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JVL

JVL

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After a few months off (that turned into almost four years), I've got back into the swing of things... concentrating mostly on travel reviews this time around.

Reviews written

since 28/07/2000

156

Travelodge London Docklands, London 24/02/2012

Convenient and cheap but in need of some TLC

Travelodge London Docklands, London Whilst planning a weekend trip to London recently, the Travelodge London Docklands hotel seemed to tick all the right boxes: at 40 pounds per room, per night (thanks to one of Travelodge’s frequent online promotions) the price was certainly right and as we would be arriving from the Channel Tunnel, the hotel’s location looked ideal for easy road access from the M25 or the Blackwall Tunnel. This hotel is certainly larger than many other Travelodges that I have stayed at in the past, but the building is dwarfed by its surroundings - although it’s not right next to Canary Wharf, the scale of most buildings in the general Docklands area means that the Travelodge is almost hidden away behind the office blocks. However, once you find the right turning off of the A13 and pass the security entrance to the estate in which the hotel is located, there is at least the luxury of car parking right in front of the building. The car park is run by another company but there is a heavily discounted rate for hotel guests (5GBP per day instead of the usual 20GBP). To ensure that the car park staff don’t slap a ticket on your car for underpayment, you have to get a token from the hotel reception and display that alongside the parking ticket in the car. You can’t buy a parking ticket from reception though: to do that, you have to use one of two ticket machines in the car park (one was broken when I visited). The entry and exit barriers were missing as well when I was there, but security ...

The Settlement Exhibition, Reykjavik 19/10/2009

Star Trek comes to Reykjavik

Rica Oslo Hotel, Oslo 24/08/2009

Location, location, location

La Rochelle (France) 30/12/2008

Gateway to the Île de Ré

General: Nova Scotia (Canada) 29/11/2008

Canada's Ocean Playground

Salt: A World History - Mark Kurlansky 14/11/2008

No need to take this with a pinch of salt!

General: Prince Edward Island (Canada) 06/11/2008

Red sand and Green Gables

General: Prince Edward Island (Canada) Prince Edward Island (PEI) is an oasis of peace and tranquillity nestling just off the northern shore of Nova Scotia; it is also the smallest of Canada's provinces, but the 130,000 or so resident Islanders are justifiably proud of their home. It is with good reason that their island is known as 'The Garden of the Gulf' - the rolling hills and green fields that still cover much of it confirm that agriculture still plays an important role in the local economy, while lending a relaxed, bucolic air to just about every corner and the pace of life is very laid-back. You have the impression that nothing is rushed. There's always tomorrow... Anyway, the island (like many other parts of the Canadian East) is named after a member of the British royal family: in this case the namesake was Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III and the father of Queen Victoria. His title was actually the third name given to the island, as it was known by other monikers when still in the possession of the native Miq'maq people, and then called Île Saint-Jean by French settlers, until the redcoats came along claimed the island for King and Country (as was common practice back in those days!). Prince Edward Island in fact then proceeded to play a pivotal role in the foundation of the Canadian state - its capital city, Charlottetown, hosted the 1864 conference that led to the Articles of Confederation - despite not actually joining the new nation right at ...

Fredericton (Canada) 31/10/2008

A quite quiet capital city

Fredericton (Canada) While driving across from Nova Scotia to Quebec, we paid a brief visit to the capital of the state of New Brunswick. I have to admit that I'd never heard of Fredericton before but the official website and the guidebooks we got for this area of Canada assured us that there would be enough in the town and surrounding areas to keep us amused for a day or two. In any case, it seemed ideally-placed as a stop-off point between Halifax and Quebec City on the Trans-Canada Highway, although to get there you really do need to have a car (there is no longer a train connection to Fredericton, despite it being the state capital!). You can get the bus as Fredericton is an important stop on many routes run by Acadian, but this is not a cheap way of getting around Canada. Your only other option is to fly, as Air Canada offers services from all major Canadian cities direct to Fredericton airport. The town itself does boast an attractive and calm centre along the southern bank of the St. John River, and Fredericton is also well-placed on an extensive system of tracks and trails that you can explore on foot, or on rented bicycles. However, in common with modern development in many towns across North America, the outskirts and suburbs of Fredericton appear to have merged into a flat urban sprawl - residential areas, strip malls and commercial zones dominate the scenery from the highway into the centre of town. It would be unfair to judge the town purely on the basis of this first impression ...

Best Western Ritz, Arhus 25/09/2008

Standard

Speyer, Germany 11/09/2008

City of emperors

Konigstuhl Funicular (Bergbahn), Heidelberg 07/08/2008

Moving on up

Abba Burgos Hotel, Burgos 23/07/2008

Affordable luxury

Juno Beach Centre, France 22/07/2008

Remembrance and Renewal at Juno Beach

Museum of the Bayeux Tapestry (Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux), Bayeux, Basse- 15/07/2008

The fabric of history

Stadion Wals-Siezenheim, Salzburg (Austria) 23/06/2008

Nowt special

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