I was sent a copy of a new book - City Secrets - London by Robert Kahn, and I wish I had this on the many times I have visited the city. It is a little gem with lots of very unusual places to see and thngs to do. Not your typical guide book. It is divided into areas. This is for ramblers and browsers. The ideas are gathered from personal impressions of people who live, work and love London. It is beautifully produced with a nice hardwearing linen cover, £12.99 from Grantabooks.com,
the only thing holding Macau back at the moment seems to be the lack of staff to man the new mega hotels and casinos that are being built. Hotels and catering trained Chinese people are welcome to Macau to take up some of the many jobs available. Last week the 1,200 bedroom Holiday Inn opened. Soon another 3,000 bed hotels will open in Cotai, the new Strip.
I missed my appearance on TV on Monday night talking about Holiday Disasters. It was mainly talking about natural disasters and the world coped with recent events such as the Ash Cloude and the Tsunami in SE Asia. I can't find it on TV3 otherwise I would have posted the link.
I'm off to Macau for a few days to explore this European and Chinese destination. Now the Las Vegas of the East, it will be interesting to see how culture, history and sheer commercialism fit together.
The date is now set, June 3 for the Road to Coney Island gig in the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle Co. Down. Coney Island is not the well known one in New York but rather a small place, not an island facing the sea. The road to Coney Island is from Van's album, Avalon Sunset, where he describes the journey. Tickets are on sale now and dinner and gig will cost £180. See th is link for booking details. http://bit.ly/HY63ew, details also on VanMorrison.com.
I hear that Van Morrison's concerts at the Culloden Hotel in Belfast were so successful and he enjoyed them so much that he will make an appearance at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle, Co Down for an imtimate 300 -
This weekend may begin with Friday the 13th but will end with a number of events to remember Titanic - Made in Belfast. Tonight MTV return with a concert on the slipways in from of the Titanic Belfast, tomorrow there will be a musical event in the Waterfront Hall, and on Sunday morning in St. Ann's Cathedral a special service of remembrance will be on and will be broadcast on the BBC.
I was reminded today about the importance of looking after your belongings on holidays when a friend was telling us about his mobile phone being stolen from his hotel room. Over the years I have heard similar stories, and have had things taken from me too while travelling. A friend's jewelry disappeared from her room, but was returned when she kicked up a stink. A manager went to the maid's home and retrieved it - that was in Cleveland Ohio.
In Dublin, three young women was distressed to find their concert tickets stolen from a hotel room. The other belongings were incidental but did include a quality camera. In a select hotel in the BVIs my underwear went missing, more distressingly was the fact I was left with mismatched sets. In another hotel in Greece, the maid or whoever helped themselves to a glug of vodka every day.
A colleague came into a room in Miami as a burglar made off through the window with all his electronics. More upsettingly, Michaela Harte McAreavey lost her life when she disturbed a robbery in her luxury hotel room.
So how much trust do we put in hotels? Generally the incidence of robberies from hotel rooms is low. Hotels spend a lot of time and money on choosing and training staff and security. After all, if travellers lose confidence in a hotel, bang goes their business. But one of the most important things to remember when we travel, we have more than those that look after us and it is our responsibility to take care of our possessions. Use the safe, lock up your belongings, only bring the jewelry you will wear or bring costume pieces. Respect those who wait on you, a small tip at the end of a stay is always nice - but do leave a little note to say you are leaving it. Some hotels search staff at the end of their shifts.
LET TUSCANY inspire you on an art holiday with Trudi Doyle. Taking place from May 29 - June 5 the week also includes half-board accommodation at La Pia Hotel, Montecatini, three days outdoor tuition, transport, guided trips to Florence and the Uffizi Gallery. The price is €875 per person, airfares extra. The nearest airport is Pisa and Ryanair fly there. Tel: 059- 9156299 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joan loves to travel, write about, hear about it, see it, talk about it, anything about travel.