Firstly an update from my last blog post for those of you that read it, the Vietnamese visa’s arrived just as promised, in five working days. So anyone who is planning on visiting Vietnam, just follow my advice on obtaining the visa’s and you should be fine well that said onto our latest mini trip.
It was that time of year for our annual pilgrimage to the Destinations travel show to get some ideas for our future travels. This year we decided to have a change and visit the show at Event City Manchester, having a change from previous years where we visited the show held in London’s Earls court. So we waited for the good old Travelodge sale and booked an overnight stay at Travelodge Trafford Park and another nights stay at the Travelodge in Morley Leeds, but more on that later. Back to the show. After queuing in traffic for the car park and by the amount of people arriving we thought we would be in for a good show and come away with lot’s of ideas for our next trip but once inside it was a different story we were confronted by a fraction of the stalls and exhibitors than at the London event’s we had previously attended, also a good many countries we were used to seeing were not represented, the whole thing was a bitter disappointment. Also the events website promoted a new feature for this year, a stand which supposingly was to showcase some 700 foods and wines from around the globe which I was looking forward too but this turned out to be an absolute joke. It consisted of a stand with a few items of food in paper cup cake cases which were to change every hour, we had only one tasting, pepper chocolate which incidentally was very nice but when we returned later to see what next they had to offer the stand was empty, so much for that , and quite how they intended to have 700 foods, one every hour in a four-day event which only has 32 hours of opening times is beyond me, it was a good job we had complimentary tickets as if we had to pay for such a disappointing event it would have been robbery.
Oh well, but being the eternal optimist I am, every cloud has a silver lining and this day was no exception, you see one of the guest speakers was the radio DJ, journalist and traveller Andy Kershaw, now I have listened to Andy quite a lot on the radio on the various shows he has presented, mainly because he has a very broad taste in music like myself, but surprisingly during his talk I learned not only was he a seasoned traveller, he also has been a war correspondent. He spoke for nearly an hour and I was enthralled by his stories, really interesting stuff. I was so impressed that I bought his new book “No Off Switch” which I shall read during our trip to Vietnam:- To Be Cont’d in next post, so stay following.