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Cycling and Testing Electric Bikes in Ireland

Electric bikes in Ireland

Last September we were very fortunately to spend a week in Ireland. The Emerald Isle was our test track for the electric bikes that we wanted to buy. Dublin was our base and Cormac of Greenelectricscooters.ie was kind enough to provide us with the electric bikes for our test rides.

Why Ireland?

Because of the numerous cycling possibilities. Our visit to Ireland was a wonderful experience, a country with a beautiful scenery, rich architecture and cultural heritage.

The vast countryside of Dublin, with the countless quiet and twisty country lanes to cycle and test our electric bikes was the perfect testing ground.

We stayed clear of the major truck roads. The minor lanes were generally quiet, unless we came close to the more touristy spots. Also, we found the Irish people to be very friendly, most welcoming and very helpful when we needed directions.

Why buy an electric bike?


Country road in Ireland

These days for most people sustainable travel plays a bigger role in the decision-making process when booking a holiday.

Whenever we travel for work or holidays, we are always aware of our carbon footprint, what impact has our travel to the environment and how we can offset it.

Also, the recent Covid-19 pandemic has made us seek a healthier lifestyle, which makes an electric bike the ideal partner for this transition. To become fit again and at the same time enjoy the outdoors a lot more.

An added bonus to owning an electric bike for us, is that it saves us money on short commutes within our town.

Where in the past we would have taken the car for a short distance trip, now we take the electric bikes.

Cycling with an electric bike


Electric bikes in Dublin Ireland


An electric bike makes cycling a lot easier. These days there two different types of electric bikes, those that have a thumb throttle like a scouter and those that have a pedal assist.

These are two different approaches, the thumb throttle will engage the motor without you pedaling at all, so you can cruise down the road with no effort at all.

On the other hand, a pedal assist electric bike will stand still without pedaling. However, when you do start pedaling the motor will kick in and it will amplify your input (from +60% to +300%), and make cycling a lot easier.

We went with the pedal assist electric bikes as we wanted to keep fit and also it feels more natural, like you are cycling a normal bicycle.

Electric bikes are heavier than normal bicycles as they house the electric motor and the battery. Electric bikes tend to weight around 18 kgs on average, where normal bicycle will weight around half of that.

Cycling routes suitable for the electric bikes in Dublin


Dublin Castle

Cormac, the man behind Greenelectricscooters.ie had a number of cycling routes to suggest to us. We will only mention here a handful of them, some were outside of Dublin and some were within the city.

With the exemption of the last cycling route, Malahide to Drogheda, all other distances bellow are calculated in a loop (to go and back) from the Grand Hotel in Malahide where we stayed.

Malahide to Howth – 32 Km

Since this was our first ride, we choose an easy ride just 32 km but it was a very rewarding one as the views at the Howth were spectacular.

We also stopped at the Howth castle and the National Trust museum which is next to the castle. On the way back we took a small detour, to the visit and explore Portmarnock beach.

The Sally Gap – 84 Km

This is a very well-know cycling route in Dublin but definitely a tough one if you are on a normal bicycle or out of shape like us. However, it was not a problem with the electric bikes we were able to climb up to the 680 meters plateau like professionals.

The views from the top are very rewarding, the highlights of the ride were the Lough Tay lake with its dark waters and the Glenmacnass waterfall.

We got back to our hotel and our electric bikes still had some charge left. So, the 100 km (60 miles) range of the electric bikes is a very genuine quote.
We were also very surprised to see that both electric bikes where fully charged within 3 hours.

Cycling to the Phoenix Park – 44 Km


Deer at Phoenix Park in Dublin

Another gem route suggested to us by Cormac of Greenelectricscooters.ie. Cycling to the Phoenix Park from our hotel was a lot easier than the Sally Gap, as the park is only 50 meters above sea level.

What we did not know was that the Phoenix park is the largest enclosed public park in Europe almost 2000 acres. It is also the official residence of the president of Ireland as well as the residency of the US ambassador in Ireland.

The gardens of the park were bursting with flowers and the whole park was very well maintained. We spent half of the day exploring the park and taking photos of the deers who live inside the park.

We also had a nice relaxing and very tasteful time at the Phoenix Café near the Walled garden by the Ashtown castle.

Bonus tip, get yourself the thee Jams selection pack that they make and sell in the café. It is a really, and I mean really nice jam (Blackcurrant, Raspberry & Strawberry). We only regret that we did not buy more.

Maybe the nice man of Greenelectricscooters.ie could get some for us? I hope he reads this.

Malahide to the Georgian Dublin – 42 Km


Dublin Trinity College Irleand

Our next cycle route took us inside the old Dublin town. It is really amazing how a small medieval town like Dublin between the 1690 to 1820 was transformed by a classical architectural frenzy with numerous castles, mansions, grand houses and public buildings.

Nearly a century of peace and prosperity allowed Dublin to expand outside of the boundaries of the old medieval town and become the second most important city in the British Empire.

After so many years this prosperity is still clearly visible throughout the architectural landscape of the city.

The House of Lords, the Georgian House Museum, the Long Room of the old Library, (65 meters in length) holds more than 200,000 very rare and really old books, making it one of the most impressive libraries in the world.

The Long Room of the old Library in Dublin

Malahide to Drogheda – 50 Km

We chose this cycle route in order to explore the country side outside of Dublin and also pay a surprising visit to Mr. Cormac of Greenelectricscooters.ie, they are based in Drogheda.

We wanted to personally thank him for arranging the delivery of our electric bikes at our hotel for the test drive and also order our very own electric bikes.

Drogheda is one of the oldest towns in Ireland. It is positioned on the Dublin–Belfast corridor on the east coast of Ireland. The Drogheda Museum Millmount, the Mellifont Abbey and the St Peter’s Church are really worth seeing if you have the time.

Unfortunately for us this was our last cycle ride with the electric bikes for the day and for the whole holiday as we had to hand them back to Greenelectricscooters.ie.

Within a week of getting back to the UK, the courier delivered our electrics bikes and within a few hours we were able to take them out for our first ride. By far the best purchase that we have made this year.

How to Find Hotels Near Me?

Quite often these days we all have to travel on a short notice, sometimes for work, sometimes for a family emergency and then the question arises. How to find hotels near me?

Since these trips are rarely planned, finding a hotel near your desired location can be a hassle.

At Hotel Fairy, we are quite lucky to use our hotel comparison tool to find hotels easily.

But let’s see what other choices are out there. So next time you arrive for an unscheduled call you don’t have to ask yourself how do I find hotels near by?

How to find hotels near your location.

Google

Google Travel - Hotels near me

Google has recently moved into the hotel booking scene with Google Travel and it is changing the way travelers book hotels and flights.

However, Google is not actually acting as a travel agent with Google Travel, but as a middle man driving targeted traffic to its advertising partners.

Google will read your IP address and your GPS data and automatically will pinpoint your current location, in order to display hotels near you. So next time you ask where can I find hotels near me? Google has the answer.

Booking.com

Booking.com - Hotels Near Me

Another heavyweight in the travel industry. Booking.com which is owned by PriceLine a US company, has a very innovative mobile app for Android as well as for iOS devices.

Providing that you have pre-installed their app on your smartphone, it will easily find a hotel near you. (Make sure you allow the booking app to access your GPS location).

Airbnb

Talking about innovation, Airbnb has managed to redefine the travel industry with their smart concept and rapidly spread across the world. From a very humble beginnings in San Francisco eleven years ago (August 2008) has become one of the marker leaders in the travel industry.

Similar to Booking, Airbnb also has smartphones app that can track your location and find accommodation close to your location.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor, has evolved to a lot more than a website to review hotels and restaurants or destinations across the world. Now you can book hotels, flights, cruises, etc.

On their website as well as on their mobile app you can search for hotels near you.

As long as you give permission to their software to access your location and IP address.

Hotels-Fairy.com

Hotels-Fairy Hotels in London

At Hotels-Fairy.com we also give the option to our visitors to find hotel near their current location.

When you search for hotels in certain area, you get the option to see the search results on a map and there you can switch on your location service, so you can find hotels near you. How handy is that?  

There are many travel websites that employ the same technology to located hotels near the user’s location. We can only mention a handful of them here, Hotels.com is a well-known website as well as Trivago which is very popular in Europe.  

Also, in the US, Reservations.com is another travel website that has great deals on hotels worldwide, combined with great customer service.

So next time that you ask yourself how can I find hotels near me? Give a Reservations.com a try.

TransferWise the cheapest way to send money abroad

What is the cheapest way to send money abroad?

Time after time we are getting asked the same question by our followers, so we decided to investigate on your behalf.

Regardless if you are travelling abroad or buying a property overseas, having to change Sterling to a foreign currency can be a big headache.

Most people use banks to transfer money abroad but banks charge commission and have fees on top of the already expensive foreign exchange spread.

So we did the maths for you and we come up with an alternative. It is called TransferWise.com

TransferWise Review 

Usually we don’t write reviews on individual products or services but we have been very impressed with TransferWise that we feel that you need to know about this company so you don’t waste money on your next money transfer abroad.

Why TransferWise is cheaper than the high street banks

Without getting you bored with the technical jargon, the simple answer is that it is much cheaper (8 times cheaper according to the company) because it is not a bank.

TransferWise doesn’t transfer the funds through the international banking system. Instead it is utilising its own peer to peer network to match transactions across the TransferWise network.

TransferWise the cheapest way to send money abroad

How it works

For example a businessman in London who wish to convert Pound to Euro for his business will be matched with a French or a German or a Spanish traveller who wish to convert Euros to Pounds for his forthcoming visit to the UK.

They will both get quoted an exchange rate which is in the middle of the Bid and Ask currency spread. So they are both better off than going to a high street bank.

TransferWise holds bank accounts with all the major foreign currencies and can swap currencies within each country without having to use intermediary banks for the money transfers abroad.

So in our example above the Pounds will go to the Sterling bank account of TranferWise in the UK and the UK businessman will receive Euros from TransferWise’s Euro bank account in the UK.

At the same time in the continental Europe our traveller will get Pounds from TransferWise’s Sterling account and the Euros will be deposited into the Euro account of TransferWise in that country.

Since both sets of the transactions are within the national borders of each country, they cost a lot less than international money transfers. For transactions upto 400 Pounds the cost is only 2 Pounds, above that amount there is a flat charge of 0.5% of the amount transferred.

Most transactions get settled the same day, which is a lot faster than international money transfers through the traditional banking system.

Is TransferWise Safe?

TransferWise is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority, just like any high street bank in the UK. The company is obliged to verify its users and to protect against fraud and money laundering.

Amongst the very early backers of the company is Richard Branson, who has invested $25 millions in an attempt to make the world of money transfers a fairer place.

TransferWise Advert London underground

 

 Where and how to use TransferWise

TransferWise will not be found on the UK high street, transactions can take place only online via their website www.transferwise.com or via a smartphone. The company has developed a mobile app that is available to download on the App Store as well as on Google Play.

So next time you travel abroad or you need to make an international money transfers check out TransferWise, your money will go a lot further.

Tips for taking your blog along when browsing from country to country!

If you own a blog, then you know that your personality and personal life matters just as much as your posts. It doesn’t matter if you operate a travel blog or a business one. People want to know what is happen to you, and there are a few things you can do to give people all of the details when you travel from country to country. Mobile technology has made it much easier to post articles and photos regardless of where you are. Use these tips to bring your blog with you as you travel internationally. So here are the best tips for taking your blog along when you travel.

Tips for taking your blog along when you travel

Technical Stuff – Image by Wendy Cooper

Use Mobile Technology
Mobile technology will be your best friend when it comes to updating your blog. If you travel internationally, then you are going to be on planes, boats and trains for hours. Not only that, but you are going to have musings while you are walking around. You need to have mobile technology to take advantage of these moments.

A good smartphone or tablet will give you the chance to update your blog while you are traveling. This will also let you check your blog for new comments and suggestions. You can write your musings using a memo app, or you can add it right to your blog.

If you are going to follow any tip, then make sure you follow this one. You can’t carry around a desktop while you are traveling, and even laptops are cumbersome. You can easily use a tablet or smartphone to update your blog.

Blogging Apps

If you use WordPress or any other popular blogging engine, then there is probably a mobile app that you can take advantage of. While you can easily go online and sign into your blog with the browser, an app is often much better. Apps tend to load faster, require less bandwidth and there are usually more features.

For example, the WordPress app lets you easily add photos right from your mobile hardware. The app also makes it much easier to format your post so that it looks perfect. Apps also make it easier to read comments and other blog posts. While this isn’t essential, it will make the task of updating your blog much easier.

Take Photos
You can write an elaborate post about how a piece of unique architecture looks, but it’s much easier to just take a photo. If you are using mobile hardware, then you can easily take photos with the camera app. The vast majority of smartphones and tablets have a camera that can create professional photos.

Adding the photo into your blog is also quite simple. You just need to sign into your blog, make a new post and use the photo feature. Most blogging apps and systems are made so that you can instantly access the photos on your device. Just select the photo to add it to your blog. This allows your readers to see exactly what you see.

Record Videos
Perhaps the only thing better than a photo is a video. This is very similar to adding a photo because most mobile devices can record videos. The only difference is that you shouldn’t add the video directly to your blog. This is because a video takes up a lot of memory.

You can get around this by using a video uploading website like YouTube. Just upload your video, copy the share URL and post the URL on your blog. This allows you to add video to your blog without frustrating your host.

Post Frequently
The last thing you should do is post frequently. Try adding a one new post a day if possible. If this is too stressful, then just add a post every few days. You can also use social media apps to make smaller updates. This allows you to tell readers what you are doing, but you don’t need to make a full post.

Conclusion

It’s fairly easy to bring your blog along with you when you are traveling internationally. Mobile devices have really advanced, and you can do a lot of blogging with a conventional smartphone or tablet. You can also use these devices to take photos and videos so that your readers see everything that you do. The best tips for taking your blog along when you travel are brought to you by Hotels-Fairy.com.

Author Bio
Kathleen Martins is a blogger for Torchbrowser.com: the best internet browser and online Youtube video downloader, offering many benefits you do not want to be missing out on! Click here to learn how to download torrent files using TorchBrowser.com.

Find New And Creative Music Around The Globe

Where to find creative music when you travel Around the world, there is a lot of creative music being developed. New sounds are being created every day within the different cultures.

Finding some of this music and embracing it may be easier than you even think. Within every country, music is being created and embraced by the populations. As you travel around the world or simply want to learn about what’s being created, you can do so by knowing where to look. Click here to read more »

New Travel Apps to Try in 2015

New Travel Apps ipad-iphone

iPhone and iPad – Image by William Ismael | Willpower LifeForce

Whether you are looking to travel abroad or just to another state, having the best travel apps of 2015 on your side will make the whole thing much easier. Here are the best apps for the iOS system, like your iPhone and iPad, which will make traveling a breeze. Some of them will help you find hotels, while others are great for money conversions and finding words in different languages.

XE Currency Converter

Unless you are a Forex mastermind, chances are that you don’t know how much a dollar is worth in Europe or Asia without having to look it up. One of the best apps for currency conversion is XE Currency Converter. This app has all the major currency types, and you can easily convert two currencies within a matter of seconds. This is much better than having to do the calculations yourself, and you won’t feel ripped off by accidentally given too much.

TripAdvisor

Booking a hotel when you get to your destination is a great way to be left without sleeping arrangements, which can result in a huge family fight. However, the TripAdvisor app can help you avoid all that fuss. This app not only helps you find and book the best hotels at your destination, but it will also make dinner reservations and you can find top hotspots in the area. Click here to read more »

Staying Online and In Touch

Staying Online by using laptop on ferry

Staying Online While Travelling – Image by Cavan Images

Imagine this scenario (a pleasurable one, I promise). You are packing away to a paradise resort for a whole month. While enjoying beautiful sunsets, the warm sand and the sound of the sea, you start to wish you could share the experience with your loved ones. Well, thanks to today’s modern technology you can let everyone know about each and every moment of your trip,be it friends, family… or fuming colleagues in stuffy offices. Click here to read more »