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2.12.2007

Great Guide #1


I feel a bit embarrassed when I visit some of my buddy bloggers, and see how well read they are. I do read, but it's always tech magazines, business magazines, the newspaper, etc. I haven't touched a work of fiction in years! My source of fantasy is the DVD. But there is something quite relaxing about books. A novel forces one to create the places and people that start with simple words on a page. And a good novel is hard to put down. I do remember that feeling.

When I find myself actually in a bookstore, the travel section is my favorite area. I am a bit of a travel guide critic. There are tons of them out there, but few shine. First, I think all travel books should be printed on color stock. What's with these paperback pulp things?! Three pages into it and I am like, where? What? Why? Don't want to go there because you've bored the shit out of me. Europe on forty bucks a day? Just stay home. (Believe me, I am frugal. But one also should contribute a little something to the local economy. I ain't going to Paris to sleep in a youth hostel, people.)

And these guides should be filled with the best photography money can buy. How can you sell a location to someone without nice photos? People that travel know the destination is always going to look different then the photo. But the photo whets your appetite and actually gets your ass packing a bag.

The Scotland Visitor Guide may be the perfect travel guide. It was discovered out of frustration one day. While visiting the locally owned book store, (when I say local, I mean four towns away, folks!) I found myself in the travel section randomly pulling travels guides off the shelf in search of one that was mildly interesting. I had worked my way through several countries when I pulled this gem off the shelf. Wow!

Much of it may have to do with the fact that is was written by the editors of Colin Baxter Photography. But it has the most stunning shots of a country I always thought might be just mildly interesting. Fantastic photos. They break the country into 14 areas, with each chapter asigned a different color. This color scheme allows for easy search, as the color is bled to the edge of the page. One can open up to whatever area of choice quickly and easily.

The attractions, which seem to be more numerous than the actual citizens, are numbered and can be located on a map at the beginning of each chapter. The attractions also have symbols to describe the ammenities. While this is nothing new, the way the book is designed is both handsome and practical. And the $20 price tag can't be beat. It is the ultimate guide to Scotland's attractions.

13 comments:

LA said...

Flix - It was nothing short of genius to review a travel guide. I am truly impressed.

GetFlix said...

Thanks LA!

Diane said...

Great review, flix. And you make good points. I have been lucky enough to travel through Scotland a couple of times and to spend a summer there. You are not far off when note how many attractions are there, and there are an equal number of single malt scotch distilleries and breweries. Honestly, if you a fan of history, literature, art or seeing the countryside, Scotland has alot to offer.

PixieGaf said...

Nice pick Flix!

Once again Diane I am jealous of how well traveled you are.

v said...

Yeah, I too don't read enough fiction. But some of us are just drawn (addicted perhaps) to the moving image. However, you might want to check out a graphic novel. I just recently finished WATCHMEN and found it to be a thrilling, engaging read.

And great review of the travel guide!

M-M-M-Mishy said...

I also don't see the point of a travel guide without photos. Doesn't do much to see the reader on the destination, does it?

Looking through guides is my way (read: the cheap way) of feeling well travelled.

Good review!

prunella jones said...

I really want to go to Scotland. Did you know the Scots invented deep fried candy bars? Any place with men in kilts and the Loch Ness monster is place where I'd like to get drunk.

GetFlix said...

Diane, did you get up to the Highlands? Amazing landscape!

Pix, I think Diane has been everywhere.

V, I am hooked on television, too!

Mish, me too!! Guide books are the cheap way to travel.

Well said, Pru. It's looks to be a great place to visit. I will not be going soon, but will continue to research it.

Diane said...

flix - it is amazing up there! if you've seen Loch Ness, it's not hard to figure out why people imagine a creature lurks within . . . and there are many, many places I haven't been! But travel is a priority for me - I've never driven an expensive car, I don't own expensive electronics - travel is where my expendable cash goes

v said...

Flix - yeah, the tele has some really good stuff on. But you might want to see if the graphic novel medium interests you. It's like the cross between a book (the written word) and a film/tv show (the graphic image). Just thought I'd mention this again, sorry to go on and on about this, lol.

kookla100 said...

Bravo review, GF!!

Scotland happens to be one of Pelegrim's favorite places to visit, and not only because he's a member of the MacDonald clan (we looked up his tartan while on a visit), but all the lads look just like him! We always make sure to go on a ghost walk of any city we visit (which isn't so surprising considering my travel companion), and while Grim peruses the ancient cemeteries, I find myself admiring the majestic churches. Scotland has a dark and incredible history, which is probably why I appreciate your recommendation to such a comprehensive book dedicated to it. I will be sure to pick this up before our next trip.

GetFlix said...

Diane, I hear you. Travel is very important to me, too.

V, it's funny you mention graphic novels. There is a new section in the same local bookstore dedicated to them. I will check it out the next time I am there.

Kook, I never had any real interest in the UK until I saw this book. I think you guys would love it.

EditThis said...

I wish I had more time to travel. I'm trying to make up for it now, with a big trip last year and a big one planned this summer. Wish I would have done more of it when I was young and wild. Alas, I will just have a different perspective now. And one of my least favorite things is finding a travel guide that doesn't have enough pictures in it. I don't want to actually have to READ everything in it!