Traveling Faster-Than-Light

Posted on by JimsGotWeb in short stories, Travel, Uncategorized 11 Comments

Stardate 67216.2

Traveling faster than the speed of light always gives me a headache.  Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think that traveling 300,000,000 meters per second is necessary.  I like to daydream about the ‘good old days,’ a time when everyone wasn’t in such a hurry.  My grandpa told me a story about traveling to the moon.  The first time his Dad went, the trip took over 8 hours!  Can you imagine?  People would actually go there to spend the weekend, and it would take them over half a day, traveling there and back!  I can’t imagine why anyone would want to go to the moon, but if they did, now it would take them less than a second, traveling FTL, faster-than-light.

I guess that since this is my first entry into this journal, I should introduce myself, just in case anyone ever reads it.  Call me Ishmael.  No, I’m just kidding, that’s a line from a book that my Mom gave me to read.  Should I explain what a ’book’ is – there aren’t many left, and there might not be any left by the time anyone reads this.  No, I’m getting off-track, my name is Dhartile, everyone calls me Dart.  My parents are traveling agents for Global Traveling Unlimited; they monitor the quality of their vacation packages.  We are currently traveling through the 32nd quadrant of the nebulous Harticle, and will be stopping soon to visit a hotel that has been getting a lot of complaints lately.  It was my Dad’s idea to start this journal while we’re traveling; he says that I spend too much time on the Hologram-Sims, creating virtual universes.  He’s probably right, but it’s hard to walk away from all of those lives that I’ve created.  I have an alien race called Borg; they spend their time traveling the universe, taking other species by force.  If you’re a media historian like me, you’ll recognize the Borg from an old TV show called ‘Star Trek’.  Should I explain what ‘TV’ is; never mind, I just heard the neutrino generator turn off, so we’ll be stopping soon.  I’ll write more later.

Stardate 67217.4

I’m getting ready for bed and thought I’d write about today’s events.  Mom and Dad let me roam around the area for a while as they talked to the hotel manager; you’ll never guess what I saw – a Bluetonic-Satatorian!  I didn’t know they still existed!  Let me tell you how it happened. 

It was early afternoon when we landed.  In case you’re not a Star Trek fanatic like me, Stardate 67216.2 corresponds to noon on October 1, 2063, Earth time.  Anyway, as I walked towards the storage facility, where the traveling ships dock to unload their cargo, I noticed a lot of activity.  There was a group of kids harassing the Satatorian, you know, calling him names while he gathered the Jardons that attach themselves to the hulls of the ships.  I walked up to him and said, “There you are!  I’ve been looking all over for you.  C’mon, we have to get back, Mom is worried about you.”  I almost laughed out loud when I saw the look of surprise on his bright blue face.  Satatorians weren’t exactly known as being very smart; probably why they were almost extinct. 

He followed me, and when we got out of earshot of the kids, I said to him, “Does that happen to you very often?” 

With a piercingly high voice he replied, “If you mean do people walk up to me and tell me that Mom is worried, no, that does not happen very often.  But, if you are referring to the children that were attempting to hamper my work, yes, that happens all of the time.” 

I know quite a bit about Bluetonic-Satatorians from reading their history.  For instance, they were known as ‘scrapers’ from their obsessive fondness for consuming Jardons, which they scraped off the hulls of ships, using their sharp-edged hands. 

“I must get back to work now,” he shrieked. 

“Why don’t you come with me,” I said, “I want to know more about you.  Where do you live?  Are there more Satatorians on this planet?  How do you…”  But he was already headed back to the docking area to resume his scraping.  “Hey,” I yelled, “what’s your name?” 

He turned his head towards me, and I think there was a grin on his face as he said, “Call me Ishmael.”  I don’t know how long I stood there with my mouth hanging open, but I eventually closed it, and decided that it would be best if I let him go for now.  I knew that if went back tomorrow he’d be there.

67218.4  (Oct.2, 2063, 7:00)

Great news!  Mom and Dad told me at breakfast that we’re done traveling for a while, and that we’ll probably be staying here longer than they originally thought.  It sounds like they’ll be running the hotel while they find a new manager.  I wasn’t really listening after they said that, I was thinking about spending more time with Ishmael.  Is that really his name?  Are there more of them?  How old is he?  I have a million questions to ask him, I’ll be back tonight to let you know what I find out.


I didn’t find Ishmael.  When I went back to the storage unloading area he wasn’t there, so I asked a few of the workers about him, and they all looked at me like I was crazy!  Everyone said they didn’t know anything about a Bluetonic-Satatorian, had never seen one – ever!  I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m determined to find out!  It just doesn’t make sense!

67225.6 (Oct.4)

I’ve spent that last couple of days walking around town trying to find out what happened to Ishmael.  I was about to give up and head back home, when I spotted one of the kids that was teasing him earlier.  He didn’t want to talk to me and actually started running away when I called to him.  I run track at school and didn’t have any trouble keeping up with him.  When he finally got tired of running, I asked him why they were teasing the Satatorian.  He had a scared look on his face and kept glancing around, like he was afraid that someone was listening.  “I don’t know what you’re talking about! “  he said, and started running again.  I let him think that I wasn’t going to chase him, but I followed him to see where he went.  I’m going back there tomorrow to try to talk to him again.

To be continued:



Edinburgh – One Of The Most Beautiful Cities In The World

Posted on by JimsGotWeb in Europe, Travel 2 Comments

Edinburgh is a fantastic place to visit and one of Europe’s most historic and picturesque cities. Suitable for short breaks and longer holidays alike it will be sure to delight all age ranges and types of groups Read more

Historical Trails Around the South of France

Posted on by JimsGotWeb in Travel 2 Comments

One of the principal attractions for visitors to the South of France is the great history that was made in the region and the way it continues to shape the landscape and architecture.

Having seen the country through territorial disputes, civil war and events of great importance to the country’s heritage, the South of France bears many of the fruits of great progress in the form of castles and towns built up from medieval times. It also has its fair share of battlefields that scar the countryside and continue to be a tribute to the dead sons of this area.

Take a browse through some of our suggestions and get inspired to hit the historical trail around the South of France.

Medieval armies through Lot-et-Garonne

Around the region known as the Pays Angenais in the south of the Lot-et-Garonne you will find a little collection of villages and small towns with their roots in medieval times that would have seen the progress of the armies of Charlemagne, King of the Franks. During his rule in the 8th century, his conquering armies forged out through the south of France to central Europe where he considerably expanded his kingdom throughout the course of his reign. Read more

Five of the Most Enchanting Cities in Spain

Posted on by JimsGotWeb in Travel 8 Comments

Spain is home to some of the most enchanting cities in the world.  The country’s rich history and lively culture make it one of the most visited countries in Europe.   Read more

Things to Do in York

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Things to Do in York

The city of York, located in the county of Yorkshire, England is a beautiful ancient cathedral city which has a history dating back to before Roman Times. It’s no wonder this city is ranked as the second most visited city in England after London, as it is home to some of the most well preserved historical structures in Europe.

There is a lot to explore in York and it is easy to fill a day trip, a weekend or a week’s visit with exploration of this historical city. Here are some of the main attractions that you should not miss:

York Minster

York Minister cathedral in YorkHave you ever seen a cathedral so breath-taking? This enormous Gothic cathedral is the largest in Northern Europe and simply standing before the stained glass windows which are several stories high will fill you with awe.

Make sure that you make the journey up to the top of the cathedral so that you can enjoy the view of the city. The spiral staircase to the stop is a bit nerve wracking, but the vista is worth it.

JORVIK Viking Centre

Have you ever wondered what life was like back in the time of the Vikings? Here you can walk through reconstructed Viking-Age streets and imagine yourself 1000 years ago. This visitor attraction is one of the most popular in the UK and has welcomed over 16 million visitors since it was created in 1984.

York Castle Museum

York Castle Museum

Take a step back in time and visit this award winning museum. Here you will have a chance to walk down a Victorian Street and an Edwardian Street as well as see what clothing and toys looked like through the ages. The museum was built on the site of a former prison so you will also be able to go down into the old cells, if you dare!

Walk the City Walls

Some of the best overall views of the city can be seen when walking along its old medieval walls. Walking all around the entire walls of the city will take an hour, but there is a shorter section from Monk Bar to Bootham Bar which only takes 15 minutes if you are short on time.

After all of this exploring, it’s about time to settle into a warm and welcoming local pub and treat yourself to a nice cold pint of lager or a warm meal while you talk about all of the adventures of the day. 

York is a beautiful English city with many excellent remains of its fascinating history to explore, so make sure you include it on your trip when you plan a holiday with

A Guide to Spending 48 hours in London

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With the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic games, London has once again reminded us what the city has to offer. From medieval kings, queens, to the formation of democracy, London has experienced a long history, which further highlights the attraction of the city itself.

To have 48 hours to visit London, there are several options to make the best out of it. In order to save money and time, the British government imposed a new privilege card – the London Pass, which provides a free pass to 55 of the top tourist attractions, museums, sights and tours in London with an additional 10 percent discount. The card also allows skipping of queues, saving both time and energy and frustration. To put tourists’ minds at ease, the card includes insurance, just in case the card is stolen, lost or broken.  Although they do charge a little for the services, but for those who yearn for the extra protection, this is the best way to travel safely and on a reasonable budget. The website for the pass designed an application filled with the top attractions, tours and dining areas. One of the privileges of having the card is getting discounts in selected restaurants in London. Free wines, ice creams, up to 50 percent discounts are available in fine dining areas such as Azzurro, Little Sicily etc.

London Tower Bridge Olympics 2012
As the children’s rhyme goes, ‘London bridge is falling down…’, no one can complete their visit in London without visiting the famous London Bridge. Another bridge with almost as widespread reputation is the Tower Bridge. Named after the London Tower, this bridge consists of hydraulic systems that enable the lifting of sections between the bridge to allow ships to cross. Recently, in conjunction of the Olympic games, the bridge is decorated with lights that illuminates the night beautifully as well as a set of suspended Olympic rings. To complete the Tower Tour, one must visit the Windsor Castle. Nick-named the round tower, Windsor castle houses the royal family and boasts a history of a thousand years. The castle is busiest during the morning, so tourists are advised to arrive at about 11.30 to start touring around the State Apartments, Drawings gallery, Queen Mary’s Doll House and St George’s Chapel.

Westminster Abbey - image by Jim Liston on
Other than bridges, London is filled with gothic churches that is sure to satisfy any renaissance fanatics. One of the most famous churches of all, the Westminster Abbey, is known for the ceremonies that united so many generations of the royal family of Britain. Princes Diana and Prince Charles, as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton took their vows in the sacred altar of the Abbey. Another impressive church is the St Paul’s Cathedral, where the dome rests 111 meters above London. From the crypt to the golden gallery, the cathedral has much to offer. Every Sunday, the cathedral also organizes different art, music and cultural performances.

To fully visit London in 2 days is not an impossible task, you just need to plan carefully to avoid wasting time and missing out on the delights of the city. With the privilege London Pass, one can dine, visit, and explore the nooks and crooks to make it a memorable trip.

Mike Lewiss writes for He shares his passion about travelling and making the most of your stay in London.


Now is the time to visit London

Posted on by JimsGotWeb in Travel 4 Comments


London Tower bridgeIn the aftermath of the 2012 Olympic Games, this could be the perfect time to pay a visit to the beautiful city of London. The capital of the United Kingdom is home to many of the world’s finest landmarks, and its international profile after a hugely successful sporting spectacle has never been higher. Whether you plan to spend a few days in the city to view the main attractions or you’re intending to soak up the culture for a week or more, this is surely the time to do it.

Many people pay a visit to London purely to see one of the spectacular shows that are on offer in the glitzy West End. The city’s Theatreland district has dozens of superb playhouses offering the very latest in live entertainment. If you only ever visit a theatre once in a blue moon, you should make sure London is your next destination. Exciting thrillers, extravagant musicals, uproarious comedies – the choice is yours. Be prepared for an evening with the ultimate in wow factor.

One of the most pleasing aspects about visiting London is that the city is a wonderful combination of contemporary and traditional. Just a stone’s throw from some of the world’s most modern landmarks, such as the London Eye and The Shard, you’ll find historic beauties such as the Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s no wonder so many people head to London on an annual basis, with many of them returning time after time to make sure they see and do everything.

A significant proportion of tourists choose to spend an afternoon viewing the timeless glory of London from the river. Boat trips along the Thames give visitors the chance to see the city from a unique perspective without having to put too much strain on tired legs. A great many of the city’s finest landmarks are located close to the banks of this truly iconic river, including Canary Wharf, the Tower of London, County Hall, the Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern. And of course, many of the bridges are truly spectacular.

It comes as something of a surprise to many first-time visitors that London is home to a vast number of public parks, gardens and open spaces. Amid the general hustle and bustle of one of the world’s busiest cities, you’ll find areas such as Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and St James’s Park, all of which provide some much-needed peace and quiet amid truly beautiful surroundings.

David Showell lives in southern England and is a regular visitor to London. He works for a car hire website.

A Guide To 5 Top Attractions In Liverpool, England.

Posted on by JimsGotWeb in Europe, Travel 12 Comments


Located in the North West of England, Liverpool is a vibrant city steeped in history. With a rich culture and plenty of attractions to boot, Liverpool makes for the perfect short getaway. With a nearby airport and excellent rail connections, travelling to and from Liverpool couldn’t be easier. If a friendly atmosphere and a dose of famous Scouse humour sounds up your street, here are a few attractions you may want to consider.

Merseyside Maritime Museum

Located at the Albert Dock, the Maritime Museum makes for an interesting and fun-packed adventure. The museum showcases Liverpool’s strong heritage as a seafaring city, and a major global trading hub. With displays ranging from Liverpool’s naval role during the Second World War, to the infamous Titanic, there’s a lot on offer to float your boat!

The Beatles Story

Also located at the Albert Dock, The Beatles story is within easy walking distance of the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the city centre. With global fame, The Beatles need no introduction.

This award winning attraction will take you on a mesmerising journey through the lives and music of those four iconic Liverpool lads. The Beatles story has recently tripled in size, so there is plenty to see and do.

Discover the solo success of the band’s members in the special ‘Going Solo’ areas, or take an interactive tour of The Beatles Story in the fun and exciting ‘Discovery Zone’. After seeing all this attraction has to offer, there is no better way to relax than grabbing a coffee in the atmospheric Beatles-themed Starbucks Coffeehouse.

Mersey Ferries

In addition to its many land-based attractions, Liverpool also boasts a beautiful waterfront along the River Mersey. There is no finer way to experience this World Heritage Site than from the deck of the Mersey Ferry. Ferry trips across the Mersey run regularly throughout the day and are a great way to experience the sights of Liverpool.

When on board there is a running commentary to guide you through the various historical points of interest along the way, and you will soon find yourself captivated by the rich history and culture of Liverpool. There is also a café on board where you can purchase refreshments and a tasty snack during your trip. 

If you wish to travel on a ferry out of Liverpool, try the service. Ferries from Liverpool travel to Belfast, Dublin and the Isle of Man.


If you fancy even more adventure, you can visit Spaceport when you get across the Mersey. Spaceport, the £10 million attraction where the topics of space and space travel are brought to life, makes for the perfect day out for kids and parents alike.

Shopping – Liverpool ONE

Opened during Liverpool’s 2008 year as European Capital of culture, Liverpool ONE is the largest open air shopping centre in the UK. It offers a huge variety of high street shops and boutiques, and plenty of restaurants to choose from. There is also an Odeon cinema if you fancy catching the latest blockbuster.


Liverpool is a city waiting to be explored. With so much to see and do, it makes for the perfect UK break; the only problem is deciding where to begin! Visitors will be hard pressed to not fall in love with a city so rich in culture and history.

By Bradley Houston

Image Credits: willposh and Wikipedia.


Posted on by JimsGotWeb in Europe, Travel Leave a comment

I spent a couple of days at the Munich 2011 Oktoberfest and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes to drink beer in a large, friendly, crowd.

We went on a Wednesday so we didn’t have any trouble getting into a tent and sitting down. They will not serve you unless you are at a table. The tables where we sat all had “Reserved” signs on them but it was my understanding that most of them were for people who were coming in later in the day so you are welcome to use them until someone comes to claim them. We went into a few different tents just to see what they were like.

The Hofbrau tHaufbrau tent at Oktoberfestent is the biggest beer-tent at the Oktoberfest, and the only one with a standing only area. When we went in it was around 10 A.M. and the party was going strong! We went to the standing area which is right in front of the bandstand and ordered beer and chicken that came right away. Every few minutes someone would stand on the bench at their table with a full stein of beer and hold it above his head. Everyone would start chanting and then he would try to chug it all down. If he did it, then everyone would cheer and applaud. If he didn’t, then he would get loud boos for his failure!

Weinzelt tent at OktoberfestAnother tent at the Oktoberfest that we visited was the Weinzelt. The band there was playing Elvis Presley tunes and other Rock songs, it was great to hear “Smoke On the Water” with a German accent!  While sitting at a table two ladies came up and gestured that they would like to sit with us, we said sure, have a seat. The next few hours that we spent communicating with them are some of my best memories of Oktoberfest. They couldn’t speak very much English and we couldn’t speak much German, but we were able to get past that barrier with a lot of drawing, pointing, and laughing!  They taught us the words to a toasting song that is sung every few minutes in all of the tents, “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit”.

Here are some peopDirndl and Lederhosen at Oktoberfestle inside the Hoffbrau tent at a standing table wearing their Dirndl and Lederhosen.  During the festival, which goes on 16 days, it is common to see people dressed like this in the stores, the restaurants, the train station, pretty much everywhere.





The Hacker FesThe Hacker Tent at Oktoberfesttzelt is one of the largest tents at Oktoberfest. The ceiling is painted with blue skies and white clouds which is the colors of the Bavarian flag, so the tent is popular with the locals. If you get tired of the brass bands this is the place to go, every evening starting at 5:30pm a Rock and Roll band performs.





Spatenbrau Tent at the Oktoberfest in MunichThe Spatenbrau Tent at the Oktoberfest in Munich this year celebrates it’s 131 year at the festival. The feat of roasting an entire ox on a spit started in 1881 and turned the Spantenbrau into a real attraction which still goes on today.


Have you been to the Oktoberfest in Munich?

Getting Your Passport

Posted on by JimsGotWeb in How To, Travel 7 Comments

Steps to Getting Your Passport

I recently made my first trip to Europe and actually enjoyed myself, and believe me if I can sit on a plane for 11 hours, you can too. I thought that I would write about my experience in case anyone is considering the trip and needed a little advice.

The first thing you should think about doing, especially if you’ve never been out of the country, sure you’ve been to Canada, but does that really count, is getting your passport.  If this is your first passport here is some information you should look at:

You must fill out and print this Form DS-11:

You need to take the DS-11 form, in person to an acceptance facility, here is a site that will tell you what facility’s are near you:

You will need to take your birth certificate and drivers license, and make a photo copy of the front and back of them to take with you. You will need a passport photo; most sites will do this for you. When you apply for the passport you will need to pay the fees, which currently is around $135.

You should plan on it taking 4 to 6 weeks before getting your passport, check here to see current wait time:

So, you’ve got the hard part out of the way! Now for the fun part, where should you go?
I’ll talk about some great European travel sites on my next post.

Have you gotten a passport lately? How long did it take to get it? Where did you go to apply for it?