Sometimes you just need a good book and everything in one place.
Before I head on any trip, I like to make sure of a few things – how to get from the airport or station into town and to the hotel, where the major points of interest for the tip are; how much is breakfast going to cost me; public transport and other little niggly things.
Now it is possible to go online and find out all of this given time (and the airport links are usually on the Wikipedia page of said Airport), but instead of offering to help me blow up Oslo Matthew Cashmore popped some Lonely Planet travel guides into the post for me to review.
Yes, good old fashioned printed books. Imagine that.
Actually having a physical version is a pretty neat idea. For all the digital efforts that Lonely Planet are going through at the moment (including their inclusion on my Nokia X6 handset via Ovi Maps), it’s far easier to sit with a highlighter pen to pick out the useful information, scrawl some notes in the margins, and put some post-it notes at the important pages.
For all the people arguing that you can do just the same with an electronic version, I disagree – but then I’m an old fuddy-duddy who still thinks a than an iPad for diary management and taking notes for interview – the Lonely Planet guides have lots of subtle features to help the traveller. They’re laminated soft=back covers to give protection without impacting on weight, the pages are slightly thinner so more pages can be packed into your luggage allowance, and there’s more than enough
Did I need the full depth of the book, which breaks down into all the major cities and regions? Nope – because I was heading straight home. But if I wasn’t staying over, then this would have made an excellent tour guide once all the Eurovision hospitality had rolled away and returned the city to the natives.
And if I ever end up back in Norway (hey, maybe they’ll win in Germany and the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest will head to Trondheim) then I know where all my travel notes and hints are… nicely highlighted, tabbed and scrawled in the margins of this book.
Purchase The Lonely Planet Guide to Norway from Amazon.