Tuesday 29 April 2008

WikiTravel - A Travel GuideBook of Tomorrow?

When I was surfing for information about Cinque Terre, I stumbled upon an interesting site. It is a Wiki kind of site and depends solely on user input.

WikiTravel.org is a very useful site for all of you travelers, surfing for up to date info about your next travel destination.
It was inspired by Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, and by the needs of travellers for timely information that long book-publishing cycles can't seem to meet.

Feel free to contribute your bit. I have already added a little piece of information to its vast and fast growing database. At the moment they have more then 18.000 destination guides and other articles written and edited by Wikitravellers.

I believe there is a bright future ahead of this project. In a couple of years we can expect various portable devices that enable Web surfing and navigation will become quite widespread. At the same time we can also see all kinds of wireless networks spreading all around us.
Put those things together and you don't have to be a visionary to see which way this is going...

I predict that in about five years time electronic PDA devices will replace classical guidebooks for travelers in the better developed parts of the world. The only limitation I can see is the non-existence of wireless networks in some parts of the world. For those countries a paper travel guidebook will still be the only option for quite some time.


Saturday 26 April 2008

Cinque Terre it is...

M. and I have finally decided on our next trip destination... It is going to be a trip through Tuscany, Italy.

As I already mentioned in one of the previous posts (link), we have already done most of Tuscany, but have never been to Cinque Terre before. This part of the coast actually falls into the region of Liguria, which lies to the northwest of Tuscany. Cinque Terre in Italian means Five Lands. All five of them are a part of a magnificent natural park, which is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

It is going to be a five day trip and hopefully we will also have time to visit Florence (Firenze). We like this city a lot and take every opportunity to visit.

We are planning to stay in our trusty tent in a camping site near the village of Levanto. If some really awful weather forecast doesn't make us change our plans, you can expect another set of gorgeous photos.

Wherever I go, usually I don't buy any souvenirs. I have enough of things full of dust lying around as it is. Nevertheless I make an occasional photo of the more interesting souvenirs. On the couple of photos above you can see two such products made by street artists in Florence.

If you liked this post and are interested in more information on our trip, please click on this link or on the Cinque Terre label in the right frame.


Wednesday 23 April 2008

A Night in Villa Allegra

Last Friday I attended an IT conference in Portoroz, Slovenia. It is called Days of Slovenian Informatics and spans over three days.
Unfortunately I only had time to participate on Friday.

I arrived to Portoroz late on Thursday and joined a conference party, which was sponsored by the company I work for. First we had dinner on a tourist boat and then continued in a nearby cafe. The boat made a slow circle off the Slovenian coast and in the meantime we enjoyed some fish and some surprisingly drinkable wine. It was an all you can eat/drink kind of supper.

I really love fish, so I took advantage of the situation. However, I went easy on the wine. I had to drive a couple of kilometers to a villa, where I arranged a place to stay over the night.

This time I had a whole villa for myself. This sounds very fancy, but in fact it was a free of charge kind of arrangement.
A colleague of mine inherited this villa a couple of years ago. No one has been living there for the last couple of years, because it badly needs renovation but he can't afford it at the moment.

So with a use of my sleeping bag it was a really pleasant place to stay. I woke up to enjoy a cute view of the Portoroz beach from the balcony. The weather wasn't something to write home about, but I enjoyed the view anyway. The location of this old villa really is superb!

It was built in traditional style and therefore it still looks really nice (there is a year 1831 written on a metal plate, fixed to the front of the house). Unfortunately time took its tool and adaptation of this thing would be a real trouble. That is why its owner is thinking of pulling it down and building something else from scratch.

It's a shame really, but I can also understand his point of view. I guess he doesn't want to spend a fortune for adaptation and then live in a damp house for the rest of his life...

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