Archive for the ‘Travel’ 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.

What’s a suitable subject for a really big photographic enlargement?

These days there’s really no excuse if you’re using simple wallpaper that everyone else has to decorate your home.

How much better to display a selection of your own photographs instead? You’ve probably not thought about that before as the normal commercial photographic printers just cater for the typical album size prints and don’t have the equipment to produce a trully impressive work of art for your wall from your photographs.

However, you don’t need to limit yourself to the photographic shop round the corner these days as it’s very easy to transfer a photograph to a printer anywhere. Not only does this open up the possibility of much larger prints but you’ve also the option of printing on various types of “paper” from the usual glossy (not really suitable for large scale photos) through to canvas if you’d like an almost painting like quality to your print.

Particularly for the larger sizes, printing photograph on canvas is really the only way to go. If your image is from a compact digital camera more than a year or two old then it’ll go “blocky” on normal photographic paper if you try to run off a print at the larger sizes but on canvas this disappears into the texture of the material you’re getting it printed on.

What about the subject for your photo? That depends on you. I’m quite taken with this photo that I took of Cordoba and I’ve a heap of similar scenic photos from that particular trip. On the other hand, all scenes would make for a dull home I suspect and it’s probably best to mix them up with photos of the kids and so on. One thing to watch on the landscape photos is that if you’re not careful they can date quite quickly if you’ve included people in them as dress styles change surprisingly quickly sometimes (unless the people are in native dress of course).

Last, but not least, don’t forget that you can update the photos now and again too.

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