Sunday, August 29, 2010

Let’s go for a ride with OVI Maps in Spain

To gorgeous Granada!!! So we’ve just collected our rental car that was special delivered to us at our hotel, and now we are on the road! I was actually getting worried when all the rent-a-car shops we’ve visited didn’t have a car available for us until we hit our luck. August is a terrible month to rent cars because most cars are taken, its high season obviously and the agency we’ve hit our luck with says he blames it on the Italians.

On the road, we see for the first time the exquisite countryside views of Andalusia. It reminds me of Crete, Greece for its rolling valleys of olive tree plantations and white-washed villages and Nevada, USA as well for the dessert-like expanse and the rock mountains.

Now, to help us get to our destination (Granada) in time we have my trusted ‘Free’ OVI Maps on my Nokia Mini N97 mobile phone. No need to buy or rent a GPS with the car when traveling, it’s on my Nokia phone! I can drive or walk to my set destination, there is a canned version of Lonely Planet and Michelin, as well as handy apps like weather and events. I am not a gadget geek so I have yet to really tinker around on these functionalities; so far I mainly use the ‘drive to destination’ thing.

So my OVI review:

(1) I used Route66 with my defunct Nokia Navigator phone so I had to get used to with the OVI Maps layout.

(2) Very easy to set a destination if going to a place. No need for a ‘specific’ address like in Route66, I just write—Granada and the GPS automatically picks it up leading me to the core center of the city.

(3) Sometimes the voice and map timing is delayed (maybe 5-10 seconds) with the actual driving position. It’s annoying when you are in an intersection and you don’t know if you should turn right, left or go straight!

(4) I love it when the GPS announces that I am driving above speed limit and especially when it’s warning me of a traffic camera ahead! (5) GPS loses satellite connection if driving on a street flanked with buildings (at least 8-storey and up buildings) on both sides. A problem in the cities with tall buildings side by side.

OK, we’ve just arrived in Granada, the city known for its hip nightlife and the infamous Alhambra, and now looking for parking. See you on next entry.

Travel Period: August 2010
Destination: Granada (Andalucia), Spain

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