Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
Oct 10th 2009 7:45AM Fresh Airfare:
Barcelona has just been nominated #1 city in the world in which to be pick-pocketed!
Although our observations over the past 9 months have certainly led us to believe that the activity has certainly decreased from January's high levels. We don't see them standing on every street corner and in every metro station like we used to!
It's great that you had a crime-free visit to Barcelona - a lot of people don't. But then again, judging from their general lack of awareness and preparation against being robbed, it's almost like a lot of people are asking to be pick-pocketed.
Unfortunately, Bicing does have its vandals and abusers, but on the whole most residents are respectful of the bikes and thankful to have this service.
Oct 9th 2009 6:10PM Great tour of my resident city!
My favourite place out of all that you visited, apart from the obvious La Boqueria, is E & A Gispert's. I love walking in there and smelling the freshly roasted nuts. I bought a half kilo of just roasted almonds for my partner and it only cost me €3.50. They were still warm when I arrived home a couple of hours later. Delicious!
Oct 8th 2009 9:32AM A tsunami isn't necessarily a big, gigantic wave which is everyone's perception of what it should look like.
The Samoa tsunami was like a big tidal movement - the water gets sucked out and then returns in a big surge which floods everything and, as there is now more water coming in (as a result of the "ripple effect" from the earthquake epicenter) than went out, it spills onto the land with devastating effect.
More info on Chris' ordeal can be read by clicking on the link found in the words "even realized it" in Jeremy's above post.
Oct 3rd 2009 4:15PM Sandra:
I never said that I didn't agree with Matthew's punishment - where did you get that idea from?
Oct 3rd 2009 1:07PM They must have taken tips from the Emirates' FA who did the same thing on a DXB-LGW flight:
It's a pity that they didn't pay attention to what happened to him.
Oct 1st 2009 7:33PM I'm guessing that Patrick's clouds and Andy's lighthouse have been HDR processed, hence the extra detail.
Sep 30th 2009 10:48AM Why aren't they giving the glass Acqua Veritas bottled water away for free? Why would they expect anyone to pay for tap water instead of the other bottled water brands? At the prices of the garbage removal, this would surely work out cheaper, and be the best way to reduce the plastic waste volumes and encourage people to stop buying bottled water.
At the least, they could have a refundable €1-2 charge on the bottles that would be returned when the bottles are given back. It wouldn't be difficult to set up - Europe already has machines which refund money on returned bottles.
Sep 30th 2009 10:30AM Hey Kraig
Thanks for the prompt response.
Yes, getting a medical is not a bad thing to do, although when I got a medical for my dive certification, it was purely based on blood pressure and listening to my lungs, as well as an assessment on my physical appearance. Hardly a test that would bring up most anomalies!
But then - it raises the question that I asked above - would the medical practitioner then be held accountable if they signed off on a medical certificate for a person who then died on something like an adventure trek?
The phrase "opening a whole can of worms" comes to mind!
Sep 30th 2009 10:12AM Kraig - just to be clear, Paul didn't die while hiking. Yes, he was walking the Kokoda trail, but he suffered the attack at night while asleep in his tent. His guide (also sleeping in the same tent) woke up after hearing Paul having breathing difficulties which he didn't survive.
When taking trips which require a certain amount of strenuous activity, it always pays to prepare beforehand. That’s the responsibility of the person who has chosen to take the trip. They, and they alone, should be accountable for ensuring that they have done all the necessary preparation and have the necessary fitness level.
I'm not sure if this doesn't already happen with some of the tour operators, but once someone books with them, it would be appropriate for them to start the communication immediately - informing their clients on what's ahead; suggesting exercise routines to better prepare them for the journey; placing a stake in the ground as to what would be the minimum fitness level required to complete the tour – e.g. a certain distance covered in a particular time.
Ultimately, it’s a combination of both the tour operator and the client working together to ensure that the adventure will end happily for both parties, but the tour operator should also have the final say on whether they feel that a client presents in a fitness condition that is acceptable to undertake the trip.
Would a medical certificate have helped in Paul's case? Here was a 38yo - reasonably fit, not overweight and he had prepared for 6 months before going on the hike. It's possible that a medical examination may have found something wrong with him, but then again, maybe not. Medical exams are not necessarily the most thorough tests. This also raises the question, that, if something does go wrong for a traveller with a medical certificate, is the medical examiner then responsible for that person's death?
I believe that when it's truly your time to go, then it's time to go. If it's on the Kokoda trail or on the sofa in front of the TV, that's it - lights out!
I’m sure that, as with most cases where someone dies in similar circumstances and not due to any accident or weather mishap , Paul will have died due to some other influence – it wasn’t the trail that killed him. He just happened to be there when it was his turn.
Sep 23rd 2009 3:40AM Craig - not sure where Germany ranks, but we've used the ICE trains many times and found them to be a pleasant way to travel around the country. It sure beats having to run the gauntlet of zealous, over-authoritative security personnel that Germany places at all the airports!
However, the AVE trains are something else. If you book First Class which is often not much dearer than a normal class ticket, it comes with a hot meal that is delivered to your seat by friendly train staff! That's the experience that 2 sets of friends have received when travelling from Malaga to Barcelona on their way to visit us.