Category: Pictures and Video

Visit With Klingons Who Are In Stockholm To Promote Tourism To Their Home World

A delegation from the Klingon Empire has arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, for a cultural exchange in order to promote tourism to Qo’noS, their home planet. The “Visit Qo’noS” event is being held at the Turteatern through March 24th and when I found out, I booked booked plane tickets immediately. You can see part of the show in the video above and if you’re in Stockholm, watch until the end of the video for a small gift.

Exchanging Culture With Klingons

There was plenty of blood wine, opera, as well as a demonstration of stereotypes Klingons have about humans and vice versa. From their outside perspective, it seems the Klingons have also picked up on some less-than-stellar cultural integration happening on Earth today.

klingons stockholm turteatern

The Visit Qo’noS show is funny, incredibly performed, and very entertaining. I can’t imagine any Trekkie not enjoying the Klingons but even if you’re only casually aware of Star Trek, the Visit Qo’noS event will be one of the most interesting tourism promotions you’ll ever attend.

klingon tourism stockholm sweden

How To Visit Qo’noS

Visit Qo’noS runs about an hour and fifteen minutes, with several shows per week beginning at 7pm. Turteatern is located right next to the Kärrtorp metro stop on the green line (end station Skarpnäck). You can get tickets for Visit Qo’noS here, check out the Visit Qo’noS tourism site here, and learn how to visit the Klingon Empire with honor (without losing your life). Qapla!

How To Fly With An Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

You probably read recently about United Airlines barring a woman and her emotional support peacock from boarding a flight. Those reports made me wonder what it might take to book a flight with an emotional support animal – a koala bear in this case – in the video above you can see what happened.

During the process I came to learn a lot about emotional support animals (ESAs), the process for booking a flight with one, and why the airlines have started to enforce more restrictions on passengers with ESAs. Here’s how to book a flight with an emotional support animal.

What Is An Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal (ESA) is one that provides therapeutic benefits without being trained to perform a specific task for a human with a disability. Essentially, ESAs benefit their owners with affection, attention, and companionship – making them different than services animals (e.g. seeing-eye dog). In the United States service animals fall under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), ESAs do not.

emotional support animal

The major difference being, for example, a person with a service dog can’t be denied entry into a restaurant that doesn’t allow dogs. Seeing eye dogs aren’t considering in-cabin pets either. Laws vary around the world but often some legal distinction is made for service animals.

ESAs on the other hand have no such legal protections. You can however, still fly with an ESA, under some circumstances.

ESA Registration

In general, most airlines will let you fly with an ESA. As I learned trying to book a flight with a fictional koala, a lot of them have, or are putting, restrictions into the type of animal. Dogs, cats, and “household” birds are the norm, but people have flown with more exotic ESAs such as hedgehogs.

tabby cat sleeping

What turns a dog (on paper) into an ESA is a letter from a licensed medical therapist stating so. There are also a number of websites that let you get an evaluation letter from a therapist for $130-250 dollars, with packages allowing for turnaround as short as 48 hours. I can’t vouch for any of the popular websites that provide this service but many people use them. Evaluations are done over the phone but there are no refunds – approved ESA or not. ESA therapy letters are generally valid for one year.

Call The Airline

Given how quickly the rules are changing on ESAs (likely due to peacock lady), you may need some additional documentation. ESAs are being required to have proof of standard vaccination, as well as a letter from a vet saying the animal has had behavioral training or is otherwise well-behaved.

Since airlines typically restrict the total number of animals that can be brought in cabin on a given flight, the more advance notice you give, the better chance you’ll have with your ESA. Give the airline a call, let them know about your ESA, and once you send them your documentation, you should be good to fly.

Advantages And Abuses

Putting aside the cost of the documentation and vet visits for an ESA, most airlines don’t charge a pet fee for an ESA. Larger breeds might also be allowed on board too (above the regular pet weight limit). Since it’s relatively easy to get an ESA certificate, many people are probably abusing the system for these advantages as well as pushing the limits of what species an ESA can be.

The latest rule changes shouldn’t negatively affect people who genuinely need, and want to travel with, an ESA. Everyone else, you might want to brush up with the ultimate guide to traveling with pets and how to fly with your dog to make sure you both have a great flight.

Don’t Miss This Site In Granada, Spain That Most Visitors Do

cartuja monastery granada spain

Many of the most popular sites to visit in Granada, Spain, are concentrated over a small area. Since there’s a lot to see all within walking distance, the 20 minute bus ride to the Cartuja Monastery is neglected by most tourists. Combined with the fact that photos of the interior aren’t allowed, it’s hard to see what you might be missing.

The Cartuja Monastery is one of my favorite sites in Granada, the city you voted best to visit in 2017. The interior of the Cartuja Monastery is peaceful, hardly crowded, and has incredibly intricate artwork. I’m not sure if there’s been a general change to the rule or if exceptions were made for me, but I was given permission to take pictures and video inside. (Basically I asked and the guy said no problem.)

cartuja monastery interior

Entry to the Monastery of La Cartuja is included if you purchase a Granada Card, well worth the price for all it gets you. Additionally the Granada Card (there are two varieties, basic and plus) have 5 and 9 bus rides, respectively, included. Both the N7 and U3 lines will take you to the Cartuja Monastery.

cartuja monastery

Construction on the Cartuja Monastery began in 1506 and lasted three centuries.

cartuja monastery

One thing I noticed at many of the most popular sites of Granada, including Monastery of La Cartuja, is they generally provide complimentary informational headphones in a number of languages. They’re not something I generally use but it is a nice touch, I’d say around 60-70% of the visitors had them on.

cartuja monastery

Monastery of La Cartuja, like the rest of Granada, is one of the most photogenic places I’ve visited.

Monastery of La Cartuja

Much like the Livraria Lello in Porto, where pictures are not allowed, seeing it beforehand online can take away the surprise of discovering something completely new – a sensation we’re often robbed of because of the Internet. At the same time, catching a glimpse of a few pictures might entice you to visit a place you didn’t know too much about beforehand, something I hope I’ve done here.

The North Face Recon Is An Ideal Backpack If You Travel With A Lot Of Electronics

Getting a large electronics backpack right is something that many manufacturers haven’t quite mastered. The midsize gadgets backpack market is full of excellent choices, like the Dell Premier Backpack, but they don’t scale up in size efficiently. Unfortunately, most larger electronics are just that, bigger versions of smaller backpacks that don’t take advantage of the extra space.

The North Face Recon is a spacious backpack which manages to feel smaller than it is, while at the same time comfortably carrying a lot of gear. You can watch my full review of The North Face CLG4-JK3 Backpack in the video above, or read on.

Size Doesn’t Matter

It’s how you use it and the Recon, despite being a 31-liter backpack measuring 49 centimeters x 36 cm x 24 cm, seems both smaller and larger than its dimensions. (Lighter too, only 1.2kg / 2.5 lbs.) The first thing the Recon gets right is having one main, large pocket. For example, the Swissgear Scansmart 1900 I use breaks up most of its capacity into three large compartments. In essence, what this does it restrict the backpack into being primarily a laptop carrier.

the nrth face recon backpack review

The North Face Recon on the other hand has one large compartment with a smaller front pocket. The larger, main compartment has a laptop sleeve (lined with fleece) that can comfortably hold a 15-inch Macbook Pro. With that out of the way and no pockets to stealthily gobble up space, you can easily fit a DSLR, drone, plus regular travel items like extra clothes in the main compartment.

Whereas most midsize electronics backpacks are made for mostly for gadgets, the Recon was designed for your gadgets as well as other travel gear. At 31 liters, the Recon is very close to being a bag that can eliminate your need for a check-in bag for short trips or if you travel very light.

Small Details Of Quality

Having a larger main compartment opens up a lot of space, so you could use the Recon as your only backpack for a short trip, even if you are a person that travels with a lot of electronics. You can see all of the tech gear I use – the Recon held it comfortably (with the help of these Swissgear toiletry kits) – with a lot of space let over for clothes and actual toiletries.

the north face reconThe North Face Recon CLG4-JK3 Backpack

buy from amazon

The smaller compartment is sized to easily fit an iPad Air 2 (the iPad Pro might just fit too). The Recon’s smaller compartment also isn’t pocket deficient, taking the best of smaller electronics backpacks (pockets!) and making the most of them.

Looking at the exterior of the bag, although it’s not specifically stated, the Recon appears to be thoroughly weather-proof. Zippers are tightly stitched, there are no open seams, and the fancy ballistic nylon wicks away water. You can definitely take the Recon out on rainy days, personally I would even feel at safe to walk around in a substantial downpour, electronics inside or not.

the north face recon backpack

There are also small touches which imprint The North Face quality, that doesn’t come with an absurd markup. Both side compartments for water bottles are made of tight elastic, not just a single stretchy band like many other backpacks. The front, open compartment as well provides support across the entire pocket. Not only will this make the elasticity last longer, it ensures you won’t constantly be checking to see if anything’s fallen out.

Taking The Best From Big And Small

Straps are also some of the most comfortable I’ve used in all of the backpacks I’ve tested, a lesson the Recon takes from larger backpacks. The few gripes I do have with the Recon – the rounded bottom (the backpack can’t really stand up straight on its own) and the too-bright all white logo – are minor at best. It’s available in 10 different color configurations (unfortunately not an all black on black) and the rounded bottom actually makes it easier to fit the Recon under the seat in front of you on a plane.

The North Face have given the Recon CLG4-JK3 a premium feel for $99, a lot less than expected for this brand. The North Face Recon takes the the better parts of both large and small backpacks to make for a very versatile electronics backpack for travelers who want to occasionally ditch a check-in bag.

The Bose QuietComfort 20 Are (Still) The Best Wired Headphones For Travel In 2018

In 2015, I told you the Bose QuietComfort 20 noise-cancelling headphones were the best a traveler could buy, having used them for a few years by then. After more than 4 years and countless flights later, they’re still the best headphones for travel, assuming you still have a headphone jack on your phone.

Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling HeadphonesBose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

amazon buy now

The Bose Quietcomfort 20 are so good, Bose still sells the QuietComfort 20 as their premier wired, noise-cancelling earbuds, for roughly the original price. Most electronics aren’t on sale for more than a year, let alone 4, and still have a premium spot in a brand’s product lineup.

Road Tested: Bose QuietComfort 20 Review After 4 Years

In the video above, I review my original pair to show you how well they have and haven’t held up. Noise-cancelling has been inconsistent in the last year (Bose only guarantees it for 3 years after purchase) but even without it, the ear seals do a good job of filtering out ambient noise. The plastic and rubber cords and seals have held up surprisingly well, and the noise-cancelling battery still works, holding a solid 10+ hour charge.

bose quietcomfort20i

There’s something refreshing about a tech company keeping a product on the market for a longer period of time, rather than releasing an incremental annual update. Some products obviously need shorter refresh cycles but more often than not companies often release what feel like beta products, in between actual upgrades, in order to keep on a predictable schedule.

At $250, the Bose QuietComfort 20 is a solid investment in good headphones with a feature (noise-cancelling) that frequent flyers will find practically essential after a single use. The QuietComfort 20 are ultra-portable but if that’s not a concern for you, an over-ear pair have several other advantages, and for wireless sport headphones, the NuForce BE Sport3 are the best option under $100.

Durable, lasting as long as you’ve got a headphone jack plus small with an audio super-power, the Bose QuietComfort 20 are the wired headphones to get, so long as you’re willing to pay upfront for years of use.


About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More

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Visit With Klingons Who Are In Stockholm To Promote Tourism To Their Home World

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