Posts Tagged "travel"

Clever new Icelandic Tourism video pushes all the right buttons to attract visitors

Posted by on 3 Jun, 2010 in My Stream | 0 comments

With all the attention on Iceland due to the volcanic ash cloud, they’ve created a new tourism site to promote Iceland to the rest of the world. The video is genius really, and ticks all the boxes – young, attractive people, beautiful nature scenes, extreme sports, bustling nightlife and lots of people having fun. Hard not to want to visit! See the full site at

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Travel Bite #4: Hotel Avante, Mountain View

Posted by on 20 Mar, 2010 in Articles | 0 comments

I’m currently spending a couple of days relaxing in the Bay Area after attending the Cloud Connect conference. Usually I’d write about places I’ve been and sights I’ve seen, but I thought for a change I’d blog about the hotel I am staying in – Hotel Avante in Mountain View. I got my stay here through the cheap hotel site hotwire, for a very reasonable $59 (39GBP) a night. One of the things about Hotwire is you get cheap prices but you don’t find out the hotel until after you book (by area) – so I would never have known about this place – but boy am I glad I did. It’s probably the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in!

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Travel Bite #3: Tulum, Mexico

Posted by on 7 Feb, 2010 in Articles | 0 comments

Over the Christmas 2005 / New Year 2006 period, we spent three weeks in Central America. One of the highlights was Tulum,  about 80 miles south of the not-worth-visiting tourist metropolis of Cancun on the Yucatan peninsula.


From the main hostel area in Tulum Pueblo (the village of Tulum) it’s only 70 pesos for a short taxi ride to the entrance of Tulum Ruinas, the Mayan walled city (or a long dusty walk which was the option we chose unfortunately!). The site, also known as Zama (City of Dawn) was one of the last outposts of Mayan civilization, being occupied from around 1200AD all the way through to the Spanish colonization in the 16th century which marked the end of this 3,500 year old empire.


As we walked down the dusty track we saw stalls and traders selling colourful ponchos, rugs and sombreros as well as faded postcards and tacky replica Mayan ruins. 

I bought a fresh coconut and enjoyed the juice, something I hadn’t done since my last trip to Malaysia in 2004. One trader beckoned me over and starting bargaining with me; he literally wanted the shirt off my back – as it was a genuine Premiership Southampton shirt.

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Travel Bite #2: Lake Champlain and a taste of New England

Posted by on 16 Jan, 2010 in Articles | 0 comments

Back in May last year we picked up a Communauto car and did a day trip down into New England. We went down the western side of the massive Lake Champlain through New York State and back up the eastern side through Vermont.

We headed south over the border on Interstate 97 and stopped at a tourist information centre soon after where were able to pick up some useful maps and leaflets. We drove further south and were treated to impressive views of the Adirondack mountains towering overhead, which we plan to visit someday as well as the nearby Lake Placid. We had planned to stop first in Plattsburgh (which incidentally is supposed to be a good location for cheap flights across the USA, as many of the budget airlines don’t fly to Canada).

Unfortunately not long after we got over the border the heavens opened, so rather than stop we continued south along the 9 and more minor roads by the edge of the lake (which is technically a very large river).

We saw some beautiful houses on the waterfront. As we have seen in most places in North America, waterfront access is often difficult as it tends to be private land – unlike the UK where rights of way and footpaths exist by most lakes and rivers. One house had a beautiful little summer house on stilts on the water with a hammock looking out onto the lake – it made you wish you lived there!

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Travel Bite #1: A winter drive through the Eastern Sierra, USA

Posted by on 11 Jan, 2010 in Articles | 0 comments

Welcome to the first of my “travel bites” – short travelogues focussing on a particular place I’ve been.
In mid-December Mrs. Alex and I took a road trip through a large chunk of southwestern USA. For me the highlight was the spectacular scenery we encountered as we drove down US 395 through the Eastern Sierra, from Lake Tahoe past Mono Lake and onwards south into the Owens Valley and then east towards Death Valley. 
Lake Tahoe
We arrived in Lake Tahoe just before sunset, having taken route 50 east from Sacramento. 
We found a waterfront park, closed for the season but accessible on foot. We trudged across the snow covered sand to the water’s edge and watched the sun go down.

Carson City & Lake Topaz
After dark we drove to Carson City, a sort of Blackpool version of Las Vegas, where we spent the night in a motel that seemed to have been left unchanged since the 80s.
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