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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

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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!

This is a bit of a test to see if I can embed a google map in my blog and what it looks like!

Blue markers are budget.
Green markers are mid-range.
Red Markers are expensive.

Long time no post – sorry about that – its been a busy a few weeks and I do have a number of longer articles in the pipeline I just haven’t had chance to write them up properly.

However I had a few thoughts last night about the pleasures of driving in modern Britain. I was very excited all those years ago when I passed my test and then I didn’t really have a car for a good few years, my money was required for travel and drinking, so I didn’t bother – I could borrow my dad’s car if I needed it for work or similar so all was good. When I finally got my first car I was because I had a real job and needed to drive to it and it served me well. My second car is a little more fun and I really enjoy driving it – even though most journeys are to work and back.

Anyway yesterday evening I was returning from a triumphant rugby match and although it wasn’t night as such at this time of the year the roads are dark enough for it to feel like night. Much more fun to drive later at night as the roads are quieter, fewer of the halfwitted chimps that seem to take their driving styles from Wacky Races, the BTCC and Stock Cars! You still get those who feel speed is essential and the more, the better…

There is obviously one big down side to night driving, no views, but I think if you are not bothered about view, you just need to get somewhere, on bigger less interesting roads then stick to driving at night.

A sign I found on the web

Happy New Year to my sister (I will suffer for this)

It’s that time of year again – the year is ending and everyone is writing lists, I wrote one in my last post, but I write many lists and they are usually travel related.

So I apologise for adding to the end of year madness and I leave you with this from one of my favourite, and in my humble opinion, one of the best TV programs ever made.

TOBY
What are you doing?
TABITHA
Crossing off the FDR Memorial, the Atrium, and the Folger Library. I like crossing off lists. It’s very satisfying. You like lists?
TOBY
Yes.
TABITHA
You like crossing things off?
TOBY
I’ll let you know if it happens.

The West Wing (The U.S. Poet Laureate) Toby Ziegler & Tabitha Fortis.

I wish all my readers (who celebrate at this time of year) a very Happy New Year and a travel filled 2010.

The barely sub zero temperatures and promised snow around the U.K. this week caused a little panic and if the few inches that fell this January return the country will again fall into chaos. While I awaited our fate I heard the snow was piling up in Turin (reports from my sister).

Now I hear the Channel Tunnel is crippled by the weather – an amazing failure of the system, 5 trains effected by rapid temperature change which caused an electrical failure.

With power failures and sporting postponements adding to the mix its a poor reflection on my countries ability to cope, obviously the French are to take some of the Channel Tunnel blame too.

So I now await the joys of next weeks weather, I have a drive back to the family pile for a few days over Christmas and until the the perilous morning commute. I have little fear over my own abilities on ice, but as most other drivers are less than capable I worry about them. I was close to having my front onside wing remodelled by small city car who lost control on a roundabout last January. I only mention this as my wonderful country seems unable to cope with any adverse conditions and lets be fair we don’t exactly get the extremes other countries experience.

Anyway – while the winter storms batter us, one airline folds (Fly Globe Span) and British Airway‘s staff attempt to ruin Christmas for millions and ruin their employers I will wish you all well for the season and hope that everyone gets where they need to be for Christmas (even if it isn’t where they really want to be).