Hope everyone had a nice holiday and has recovered from and repented for any gluttony they may have participated in. 🙂 Just two reminders and a belated photo this Monday morning.
First, it’s your last chance to get your suggestions in for the running Reader Tips Contest for New York City and Washington DC. I’m still waiting to hear *your* best tips and tricks before I take off on Wednesday, so please add your comments on the linked post.
Second, today is the final day to make your donation to the Passports with Purpose fundraiser/raffle for Heifer International. If you’re interested in winning, chances were best on the prizes linked here or here. The drawings will be held tomorrow.
Finally, a tardy Photo Friday entry from the chilly wilds of northern Minnesota:
Though the cold keeps us indoors and the ice and snow off the slippery roads, there are some mornings too beautiful not to appreciate winter, right?
Read Full Post »
Posted in Airports, Cheap Activities, Free Stuff, Museums, Public Transport, Travel, USA, Web Tips, tagged Mormon Temple, Salt Lake City, shuttle, Utah on 19 December 2008|
3 Comments »
The LDS has made it possible for travelers with a layover in Salt Lake City to visit their Temple complex downtown: they offer a complimentary hourly shuttle service from the airport direct to Temple Square (and back!).
In the months of July and August, temple shuttles travel half-hourly from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with returns from 10:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; in the shoulder season, the same hours are traveled hourly. November through March and Sundays year-round, the shuttle runs a limited 9 a.m.-2 p.m. schedule, with returns from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is no service on holidays, and travelers are permitted only hand luggage on the shuttle. The visit requires at least a two-hour layover.
The Temple is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. It’s also possible to visit the Tabernacle, home of the world famous Tabernacle Choir, or, if the timing is right, to hear a choir concert — Thursday nights from 8-9:30 p.m. or Sundays from 9-11 a.m. Admission to all is free. Find out more information for your specific date by calling their visitors’ center directly: 1-800-537-9703.
Thanks to Travel Tips from a Frequent Traveler for the tip and the map image!
Read Full Post »
Posted in Travel on 18 December 2008|
2 Comments »
In May, I attended an open house at Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (the local public broadcasting service). They’re located just a hop, skip and jump from the convention center in Berlin in a beautiful brick segmented semi-circular complex. In a quiet side alley, away from the hustle and bustle of studio tours, concerts and other entertainment available that day, I discovered this section of preserved Russian graffiti.
The inscription (my translation from German) tells the story:
House of Radio (HdR) under Soviet control, 1945-1956
On May 2, 1945, Major Popov and a company of Soviet army troops took control of the House of Radio (HdR). As a radio technician who had himself worked here as an engineering intern from 1931 to 1933, Popov knew the building well.
Starting May 4, the first calls and news programs were broadcast under Soviet leadership; on May 13, 1945, they reinstituted a regular broadcasting schedule.
After the city was divided into four sectors, the English, French and Americans began broadcasting their own radio programs from their respective sectors. The Soviets secretly removed the technical equipment from the HdR and transported it to the Soviet sector (Nalepa St.). In 1950 the HdR ceased broadcasting.
Until the building was returned to the Berlin Senate on July 5, 1956, the Soviets maintained a 10-15 man watch commando in the empty building in 14-day rotation. It is assumed that during this time the cyrillic grafitti was scratched into the facade.
This writing was discovered during renovations to the facade in 1998-1999 and was retained and preserved to document the mutable history of the HdR.
It is not uncommon to find Russian graffiti in buildings of historical significance in Berlin, though most (like that most notably found in the Reichstag) was left during the siege in 1945.
If you’d like to learn more about broadcasting in Germany’s capital, you can take an online tour of the RBB facilities here (German only).
- Follow fellow Photo Friday participants here.
- Related posts: Berlin
- Related posts: Germany
Read Full Post »
‘Tis the season to make a numbered shopping list! Thankfully, the no-budget traveler is easier to shop for than you’d imagine. If you’re still looking for ideas, take a look at last year’s list, then follow me after the jump for another 20 items for under $20 (18 under $10) your favorite travel fiend.
Read Full Post »
Still doing your holiday shopping, or just need to pick up a couple last-minute gifts? Avoid the crush at the mall by ordering those items online — and, if you time it right, enjoy the benefit of free shipping, too!
Hundreds of online merchants are participating in Free Shipping Day on (and only on) Thursday, December 18 — the last day most will guarantee Christmas Eve delivery on regularly shipped items. (Click on the link above to see a partial list of participants.) Not sure if your preferred merchants are participating and can’t tell from their website? Contact their customer support and ask!
Just because the offer is timed for the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of it for your own personal ends — to pick up that guidebook you’ve been meaning to on Overstock, for example, or to order some hiking boots or comfortable sandals for next summer’s travel adventures from Zappos.
Thanks to Frugal Hacks for the tip!
Read Full Post »
Posted in Architecture, Cheap Activities, Entertainment, Europe, Museums, Photos, Spain, Travel, Web Tips, tagged Barcelona, Gaudi, Photo Friday, Sagrada Familia, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Woody Allen on 11 December 2008|
9 Comments »
Tuesday is discount day at one of the largest English-language (i.e. not dubbed) cinemas in Berlin. On tap this week was Woody Allen’s newest, Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Though a sadder movie than I expected, what disappointed me most was the portrayal of one of those three title characters — can you guess which one?
The film is set in — surprise! — Barcelona, and while every review you’ll read will extol the gorgeous sweeping views of the enchanting city, it felt more like they spent a few days shooting at spots around town before retreating to other locations. Would that Spain had been more influential in the plot. As written, the film and its romantic intrigues could have easily been set in any other number of romantic, European, Mediterranean locales.
One of the first things Vicky and Cristina do upon arriving in town is a pilgrimage to La Sagrada Familia, the masterwork-in-progress of architect Antoni Gaudi. Vicky is pursuing a master’s in Catalan culture (without, I might add, much ability to speak Spanish), inspired by the works of Gaudi and the dulcet strains of the Spanish guitar. If you’re not familiar with his work, Gaudi’s style was influenced by art nouveau and his whimsical architecture, like that of Hundertwasser, is usually fiercely loved or hated. For lovers, it is easy to take in a great variety of his works in just a short visit to the city.
Making La Sagrada Familia unique is that it remains under construction, over 12 decades since breaking ground and eight decades after Gaudi’s accidental death; work continues despite setbacks from a civil war, two world wars, and the near-complete destruction of Gaudi’s models and plans. Workers hope to finish by 2026, the centennial of Gaudi’s passing, though with any construction project of this magnitude, it is unclear whether or not they will achieve this goal. If you could ignore the modern equipment, it would be like stepping back a thousand years, when many cathedrals across Europe were built, each taking hundreds of years to complete.
The church, open at 9 a.m. daily, is located near the subway station bearing its name. Admission fee: 10 euros adults, 8 euros students. Included in the admission price is entrance to the church and two on-site museums. The site has two excellent gift shops with a variety of reasonably-priced Gaudi gear and a wide selection of postcards.
Read Full Post »