Thoughts of Ireland are never far from my mind but never more so than at Easter.
Easter was our time, my Mum and me.
When she would drive us over to see her Mum and Dad and sister in Co. Donegal in the north-west of the country.
We would have some adventures on the way.
Such as the time when we ended up on the Scottish island of Arran. Because she was too busy talking.
And did not listen to the steward, and went into the wrong queue.
And we would always stay in the town of Ballybofey near to her home hamlet of Brockagh.
Mum, having been brought up in the only hotel in the hamlet, was always a stickler for standards.
But she was always treated as a returning heroine by Jackson’s http://www.jacksonshotel.ie manager Barry.
I never had the heart to tell her that Irish hoteliers treat every guest the same way.
Of course neither of us are able to visit Donegal just now.
Where Dad is seeing out eternity with the rest of her family.
But it is reassuring to know that Donegal hasn’t forgotten us.
With my friends at Harvey’s Point https://www.harveyspoint.com sending on their Easter greetings.
And Niall and the team are naturally showing that Donegal optimism.
With an offer for when we get back travelling again.
The award-wining Harvey’s Point is offering 10% off gift vouchers which can be redeemed in full against future stays.
We’ll maybe not tell her though that it was another Ulster county Monaghan which laid out the red carpet for us.
When the Scary One only brought us there a weekend early.
And Easter elsewhere
There’s a meme going around just now.
Where Maria Von Trapp is being carted away from the hills (black humour will help us through this crisis).
Drink it all in
The Austrian hills are, of course a shifting landscape and beautiful either in the snow https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/europe/soll-mates/ or when the glades are verdant.
I was all over Austria last year walking with Top Flight for Schools https://topflightforschools.ie… and drinking https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/26/hungry-and-thursday-the-off-sales/!
This being rural Austrian Tyrol https://www.tyrol.com it’s all about the eggs.
There are two kinds – the decorative ones and the chocolate ones. The decorative ones are blown beforehand so they are a hollow shell.
The locals then use ferns and small flowers.
They are attached to the egg, before it is coloured or stained and then removed to leave a pattern.
The best bit though is that they are then used in an adaptation of a favourite childhood game.
Eierpecken is an Austrian pastime where the eggs are knocked together, just like conkers?
Visit www.blog.tirol/en/2018/03/diy-naturally-dyed-easter-eggs/ and here: www.pinterest.ch/pin/554998354055595995/
Austrian Tirol: www.visittirol.co.uk
I like the way the Swiss roll.
And if you thought it was schnapps, schnapps and more schnapps you would only be half right.
Heaven with Hell
The beer, they go in for a brew called Hell, ain’t half bad.
While they also serve whisky at the top of the Jungfraujoch railway https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/jungfraujoch-top-of-europe/ and https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/.
And delivery of Easter wine is very much part of their seasonal rituals.
The big cheese
It was started as a religious, social and calming offering back in 1575 in Verbier and has continued ever since.
In the past the parishes or the bourgeoises bequests in kind and in money.
In return for being the ones to offer the distribution of wine, cheese or even bread during Easter.
Nowadays, it encourages families and friends to get together for a feast.
So channel your inner Swiss today when you feast on wine, cheese or even bread during Easter.
These are the Swiss wines to look out for https://swisswine.ch/en/news/amazing-swiss-wine-regions-discover