What exactly is a GPS-guided travel article?

As a special LIMITED TIME INTRODUCTORY OFFER my popular travel article about Doha, Qatar is going to be available on GPSmyCity FREE OF CHARGE for a full week.

What exactly is a GPS-guided travel article?

You know what it’s like, you did all your travel research, read loads of travel articles about your chosen destination, then you arrive.

As you walk around you get the feeling you’re missing out, that you’ve forgotten something. You get on the flight home and realise you missed an awesome trip or unique sight seeing opportunity.

GPSmycity_citywalks

How good would it have been if you’d only had access to the great blog post you’d read, right there and then? OK, so you may have added it to your browser bookmarks but you’d prefer not to use up expensive overseas data charges to download it and anyway the wifi was hit and miss or a bit too dodgy to trust.



Oh well, guess that not being able to find that great museum or gallery is just something you accept as a traveller. Or not!

Next trip you can use a GPS-guided travel article.

What exactly is a GPS-guided travel article?

It’s a travel article written by a fellow traveller with GPS coordinates embedded within it AND it includes a map of the route taken in the article.

You can find thousands of these articles (from over 750 worldwide cities) at GPSmyCity. Once you download the app to your phone, you don’t even need an internet connection to view or use the guide and integrated map.



How cool is that! You’ll be able to take the same walk and not miss out on the reason you wanted to go there in the first place.

GPSmycity_screen

That’s going to be expensive isn’t it?

No, you can download the written content at your convenience, from GPSmyCity FREE OF CHARGE so that you can read it at your leisure later, without needing wi-fi.

Is that it?

No, if you do decide you want the full GPS-guided article, you just pay a small fee to upgrade ($1.99). Less than the price of a coffee to make sure you don’t miss out, that’s got to worth it, right?

It’s your own experienced personal travel guide, in your pocket.

Why am I telling you this?

As a special LIMITED TIME INTRODUCTORY OFFER my popular travel article about Doha, Qatar is going to be available on GPSmyCity FREE OF CHARGE for a full week.

JUST CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK:

5 Things to Do in Doha, Qatar

 

You can download it FOR FREE from the directory from Monday (5th June 2017) until the following Sunday (11th June 2017)

GPS-guided travel articles can be accessed in two different ways:

  1. Click on a link below for the article you are interested in (if you haven’t already downloaded the free GPSmyCity app, you will see a prompt to do so). After downloading the app, you will be directed to the article, where you can choose UPGRADE to get the GPS-guided version.
  2. From the GPSmyCity app, you can browse by city to see which articles are available.

What exactly is a GPS-guided travel article-



Vietnam – The Hanoi to Hue Overnight Train – Not for the squeamish but an unmissable experience

British Rail would be twitching and litigating against such apparent recklessness

Hanoi train station

The station in Hanoi is quite bare compared to Europe’s sign-written, commercial railways. Stark grey concrete and not a word of English or at least none that we could see. No shops or the niceties of vending machines or cafes.

The trains are utilitarian and reminiscent of a film noire.

 

It’d make a great cold war film set. In comparison to the madness of colour, sound and constant frenzied friendliness that is Hanoi it just made me feel cool, cold almost and quite vulnerable.

Vietnam's bustling red lanterns and fast motorbikes

It was quite an odd feeling on a hot and humid day. 

This was when we were sure that going on a G Adventures accompanied group trip was worth the money. The vast open station with platforms lined with long anonymous aged trains was quite daunting. You know in an exciting way.

Officials in Vietnam like a good uniform preferably with braids and metallic trimmings demanding respect.

I didn’t get to grips with who was the police, security or rail staff throughout the whole trip. We meekly followed our impressively uniformed train guard and Cambodian travel guide across train tracks, YES, we walked across the train tracks.

Continue reading “Vietnam – The Hanoi to Hue Overnight Train – Not for the squeamish but an unmissable experience”

Why You Should Go On A Bike Ride In Hoi An, Vietnam

My untrained eye didn’t deceive me on that one as the seat dug into places it really shouldn’t, or at least not without due invitation!

Why You Should Go On A Bike Ride In Hoi An, Vietnam

What better way to immerse myself in the culture of Vietnam than to cycle. While somewhere in town a tailor was creating my beautiful hand made clothes, I decided to pass the time seeing a bit of the ‘real’ Vietnam.

Now let me admit I can ride a bike in the tradition of ‘you never forget’ however I have still to master the art of jumping up kerbs and no hands trick cycling a la BMX style. This basic skill of mine is enough to enable me to get from A – B but not in any artistic, or too speedy, fashion.

You can therefore imagine my trepidation / terror…

…when the cycle man arrived with a bunch of bikes with varying degrees of rust and dents, in my amateur opinion very aged brake cables and decidedly uncomfortable looking seats. My untrained eye didn’t deceive me on that one as the seat dug into places it really shouldn’t, or at least not without due invitation!

 

Well I had decided to try everything I could

I would embrace all new learning experiences with a smile so I got in position and set off. Wobble wasn’t the word to quite cover the way the cycle heaved quite violently at every bump, and let’s put it this way Vietnam is not known for its smooth pot-hole free highways.

Cycle_ride_in_Vietnam_with_local_cow

We took our life in our hands…

to cross a major junction, remember I can’t do hands free so…mirror ( what mirror), signal (WHAT NO HANDS) manoeuvre (don’t go too fast they will hit you!) took on a threat level as significant to me as a two year old walking across the UK M1 motorway. OK I admit it I was scared. It lasted approximately one minute until I reached the other side and then the absolutely stunning beautiful although rather bumpy raised grass pathways between the rice fields.

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5 Things To Do In Doha, Qatar – The Up And Coming Jewel Of The Middle East

The good thing about Qatar is that whilst it isn’t cheap, it isn’t prohibitively expensive so try it now before the crowds.

5 Things To Do In Doha, Qatar – The Up And Coming Jewel Of The Middle East

I’m sure most of you have heard of Dubai, but Qatar may not be on your radar, unless of course you’re a soccer fan. In which case you’ll be aware the FIFA World Cup will be held there in 2022. I’m not going to dig any deeper on that, just please don’t judge a place or its people until you’ve been there.

Dubai is leading the field in this area in the development of tourism but Qatar is not far behind, and with all the positivity and enthusiasm I’m sure they will soon be not far behind. The good thing about Qatar is that whilst it isn’t cheap, it isn’t prohibitively expensive so try it now before the crowds.

The modern hi-tech airport in Doha is an award winner and their staff are probably the friendliest airport staff I’ve come across. I’m impressed as I’m sure it’s not easy to keep your calm when stressed travellers are shouting in every language you can imagine. The taxi rank is easy to find, the taxis are all aqua blue.



You’ll no doubt be ferried down the city centre roads which are 6 lane motorways. They are packed with the biggest variety of 4x4s doing U turns and lane jumping you’ll see. If you don’t need to drive, don’t, it’s a skill here so let the taxis take the strain. The taxi drivers are mostly Indian, I asked ours if he liked driving in Doha or India. He laughed, much preferring Doha, as in India he advised us the traffic is just as chaotic but there are people, cattle, dogs and tuk-tuks as well. He thought the actions of the Ferraris, Bentleys and 4x4s were much easier to predict!

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If you’re heading across the globe you may be offered a stopover in Qatar, you can do much worse. Try to arrange a long weekend in Doha, it has some real gems.

1. Museum of Islamic Art

Doha_Museum_architecture

I could easily spend a full day here, on a regular basis. It’s a huge well designed modern museum, packed with well protected and well labelled artifacts from across a huge swath of the ancient and modern muslim world.

The various galleries span three floors. The fourth floor was closed on our visit, I think probably to prepare another exhibit. There was a temporary ‘threads’ exhibition on the ground floor, all of which was stunning in it’s beauty and history, it included unique an no doubt highly prized historic pieces. The whole museum is an educational, artistic and informative haven from the heat. If I lived in this city this would be a regular haunt.

Doha_jewelled_falcon

The cafe at the entrance is worth a visit too, although menu quite small, it’s ideal for a drink and snack. The free parking and free entry is great, and unexpected.

They should ask for donations as I’m sure all the tourists and locals alike would give generously. The fund could go towards continued protection of our art and histories, vital work in these troubled times.

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Vietnam – Mekong Delta Day Trip – Coconuts, toffee and snakes

‘Hello love, here’s your jacket spud and beans and by the way how about holding a Python later.’

Vietnam – Mekong Delta Day Trip – Coconuts, toffee and snakes

We had Mekong Delta trip as an item on the Vietnam to do list. You may already be familiar with my 1 – 2 – 3 method of planning a trip.

No? Well quick recap:

1 – MUST DO THIS!

2 – Really want to do this

3 – Will I have time / money to do this?

So back to the Mekong. It was a no 1 but prior to the trip I’d not booked it. We knew we had a few days spare at the end of our Vietnam tour so a trip to a local agent would not be a problem. We’d compare prices and get the best deal.

In hindsight maybe we should have done that, however as we had travelled and enjoyed our whole trip with the tour guide we didn’t. We took his recommendation and slotted into a trip he knew about.

We climbed on board a very rickety boat, very rickety!

If it’d been at the beginning of the journey it would have made me nervous but by now we’d melted into the way of the East. We’d accepted their Health and Safety concerns aren’t managed quite as they are in the West. Those who’ve been there will understand I am using a tad of understatement here! Some others on the trip were ‘newbies’ apparent by less creased clothes and a more nervous demeanour.

Vietnam Beauty

The local guide chatted to us in English and gave us a small printed map of our trip. We’d be out all day and see a lot, lunch included. The first stop off was reached and I took my life in my very shaky hands as I climbed up a rusty ironwork bridge to land. I love land. I don’t like bridges.

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No Spoiler Book Review – Autobiography – The Motorcycle Diaries, Ernesto Che Guevara

You will learn so much about this iconic figure from 20th century history I don’t want to spoil it for you, but wow it’s worth the read.

No Spoiler Book Review – Autobiography – The Motorcycle Diaries, Ernesto Che Guevara

Title: The Motorcycle Diaries, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara

Author: Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara

Translation: Alexandra Keeble

Copyright: Che Guevara Studies Center & Aleida March

Ebook: 

Audio Book: 

Blurb: In January 1952, two young men from Buenos Aires set out to explore South America on a 500cc Norton. One of them was the twenty-three-year-old Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara.

Written eight years before the Cuban Revolution, these are the diaries of Che Guevara, full of disasters and discoveries, high drama and laddish improvisations. Touring through Argentina, Chile, Peru and Venezuela, his greatest concerns are where the next drink is coming from, where the next bed is to be found and who might be around to share it.

Within a decade Che Guevara would be a household name. His trip might have been the adventure of a lifetime – had his lifetime not turned into a much greater adventure.

More recently made into an Oscar-winning film starring Gael Garcia Bernal, ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ is an extraordinary account of a hero in the making.

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Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland – A Night at The Museum with Awesome Art Classics

The exhibits are displayed in smaller rooms, well spaced so browsing and taking your time is easy and enjoyable.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland – A Night at The Museum with Awesome Art Classics

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland - A Night at The Museum with Awesome Art Classics

Product:

Art Gallery, shop and cafe

Location:

Argyle Street, Glasgow, Scotland

Van Gogh

Overview:

This gallery is housed in a beautiful, classical architectural jewel of a building in Glasgow city. We parked up in the cheap on-site car park and walked through the small gardens to the entrance. Entrance is free, with a voluntary donation of £5 minimum, it’s well worth the donation!

The gallery is spread over three floors, with cafe and shop to visit before you leave. The shop has some really well designed souvenirs, reasonably priced and not just the usual junk.

The exhibits are displayed in smaller rooms, well spaced so browsing and taking your time is easy and enjoyable. The downstairs rooms are a bit more chaotic as they are aimed at education of the young. Lots of laughter and running between the tactile displays shows they’ve got it spot on.

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Le Penseur, Auguste Rodin – The Vatican Museum, Rome

Some of the most important art in the world is there and folk just barge you out of the way and literally run through the galleries

Le Penseur, Auguste Rodin

Le Penseur, Auguste Rodin – The Vatican Museum, Rome

Some say size matters, boy did they get that one wrong. Always choose quality over quantity!

I am so lucky, I have seen some of the most beautiful, historic, thought provoking stunning art. I’ve visited Paris to see Mona Lisa, despite what you may have perceived from the media images, she’s tiny! None the less she’s worth the trip. Wow! Amazing.

Whilst on a recent trip to Rome I was walking around the breathtaking Vatican Museum. A huge number of people almost run through that place. It’s bizarre. Some of the most important art in the world is there and folk just barge you out of the way and literally run through the galleries to get to the Sistine Chapel.

Shame.

Now the Sistine Chapel is just indescribable, although I will try in a future blog post, but please people…

slow down…

take a breath…

take in the beauty around you…

As I meandered through the long halls and enjoyed the galleries held securely in between, I was surprised to see an artwork I’d not even realised was there. It wasn’t mentioned in my brochures and my research had missed it, my bad.

Stood on a humble pillar, within a small off shot gallery sat this gorgeous man. He wasn’t drawing attention to himself, he sat quietly, some visitors almost knocked him from his pedestal in their haste to pass him by.

Who was this tactile, bronze, muscular naked figure quietly demanding my attention? Silently calling out to me to reach out a hand and almost tentatively touch his shoulder, I resisted the temptation, as you do with a forbidden love.

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What To Think About When Planning A Month Long Trip Around The Greek Islands

Travel planning is like decorating, it looks easy but it’s always so much easier for the professionals.

This summer I arranged a month long back-packing trip around the Greek Islands. If you’d like to do the something similar but ‘don’t know where to start  here’s a few tips that may help you get started.

You can also share my thoughts as I planned another ‘holiday of a lifetime.’

Travel planning is like decorating, it looks easy but it’s always so much easier for the professionals. Don’t be put off using a travel agent. They get a bad press but they know what they are doing. Even if you just talk through options and take away their brochures, you’ve learnt something.

You can just get online, right now, book a flight and start travelling. HOWEVER that may not be your best idea.

On a budget? Being impulsive may not be the cheapest option.

Have to stick to a set timescale? The ferry’s don’t run every day, so you could get stuck and miss your flight home.

Prefer to know where you are going? Plan it, or you may not see the islands you’d like.

For holiday planning I get a huge cheap notepad, nothing fancy and not a travel journal, not yet anyway. That comes later! Scribble down your ideas and date them. Things change, it helps you keep track. At this stage you are FREE to do whatever you want. Be creative and don’t rule anything out.

Try using the 5 W’s (+ 1 H) as I do.

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My Desert Island Discs – Thank you BBC Radio 4 for the inspiration

Ask everyone, they remember their first love. It’s embedded in their emotional map.

Radio 4 Desert Island Discs

My Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4 transmit Desert Island Discs and have done so since 1942.(Copyright probably BBC, I did look but couldn’t find the official reference for it)

The programme has the same theme tune as the original, it’s now become a radio institution, recognisable across the globe.

The radio programme has one presenter, currently Kirsty Young, who interviews a celebrity, academic or public figure about their life. The conversation is held against a back drop of their favourite pieces of music and the reasons behind their choices. If they were stuck on a desert island, which eight pieces of music, discs, would they like to have with them.

A extra dimension is also which books would they need with them on the island. The guest is ‘given’ the complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible. Remember this did start on the BBC back in the forties. The Bible can now be exchanged for any other book of religion or philosophy.

At the end of the programme the guest must decide on ‘saving’ just one book. They are also allowed one luxury item.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have every intention of becoming a best selling author and will therefore get on the radio show for real at some point soon. However in the meanwhile I thought I’d share my current Desert Island Discs  shown below in no particular order.

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