Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Travel Guides

I've never been any of these places before.
Obviously i've been bombarded with pictures through the media representations of them, but im not sure if thats really enough, of course I do want to see the eifel tower but I also want to experience stuff that hasn't been plastered all over every travel show ever.

So being really uneducated on most of the places I've chosen to visit I thought it would be a good idea to purchase a travel guide of each of the locations I've chosen, so thats what I did, I logged on to amazon and got a selection of the best rated travel guides for under £20 (including delivery!) it was a total bargain. I've flicked through all of them and they are all  really spectacular in their own right, The Barcelona one (centre) is by far the most beautiful with each page being another artistic scrapbook masterpiece and it tells you about the places you really want to know about, the hidden places where you can escape the bustle, the best places to go at night whether it be an abandoned pier or a drum and bass dungeon and importantly it tells you the places to avoid, all about the she-male hookers, the dodgy strip joints and the most rundown neighbourhoods. seriously its a beautiful book and if you ever think about going to barcelona you need to check it out. 5/5

The Paris book is also really informative without being boring it has great maps and totally helped me to touch up my french, now I remember how to ask where things are, how to get there and how much they cost! the rest of the books have a few phrases in but I think without previous knowledge of the language they aren't a whole lot of use. On downside is that theres loads of maps of different sections of the city but they're all crammed together with loads of names and places  almost overlapping, making it difficult to find out where the hell anything is. all in all though a pretty thourough guide covering loads of what paris has to offer 3.5/5

The Berlin book is part of the lonely planet series which get great reviews everywhere and it is really well written with price guides directions and itenaries as well as how much you can expect to pay for a beer (ESSENTIAL FACT.) 
Theres a big pull out map in the back but once its removed you just have to hope it doesn't get lost. Also I just noticed that the Tv show accompaniement for this book 'Destination Berlin' is showing next monday on channel five. 4/5

The 'Best Of Milan' book is also part of the lonely planet series of books and at first glance Ithought it was a bit shit, just a big long listing of all the bars, shops, cafes and hotels but infact, nestled in the centre is a massive section on culture and society and also a awesome 3 day itenary of stuff to see and do all planned out perfectly for you.. 3/5

Finding a good guide to Amsterdam was difficult.
I wanted something that told me about the culture, the architecture and the food without just being a big long listing. On the other hand, I tried to steer clear of all the dodgy "HOW TO GET TOTALLY WASTED IN AMSTERDAM" books 
because they might be really good if you're going on a stag do but otherwise I don't think they're the best guide to a city
In the end I settled on  an "Inside Out Guide To Amsterdam" which is really cool, it has popout maps that kinda burst out when you open the page, a compass and a pen built into the spine! it might seem pointless but the big maps are so much easier to follow especially with the compass and a pen to mark where you're staying in case you get lost. 3/5

ok that was boring, like a big long book review post or something, basically im just bored sitting in my boxers drinking coffee and I thought I'd write about books, I promise that my actual travel posts will be much more interesting

Euro Trip

On the 1st January 2008 I sat down with a beer and my journal, wrote down the places I wanted to go, checked out some prices of flights and accocomodation and then just booked the flights before thinking about all the things that could go wrong.

  • Paris 1st March - 8th March
  • Berlin 8th - 14th March
  • Barcelona 14th - 21st March
  • Milan 21st - 25th March
  • Amsterdam 25th - whenever I run out of money, theres even scope to possibly fly somewhere else after amsterdam but I've not booked any more flights so I can check out my financial situation at this point.

oh man this is going to be exciting and scary and fun and daunting and hilarious and lonely and terrible all at the same time!