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A highlight from AT#834 - Travel to Edinburgh, Scotland
"Back to the show Dan from the zipping around the world travel podcast to Dan has been on talking about Munich and the island of Samos in Greece before and today's come to talk to us. But I Edinburgh, Scotland, Dan, welcome back to the show. Thanks so much, Chris. Appreciate you having me on again. What is your connection with Edinburgh, Scotland here? Now we're in three different countries that we've talked to you about. Yeah, my connection is travel. My podcast is travel years is too, and it's a passion of mine, and this is a place that I've been recently that I thought, hey, let's see if Chris needs a new show and here we are. Excellent. And why should someone go to Edinburgh? The history, if you like a little whisky, if you like, just greenery, it's just a wonderful place to go, the people are wonderful, English speaking, so it's easy for a lot of people to cast their net. First, so all those things encompass why you'd want to go to Scotland. I would have to say among the English speaking peoples, the two places that I might have a little more trouble are Scotland and New Zealand. You have to listen a little closely sometimes. Yes. I agree. I've met some Scottish gentlemen actually in Munich one time in my life. And I couldn't understand them at all. And I thought everybody spoke that broken English or Scottish English. But it was much. It was much easier. Yeah, it was much easier in Scotland than what I thought it would be to understand them. So I think it just depends on where they live in the country. Sure, I would think so. Yep. Excellent. We're going to start what kind of itinerary are you going to recommend? Yeah, let me lay this out real quick. Let's do like day one on the royal mile. Let's do kind of a day two to Edinburgh castle. Let's do a day three rest of Edinburgh, day four, Sterling, Scotland, and day 5, which will be a quick little discussion either a day trip to saint Andrews or even Glasgow, just depending on what somebody would want to do. Okay? So you're starting us on the royal mile. Yeah, we'll start on the royal mile. Chris, one thing. Let's talk about maybe getting to a moral Scotland. I know some people will fly in. That's the easy part. We actually took a train from London. And just a little bit of insight there. You take the northern eastern railway, and that's out of king's cross in London. And I would just give somebody a tip that, hey, book your tickets early and get reservations. They are free when you get your tickets. We were there peak season, Chris, we were there in late June, early July. And I watched a gentleman hold his baggage for two hours on his lap because there was no place for luggage. Make sure that you book a reservation and get on the train, early don't get on the train late. And you're at king's cross that goes from gate 9 and three quarters, as I recall. Those trains actually go out to another part of the world, but you're in that same train station, yes. Got it. Okay. My mistake. Okay, so let's start at the royal mile. Let's go ahead and what is the royal mile, first of all? Yeah, the royal mile, it is a stretch of street slash road that runs from Edinburgh castle down to holyrood palace. And holyrood palace is where the British monarchy stays when they're in the British royalty stays when they are in town. Although when they're in town, they're more of the Scottish royalty, the descendants of James the 6th here at that point, but yeah. Perfect. Thank you for correcting me.
A highlight from 582a Istria; Wee County Louth; Tides
"To understand the tides, you start by looking up the sun and the moon play a major role. But it's all their relationships in the heavens that have an influence, a particular relationship with what's happening in the oceans. Coming up, Jonathan white explains the dance between the sky and the sea that you can watch at least twice a day all over the world. While also explore two of the less crowded coastlines in Europe, in Croatia, God, at the end, remembered that there is still space for one Peninsula and he created history. And along the Cooley Peninsula where singer Kathy Ryan lives. One of the things I recommend to anyone who asks me what they should do when they go to Ireland is leave some room for that bit of magic that happens where you say, hey, why don't we try this place? The man in the pob last night said it was brilliant. Let's embark on great adventures from sea to shore in the hour ahead. It's travel with Rick Steves. Did you ever consider that life's ups and downs may just be reflecting the cosmic forces that dance with the earth? Jonathan white has sailed close to some of the most awesome tides on the planet. He joins us in just a bit to help us get in tune with the daily rhythm of the times. We'll also explore a couple of charming destinations on two of Europe's less crowded coastlines. Singer Kathy Ryan introduces us to the quiet charms of the Cooley Peninsula in the north of county louth in Ireland's ancient east. It's halfway between Dublin and Belfast. Let's start on Croatia's Adriatic coast with a look at the istrian Peninsula. History once was part of the Venetian republic. Its Italian and Slavic communities clashed during the Second World War before most of it became part of Yugoslavia. Today, Slovenia and a tiny part of Italy share the north end of the Peninsula. While the rest is something like Croatia's answer to Tuscany in the Riviera. Miriam Abdul Ghani lives on the Peninsula in the city of pula and joins us now on travel with Rick Steves. Maryam, welcome. Thank you, istria Peninsula. You're a Croatian, you live on the very beautiful Peninsula of istria. How do you describe istria? What is it exactly? It's the biggest Peninsula on Adriatic, but I would better describe it as a most beautiful Peninsula on Adriatic. It's like God, given place, like God at the end, remembered that there is still space for one Peninsula and he created istria. So what did he add to it that other peninsulas don't have? Fantastic soil red soil. Because the soil is what is the foundation for the cuisine. There are also for olives for vineyards for all what we have there for truffles. Truffles, truffles. So when I think of truffles, I think of Piedmont in Italy. And when I think of olive oil, I think of Italian and Greek, but the olive oil in istra is respected. Very much so. Actually, for the fourth year, in a row, Israel was proclaimed best olive oil region in the world. Can you imagine how big an important this is? Well, that is a big deal considering all the energy that's put into olive oil in Greece and Italy and other places along the Mediterranean. Why would the olive oil be so good in istria? First of all, we harvest olives very early while they are still green. Then you get better quality of the oil, less quantity, but better quality. And our history and olive oil is dark, green color. It's not yellow. So a calculation is made if we harvest early, we get less olive oil, but we get better quality. Exactly. And we go with that. And then what do you use it for? I mean, how does that relate to the cuisine of istria? Very simple. Just take a little bit of istrian olive oil, a little bit of salt, pepper, good bread, good glass of wine, and that's it. Or put olive oil on a fantastic fish that we have in history as well in Adriatic Sea. You know, when you were describing a little olive oil, a little good bread, and that's it. I remember going to a hill town. I forget the name, but it had a rustic kitchen, and it was just a trip into another world, and the local people were so proud of their food, and it was a chance for me to get away from all of the intense the rat race of tourism and just really connect with salt of the earth people, having good quality cuisine, istria is famous for its hill towns. Talk about the hill towns of eastern Europe. What you mentioned, as they do call nowadays, history and hill towns, Tuscany of Tuscany and Italy is famous for hill towns. So here we are a little bit to the east. By the way, is just a couple hours east of Venice if people are wondering, going to Venice, you can zip over to Easter. Quite easily. And you'll find hill town. So what's the hill town we should know about? First of all, it's not like Tuscany because it's still a while. Okay. My favorite one definitely is Motown. Town at the top of the hill, a lot of people tell me it looks exactly like San geminiano, but it is. It is similar to saint geminiano without the towers, but on a hill and a beautifully preserved MOT UV UN motor one, and it has a rampart. That's beautiful for walking on in the evening. Or early in the morning, a rich history, mostly Venetian history. This is something that's a little bit confusing to tourists because we go there and we see the winged lion of saint mark, and we have to remember this is part of the Venetian empire and Venice had an impact all along the Adriatic coastline. That was when Venice started to create its trading empire. Actually, moton was on the border between Venetian empire and Austrians, that's why such a small town has very important big fortifications. Because it looks like why did such a small town get such a fat wall? Because of the border. Between Venice and the Habsburg empire. Exactly. And Austrians always wanted to, or Habsburgs, they always wanted to take more tone in their hands because of the river meander river, multiple news over looking the value of river mirna. Why? Because river Megan goes all the way directly to Adriatic. And Venetians were coming with their ships through that river to moton to take Woods to take wood. Exactly. Because they needed wood for their for their building for their ships. And the ships and to make the foundation in the mud. Venice is built on tree trunks jammed deep into the mud in the lagoon, and that came from istria. But what's so special about that forest montague's forest, it's full of Mediterranean oak and Mediterranean or grows in very special curve perfect for building ships. That's helpful, but also isn't oak good for truffles? That's right. Or if you just want to grow a little mushrooms and have them underground. You see, truffles are the only mushrooms growing under the ground. And they always grow together with the roots of different plants. In modern, they go in multiple forests, they grow together with the roots of all. With oak roots. So, but it's underground. It's underground. They're very precious. They're very expensive, but how do you find them if they're underground? Well, we need help of animals. In France, they use pigs. We use dogs in history for that. So
A highlight from AT#833 - Travel to the Peloponnese, Greece
"Amateur traveler episode 833 today the amateur traveler talks about ferries, fortresses and feta, beaches and beehive tombs, Thermopylae and the Trojan war as we go to the peloponnese Peninsula in southern Greece. Hi, this is Chris Christensen from amateur traveler. Let's talk about the peloponnese. This is Chris again, and the show that you're going to hear was recorded as one large show, including a section from episode 8 32 on Athens, which I've taken out and put in a separate episode just for length. If you've already heard the Athens episode, you can skip over the first four and a half minutes of this one. It will be the same. I hope you enjoy this episode. I'd like to welcome to the show Sally Jane Smith, travel writer, who has come to talk to us about a region of Greece allergy and welcome to the show. Thank you, Chris. It feels quite surreal actually to be sitting here after all these years of listening to you on my walk to work. Well, I appreciate your listening. What region of Greece are we going to talk about today? So today I'm going to focus on an itinerary that starts in Athens because that's where most people will enter Greece. And then travels along the eastern half of the peloponnese and a couple of the saronic islands. So this is a collection of sites you can see quite comfortably in about 9 days, traveling by bus metro and ferry. Of course, you can stay longer, but with these 9 days, you can have a satisfying experience of what this region of Greece has to offer. Excellent. And when we see the peloponnese, we're talking about a Peninsula or an island depending on how one defines it these days, which is the southern third of Greece, starting in Corinth. Yeah, so if you're looking at a map of Greece there is a Peninsula that sort of looks like a hand that's stretching down towards the Mediterranean. It looks like it's a four fingered hand or a thumb and three fingers. And the area I'll be focusing on are the two fingers that are closest to the mainland, so that's laconia and our goal is we do that, why should someone go to the peloponnese? The thing is that most visitors go to Greece. They go to Athens and then they tend to go straight to the islands and Greece has hundreds of islands. The ones that most visitors go to are the resort style islands of Santorini and Mykonos. And don't get me wrong, these are incredible places Santorini probably has one of the most dramatic seascapes I've seen in my life. And they well worth a visit, but they tend to be crowded and they tend to be expensive. Yes. And if you're going in the high season, it can feel a bit like you're on a mass market conveyor belt and it's difficult to get away from that in a place that is so centered on the tourist economy. They are ways to escape it, but there's always that risk. Whereas if you go to the peloponnese and the saronic islands, which are just off the coast of the peloponnese, you get that perfect balance. There are enough travelers visiting the area that they have all the facilities that you might need. But it also feels like you exploring the real Greece rather than having a resort holiday. And it's gorgeous. They are striking landscapes. They are incredibly strong connections to history and to legend. I think, yeah, there are 5 World Heritage Sites just on the peloponnese Peninsula itself. Excellent. And I forgot to ask you, what is your connection with Greece? My connection is Greece that I went to Greece a few years back in the hopes of recapturing my wanderlust that I'd lost in the wake of a travel accident and Greece completely changed my life. Apart from just infusing me with choice, it turned me into a writer, it's an amazing country. And a lot of people that I talk to talk about how much of an impact a short holiday in Greece made I know some of your previous podcast guests have gone to Greece for three days and stayed for 35 years. So it is a place that has a magic to it. So there is some danger in going to Greece. We should just tell people up front. Danger, benefit. I might be biased. Excellent. And we'll talk more actually that salad Jane's got a book coming out later that we'll talk about at the end of the show, but what kind of itinerary are you going to recommend for us? This is Chris again promised last interruption. This is the point at which if you want to hear the recommendations that Sally Jane had for Athens, you need to queue up episode 8 32, and then we're going to join the rest of the episode talking about the peloponnese. To get to the peloponnese, I'm going to suggest taking the bus to the peloponnese. This is a full, it's a 7 hour trip. So it's a big portion of your day. Okay. So you need to get into the right mindset from the start that you're slowing down, you observing people watching, checking out the scenery, which varies across the peloponnese. There will be one stop on the way, probably a Tripoli for the bathroom break and to get some snacks. But I do recommend taking water and if you've got any special dietary requirements, take some snacks with you on the bus.
A highlight from 702 Touring Bath; Joy of Travel Writing; Ghost Dance in Berlin
"Paid to see the world. Given all the social media reviews you see for everything nowadays, a travel writer and guidebook researcher needs to offer something more useful to travelers than just his or her opinions. Coming up on today's travel with Rick Steves, my senior writer at Rick Steves Europe shares what it's really like to scour the sights of Europe while writing compelling and accurate information. Berlin is the kind of city that leaves hints of its troubled history out in plain sight. Peter wertz fell in love with the city while living in a home that once belonged to a Jewish banker before Hitler turned it over to his minister of finance. Peter explains what it's like for a Jewish writer to chase the ghosts of Berlin in just a bit. Let's start the hour learning why the town of bath is a great place to get over jet lag from a transatlantic flight. In just two hours west of London, you can soak in mineral springs, enjoy high tea and admire a chorus line of attractive architecture. Tour guide and history expert Roy Nichols lives in nearby Dorset and he's our guide. Roy, thanks for joining us. It's a pleasure to be here. What is it about Beth? There's no city in England quite like bath. It's an incredibly charming city. It is the best preserved Georgian neoclassical building in Europe, has innumerable listed buildings. It is just an absolute delight. The architecture is second and on. It must have had a lot of money to make all that beautiful architecture. Oh yes, I mean, during the 18th century, really was when it was at his peak, being turned from a medieval, quite conventional market town to the wonderful World Heritage Site that we today, and it was money in all its forms that drove the rebuilding of bath. And today it's a popular retreat for wealthy Londoners because you've got a fast train connection that you didn't have in the past. Exactly. You can be from bath to London in less than an hour and a half. Wow. So this is an easy side trip and it's nice to get over jet lag when you're flying all the way from the states to Britain by going to a small town instead of dealing with London and you land at Heathrow. You can go straight out to bath. Exactly. It's a really easy connection straight out to bath. If you want to hire a car, it's a wonderful place to hire a car rather than all the stress and strain of hiring it in Heathrow. Take the train out, settle into your B and B or hotel in bath for a couple of days, enjoy the city, and then go on drive in the cotton. In the city, every time I visit, it becomes more and more pedestrianized, so it's quite comfortable just on foot and you have this charming Ness that's almost enforced. It just feels like it's so clean, there's flower boxes ever. In fact, isn't there a contest in England called Britain and bloom? Britain in bloom, yes, it's a competition for all the towns and cities to see who can have the best flower displays, boxes, hanging baskets, all those sort of things. And bath won it so many times they're in the end. They said they couldn't take part anymore, because it was just a very everybody. So just stop playing. Let somebody else win once in a while. And as you mentioned, it is more listed buildings per CAPiTA than any other building, easy attraction to London, easy connection to London, and it goes way back to Roman times. That's what a lot of people don't realize. Its name before bath was what was the Roman name? Well, the Romans called it aqueous, they settled it very early on in their period of occupation of Britain. It was probably a pagan site before then, and they called it aqueous. Yeah, there's both the mineral waters and the warm spa water that comes out of the ground. It's heated through natural geological formations, and so you can both drink the water and bathe in the water and right from Roman times right up to sort of post medieval times, it really has had the same role. For people to go along there, take the waters relax, and really seek pleasure in all its forms. What a wonderful sort of compliment to London. It is. I could imagine through the centuries. I'll see you next Monday, darling. I'm going to aqua sulus to soak in the bath and eventually the town became known as bath, bath. Bathroom in Saxon times, which then became bath and it really does refers to the hot water. The hot water now the baths were built for the public. One of my favorite Roman sites in all of Britain and it's hard to imagine that there's so much great Roman artifacts in Britain. What was it called in Roman time Britannia? Is the beautiful golden bust of Minerva? That's right. They've got a replica actually in the museum itself. The original one I think is in the British Museum these days, but when the excavated the site which was completely forgotten about, although they'd found Roman remains over the centuries, so they knew it was a Roman settlement, but it was the late 19th century, the 1870s, when they first discovered the Roman bars, and they, it was something like 1520 feet below the then present street level, but nonetheless it's the best preserved Roman baths in Europe. So you can wander around the Roman baths and then there's the medieval baths, and even they've opened up a modern bath now. That's right, because they're using the water as it should be used, so you can actually go along, take a spa, relax in the waters. It's completing a circle that really is 2000 years old. This is travel with Rick Steves. I'm joined by Roy Nichols, and we're talking about my vote for the most charming city outside of London in England and that would be bath. Two hours west of London and Roy a couple hundred years ago, bath was the ultimate social sort of place to see and be seen, talk about that era in Bethlehem. Well, in the late 1730 18 century, being seen in society was the most important thing, it controlled your status in society, it controlled whether you could move in society. You had to have all the trappings of that status, which meant you close, your house, all the things that really people would judge you from. And such was the extent that society was so prescribed that people would go to bath and the way that they behave the way they dressed, what they drank, how they drank it would all be controlled. And there was a gentleman called bow Nash, who was a famous dandy and leader of fashion, who essentially appointed himself a master of ceremonies in bath and also tonbridge wells and other spa town, and he controlled the way that society acted within bath for decades right up until his death in the 1760s. So in the first half of the 1700s, we've got, I picture this guy with the equivalent of a top hat and tails. And a baton like a conductor in an orchestra, conducting all of the ridiculous social pretentious show off sort of things. That's the highest it would have been. But all stratas of society as well, because if you weren't the very, very top aristocracy. But you'd also have what was then the middle class is also aping their betters and they would come to bath as well. Perhaps not always be able to go to the great tea balls or the dances, but nonetheless doing the same thing that society was doing. Everybody trying to live up to everybody else's pretty ridiculous expectation. Exactly. You can even go to the costume museum in bath, and I'm not that into costumes, or fashion, but this is 300 years of fashion demonstrated one decade at a time with models dressed up in whatever was trendy during that decade for fashion. And these are all the original clothes. That's one of the amazing things, the way that survived over 300 years. And we tend to take clothes in a very different way these days unless you're involved in the fashion industry. But in those days, in pecunia young men would invest every penny that they didn't have, epic, impecunious. What is that? Not having a great deal of money. But like me, really. And they would invest every penny they didn't have to give them most extravagant clothes possible so that they actually could say that they were part of society and they could act in society. And when you go to Beth, you find these broad sidewalks, four times as wide as a sidewalk where we live, to accommodate women with these show off dresses. Exactly the great broad bustle type dresses that they wore in those days. And promenade was one of these aspects of this society. You had to be seen in your clothes. They actually have a lovely walk called the gravel walk, which appears in Jane Austen, one of Jane Austen novels, at least one of them. Whereby the people would wander up and down at certain times of the day to be seen, so you'd have mothers trying to find rich young men for their daughters, and these young men trying to find rich widows or young, rich daughters for the marriage for themselves. And you have all these people struggling to show off, and then you've got the architecture struggling to show off also, and this is Georgian architecture, which is on the continent called neoclassical. Yes, it's called Georgian in Britain because it really covers the periods of the Georgians. The hanoverian kings that rule from 1740 until the 1830s, so we call it Georgian, but it covers a wide umbrella of those neoclassical understand Beth was sort of groundbreaking in Georgian architecture and today you can see a couple of remarkable designs. What would you look for when you're investing for Georgian? Well, you can actually see the whole spectrum of George and architecture. You go to places like the royal Crescent or the circus, and there you'll see really every aspect of that neoclassical architecture. Columns, the buildings, in this perfect textbook, neoclassical, and thankfully there's one fancy residence on the royal Crescent I believe that's open to the public. The city of bath, what they've done is taken one of the buildings on the royal Crescent, number one, the royal Crescent, and restore it and refurbish it exactly as it would have been at its pit height in the 18th century. So you can go along and see the way that the very wealthy, because it is the very wealthy, would have lived, and they have found women who are surviving from the 19th century, standing in every one of the rooms. That's right. It's amazing, isn't it? Amazing preservation. Now these women, the dawsons, they're volunteers. They dress up in period clothes. It's as if they were living then. Exactly. And it really just gives you a wonderful introduction really for us to understand how life must have been in the 18th century. And if that inspires you a few doors away, there's a hotel that's on this elegant royal Crescent. And you can go in there and have a high tee. That's right. You would never know it was a hotel. It's that high class, but it's one of the most elegant places to high T, but there are also other places as well. You can go to the pump room, down by the Roman baths. There's usually a string Quartet and a piano playing, and you can sit in the most ultimate elegance and have high tea. I love that. You go to the pump room, it's almost like bone ash is still there. In fact, I think you can see his portrait on the wall. Well, presides over the way that we behave today. You can see a sedan chair. But you can't ride in one, but you can see an old sedan. And the thing about bath, it does help to recreate the royal Crescent, all the other buildings, the costume museum, the pomp room, the Roman bars, all of these help to recreate the past that is this wonderful city bath. And you can drink right there in the pump room the same water. You can actually go up to the fountain and it's almost got the calcification on the fountain, it seems like reminding you there are minerals in this water. That's right. It contains 40 minerals, I think it is. You go into the pump room where you would actually take afternoon too. And you pay a small price and you take a glass of the water, and it isn't the most attractive of drinks, I say it's encrusted with all these red minerals. There's a lot of ironstone in it. And it has a very strong iron taste to it. I'm slightly cloudy, but very pure. Very good for you. They believed in those days that drinking the water in itself would actually make them healthy, but of course it also went long with a certain diet, and of course now we realized it was probably more the diet than anything else that helped to improve their health and speaking of diet about three feet away would be a nice table where you could sit down and have tea and scones. That's right. You have the tea in the scones or this wonderful clotted cream, drink the water and you won't feel guilty. That's great. Why Nichols? Thanks so much for helping us better understand bath. A remarkable city, so accessible to London that it is. And people should have on their list. It should be one of the first destinations when you come into Britain. Great. Hope to see in Beth sometime. It'll be a pleasure, Rick.
The Empress Sets Sail From Mumbai
"The former royal caribbean ship empress of the eases now sailing again at a new home the indian line cordelia cruises bought the vessel from royal. Last year shortening. Her name to simply empress and was refurbished last week. The vessel set sail on her first voyage from mumbai on a tonight cruise to nowhere. The ship is currently sailing at full capacity with fully vaccinated residents of
Exploring the Inner Hebrides
"In some ways. The traditions of scotland survive most vividly in its islands off the west coast. These are the hebrides we've invited to of our favorite scottish guides into the studio to share stories and tips on their favorite islands. Liz listener is from fife. Cullen mirrors is from glasgow. And they're both here with us now to share a little better understanding of scotland's inner hebrides. Thanks for joining us. Thank you he cullen when you Think about the hebrides. We hear that word a lot hebrides. These are the islands off of the west scotland. But there's inner and outer hebrides. What's the story there. So and our hebrides. They're basically the ones that are closer to mainland scotland to hebrides further out. So probably most people going to visit islands of scotland and are of to access lists when you're thinking of the inner hebrides which ones are your favorites in which one's the most popular with tourists. Well open which is on the west coast of scotland is known as the charing cross of the islands as the saying the air unto the lord belongs and all the it contains except the kyle's in the western isles for these are all mic planes mcleans caledonian mcleans of the fatty company. So people will come to open. And that's the jumping off point to go to the islands. So open is the charing cross. Charing cross would be the big train station in london. Somewhere you depart go to different places so open would be the jumping off point. It's the big port on the mainland. From where the ferries go absolutely so. Kyle's what is kyle's kyle's of the stretches of water so the leyland's eye for the straight and on the missiles ago everything the lord's except for the aisles and the waters and that could make prince how the the the metrolink and forwards to the islands they caught passengers. The coty fleet the cardi tourists. So this is the ferry system caledonian mcbrayer because every time i think of an island scene. There's a dramatic ferry coming across. It is just beautiful thing. And you have the jumping off point in the real terminal Open and so people coming from moscow will die sleek connect with the on out so an answer to your question. Probably the most popular are the ones closest mull. Iona we can come back to 'cause i owned is really accessible as d. Are right for a particular reason
Wonder of the Seas to Debut in US and Europe, Not China
"Royal caribbean has announced that. Its upcoming mega ship. Wonder of the seas will no longer be debuting. In shanghai china the oasis class vessel will now make her first. Voyages in the caribbean starting in march wonder will operate seven seven night. Eastern and western caribbean sailings from port everglades. All featuring a stop at perfect day in may the ship will then head to europe to operate. Seven-night western mediterranean cruises. Wonder of the seas is royals fifth oasis class vessel and is currently the largest cruise ship in the world
Are The Changes Princess Cruises Made Any Good?
"Princess cruises has made so many changes to the way they do things but are they all for the good and more importantly will they satisfy people like me and perhaps you who've cruised on princess and actually like the way they were doing things so have they actually make things better or perhaps a little bit worse so i decided to put the five things that they've changed to the test by booking myself on a series of princess cruises to put those to the tests. I'm here one of those right now. I'm on regal princess and join me as you see how some of those changes actually have changed the way that i think about princess cruises by the way if you knew my name is gary benbridge. My goal is to make it easy and fun to discover plant and enjoy unforgettable cruise vacations. The first change is one that a lot of diehard princess fans are probably disappointed about which is the focus on only bigger ships in their fleet really so during the pandemic got rid of four ships. The much loved pacific princess star. Princess see princess and sun princess and then i'll focusing on bigger ships like the Insist that a mom. Which is three thousand five hundred fifty passengers. Will the new ships like the sky. Princess in china process discovery process which is three thousand six hundred sixty passengers. So that's a little bit on the sad side. The focus on bigger ships however for me. Personally i'm actually quite happy about that trend because it means that these ships. They're all pretty much familiar footprint. They are very similar because it's world class ship and they have the things that i realized then stripped out any of the big popular facilities and venues. That certainly are like as they've gone through this whole change so they still have the magnificent glitzy kind of gold ancient which is the real heart of the ship. And it's real throbbing center probably more so than many other cruise lines. you've got the international cafe. You've got bars you've got shops. You've got the photography center. Quick access into the casino and it really is a great throbbing kind of heart of the ship and during cruises. I've found that a really exciting place to
Do Viking Cruises Lives Up To All The Hype?
"Can viking ocean cruises ever be as good as their fans would lead you to believe. Before i came on viking. I was constantly told by people who love viking ocean that it is wonderful. it's magnificent. It's unique it's different. It's the best it. Does this better that better. So i bought it my very first ocean crews here on viking venus with a little bit of trepidation and some pretty high standards what i can tell you as you see during the course of this. It didn't entirely go to plan. I was blindsided by things. I was surprised by somethings and some things. Were basically pretty much. As i expected but the thing that really stood out no one had really warning about so. Stick with me to find out what those things were if you knew here. I'm gary benbridge. Welcome aboard welcome aboard viking venus. I'm here to make it fun and easy to discover plan and enjoy unforgettable cruise vacations and is viking cruises unforgettable or not one of the things that are arrested with both before i came on cruise and during the cruise is exactly who or what is. Viking oceans like increases is an independent line it was created and is so chaired by its founder. A man called torsten haagen so viking ocean of course came from rivers they started in european rivers and then expanded to rivers around the world and then are also gains expedition. cruising delivered. Experience on viking is pretty luxury but it's not ultra luxury so probably quite comfortably competes with an fits with lines like say. Oh she anya. As amara perhaps even winstar which is pretty luxurious small ships higher level of service good quality fixtures and fittings however. It was very clear that viking has a significant difference to those lines so people who might like those lines like viking. But they'll find something very different because the experience viking is quite different though to those particular lions because at its heart has a very different philosophy. And that's because it came from riveted started with rivers not with ocean and the whole way that they approach and do cruising is pretty
A Look Around Good Vibrations - The Antique Vibrator Museum
"The good vibrations antique vibrator museum is about the size of a living room. And in glass cases around the walls arranged in chronological order are about one hundred vibrators dating all the way back from the late. Eighteen hundreds up to the early nineteen seventies and some of them are these beautiful lustrous jewel toned pieces of plastic others not so much they were super steam punk looking in the early twentieth century in and before they were definitely little machines. This is our tour guide carol. Queen carroll is the museum's curator has a phd in sexology and has worked at good vibrations for decades for a first stop on the tour. Carol wanted to introduce us to one of the oldest vibrators in the museum's collection. It's called the v. d. vibrio tori massager. And whether it was supposed to make you think of venereal disease. I don't actually know that's lost in the midst of time at least as far as my information. Sources are concerned the v. is old school. No batteries no electricity. It's got a hand crank. It kind of looks like an egg beater. If i'm honest and the museum has an old photo of a doctor holding a similar vibrator using one hand to operate the crank and the other depress the applicator end of it against a standing woman's back. Yes her back. In the late eighteen hundreds most people would have come into contact with vibrators in the context of a doctor's office in the vibrators early days it was seen as this kind of cure all for all kinds of medical problems and it was used at first in the doctor's office and then later in the home there is an nineteen teens book that was published by the hamilton dietsch company. Yes the same company that makes the blender that we make our margaritas on friday night which made vibrators and was one of the major vibrator manufacturers. There were many but they're one of the major ones in the nineteen so hamilton beach made a vibe and they published a book called health and how to get it
Terry Tempest Williams on Her New Book "The Hour of Land"
"Terry tempest williams invites us to celebrate the land and the people. You'll meet at a variety of national parks across the united states in her book. The hour of land. She describes the park. She's visited as breathing spaces each with a unique personality that deserve our patronage our respect and our protection by the way our conversation was recorded before the global pandemic. Terry it's good to have you with us. Thank you read your book. The our land takes us not to the obvious parks but it takes us to some of the less famous parks. You chose about a dozen parks to introduce to us why these parks why not win at the grand and famous ones. Would you believe me if i told you that i saw this as a dinner party. You know my mother was a great hostess and she always said you know. Pick your dinner parties very carefully because who knows what will come out of them so you know here. We have fifty nine national parks in our country. How to choose a dozen. So i really did envision it as dinner party i knew who the heads of the table would be my mother park which would be grand teton national park. The other end of the table. I knew it would be canyon. Lands national park where we live closely to. I could count on them then. I thought all right who's gonna be on the other end of the table holding the space that are reliable and for me. It was a canadian national park in maine and teddy roosevelt national park. In north dakota. I had been to the many times and they were trustworthy. Then i thought okay. Who are the dream guests that i would want that. I don't know. But i know other people who do and we can bring them to the table and i thought of big bend national park. I thought of gates of the arctic national park and effigy mounds. And i thought those were my dream guests
Things Seasoned Cruisers Do: Always Carry a Passport
"Covered this in our last few Episodes were. We talked a little bit about the mistakes that new cruisers make. But this really bears repeating. Because it's a huge thing right now. And i think that this is a takeaway that cruisers who may be new to our podcast or maybe new to cruising they need to hear this but cruisers in the know almost always travel with about sport. And you know of course you can manage a closed loop cruise with birth certificate photo. Id but it's so much easier and so much less risky to invest in a passport and rather than just saying. Trust me on this one. Let me explain if few things you number one if you get stuck in a foreign country for any reason let's say you test positive for covert on a ship and they send you home through another destination and you don't have a passport. You may have a very difficult time getting home. Another thing in the united states. Did you all know that in the coming years you're going to have to have a real d in order to fly so a lot of people are getting real ideas right now in place of their driver's license but another solution to just to have a passport. And if you have a passport you don't need a real. Id because you can fly with a bass board. So i recommend doing it for grownups for anyone who's looking to travel save a little extra money you know. Eat a few less dinners out. Do what you need to do. It's not that terribly overpriced to get a passport. It does take a long time at the moment so get on it do it early. And just just make the investment
How to Choose the Right Cabin on Your Cruise
"So the first thing that smart cruises do once they've decided what itinerary they want and what ship they want is think about the cabinet and choosing the cabin. Why is that really important. A lot of people say cabins are not important as just some way to get changed and sleep however. Let me tell you if you get a cabin. That doesn't suit you it will ruin your crews. I have thousands of people. Contact me around this issue. So what do smart cruises. What did i do for this particular cruise. Well first of all. I never ever take a guaranteed fat guaranteed. Fair is where you choose which kevin great you want about caen. Ocean view sweet. Whatever it is and you let the cruise line choose the kevin full you. I will always take the choose. Your own kevin option. Now it's not always necessarily more expensive. So that's the first thing. I do get control of choosing a cabin secondly i would always choose a cabin where i'm surrounded on all sides by the cabin above me below me either side of me and i did opposite me. I'll make sure there's a cabinet then kind of provides a buffer of from any noisy venues that may disrupt you can potentially protect you from high traffic areas or whatever that is really really important. The third thing i then do is make sure that i'm having a with no interconnecting door to the next room. Unless of course i need one because i'm traveling with someone that against really important because noise and disruptions can seep through and become pretty disruptive particularly people next to you have different scheduled to you. The first thing i do. Is i choose a cabin in the center of the ship so middle of the ship and that's really important because first of all it means that you equidistance for more of the key venues and activities so the restaurants might be at the back of the ship or you might find the frontal ships theater so you kind of middle wise. Also it's really important because it's where you're going to have the least amount of movement so that's also good worried about being seasick.
Tulum, Mexico - New Home for the Digital Nomad?
"Won't places. I always loved the travel mexico. Amazing food amazing. People like so many fun things to do and so today. We're talking about a city. That from what i've heard it's primarily like a playground for the rich and famous. It's called to mexico. I've i've always wanted to learn about it and so it's awesome to be able to have you on the show. No i'm really excited about two may be the other side it to learn that you haven't heard as much about okay right on. So what's your connection to the city so during the whole time. I figured out that. I wanted to go and and move in and try somewhere different worker motley so we looked at places that we were able to really dive deeper into experience the culture but also. I'm a big nature guy and we want to be able to go to the beaches and go to snow taes and get out to the forest and stuff and and to really fit the bill for all of that. It has really everything you would want when you go to place vacation but also if you're looking to go longer term consistently have things to do day in day out and so like when you're working remotely obviously you know. I have a lot of friends. That are like kinda digital nomads. And everything else like that was the there are strong internet connection for you throughout your time while you're there or was it like setup for you'd be able to do that remote work i mean it's incredible out there to be completely honest. It's it's built for people that really want to go out there and actually start building a life out there. There's condos constantly popping up but for the most part restaurants on the beach cafes on the beach and then we had an airbnb that we were able to really improve the internet at and they're really focused on that stuff. You look at airbnb. You look at hotels. A lot of them will will actually include what their internet speed is to make. Sure that you're able to work remotely from there. It's definitely big priority for them. That's also even like when i travel. I'm always like working whether it's on the podcast on my blog or whatever so I love having that high speed internet. No it's crazy. Honestly like i had a lot of friends that would go down to beach clubs for the day and they sit there pay thirty bucks for a beach chair with food and drinks and they work from there the entire day. And it's a really cheap way to be able to get the internet. You need if you're going for a week and you just wanna be able to experience the culture and experience the environment while you're out there as well
The Historical Importance of Singapore Ports
"In modern times. Singapore wasyl is a global poll handing everything from kogo to passengers. What singapore all of his historical importance to the languages. If so when did it become so or was a focused mostly on trade slash kaga. That is a great question and it's not an easy question I mean this is relatively simple straightforward answer But it's one that requires a little bit of context as well. So singapore Was is as alex says very important port and nowadays will up until pre covert you know we kind of saw as a portrait world cruise ships would pull into There was obviously local crazy. There's been local cruising resuming in singapore with with dream cruises not something but You know historically the line. Voyages in the end the passenger ships that used to operate in this part of the world weren't just passenger ships. They were cargo carriers as well. So the the linas. This isn't an arab with thinking about the era prior to the nineteen fifties before jets before containerization of congo. The ocean liners used to be the primary mode of Of of large-scale cargo transportation. Along with things called tramp steamers which you'll see us to carry basically just goes and then i had combination line as well which was small compliments passages and large complement of cargo but the majority of the cargo travelled by ships that also traveling with passengers and in many cases the males as well because that Postal service was the the the subsidies where the backbone of the shipping lines in the early in the early days all the way up until the age of the jet so for singapore It it was an important port for multiple reasons kogo and and Mayo notwithstanding also for passengers because the singapore obviously with at that time was part of the british empire And so britain had connections into into singapore and for example would operate into singapore And also into other major asian ports from their hub in In the gulf of suez and then later when the suez canal was cut through they they obviously do the direct voyages that would go through from the mediterranean under originate in great britain.
What to do in New Hampshire
"What kind of itinerary are you going to recommend for someone who is coming to new hampshire. Let's say for the first time. So i have a couple actually. Why have one more for the nature lovers and people who like hayek hike or at least see mountains and that brings you all the way up to the top of new hampshire which borders canada. And ideally you see some moose on that type a trip and i can go over that and then there are some other smaller trips that either. Bring you out to portsmouth and the sea. Coast the ride along. The coast is really nice. Brings into main rail fast. But that's still good and there's a few different towns in between that kind of those must sees. Okay we'll shall we start with the first one then with the outside outdoors absolutely. So if you start in southern new hampshire or anywhere else in new hampshire in you head north you can visit flim gorge. It's new hampshire state park. They have tours. they have walking trails. It's much more walking. Friendly than some of the other trails that have boulders boardwalks and railings and all that fun stuff you can either go and visit a small bit of it for free or you can actually go in and get admission and visit more of it now where you say when we start there. We're probably starting somewhere further south. You've already taken us. Almost two thirds of the way up to state to flynn gorge just people on the map to me. That's where all the beauty starts is once you get up in the white mountains in southern new hampshire. It ain't no slacker either. Yeah we'll get into some of the nice stuff in southern new hampshire by having lived around. This area ended massachusetts. I definitely prefer the air up. North is just fresher clean. And you have all these beautiful lakes to kayak and you have mountain views
Oasis of the Seas Returns to New Jersey After Test Cruise
"Royal caribbean's oasis of the seas returned from its six thousand tests cruise over the weekend. The sailing spent six days. Hailing to the bahamas with a representative from the cdc on board if all goes well and all the boxes are checked. The ship will start sailing from the new york city area in new jersey. Down to the bahamas. On september fifth
When Is the Best Time to Visit Bangalore?
"If people are planning their trip to bangalore. What time of year should they plan on visiting is. What's the weather like throughout the year and are are there certain festivals that maybe somebody wants to plan the trip around. A bangalore is a isn't all the time destination. You know that is no specific. Dying usually You know the bangalore's weather is very very pleasant because we are about a thousand meters abbassi level so that gives banglore You know an advantage in terms of weather art temperature remains between you know when i talk about fahrenheit it remains between six eighty eighty five throughout the year which is a very pleasant whether it's never cold over here and it's never too hot either. The only thing about bangla. Rather is the rain. It rains almost six to eight months a year but that rain is not very harmful. You know usually rains overnight. And it doesn't disrupt workflow but that rain brings lot of greenery lot of Drawn queasy to to the weather has a lot of trees A lot of gardens and also everything blows them when when when rain comes at banglar. Bangla becomes very very beautiful so people. Are you know who don't like rain. And all they don't need to worry about it. Because as i said you know most of the time it rains almost the entire night. And you're back to normal during the daytime so and the weather is very pleasant to the so you know. There's nothing like you know. You should not doing this time while that bang. It's all around the you can come anytime and and you can enjoy.
Putting Post-Covid Cruising to the Ultimate Test
"Can cruising we return post shutdown postcode. It'd be fun. Be enjoyable and be relaxing. And that's what i'm about to put to the test. Because i'm here on board my very first cruise after fifteen months of shutdown on biking venus. And i'm going to find out can cruising post shutdown. Be fun be enjoyable and be relaxing if you knew here. I'm gary beverage and my goal is to help make it fun and easy to discover plan at have unforgettable cruise vacations so what exactly makes for a enjoyable and relaxing vacation. I had a list. But i went out and asked people on the channel and hundreds and hundreds of people replied and everyone came up with the same seven things that i did. Somebody use those seven things to test out about cruising post covet. Now many of the videos. That i've watched and reports that i've read on postcode cruising has tended to focus very much on the restrictions the rules. But that's not what's important. What's important for me is what does it feel like to be backup cruising. Does it feel the same does feel different and is magnificent. The number one item which everybody said universally was key to a cruise being relaxing and enjoyable was being disconnected sets being disconnected from work being disconnected from your phone being disconnected from chores. Walk the dog. Cook your own food. So of course that's absolutely true of postcode. Cruising this is my first cruise in fifteen months since the shutdown and i was able to disconnect as simple nearly as i did before. So that's definitely a tick however it's not entirely possible to disconnect because there's concert reminders of the world that we live in so let's take a look at some of the things that were happening on the cruise. Now i would say though that although they did remind you of the world we're living in. They did actually and other ways make me feel reassured which did help me disconnect so what was in place well first of all come the cruise. It was vaccinated guests only so suddenly that reminded you that restriction in place. Unlike before when you could rive at any time you wanted. There was very strict invocation times in half hour slots you had to show proof of your vaccination status yet temperature checks and ultimately you had to have a pc tests done before you could actually happily sale.
What is the Atvidaberg Sun Cannon?
"Some cannons have been around since the sixteen hundreds some of them were used on ships. The position of the sun triggered them to fire at almost exactly twelve. Pm so everyone on board would know what time it was in the seventeen hundreds. You might also have heard a son cannon in fancy park in england or france or even on a large estate where they were used to signal lunchtime in fact when son cannons were in style throughout the seventeen eighteen hundreds most of them were owned by european nobility and that how a son canon ended up in a small town in rural sweden the sun cannon in all to the body has its own tower. It's up on top of a hill and it looks like a fifteen foot tall version of a rook. That chess piece. that looks like a little castle. it's round made out of brick and there's a long narrow slot carved into the south facing side. It's been here since eighteen fifty three and it was built by the local barron and his family. The all those fats. These days it's cared for by a team of volunteers who call themselves the sun cannon club there a delightful gang of retired people who've taken responsibility for preserving the town's history but the whole organization is totally unpretentious and they're a little loosey-goosey when it comes to the foggy lor surrounding basan cannon but at least three different people including my grandmother told me this story back in the mid eighteen hundreds the barron and his wife took a trip to paris. Supposedly the baroness who was born. A commoner was terrified of boats so instead of making the relatively short trip across the baltic to mainland europe. They'd spent somewhere between two and three years. Travelling to france in a horse and carriage by finland latvia with wayne lia poland. You get the idea. I was able to verify almost none of the story. But i'm told somewhere between one and two kids were born on the way from sweden to france and when the family finally made it there and saw the sun cannon in a garden they thought would be kind of fun to have one of those to fire off parties back at home.
Hawaii Governor Tells Potential Tourists Not to Visit
"The Hawaii governor's telling tourists to stay home because the coronavirus is surging across the islands Now, David Egg Gigi G. Yeah, He's telling tourists to stay away from the islands, he said a news conference Monday. He's telling people to reduce travel to a central business activities, he says. It's risky to travel, not a good time to come to the islands. He said that you're not going to have a typical holiday. When that you expect because there's restrictions on limited capacity access to rental cars, everything. And They said that the surge was was due to people who would go out, I guess. Go and travel home, but they have, like, what is it? They have 62% of their population have been inoculated. Well, I don't think that you can say inoculated. Think we need to be careful with language. 62% have a had at least one dose of the actually 70% have had at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine in Hawaii. 62% have been have had the full course I'm not going to say inoculated because Innoculate Suggest that there is and then impossibility of transmission or greatly reduced to the point where it's incredibly improbable, and we know that that's not accurate, and I like to follow science. So 62% have had their full have had the full dosage. So what's the problem?
First Cruise Ship Departs From California in Over a Year
"Ship headed for the Mexican Riviera set sail from the port of Long Beach over the weekend, the first cruise ship to depart from California in nearly a year and a half. Carnival Corp says the carnival Panorama is on a seven day voyage and will stop at the Mexican imports of couples are Lucas and Mazatlan. Before returning Long Beach hard hit by the pandemic. The cruise industry has battled the U. S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over health requirements for resuming sailing in U. S waters. The company says its operation protocols for Covid exceed CDC recommendations.
Disney Wish to Debut Interactive Experience
"Disney announced on thursday that disney wish. We'll have a new interactive experience called disney uncharted adventure combining technology with imagination. The game will take players around the ship to complete a number of quests using their smartphones at the end of the crews. there will be a life finale. In one of the ships entertainment venues were players will come together to battle a disney villain. Families will be able to play on up to six devices. Together or guests can participate individually. Disney wishes said to debut next june from central florida