Tag Archives: hotels

Tian Shan – yes you can: habitation, part 1.

Over the 10 days we were trekking across Tian Shan, we stayed at seven tent-based (permanent) camps for the night:

Each camp was unique in its own way (the views were always very different), but also similar to the others at the same time (same yellow tents and other camping kit). The spacious camps had specially equipped sleeping spaces, a kitchen, and toilets (v. basic, but better than nothing!). In all, hardly the Ritz, but what are you to expect halfway up a mountain side in the middle of nowhere?!

Ok, let me go through each camp in order.

The first at-jailoo (‘field’ in Kyrgyz) didn’t really count. We arrived there in 4x4s so there was no trekking trickiness or hiking hardships at all. There was another kind of hardship though – that brought on by a particularly noisy generator, as already mentioned. I think the family that runs the camp must have been deaf from birth! So, like I say, this camp doesn’t count.

Our first proper camp was this one here:

Read on:

Hotel with a downside and 3D printing Singapore-style.

Once, many years ago (10 to be precise) I visited Pattaya, the resort city in Thailand. I was staying in a large hotel whose name I forget. The room was quite ordinary, but it had a magic number:


No word of a lie. When I asked for Wi-Fi on the beach, I had to give my name and my room number. It was funny saying “one-one-one-one-one” :) // Even back then, in ancient times, they already offered a Wi-Fi service on the beach. Even then. On the beach.

It’s a real shame that I lost the photos from that conference (they included some from partner parties). Nor do I have any pictures or recollections of happened there later. In fact, no one actually knows what happened there.

So, the hotel room number was 11111.

That’s great, but it was ages ago.

There are witnesses, but no evidence remains.

Nowadays, you get room numbers that look even more magical.

Believe it or not, but this was my room number in Singapore.

Read on: Hotel with a downside…

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Railrood Good Mood.

Railrood good mood. It’s a different, special good mood. It’s a bit like motorbike good mood. There’s not much to it, but it brings a nice, calm, reflective feeling. You just stand there, in the engine control room at the front of a train and stare up ahead along the track and to the sides at the passing landscapes. Meditative almost. I’ve heard there are long videos on YouTube showing such railroad good-mooding. It’s so much better doing the real thing though…

Here’s the junction where we turn off the ‘highway’ and onto the ‘back road’ that takes us to St. Pete along the Gulf of Finland:
Read on: Railrood Good Mood…

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A Sardinian Inn You Should Stay In. 

Our north-to-south-to-north tour of Sardinia was coming to its logical end. But one final thing I really need to tell you about is the hotel we stayed at on our last night. It was the Hotel Cala di Volpe, situated in the bay of the same name – here.

First – disclaimer! In a post that will be published on Friday, I say that I ain’t bothered at all about where I stay on my many trips around the world – just the basics are sufficient. Er, oops. It’s not that simple. For sometimes I do fully appreciate get carried away by the digs we stay at – especially when they’re as good as those on our last night in Sardinia!…

Cala di Volpe – yes, it’s posh. But also very interesting – for different reasons.

For example: here you can learn a lot about (up-)market segmentation and creating and increasing the interest level in a place for a targeted demographic. Next door is Porto Cervo village. From a distance it looks like just another humble fishing village. But on closer inspection, it turns out to be one of the world’s most expensive, exclusive resorts! Once a few millionaires started moving there, a whole load of other millionaires followed them, turning the whole area into a prestigious playground of the rich, which in turn attracted more and more ever-posher things like shops, hotels, services, whatever…

But back to the hotel…

It’s architecture is unique: never seen anything like it. Its labyrinth bends and twists make you lose your mind bearings, and you can find yourself at the same spot you passed just five minutes ago – going the other way!

The hotel’s design is real nice. Its swirls and squiggles and asymmetry are all fairly bonkers. Like. It’s so different to what everyone’s used to: straight lines, straight walls, straight staircases, straight everything! Not here!

Oh my gym!

Read on: Fully relaxed, rested, rejuvenated…

The scent of a geyser.

Hi there!

The Rotorua area of New Zealand turned out to have a high concentration of volcanic tourist attractions. There are a dozen or so places in the vicinity (within a 30-minute drive) that I’d recommend visiting. So, where to start? If you don’t know where to start, start from the beginning. © I’ll take this advice, and… start with a question.

What geysers have you already seen, and which was your favorite?

That’s a very simple question to get us started.

While you think, let me give you the bigger picture.

There are four geyser regions in the world: YellowstoneIcelandthe Valley of Geysers on Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia and New Zealand. The hot springs in Atakama, Chile, are sometimes also included in this list. Also, they say there is a geyser areas in Mexico and Japan, but these are relatively unknown.

A geyser is an absolutely stunning sight: a column of hot water erupting from the ground and reaching several dozens meters into the air. Everybody really should see one at least once in their lifetime.

In Rotorua there’s a place called Te Puia – well, to be exact, the full name is Te Whakarewarewatanga O Te Ope Taua A Wahiao (source: Wikipedia). This is home to a geyser named Pohutu that erupts on a regular basis, roughly every 90 minutes.

Read on: A splendid hotel…

A Floating Hotel – Almost.

I can’t tell you all about my Antarctic adventure without telling you all about the ship we sailed across the Drake Passage on. So here we go folks, a post on the one and only Akademik Sergey Vavilov. Here she is, in all her glory:

First up, the engine room. Here’s it’s all about electronic automation, but more of an analogue kind (see the analogue dials) than the full-on digitization of today – a sign that this ship was born in 1988. Yep, that’s when the ship first hit the water – in Rauma in Finland (be ready for quite a bit of Finnish language coming up…). Back then this was state of the art; still today it does a grand job…

Read on: Big thanks to all the crew!…

Jersey in a Day.

Hi folks!

Herewith, more tales from Jersey.

I wasn’t quite expecting it but the island is a very beautiful one. It’s very green, with brightly colored flowers in places (in-between the potato fields). To the north it’s all rocks and cliffs along the coast. In good weather you can see the neighboring islands, and even a bit of France to the east.

In the evening we got to see a nice sunset above the sea:

But anyway. You might be wondering what we were doing on Jersey. Of course – working; plus touristy bits added on, as always ).

Read on: favorite work…

A Mirage-Hotel in the Desert.

Briefly, a few words about a place we stayed at in the desert. Well, this hotel… was like… a mirage – for it seemed almost unreal to me, what with it being right in the middle of a real desert!

It was built, so we were told, on a greenfield site bare desert site up from nothing. As you can see – all around there’s nothing but desert. Water gets piped in from 200km away! And the Internet is super-fast. And free! The hotel is called Qasr al Sarab.

Read on: Chinese New Year and a lucky upgrade…