Portugal is a hot travel destination for many reasons, for instance, because of its south coast beaches that were chosen the best in Europe and its quirky cities, but also a hotel in central Portugal is an absolute delight for book lovers. The hotel library has a collection of 40 000 Portuguese and English titles. Most of the books are available for hotel guests to read.
The Literary Man hotel has been built into an old house located in the ancient village of Obidos. Guest rooms in the hotel are individual and (reasonably) priced according to size and facilities. Books can be found in hotel’s public spaces in the lobby, bar and restaurant.
The hotel has also made available a few book-related activities. Book Romantics is a special dinner, Book a Story follows a story to the wine cellar for tasting, and Book Nature takes guests to a bicycle ride along landscapes of Obidos.
For an accidental literary traveler, a hotel located in a small town of Obidos is sort of no man’s land. In central Portugal, somewhere between Lisbon and Porto, a traveler really must have the will and the energy to look for the hotel. The famous surfing beach in the town of Nazare is relatively close to Obidos, but that’s about it.
The public service broadcaster in Portugal, RTP, made a visit to the Literary Man hotel. The recorded video is in Portuguese, but you can see how the hotel looks like.
As you view the interior of the hotel, you may get the feeling that books have only been used to decorate public spaces. So what? Many types of artwork have been used to decorate hotels for centuries, and I haven’t seen any artist complain about it.
Smartphones, tablets and laptops have helped many travelers in dire situations overseas. Maybe it is maps that are required, assistance for navigation, help for translation or simply converting currencies or distance to traveler’s own standard. The smaller the helpful gadget is, the easier it is to access, and it is used more often. That is why wristwatches with tiny computers inside them can have a bright future on travelers’ wrists.
The Apple Watch is an elegant smartwatch that has some useful travel applications, but because there are more people in the world who are not using Apple products than people who are using them, let’s explore our smartwatch options if we don’t want an Apple watch.
LG Urban Watch
You need a smartphone to provide Internet connection for the smartwatch. In many cases, an app you are accessing on a smartwatch may actually run on your smartphone. So, when you choose your smartwatch, make sure it is compatible with your smartphone.
Since Android is a popular software that is powering most of the world’s smartphones and tablets, it is the obvious choice for smartwatch software as well. The New York Times evaluated three Android smartwatches: Pebble Time, LG Watch Urbane and Moto 360.
Out of these three watches the LG Watch Urbane is the most useful gadget for travelers. It comes with the best navigation app and voice command functionality.
The Moto 360 shows great potential, but doesn’t have enough functionality yet. It dares to be different, but waiting for the next version of the product maybe worthwhile.
The Pebble Time is suitable for messaging, and it is waterproof.
Many travelers are carrying tablets and smartphones along to flights they are taking. It means that they have their gadgets with them when they pass through an airport. Yet, a company (OTG) that designs and operates airport restaurants has installed thousands of iPad tablets in eating and waiting areas at airports. What’s the point?
Obviously, airport restaurants want to attract more customers who come in, sit at a table that has an iPad isntalled, and order some food and drinks. That’s not all. Travelers can order their meals using an app on the iPad without having to wait for a waiter. Even more critical timesaving moment is when the plates are empty and it would be time to hurry to the gate. The payment process can be managed on the iPad as well.
Meals can be paid using frequent flier miles. Flight schedules are also available on the iPads.
Early 2015, OTG had installed iPads at gate areas and in restaurants at two airports in New York (Kennedy International and La Guardia), at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark’s Terminal C. Who is the first in Asia or Europe to make iPads available at an airport?
The New York Times tells about a frequent traveler who doesn’t even bother to pick up her own iPad from the bag when she enters the airport. She finds the tablets provided by the airport so convenient.
Anything that helps kill time at airports is welcome for all travelers. Years ago, Changi Airport in Singapore had a game lounge, a TV lounge, and a couple of other places to spend time in. How about downloading a few ebooks on a tablet or smartphone and reading a good book while waiting?