Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Something to Blog About - Tips for the Traveller

Malta Airport - Google Earth

It is not often that I am lost for a subject to blog about. Seeing that lately I have not been in a position to do certain things I love to do, I have a distinct lack of material which I would usually utilise for my blog. Soooo.......after a very brief search on this amazing World Wide Web (not quite sure what percentage of the trillions and billions of bits of info on the WWW are actually worth looking at in the first place) came across some interesting and not so interesting bits and bobs about travelling. Here are a few which I found sort of interesting.............oh dear I'm rambling.

These are all quotes taken from SKYSCANNER. The first is pretty obvious to me, but I am aware that a heck of a lot of people have no idea how to travel without taking their whole wardrobe and half the house with them.

1. Travelling with just hand luggage should be your goal: 
Do you really need 6 pairs of heels, T-bags and an iron? Take less and you'll travel cheaper, faster and easier.

2. Leave the Guidebook at Home:
Rather than taking your entire copy of the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet, just photocopy the pages you need, then discard after use. Saves space and weight.

3. Never Wear Flip Flops on a plane. (That makes sense):
Quote from Skyscanner: I used to work for an airline and we were told never to wear sandals on board an aircraft. In the unlikely event of an emergency, it's best to have a good set of sturdy shoes that will protect your feet from heat or sharp objects.

4. Jiggle it Just a Little Bit:
If you're petrified of turbulence during flights, try slightly jiggling your body when you hit some rough air. No one will notice because everyone is being moved around due to the aircraft movement. Sounds a little crazy but your movement will counteract that of the aircraft and you won't feel turbulence so much. (Apparently it does work)!

5. Keep Your Mouth Shut (and I would add your eyes too):
If you are in a country where it is unsafe to drink the water, keep your mouth shut in the shower.

6. Hotels are not the Only Fruit (Def agree here. With Airbnb becoming so popular, home stays are an option I would go for):
Staying in a hotel when you are on holiday is not the only option. Or in a hostel for that matter. Apartments or rooms in private homes are where the savvy travellers rest their heads these days.

7. Ditch Your Friends!
Quote from Skyscanner: Travelling all by your lonesome might seem daunting at first, but it gives you a chance to really immerse yourself in the travel experience. I have met friends for life, learnt a new language and had amazing experiences by travelling solo.

8. Always Travel in a Hoody:
They may have become the uniform of unruly ASBO (Anti Social Behaviour Order.....I had to look that up!)-teenagers, but hooded tops make excellent travel garments. Just slip up your hood to retreat from the world of noise and light when you want to sleep on a flight/airport seat/bus.

9. Choose the Asian-Vegetarian option on the plane:
You get fed before anyone else, you avoid anything too greasy and stodgy (helps the jet lag allegedly) and I'm convinced the more niche meals are much better quality as they are made in smaller batches.

10. Pre-Book an Airport Lounge:
If you are flying long-haul, pre-book yourself into an airport lounge. There's an up-front fee, but provides a quiet environment with complimetary drinks, food, magazines. newspapers, WiFi etc. It's a cost effective and relaxing way to start your journey.

11. Bring an Internet Ready Device:
Quote: If travelling for a long time, take your own device that can pick up WiFi, like a smartphone or tablet. We didn't do this because we didn't want to bring an expensive item backpacking, but it turned out to be incredibly expensive to use the internet, or impossible to find any. Yet there is free WiFi in places all around the world and you quickly realise how often you need to tap in to things like bank accounts or travel bookings.

12. Bring An Extra Top on Board:
When flying (especially long haul) always travel with an extra top as the blankets they provide are thin and the plane can get very cold.

13. Always Bring a Sarong (Now this is a good idea):
They're light and multifunctional: something to lie on at the beach, a cover for when you're cold, a towel, a curtain, a skirt, a dress, even an emergency bandage.

14. Kindles are Made for Travel (Being a proper book in hand lover who loves to smell the paper (!) I, nevertheless, have to agree here):
I never travel without my Kindle. No more lugging multiple books around whilst waiting to exchange them with other travellers. This may have been a 'charming' part of travelling, but not when every book exchange turns up nothing but books in German.

15. Look Before you Leave (Common sense but we all make a mistake):
Whenever you get up to leave somewhere, be it a chair at the airport, a cafe or a bar, always turn around and make sure you haven't left anything behind.

16. Roll Your Clothes when Packing:
Once you roll you will wonder why you ever bothered to fold.

17. Bring a Money Belt AND a Wallet:
There is a dual purpose to this: if you get mugged you can calmly hand over the wallet and carry on your holiday with minimum hassle. If you meet new friends, use the wallet, as it can be a bit insulting to go into a money belt to pay for your beers.

18. Get A Guide:
When visiting cultural monuments, always take the offer of a local guide. It will open your eyes to so much more than if you try and go it alone or just use a guide book.

19. Tiger Balm is Medicine of the Gods:
This South East Asian balm not only soothes sore muscles after a lot of travelling, but also works as an insect repellent to keep the little biting beasties away.

20.  AND AS A FINALE - I LOVE THIS ONE......Avoid Everywhere!
If you really, really want to get off the beaten track, buy the Lonely Planet guide, then avoid everywhere featured in it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Club Tropicana - Out of the Blue - Wham! Filmed in Malta

This video has come out featuring Out of the Blue with a remake of Wham's 'Club Tropicana'. Filmed in Malta thanks to the Corinthia St. George Hotel, where part of the video was shot, and to British Airways Holidays who helped make this all possible. A great advert for Malta.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Take 27 Ltd Demo reel 2015

Below is a Demo Reel produced by a friend of mine who has an Illustration and Animation company. Some excellent work.

Selmun Morning Walk

A few pics taken whilst out walking this morning through Selmun
Click  on pics to enlarge

Almond Blossom

Overlooking Mistra Bay

Selmun Palace

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

A couple of Winter Gozo Pics


The Gozo Snail carving along the salt pans near Qbajjar. Unfortunately erosion is winning and in a few years time the whole thing will just be a faint outline.

One of the old boathouses down at the Wied il-Ghasri inlet. Photo a bit too HDR for my liking but one of my first attempts with HDR.

Looking down at the pebbly beach at the end of Wied il-Ghasri

Trying to  be artistic - failed miserably!

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Jake Satariano - Winter Training and Competition

12 year old Young Sailor, Jake Satariano, is following up his successful participation in the 2014 Optimist World Championships in Argentina with a continuous training and racing regime both locally and abroad.
Jake has recently been fortunate enough to travel to Spain to train under the watchful eye of Spanish coach, Magda Resano, and participate in the Torrevieja Regatta. The level of this regatta was very high with approximately 330 sailors from around 15 participating countries.
Races on day 1 were delayed due to over 30 knots of wind, but eventually 3 races were held later in the day with gusts over 25 knots. Jake did very well in the Yellow fleet of 110 sailors managing a noteable 6th and 9th placing in spite of bad starts, but he played the shifts well and caught up with the leading bunch of the fleet.  3rd race did not go so well after he was yellow flagged and did  not play the shifts as well as he did in the first 2 races.
Saturday the wind was still very breezy at 22 knots. Still sailing in the yellow fleet he managed some consistent results with a 33rd, 24th and 23rd placing - enough for him to get a 49th overall position and a place in the Gold Fleet.
Sunday, final day of racing, brought light shifty wind conditions. Jake's objective was to concentrate on getting good starts. His starts were better but the shifting winds made for some tricky sailing. Race results for Sunday were 66th, 39th and 67th. These results gave him an overall 56th placing in the Regatta. A good result for this young man and he has come a long way since last year where he came 190th overall in this same regatta. An improvement of 134 places.
Once again Jake's determination and dedication has shown what a bright future he has in the sport of sailing. 
Jake is a member of the Malta Young Sailors club which has a number of excellent young sailors, both experienced and up and coming, who can all boast of a high standard of sailing.

Pics courtesy of Magda Resano

Jake standing next to coach Magda Resano pre event

Jake Satariano (5th from left) with other members of the Spanish team
MLT22 - Jake Satariano sailing out of the harbour towards the race course
MLT22 - Jake Satariano


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