Subscribe RSS

Archive for the Category "Travel"

Now here’s an interesting reason to travel Dec 16

In the last post I promised to mention nice places, but this concept popped up, so I’ll put off the nice places until next time. Maybe.

You know how people are fascinated with the macabre. Horror movies are popular, we all wish the obituaries told what the person died of, and we slow down to look at traffic accidents. We like to see the grim and gruesome.

A lot of places to visit are not rich countries, and tourist dollars are an important part of their economies. Some of these places also experience natural disasters, sometimes on a large scale. Indonesia, for example is an island nation (tsunamis) on the Pacific ring of fire (volcanoes).

A river swamped by volcanic ash, called lahar. Kind of interesting, isn't it?

A big volcanic ash cloud can cut off air transportation, and with it, tourist dollars. Some enterprising tourist agencies are promoting the idea of disaster tourism. Instead of avoiding the area, come see the collapsed villages, the refugee camps, the devastated forests. I know Indonesia and Haiti have these opportunities, maybe other places, too. You can visit, and you don’t have to get dirty or do volunteer work. Bringing your tourist dollars is all the help they’re asking for. That should give some grim satisfaction.

You might think I’m being ironic, but this is for real. Here’s a link:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=indonesia-turn

Something to think about, eh?

Thought-provoking funny Aug 15

Here’s a comic from a site I read fairly regularly (okay, every day). The site is called Scenes from a Multiverse, and since I’m posting this comic without permission, I want to plug the site. It’s almost always funny, and sometimes thought-provoking, especially if you can get used to the fact that the protagonists are weird beings from another universe posing, basically, as humans. Go there and poke around. It’ll be quite a, um, trip.

Click to enlarge

And my point? Don’t go on a vacation where you do nothing! Go somewhere interesting. Learn something. See something you’ve never seen. Have an adventure.

But don’t stand on a bridge with a forced smile.

Category: General, Humor, Travel  | Leave a Comment
A quickie about airfare Aug 09

Your Serenity agent (and all other travel agents) can’t discount airfare, but the airlines can, and they apparently can do it about any way they want, such as offer lower fares from some airports than from others. Makes sense, in a way; after all, distances are different. Just the same, you can fly out of some places for less.

Wanna know which airport of the top 100 has had the largest fare decline in the past year? Mitchell International. That’s in Milwaukee, not exactly local to Delaware. But fares dropped 17% in the last year, on average. Have your Wisconsin relatives come visit you–they can get your friends and family Serenity discount for their motel. You can take them to that place in Philly that isn’t there. Such a deal, huh?

PS: Be alert for the next post–Aug 11. It’ll mention a long-distance trip (as in millions of miles) you can do from your back yard, and your Milwaukee relatives can take the same trip.

If you don’t want to miss the post, click the orange RSS feed icon over there on the left, and it’ll be delivered to you.

PPS: This doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but today’s date is 8-9-10. And less than a quarter past 11 tonight, it’ll be 8-9-10-11:12:13 Neat, huh?

Category: Plug, Travel  | Leave a Comment
Bastille Day Jul 14

Where else to vacation but France? How about Paris? Ah, yes, gay Paree; I remember it well. (Back before the word “gay” was taken up by another, uh, cause—and “paree” is how the French pronounce “Paris.” In French you drop the final consonant. Usually.)

Paris is a big place. A lot goes on there, and the city has a million things to do and see, and the locals do and see them, too. I don’t think you’ll find too many tourist traps there. The whole place is a tourist trap, and you’ll love it. Here’s a view of the Eiffel Tower that you don’t get every day.

Yes, Paris has a modern downtown. Click to enlarge.

How do you decide what to do in Paris? Do your homework. Shoot an email to the French consulate asking for info. Do an online search. Talk to someone who has been there. Take a French teacher out for coffee. Learn a little French and French history. (Yes, you’ll find Parisians who snicker at your accent, but most of the citizenry will be pleased that you made the effort.) You’ll get ideas as you go along; make a list, but don’t be too enamored of it. When you get there, be really flexible. It’s about impossible to go anywhere wrong.

In a place like Paris, serendipity is the name of the game. Speaking of which, did you notice the quote from a musical about Paris? Brag in the comments.

Next post: a bit about how to find your way around Paris.

Category: Adventure, Travel  | Leave a Comment
Nice is nice Jun 26

Thats Nice, as in France. Pronounced “neece.” It’s a seacoast town, on the same sea as Manarola in yesterday’s post (the Mediterranean). The climate is wonderful, the people are friendly (and happy to accept your tourist dollars), and (ahem) a Serenity agent can fix you up with any of several wonderful places to stay while you visit.

But that’s not why I’m writing about Nice. I touched on technology in that last post, and some interesting technology is happening in Nice. If you like to visit seacoast towns, you probably have a certain affinity for large bodies of water. Maybe you like to skin dive or use scuba. How about a personal submarine?A company in the south of France is building one, and they’ll be testing it any day now in the waters off Nice. Here’s a picture I shamelessly stole from an article about the sub. I hope they like the free advertising.

It's wet inside. You have to wear scuba

It uses parts from a bicycle, and you pedal it to make it go. No torpedoes. I suppose it might enter the water sport market someday, but right now they are building it to enter into a submarine race.

We used to go watch submarine races back when I was in high school, but that was something different altogether.

Category: Adventure, Travel  | Leave a Comment