Sendero Group Travel Blog

Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

 

Road Report from Europe

I used to send emails about GPS experiences around the globe but have not done so in a while. I guess it feels so commonplace for me and many others, that I don't think it would be interesting, probably not something I should take for granted however.

I flew over for the SightCity conference in Frankfurt Wednesday through Friday. This was the first overseas trip for my new Seeing Eye dog, Tank and he did wonderfully. All the normal interesting technology at the exhibits. I did see one thing that was a surprise. We have used something called the Loc8tor for finding lost keys, phones, etc but this device has not been accessible. Loc8tor was at the show with a more simple and accessible locating device. I believe it is available for $99. It was 50 Euros at the show. It does not have the separation alert of the $199 model but it does allow you to establish 4 connections with the locator fobs. When you lose a device, you simple point this device and it beeps faster when pointing in the direction of the fob and it goes faster as you get closer.

Oh yes, GPS. That was very useful finding an Indian restaurant in Frankfurt. I still maintain my policy of not eating at the hotel restaurant. It came in handy figuring out the taxi situation, whether to drop off a friend first and then go to the hotel or the other way around.

It took 4 trains for me to reach this small village I am now at in Switzerland. Because of the language barrier, I really depend on the GPS to tell me how far I am from the transfer station. With only minutes to spare, the train transfer is the trickiest part of train travel. Finding the right track requires sighted assistance.

I went out for a walk in this village this morning with Tank. It is beautiful but pretty early and nobody around to ask for directions, not to mention my French is nonexistent. Managed to find my way back to my friend's house, built in 1690 by the way.

Should be fun exploring Geneva today. Going to the home of a wonderful person I met at TechShare for dinner tonight who works for the UN. Will definitely need the GPS to get there. One slightly tricky thing is entering address names with accents in them, especially if you don't know what those accents are. For example, cities like Basel and Geneva. Still haven't figured out Basel I used the point of interest database to fine the train station but entering the city name only works if you know the proper accent character.

In any event, remember it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive.

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