Archive for the ‘Cities’ Category

AROUND THE WORLD IN 18 DAYS – FOR IPAD AND IPAD MINI

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Travel around the world on your iPad and iPad Mini – Around The World In 18 Days - fully interactive magazine with added maps, video clips, HDR image gallery and photo tips. Over 100 pages with 300+ images, travel journal, useful travel tips and more! Only $1.99 for a limited time - Download today for your iPad or iPad Mini!

Perfect for schools, colleges and universities and already used in a number of school districts, Around The World In 18 Days and it’s chapter book series: 48 Hours In Cairo48 Hours In Hong Kong and 48 Hours In Istanbul, make excellent reading and visual reference guides for these interesting and educational destinations! Education discounts available on the App Store for iPad or iPad Mini! Please contact me for a free sample download for your school and let me know how I can add to or improve for your curriculum.

Photographer/author Andy Davies brilliantly conveys the excitement of exploring foreign lands in both words and pictures. Around the World in 18 Days will bring your wanderlust to the surface and make you want to start packing your bags immediately!

See more at: http://www.aroundtheworldbook.com

Back to Europe soon!

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Having traveled extensively through Europe, I’ve chosen to return there next month for my honeymoon! Zurich, Lausanne, Gruyeres, my favorite places in Switzerland, my favorite country in the world. Can’t wait!

My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones ten years ago today. Travel has never been the same since, but it shouldn’t deter anyone from exploring their world. Travelers, though it may be tougher these days, we still win if we keep on travelin!

1 Year since my trip around the world in 18 Days – The adventure continues…

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

A year ago today I was heading for the airport in Istanbul to catch a flight to Venice for the start of the across Europe by Train segment of my round the world trip. Wonderful memories from every place I stopped, and equally important, hundreds of incredible pictures from everywhere I went. Fantastic stuff.

Since I returned in May 2010, the first thing I did was compile the best of the pictures, and the travel blog I wrote along the way into my book: Around The World In 18 Days – A Fresh Look at some of the World’s Most exciting Destinations. I found a potential publisher but alas, couldn’t get the funding to print and distribute the thing, so with months of work into the book design and editing, I started looking into the idea of self-publishing for the iPad.

It’s been quite a learning experience, but I finally got the first book: Around The World In 18 Days in the App Store for iPad in December 2010. It didn’t really take that long, I actually have work to do and I managed to put that together in ‘spare’ time, but still, I learned a lot about the dos and don’ts  of electronic publishing and I’ve sold a fair quantity of the full book since then.

The biggest expense for me was trying to promote it. Manual promotion through Facebook, Twitter and Stumbleupon as well as commenting on any relevant travel blogs I could find worked quite well. Paid advertising was a hit or miss affair, never really driving the numbers I needed to sell quantity. So, I pulled back on the paid ads and instead spent my time hustling travel editors and sending out free copies of my book. Every review featured on any travel page or blog worked wonders, delivering huge spikes in traffic and sales. Interestingly, the most successful reviews (as far as numbers sold relative to time of review) were from tech and App review web sites. None of the travel blogs or sites came anywhere close to the tech blog numbers.

That made me realize that what drives the electronic market for content isn’t really the content niche I was trying to appeal to, it’s a much broader market of people generally looking for cool stuff to put on their cool  new iPads. With that in mind, our job as travel writers or publishers is to try to get noticed in a massively crowded general marketplace where games and free ‘loss-leader’ products stay prominent in the App Store shelf space and niche market products have to compete for space with global publishers on very limited shelf space – which also has a very limited shelf life.

The bottom line is the App Store market (I’m writing here only about the iPad market, it’s what I know, so if you read electronic publishing market, I’m referring only to the rather large segment of it for iPad, because that is all I have experience with) is just as hard to break into as, say, the shelf space of a national or international book store. Do I fit in with Fodor’s and Lonely Planet, or do I fit in with the more eclectic ‘travel journal’ type of small publication? Do I try to keep my products visible with ads or promotions or keep hustling for the big review someplace?

Well, I have found that the only thing that works is patience. Since publishing my first book for iPad, I  have also published two more individual ‘Chapters’ of the book as standalones, which are selling very well (48 Hours in Hong Kong and 48 Hours in Cairo) at a lower price point. The beauty of all this is I can do it myself, if, of course, I have time. I’d rather be traveling, but this adventure is the future of publishing and if done well, and done well consistently, could be a rather lucrative revenue stream to fund future travels.

Only time will tell.

Please check out my Travel Series on the App Store for iPad:

Around The World In 18 Days – $5.99

48 Hours In Hong Kong - $1.99

48 Hours In Cairo – $1.99

Around The World, or just one stop, now choose individual destination chapters for your iPad!

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Around The World In 18 Days… Again!

My first round the world trip was so much fun, I’m doing it again! You can read and see all about my first round the world trip in AROUND THE WORLD IN 18 DAYS for iPad. It’s available now on the App Store for just $5.99, please check it out!

Meanwhile,  I’ve made the world even more accessible by creating five new Apps: 48 Hours in Cairo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Istanbul and Across Europe By Train, just $1.99 each! You can still buy the whole trip for just $5.99, but this new 48 Hours Series is completely new, all photos now optimized for full screen, new images, new local information and more, just $1.99!

48 HOURS IN CAIRO for iPad – fully interactive travel photo gallery and journal with added maps and local information. $1.99 - Download today for your iPad!

48 HOURS IN HONG KONG for iPad – fully interactive travel photo gallery and journal with added maps and local information. $1.99 - Download today for your iPad!

Around The World In 18 Days – Now available for your iPad!

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

ipad

ipad

I am proud to bring you Around The World In 18 Days exclusively for your iPad! Over 100 pages packed with over 300 photographs, tons of background, travel tips as well as a completely new section on Travel Photography Tips. It’s available today for just $5.99 from the Apple App Store for iPad.

With the completion of Around The World In 18 Days, I have one goal: to do it again! I’m already planning my next round the world itinerary for late 2011. My first round the world trip might well be called a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but since I started blogging this trip while I traveled, editing the copy and adding more and more pictures, I’ve relived the experience again and again, and the final result is this beautiful book for iPad, which gets better every time I look at it.

It’s about the experience, the joy, and the love of travel, of taking in every moment of the trip and trying to capture the way I felt about each moment. The trip and the book have inspired me to reach out and find other like-minded travelers, and try to be helpful with reviews and tips at every step of the way. I hope it inspires you to travel, too. Thank you again for visiting, and I hope you’ll take the time to check out my book, it’s available now in the App Store

Cheers, and happy travels!
- Andy

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Places visited in this book: Hong Kong, Singapore, Cairo, Istanbul, Venice, Zurich, Bruges, London and Paris.

Find out more at www.AroundTheWorldBook.com

RTW TOP TEN – Top Ten Reasons to Travel Around The World!

Monday, October 18th, 2010

My destinations were Hong Kong, Singapore, Cairo, Istanbul, Venice, Zurich, Bruges, London and Paris. Fantastic trip. This Top Ten isn’t really destination related, more the overall cool stuff related to the RTW experience. Enjoy. I did!

My RTW TOP TEN – Now available exclusively in Around The World In 18 Days, it’s on the App Store for iPad!

Around the World with SpinFirst.com!

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

WINTER 2010 – Around the World in Eighteen Days


My first round the world trip was a dream come true, a once-in-a-lifetime adventure across 9 countries. I am already planning my second itinerary for early 2011, meanwhile, I have just put the finishing touches to a beautiful book of my first round the world trip: Around The World In 18 Days: An Fresh Look at Some of the World’s Most Exciting Destinations. 7″ x 9″, hardcover, 100 pages, over 200 full color original photographs, and a freshly edited version of the travel blog I wrote along the way with detailed itinerary notes and helpful tips. Click here to visit the book web site, and email me for more information!


AUGUST 2010 – Now Posted48 Hours in San Francisco!
A quick spin down to the city by the bay, and some fun pics and helpful information to share along the way!

JUNE, 2010 – SpinFirst.com DESTINATIONS SPINFACTORWe’ve just completed the first phase of SpinFirst.com’s SpinFactor, rating destinations based on Traveler Independence. Can you walk around to most attractions? Is it safe at night? How much does it cost to get to and from the airport? Is public transportation good, and is it affordable? Does the climate (weather and political!) suit walking, or do I need to take taxis/organized tours? All these factors affect your independence, your experience, your freedom to explore, so we rated destinations based on research and experience to try to provide a general guide to the approachability and visitor-friendliness of a destination. These ratings will be updated regularly to reflect changing politics, new research and any data we can find that will help you to know more about a place. We’re also tracking the top tourist destinations, most expensive cities and average hotel costs! Check it out, let us know what you think.


Thanks for checking out the SpinFirst.com Travel Blog. We’re here to help you find out more about traveling your world. Please contact us with your feedback and travel tips, we’d love to hear from you. Email us here…At SpinFirst.com, find out all about global destinations with our interactive World Map and Destination Guide designed to help you find out more about places around the world, and find easy ways to get there. It’s free, and fun to use — and it’ll soon be available for iPhone! Best of all, we’re giving you the World! If you sign up for our monthly travel newsletter, you’ll be entered to win a super cool free inflatable globe – we’re giving away 20 a month. Sign up today!


A selection of snaps from our recent Round the World Spin. Check out the gallery by clicking above and don’t miss the destination travel blogs: Hong Kong, Singapore, Cairo and Istanbul!Well, what a trip! Nine countries. Eleven airports. Nine train stations. Eighteen days. Paris, the perfect bookend to a wonderful spin around the world! Read all about it, After an exhilarating stay in London, the final report from Paris posted in 96 Hours across Europe by train. Rail Europe made the Europe train segment flawless.

Azumano Travel made the flying segments a breeze. Expedia.com hotel booking and discounts made that part of the trip not only meet my expectations, but in most cases exceed them. I did all my research at TripAdvisor.com, which is about the most valuable travel reference site out there. I’ve learned a lot about airlines trains, airports and travel essentials, some of which has made it into the individual destination blogs, the rest will be compiled into a more comprehensive travel tips guide coming soon. Thanks for following along on this amazing trip!

Read all the destination blogs here…

APRIL 29 – 48 Hours in Hong Kong

MAY 1 – 48 Hours in Singapore

MAY 4 – 48 Hours in Cairo

MAY 8 – 48 Hours in Istanbul

MAY 14 – Final stops on the world tour: Venice, Zurich, Bruges, London and Paris!
96 hours Across Europe by Train

HONG KONG – SINGAPORE – CAIRO – ISTANBUL – EUROPE BY TRAIN…

Monday, May 10th, 2010

APRIL 29 - 48 Hours in Hong Kong
MAY 1 - 48 Hours in Singapore
MAY 4 – 48 Hours in Cairo
MAY 8 - 48 Hours in Istanbul
MAY 14 – Final stops on the world tour! 96 hours Across Europe by Train

TRAVEL TIME – Around the World with SpinFirst.com!

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

MAY 17, 2010 – Travel News

Since I returned from Europe, all airports in the UK have been closed again due to the ongoing Icelandic volcano ash cloud. The Eurostar experienced delays only hours after I completed my trip. As I was planning this round the world itinerary, I paid close attention to developing travel news, and tweeted much of what was concerning me, and seemed of interest to travelers. This attention to international news paid off. The ash cloud knock-on effect made the European train system quite busy, so I booked and reserved seats in advance. I also was very lucky with the returning ash cloud, it politely hovered over Britain as I left from France. The one big change I made in the trip was changing a stop in Bangkok to a stop in Singapore, based on reading into the news of that region. I booked my flights back in January, so the news on potential demonstrations was quite limited. But I did not want to gamble with limited time so I erred on the side of caution, and am quite glad that I did, with a major escalation in the conflicts occurring right when I would have been there.

I guess the resulting advice out of all this is not to let potential issues get in the way of your travel plans, but to monitor the news, and make adjustments where it feels appropriate, and if safety could be an issue, change the plans, it is just not worth it. I am so glad I traveled when I did, it was an off-peak time in most places I visited, and that made every stop so much more pleasant. Follow SpinFirst on Twitter, and make sure you follow the latest in international travel news. I did!

MAY 15, 2010 – Portland, Oregon

Well, the very last flight of this wonderful journey was delayed. After 3 hours on the tarmac in Washington DC, finally made it home to Portland. A trivial delay in the grand scheme of this trip through 10 countries. Rail Europe made the Europe train segment flawless. Azumano Travel made the flying segments a breeze. Expedia.com hotel booking and discounts made that part of the trip not only meet my expectations, but in most cases exceed them. I did all my research at TripAdvisor.com, which is about the most valuable travel reference site out there. I’ve learned a lot about airlines trains, airports and travel essentials, some of which has made it into the individual destination blogs, the rest will be compiled into a more comprehensive travel tips guide coming soon. Thanks for following along on this amazing trip!

MAY 14, 2010 – Paris, Charles du Gaulle Airport

Well, what a trip! Nine countries. Eleven airports. Nine train stations. Sixteen days. Paris, the perfect bookend to a wonderful spin around the world! Read all about it, latest from Paris posted in 96 Hours across Europe by train…

MAY 13, 2010 – To Paris

After an exhilarating stay in London, it’s off to Paris for the final stop of this round the world trip!

MAY 11, 2010 – London

I’m home in a way. I haven’t spent time in London in years, it’s exciting to be back!

MAY 10, 2010 – Zurich – Paris – Bruges

I’m pleased to have posted the latest phase of this trip here: 96 Hours Across Europe by Train. Tonight: Bruges, Tomorrow: London. More pictures and travel notes soon!

MAY 9, 2010 – Venice

After four excellent stops, in Hong Kong, Singapore, Cairo and Istanbul, I touched down at San Marco Airport in Venice this morning to begin the second phase of my SpinFirst.com Around the World Spin! From here, I’m taking the train via Zurich, Bruges/Brussels to London with a final stop in Paris. 96 hours…

This is a different trip style, with less time at each destination, just stopovers along the way. As I’ve already discovered in Venice, you could take a long time to explore this place, but I have to stay focused, I have a train to catch tomorrow!


Venice at night from Ponti d’ Accademia; view from room 301, Hotel American Dinesen.

MAY 5, 2010 – Istanbul.

I think I’m onto a winner here. My hotel’s location (Lady Diana Hotel, Sultanahmet) is in the middle of the oldest part of the town. From the hotel’s rooftop terrace is a perfect panorama over the incredible rooftops and minarets of the old city, reaching the shore of the sea of Marmara, which winds its way eventually to the Mediterranean. I can see the skyscrapers of modern Istanbul over on the Asian side of the Bosphorus River. I’ll take a wander down the shore there tomorrow. The streets all around me are buzzing with markets, shopping and the incredible Grand Bazaar, I just scraped the surface of it today, it’s overwhelming and will take a few visits to find my way around it.

The rooftop terrace view is priceless, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and myriad other mosques as far as the eye can see. I need to pace myself, my legs have been hurting all day, I think the after effects of entering two pyramids yesterday, the steep ascent/descent while crouched over works muscles I never knew I had, and apparently they need work.

More tomorrow.


MAY 5, 2010 – En Route to Istanbul.

Cairo is fantastic. It’s an amazing change, from the glitz and sophistication of Asia, but it is unique and incredible. You can read the full article 48 hours in Cairo here. Next stop Istanbul. I really hope I don’t buy a carpet, it’s not in my budget!

Bit of a flights hiccup at the airport, had to buy a new ticket. Odd, but not entirely surprising. Nice to be able to call your travel agent and friends late at night where they are and get help (Thanks Steve!). What would I do without the iPhone?! See you in Istanbul.


MAY 2, 2010 – En Route to Cairo.

With such an exciting itinerary, I am obviously looking forward to my next stop, Cairo. But Singapore has grabbed me. My time here, while short, has been just about perfect, and I am sorry to leave it behind.


MAY 1, 2010 – Singapore.

Coming to Singapore after Hong Kong is like arriving at Disneyland after driving through Los Angeles — it’s clean, precise, perfect and a breath of fresh, if humid, air. That’s not really a fair comparison, it’s just such a dramatic contrast from the incredible scale and concentration of humanity in Hong Kong to the bright and colorful, serenely laid out beautiful Singapore.

Singapore is an Asian treasure with surprising diversity. I mention surprising because, as stated earlier, I arrived here from Hong Kong, and if there was ever a metaphor for diversity, Hong Kong is it. But within a few minutes of walking through Singapore City, I came across more variety of international cuisines than anywhere I’ve experienced before. Pan-Asian, European, American, British, Turkish, Arabic and countless more… Read the full article: ’48 hours in Singapore.’


View from the 17th floor, Marina Mandarin, Singapore


ON THE GROUND IN HONG KONG: Wednesday April 28, 10:00 P.M.

Read the ’48 Hours in Hong Kong’ article here…

I lost a day somewhere there. There’s a number of good inexpensive options to get from the airport to central Hong Kong, I opted for the MTL Airport Express train, efficient, costs $100 HKD and comfortable. I also opted to walk from Hong Kong Central Station, see a bit of the city en-route to my hotel (Courtyard Marriott, Connaught Road West). It was a bit of a hike in hot humid conditions, but the hotel is excellent, exactly what I needed. Hong Kong-style Seafood Curry for dinner. Turning in early for a big day of sightseeing tomorrow. Hong Kong is busy, a bit dirty, but magic. The sheer scale of this place — and I’ve only seen limited views from the Western section so far — is awesome. Hope I can find all the fun views I’m looking for!


View from 28th Floor, Courtyard Marriott, Hong Kong.


APRIL 27 7:00 P.M. Mid-Flight.

Pacific Time. Not far from Japan, about 5 hours out of Hong Kong. It just dawned on me mid-flight, with 4229 miles flown, that I have over 25,000 further miles on this trip. Really glad I got this long flight out of the way! Looks like we have a decent tailwind, so getting in a bit early. I could use it, I want at least two chances at photographing sunset from Victoria Peak, so hoping to head up there right after I dump the heavy bag in the hotel. How the heck is it 8:54 pm pacific time?! Well, I guess time flies when you’re having fun. I’ll conserve my batteries so I can watch Zombieland – I’ve been saving it for this trip! It’s raining in Portland, it’s raining in Hong Kong. I’m hopeful for a window of brilliant light for photography when I get there. I arrive about 6 pm… wonder if that gives me time to head up to Victoria Peak for sunset? Plan is to maximise photo opportunities in case weather closes in the view, may have to visit the peak a few times to get the shots I want.


APRIL 27 10:44 A.M. – SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Right, we’re off then. Just polishing off a few work items while waiting in SFO (San Francisco) for the Hong Kong-bound flight. It’s stormy here, and it’s stormy in Hong Kong – I love an adventure! So far so good, flights on time, and comfortable enough. Will let you know how I feel after 14 hours on the next one! Seriously, I promised myself I’d try to stay under 10 hours max. for flights, but you just can’t do it direct from West Coast U.S. to Asia. It’s a long time, but I’ve got fully charged batteries (me and the laptop and iPhone), and plenty to do — really hoping to grab some sleep, though! Last year I purchased a lounge pass, good for a year. It’s a really good idea when you have a lot of traveling to do, takes the edge off, allows access to free snacks and plentiful plug-ins to keep things charged. Well worth the investment, taking advantage of it right now. More soone enough, from Hong Kong…


APRIL 27 – 6:30 A.M. PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

It’s Travel Time! Waiting at PDX (Portland, Oregon) airport for flight to SFO (San Francisco) with connection to HKK (Hong Kong). Weather in Portland: Raining. Weather in Hong Kong: Raining with chance of Thunderstorms. As a Travel Photographer, that doesn’t sound too bad at all! On-time departure from PDX, expected on-time arrival in SFO. Weather system — assuming fog — causing some delays in SFO, though not too worried, got work I can do!

2 Days to go – Clouds clear over Europe!

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

First flight: SFO – HKK – San Francisco to Hong Kong, saved the longest one for first! Seemed like a good starting point. Weather doesn’t seem to be too good there at the moment, hope I’ll find a break for photo panoramas. #ashtag volcano chaos in Europe seems to me mostly cleared up at the moment, so hopefully my planning will have paid off.

I’ve completed booking on all hotels, planes and trains. Hong Kong, Singapore, Cairo, Istanbul, Venice, Zurich, Bruges, London, Paris here I come! Feels good to have put aside the procrastination and commit to each location. Train tickets are in the mail, as, apparently, is the camera connection kit for my iPad. Weight is critical on this trip and I am really trying to avoid bringing the laptop, but, if the camera connect kit doesn’t arrive, my photographs must be saved, organized and posted as I go, and the laptop will have to come along for the ride.This is a big commitment for me, to not bring a full horse-power laptop on a trip. I do need to work, and to post blog items, upload images galleries, but 2lb is a big weight difference, and I like traveling light! — Update on this one, apparently the Camera Connection Kits are now shipping. I’ll believe it when I see it and, hopefully, be traveling light! UPDATE: No camera connect kit, and I have to keep up with committments while traveling so this laptop is going instead. I was looking forward to road-testing the iPad, but just can’t afford to a: not have somewhere to download and organize my photos, and b: just can’t make it work. It was worth a try. Maybe next Spin, I’ll have everythingI need to road test it.

I am looking forward to revisiting places I’ve spent time before (London and Zurich) and very excited about discovering all the new places (everywhere else!). I owe a lot to the good people at Lonely Planet for their in-depth travel information, as well as the many travelers who have taken the time to post reviews at tripadvisor.com and also at Expedia.com — these reviews, matched with price needs and location desires, have really helped me sort out what was at first an overwhelming choice of places to stay and see. I will be posting my hotel and travel experiences here as well as at the above links, because, as travelers, I feel a responsiblity to share the good and the bad of travel in the hope that others can take advantage of what I experience. That’s what this trip is all about!

SpinFirst.com has started to receive thousands of mailing list sign ups — did you know we’re giving away the world?! Just sign up to join our mailing list (include your mailing address) and we’ll send 20 lucky Spinners their own inflatable beach-ball globe every month! Offer is limited by supplies, we’ll be getting more soon, please be patient. I’m taking a bunch of these with me on the Round the World Trip, looking forward to giving them away along the way. More soon…