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Travel Log: April 2004 Archives

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National Geographic Map Machine

The National Geographic's web site has redesigned its world atlas application:

Find nearly any place on Earth, and view it by population, climate, and much more. Plus, browse antique maps, find country facts, or plan your next outdoor adventure with our trail maps.

Rick Bruner | April 26, 2004 | Good Resources | Permanent link | Comments (0)

Japanese Vending Machines: A Photo Gallery

Get your eggs without human interference

PhotoMann writes:

PhotoMann recently decided to 'collect' images of unique vending machines found in Japan. They are everywhere. Estimates suggest there are 5.6 million vending machines which works out to be one for every 20 people in Japan. Sales from vending machines in 2000 totaled $56 billion! The most common are drink and cigarette machines followed by machines with pornography. All of the images in this section are taken with a Nikon Coolpix 5000. Below is a sampling of the machines to be found.

Rick Bruner | April 25, 2004 | Featured Destinations | Permanent link | Comments (0)

Phrasebook for Nightmarish Travelers

An unorthodox phrasebook for nightmarish travelers, in French, Spanish and German.

In case it's not immediately obvious, this is a joke.

Rick Bruner | April 25, 2004 | Good Resources | Permanent link | Comments (0)

Queen Mary 2, World's Largest Cruise Ship, Arrives to NYC

The Queen Mary II squeaks under the Verazzano Narrows bridge this morning

The Queen Mary 2, the world's largest cruise liner and the newest from the Cunard Line's fleet, arrived today in New York Harbor to much pomp and circumstance. Nearly four football fields in lengh (1,132 feet and 21 stories tall), the huge ship left Southampton, England last Friday. Its crew of 1,250 pampered 2,600 passengers in high luxury for the six-day voyage.

View from 44th St.

This AP report notes ironically that the "ship even brought its own weather -- a London-like drizzle and fog which eased off as the ship arrived."

The ship will spend three days docked in Manhattan before rendezvousing at the Statue of Liberty with the Queen Elizabeth 2, which is heading back to England for its final transatlantic journey.

On her blog, B.L. Ochman points out that passengers, who paid as much as $27,500 for the trip, will dock "smack across the street from Larry Flynt's lap dancing parlour and a bunch of all night car washes." Welcome to NY.

Rick Bruner | April 22, 2004 | News | Permanent link | Comments (0)

TSA Weighs Allowing Non-Passengers Past Airport Security Again

Since September 11th, the federal government has mandated that only ticketed passengers should be allowed to go past the security checks at airports. This is a disappointment to many loved ones who want to say hello or goodbye at the airport gate. The Transportation Security Administration is now considering relaxing the rules slightly, starting with Pittsburgh International Airport. The fact that the airport has a huge shopping mall on the other side of the security checks is not a coincidence; sales have fallen off sharply since the new security rules, and Pittsburgh is eager to get more folks wandering the airport's hallways again.

Rick Bruner | April 20, 2004 | News | Permanent link | Comments (0)

Singapore Airlines and Hong Kong Airport Sweep Top Honors of Skytrax Travel Surveys

Skytrax just released its annual surveys of international airlines and airports, with a record of more than 10 million people completing surveys on the new dedicates survey web site. Only one U.S. airline (Continental) and one European airline (British Airways) made the top-10 list of best airlines according to voters, with Asian carriers dominating the list:

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Emirates
  3. Cathay Pacific
  4. Qantas Airways
  5. Thai Airways
  6. British Airways
  7. Qatar Airways
  8. Malaysia Airlines
  9. Continental Airlines
  10. ANA All Nippon Airways

Simiarly, Asian airports dominated among the most popular airports, according to travelers who voted in the survey:

  1. Hong Kong Int'l Airport
  2. Singapore Changi Airport
  3. Amsterdam Schiphol
  4. Seoul Incheon Airport
  5. Kuala Lumpur KLIA
  6. Dubai Int'l Airport
  7. Copenhagen Airport
  8. Sydney Airport
  9. Kansai Int'l Airport
  10. Munich Airport

Rick Bruner | April 18, 2004 | Best / Worst, News | Permanent link | Comments (0)

Spring Dance of Cranes Is Tourism Boon for Sweden


The wetlands of Lake Hornborga in central Sweden, where the days are long this time of year, is full of visitors in April and May. Some 10,000 cranes touch down here and enact an elaborate mating ritual dance, as they seek a partner they will stay loyal to for life. The romantic spectical has become a regular tourist draw for visitors from around the world. CNN reports.

Rick Bruner | April 18, 2004 | Featured Destinations | Permanent link | Comments (0)

Bangkok Celebrates Songkran With Water and Talcum Powder

songkran.jpg has a photo gallery of the Songkran holidays in that city:

April 13, 15 and 15 are the Songkran holidays in Thailand. It is the hottest time of the year. Families gather and Buddha images are sprinkled with water. Children stand along the roadside to douse passersby with water and talcum powder. Traffic deaths also hit a yearly high due to a combination of motorcycles, alcohol and roads slick from talcum powder and water. A few short decades ago Songkran was much more subdued lasting 1-2 days. Today it has become akin the Japanese Golden Week with people taking the entire week off to return to their homes and causing chaos throughout the country.

Rick Bruner | April 15, 2004 | Featured Destinations | Permanent link | Comments (1)


Click for the gallery of Curacao photos

I recently had the great pleasure of taking a trip to Curaçao, paradise in the Caribbean Dutch Antilles. Now it's my turn to extend the pleasure to you with a collection of my photos from that trip and, even better, a special discount travel offer for you and your choosen one.

Andras Revesz | April 14, 2004 | Featured Destinations | Permanent link | Comments (0)

How to Bribe a Maître d' at an Expensive NYC Restaurant

Found this article in a back issue of Gourmet magazine, writer Bruce Feiler advises how to slip a maître d' a $50 at an expensive NYC restaurant to skp a 45-minute wait. Seems like an easy solutoin, if you can afford it, and keep a straight face.

Rick Bruner | April 10, 2004 | Advice | Permanent link | Comments (0)


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