Gadling + BootsnAll – Picks of the Week (5.15.09)

Welcome back to Gadling’s weekly “Picks of the Week” feature, brought to you by our friends at travel website BootsnAll. How does it work? We input thousands of travel variables into the Gadling mainframe computer, and out comes five of the best and most interesting travel stories from BootsnAll this past week, ready for your reading pleasure. Got your 5.25″ floppy disk ready? Alright, here’s what we found:

  • The Venice of the… – Venice Italy is arguably one of Italy’s, if not the world’s, most popular tourism destinations. So popular in fact, that it’s spawned a fair share of “imitators.” As Roger Wade points out, pretty much any city that has a canal or waterway is laying claim to the nickname, including spots in Iraq, Russia and India. Check out his list of “Fake Venices Around the World.”
  • Life and Death in New Orleans – New Orleans is renowned for its spooky above-ground tombs, a feature of the city obviated by its elevation below sea level. Jessica Spiegel takes a photographic tour of New Orleans’ many atmospheric burial grounds. Don’t be afraid – the images are downright beautiful.
  • Drunken Culture – go on, admit it. You like to have an alcoholic beverage now and then. Lucy Corne is in on your secret – and knows how to help you make the most of it. She’s compiled a list of 10 places where you can drink and pretend like you’re soaking up all kinds of local culture. It’s OK…we promise to tell everyone that you went to Dublin to see the Book of Kells. No really, go see that too after you finish your Guinness.
  • Staying Healthy – when you’re out traveling, having fun and throwing caution to the wind, it’s suprisingly easy to forget to take care of your body like you might at home. Never fear, Eileen Smith has six cautionary reminders to make sure you spend your trip having fun and not in the hospital.
  • Thailand English – ever considered teaching English abroad? It can be a highly rewarding experience, but also one not without its challenges. Chabli Bravo spent the past seven months teaching English in Thailand and has a few suggestions to make the experience as good as possible. Even if you want to teach English elsewhere, it’s a post that’s certainly worth a look.

Well folks, looks like we’re out of room for this week. We’re just going to have to save all the other great links for next time around. Tune in again next Friday for more Gadling and BootsnAll Picks of the Week.

Gadling + Bootsnall – Picks of the Week (5.8.09)

Here we are, back again for another weekly roundup of links from our travel friends at BootsnAll. It’s been two weeks (sorry, the Swine Flu had us preoccupied). But don’t despair, we’ve journeyed far and wide, from the jungles of Sri Lanka, to the Savannahs of Africa and through the Capitals of Europe to bring you this week’s picks. What did we find? Check it out:

  • Sri Lanka in Photos – Dominic DeGrazier could have gone anywhere for his recent sabbatical. He chose Sri Lanka, the tiny island nation just off the coast of India. While he was there, Dominic fell in love with the lush scenery, vibrant colors and frenzied street life. Check out this link to see some of his photos and read a few of his observations on the country.
  • It’s just Africa – say the word “Africa” to many travelers, and you frequently evoke some strong negative reactions. An entire landmass of varied countries is characterized as one giant continent, rife with poverty, danger and disease. Laura Claire-Corson wants to set the record straight. She’s got a few reasons why every traveler should check out Africa at least once. It’s easier to visit than you think, incredibly diverse and an experience you’re not soon to forget.
  • FREE Europe – earlier this year, Gadling took a look at how you can make that trip to Europe a reality, even if you’re on a tight budget. Cristina Dima is backing us up – she’s got a list of 12 of the best FREE European attractions you should check out. How can you say no to free museums and attractions? Take a look.
  • Food for thought – food is such a huge motivator for travel. Whether its eating sushi in Japan or an authentic bowl of pasta in Rome, food is a language that reveals the true details of destination’s culture. And one of the best places to experience food while traveling is the local market, where you can get some fresh specialities. Katie Hammel takes a look at eight of her favorite markets from around the globe.
  • Going it alone – face it. At some point the travel bug is going to sneak up and you and none of your friends and family will be able to come along. Have you considered trying a trip by yourself? JoAnna Haugen weighs to pros and cons of solo travel in her recent post. There’s plenty of reasons to give it a try – read her post and decide for yourself if a solo trip is right for you.

Sorry…we’re fresh out of great BootsnAll links for this Friday. Why not check back next week, when we’ll be standing by with another round of great Gadling + BootsnAll Picks of the Week.

Gadling + BootsnAll – Picks of the Week (4.24.09)

Welcome to Friday and another installment of our weekly content picks from travel partners BootsnAll. We reach into our “Gadling hat” and pick out 5 of the week’s best travel stories at BootsnAll, covering topics ranging from religious monuments to food to old travel standbys like Paris. Got it? Good. Let’s see what we pulled up this week:

  • Twitter x Travel – all you Twitterers out there probably already know about Gadling’s own account on the increasingly popular microblogging service. But not everyone is a fan – travel expert Rolf Potts had his followers “tweeting” mad recently when he expressed his dislike for those that used the service the way it was used while traveling. Jessica Spiegel takes a closer look at the potential pros and cons of using Twitter on the road.
  • Hostel Hiring – ever have one of those trips where you just didn’t want to return home but ran out of money? Kathleen Schmidt suggests you consider working at a hostel as a way to earn some extra cash. The prospect of long-term sleeping arrangements in a shared dorm might be a turn-off for some (read: ME) but it’s also a great way meet new friends from all over and also save some money without going home – have a look.
  • Food Freakout – if you’ve traveled enough, you’ve probably come across a “local specialty” food somewhere that made you squirm. Lucy Corne lists out Eight Traditional Foods you are obligated to try but probably won’t be asking for seconds. You know what though? I think Haggis gets a bad rap!
  • Markets in ProvenceProvence is known as one of France’s most beautiful and picturesque regions. But it’s not just the crazy beautiful scenery that’s making visitors jump on a plane – it’s also the amazing markets, chock full of fresh baguettes and straight from the farmer produce. One of Provence’s best markets is the one featured in this article on Isle sur la Sorgue. If you go, bring me back some olives, will you?
  • Angels & Demons – next month will see the release of Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons, the movie sequel to 2006’s The Da Vinci Code. Considering both films were filmed in Rome, there’s increased interest in the locations where the films were made. Find out how to take your own self-guided Angels & Demons tour of Rome with this article from BootsnAll Italy blog “WhyGo Italy.”

And with that, we conclude another installment of the Gadling + BootsnAll Picks of the Week. Stay tuned for more great travel links next Friday.

Gadling + BootsnAll – Picks of the Week (4.10.09)

Welcome back to another weekly installment of our Gadling and BootsnAll Picks of the Week. Every Friday we’ve been taking a look at 4-5 of the most interesting stories from our friends at independent travel website BootsnAll. What strange destinations, thought-provoking lists and out-of-the-way festival ideas did we come up with? Check below for a few ideas:

  • Beer Bash – if you like drinking beer (or just enjoy a good party) you definitely already know about Germany’s popular Oktoberfest in Munich. If you’re looking to avoid the huge crowds of drunk tourists in Munich this year, Jennifer Price suggests you check one of Germany’s huge variety of other beer festivals, happening throughout the year in cities across the German state.
  • Cathedrals of the East – just in time for Good Friday Christina Dima has a religiously-themed rundown of 11 of the most interesting Orthodox-style Churches and Cathedrals. Though they share many customs with the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church also has many of its own unique traditions and architectural styles. Having recently seen the Church of the Spilled Blood in Saint Petersburg, I would have to agree these buildings are quite beautiful and unique.
  • Forgotten Ruins – mention the word “ruins” to many travelers, and destinations like The Pyramids, The Parthenon and Machu Picchu immediately come to mind. Yet there are plenty of equally impressive but far less-visited ruins out there waiting to be discovered. How does a visit to 40 acres of ancient Maya temples hidden in the jungle in Honduras sound to you? Cherrye More has the scoop on Six of the Least Visited Ruins you need to check out now.
  • Market Essentials – if you want to get a sense of the local culture the next time you travel abroad, visit the local market. Whether its fresh pasta spices in the Campo de Fiori in Rome or Seltzer Bottles in San Telmo in Buenos Aires, you’ll get a great peek into daily life and unique insight into what sorts of products get the locals buying. Dana McMahan takes this concept to the next level with a look at the Markets of Europe and their various specialities.
  • French Cathedrals – wrapping things up on a relgious note, BootsnAll’s France Blog has post on some of the many Cathedrals of France, from the ubiquitous Notre Dame in Paris, to lesser-known structures in Reims and Tours.

Gadling + BootsnAll – Picks of the Week (3.27.09)

If it’s Friday, it must mean it’s time for another installment of our Gadling and BootsnAll Picks of the Week, a weekly series where we take a look at some of the top stories from the past seven days from our travel partners at BootsnAll. Let’s take a look at what made the list this week, shall we?

  • Wild for Wildlife – for many of us, the only place we’re likely to see majestic animals like a polar bear or a rhinoceros is within the confines of a zoo. Not true, says Abigail King – she’s got a list this week of Seven Endangered Species You Can Find Outside a Zoo. If you’ve ever wanted to catch a sea turtle or panda in its natural habitat, here’s a good place to start.
  • Travel Religiously – holy sites are perhaps the original tourist destinations. Many years ago, pilgrims would travel from miles around to visit sites of religious significance like Mecca or Santiago de Compostela. Deanna Hyland takes a look this week at the Top Ten World’s Most Religious Cities. It’s a great list, whether you’re devout believer or just plain curious.
  • Head for the Coast – there’s something about the ocean that makes it a constant source of attraction for travelers. Whether its the beach, the salt air or the majestic vistas the coast never seems to disappoint. If you want to learn about some of the most beautiful coastal vistas worldwide, check out Nellie Huang’s list of 8 of the world’s most beautiful coastal towns.
  • Walking the Walk – to truly get a sense of a place, many travelers will tell you, you need to walk its streets with no particular purpose. What you encounter will tell you as much about that location as any museum or cultural site. Whether it’s the smells of fresh baked bread, the clanging of church bells or the sneak peek of hawkers at the market, your senses will reveal the tiny details you might otherwise miss driving through in a car or flying past in a train. Check out Andy Hayes’ list of his favorite small cities for walking to try some out for yourself.

That marks the end of this week’s Gadling and BootsnAll Picks of the Week. Stay tuned next Friday for another installment in our ongoing series.