TravelTom where are you?

When I see this picture I took of my camera with my phone, I think two things:

  1. That is why you buy a more expensive camera with decent build quality and sealing
  2. I miss travelling like this so much

I took this picture when arriving in Lone Ton in Myanmar after a 41 kilometer (25.5 miles) trip from Hopin on the back of a motorbike. There is only one dirt road crossing the mountains that links the two towns. I took that road together with people I met along the way, during which I took pictures and video of the scenery and my fellow travellers riding  along on the other motorbikes.

To the best of my Google Maps road measuring capabilities, this is the road from Hopin to Lone Ton measured out. Lone Ton is is on the upper left, Hopin on the lower right.

Road from Hopin to Lone Ton

Road from Hopin to Lone Ton

The ride looks something like this. This is on the flats, you can see some of the mountains up ahead.

I also spent some time pushing the motorbike up hill, as the one that I was getting a ride on had some issue and was underpowered. So it did not do well up hill. Which is kind of important when you need to cross a mountain 😉 These things happen and you just have to take them in stride, don’t get angry or upset about it. Just deal with it when it happens.

As you can see, it’s no wonder my trusty Canon 5D Mark II ended up looking like it did. I still have it to this day, although I don’t use it much anymore as I bought a Mark III. But it works just fine, and looks a lot cleaner now 😉

I’m making this post because I miss travelling. I miss having the unknown ahead of me, the discoveries I make, the people I meet, the conversations I have, the lessons I learn about a country, a culture and myself. I even miss having a face so full of dirt after getting from point A to point B that it looks like you have a unibrow. Point in case:

Dirty-_face_TT

It’s not like I didn’t travel since my last post here. In fact many things happened. The biggest one being that I moved to another country and started a new life with a new job. I travelled to the Czech Republik twice, the U.K., Germany, Vietnam, The Netherlands, France and Portugal. I also travelled inside the country I now live in and of course to my home country, which recently suffered a terrorist attack. Aside from travelling I am studying a lot these days for both work and a new language to better deal with my new social environment and integrating.

Life has been crazy since last posting here, but mostly in a good way. And now that things are slowly settling down, I can get back to making new posts every now and then.

Now here’s some good news. I still have a lot of pictures and videos that I haven’t posted yet. And I have made more during the time I didn’t post here.

But best of all, I will soon be on a 5 week vacation and I’ll be heading to Vietnam and Korea, and maybe Japan if time and money allows for it. So there will be more stories and pictures coming from those places as well.

Times are still pretty busy so posts won’t be coming very quickly or one after the other. I just want to let you know that TravelTom is not dead, it was just sleeping 🙂

Have a nice day all, see you in the next post and keep travelling 🙂

In Düsseldorf a robot parks your car

At the Düsseldorf airport they have a new assitant: Ray the car parking robot. Looking at the video it seems that there are multiple Rays for the job. The service itself is called PremiumPLUS parking.

Passengers leave the car in a desginated spot.

Passengers leave the car in a desginated spot.

The idea is for passengers (who may be in a hurry) to leave their cars in a designated place where the robots are meant to pick them up. Ray then uses sensors and a laser scanner to photograph and measure the car so it can safely pick it up and park it in one of the 249 designated parking spaces.

The car gets photographed and measured

The car gets photographed and measured

And then lifted off the ground to be taken to a parking spot

And then lifted off the ground to be taken to a parking spot

On a touch screen located closeby passengers have to confirm that there is nobody left in the car and enter the details of their return flight. That way Ray can monitor flight schedules and calculate when a car should be retrieved for it to be picked up. In case a passenger changes flights or general itinerary, Ray can be notified using an app. In case you need it, you can download the app for iOS and Android. There doesn’t appear to be a Windows Phone version yet.

Of course, very few things in this life are free. The same goes for PremiumPLUS parking. Leaving your car in the Düsseldorf airport car park already costs at least €24.50/$33 per day. Making use of PremiumPLUS adds an extra €4/$6 per day to that amount. Of course, you get something in return. The new parking is very near to the terminals, so you don’t have to walk far. The car is waiting for you when you walk out of the airport, parked facing the right direction. And all the while your car is parked it is insured.

The following videos explaining PremiumPLUS parking are in German. If you don’t speak German, looking at them will be enough to give you the general idea 🙂

Premium PLUS Parken am Düsseldorf Airport — So funktioniert es

Premium PLUS Parken am Düsseldorf Airport

 

As always, enjoy your trip … and parking!

Ryanair says flights to US will cost €10

Michael O’Leary, not known for his subtlety, says that once the airline can get hold of the laung haul aircrafts necessary for the job, it will sell tickets to the US for €10 to Boston and New York. Tickets for coming back to Europe will be €7.30.

As per usual on Ryanair flights, just about anything costs you extra. That includes meals and baggage.

You should be able to depart from about 12-14 major European cities to about 12-14 major US destinations.

Click here for more info in an article in English, and here for an article in Dutch