My wife Diane and I spent almost an entire day at Kew Gardens. So much natural beauty to see. We arrived from central London at the Kew Station in mid-morning and didn't leave until almost dusk. At one time our son had a possibility of being transferred to London and I recommended getting a place in the Kew Garden area for the beauty and quiet. One of my photos from Kew.
I have said it before and certainly have not changed my mind: why do airlines think they are above the law? There are plenty of other businesses suffering severely at present, but they do not have the option of hanging on to their customers' cash to keep themselves afloat. The way in which airlines have behaved over this issue is simply disgraceful and will have done nothing to engender goodwill amongst their customers. Indeed, many might - at a stroke - have destroyed the benefits of their...
Actually, I think the banks have a fairly minimal (as small as I can make it) impact on my currency transactions, in part because I never deal with exchanges; I use bank ATMs. That way, the exchange takes place not on my account, but as an interbank transaction at the base rate banks use with each other. I used to use my ATM card from Citibank, but eventually they began charging a 3% foreign exchange fee even on withdrawals. At that point, I opened an account with Charles Schwab, a brokerage...
Actually, privatized toll roads are the coming thing these days! Some states have sold off roads; others have allowed private companies to build from scratch. The road to Dulles Airport near Washington is a prime example. But the comparisons to WiFi here don't really work. No one charged extra for electric light in hotels when it was new; it simply replaced the gas lighting. It took 70 years of broadcasting to create a pay system. As for WiFi, or internet access in hotels generally, it's not...
Thanks for the note, Pheymont. I saw the main BANK OF IRELAND building in Dublin a few days, which is windowless. All the window spaces were filled in with rock (in a tasteful manner). Seems the government decided to levy a window tax. The company responded in kind.
Well, turns out to be a moment of mis-identification. The building I was in, 1 Broadway, had been the offices of United States Lines; Cunard was up the street at 25 Broadway. I haven't a picture yet for the booking hall-turned-bank, but here are two shots of Cunard's Great Hall, which is now a postal facility.
The only alternatives I can see are to build a new cruise port outside the lagoon. Chioggia might be too far, but perhaps just north of the main way into the lagoon, across the inlet from the Lido. That would provide land-based alternatives for other day trips from the boats, and could also be served by vaporetto-sized boats heading into Venice itself. Of course, I haven't consulted the folks who live there and run campgrounds there...
When you go to Sri Lanka, take cash along as well. The larger establishments will definitely take credit cards, but smaller business and restaurants won't. And ATM cards have been slow to find their way into the country, especially in remote locations. The currency there is more stable, but still you won't get the kind of spread we did in Argentina. Best to exchange it at a bank, or ask your hotel people how many US $$ things are.
Friday's clues...two more days to go! Two brothers built mirror image houses side by side until one brother’s house was demolished so his other neighbor could expand their home and build a carriage house. This house has Italian and French Renaissance influences with a gothic window. The other house has a blend of Italianate and Georgian Revival which is currently a B&B.
I don't think he staged it, but I do think he wasn't searching too hard for the car after he met the lady. And that would make a nice story if they got married. If he wanted to find the car quick, he would of called his bank or credit card issuer to see the location of his first try to get his money and started his search from there.
A brilliant collection of pictures and commentary. Avoiding the bus loads is all down to timing, so your patience was well rewarded ! I've visited the West Bank loads of times with groups and it never fails to astound ! Our trips began by meeting up with a host of donkeys from the ferry, at 4.30am. We rode up to cross the cliff top above Hatshepsut's temple then walk down to the Valley of the Kings. Riding a donkey named Saddam up there was always a guaranteed wake-up
No conversation? Well, it looks limited in the yacht/marina element. Low industrial buildings or shopping center across the water? No signs of big shipping, though larger ships/ferries on other side. Fog bank in the distance. And a somewhat elaborate window from the observer's viewpoint.
Well, it's Saturday night, and time for a review of progress so far, guys! Yes , a bank. Yes , a big time gap between the two sculptures. No , not in Rome, San Francisco, New York. Free Hint: It's not in North America.
By e-mail, PortMoresby suggested this answer: I haven't seen these details anywhere, but because of some other similarities and the date, I'm going to say the Bank of England, London. " 1925-1939 Sir Herbert Baker Between 1925 and 1939 he demolished what had become known as 'The Old Bank' or 'Soane's Bank' (then regarded as one of London's architectural gems) and built a new headquarters for the Bank on the same 3 ½ acre Theadneedle Street site." Unfortunately, not the right answer! ONE MORE...
Plaza de Armas is NOT the premier pigeon feeding spot in San Juan. The honor goes to the near by Plaza de las Palomas (Plaza of the Doves). This park has a wall with literal Pigeon holes and is the home to hundreds of the birds. There are machine to buy food and if you stand real still they will land on your hands and arms to eat.
Originally Posted by GarryRF: Did you know that if you felled all the trees in Canada and laid them end to end then .... the Bears would have nowhere to take a dump !! Garry -- the bears are smart and would use those millions of trees to build rafts they could float to England, where they could dump often and where ever they wanted!
The dining hall at Flagler College(in your last photo) is really something to see. The Tiffany Windows are incredible.I also love the concrete used to build Flagler college , former Hotel Ponce de Leon , made from the local coquina stone.
Thank you Lestertheinvestor for sharing. I love aquariums and haven't been to the Monterey Bay one yet. Can't wait to see it. I know aquariums are expensive to build and maintain but I wish there was some way to keep the admission prices down .
Interestingly enough, slow modems and no wireless were the reasons the EMV chip-and-PIN system was invented. The idea is that the terminal compares the hardware-encoded PIN with what you entered, and the transaction is okayed, even if the bank is not available to verify. Higher-value transactions are often deferred until a connection can happen, though.
Sometimes when I'm in Vancouver I head to Canada Place to watch the cruise ships coming and going. You actually get to see the belly of the ship being loaded. The dozens of palates of food that go on is amazing. Would you have thought a cruise ship would consume 3 massive containers of potatoes in a week? 2 of onions? Might even have been more, that's all I saw. It is truly a model of efficiency.
Very good advice, Rob...and also check with the card-issuer what fees it charges for overseas use...some of them not only charge foreign-exchange fees, but also hefty ATM fees! One idea that may make sense for many travelers: Charles Schwab has a "high-yield investment" checking account that seems almost like a dream. No fees, no minimum balance, no foreign exchange fees, no ATM fees, and if anyone charges you an ATM fee, they refund it. It's linked to an investment account, but you don't...
Reading the NY Times it appears the TSA still haven't got their act together. The most productive target is intelligence gathering and immediate action on it. No matter how high you build a fence - someone will crawl under it.
Good to see Robert Morris gets a mention in your blog. He financed the War of Independence with his fortune. Signed the Declaration of Independence. And formed the Bank of America. He did well for a Local - born a mile from my own Birthplace - here in Liverpool UK
The bank that Morris was associated with was the Bank of North America. Bank of America originated in the early 20th c. in California. Poor old Morris spent several of his last years in debtors' prison and was buried in his brother-in-law's family plot without ceremony. Wikipedia: "Robert Morris holds the curious distinction as the only Founding Father whose house is a national memorial, but his life is not interpreted at the site."
Don't forget to notify your credit card company where and when you will be traveling. Many companies today will suspend your card if you use it outside of your normal places leaving you in a financial bind in your new country. In London I had my bank debit card captured by the ATM for suspected fraud. Also, I suggest a camera with a big zoom lens since many great photo opportunities don't allow you to get close to the attraction.
While this report is interesting in one regard, I find myself disturbed by the discussion of Woodrow Wilson that leaves out so many negative aspects of Wilson's legacy. Negative enough that students at Princeton have been trying to get his name off buildings. Wilson was a racist. A member of the KKK, or at least a friend. He showed Birth of A Nation, a racist, pro-Klan movie in the White House. He segregated the civil service, which had been one of the ways that Black workers had been able...
My Grand Father worked in UK Coalmines around the 1900s . Stories he could tell were both amazing and scarey. Miners were exempt from War Service during WW1 as they supplied an "Essential Service". Women were employed at the Mines but never went below ground. Mules were used below ground - pulling bogeys - and never came back to the surface during their lives.
I believe the facts are somewhere in between, but the direction is not good. I can't, at the moment, find the piece I saw a few months ago about the transition, but my memory is that Travelex machines are to go in as lease/concession arrangements that exist expire. In some cases, the existing deals are quite long. At the moment, I can confirm that there are still bank-based machines in place at Berlin Tegel, and I'll have the opportunity in the next couple of weeks to check Prague and...
In my original comment, what I meant by "in between" was that the actual current situation lay between "Nothing's happening" and "Travelex has taken over all." Overall, I think the important message is "Hey, the advice printed almost everywhere in the past about using ATMs on arrival at the airport is now questionable...look for bank-owned machines as a preference, but be aware of rates, and if they are not good, take out only what you immediately need."
Bank ATMs in the UK are all, I believe "no fee", meaning no use fee charged by the owner bank for using their machines. Other machines and other places, I believe, tell us what the fee will be, if any, before we complete the transaction and allow us to abort if it's too much. And we know that the foreign transaction fee charged by our own cards' bank can vary, usually 1-3%, a given to convert currency using a card. Then there's the exchange rate which has always been the best available using...
I just opened a Capital One checking account, chip & pin debit card, 1% foreign currency conversion fee, rather than the 3% my local bank charges. The 1% is standard for MasterCard branded debit cards, seems no way to avoid it. But Capital One charges no additional. Will check out the AAA card. The series, 'Anatomy of a Trip', will start September 9th, if all goes as planned (does it ever?)
Thanks again for a wonderful view of the Portland area. If you had continued East along the Columbia River you would have reached the Maryhill Museum . This fascinating collection of art started as the dream of Samuel Hill who was president of the Seattle Gas and Electric Company around the start of the 20th century. He hoped to build a Quaker farming community, but irrigation proved too difficult. Istead he was convinced to turn his mansion into an art museum. His collection was eclectic. I...
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