Archive for the ‘Tourist Events’ Category

Hectic days a-coming up

Over the next few days it’s going to be pretty hectic here as the Spanish are coming, as usual for their pre-Easter break.

Also, as usual, they wait ’til the last minute to book. Just a few weeks ago, we had nobody down for the next few days yet as of tomorrow we’re pretty much full until Monday and everyone is from Spain.

The last minute business seems to be getting worse each year as we had several days worth of bookings arriving this morning including the first double booking for the year. The last minute aspect is something that none of the booking systems are really geared up for in that it can be several hours between the guest booking and the system notifying us of that booking which, of course, is plenty of time for a competing reservation system to slip in another booking for the same dates.

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

Another hosting upgrade thanks to early holiday bookers

People seem to be moving online in droves in search of holiday accommodation if the stats on my own accommodation listings sites are anything to go by.

Whilst ordinarily, I expect to have to upgrade the hosting for the collection of sites once a year, I’ve already had to upgrade it three times since Christmas such is the rush of people looking around for summer holiday accommodation. The increase in traffic from December looks like coming out around eight fold which is a major jump by any standards.

Whilst financially it’s no problem in that hosting costs have dropped like a stone in recent years, technically it’s heralding a problem that may arise this summer, somewhat ahead of my expectations. That problem is that I’ve only one more upgrade that I can do before I have to move from a shared hosting plan to a VPS hosting plan that essentially provides me with my own virtual server (actually shared by around four others).

Plus points of that upgrade are that it will give me the extra bandwidth that I’ll be needing by then and that the websites should run a lot faster but on the downside it costs about five times the price of the service that I’ll be using just prior to it.

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

The Fenouilledes Rally 2007

We didn’t manage to get out to see the rally on Saturday so we’d quite a trek to get to Ansignan to see it on Sunday morning.

As usual in France, all the promotion of the event is in French so there are relatively few foreigners attending what is quite a good rally. The most complete information on the rally is on the French site here which will have the information on the winners etc. in the not too distant future. One interesting consequence of this limitation in the promotion is that Foreign Perspectives achieves top ranking for searches about the rally.

The area over which the rally takes place comprises quite an intricate set of roads so you need to know the area fairly well or have a very good map to work out how to get to the various vantage points. For example, a journey which normally takes about 30 minutes from here ended up taking nearly 90 minutes due to the various diversions for the rally.

Whilst it’s mainly French teams taking part there’s quite a sizeable representation from Spain too.

Quite an interesting event if you’ve over here at the appropriate time next year (probably November 23rd & 24th 2008). Although it’s usually pretty good weather here, the route goes through several rather windy mountain passes so it can be pretty cold if you’re out of the sun.

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

We’re thinking of Dresden for Christmas

We’ve been hunting around for somewhere to go for Christmas for quite a while now and consequently have been quizzing everyone who’s came about where they lived and what it was like there at Christmas. That included several Germans, of course. However, to be quite honest we thought that they were pulling our legs when they said Dresden and Nuremburg! But then the second lot said Dresden too and we started to wonder: let’s face it, who would visit Dresden seeing as it was pretty much levelled in the war?

In fact, just about all of those perceptions that you have about it are wrong. We’ve certainly been reliably informed that it’s “the” place to go for the German Christmas markets and that it’s one of the livelier cities in Germany these days.

Why not check it out? Air Berlin do direct flights from London Stansted and from loads of other airports all across Europe.

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

Carrickfergus Castle

King William

Carrickfergus is on the coast just 20 minutes or so north of Belfast so it’s easy to get to.

The castle is, of course, the main attraction of the town. Whilst it’s open all year with exhibitions depicting the history from the 1100s, it’s best to catch it during one of the Summer celebrations that are held. Allow about an hour to fully cover all the permanent exhibitions.

Strangely enough for such a major construction, much of its history isn’t known to great precision so yCarrickfergus Castlesou’ll find that the outer ward was probably added between 1228 and 1242 rather than having an exact date. In fact the only exact date quoted is that of the landing of King William the third on June 14th 1690 which is commemorated by a small plaque at the end of the pier which you can see in this photograph and also by his statue outside the castle.

Sadly the castle fell into disrepair after this time though it was still being used as a fortress when it was captured for the last time in 1760 by the French. After that it was used as a prison and then an armoury up until 1928 and later as an air-raid shelter in the second world war. As a consequence of this long period of non-castle use, numerous repairs were made after it was handed over as a musuem, some of which were a little overdone giving it an overall artificial feel.

This is part of our series of articles for Northern Ireland Themes.

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