We have guests from out of town so I have been playing tourist in San Francisco this past week and yesterday we went to Alcatraz. I’ve only lived here since July but it’s amazing how quickly I’ve started to feel at home here. Like many locals, I may not have got around to doing Alcatraz on my own accord for some time. I’m glad I did though – it was terrific! I’ve written about this on my personal blog but will save a proper post until I have my photographs processed (I’m using a film camera right now).
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this week’s collection of travel links. Before you read on, please read my post on the prehistoric village of Skara Brae in Orkney if you haven’t already done so and leave a comment to win a DVD on the Standing Stones of Britain and Ireland. I’d appreciate your support!
On the road
Letter writing. Joshua Johnson tries to resurrect the noble craft of letter writing with this five-point post on Matador.
Water. Christine Osborne on Travels with my Hat on responsible water usage abroad and how, in many places, water shortages are exacerbated by tourism.
Kids. Amy at the Q Family explains how to take kids on a business trip.
Health. The Australian reports that tourists are advised to get a rabies vaccination before going to Bali.
Accommodation. Jeanne at Soultravelers3 recommends this B&B in Krakow, Poland.
Motor homes. Pam Mandel from Nerd’s Eye View is a seasoned camper but she has never done it in an RV (motor home) before now. Here she shares the lessons learned from her first week.
Guide-book writing. Kim Wildman from Wild About Travel + Writing on the unique challenges of updating a guide book in Ghana.
Memories. Alison Stein Wellner, the newest writer at Perceptive Travel, has a thoughtful post on capturing travel memories.
Places and inspiration
Travel writing. Kristin Luna dishes the dirt on becoming a travel writer on her blog Camels and Chocolate and John Hooper muses on the blurred lines between truth and fiction for the Guardian Travel Blog.
Magic. Katie writes about the 15 most magical places in the world for Tripbase. Inspirational list with stunning photos!
Swimming. The Web Urbanist on great places to swim around the planet – from cave diving in Florida to swimming in a lake of jellyfish in Palau.
Sydney. You may have heard of the recent dust storm in Sydney – World Hum has a great picture of the Opera House in a haze of red dust.
Hinchinbrook. Ben Southall from the Island Caretaker Blog on sea-kayaking at Hinchinbrook Island in tropical north Queensland.
Kilimanjaro. Beth Whitman at Wanderlust and Lipstick highlights the attempt of a paraplegic man to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest mountain in Africa.
British Columbia. Cute photo of a seal at Pender Island in British Columbia, Canada, from Kelly at Travellious, who is currently road-tripping with Pam Mandel of Nerd’s Eye View and Peter Carey of The Carey Adventures.
Paris. Kayt Sukel writes about one of my favourite Paris museums, the Musee d’Orsay, for TravelSavvyMom.
Cemetery. Robin Locker from MyMelange on a trip to an old cemetery in Vermont – lovely photos!
Kathmandu. Kymri Wilt from Mira Terra Travel Blog on how Kathmandu in Nepal feels like home.
Costa Rica. Cate from the Caffeinated Traveller on an expat cafe in the cloud forest of Monteverde in Costa Rica.
Art. Neha for Europe a la Carte on discovering naive art in Croatia.
Saudi Arabia. Susie from Susie’s Big Adventure on the inauguration of KAUST – King Abdullah University for Sciences and Technology – in her adopted home of Saudi Arabia.
Egypt. Jessica Wilson from FushMush on the Temple of Hatshepsut in Egypt.
Travel issues and trends
School holidays. Darren Cronian at Travel Rants says the travel industry is taking advantage of families with big price hikes in school holidays.
Solo travel. Robin Locker at MyMelange offers tips for solo women travellers.
Cruising. Christopher Elliott from Elliott.org has two extraordinary stories about cruising. In one case a cruise company lost a bag and then charged $69 to deliver it once it was found (make sure you read the person’s additional information in the comments section). In another, a couple had their entire cruise vacation cancelled and the insurance company refused to pay out because a weird US law meant they couldn’t board in Seattle or Anchorage rather than Vancouver.
Airlines. On a more uplifting note, read this tale about corporate altruism at JetBlue, also on Elliott.org.
City planning. From the dumbest-ideas-i’ve-ever-heard file: Russia is planning to put a dirty big skyscraper in the middle of the fairytale city of St Petersburg, despite warnings from the UN. Intelligent Travel has the details.
Denmark. Courtney dissects a sexist – and somewhat bizarre – tourist campaign for Denmark on Feministing.
Travel agents. Should travel agents charge a fee to consumers for a consultation? There’s a lively debate on the Travolution Blog (including my 10p worth).