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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bob's Travel Tips

Considering a week and a half are left in the month, that's pretty nifty.



QUOTE OF THE DAY

Edwards: "Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it."
Kay: "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."



MOVIE REVIEW - MEN IN BLACK

IMDB gave it a 7/10, I give it an 8/10. $90M to make, it got a gross of $250M. That's the dream of people who make profit on movies. This is a fun, happening movie with a lot of good acting, interesting characters and such in it. I've got to say that acting by Vincent D'Onofrio also stole the show.



MOVIE REVIEW - MEN IN BLACK II

Clearly, in this one, they said "Look how much the last one made! We can spend more and make it back!!" So, they spent $140M on it. It managed to make $190M. It surprises me that they didn't make a sequel. After all, this movie made them $50M. IMDB only gave this one a 5.6 - I give it a 6/10. With the vast majority of sequels, the writing seems to decrease. It's like the writers came up with one good idea and can't come up with more. It's very sad, but common. MIB 2 is 'ok' but if you miss it, it's not a big thing.



MASSAGE

Back in the old days (que music) I got to have an occasional massage. Unfortunately, in the states it's just too expensive. I'm hoping to have some overseas. I'll be sure to post the price.



WESTERN EUROPE TRAVEL

I wanted to thank 'Bob RhymeswithRue' from Facebook as he shared with me his advice on travel in Western Europe.

"My work takes me to western Europe so far, so I don't really have a lot of useful advice about Eastern Europe, but I'd really like to travel the Danube in a few years.

Check out expat community websites/blogs for the areas you'd like to visit. Expats living in various countries have TONS of useful info. And I know there are a lot of folks working in Eastern Europe either as expats or as frequent travelers (I was talking to a guy that is a commercial producer that works almost exclusively in the Ukraine, but I only learned his first name).

Try to keep the wardrobe pretty nondescript. I once had a really bad night in Dusseldorf just because of the color of winter jacket I was wearing (red) the day before a huge anti-Turkey rally.

If you're heading to London, just be warned it (and all of England, really) is pretty expensive. Be sure to check out Winston Churchill's Bunker and The Tower. Shop at Tesco's (they're the equivalent of super-discount mega store in England) to keep your costs down. And most importantly, GET the HELL OUT of London. There are so many great things to see in England and London is not the center of the universe (unless most expensive place on earth counts). Warwick Castle is neat, but it's as expensive as a day at Disneyland (but might be worth it to you). Hadrian's Wall is AWESOME! You can hike the length of it. It's not all intact and some of it's on private property, but you can still hike the wall (even on top of the wall itself in a few spots). If you plan to visit historic places in England, get yourself a national trust membership and save yourself a TON of money https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-trust/w-support/w-jointoday/w-jointoday-joinonline.htm. There's a listing of their membership historic sites on their website (Hadrian's Wall is one). Never, ever, say anything bad about the queen or other royals, even when they do something stupid (some folks get really upset).

Scottland in summer is fantastic. Sure the weather isn't always great, but it has so much sunlight.

Germany's economy is going gangbusters, and there's some inflation in prices as a result.

Car rental is expensive and your car insurance provider will not cover you outside of North America. You will have insurance on your rental car from the agency, BUT, it is not 100% and only covers partial. You can purchase additional insurace (full coverage) and it is expensive, but can save you from having to shell out a load of cash when someone dings your door in a parking lot (as a colleague of mine found out the hard way).

Paris isn't France just like London isn't England. There's a lot of great stuff in France and it's a lot cheaper outside of the city. Normandy is great, but it's not easy to get to a lot of the war memorial sites unless you hook up with a group, tour, or rent a vehicle. Each French town has a special "market day" of the week. You can usually find out a town's market day on the town website, or regional sites like this one http://www.le-guide.com/markets/index.html. You can find great bargains and don't even need to spend ANY money to have a lot of fun on market days (they're a BLAST).

If I think of anything else, I'll pass it on to you. NomadicMatt's blog has a lot of other tips. Have some great travels!"

From what he discussed, I'm thinking he hasn't been reading the blog. (In so far as I know escaping London and wearing non-descript clothing is important.) But everything he said is still solid advice. I very much appreciate him taking the time to help me out with the travel advice.

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster | Thailand: Bangkok | Cambodia: Siem Reap |

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