The general perception out there is that those of us lucky enough to work for a travel magazine spend most of our time flitting around the world, sending back tales of our derring-do between climbing mountains and sinking a sundowner or two. It's just not true. We tend to spend just as much time chained to our desks as everyone else.
Having said that, I did just spent a week in Iceland in the company of American actor David Caruso. You might know him better as Horatio Caine from CSI: Miami. We swam in a hot pool under the shadow of Eyjafjallajökull, checked out the icebergs at Jökulsárlón and clambered around more waterfalls than you can point a stick at. All round, a good week.
I guess I should point out that the Horatio Caine in question was spray painted on the side of my Kúkú campervan. Kúkú have pictures of celebrities on the side of all their campervans (Chuck Norris, The Hoff, and Dolly Parton, to name just a few.) But the amount of photos that got taken of my Horatio made me feel like I was travelling with the real deal.
While I was in Iceland I noticed that they have a bit of an obsession with Trip Advisor. The guesthouse I stayed in on my first and last nights there proudly displayed a Trip Advisor certificate of excellence in the foyer and a sticker on the front door. Nearly every restaurant I passed had one. And so did the Saga Museum, in the old, converted hot water towers at Perlan.
Personally, I don't rate Trip Advisor. It has always struck me as a viper's nest of shameless self-promotion and, conversely, vicious score-settling. That's why I was interested to come across Sergeant Pluck's Forum post about word-of-mouth in the age of social networking. A great little debate has started about the pros and cons of Trip Advisor and its ilk. You can join it here.
Another lively debate has sprung up around mooseontheloose's post about places she feels it's too late to visit now, places that are so overrun with tourists that it's just not worth going in the first place. Her fellow myWanderlusters have weighed in with their two-bob's worth on the issue. And a few have suggested strategies to get something out of even the most crowded destination. Have your say – and check out their advice – here.
Elsewhere on the Forum, myWanderlusters are looking for advice. JackieUK is heading to Sumatra, springer is off to Cuba and Mik is going to Berlin and they all want your tips and advice. AMHarris wants to know if it's safe to travel to Egypt. Help them here.
Alan Taylor has colonised Just Back From this week with a shedload of excellent up-to-the-minute tips gleaned from his recent trip to Central America. If you're heading to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras any time soon, it's required reading.
Elsewhere in Just Back From, Lostinspain has the skinny on great value wine tasting opportunities in Slovenia. The Dabbler lets you know which part of Newport to visit should you be swinging by Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. And hmoat01 gives top-rate tips on visiting Mamula Island in Montenegro.
It's been a bit quiet on Experiences this week, but Col44's account of being kidnapped in Romania is worth checking out. Elsewhere, VikkiRed and Nick78 have been swept up by the Olympic spirit – Vikki embraced all things Olympic in London while Nick was inspired to get back on his bike. Read both of their accounts here.
Over at our Photography section, there are some real gems among the plethora of funny signs posted as part of a mini-photo competition. Hmoat 01 has a set of lovely pics from Montenegro. Mik has uploaded some great images from China. And jabuckley is just showing off with two galleries – one from Tanzania and another from Kenya. You can check them all out here.
Anyway, that's it from me this week. I'm off to see if Charlie Sheen wants to check out the Northern Lights in March.
Read previous From the Editor blogs here
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