Carnival of Cities – September 23, 2009

Start of Route 66

I’m honored to host this September 23, 2009 edition of the Carnival of Cities, set up originally by millipede Sheila Scarborough on her Bootsn All Family Travel Logue blog in 2007. I say millipede, because Sheila doesn’t confine herself to just one blog, do read my interview with her.

The last edition was hosted at Wandering Educators and the next edition will be hosted at another blog of Sheila, Sheila’s Guide to the Good Stuff

The rules for this Carnival of Cities clearly state that the posts have to reflect just one city or one town of any importance. So unfortunately I had to delete a couple of submissions that did not comply. Sorry guys and girls.

A question to all of you:

Do you know in which city I took this Merry Go Round photo?



That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
carnival of cities using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Technorati tags: carnival of cities, and blog carnival.

The Carnival site is giving problems. I’m on the verge of burying it in my Internet Graveyard category. However Sheila is still going on and strongly so. For the moment I’ve changed the intro photo and will see.

Last edited by GJE on March 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Cultural Travel (1): Dusseldorf K21 Art Collection im Standeshaus – Katharina Fritsch

K21 im Standeshaus, a beautiful Photo of Joerg Dickmann

I’m a bit sad: I remembered a nice Blog writing about cultural traveling in Europe. I had to dig deep in my memory and remembered my friend Karen had referred to the blog in one of her Travel Carnival posts. It appeared to be in her First Travel Carnival:She had pointed me to High Culture on a low Budget. I’m sad because Olivia apparently ceased writing for the Blog Since June 2008. Curious what’s happening.

Katharina Fritsch: Mouse

I have written on other occasions about our little cultural travel group of friends that we have coined “Art en Route” and travels occasionally to see modern art. Recently we visited Duesseldorf to soak up some modern art. For us Baby Boomers art, design, music, dance, but also good wining and dining are excellent excuses to travel. Therefor I introduce a new category to my blog “Cultural Travel”

Katharina Fritsch: Monk, Doctor and Salesman

I have several posts in my sleeve, but will start with a couple of sculptures of Katharina Fritsch that belong to the K21 Art Collection im Standeshaus. The Standeshaus appeared to be a very nice Museum in the middle of a park. Apart from its facade it had been demolished and rebuild entirely and has a glass roof like some other museums have nowadays. Nowhere on its site is there any information about this renovation after which it became the home of the 21st century art collection of the Art Collection of the German Nordrhein-Westfalen state. I like the building, its location and its restaurant.

Katharina Fritsch: Mouse and Man, Monk, Doctor and Salesman

I am impressed by these sculptures and the fact that K21 devotes a whole room to her.
Katharina Fritsch does not seem to have a website. At present she is a Professor at the German Muenster art academy and there is some info about her on Wiki.
If you search her on Flickr, you’ll get a nice collections of her sculptures.

Tumblr and Organizing Your Blog(s)



While checking stats of my other Blog, Chair Blog, I saw a referral from a Tumblr account. I didn’t know what Tumblr is about. I got curious and dug further into the phenomenon.

About Tumblr, First Impression

Tumblr is a service to set up a Mini Blog. Its site doesn’t divulge much. It has a Blog, but that is updated scantily. For one reason or another I got curious plunged into it, started with an account and found out that it is really 1 2 3… and you have a mini blog up and running. It provides information about how to host it on your own hosting service. It has a couple of disadvantages: No archive that you can easily organize or navigate and no possibility to comment.

Here is a screen shot from my Dashboard:

Tumblr Dashboard Chair Blog | Tumblr
Tumblr Dashboard Chair Blog | Tumbler

Travel Blog Carnival

I used it to put together my prior post, the week 8 review of Travel Blog Carnival submissions. Darren has organized the submissions via a special GMail account and asks the various reviewers to enter that account and make their choice. When I make my choice I like to scan each entry quickly’, make a first choice and then re read each entry in full. I found that 1 2 3 putting them into Happy Hotelier | Tumblr made it a lot easier to reread them, because the GMail set up is a bit cumbersome: You end up with your screen cluttered with all sort of posts. In this instance there were 17 posts, but some weeks there are many more. For those not into the reviewing process It may be handy to see what was choses from the submissions. A shared Wiki could be a solution, but might be time consuming again for the reviewers.

So whenever I am researching a certain subject for Happy Hotelier it is usable to quickly dump Photos, Links, Quotes in several Tumblr entries and then go back to them to finalize a post here.

Prior to Tumblr

I am a slow 2 finger typist and have far more ideas and pieces of information that I like to share with my readers than I can find time for to write, or cut and paste, neatly in a well organized entry here on Happy Hotelier.

I believed I had solved this problem for the time being by using Google newsreader and by sharing items of interest via a widget here on the sidebar where the shares from this Google reader can be found as mere text links.

In the meantime I also found out I gathered and shared already so much stuff between my shares, that clicking trough to Happy Hotelier’s Shared Items and reading it there is becoming a slow process as well and getting slower and slower, the more stuff I share.

I wasn’t aware of it yet, but I can read my shared items faster in Google reader that as Happy Hotelier’s Shared Items, it offers a RSS feed for those who might interested in my shares.

Getting enthusiastic about Tumblr

I believe any post on a Blog should go together with at least one photo or pictures as they say much more than words. In the Google reader widget you cannot add photos (at least you couldn’t when I installed it).

Some time ago Jens Traenhart of Tourism Internet Marketing suggested to me to use a WidgetBox widget when you have two Blogs and want readers of one Blog being able to notice the other Blog.

Recently I have made a widget for Happy Hotelier and also for Chair Blog.

I found out that you can make a widget of a mini Tumblr Blog with photos. I hoped for a while I could replace the Google reader with shares and widget by a Tumblr account with widget entirely. Not true, because if you have 2 Tumblr accounts you have to log out and log in to change identity (No, I never installed the identity switcher, wouldn’t even now where to look to find it) between the two accounts.

I need the Tumblr set up more for Chair Blog than for Happy Hotelier because I now know the Google with widget and RSS feed isn’t so bad after all, at least for the time being. The areas I cover here at Happy Hotelier are already wide enough. Chairs shouldn’t be added to that process. So I was looking for a separate sort of scrap book for my Chair Blog. Off course I could have created a separate Google Account for the other Blog, but that has has as mayor disadvantage that you have to switch identity at Google each time I would like to add an item for a possible Chair Blog entry. That switching slows down the process considerably.

So I set up a second Tumblr account Chair Blog | Tumbler. Chair Blog is much more a mono subject Blog than Happy Hotelier. I only want to publish there about everything that has to do with chairs and chair design. Frequently there are chairs shown at fairs or exhibitions among other furniture or art. I want to pick them up. Chairs are auctioned among other items: I want to pick them up.

The quick and easy way of Tumblr got me hooked. Over a very short period of time I was able to collect photos and links of over 250 chairs at .


  1. I decided to keep the Google Reader set up with widget here for time being. Those readers who like my Happy Hotelier shares I suggest to subscribe to the RSS feed of Happy Hotelier’s Shared Items
  2. As to the Travel Blog Carnival: Whenever I review a week, I will post all entries to . Then everybody can see for themselves
  3. For my Chair Blog I can now rapidly create overviews of chairs exhibited at fairs, exhibitions and chairs to be auctioned and summarize them easier in the Blog from time to time
  4. I see it as a temporary solution, because when you cut and paste stuff from elsewhere on the web, it can disappear. For instance when you refer to newspaper or auction sites there is the risk that they move their content around or hide it behind a subscription bar so that your links get lost. So in order to keep your content intact it is always better to have a self hosted blog and to keep a copy on your own hard drive (with a backup off course)
  5. I am more Happy now that I am a bit more organized

More about Tumblr

Before I dug into it I missed it, but Tumblr has its own Wiki Tumble Log If you read that and the posts they refer to you get a reasonable idea of what it is about.

Gina Trapani at Lifhacker had a nice entry about it. If you look up Tumblr on Mashable you get some more background information. I for instance learned that only in November 2007 they came around with the present version 3 that works as it does now.
Last, but not least this Read Write Web Interview with Tumbler founder David Carp gives some additional information.


I’ve devoted a whole page at Chair Blog to the subject, in case you are interested.

Last edited by GJE on September 8, 2012 at 12:20 am

Travel Blog Carnival Week 8

Travel Blog Carnival Venetian Logo
Travel Rants’ Travel Blog Carnival Week 8

Darren is forgiven. Week 7 passed without review by sheer lack of time on his side (Happy Birthday again Darren!) and on the reviewers side. However I have expressed my concern that it is a bit much for a one man blogger earlier.

I offered to do a review of this week which Darren accepted.

Since I liked Gudrun ‘s style of reviewing most, I will try to copy that. There were 17 posts submitted. I chose 4:

  • Vicky Brock of Tracking Tourism: The Tourism Research Blog | Travel industry thinking from Stephen Budd and Vicky Brock at Highland Business Research – Note: As I am a slow two finger typist, I do suggest she abbreviates her blog title – gives us in her post Get to grips with monitoring online reviews and comments | Tracking Tourism: The Tourism Research Blog, subtitled “Time to stop searching and start finding” (again very long!) some very interesting suggestions how a travel supplier can monitor what the word of mouth on the web is about the supplier.
  • Martin Cowen of Travolution Blog comments in his post Social media versus Search on FaceBook plans presented at TMF&A to insert adds in discusions between FaceBook members. If I discuss New York with you on FaceBook, then, according to these plans, immediately a couple of ads of NYC hotels and restaurants will pop up. Also the down to earth comments are interesting to read. However I have seen an Inn owner claiming selling a room via FaceBook. I must admit that Travolution writes sometimes so much as an insider that i need a decoder to understand what they are writing about 🙂
  • Barbara Ann Weibel of Hole in The Donut – Traveling the World presents in Never Keep All Your Money in One Place some clever and some hilarious hiding places to stash away your cash when on holiday.
  • Elizabeth of Go Green Travel Green – Green Travel Tips for Savvy Travelers which for me is a new Blog on the block gives some down to earth advice to travel light derived from an instant unplanned trip from Russia to Estonia in
    McDonald’s Bathrooms are Lifesavers & 16 Other Travel / Life Lessons from Estonia | Go Green Travel Green

The posts not chosen are good as well. You can find all at my Tumblr miniblog : Happy Hotelier | Tumblr that I have just set up in order to see if I can organize myself better with it. More on Tumblr l8ter!

Travel Blog Carnival Week 3, 4, 5 and 6

Travel Blog Carnival Venetian Logo
Travel Rants’ Travel Blog Carnival Week 3, 4, 5 and 6

I have been away on holiday and when I returned I had a work overload. So I missed some of the fun. Here are the Travel Blog Carnival Weeks 3, 4, 5 and 6 for you. There is a lot to cover, therefore I had to decrease the size of my Travel Blog Carnival logo:-)

Week 3

Darren Cronian dutifully recapped it for us here in his Travel Blog Carnival Week 3 post:

Gudrun Enger’s of Kango Blog Choice:

  • Barbara over at Hole In The Donut compiled a great list for the solo traveler in Traveling Safely. I actually found it to be outstanding for anyone traveling, offering advice on everything from notifying your credit card and bank about your upcoming travels to using your web mail accounts to keep copies of important documents. My favorite tip? While visiting in a country where you don’t speak the language, pick up several business cards from your hotel with the name and address. Just hand it to a local taxi driver when you are ready to return to your hotel and there will be no problem with the language barrier!
  • Over at Cruise Bug Chatter, I was offered tips for a successful trip to Mexico, whether by land or by sea. Some were the usual reminders, cautioning you to avoid tap water, dressing appropriately when visiting churches, and learning a few words of the local language to ease your trip. Also discussed was the best way to bargain so that everyone feels good. Of course, my last trip to Mexico (on a cruise ship no less!) involved a visit to the local WalMart, which I found to be pretty similar to the one at home. I know, that is like eating at McDonald’s in Paris, but sometimes you get homesick!
  • Finally, Fox Nomad’s Flier Etiquette Tips brought to my attention that Delta Airlines is unveiling a training system for their passengers, claiming that airlines have not properly prepared passengers for what is to be expected aboard a plane. Fox Nomad pulled together a list of basics, including using your manners (Please and Thank you go a long way), limiting the amount of chatter with your seat mate (unless you are related or really getting on well) and avoiding overindulging in the little bottles of love the flight attendants bring around. Drunk in the air is quite different than drunk on the ground. All good advice for anyone who flies!
  • And even though it did not fit into my theme of lists, I also want to give a shout out to Family Travel at for the piece on Nordic Skating. I enjoyed this since I had just finished reading The Greatest Skating Race by Louise Borden, to my kids. After reading the book, which describes a long distance ice skate adventure from Belgium to Holland during WWII, I was interested in finding out more about doing that here in North America. Family Travel outlined a couple programs in New England and eastern Canada, and I look forward to making the trek with my family one day.

Note: In one way or another I am not able to find the link to this article.

Week 4
Week 4 shows a greater influx according to Darren:

Erica Johansson of Blisful Travel:

Kevin May of Travolution Blog’s Top Three:

Gudrun Enger of Kango Blog made her Choice:

  • Barbara over at Hole in the Donut writes about the dangers of Zimbabwe and her personal trip to this area in 2007. I don’t know if she was a fearless adventurer or just in the right place at the right time, but her experience sounds exciting and diverse. Now that Zimbabwe has been put on the list of dangerous places to visit, Barbara’s account might be the closest we all get to visiting!
  • Claude from Les Explorers showed us the pitfalls of the current hotel search system, and how he managed to find the lowest rate for his upcoming stay for ITB PhocusWright in Berlin. What a nightmare to go through, there is definitely an opportunity for innovation here.
  • Over at Yearn To Travel, Medelise talks about the Stowe Derby, the oldest and most unique ski race in North America. While not a skier myself, I was fascinated by her description of the terrain. Definitely sounds like a “crazy” race!
  • And finally, Brian over at International Listings put together a very detailed list of the top 25 castles in the world. The pictures are outstanding, and based on his descriptions, my favorites would have to be Kolossi Castle in Cyprus and Himeji Castle in Japan. Even our lovely Hearst Castle in California is included!

Carianne of Traveling Cari:

  • Experiencing one of the most dangerous countries from Hole in the Donut really struck a chord with me. As was the case in Tony Wheeler’s Bad Lands (and he’s contemplating a sequel!) the experience that the traveler gets, especially an open minded traveler, is often far removed from the dire warnings and classifications on lists such as the one Forbes published. While I’m not sure I have any interest in Zimbabwe, the photos are beautiful. The author hits the nail on the head when she speaks of the “real Zimbabwe” — the country you see with your eyes, not one you hear on a list.
  • So you’ve decided you’re going to Zimbabwe, or another country that strikes your fancy. How do you figure out how much this is all going to cost? How to create a vacation Budget from FoxNomad provides some great information. It’s not impossible. Using some of the tools provided, it’s not even particularly hard. I’ve never been particularly good at setting budgets, or sticking to them when I have a rough idea, but it is a good idea. This site is also valuable if you’re one of those people forever trying to convince your friends that travel is possible and that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
  • So now you’ve set your budget, but you’ve realized you’re really not up for a visit to a place that’s been identified as Dangerous. Something more along the lines of a fairy tale is what you’re interested in. Then the Top 25 Castles in the World from International Listings is a good place to start. It includes some very well known Castles: Windsor, Château de Versailles, Arg-é Bam Castle and Angkor Wat (although I never knew the latter was considered a castle) as well as some I was completely unfamiliar with. I was surprised not to see the Taj Mahal or Neuschwanstein Castle included. Either way, it’s got me itching for another trip!

Barbara of A Hole in the Donut:

  • On the Kango blog, Paige Jackson writes an informational and amusing piece about traveling on west Texas roads.
  • For those looking for a bit more adventure than afforded by a drive through flatlands, try out this article at the Family Travel Blog, which features the sport of bodyflight (note again an error!). The video of kids and adults flying around in what appears to be a wind chamber is truly amazing. I felt like I was flying just watching it. This is something I definitely want to do!
  • The White Point Manor blog looks at the controversial issue of the WHTI Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, the U.S. legislation that will (eventually) eliminate the ability for Canadian Citizens to enter the U.S. by showing only a driver’s license.
  • And finally, perhaps my favorite post of the week is to be found on Highland Business Research’s Tracking Tourism Blog. It’s an hysterical article about a new method for tracking tourism being used by the folks in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and it links to an even funnier article in the Lake Tahoe Real Estate Blog that used every “potty mouth” pun it could come up with to describe the town’s state-of-the-art tracking methodology.

Week 5

Darren’s Recap

Anil’s of FoxNomad:

Vicky of Highland Business Research:

Week 6

Darren’s Recap

Tracy’s of Travel Betty Choice

Erica Johansson’s Choice

And Finally chosen by Darren himself:

Seeing all these wonderful reviews two questions hit me:

  1. It is a lot of work. There are some doubles. Maybe the weekly frequency is a bit too much and a monthly frequency with say 15 or 20 chosen posts is a better idea ?
  2. Alternatively: Why not chose one reviewer per week? Then you don’t have doubles and you don’t run out of reviewers so easily

and a memo to self:

Oops 1: I have a lot to update on the T-List, but that will have to wait till next month.

Oops 2: I now see a wrong date above this post, but I won’t change it because the date is part of my archive. 5th February is when I started it and today 12th February, 2008 is the date when I finished it. A similar basic mistake I made with my post of our Queens Birthday which, until today I had labeled as “Private” instead of “Published”