Holiday Inn Express Collingwood

After a somewhat bad experience in the Holiday Inn Express in Montreal i was a little bit sceptical about our upcoming stay in the one in Collingwood. After a stay in Canadas Best Value Inn in Parry Sound which absolutely horrible we leaved early to see our new destination and our new Hotel.

Arriving 3 hour before Check In time we weren’t sure if we would be able to check in already. But the lady at desk said it was absolutely not a problem. we where immediately greeted as an IHG member with some water and a little muesli bar. If we forgot some of our personal health attributes like a razor or a toothbrush we were informed that we could one at the desk.  The Hotel looked really clean from the outside and even on the inside it was maintained pretty good.  Being treated so well at check in we had already forgotten our previous stay and were relaxing in our room.


The Room was well maintained and had a fresh feel to it. we immediately liked it. The double bed feeled nice and soft (not as good as the Marriott tough but very descent ) . Internet connection was easy to set up and we were able to perform a hangout without any issues.  The bathroom was kept tidy and i did not have any complaints about it.


Finding a place to eat dinner in Collingwood.
We had a nice dinner just around the corner fo the hotel in an Brasserie Restaurant called the Iron Skillet and i loved the fact that they offered regional products and daily fresh suggestions this just makes a good restaurant for me. I even loved the fact that they had a pale ale from Collingwood to bad i only saw it after my second beer. The slogan of the beer fits the town with some ski slobs perfectly “Relax, Its all downhill from here”.

Swimming Pool

The pool was a major factor why we chose this Hotel and after the Best Value inn (Kids lessons and aquagym for the public) i was not sure anymore i would go to a Hotel pool anymore. But the pool was really tidy and the water had the perfect temperature. I was able to swim a few tracks.


The next day after a good sleep we wondered about the breakfast but once again were amazed by the fact that everything was kept tidy and there was a person continuously checking in on everything and making sure there was enough freshly baked bacon and so on.

Although i did not book using the ihg app or website i was treated as  an IHG member when showing my card  and i have to say it was a very pleasant stay at the Holiday Inn Express Collingwood.

Marriott Ottawa Downtown

Our room was on the mid floor in the Marriott Ottawa downtown Since it’s in Dow town i had a not so good experience with a downtown Holiday Inn  hotel in Montreal(night noises) it got me worried that i would not get so much sleep. But when entering the Room i noticed that had isolated the room very good and i could almost hear not noise from the street. It should buy and bring a decibel meter to Dow town hotels.  I was amazed by how big the room was i booked for a double with queen beds for 2 persons.

And i have to say it was the Marriott Downtown in Ottawa was my  best Hotel in my road trip across Canada.

The bed was perfect for me, just in between softness and giving a good back support.  I never had a bed that slept so good. This could also have due to the fact that I slept terrible the night before and had driven a lot  of Kilometers.


Marriott Downtown Ottawa Double Queen Room

Marriott Downtown Ottawa Double Queen Room

Marriott Downtown Ottawa Double Queen Room

Marriott Downtown Ottawa Double Queen Room


Marriott Downtown Ottawa Double Queen Room

Marriott Downtown Ottawa Double Queen Room

The light bulb you can see emitted a warm and welcoming light but it also doubled as a wall socket and the Alarm Clock had a USB port in it. These are just some of the small things which have such a nice impact and  you really appreciate.

Marriott Downtown Ottawa Double Queen Room

Marriott Downtown Ottawa Double Queen Room


Although they offered water it was really unclear if you had to pay for it or pay for it when you wanted more water. So this could be a minor suggestion to them. The ice bucket was nicely made but we had to go a floor to get some ice. i am not sure why our floor did not have a an Ice Machine.

Marriott Ice Holder and Water

Marriott Ice Holder and Water

On of the nice small things they offered is if you stay longer than 1 night and choose to not let them change your clothes they offer you the Choice of getting a $5 Dollar Starbucks gift card or getting 500 Marriott Reward Points.  I  really love the fact the they not only think about the environment but also offer you an extra advantage. Although im not sure this is in every Marriott Hotel or just in the Marriott’s in Ottawa.
Also they offered Breakfast in the Room Service which had approximately the same price as going doing to the restaurant and eating your breakfast there.

They offered a wide range of products which where reasonably price according to a Hotel


Marriott Ottawa Room Breakfast

Marriott Ottawa Room Breakfast

It always nice to see some Bathroom products it lets you think how much a Hotel Chain cares about you.  Marriott offered us a nice choice of Thann products. It consisted of (From left to right )  an aromatherapy conditioner next some shampoo. Then in the middle we got a rice bran oil soap bar with orange and tangerine scents  followed by Aromatic Wood Body lotion and to finish another Aromatherapy Shampoo.

Marriott Downtown Ottawa Bathroom Than Supplies

Marriott Downtown Ottawa Bathroom Thann Supplies


Marriott Downtown Ottawa Bathroom

Marriott Downtown Ottawa Bathroom



Marriott adds wireless charging to Hotels

Marriott announced that it will outfit wireless chargers to their hotels in their lobby’s at first the wirelesses charger will be installed in October  in 29 Hotels.

Marriott Wireless qi charging Station

Marriott adds wireless charging to Hotels using this small Wireless qi charging Station

So no need to worry or hassle with cables forgotten. just lay your device on top of the charger and it will start charging using the Qi technology. Some of the Qi supported devices are the Nexus range from Google and Nokia Lumia series, but many other cellphones do have qi charging capabilities, or Qi charging can be installed using a small shield or case.

Also the hotel guests that don’t have a phone that supports wireless charging  are able to charge their phone regularly by using the built in Lightning and USB cables .

The wireless charging stations are able to to power up six devices simultaneously.

As this  will only be installed in 29 of the 500 Marriott Hotels its sounds like they are testing and see if the charges will be used and if their worth installing in all of their lobby .

The idea to place wireless chargers dint came from Marriott themselves but was suggested by the  clients of their travel website Travel brilliantly  . according to surveys taken by the Marriott group business travelers use 2 to 3 portable  electronic devices.

Since the creation of Travel Brilliantly multiple changes have been made to Marriott hotels the website has been launched in June 2013 and according to Mariott it has been a big succes leading to engaging customers which resulted in following products:  Stylish and modern looking Lobbies.

Marriott Lounge

Marriott Lounge

Mobile check in and checkout from anywhere using just you mobile, a vending machine which serves a healthy range of fresh and healthy food by the push of a button.


My First Airbnb stay Algonquin Lodge

Staying in a hotel using Hotel Loyalty points is nice but if you want to meet locals and have a local experience perhaps this isn’t the best solution. Or perhaps you want to keep your budget in place. If one of those sentences makes sense to you than Airbnb is the solution. I had chosen to stay at an Airbnb in Canada near the Algonquin Park (Ontario) It was a great place to start discovering the beautiful wild life or and the  start of the exchange of seasons.

Why did i pick Airbnb for this Stay ?

-When reading about Canada I quickly find out that they advise people to stay at a Lodge, but after searching for a while i didn’t find any lodges nearby that fitted my expectations.
I wanted a home that was fully built-in Wood and which offered view of a Lake not just 4 wooden walls that were put up and called a Lodge.

-The travel experience staying with local people is the best you will ever have. They know the area and are also interested in you so  you have plenty of stuff to talk about.

So i tought the Algonquin park was the perfect spot to find a Wooden Lodge. after a quick search on Hotels websites I quickly find some old lodges that where out of their glory and some supper expensive beautiful lodges in a whole resort park .

Then i tought why not use airbnb. And after a quick search I’ve found a beautiful wooden lodge near the Algonquin Park .

Algonquin park Lodge

Airbnb Wooden Lodge Algonquin Parc

Airbnb Wooden Lodge Algonquin Parc

After a quick sign up and verifying our details which improves the chances of getting accepted with your host  we introduced our self to our host about who were and  are our lodge was requested. And in the next 24 hours we got a confirmation that your request was approved and we where welcome to join them in September. (if you host does not respond in 24 hours the booking will automatically canceled and this will affect the renters profile.)

Our host were called Sandra and Dale and they where  already asking us if wanted to eat dinner with them for a reasonable price.  We gladly accepted the offer and wont regret it Dale is a great chef.

After a long ride from Ottawa we arrived at our Airbnb.  Dale and Sandra immediately greeted us and offered us some hors oeuvres and some refreshing drinks after a quick snack i decided to jump in the Lake and swim around a bit, although I wasnt that confident due the fact that i shared the lake with some Snapping Turtles so i hoped they would not greet me with a bite .  After the swim Dale showed us the house which was made entirely of wood and explained why they lived  near the Algonquin park.

Even the decorations where carefully picked  in all the Lodge was just amazing and beautiful.

After some quick chatting with out hosts and the other guests . We decided to have lunch. Dale cooked an amazing meal. and after that we called it a day because we where tired from driving .

The second day we were greeted with a lovely kitchen smell and Sandra was making us  Blueberry pancakes which where absolutely  amazing they where the best pancakes i had in Canada . Before leaving on the third day we enjoyed  some eggs benidect which where once again superb. And dale took us for a boat ride on the Lakes.

So these experience were wonderful but we probably wouldn’t have had these experiences when we would have stayed in a Hotel.

Do you want to book a stay  with Airbnb use my discount link and get 20 Euros or 25 Dollars of  your first stay.

Airbnb sign up link 


Flying in Economy with British Airways Boeing 747 London New York

Flying  one British Airways oldest in the fleet the 747. It is one of the original jet planes, i was really looking forward to fly on it before the retired all the 747 .

The Flight itself

BRU-LHR Brussels to London Heathrow

Our first flight was at 6 55 heading to London Heathrow when we arrived at the gate we are amazed by the small size of the aircraft. When boarding they told us the flight was fully booked.
We didn’t expect for a flight of only one hour that they would serve us breakfast. We had a Croissant with sausages and tomato and mayonaise (kinda a weird combination).
British airways offered a ideal space of legroom on the first flight which i didn’t expect.

LHR-JFK London Heathrow to New York John F Kennedy Airport

Boeing 747 British Airways London To New York

Boeing 747 British Airways London To New York

Our second flight was from London Heathrow to New York JFK. The flight was again operated by British Airways this time with a Boeing 747 400.
The Boeing 747 has always amazed me as one of the first jumbo jets, but you could defiantly see that this Boeing had his age.
The leg room was a little bit smaler than our first flight (and that for a transatlantic flight.) and the inflight entertainment system was older but the movies where still up to date and it worked perfectly. Our crew was very friendly and the meals where of good quality our breakfast was an (option meat or vegetable “beans”) omelet with beef companioned by mushrooms and a Tomato.
And  with this meal there was also a fruit juice, a bun and a fresh fruit salad which was very welcoming due to its fresh taste . Just before landing we had a late snack which was the first time i had a snack before landing that was actually tastefully. They served us  a Chicken Ceasar Sandwich and a Kitkat as dessert.
I’d have to say British Airways really impressed me with the foodservice in Economy class especially with the fresh fruit nothing better to fight the jetlag than some fresh vitamines.  When arriving in New york we had a bout 4 hours to pass customs and TSA control.
What i really noticed was how empty terminal 8 was i think when arriving at most 200 people where here so it was really calm and ideal to relax a little bit and take a quick snack/ Nap. Continuing to our last flight which was operated American Airlines (American Eagle) . which i will describe later on so keep checking back .

British Airways Boeing 787 Economy Toronto London

Returning from our  great road trip from Canada  we were flying once again with British Airways. This time we weren’t flying with one of its oldest aircraft’s in its fleet the  747 but one of the newest the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

British Airways Boeing 787 Toronto London Economy

Flying with the British Airways Boeing 787 Toronto London Economy


Leaving From Toronto which is a very fine airport (Brussels Airport should take a look how to modernize) a clean and nice check in . I was amazed about the quiet and  relax security checking coming from an TSA control  or similar checking in London and JFK.

After checking in we went for a quick Starbucks oh  i love the Pumpkin Spiced late. I was amazed by the fact that some of the restaurants offered free WiFi on a I pad and you didn’t need to consume anything from that Restaurant or Bar, although you where able to order some food an drinks from the Ipad. They even kept track of your flight so you  won’t miss it by reading the news or enjoying an PSL or a Glass of wine.

Toronto AIrport

Toronto AIrport

Continuing to my Gate i saw that the Dream liner had all ready been docked.  I was really looking forward to flying on this Plane because it has been featured in lots of magazines and TV shows as an “planes that helps fight the Jet Lag” so i was eager to find out if any of the mentioned advantages where true.

Boeing 787 Advantages


  • It makes 60% precent less noise than similar aircrafts  thanks to its design and use of materials.
  • It has a range of 15200 Kilometers
  • More cabin bagage size (so no longer carrying that suitcase underneath your seat is guaranteed)
  • Windows are 30 percent larger and should be able to be seen from the middle row. The special thing about the windows is that they don’t have any shades. the windows are controlled electronically and will dim according to  the user preferences.
  • Better Air filters that keep away annoying smelling gases and help filtering out those bacteria.
  •  Keeping the Air Pressure at 6000 instead of 8000 so you will absorb more oxygen
  • Turbulence detection system and counteracting parts.
  • Changing lights that wil help you move trough Day and night by adjusting the lights to the mood

The Flight itself


British AIrways Boeing 787 Economy Cabin

In overall i had to say when i boarded the plane it was kept very tidy (as always with British Airways) and indeed smelt fresh and clean. The blue lights give you   a calm and fresh feeling when boarding and seats look to have been more streamlined. The legroom looks increased (but according to seat guru is hasnt). I am quite big so i am always trying to push my legs in a direction where i can have some space(probably the only disadvantage of British Airways is their legroom in economy) .


Starting of with a smooth ascent we were given a drink before the meal in which they offered wide range of drinks i chose a Gin Tonic. which consisted of a Schweppes Tonic and a Gordon Gin ( i always wondered myself what you would get in first class when ordering a similar drink. ) . The Gin Tonic was a nice and refreshing start of the flight.

British AIrways GIn Tonic


The In flight system was really up to date apparently British Airways made a deal with HBO so i was able to watch Game Of Thrones. Also the screens were of high quality im not sure but i think they where HD.

British AIrways inflight System Boeiing 787


Then meal service started unfortunately the did not have any chicken no more so we’ve got the the Pasta Instead



British Airways Economy Food

British Airways Red Wine Economy Class

British Airways Red Wine Economy Class


The meal contained a Cesar Salad as starter and some bread and best butter . Main Course was a pasta with tomato juice and cheese.  Dessert was simply excellent it was a piece of Chocolate pie.  I have to say British Airways food service is quite good.
After that i took a quick nap and just before landing which was 45 minutes early we receive a nice muffin as a snack.


Wagamama English Breakfast

Wagamama English Breakfast


After a quick taxi to the gate i enjoyed once more the view and proceeded to security check at Heathrow and then Ordered some breakfast  at Wagamama  which was absolutely  amazing after a flight i never enjoyed breakfast so much (perhaps i was felling tired of the jet-lag) . After that i got some rest and wait for my connection flight back to Belgium.








Road trip across east Canada

Road Trip across Canada Preparation


Canada has always been one of the destinations i wanted to visit.
Since i visited China a last year i wanted to travel to more destinations outside Europe. Fortunately i found some ways to keep travel in comfort and keeping it budget friendly.

My flight will be from Brussels to London where i have some time to get a quick breakfast and then off to JFK New York where i can have lunch and then continue my trip to Montreal.  I will fly  to JFK using one of the old Majestic planes the Boeing 747 of British Airways. read about in my post flying British Airways Economy from London Heathrow To JFK.


British AIrways Boeing 747


Our first Stop is Montreal at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, there we will visited the old city explore some restaurants (perhaps eat some poutine,  it doesn’t look that tasty tough on the internet) and spend the night at the Holiday Inn Express in the downtown area.

After that we will travel to Quebec and visit the old city for a night and a day and drive up to Tadoussac where we will stay 2 nights to go and watch the whales.
Then we drive up to the fjord and return in the direction of La Tuque where will spend the night. The next day we wil drive until we reach Ottawa where we will spend the night at the marriott. In Ottawa we only have a short period of time due to the fact of the long driving and need to reach our lodge at algonquin natural parc .  We found a lovely lodge in Huntsville using airbnb (more on that later) and decided to book it.  After visiting the natural parc of algonquin where we hope to see  some wild animals like a Moose, we are driving to Parry sound and explore the region of the lake. Before heading to Toronto we will have one night in Collingwood at the Holiday Inn.  When arriving in Toronto we have all the time to explore some Museums and shops or perhaps some natural parcs. For the last 2 days we will visit the Niagara falls on the Canadian site and then head back to Brussels flying from Montreal to London with the new Boeing 787.



The Flight from Toronto to London.





CEBIT 2014

This year i will be visiting CEBIT in Hanover.

A lot of interesting people are coming like Neelie Kroes , Seol Pil Kim (Samsung Electronics) , Steve Wozniak, Dere Liu ( Huawai) , Jimmy Wales

The top themes for Cebit will be

Datability  – Cloud & Big Data , Mobile

and my guesses are for 5G and the internet of things.

unfortunately i will be unable to attend the whole week but i will post a coverage of the new technologies and the most important phrases of the conferences unveiled at Cebit.

Cebit is one the biggest

So i will update this page later on.

Cebit 2014 Recap

Of course there is a lot of talking about Big Data.  but there also mentions about Google’s partnership with Tesla and Audi.

David Cameron announces that  Germany and England will start a partnership  between universities to pursue 5G. And announces that the Uk government will invest 45 million pounds into the Internet of Things Research

Intresting sentence from Kapersky

“How to protect your enterprise from a Stuxnet attack? Simple. You have your power plant, and you’re running on Linux, say. So you have your operating systems, and you have your Internet connected devices, both on Linux. How to protect it? Put Windows between them. So you have to copy all your files from Linux back into Windows, then back into Linux again. There’s no guarantee, of course, but it will make cyber espionage much more expensive, much more difficult.”

Wozniak Speaking

Steve Wozniak thinks the European Union is ahead of the United States in term of data protection.

Difficult question have been asked to Wozniak like:

Are there back doors open for the NSA at Apple: which he replies with the sentence that hes not sure, but it there is one it probably a coding mistake.

Should Tim Cook be Fired  ?, If Steve Jobs had lived, would Apple be better or worse?

Is Apple cool anymore ? Once you’re number one it’s very hard to hold it.

Wozniak also think that internet access should be a basic human right.

An opinion i share with Wozniak is that they should open Itunes to more platforms.

Lots of people at the IBM stand

That’s right this is computer screen that allows a the screen to change it’s opacity so you can see through.

Volkswagen latest concept car only uses 0.9l/100km and has a top speed of 160 km/h

Sony SRS-BTX300 Review

Recently i bought the Sony SRS-BTX300it is a Bluetooth speaker with NFC(Near Field Communication) capability.

Introduction (why i left the Apple ecosystem)

I used to have an iPod  and speaker dock and it was one of the best purchases i have made, but lately it hasn’t always worked correctly ( like the iPod crashing, iPod not standing in the dock correctly) and since apple has decided to change they’re 30 pin to the lightning connector. I was kinda disappointed to see the incompatibility between old iPod’s and their new accessorizes (since my parents also have an iPod).

Not so willing to buy the new iPod (and having an Android tablet) I bought a nexus 4 and by using the streaming functionality of Google Play Music 16 gigs on the nexus 4 is enough if you have 20.000 song library available using online streaming or the +-8 GB of offline streaming.

So I wanted something that is compatible with a lot of devices and has a future in it so i have chosen for a Bluetooth enabled speaker (an extra I wanted was the NFC pairing capability).

About the Speaker (design & connectivity  )

The speaker itself looks neat, decent material is used to produce this speaker the side look is brushed aluminium which gives it a premium touch.

The buttons are well placed on one side of the speaker so its easy to reach them with the frequently used buttons like volume control answering calls on top.

Before you can use the speaker you have to kinda unlock the speaker by moving the lock release slide, this is a great idea because this protects the power button so you don’t accidentally drain the battery and it gives the speaker a slight angle (it won’t play if the slide is closed). However i ask myself if you move this a thousand times and more who steady will it still be then ?

On the back you have the power input ,  audio in  3.5 mm audio for non Bluetooth devices , an Bluetooth standby option, a reset button and a DC out USB port  that gives out 5v and a max of 1.5 A.

Although on my model it didn’t seem to work without the speaker being charged.

A nice feature about this speaker is the led on the down side of the speaker it glows white when no devices are connected and blue when a device is connected.


If you have an NFC capable phone pairing is as simple as opening a door.

Install the easy paring app from Sony Play Store Link and then just tap the speaker and Bluetooth is turned on and paired to the speaker and your music starts playing. One small disadvantage of the NFC tag is that is quite small and you sometimes scan  it wrong which then is followed by android asking you what to do with the NFC tag, so then you just tap it again and it dis/connects.

When using Bluetooth you can easily pair the device by holding the Bluetooth button for a second till the it blinks and then connect using your device.

Sound Quality

With a 2.1 speaker setup built into this device it sounds really good although when seeing a .1  I expected the bass to be a little heavier. The treble is loud and clear and the bass is nice, not too heavy and you can easily make it heavier by placing the speaker near a corner or a wall .

When the speaker is on full volume the speaker still sounds very clear (phone laying next to it using Bluetooth)

The speaker has 3 sound settings (normal , mega bass and mega bass + surround ) when using bass + surround the base tends to distort (at max volume)  sometimes when playing bass intensive music.

How to

Battery Life

When fully charged the Sony site says it gives 8 hours of music and i would say that it is absolutely correct playing at normal and loud volumes I managed to get 8 hours without problems.


At $199 this is a quite expensive Bluetooth speaker but the functionality and the sound definitely makes this a buy.

Design: 8/10

Functionality 9/10

Sound 7/10 (keep in mind I’m giving this rating to a portable device, this is the score is not to be compared with high end stereo towers and other wired audio systems)

Start up your Pc using NFC

One of the reasons i bought a new Android phone was NFC, i think it is has so much possibility’s for simplifying your life or automatizing it(Ex: unlocking a locked door with your smartphone or tapping a remote to show a picture on your  TV .

So what do you need to start the PC using NFC ?
First lets set up our pc to make sure it accepts wake on lan packages

First lets set up our pc to make sure it accepts wake on lan packages

Search for the tab advanced and set the value of the property Wake on Magic Packet to Enabled .

– an NFC equipped phone (in my case a Nexus 4).

– NFC tags  (i used  NTAG203’s)

-WoL Wake On Lan  Play Store

-Tasker  Play Store

-NFC Task Launcher Play Store

for windows 7  go to network center and choose  change adapters settings choose the network adapter that is connected to the network you will use and right click on it and choose properties.


Hit OK till you are back on the network adapter screen.

use command prompt and to check your Mac Address  (start -> run -> type cmd and hit enter) and use the command ipconfig /all

and write down the IP address and the mac address, subnet (we will need it in the android app )

Next download the WoL Wake On Lan app  Play Store

open the app and choose add new

Choose the name you want to use( use a name that’s easy to type because we are going to need it later ) .

Fill in the MAC and IP address and check send as broadcast (in case the ip changes), and finally save the profile.

You can easily test it now by tapping the selected profile when the pc was shutdown  so you are sure you have correctly configured WOL.

Now for configuring the NFC part we will need tasker so grab it from the playstore.

when tasker is opened add create a new task and name it “Wake PC”   add a new action to the task and select plugin and choose the correct PC in wake on lan

now we will have to make sure we allow Tasker to be accessed by other programs  so hit setting and then preferences and allow external access

now install NFC task launcher  and create a new nfc task, hit the plus button and scroll down till you see Tasker check tasker task and hit next  click the magnifiying glass and choose the selected task and hit hit add to task. hit the arrow to the right and then scan the nfc tag to write the profile to it.

And thats it ! now you are able to boot you pc using an nfc tag.