Mariaclaudia kept us on a tight leash which is as it should be and is fiercely proud of her Padova.
Which is why her antennae pinged when I asked to be dropped off at the train station during free time.
Of course she drew out of me that I was going to spend the afternoon in Venice.
And that I would be taking two Venice tyros with me.
Against type I took a clean shirt and tie with me in my rucksack for the official function at the Padova Botanical Gardens, the world’s first, opened in 1545..
For emergencies… and yes, the train was late and so were we.
‘The Dragon’ wasn’t so preemptive and drew withering glances for wearing a t-shirt and boardies.
There are other ways to traverse the Veneto region that you’re more in control of such as on your bike.
Freedom Treks have the field covered and to celebrate the 75th anniversary of UNESCO they are flagging up Bolzano to Venice among others.
A seven-night Bolzano to Venice Hotel & Bike self-guided tour, taking in Padova, departing this month, costs from £746 pp (two sharing) and includes B&B accommodation in four-and-three star hotels.
You’ll have luggage transportation, travel guide with maps and route notes and GPS tracks available on request.
There will be a welcome meeting, local contact number for assistance, four-hour ferry cruise on Lake Garda, entrance to Villa Valmarana ai Nani and ice cream in Vicenza.
Return flights, transfers, bike hire, cycle helmet and local taxes extra.
Freedom Treks (01273 224 066, www.freedomtreks.co.uk).
And for a reminder on all that Padua and the Veneto region has to offer https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/11/give-us-this-day-padova/
Travel in our footsteps
The effervescent Eva (and you’ll be hearing a lot more about mine hostess) had put our CanariaWays.com http://www.canariaways.com group to bed in Tenerife.
And was already thinking of her next group in Tenerife.
I will come back to Tenerife, both in person and on this blog, but I don’t want to ignore the rest of Spain.
After all there are two million visits from Ireland every year.
Every year in Trinity College our travel circuit are treated to the company of the signors and ignores of Seville.
And some flamenco dancing which has me twirling and clicking and swirling all the way home. Filled with vino naturally.
Travel Department’s trip to Costa de la Luz in Andalusia also includes Seville, the Moorish town of Niebla, a wine museum at Bodegas Andrade. And a walking tour in the vineyards.
Prices start from €659pp for seven nights including return flights, 4* half-board hotel accommodation, transfers, and excursions with an expert local guide, departing this month and next.
For more information or to book, CLICK HERE or call 01-6371600.
The four-hour flight
A deal maker for many is flights under four hours and Sunway http://www.sunway.ie has them aplenty and is happy to share.
Morocco felt like the nearest furthest place I’d visited when I went there 15 years ago. And probably still is.
Marakech, the Pink City, is a hustle and bustle of souks and stall-holders, snakes and spices.
More of which another time but let’s flag up the charms of its little brother, Agadir.
Sunway has seven nights self-catering at the 2*+ Intouriste Apartments from October 26.
From €399 price including flights/return airport transfers/ accommodation/20kg FREE baggage
Agadir offers several kilometres of beach, kayaking, surfing, hiking, nearby golf clubs, and road trips through Berber villages.
Ah yes, it’s all coming back to me.
There are some holiday providers who really get you under the skin of a country and G Adventures http://www.gadventures.co.uk are right up there.
As I found out when I took a group trip with them to Jordan https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/05/11/petra-carved-into-my-heart/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/petra-jordan-jesus-and-the-sands-of-time/
G Adventures and National Geographic Expeditions are into the fifth year of their joint partnership.
And they have added eight new trips to their National Geographic Journeys collection.
There are three new countries to the Journeys product line. As well as us here in Ireland there’s Singapore and Greece.
It doesn’t surprise me that Ireland is included. I remember well a story-telling afternoon in an authentic Irish cottage in Killiney, Co. Dublin when I stayed at the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel http://www.fitzpatrickcastlehotel.com.
For those who don’t live in Ireland, why not?
And here’s their package: Iconic Ireland – 9 Days from €2,449.
Uncover Celtic culture and admire medieval architecture across the stunning countryside, and delve into historic Dublin and the rebel city of Cork. Eat, dance, and sing with the locals.
Of course you’ll also kiss the Blarney Stone.
Must split… the Scary One is calling.
But before I go (and I’ll sneak back for more updates) let me tempt you with Split and Croatia.
I’ll be stopping off on my way to Medjugorge where I’ll complete the set of Fatima, Lourdes and Medj next month and sharing.
Travel Department has an Undiscovered Croatia package highlighting the medieval town of Zagreb and a wildlife walk through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Plitvice Lakes National Park.
See, my ramblings all come around in the end.
You’ll also be charmed by Opatija, Rijeka and Pula.
Prices start from €859pp for 7 nights including return flights, B&B or half-board 4* hotel accommodation, transfers and guided excursions, departing this month and next.
For more info or to book, click here or call 01-6371600.
And if I’ve still got your attention I’m hearing that you want more Snaps. So I’ll snap to it.
MEET YOU ON THE ROAD