Saturday, January 31, 2009

Venice For The Disabled

Need help touring Venice? There is a great book for tourists to Venice who have difficulty walking or are in a wheelchair.

"Venice: Easy Sightseeing" contains 14 routes, each of them a 3-5 minute walk from a boat dock. The book includes maps, plus information on wheelchair accessible paths, elevators and bathrooms.

A great resource, if you have difficulty walking and will be visiting Venice, this book belongs with you.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tourist Hotline Now Available In Israel

If you will be traveling to Israel, keep *3888 in mind.

Dialing that number from any land line or cell phone, within the country, can get you directions and information on local attractions plus assistance in emergencies

There is more information at the Israel Government Tourist Office Site

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Plummeting of the Krona Makes This a Perfect Time to Visit Iceland

Sadly, Iceland is in political and financial turmoil.

Iceland's coalition government has collapsed.

Last year, the country's banks collapsed.

Inflation and unemployment have soared, and the krona currency has plummeted.

What this means to the international traveler is that prices of food and lodging are less than half of what they were a year ago. Currently $1 US equals, approximately, ISK 123. A year ago, $1 US equaled approximately ISK 65.

In the summer of 2008, a three course meal could cost ISK 1500-3500. At that time, the exchange was ISK 82 for US $1, which converted to $18, on the low end. Today, that same meal would cost the US visitor $12.

While things don't look good for those having to earn a living and live in Iceland, this is definitely an opportunity for those wanting to visit the country.

Chinese Zodiac - Year of the Ox

The Chinese New Year is today. I decided to see what my horoscope is for the year according to the Chinese zodiac.

I checked out a site on the Chinese zodiac to find out what animal I am. Turns out, I was born during the Year of the Dog and, as such, am 'attentive, loyal, stubborn and guarded'.

But each year holds something different for each animal. During this year, the Year of the Ox, I learned that I'll "enjoy good luck this year as you have two lucky stars. Your career and health should be fine. However, your career can drain you of energy."

Since I'm retired, I guess my 'career' could refer to the new hobbies I've picked up. I'm still busy with working at making money on the Internet and I've taken up crocheting. Of course I hope to do more travel...and get back to posting regularly on this blog....including more on our China trip. That and 'life' is keeping me very busy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Using a Pre-paid Credit or Debit Card

When my husband and I travel together, we each take our own ATM card. We are not afraid of losing one. We are very careful about that. What concerns us is the stories we hear about cards being eaten up by a non-properly working ATM machine. The fact is it does happen.

So what to do when traveling alone? Well, if you don't have two bank accounts with two different ATM cards (like who does?), consider taking a pre-paid credit or debit card. Places like AAA offer a pre-paid, reloadable Visa TravelMoney card. It can be used as a credit/debit card and can also be used to withdraw funds from an ATM.

Split your money between more than one card and you don't have to worry being left with no access to any money if an ATM machine swallows one of them.

Friday, January 16, 2009

US Airways Crash Flight 1549

How scary. Every plane passengers' worst nightmare...a crash.

How wonderful that everyone survived. I had just been reading that there had been no air fatalities on US airlines in the past two years. So glad that record has not been broken.

So fortunate an experienced ex-fighter pilot was at the controls of US Airways Flight 1549. He is being treated as a hero and justifiably so. Captain Sullenberger is the type of pilot I hope is at the controls of all of my flights.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Family Emergency

Familiy emergency has taken my attention the past few days and I suspect will do so for a few more days.

Will be back here as soon as possible.

My Readers...Thanks for your patience...Diane

Friday, January 9, 2009

Will Be A Bit Longer

Sorry for the lack of posts. Lots of things going on and being pulled in a bunch of different directions. I hope to be back posting, regularly, about China, some time over the weekend.

Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Quick Note On Shopping In China

If you see something you like, buy it. Don't expect to see the same thing elsewhere.

Oh, sure....we did see some of the same stuff over and over and over. That was typical of the shops.

But what was most interesting was that the stuff being sold by the vendors accosting us on the street, or near the pier, was unique to each city. In Beijing, they sold embroidered bags and purses we saw no where else.

Same for each of the cities. So if you see it, particularly if it is from a street vendor, and you want it, buy it. Don't wait.

And a little addendum from my husband: Just don't forget to "bargain" for the best price. And just because you want it.... don't appear to be too eager.