Happy to present Darren Cronian of Travel Rants. Darren is one of my Travel Bloggers friends who, as a sort of Godfather, kept me going shortly after I started this Blog.
Darren doesn’t like to be photographed. Therefor I have used the Travel Rants logo. When I succeed to make a nice portrait of him on November 11, when approximately 80 travel Bloggers will meet in London , I will replace the logo with his portrait. Darren organized this Bloggers Meet Up, Travel Blog Camp, entirely on his own. Tickets are sold out now! Am looking forward to it!
1) Who Are you?
I am Darren Cronian, and in my spare time I write and promote Travel Rants, a blog that focuses on travel consumer issues and news. I live in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, and work in IT development and support for a large organisation.
2) What do you like about what you do?
I love writing about travel, interacting with travel bloggers, and anyone involved in the travel industry. I like to write about my own travel experiences and consumer issues. My drive is making people aware of the Travel Rants blog and raising itâ€™s profile in the UK, and around Europe.
3) What don’t you like about what you do?
The long hours, sat at a computer can be very tiresome, but I give myself mini challenges to complete which keeps me going. I usually write when I return home from work, or at the weekend, basically any spare time that I have.
4) Please tell us all about your blog and your aims with it.
I started writing the Travel Rants blog in April 2005 and has over the years become popular with consumers, bloggers and the travel industry. Itâ€™s been featured in a number of newspapers and this year won the Travolution Award for best Travel consumer blog.
I recently launched the Travel Rants newsletter, and will be launching the monthly Travel Rant Podcast. The aim then is to continue to write quality content, and raise awareness of the blog in the UK through an online advertising campaign at the start of 2009.
The goal is for it to become a hugely popular place for travel consumers to air their views and opinions.
Eagle’s eye view … the new route takes you through the steel to the top of the bridge. Photo: BridgeClimb Sydney via The Guardian
5) Your top 3 destination experiences youâ€™ve ever stayed to date and why?
Sydney is my favourite city because I had so much fun; walking over the Harbour Bridge, no, I actually mean over the top of the Bridge. Then thereâ€™s the jeep safari in to the Blue Mountains, and relaxing on Manly beach.
Prague I visited for a long weekend break with my girlfriend at the time. It was romantic, historic and made me realise there is so much in the world that I have not discovered. Walking over Charles Bridge, up to Prague castle and through the markets in the Old Town.
Oslo was expensive, but I was expecting that â€“ I loved the snow, yes tons and tons of snow, walking up to the top of the World Cup Ski jump at Holmenkollen, a visit to Norwayâ€™s international stadium. The people were so friendly too.
6) Your top 3 accommodations youâ€™ve ever stayed to date and why?
City AS Hotel, Oslo
Albatross Bote, Prague
Southern Cross Hotel, Sydney
I chose all of these hotels because of the location â€“ each hotel was within a short walking distance of the major attractions. When searching for hotels I don’t worry too much about the rooms themselves as I just want somewhere to sleep and get a shower. As long as they are clean I am happy.
7) Your top 3 most memorable food experiences to date and why?
Alligator Steak, North Queensland
Devils Curry, Kuala Lumpur
Chips and Mayonnaise, Bruges
Yum. Sat overlooking the great barrier reef eating my alligator steak with an ice cold beer, then thereâ€™s the time I had a devils curry in Kuala Lumpur which is about four times as hot as a Vindaloo curry, Hot very hot. I loved the chips with Mayonnaise in Bruges as well.
8) Your 3 worst destination/ accommodation / food experiences to date and why?
I don’t have any bad experiences, I choose my destinations and accommodation carefully, and as long as the hotel is clean I do not worry too much about it. The food, well I love food, and I have not yet eaten anything that Iâ€™ve found disgusting, well maybe the squid salad.
9) Can you offer the readers 3 travel/ food / accommodation / things to do tips about the city you are currently living in?
I live in Leeds, a city in Northern England. I would advise anyone to take a trip by train from London to the North. Visit York, it has tons of history with itâ€™s Viking past. Then thereâ€™s a trip to Whitby on the coast, typical seaside place, and burial home of Dracula. Finally, a shopping and restaurant trip to Leeds, to collect your last minute Christmas presents before returning home.
10) Any Question(s) you’d expected me to ask that you would like to answer?
I get asked why I started to write Travel Rants, itâ€™s a question I get asked a lot. Basically, I visited a high street travel agency and found that the agent was rude, and did not seem to be happy to help me find a holiday, so I left the shop in disgust and started writing Travel Rants a few days later.
Thank you, Darren! Eating chips with mayonnaise is a typical Belgian and Dutch habit which few foreigners appreciate. if you appreciate that, you’re also likely to appreciate our typical Dutch “bitterballen” and maybe also our raw herring:-)