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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.

Devon House Jamaica

Devon House is a Georgian style mansion that was built in 1881 for George Stiebel, Jamaica’s first black millionaire. Though having a German Jewish father, Stiebel’s mother was black and in photographs, he appears to have more of his mother’s color. Stiebel was born in 1820.

When he was 20, Stiebel’s father, Sigismund, gave him start up money to buy a ship which he used to transport cargo between North and South America. Eventually, he acquired two more ships and became involved in the lucrative gun trading. This landed him in jail in Cuba.

[Read more…]

St. Andrew Parish Courthouse Jamaica

The St. Andrew Parish Courthouse is located in Half Way Tree and is popularly referred to as the Half Way Tree Courthouse. Built in 1807, this Georgian style building has louvered windows and a closed verandah.

It was damaged in a storm and repaired in 1882, then repaired several times after. Miraculously, it escaped damage in the 1907 earthquake.

St. Andrew Courthouse Jamaica

St. Andrew Parish Courthouse Jamaica

The Courthouse was the setting for the trial of Alexander Bedward (1859-1930), a preacher and a Black Nationalist after whom the Revival movement, Bedwardism, the Jamaica Native Baptist Free Church, was named. Bedward spoke out against the government and was arrested and tried for sedition. He was committed to the mental asylum at Bellevue, where he died.

The St. Andrew Parish Courthouse was listed by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust on their register of historic sites in 1957 and declared a national monument in 1985.

This is a elegant building that I hope the Jamaican National Heritage Trust will restore and make it open to the public once again. In this part of Kingston, there are several other historic buildings including the St. Andrew Parish Church, which is just next door to the Courthouse.

The St. Andrew Parish Church was founded in 1666, just after the British captured Jamaica from the Spanish in 1665, making it one of the oldest on the island. (More on the St. Andrew Parish Church in a later post.)

 The Secretariat

Another example of Georgian-style architecture is the Secretariat at King’s House.

The Secretariat, King's House, Jamaica

The Secretariat, King’s House, Jamaica

This building is now used as an office.

This is my submission to Travel Photo Thursday, which is organized by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.

 

The Awesome Splendor of Kingston’s Holy Trinity Cathedral

With more than 3,000 square feet of murals and frescos on its ceiling and walls, Kingston’s Holy Trinity is, undoubtedly, the most beautiful church in Jamaica and one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean. It covers 12,600 square feet.

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston, Jamaica

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston, Jamaica

Like a beacon, its 85′ copper dome guides the faithful to its doors. It was built in 1911 to replace the original Roman Catholic church that was constructed in 1811 and destroyed by earthquake in 1907.

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston, Jamaica

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston, Jamaica

The new building, of Byzantine architecture, was commissioned in 1908 by the Catholic community and U.S. Bishop John Collins. It was designed and constructed by Walker-Fyche, a Canadian company at a cost of US$150,000. The artwork was created by Jesuit Lay Brother Francis Schroen. It is believed to be one of the largest of  his work.

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston, Jamaica

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston, Jamaica

Sadly, the murals were painted over in the 1970s either because they had deteriorated over the years and there were no funds to restore them, or in response to liturgical trends following Vatican II, they were considered a distraction.

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston, Jamaica

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston, Jamaica

Whatever the explanation, the cathedral was in serious disrepair. When restoration began in 2008, it was discovered that the murals had been buried under ten coats of grey paint. Many of the stained glass windows that had been destroyed by hurricane in 1951 had not been replaced, the baldachin had been removed, the ceiling and pews were infested with termites, and the organ – only five of its kind exist in the Caribbean — did not work.

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston, Jamaica

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston, Jamaica

Restoration begun under the leadership of master restorer Professor Antonio Sanchez-Barriga Fernandez of Spain and a team that included 32 young people from the community. The painstaking work continues.

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston Jamaica

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston Jamaica

The day I visited, the doors were closed so I walked the grounds taking photos of the exterior. I had started back to the car when someone called and offered to let me in. I gasped when I saw the interior. Though I had seen photos, they didn’t prepare me for the remarkable tableau in front of me. Except for the floor and pews, every surface was decorated. I didn’t know where to start and fumbled the camera several times. My ‘guide,’ one of the trainees, heard my running comments on the beauty of the artwork and invited me to Mass that Sunday so that I could see the cathedral when it is decorated and illuminated. I promised to return.

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston Jamaica

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston Jamaica

The ceiling and most of the walls have been restored. New stained glass panels featuring Catholic saints and icons like Saint Josephine Bakhita of the Sudan, Saint Martin de Porres of Peru and Pierre Toussaint, a Haitian slave who purchased his freedom and went on to contribute significantly to raising funds for the Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, have been installed.

Restoration detail, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston Jamaica

Restoration detail, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston Jamaica

As I was preparing to leave, the current restorer arrived and offered to show me one of the walls that was being worked on. Several layers of paint were still left to be removed.

Holy Trinity Cathedral has welcomed the Pope and is the venue for many official services and funerals. In 2000, the Jamaican Government named Holy Trinity to the register of historic places.

Holy Trinity Cathedral
1 George Headley Drive at North Street
Kingston
876-922-3335
Sunday Mass: 8:30 a.m.

This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website.