Recently in Travel Category
December 6, 2011
June 10, 2011
January 20, 2011
A meeting at work this morning reminded me of something I noticed on the flight over to Florida at the tail end of last year and which is worth sharing.
Inspired, possibly, by reading Runway Girl who has talked about this as a possibility, I had my iPad all loaded up with movies, TV and games ready to entertain me for the near-9 hour flight. And it did the job just great. I still had around 40% battery life left at the end of the flight. (Can anyone name the film I'm watching in the photo? :-) )
But that wasn't the thing that was interesting. Here's what was: the guy next to me was also using an iPad (he was watching opera videos). And so was the woman across the aisle from me (playing Fruit Ninja, mainly). And so were two other people in the block of five seats she was sitting in. And so were other people all up and down the plane. As many people were using iPads as were watching the in-flight entertainment - and this was just in the economy class.
We found out earlier in the week that Apple has shipped 15m of these things. And it's beginning to show...
October 20, 2008
However, I'm also using this as a springboard for a new project within the day job, which I'll fill you guys in on tomorrow. In the meantime, here's some Berlin scenes I grabbed with my Flip Mino earlier:
Arrival in Berlin from Adam Tinworth on Vimeo.
So far, so good. The taxi drivers are far more competent that their Parisian counterparts (the first taxi driver I used in Paris for Le Web last year took me to the wrong part of the city...), the city looks beautiful in the autumn sunshine and I'm only 10 minutes walk from the conference venue. But what about the hotel?
March 5, 2008
March 28, 2007
March 19, 2007
I'm a long way from home and very, very tired right now.
I'm in downtown Manhattan, here to visit our US office and speak at a conference on Wednesday.
However, I've been up for 17 hours at this point, so I need coffee before I can write anything more useful.
December 10, 2006
Things I've noticed on my journey:
- For some reason, French trees look distinctly French. They're the same species on the whole, so I suspect it's just planting patterns.
- I was busy plugging my laptop into the covenient power outlet next to my seat, when it struck me that it was odd to offer just a French socket on a London/Paris train. A little later on, the lady the other side of the aisle from me headed to the bar, and I noticed that the socket on her side was a UK one. A quick scout down the train confirmed it: France and UK sockets alternating. What a strange way of doing it. They clearly don't assign seats based on where you booked, or I wouldn't have ended up with a French socket.
- There's so much more countryside in France than the UK. Intellectually, I've known that for years, but watching it fly by on the train makes it that much clearer.
Here's a first for me: I'm blogging somewhere under the English Channel. I'm off to Le Web 3 in Paris and finally getting to travel by Eurostar.
And, hmm, well, it's a touch disappointing. All the adverts they show you of the service certainly don't show you the economy class which, like a good corporate citizen, I've chosen. It's cramped, just a little too warm and feels ever-so-slightly grimy. In future, I'll see if I can wing it into business class.
October 2, 2006
Busy work day today. I'm off on a conference that took up the whole of this evening and will eat up pretty much all of tomorrow. And I'm looking forward to every minute of it. When did that happen?
However, the really cool thing is that both the conference venue and the hotel I'm staying in tonight have completely free internet access. Free WiFi at Sandown Park and free wired broadband in the room at Oatlands Park.
So, I'm keeping up with e-mail, IMing family and friends, listening to podcasts and even getting some blogging done, without it costing me a penny extra. That's customer service. That's what will bring me back to places like this.
August 13, 2006
I should be in France right now. I really should. I should have taken off from London Stanstead yesterday afternoon and landed in Poitiers an hour or so later. Thanks to terrorism, a somewhat extreme reaction from the security forces and bottled drinks, I'm writing this in London.
Yes, a serious reaction to a serious threat is warranted. But at what point does the reaction actually do the terrorists' work for them. As I tried to cram my camera equipment into my hold baggage and decide what not take, these questions were pretty high in my mind. Not books to distract me from the tedium of the flight. No iPod to ease me through takeoff with great music (I'm a nervous flyer). No basic set of clothes with me in case the bags have lost.
I understand the risk. But if, as we seem to be doing, we make travel so miserable for everyone that all we get to carry on board is a handful of belonging is a clear plastic bag, then we're doing the terrorists' work every time someone gets on a plane. We're allowing them to adversely affect every flight people take. We're letting them win.
Still, I've been spared the flight experience. My passport is out of its plastic bag. Our flights were cancelled. We're not going anywhere. The holiday is delayed, possibly cancelled.
Somehow, we've got this one wrong.
May 31, 2006
A new subcategory has appeared under Travel in the list on the right. Florida is home to a series of posts I made while on holiday in, well, Florida 18 months ago. These lived in another blog, because I didn't want to advertise my absence to London's criminal fraternity, but really deserved a home here, too.
May 16, 2006
This week, from yesterday, the15th, through to 21st May, is Malaria Awareness Week.
Why should you care? Well, let me quote a colleague, Piers, who was directly affected by it:
Most people in the UK think of malaria as a tropical disease that has little relevance to them.
Because of this most travellers going abroad do not check if the area they are going to is a malarial hotspot. Of those that do, most refuse, or forget, to take their medication.
My sister, Mattie, was one of those who forgot. Earlier this year she contracted a particularly unpleasant strain called cerebral malaria, which attacks the brain and central nervous system. It went unnoticed, and her GP assumed that she had flu. A week later, in the early hours of the morning of the 26th January, she died. All it took was one mosquito, one bite. She was 19 years old.
Many people, like Mattie, forget to take their pills. Others say that they are worried about the side effects of some Larium-based anti-malarial drugs, such as mefloquine. The fact is that only a handful of people experience any side effects, while just one mosquito bite can be fatal.
We need to raise awareness. Here is a comparison: So far 115 people have died from avian flu, and yet it dominates our newspapers, news programmes and our awareness. Each year over 1.5million people die of malaria, and despite this few people are aware of the dangers.
There is no need for people to die from malaria. It is preventable and treatable and yet it remains one of the major causes of death worldwide.
If you are going on holiday, or if anyone you know is going abroad, do check whether the area is a malarial hotspot. And if you are advised to take medication, follow that advice.
It is within our power to stop this vicious killer.
Please spread the word, raise awareness and take the pills.
And most of all, head to http://www.malariahotspots.co.uk/output/page1.asp before you fly.
March 15, 2006
February 5, 2006
January 25, 2006
November 16, 2005
The observant amongst you will have noted a few day's silence here at OM&HB. One Woman and I have been on a long weekend break to the Isle of Wight and, as is increasingly common these days, I gave myself a break from the internet while I was away. Oh, I had my laptop with me, and I could have dialled up from the hotel but, in the end, I just didn't feel like it.
Funnily enough, I feel disproportionately rested for the length of time I was away, and I suspect that the break from online communication contributed to that. Well, that and the spa pool in the hotel, of course. I'm going to e-isolate myself on holidays a little more in future.
October 17, 2005
October 16, 2005
Lord, I've been slack over the last week, haven't I?
I've been busy at work � the harder things are at the mag, the less mental energy I have for the blog, alas. And having two other blogs to write for doesn't help.
However, I did promise you some observations about France, so here's a really obvious one: smoking is so much more prevalent over there still, particularly amongst the women.
This is, of course, a flimsy excuse to post this picture�
October 5, 2005
October 1, 2005
September 30, 2005
September 29, 2005
September 27, 2005
September 26, 2005
I used my precious free time in Madrid to walk down Paseo de la Castellana, the main road that forms a spine down the centre of the city. One of the first things I encountered was Bernabeu Stadium, where Real Madrid play. Normally, I'm neither a fan of football nor of concrete buildings, but this one caught my attention.
Perhaps it was the striking design. Perhaps it was the copious open space around it. Maybe it was just the light - but I did like it.
September 25, 2005
I couldn't write about my time in Madrid without mentioning the coffee. As one conference attendee put it: "It really leaves your heart thumping, doesn't it?" An Italian journalist I had lunch with dismissed the Spanish coffee as "brown water", but personally, I think she was being disingenuous.
The Spaniards like their coffee strong. They like their coffee breaks. And they like staying up late. I suspect that these facts are connected.
September 24, 2005
I have a bad habit of forgetting just how busy some conferences can be. My trip to Madrid was one of those. On the whole trip I had, perhaps, a couple of hours of free time. I took a whole load of pictures but as they were, technically, on work time and work-related I won't be sharing them. However, I did spend my few hours free walking and photographing, and I'll try to share some of those images over the next week.
September 19, 2005
September 18, 2005
Airports are depressingly similar wherever you are in Europe. Sure, the iconography of the signs is different, and the language varies, but it's not until you get outside that you really start to feel the cultural differences.
In Madrid today, the differences started the minute I tried to catch a taxi. There was a queue, as you'd expect. Except, well, it wasn't actually a queue: it was a starting grid from which desperate travellers would hurl themselves forwards trying to grab a cab. There was no order or reason to it. You just threw yourself at a cab, accompanies by good-natured horn blowing from the cabbies, and hoped that one would take pity on you.
Of course, being British, I watched this in horror for about 10 minutes before realising that I had to join in if I wanted to get to my hotel. Initially, my chosen cabbie rejected me, but after it became clear that he wasn't getting a better offer, he begrudging let me into the hallowed portals of his cab.
I don't want to talk about the journey. The sight of a fat man in leather, riding a motorbike at 150 kilometres per hour, while fondling his exposed privates is not something I ever want to think about again.
The hotel, though, is fab. Stylish with good-sized rooms and WiFi throughout. Perfect, really. Oh, and the view. The view is stunning. But you already knew that, didn't you? It's at the top of this post.
I've mentioned my wee problems with flying before on this blog. Over the last couple of years, I've developed a pretty reasonable non-chamical arsenal of solutions to the problem. The first of these, and the one I was using today, is my iPod and a set of JVC noise-cancelling headphones. While I can't use them during take-off and landing, they do help soothe me through the body of the flight, which is a massive blessing.
Oh, and I was reading Word magazine, which I can't praise highly enough. A thoroughly entertaining, highly intelligent and very well written music magazine. The latest issue held my attention for much of the flight.
I know BA have had the odd problem of late (choose your contractors with more care, my friends), but their online check-in system is a wonderful thing.
Yesterday afternoon, in my Mum's front room in Suffolk, I checked myself in for today's flight to Madrid. No queuing when I arrived at the airport: I was straight up to the fast bag drop desk, and off through security. Very impressive, and a nice example of the virtual and the physical working in perfect harmony.
Now, I'm busy checking my e-mail and waiting for my flight's gate number to be announced.
Next stop: Spain and a conference. What ho!
June 15, 2005
June 8, 2005
June 4, 2005
May 24, 2005
May 23, 2005
May 22, 2005
I grabbed this one from a bus from Edinburgh airport to Waverley Bridge. House prices have rocketed in the Scottish capital to London-like proportions. Still, there were plenty of properties near the centre still in the process of being renovated, or in need of some attention. If the market holds up, there's some money to be made there.
May 19, 2005
WiFi in airport departure lines is the mark of civilised countries. Free WiFi is the mark of truly civilised countries. Based on my experiences in Edinburgh and Washington, the UK is civilised and the USA is truly civilised.
In other news, I was reminded again today of the fact that pretty much the first thing people do when going for a meeting with someone new is Google them. If you Google me, you get this site. More and more people I'm meeting through magazine work have read this site before I meet them. I'd better be on my best behaviour, hadn't I?
May 18, 2005
I'm sat on the upper floor of a Starbuck's on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, watching people come and go in the grey drizzle, while I catch up on my e-mail. And yes, I know it's been a long time since I posted. There was a death in the family, you see, and that's the sort of event that always puts a different perspective on things. Blogging, for a while, seemed unimportant.
Anyway, life moves on, and sometimes good news follows bad. One Woman will shortly be Dr One Woman, after sailing through her PhD viva with flying colours. After six years of effort, that's good news. Last night was spent celebrating this in a Lewisham hostelry, and now I'm in Edinburgh. My, what a dynamic, cosmopolitan life I live.
I like coming to Edinburgh, and the east coast of Scotland generally. I grew up not far from here, you see, and there's something about the accents, and the landscape, and the colour of stone used in the buildings, and the temperature that says "home" to me. I can feel a little stress slipping out of me every time I leave London, but Scotland magnifies the effect, as do Suffolk and the West Country.
It's nice just chilling out with a (decaff) coffee and watching the world go by.
January 26, 2005
December 4, 2004
So, we went to the Everglades today, and I had a photographic orgy with my new digital SLR. The results are below.
No more words are needed. Just enjoy the pictures.
November 27, 2004
The one major flaw in any intercontinental travel for me is this: you need to fly. Now, in principle I like the ides of flying. I love take-off and landing and I love being able to travel so far, so quickly. However, somewhere deep in my lizard brain, the primitive part of me hates turbulence. It pumps adrenaline into my system with such force that, all of a sudden, I want to fight, to attack, to break things. Clearly, this is not a good idea on an eight hour flight across the Atlantic. And so, wrapped in a warm cocoon of prescription tranquillisers, I flew to Washington DC.
The staff at Washington airport were great: friendly, helpful and unfailingly polite. I think we Brits are in danger of relinquishing our reputation for politeness to those damn colonials. If there was any fault we could find with the staff, in fact, it was their paucity. 90 minutes is just too long to wait in a hot immigration queue, especially with a transfer flight to catch. As soon as the US authorities had my fingerprints on record, and had take a quick snap of my tranquillised face, we were free to run for the boarding gate and catch the connection to Fort Lauderdale.
November 25, 2004
Technically, I suppose, this holiday began two days ago when we finished work and set off to Suffolk to collect my mother. These two days ahevn't felt like part of the holiday, though. They've felt like a typical weekend at Mum's, complete with haircut, shopping and a slightly drunken evening meal.
In less than an hour, though, we'll be off, setting course for London and my brother's place, before continuing on to Heathrow the following morning.
This is my first holiday with my family since my late teens, and my first with Lorna's family.
Am I scared? Oh, yes.
September 19, 2004
My busy weekend is finally over, and I'm a long way from where it started. I'm typing this in the Hotel Intercontinental in Budapest, which I'm delighted to learn has broadband net access. That's one way to keep a journalist happy.
I've really lucked out with this trip. I'm here covering the Corenet Global conference, and have been given a 9th floor room with a view overlooking the river and the palaces opposite. Pictures in the morning.....
I am a terrible air traveller, by the way. I hate flying with a passion, although I can distract myself from this fact with a really good book, if I try. The journey over was fairly painless, though. The drive to the airport was delayed by roadworks on the A12, but that was compensated for by a happy, chatty bus driver from the car park to the airport departures. "You're flying Hungarian Airlines are you? You'll be alright," he opined. "The pilot'll want to get home this time of night."
The guy was spot on. We arrived in Budapest airport early, and a chatty taxi driver whisked me in a Mercedes (!) to the hotel. He'd visited London, he revealed as he overtook a stream of traffic at 120 kph, before neatly slipping back into his own lane. "It was nice for a visit, a week or two, yah?"
"It is too busy. I would not like to live there."
He also, to be fair, hated the speed cameras that litter London's roads. The city would not suit his driving style at all.