Simon Willison’s Weblog

42 items tagged “travel”


What would be the best plan to spend a 4-6 day trip to Egypt?

You’d have to go fast, but I would suggest arriving in Cairo, staying one night there, seeing the Pyramids and the Egyptian Museum, then an overnight train from Cairo to Aswan, a day there, a two day cruise down to Luxor (you can book yourself on to a boat that’s going in that direction in Aswan and save some money, especially since the down stream cruises are shorter), then two days in Luxor to see Karnak, the Valley of the Kings etc, then home. There’s a ton to see in Luxor so you could do the same route but take the train from Aswan to Luxor instead of the cruise—or skip Aswan, which would be a shame because it’s the nicest out of those three places in my opinion. If you go to Aswan, don’t miss Philae temple!

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What are your best backpacking (world travel) tips?

If you take an iPhone, Dropbox + Instapaper are an amazing combination. Every time I book a hotel I drop the confirmation in to Dropbox (using “Print -> Save as PDF”), then sync it on to my iPhone. I’ve recently taken to grabbing screenshots of Google Maps and putting those in to Dropbox as well. I use Instapaper to grab offline copies of Wikipedia and WikiTravel pages about the places we are going to.

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What are the best places to visit in Morocco?

We just spent six weeks travelling around Morocco. Our favourite town was Chefchaouen, up in the mountains—it has an incredible medina (walled city center) painted in different shades of blue. It’s a lot more relaxed than other parts of Morocco, though if you got there first (as we did) you may not appreciate it as much. It’s a three hour bus journey from Fez, so I’d suggest visiting Fez first.

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Nile Cruises: Does the “Oberoi Shehrayar” actually exist?

Yeah, that’s the site he showed us I think. I’m leaning towards “bog standard Nile Cruiser adopts confusing name to try and get ahead of the rest” as the explanation at the moment. There are 270 cruisers on the Nile, after all.

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Getting married and going travelling

It’s been a busy month. On Saturday the 5th of June I married the wonderful Natalie Downe in a beautiful ceremony at Roedean School in Brighton. The reception had owls, cheese, a ferret, a golden eagle, amazing Turkish food, Jewish chair dancing and lovely guests. It was the happiest day of my life.

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How fast do they go? Like everything else, camels aren’t what they were. Do not be encouraged by the accounts of the great desert travellers. They were better men than us, and were probably lying anyway, and they were riding camels which were used to going for many days at full pelt over the most hellish land and then charging into artillery fire at the end. The wrecks you get in the modern camel markets of Omdurman and Cairo are degenerate great-great-great-great-grandchildren of them and their forebears would be desperately ashamed of them.

Travelling with Camels, by Charles Foster # 14th November 2009, 10:51 pm


US shifts Visa Waiver Program authorization to Internet—Yahoo! News (via) If you’re a European travelling to the US from January 2009 you’ll need to fill out the online equivalent of an I-94W (the green form you get given on the plane) in advance. This is going to catch out a lot of people. # 16th October 2008, 11:34 pm

Easy way to reset your sleep cycle: Stop eating (via) New research shows that you can quickly reset your sleep cycle by not eating for 12-16 hours and then using breakfast to flip in to another time zone. I get clobbered by jet lag when I fly from the US to Europe; this could be really useful. # 25th May 2008, 2:11 pm


Webstock 2008—New Zealand’s web conference. I’m speaking next year in New Zealand! Very excited, plan to spend most of February there to make the most of the flights. # 18th September 2007, 12:02 pm

Lithuania 2007 set on a Map. Nat has painstakingly geotagged 285 photos from our trip to Lithuania. # 15th July 2007, 10:17 pm

Natalie Downe: Lithuania 07. Nat’s been blogging our adventures in Lithuania. # 12th July 2007, 6:33 pm

ITA Software Trip Planner. Super nerdy flight booking search site, operated by the company that provides software to everyone else in the industry. # 4th June 2007, 10:14 pm