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Poem of the Week

Uphill

Christina Rossetti
DOES the road wind uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.

Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow, dark hours begin.

May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.

Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you waiting at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.

Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Structure

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1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Wednesday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Travel Theme: Animal Companions

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In response to Ailsa’s prompt this week, I’m sharing photos of the public art campaign in Chicago this summer. These artsy dogs commemorate police dogs.

What does Animal Companions make you think of? If you fancy exploring the unfamiliar, exotic and unknown for this week’s travel theme (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  1. Create your own post and title it Travel Theme: Animal Companion
  2. Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  3. Watch out for the next travel theme which will come out next weekend
  4. Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes.
  5. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.
    ❤ Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Corners

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Can’t remember where this was – I think Australia

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a corner in Phnom Phen

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Sydney, Australia

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Wednesday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Cocktail Hour

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Here’s what was available at the Sofitel in Kunming when I visited in June.

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Hotel Review: Sofitel Kunming

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I used some points to stay at the Sofitel in Kunming. Although they were extremely busy with a meeting between Yunnan and Taiwan, the staff went out of their way when I checked in and whenever I was in the lobby to see to it that I received good service and my questions were answered.

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My room was sleek, modern and comfortable. I even had a TV in the bathroom, which seems to be a Sofitel standard on the club floors. (N.B. If you belong to the Accor loyalty program and travel regularly, you’ll soon earn Gold status which offers upgrades.)

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I was on the club floor and had access to the lounge, where guests can indulge in afternoon tea and then in cocktail hour. The sweet and savory options were delectable and while there was a lot of seafood, which I don’t eat, there was no excuse for going hungry.

Since there was a big meeting between Taiwanese government officials and Yunnan provincial big wigs the club was off-limits for regular guests. The Chinese required that the Taiwanese delegation be sequestered and watched at all times. So breakfast was only offered in the main restaurant which is large and offers the biggest variety of quality cuisine that I’ve ever seen for a breakfast. In fact the breakfast deserves its own post.

As spectacular as the food was, I think the personal attention that Sofitel offers is what I liked most about my stay. At every meal or any time I asked for directions, the staff were warm and informative. They know how to show that they care.

Airline Class Economics

I enjoyed this video which explains the economics and history of economy, business and first class seating on airplanes. I now understand a little more about the mysterious pricing of airline fares.

Travel Theme: Heat

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What does heat conjure up for you? If you fancy exploring the unfamiliar, exotic and unknown for this week’s travel theme (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

Create your own post and title it Travel Theme: Heat
Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
Watch out for the next travel theme which will come out next weekend
Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.
❤ Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack?

Indonesian Bathrooms

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kamar mandi and squat toilet — cleaner than most

Going to the bathroom in Indonesia is quite different from in the West or in Thailand, Korea, China or Japan. For one thing they don’t use toilet paper so if, like me, you’re staying for just a short time, you should carry tissue with you everywhere.

Also unless you’re in a hotel that’s modern, there will be squat toilet and a cistern called a kamar mandi next to it. The kamar mandi is used to clean yourself up using a small bucket that will be provided. Scoop water to clean your private parts and hands.

Here’s a good blog post for more information

N.B. Bring a little towel or paper towels because you usually won’t find those.

Intercontinental Hotel: Lijiang

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Adjacent to Lijiang’s Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Intercontinental hotel offers style, comfort and outstanding service. All the villas are modern and comfortable with rooms and architecture based on local ethnic crafts and culture making the Intercontinental an ideal place to stay, especially if you can pay with points. I really hated to leave this sanctuary. It would be an ideal place to come to finish editing a writing project.

The service was friendly and efficient. The staff all seemed genuinely eager to help. There were always enough staff with fluent English on hand to help.

The food in the executive lounge was beautiful and ample. I was upgraded to an executive room so I could have afternoon tea, cocktails and appetizers and breakfast in the lounge. They always offered a choice of Chinese and Western fare.

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