14 May 2011

New title, new design, same me

Some housekeeping. So you might have noticed something. Like this blog's new title and new design. Both now thirty-eight percent lighter and cheerier and lower cholesterol.

(If you're viewing this in Google Reader or some other RSS feed thing, you'll have to click through to see what I'm talking about.)

The new title--Europe on Five Wrong Turns a Day--reflects what I think, maybe, possibly (ask me later) is the final title of the actual book. It's more tangible, more accurate, more funny this way, yes? Yes. Good. I'm glad you agree. Oh, and, yes, I'm aware the that the domain name and the new title are different. Working on it--trying to get it so that all of the old links still work and such, before I transfer to a new domain name.

Content-wise, the blog will stay more or less the same: quips, rants, stories, and general commentary on travel topics, particularly those relating to:
  1. unexpected angles and insights on tourism and the beaten path, because there's usually a hidden story behind the cliche; 
  2. guidebooks and travel apps and how we get informed when we plan our journeys; and 
  3. the history and evolution of tourism in the last generation. 

I may also start posting about other things more often. We'll see. Honestly, until the book comes out next year, posting is probably going to be pretty light. But if you want any posts about anything, by all means, holler (doug@douglasmack.net).

Wow, that's a lot of boring behind-the-scenes stuff. To bring us back on-topic, I leave you with the full version of the photo I used for the new header. It's from something I stumbled across in Paris when I was lost, the Parade for Sex and Beer. At least, I think that's what it was. I don't know. I couldn't figure it out and I rather enjoyed the mystery of the bizarre spectacle, so I didn't ask anyone.

This is why it's so awesome to be lost: you accidentally stumble upon this sort of thing.


  1. Exciting, Doug! But are you sure you want to change the URL when the title isn't set in stone yet? You might end up changing it again... :)

  2. Good point, Lexi! I probably won't change the URL until there's an official cover--I figure that's the point when things get legit. (But I did already buy the domain fivewrongturns.com, just to be safe!)

  3. do we really get to nominate travel research questions and quirks....what was the worst idea of the trip?

  4. Worst ideas? Good question. Off the top of my head:
    - Trying to cram a tour of pretty much all of Western Europe into about six weeks. That's the big one, I think. I wish I'd spent more time in Berlin, for example. And Rome. Not so much Zurich or Venice.
    - Assuming it wasn't worth 7 euros to spring for a couchette on the overnight train to Venice. (I'm STILL recovering.)
    - Spending four days in Venice. (Too long. Way. Too. Long.)
    - Thinking Thai food in a semi-sketchy-but-still-too-expensive neighborhood in Zurich could be any good.

    I guess most of those are decisions rather than ideas per se. The absolute worst idea, obviously, was trying to see the continent guided only by a 45-year-old guidebook. This was also, of course, the best idea. I'm now a big believer in the benefits of willful ignorance.

  5. Interested that you think four days is way too long in Venice. Do you have a suggestion for how long?
    And how long in Berlin and Rome?

  6. Hmm ... Good questions, Anthony. In Venice, I'd say 48 hours is long enough. Mind you, if you had a local guide who could really show off all of the more hidden interesting things, then I'm sure you could spend weeks without growing restless. (That's probably true of every city, actually.) But as a standard tourist, 48 hours. No more.

    Berlin is one city I didn't think I saw AT ALL in four days. It's such a strange, wonderful, conflicted, thriving city that I think you'd need a week to even begin to get a sense of it.

    Rome? Somewhere in the middle. Four or five days, easily.

    When people ask me where I'd go back to visit, my standard answer is to ask how much time I have. One day? Brussels. One week? Berlin. A month? Rome or Madrid. Two years? Amsterdam or Brussels or maybe Madrid.

    Brussels is boring enough that I can't imagine being there as a tourist for more than a day or two. But it has this discreet charm and cultural confusion that I find so fascinating and alluring that I could happily LIVE there for a year.

    This might need to be a future post, actually.

  7. Nice informational post! I'm on a tour and your blog is a great help for those who are following Travel.


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