KULTURE KIOSK

Remembering Switzerland

Posted by in Culture, Travel

CHOCOLATE TRIANGLES, ROUND CLOCKS: SHAPES IN THE LAND OF THE SWISS CROSS Not one of my biggest players on the blog in terms of visitor numbers (compared to Germany or France) but nevertheless let me turn our attention to Switzerland! It was in April 2006 that I visited following on from Berlin the month previous (both with Easyjet). It seems I have no written record of my time in the land of alpine, chocolate and clocks other than the poem GVA which appears in Terminal Wanderlust (plug plug…) Trying hard NOT to…read more

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Frankfurt: Flashdance (I Can’t Stay Long)

Posted by in Culture, Design, Travel

AVGEEK SEEKS CULTURE As a junior commercial aviation addict I wanted to live in Frankfurt purely because it had a great airport. But what of the city? With a reputation as a boring finance town it has in recent times taken steps to reinvent itself as more than that. So let’s have a (very quick) look at its cultural make up…  Arriving around six in the morning the tourist info office is dead to the world so I peruse the train station and its many nooks and crannies stuffed full of…read more

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Remember That Flight

Posted by in Culture, Travel

Having taken 90 flights, flown 193,410 miles (311,263kms) or 7 times around the earth and spent over 2 weeks in the air (443 hours) since birth, this blog covers all the airlines I’ve flown with to date. 52 airports, 36 airlines, and 29 different aircraft (as of June 2022) *this blog contains affiliate links, let’s begin… 1 COURT LINE Luton – Barcelona – Luton It was the 70s, and airlines were getting funky with their colour schemes. Across the pond America’s Braniff flew planes in anything from Orange to Olive. At…read more

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Travel: Sleeping in Airports

Posted by in Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links STRANDED: WHERE TO SLEEP IN AIRPORTS With over 20 years travel experience there are times when the need to sleep in airports becomes a necessity. For example, your flight leaves at an unearthly time in the morning (Stansted), you’ve arrived at an unearthly hour (Shanghai) you’re in transit/have a long layover or the hostels in town are full. So far I’ve had nights at London Stansted, Venice, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Macau, Shanghai (Hongqiao), Cairo, Doha, Vienna, Barcelona and Warsaw Chopin (one day I’ll actually…read more

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Travel: Europe by Coach

Posted by in Transport, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links BUS ABOUT EUROPE In recent years I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively through eastern and now western Europe by train, ferry and bus. Today it’s the latter I’m going to focus on. The main players currently are: Eurolines, Flixbus and a couple of local biggies like ALSA in Spain, Polskibus in Poland, Ouibus in France and LUX Express in the Baltic States. As with the airlines it’s hit and miss on who will carry all my/your bags or only one and charge for the other….read more

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Travel: Where I’ve Stayed Part 3: 2021 – ?

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this post contains affiliate links Welcome back again! Part 3 covers the 2020’s – following a pretty shitty time due to covid the world would slowly reawaken and I began with some long overdue domestic travel. MANCHESTER – TRAVELODGE (CENTRAL ARENA) These were the first places I stayed post-pandemic which has not only murdered lots of people but the places they stay, especially the humble hostel dormitory. So to the staycation and the upgrade to hotel which had much in common with the hostel e.g staff who disappear and rather…read more

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Travel: Where I’ve Stayed Part 2: 2010-2020

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this post contains affiliate links *Some of the hostels on this list may no longer exist Welcome back! Part 2 covers the 2010’s – it’s a pretty extensive ride so make a cuppa, sit back and I’m not sure if relax is the right word but let’s begin back in Barcelona… BARCELONA – GARDEN HOUSE HOSTEL Based out in Horta, away from the hordes this was definitely the right choice for me. Returned eight years’ later, could use a few tweaks here and there. Pros: Clean, quiet and in a…read more

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Helsinki: City Time and Place

Posted by in Culture, Design, Travel

INTRO *this blog contains affiliate links and was written in 2017 before the Ukrainian invasion which I give modest reference to below. There is a clear delineation between my formative years in New Zealand and Finland. Both are known as clean, green destinations. Both are sparsely populated, both have risen from relative global slumber to be desired liveable countries and both now command a good degree of personal wealth to be able to do so. In this piece (as well as the usual things to do, museums to visit etc)…read more

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Vienna: It Might Mean Something to You

Posted by in Culture, Music, Travel

*this blog may be expanded and updated in the future. *this blog also includes affiliate links VIENNA CALLING For those that know the song, it might mean nothing to Midge Ure and co but it might mean something to you. In the rock n’ roll lifestyle of an English teacher you can find yourself anywhere including Austria, not a known country for the TESOL world so you can imagine my surprise.  I had only two previous encounters, one in 2000 (see the Voyage of Nomad book) when Austria still used…read more

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Simple Minds: Themes For Great Cities

Posted by in Culture, Music

**this blog contains affiliate links SOME PROMISED LAND Graeme Thomson is not a name I’m familiar with and I suspect neither is mine to him, but it’s clear from the intro he is not just a Simple Minds enthusiast but a poet (the Scots are awfully good with words and of course music – see my Hats off to the Scots blog for the proof).  Thomson goes through each band member with prosaic praise and wonderfully aims to ‘remystify’ his subject, to approach the music from within (that is to…read more

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