlight this as an example of poor travel writing.


My inner geek is a dark individual – it has many ideas, some are, some huge and complicated.

It is the being that happily spends hours preparing spreadsheets to budget for trips or made the Google map of Stuttgart accommodation (see previous post), there are many more example I won’t go into right now.

Anyway one of the things I wanted to do was put quotes on my site – mainly travel quotes. Unfortunately as good as WordPress is (and believe me it is) I am for pretty good reason not allowed to use certain html elements within my posts. I fully understand the havoc that could be caused by these, but it is a little frustrating.

Anyway I decided to get around this by dynamically generating my own images. Its a pretty common technique I first used in a previous job to generate those adverts you see with nice pictures that have custom text on.  I haven’t yet gone that far, but I will be tidying and improving soon so you never know what is next.

The final result is the picture to the top left, it looks a little like the one below.

Travel quote of the day

Travel quote of the day

I recently read an article on a travel website, (which will remain nameless). It was one in there “What not to do” series and to be honest I was quite disappointed. To be fair this article of one of many, that does this sort of thing.

They are much like those articles (reports on TV shows) that go to Florida and completely avoid the Theme Parks. I take no issue with this most of the time, but there is in some cases the feeling the reporter or writer considers it not worth looking at because they don’t like it. In the case of those who do this with Disney and  similar I feel they are joyless individuals.

Maybe I am being a little harsh, I would like nothing more than a few weeks wandering with a backpack, its so much fun; but I am proud to admit two weeks of Theme Parks and the other joys of Orlando can easily be as much fun. I have been fortunate enough to spend many a family holiday in Orland (and yes farther afield in Florida)., but one of the days my family talks about and remembers details from is a day a Gatorland. It is a much poorer cousin of the bigger glitzier parks but well over 10 years on and I am guessing for the rest of my life my family will remember the visit. Just as we will remember a certain small aquarium on the Florida Keys and a moped in Key West. Its not always about where you are – it who you are with and what happens.

Back to the article I was moaning about earlier – it was advising people to avoid Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Now it was slated as a tourist trap – too right it is – but some people like like. Some people will spend thousands of pounds travelling across the globe to lay on a beach – some like the flashy tacky tourist shops. I love them, where else would you find a truly hideous plastic snow dome or a handful of postcards for home.

I would advise you do what you want to if you are luck enough to go to Fisherman’s Wharf. There was a bar at the end of the famous Pier 39, where a group of us from the local hostel demonstrated how to drink pitchers of beer for a few hours, that was a great afternoon. More importantly if you do find yourself on the wharf head north to The Cannery (some slightly more upmarket shops and a fantastic bar) and close by is Lou’s Pier 47, a fantastic restaurant with live blues.

All I can advise you is this – go where you want, see what you want, eat and drink what you want (as long as its legal) and try to travel with an open mind – some of the best experiences are unplanned.

Happy travelling!