Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

Greek hotels and resorts

Greece is one of those places where you get a mix of the ancient and modern, often side by side and that applies equally to the accommodation as it does to the tourist sights and sites that you will see during your holiday in the country.

The Corissia hotels in Crete are very much at the modern end of that scale as even the briefest glance at their website will show you. That modernity is reflected in the hotel rooms too with all the facilities that you’d expect in the most modern of hotels from the big things such as air conditioning and satellite TV through to the smaller items like the hair dryer that you wish you’d brought but couldn’t face packing it.

Of course, all these means nothing if the hotel isn’t in the right location. That’s particularly difficult on Crete which is quite a long island with attactions all over the place so ideally you want somewhere near the centre and, of course, on the coast (the northern coast is best). However, you can get quite close to this ideal with, for example, the Corissia hotels of Corissia Beach and Corissia Princess both currently offering free airport transfers for early bookers (worthwhile as the airport is towards the eastern end of the island).


Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Hawaii’s other islands

hawaii spouting hornFrom this side of the world, there is just “Hawaii” but what we know of Hawaii is just one of the islands in the chain (Oahu) and the others are very different from that one.

Kauai is very different. Here you’ll find a much quieter type of holiday with resorts giving you the chance to have a beach holiday but in a beautiful island setting. Although the whole Hawaii chain of islands looks pretty small on the map, some of the islands are quite large and all of them have so much to do that we’ll only be looking at a small area of Kauai which should give you a good feel of what the island is like.

As with all the islands in the group, Kauai has all the beaches that you’d expect with water sports, snorkeling (in beautifully clear waters) and, of course, the scenery. National parks abound and near Poipu you’ll find the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Along with the other islands you’ll find lava formations and Spouting Horn is worth a visit to see the lava tube formations: quite spectacular as you can see.

Vacation homes are one option that will help make your holiday a little bit more relaxing or for something a little smaller condos (apartments) give you a choice midway between a self-catering house and a hotel room (usually somewhat closer to the action than the vacation homes are, of course).

For the area, vacation rentals seem the best way to go. Hotels are the choice for Oahu but for Kauai, you need a more laid back option to make the most of what the island has to offer.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Hawaii vacations

Hawaii AlohaHawaii is a loooong way from anywhere so the best option for most people from Europe is to include it as part of a round the world trip and, all being well, I’ll be doing that at some point in the next year or two once more.

Last time we stayed at the Waikiki Surf hotel which is a few blocks back from the beach and a teensy bit noisy as it’s on quite a major road. I think next time around it’ll probably be one facing the sea: ’tis much nicer to wake to the sound of the surf than the sound of the traffic. Incidently, be careful of the exact name of your hotel as there are untold numbers of Waikiki X hotel, Surf Y and Outrigger Z hotels!

Waikiki is on Oahu along with Honolulu and is probably the most touristy of the islands. Having said that, this means that there are loads of things to do. Don’t miss the Polynesian Centre which is run by the students of the Mormon university on the island. Fans of Hawaii Five-O won’t want to miss the view from Diamond Head. Pearl Harbour still holds the remains of numerous battleships. I’ve an upcoming trips guide which covers all this in more detail.

For something completely different, Maui offers you much more of an ecological location. Less touristy and much more scenic. More of a vacation rental place I think as that gives you more of a chance to wind down after the long flight.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

What about cruising the Norfolk Broads this year?

Anything to do with boating is never cheap but if you want a holiday experience that you’ll really remember then a cruise down a canal in your own boat is hard to beat.

A holiday on a canal boat (“barge” doesn’t really seem the correct term for the boats that you find these days) is at a totally different pace. Normal guidebooks are completely useless as they are aimed at drivers and cover a much greater chunk of the countryside than you’d be able to see at the pace of a canal boat. You’ll see all kinds of cute little villages that you’d have zoomed past without a second glance and as the canals tend to go through the older parts of towns you get to see some quite historic sections of towns that you’d never have seen before even if you were quite familiar with them.

You can do this in lots of countries but with the exchange rate being what it is why not try out a canal boat on the Norfolk Broads?

This is the type of holiday that you really need to do at least once in your life.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

A flock of evening IT seminars

Not so long ago, the only IT seminars put on locally were those by the BCS and usually only about once a month over the winter months with very much the same faces seen at every one.

Roll that on a decade or so and there seem to be seminars coming out of the woodwork everywhere. This week there were two quite different but equally good ones.

First off was a very interesting perspective of how agile methods are used in CME. Although broadly aimed at the development community, it had enough background for others in the IT community to pick up on it. This was one of those from the BCS series and oddly, despite there being hundreds if not thousands more IT jobs locally now, the number attending was much the same as it has always been for BCS events. That unchanging number is a bit sad really as some other non-BCS events can have hundreds of people at them these days, so why not the BCS ones?

The next day was something of a marathon ISACA one on COBIT that ran on for around two hours. That’s something of a specialist field so it wasn’t surprising to see just a handful of attendees for what turned out to be a surprisingly comprehensive overview of the COBIT methodology. The ISACA events are quite frequently attended by a hundred or more people but it does vary from topic to topic and speaker to speaker.

Over the course of a year there are quite a number of such talks. By far the best attended are generally the ISACA and BASH ones representing the IT security and IT development communities with a continual stream of niche ones at Farset Labs.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.