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Turn Your Phone into a Personal Tour Guide with GPS-Guided Travel Articles

Like most people, I make a list of places I want to visit when I travel and bookmark articles about interesting sites I’d like to see or restaurants I’d like to try. But the lists are just that and since my cell phone plan doesn’t include international travel, I can’t read the articles I’ve bookmarked without incurring fees to access them.

All isn’t lost, however. GPSMyCity is a new service that created a city walk app that embeds GPS navigation into travel articles. It also maps the route described in the article to show you the best attractions in over 750 cities around the world.

GPS-Related Travel Articles

The Holy Trinity article as it looks on my phone

All you need to use the GPSMyCity city walk app as a guide is to download it to your phone – you won’t need an internet or a WiFi connection. Once you navigate to the city you’d like to visit, the app will show you where you are on the map and guide you to the next location. You can read any article from GPSMyCity however, if you decide you’d like to use a GPS-guided feature, you’ll need to pay $1.99 to upgrade. That’s less than a cup of coffee! 

As a way of introducing you to this lovely concept, beginning today, January 30, 2017, I’ll be offering free upgrades to two of my article apps, The Awesome Splendor of Kingston’s Holy Trinity Cathedral and A Visit to the Bob Marley Museum.

To access these and other GPS-guided article apps or to browse by city for available article apps, click this link. Articles are free to download to your Apple device. Once you’ve downloaded the article, choose UPGRADE and pay $1.99. You will be linked automatically to an offline map and GPS navigation that will guide you through your tour. You only pay for the offline GPS-guided use.

Announced today, GPSMyCity announced today the addition of two new features to the iOS app: Audio and Custom Walk.

Audio. The audio function offers the option of having the article read to you as you walk rather than reading it yourself. 

Custom Walk. This new Walk function allows you to select some or all the sights featured in the article and create your own self-guided walking tour to these sights.

The GPSMyCity app is available for download at the App Store. 

The giveaway lasts until February 7, 2017.

 

 

 

Here are a few more articles that I have on GPSMyCity:

Note: If you choose to upgrade to one of my downloaded travel articles, GPSMyCity will send me a few cents to help me defray some of the costs of operating my travel blog.

Where Can You Try the Best Desserts in the World?

Raise your hand if you love desserts!

Yes, a truly great meal is punctuated with desserts. Bonus, if your dessert is an exclamation point to a course of appetizing dishes. Aside from satisfying your taste buds, desserts also share historical and cultural tidbits about the country where it is from.

Listed below some countries where you can taste must-try desserts. Let’s take a whirlwind tour of unique and sumptuous treats from across the globe.

How many have you tasted? How many are in your foodie bucket list? Check them out.

Argentina for pastelitos

These flaky puff pastries from Argentina, also referenced to as pastelitos del 25 de Mayo, are usually eaten on their Independence day. Puff pastries the size of wonton wrappers are filled with quince or sweet potato, deep fried, drizzled with sugar syrup, and decorated with colorful sprinkles for a final touch. Aside from a dessert snack, pastelitos can be eaten for breakfast, and best partnered with cafe con leech.

Pastelitos criollos artentinos

Pastelitos, Photo by El rrienseolava 

Brazil for brigadeiros

Celebrations in Brazil are not complete without brigadeiros, a bonbon-like treat. This well-loved dessert is relatively easy to make. You just melt the butter in a pan, add in the condensed milk and cocoa powder, and stir until you get the right consistency. The mixture will then be rolled into small balls, and coated with chocolate sprinkles!

Chocolate Candy, Photo from charles-be

Chocolate Candy, Photo from charles-be

China for dragon beard candy

Legend has it that the first dragon beard candy was spun by an imperial court chef when he wasshowing the emperor the making of a new confection during the Han dynasty. The candy-making process involved stretching a mixture from rice flour into thin strands, which reminded the emperor of a beard. The candy is made from sugar and maltose syrup, formed into a cocoon and stuffed with peanuts, sesame seeds and coconut. It is not only a popular traditional Chinese dessert, it is also considered a handmade traditional art.

Dragon's Beard Candy 

Indonesia for dadar gulung

Rolled pancakes, anyone?

Dadar gulung, a popular dessert from Java, Indonesia, literally means pancake (dadar) that is rolled (gulung). The juice extracted from the pandan leaves add the green color and unique aroma to the pancake batter. Once the pancake is made, it is filled with sweet coconut mixture, and rolled, ready to be served

Kue Dadar Gulung

Kue Dadar Gulung, Photo by Midori 

Italia for gelato

Craving for a cold treat? The streets of Italy offer gelato, a softer and smoother version of the traditional American ice cream. You will surely delight yourself with the Italian gelato’s slow-to-melt, rich milkiness and intense flavors ranging from fruits and nuts to alcoholic mixtures.

Gelato, Photo by christyxcore

Gelato, Photo by christyxcore 

Japan for Mochi

The Japanese mochi is a sticky rice cake made from mochigome, a short-grained glutinous rice.Mochigome is pounded into paste in a ceremony called mochitsuki, and molded into round balls. While available year-round, mochis are often sold and eaten during the Japanese New Year. A variation of this Japanese dessert is the mochi ice cream, which has the sticky rice cake coating a scoop of ice cream inside.

Skeeze

Mochi, Photo by skeeze

Peru for Picarones

In the course of making a substitute for buñuelos, the Peruvians came up with picarones! This dessert is made from squash and sweet potatoes, and deep fried in doughnut form. It is served covered in syrup made from chancaca or solidified molasses. These Peruvian donuts were first made during the Spanish viceroyalty in Lima, but are now popularly sold during religious celebrations in October.Picarones 

Philippines for the bibingka

An icon during Christmas season in the Philippines, the bibingka is a rice cake often sold in stalls outside churches for the duration of the ‘Misa de Gallo’ or nine-day novena mass. The traditional bibingkang galapong is made from a batter of rice flour and coconut milk or water, and cooked in clay pots, lined with banana leaves. Once cooked, it is topped with a spread of butter, a slice of salted duck egg, sugar, and grated coconut.

Bibingka

Bibingka, Photo by Roberto Verzo, Wikimedia

 

About the Author

Stacey Marone is a part-time pastry chef, and editor for Scholar Advisor. She hasn’t outgrown her sweet tooth, and decided to make a career out of it. Stacey particularly orders for a country’s traditional dessert whenever she gets the chance to travel.

The Oculus, NYC’s 3rd Largest Transportation Hub

The Oculus, the gleaming white World Trade Center Transportation Hub that is the centerpiece of the revitalization of Lower Manhattan, is striking for its futuristic design as well the contrast it draws to the structures that surround it. Designed by the Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, at a cost of $4 million, the Oculus is approximately 800,000 square feet. From the outside, it resembles a bird with giant, outspread wings, ready to take off. The inside, looks to me, like the deck of an enormous space ship.

The Oculus, a bird

The Oculus

A bird?

According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s website, when it opens fully later this year, 250,000 commuters will pass through its concourses connecting daily to 11 subway lines, the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rail system, the Battery Park City Ferry Terminal, the World Trade Center Memorial, Towers 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the World Trade Center, the World Financial Center and the Winter Garden. 

While we were there on Saturday, we saw just a fraction of that number. As they walked through, many turned and snapped photos of the cavernous white space.

The Oculus, interior

Some lay on their backs on the marble floor to photograph the ‘eye’ and the slice of the World Trade Center building that peeks through. 

The Oculus, leaves

As the light started to change, I tried to imagine how the interior looks when the sun rises and sets daily. 

The Oculus, shaft of gold

The Oculus has such a light appearance that standing beneath the 155-foot high ‘eye,’ I felt as if we could start moving – we didn’t.

The Oculus is not only a transportation hub. About 78,000 square feet of its space will be dedicated to stores and restaurants. Most of the spaces were covered with hoardings from retailers such as H&M, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, etc.

The Oculus, reflecting in the North Pool

The Oculus, reflected in the North Pool of the World Trade Center

The Oculus (eyelike opening or design) never fails to catch the eye. My only issue is that the Port Authority should have set aside more space to give it room to ‘breathe.’ With a building within a few feet of its left ‘wing,’ it feels hemmed in.

Linking this week with Travel Photo Thursday which Nancie of Budget Travelers Sandbox, and co-hosts, Ruth at Tanama Tales, Jan at Budget Travel Talk, and Rachel at Rachel’s Ruminations organize. Be sure to head over to see more travel photos from around the world!

Budget Travelers Sandbox

 

Also linking this week with The Weekly Postcard….

A Hole In My Shoe
 
and the Weekly Travel Inspiration that is organized by Corinne and Jim of Reflections Enroute, Margherita and Nick of TheCrowdedPlanet, Paula and Gordy of ContentedTraveller, Rhonda Albom of AlbomAdventures, Eileen from FamiliesGo and Michele of MalysianMeanders
 

A Stroll on the High Bridge

The High Bridge is one of fourteen bridges that cross the Harlem River and connect Manhattan (at Highbridge Park and 173rd Street) to the Bronx (at West 170th Street, in the Highbridge section). The bridge, for pedestrians only, reopened last July after several decades of closure and undergoing approximately $62 million worth of renovations.

A Stroll on the High Bridge

Towards The Bronx

A Stroll on the High Bridge

Towards Manhattan

Known originally as the Aqueduct Bridge, the High Bridge was part of the Croton Aqueduct that transported water from the Croton Reservoir in Northern Westchester to Manhattan. Construction on the High Bridge, which was designed to recall a Roman aqueduct, began in 1837 and was completed in 1848. It is the city’s oldest remaining bridge.

Spanning 1450 feet and 102 feet high, the bridge had 15 arches, 7 over land and 8 over the river. The arches were built high enough to allow navigation on the river, however, they were too narrow and in 1927, a steel arch replaced five of the 8 arches. The aqueduct closed in the 1950s and pedestrian access was closed in the 1970s.

A Stroll on the High Bridge

A Stroll on the High Bridge

Taking a stroll across the High Bridge, as 1900s New Yorkers used to, has been on my list since last summer but I didn’t get around to doing that until the Memorial Day weekend. My friend and I entered the sprawling Highbridge Park at Amsterdam between West 173 and 174 Streets and followed the signs to the bridge. Through the trees, we spotted some of the arches that remain on the Bronx side of the bridge and the High Bridge Water Tower, which was directly in front of us.

A Stroll on the High Bridge

A Stroll on the High Bridge

A Stroll on the High Bridge

Designated a New York City Landmark in 1967, the 200-foot octagonal High Bridge Water Tower was built on the Manhattan side of the High Bridge in 1866-72 to help meet the city’s need for water.

A Stroll on the High Bridge

High Bridge Water Tower, a NYC Landmark

To get to the pedestrian bridge, we walked down approximately 100 steps (I saw a sign to the Edgecombe Avenue and 165 Street ramp entrance but a light drizzle started before I could check it out.) To my surprise, the bridge was not crowded at all – a few joggers, families out for a stroll, their kids, as soon as they saw the wide open space, took off running and giggling like only they know to do.

A Stroll on the High Bridge

At almost 100 steps, the stairs look daunting. There’s also ramp access.

A Stroll on the High Bridge

To the ramp

Unless I’m a passenger, whenever I’m on Harlem River Drive, I never have time to take in the view. From the High Bridge, I could see the Alexander Hamilton Bridge and the Washington Bridge (which, along with the Henry Hudson, comprise the four fixed arch bridges that span the river), and the parts of Manhattan and the Bronx that line the river.

A Stroll on the High Bridge

View of Harlem River Drive, the Harlem River and the Alexander Hamilton Bridge. Across the river is part of the Bronx. 

The original stonework on the bridge, the walkway, lighting and fencing were improved. I liked the addition of plaques that describe a bit of the High Bridge’s history. They’re off to the side, so be sure not to miss them. There are also a few benches for those who wish to linger a while and watch the traffic on the river or the Metro North trains as they head north.

High Bridge Particulars:

You can enter the bridge either from the Amsterdam and West 172 Street (High Bridge Park) entrance, or from the Edgecombe Avenue and West 165 Street ramp access on the Manhattan side. From the Bronx side, use University Avenue and 170th Street. The bridge is open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. There is no fee.