Archive for October, 2006

Wotif They Cared?

More to come on this but yet another example that online doesnt mean good service…..it might be cheap and handy but at the end of the day good old fashioned customer service still wins out.

 In case you are in doubt I am talking about WOTIF the hotel booking service who left me high & dry in Paris ….well sitting on a plastic seat at crappy Charles De Gaulle Terminal 1 for 12 hours.

 As I said ….more to come when the battery is recharged

October 24, 2006 at 5:19 pm Leave a comment

Hollywood in Angouleme

Well you may just ask where is Angouleme. It’s about 2 hours by TGV South West of Paris and about 100km North of Bordeaux. So why are they filming one of the local action series there…..good question but that didnt stop many of the town folk taking time out from their usual “busy” Mondays to watch the action as one of the cast scaled the side of a building (fully strapped in of course). The most excitement for years it seems.

angouleme-hollywood.jpg

October 24, 2006 at 5:10 pm 1 comment

When Are Planes Going to Fly Backwards??

There must be a disconnect between check-in staff and the pilots………on three occasions I have asked and had confirmation of a forward aisle seat and on each occasion the closed I’ve come to the front is when I get on the plane.

Today’s experience was with Lufthansa. At check-in at San Francisco I repeated my request and was given two tickets, both with Aisle Seats, 32H to Munich and 24C from Munich Paris. The SFO-CDG leg was acceptable…somewhere in the middle…..but……….24C on Lufthansa from Munich to Paris means down the back….the very, very back. Indeed the last row……..go figure.

When finally Boeing or Airbus are able to fly backwards (by design) then I’m set. Until then…..I will continue to wait for the day I can fly with One World again.

Star Alliance must be the most disjointed ‘alliance’ I have had to deal with. They don’t have a concept for profiles for travelers – even for premium frequent flyers, nor do they have any understanding of simplifying the travel process. Take a look at One World……..it works and makes traveling more enjoyable.

I hope that the (not so) good people from Star Alliance read this……….even better they may one day return emails to their customer service teams.

October 22, 2006 at 4:58 am 1 comment

Blowing of Steam in San Francisco

T.G.I.F !! One more day of work and then the weekend travelling again. Dont you just love getting an energy burst at midnight when all you really want to do is sleep but your body is somewhere across the Pacific Ocean time-zones.

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Great place, especially at midnight and you always find people out and about.

Hopefully some photo’s tomorrow from Presidio Golf Course.

October 20, 2006 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment

6AM Tourist

Seems like the only time to get out and see the sights is either late at night or early morning. Couldn’t sleep last night to rode the Cable Car from Powell to Fisherman’s wharf and back. This morning I was determined to see the Golden Gate first-hand.

Even came across my little friend in this picture. He (or she) wouldn’t move and continued to show for the Camera for at least 15 minutes…..either that or he had frozen to death overnight and was listing in the breeze.

goldengateseagull.jpg

From Crissy Field (bottom of GG) headed up Divisidero to “Postcard Row” where the Victorian houses line most of the streets. This picture must have been used by every tour guide, brochure and advertisement for San Francisco. Riding up Divisidero makes to feel like you are in a Clint Eastwood movie car chase……its up and down , up and down , up and down…

postcardrow.jpg

 That was probably the best hours of sightseeing I have done for a long-time.

October 20, 2006 at 4:53 am Leave a comment

US of A – San “Ho-say” (Jose)

Slept 10 hours on the plane….feel good and ready for tomorrow’s reviews and meetings.

Well that was till I got the call to join the motley crew on the “Party Bus”…..took 3 people to convince me (I was just playing hard to get)…..I headed out thinking we were goin’ cruisin’ round town.. This is where imagination comes in as the bus is in the parking-lot of the Doubletree Hotel, music pumped up, drinks flowing freely and and and……

I’m in the middle of  a self inflicted abstination period and “happily” sipped my Diet Pepsi and had a great time with some of the EMM team.

Hoping someone took a photo !!!

October 18, 2006 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

SQ002 – HKG – SFO – Upgraded to Economy

Not much to say except thank-god for the empty plane….learning slowly and painfully to cope with new travel policy.

sq-2-economy.jpg 

Still cant work out why they need all those metal lumps between each seat that dig into your back & side as you try to sleep…..maybe its because they dont want you to enjoy a flat bed (well sort off) down the back of the bus.

October 18, 2006 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

Hong Kong – (inside the hotel)

Arrived Hong Kong late Sunday night after meeting 350 new friends in United Economy. Everyday travelling you learn something and on Sunday night I learnt that numbering on United is different to most airlines and that United Checkin folks dont care about you.

At check-in I requested a Forward Window so I could (a) sleep without being climbed over ; and (b) get out quickly once we finally landed. Well the request was accepted and Seat 38A provided. Getting on the plane i quickly learnt that 38A is not up front rather at the back of the plane.

I asked the sarcastic question …..”are we flying backwards tonight” in light of my not-so-forward seat and was greeted with less than interested moan about how full the plane was and how much work she would have to do.

Anyway, this was the best photo I could get from the hotel (Harbourview Renaissance) which i didnt really leave much during the two days. Its look out between the Grand Hyatt & Renaissance hotels towards IFC 1 & 2……obviously late at night 🙂

hk-image.jpg 

October 16, 2006 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment

Harajuku – Time to leave

Spent the afternoon ‘looking’ around Harajuku and boy there is certainly lots to look at. Harajuku is famous is days gone past for the meeting place of Tokyo’s youth where they would engage is “Costume Play”. Basically that means dressing up in crazy costumes to resemble anime characters, punk musicians etc.

narita-airport.jpg  harajuku2.jpg 

The focal point of Harajuku’s teenage culture is Takeshita Dori which is full of d by many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, used clothes stores, crepe stands and fast food outlets geared towards the fashion and trend conscious teens.

Finally headed of to Narita on the Orange Limousine…..not it’s not a limousine but rather a bright orange coloured bus that shuttles every 15 minutes from the TCAT (Tokyo City Air Terminal) to Narita and other airports…….costs Y2900 compared to a car/taxi of Y25,000…….caught a great shot JAL heading into the sunset.

Hong Kong tonight…..San Fran tuesday……Paris Friday……Singapore Monday……..all down the back of the bus.

October 15, 2006 at 11:26 pm Leave a comment

Golfing under the Giant

 I had the opportunity today to spend some time around Gotemba which is located at the base of Mt Fuji. Plans for the day included some tourist action and then nine holes at the picturesque Belle-View Nagoa Golf Club including a round lesson with Bennett Galloway, the resident teaching professional.

No Picture would ever do justice to what I experienced today. We started the round/lesson with an overcast sky and as we approached the 8th hole the sun came out, the clouds disapated, and there stood one huge mountain above us.

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To ensure I was appropriately dressed I managed to pickup the “hat” you see in the picture at the local Premium Factory Outlets……where the only thing premium is the price 🙂

October 14, 2006 at 12:29 pm

The Local Pub – Tokyo Style

Like most cities, Friday night is pub night but rather than wandering around town to find the right pub, you can simply walk about to the “walk-in’s” found all around Tokyo and order one of the local brews on tap.

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Just dont bring too many mates with you as space is limited, there’s no seating, and it can get a little cold & wet if its raining.

 The photo was taken close to Shimbashi Station and typifies so many similar “establishments” around the district.

October 13, 2006 at 8:03 am

Hakushu – Shibuya

Sometimes you find the most amazing eating places when you dont expect it……almost 2 years ago we stumbled upon this great little Teppanyaki in Shibuya (about 2 min from Shinjuku-eke) . Whenever possible I will try and sneak in a meal and even better introduce new friends.

 Last night we had the pleasure of our Texan friends Wes Smith and Brent McKay join the local team. Both have been in Tokyo for two weeks helping with a major customer and besides wanting to get home looked in need of a great steak and beers.

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You can almost taste them just by looking at the picture.

October 13, 2006 at 7:59 am

Tokyo

Tokyo Station from Imperial Hotel

After 6 hours comatosed on Singapore Airlines I’m back in Tokyo for 4 days. Back to the familiar Imperial Hotel as the “new” preferred Grand Hyatt is fully booked…..which means they dont want to us to use our Corporate Rate.

October 11, 2006 at 12:20 pm Leave a comment


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