Look Down

Some of the time when I am visiting a new city I look down as well as up.

It might be something to do with being a retired water and sewerage engineer but I always notice manhole covers.

Many municipal authorities are very proud of their services and like to put a bit of thought into their access covers; so here are some I photographed on a recent trip to Europe.

Cologne (Koln) Germany

Bratislava, Slovakia

Budapest, Hungary

And Looking Up!

This sculpture called ‘Peeping Tom’ can be found in Bratislava. . . .Fresh From the Sewer!

Although these covers are impressive for really great access covers Japan takes a lot of beating.

No Jeans

I own a couple of pairs of denim jeans, which I like. . . . but not when I travel.

The things that make them great for doing things around the house make them a bad choice when you are travelling.

The strong, thick material which is great to protect your skin makes them some of the heavier pants around.

That thick material easily absorbs water but seems to takes forever to dry.

That means if you get them wet while you are out they will feel clammy and damp for hours.

It also means they can’t be easily washed in your room.

I much prefer lightweight travel pants.

N.B Those lightweight pants that look like denim but have plenty of Lycra are fine

Premium Economy – Is It For You?

Had enough of ‘Cattle Class’ but Business Class is too expensive?

Well perhaps Premium Economy could be for you if travelling long haul .


Although some people says its not close to Business Class in my experience the better Premium Economy seats are often similar to the Business Class of the 1990’s.

Most airlines will have wider and more comfortable seats with more legroom and better recline.

More like a reclining armchair.

Do check on the airline’s website though . . . . I haven’t been that happy with the airlines that only provide an empty seat next to you.

Other Benefits

Depending on the airline you could receive some, or all the following benefits:

  • Priority check-in
  • More baggage allowance
  • Priority boarding
  • Better menu
  • More personalised service.
  • Lounge access


Expect to pay around twice the price of an Economy seat but around half the cost of a Lie Flat Business ticket.

Travellers Hack

The different airline Premium Economy offerings vary considerably so you need to compare the different offerings carefully rather than just going on price.

6 More Signs You Travel too Much

I recently talked about reasons why I think I probably travel too much. . . . so here are another 6 signs that I am willing to own up to.

  • You have digital public travel passes for cities in four different countries.
  • You don’t need to look at your membership card to know your frequent flyer number.
  • A flight attendant says “Flying back already?” because she recognizes you from a previous trip.
  • You have a phone currency app with 6 or more different currencies already loaded.
  • You always use the toiletries from your travel toiletry bag, even when you are at home.
  • You have 5 different carry on sized bags depending on your proposed trip.
  • Back row from left to right: Samsonite Hard Sided Spinner, Skyway Suit Carrier, Qantas Briefcase.
  • Front Row: Hi Sierra Duffel, Kathmandu Backpack.

Do you have any other signs that you travel too much that you are guilty of?

Airline Food

Overall Airline Meals seem to have a fairly bad reputation . . . but is it deserved?

The Good

I think its amazing you can be eating a meal 20,000m in the air travelling at 1,000km/hour several hours travel from a kitchen.

I have never got food poisoning from an airline meal, or even heard of anyone else who has been ill.

Emirates Business (from www.wikipedia.com)

If you are willing to fly business class you do get 3 to 4 good choices and the food is usually attractively presented.

Usually every course is presented separately as it would in a restaurant.

I have heard some airlines have a chef to finish off partially prepared meals.

The Bad

It’s not the fault of the airlines that the effect of the reduced pressure and drier air on the plane affects your sense of smell and taste.

To counteract the taste issue I tend to go for the more spicy, or strong tasting choices.

Qantas Economy

To feed the 200+ people in long haul economy it is mass catering aimed at fast distribution of the meals, rather than presentation.

(From my experiences I would say Emirates has some of the better economy meals)

Due to cost and extra weight airlines are going to limit the amount of food carried

That means if they guess wrong some people will not get a choice.

Some airlines do the right thing and if you missed your choice at the first meal and make sure you get a choice at the next meal.

Some airlines (Air Canada) don’t care.

Should You Eat It?

I have heard that avoiding eating on the plane can help reduce jet lag.

Not advice I have followed as I welcome the meal as a break from the monotony of the flight.

A meal accompanied by a glass or two of wine also helps me sleep on the plane.

Special Meals

Some travellers have recommended ordering special meals even if you don’t need them.

Our experience though hasn’t been good .

My wife has a wheat allergy, and some of the Gluten Free meals have been very disappointing.

Travellers Hack

In my opinion the best chance of getting a good meal is to make your menu selection based on the airlines country of origin .

The chefs planning and cooking the meals are more likely to give that type of cuisine more attention.

Packing For A Cold Climate

Lots of people worry about packing when travelling somewhere cold.

Unless you are going hiking, or skiing I don’t find it that different.

How cold are you going to get?

When I am in colder places I spend a fair amount of time indoors in museums and cafes.

When going between indoor venues I am generally in heated public transport, in a car, or walking briskly.

A warm coat and a thicker pair of pants will generally be enough to keep me warm.

What to Take

Here are the differences between what I typically take and when I am going to a city winter holiday:

  • A warm coat rather than a light weight jacket. I wear this to board the plane, so it doesn’t count as luggage.
  • Long sleeved shirts rather than short sleeves.
  • Thicker pants rather than lightweight ones.
  • A lightweight jumper.
  • A scarf you can wear.
  • Gloves, in the pocket of your coat.

For a cold mountain holiday; like the above photo on the Athabasca Glacier, I might add:

  • A couple of vests, or plain T-shirts
  • Pair of Long Johns,
  • Down body warmer.