Africa, Asia, Countries, Europe

I left Boy George in Kuramathi

I left Boy George in my bedroom in Kuramathi in the Maldives and I dare say someone’s finished him off since.

And the Leon Uris Irish epic Trinity in Malta.

And countless other biographies and tomes around the world… and you’re welcome.

I’ve also returned with guidebooks, histories and diaries from musical Mississippi through classical Kythera in Greece to Springbok South Africa

And browsed some bazaar books in Istanbul.

As well as the odd page turner by the pool.

All of which just makes me just a typical traveller as our friends at TUI Blue have revealed in a survey of their customers. 

Stat attack

Pure Culture: Boy George
  • One in five of us only read when we go on holiday getting through an average of 1.9 books each time
  • Mystery and thrillers top the poolside reading list, romance novels are the nation’s guilty holiday reading pleasure
  • 8% of us admit to reading things whilst away we’d be too embarrassed to pick up in front of friends and family at home
  • We’re happy to be personal lending libraries with 91% willing to pass on our reads.

And all of that is a trend which TUI Blue is celebrating with the announcement of its TUI Blue Book Swap Scheme at hotels this summer the research also revealed our top poolside reads and guilty holiday reading pleasure.

We read an average of 1.9 books on our annual holiday with favourite genres including romance (45%), mysteries (41%) and thrillers (37%).

And they say women are more avid holiday readers compared to me (probably our scintillating conversation).

But across the board 30 per cent of us admit to changing it up and reading different types of books on holiday.

Share the love

Upside down world: On the Dead Sea

We’re also avid book lenders and borrowers with 91% per cent happy to donate a book they have read and loved for someone else to enjoy.

And 73% per cent happy to hit up friends and family for some fresh reads before they go away on holiday.

And so the book swap scheme is encouraging readers to pick up a pre-loved book and share a few words of recommendation – or warning.

With a personal note saying why you loved or hated your read.

The TUI Blue Book Swap will be operating in selected hotels across Europe this summer.  

Mind you I don’t know how welcome this dog-eared book I’m reading here in the Dead Sea would be as welcome.

And there’s a clue in the way I’m holding it that I might just have been using it as a prop.


America, Asia, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

China in your land

Happy Lunar New Year, a day when we celebrate China in your land.

And rabbit on about the Chinatowns we’ve known.

With our favourite roast duck with orange sauce and egg fried rice.

Other dishes are available.

The first Chinatowns

Magic lanterns: Chinese New Year

The first Chinatown was established by the Spanish in Binondo, Manila in the Philippines in 1594.

And as Chinese influence and the Chinese spread across the globe so too did those big gateways.

Bunny love: The Year of the Rabbit

The port city of Liverpool is known for many things, The Beatles, its football teams, the Grand National Aintree course…

And the oldest Chinatown in Europe dating back to the 1850s.

All courtesy of the silk, cotton and tea trade between the north-west English city and Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The Chinese thrived and became an integral and valued part of the city.

Particularly after Chinatown was bombed in World War II and the Liverpudlians opened up Newton Street for them.

Yen in the USA

New York, New York: And its Chinatown

Chinatowns have long been high up on the list of must-visits on city breaks.

And when a food and wine editor is set the challenge of taking a family of four out in Manhattan it’s Chinatown she heads for.

Chinatown’s distinctive arches are also a Godsend as landmarks for the new visitor to a city.

So that when you’re on the clock on a day trip in Philadelphia and you need to get back to Washington.

Then the Philly Gate from where your bus takes off is a welcome sight.

You don’t have to be a metropolis like a New York, San Francisco, Melbourne or London (and Soho sharing tables are a culinary must).

Small town Chinatown

Dress-up: Chinese New Year for kids

Because even the smallest towns can dine out on their Chinatowns.

With my neighbouring town in my 13 years in Ireland putting on its own Chinese New Years along its back street next to the rail track.

All of which earned Bray the nickname Brayjing by the quick-witted Wicklow wags.

So as we celebrate the Year of the Rabbit and China in your land hare’s to peace and prosperity in all your lives.

And to our go-to dream maker and travel provider Wendy Wu… happy Wu Year.

Wendy is only offering savings on up to £1,650pp in their New Year Sale!

Plus, you can enjoy savings on your 2023 or 2024 China holiday when you book by 31 January



America, Asia, Countries, Europe, UK

World’s ugliest building!

So Scotland’s Holyrood is the world’s ugliest building in the world! But we ask about yours and how’s that for a parliament?

It feels a bit unfair to Holyrood at the foot of Edinburgh’s most famous street, the Royal Mile.

Yes, it may not have the river vista of a Houses of Parliament or the Mall walkway of the Capitol in Washington DC.

Capitol idea: On the hill in Washington DC

But Enric Miralles’s £414m edifice with its boats theme (no, me neither) is hardly the Scott Monument rocket eyesore on Princes Street.

Of course beauty is always in the eye in the beholder.

Not that I put much faith in the Buildworkd twitter survey.

And who chose Holyrood ahead of the likes of the J Edgar Hoover Building in Washington DC and the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea?

Brit hit list

Sick building: Royal Liverpool Hospital

On the surface the British entrants in the survey surely should be less aesthetic than Holyrood…

Newport Train Station, Preston Train Station, the Royal Liverpool Hospital and the MI5 Building in London among them.

But then again in this strangest of surveys there are some odd picks among the American buildings.

Some probably more politically motivated, like with Holyrood.

American scream

Golden Vision: Trump in Vegas

And Trump’s name in glittering gold in his titular hotel in Las Vegas will do that for many.

I’d argue too against dissing Denver Airport having spent 12 hours there and availed of their putting course on the roof.

Or the Watergate Complex, other than its association with Nixon’s crimes.

And it seems politically even-handed with liberal Boston City Hall in the cradle of the American Revolution.

On the hit list for the twitter haters.

Now perhaps that’s it that the twitterati dislike more what’s inside Holyrood than what it looks like outside.

Something to Prague about

Ugly Pretty: Prague

But what about you do you think Holyrood is the world’s ugliest building!

And maybe leave you with this… the Prague television tower with its climbing babies was once the world’s second ugliest building.

The Czech capital edifice surpassed by the North Koreans again. And so there’s hope for Holyrood yet.



Asia, Countries, Europe

Flew Monday

And hats off to the Travel PR whizzkid who rebranded January 16 as Blue Monday and help build Flew Monday.

And that’s really the gist of it as we all instinctively dig out the travel brochures when we’re feeling cold and miserable.

While Fiftysomethings might all identify Blue Monday with swaying in their university student union to New Order.

The modern iteration dates back to 2005.

The perfect formula

The future is orange: EasyJet

When Sky Travel dug up psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnall to trot out a formula.

Pointing to the third Monday in January as the gloomiest of the year… and ergo when we should all book a holiday

And, of course, we’re all happy to oblige.

Now we’d be happy to give our old friends at EasyJet ‘Flew Monday’.

But they naturally like to push their orange livery.

EasyJet is offering savings of up to £300 off package holidays.

And for those booking on Blue Monday you could win back the cost of your package holiday up to a maximum of £2,500.

Jordan’s jumping

Take it as Red: The Red Sea

EasyJet helpfully pick out three sample fave destinations, all of which are up there for us too.

They are offering the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Aqaba in Jordan.

On the Red Sea for March 14-18 from £640pp, flying out of London Gatwick.

From where you’ll get out on the great sea and maybe snorkel between the fishes swimming through a sunken submarine.

Crowning Croatia

Epic: Dubrovnik

If Game of Thrones is more your thing then you could spend five nights in Dubrovnik rather than bus it like your Bandanaman.

Fly out of London Gatwick on March 26 and stay at the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace from £440pp.

Magic Majorca

Rave on: Mallorca

And if Majorca is where the magic is for you.

Then five nights out of London Gatwick at the Sentido Fido Punto Dal Mar between March 14 and 18 from £360pp.

The Big Orange Sale ends on 31st January. 

You can also now book flights for summer ’23 from £34.99 one-way.

All of which makes it more Flew Monday than Blue Monday.


Asia, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Lying in state around the world

And a word (or 400) on those titans we’re seeing lying in state around the world from one who lies in a state around the world.

Pele and Pope Benedict have little in common on the surface of it.

But both are getting the full treatment.

With the footballing great laid out in his open coffin in Santos in Brazil.

Braziliant: Pele

And the holy man in open view in the Vatican State.

All of which draws the millions, probably more in truth in Pele’s case.

While the Vatican and Rome is always a throng of humankind.

And well, a Pope, even if he is an Emeritus, is still a Pope.

The Queen’s been

Life force: The Queen

Of course it is a big outlay to pay homage to those whose deeds and words in life earn them such homage in death.

But possibly one worth making if the spectacle is limited time only.

And plans are in place for their burial or cremation.

All of which a lot of Brits and royal lovers around the world were prepared to pay big.

And queue long for the privilege of seeing the prostate Queen last year.

Now, history watchers too would know that it is the last time any of us would be able to see her in person.

There are those dearly departed though who we are able to see any time of the year.

If we just happen to be passing by who are lying in state.

In from the cold

Bolshie belly laugh: Lenin

Lenin, Moscow: Imagine being able to see Lenin in his goatee beardie pomp.

Well, millions have long after he departed the commune on account of him being embalmed.

The mausoleum is open to visitors every day in Red Square except Monday, Friday and Sunday, from 10am to 1pm, and admission is free. 

Toot and come in

Pharoah tale: Tut

Tutankamhun, Egypt: OK, the boy pharaoh looks as if he has seen better days.

But then he did die in 1323BC and his mummy was only rediscovered in 1922.

You can see him in his glass box in the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of the Nile River, near Luxor.

Philosophy of life

Hat’s the boy: Jeremy Bentham

Jeremy Bentham, London: One way of preserving your legacy if you’re a mere philosopher and not one of those famous ones like Socrates.

Bentham, who formulated the theory of utilitarianism, basically the happiness of everyone, can be found in the University College London whom he championed.

While the skeletal remains and wax head of Bentham remain in the Student Centre.

His actual head remains out of public view elsewhere at UCL.

The head was once stolen in a prank by students from the rival King’s College, and has ever since been kept under lock and key.

Cat and mouse game

Got away: The cat and mouse

Dublin’s Tom and Jerry: And a curio of that most curious and fun city, my old stomping ground, Dublin, is the crypt of Christ Church Cathedral.

And best described by James Joyce in Finnegans Wake.

When he described the cat and the mouse who were mummified in the church organ.

‘As stuck as that cat to that mouse in that tube of that Christchurch organ.’.

A delightful time tunnel and a great place to watch classical concerts and corporate and travel events.

It’s €6.00 for the rest of you adults and €4.00 for kiddies.

Cats and mice go free.


Wave power: Mao

Mao Zedong, Beijing: There were few, if any, who would go against the Chinese leader’s wishes when he ruled the Communist country with a rod of iron.

But when he was dead they mummified him against his wishes when he wanted to be cremated.

Chilling, well he is well cold by now, Mao lies draped in a crystal coffin.

In a red flag at the southern end of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Me, I wouldn’t be so vain as to be lying in state around the world…

Just a statue will do, in my alma mater Aberdeen and instead of yon Millennium Spire on O’Connell Street in Dublin.

And anywhere else you want to remember your Bandanaman… come my time.





Africa, Asia

Your Year’s Day around the world

We’re probably all nursing sore heads today but the good news is that this isn’t the only New Year’s Day celebration, we’ve got Wu Year’s Day to look forward to now… or Your Year’s Day around the world.

And a bunch of other New Year’s Days for those who love a good oul’ firework.

Which is where the Wu comes in with Wendy Wu all over the Chinese version.

And us all over her annual legendary get-together.

Which believe me keeps us fed and watered for an entire week.

Happy New Hare

Wu to go: Wendy Wu and her people

Well, we don’t have to wait long for Chinese New Year which is on January 23 and is the year of the Water Rabbit.

Rabbits are said to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious.

I’m a snake (behave)!

More of rabbits and snakes later in the month.

Feast of the senses: Wendy Wu fare

But what of the other new years around the world.

Because not everyone looks at the world through Western eyes.

Jewel of India

Shake it: Indian dancing

Or the skies with those on the Indian subcontinent disagreeing.

On the place of the sun and the moon in setting their calendar.

And so in India, West Bengal celebrates their New Year, or Pohela Boishakh, on April 14 or 15.

Whereas Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and few other southern states celebrate Ugadi and Puthandu on April 6.

In Maharashtra state, New Year, or Gudi Padwa, is celebrated on April 14.

We’ve always been a little jealous of those who live in the Southern Hemisphere who get to enjoy their January 1 in the sun.

Forever young

Queen of Ethiopia: Meseret and me

Across the Islamic world the big dates are in July or August.

And this year it ranges from July 19-21 depending on which country you’re in.

The calendar is a lunar one and so is only 354 days long.

Islamic New Year is celebrated on the first day of Muharram, the first Islamic month.

And compared to Western calendars the Islamic year goes backwards by about 11 days every year.

All of which sounds great as you get time back.

Just like they do in Ethiopia and Eritrea where you can become seven years younger.

And which I saw first hand in the company of Ethiopian Airlinesevergreen Meseret Tekalign who would lay out a feast for us every year in Ireland.

So whether you’ve had your New Year or it’s still to come then we hope you enjoy Your Year’s Day around the world.



Asia, Countries, Europe, South America, Sustainable Tourism

The Leading Hotels of the World

IT’S that reminder, not that you need it, that you’re in the plushest of pads… the Leading Hotels of the World book on your table.

As you look out from the Dylan Amsterdam over the Keizersgracht canal in Amsterdam just down the corridor from George and Amal… or whichever Leading Hotel you, or they, are reclining in.

All of which we were reminded of when our friends at LHW alerted us to the new intake of six hotels which have been added to their 400+ roster.

And yes for all the swish billets we’ve stayed in over the years we still have 399+ to visit…

O Flower of Amsterdam: The Dylan

But every journey starts with one step.

This season’s LHW collection includes four new hotel openings…

An ambitious city resort on Samarkand’s Silk Road, an architectural jewel in Milan, a mountaintop hideaway in Montafon and a vibrant dining destination in Montevideo.

And they are joined by two storied hotels…

A grand lakeside estate in Lausanne and a Roman hotspot with historical charm.

Get thee to a seminary

Water place: The Portrait for wellbeing

Portrait Milano (Milan, Italy) NEW OPENING December 2022: And there’s plenty of them in holy Italy.

LHW tell us that this is one of the oldest seminaries in Europe, dating back to the 16th century.

And only recently opened to the public for the first time.

They tell us Portrait embraces the lively Piazza del Quadrilatero.

With the elegant, vaulted colonnade animated by restaurants and bars, boutiques, a lush garden and a wellness centre.

There are 73 sophisticated rooms and suites and other accommodations will provide an oasis of privacy and peace, surrounding guests by timeless elegance.

Smooth as the Silk Road

Asian peace: And tranquility

Samarkand Regency Amir Temur (Samarkand, Republic of Uzbekistan) NEW OPENING Autumn 2022:  Billing itself as the crown jewel of the Silk Road.

Any viewer of Joanna Lumley’s excellent travelogue will know all about one of the world’s oldest trade routes.

The name pays tribute to Uzbekistan’s 15th Century national hero, who made Samarkand one of the most illustrious empires.

The 233-room hotel features charcoal-grilled dining at El Sabor, 20th floor Sky Bar.

With panoramic views, and the Nephrite Spa & Wellness offering beauty and wellbeing treatments from Valmont and Thalgo alongside a hammam and pool.

Surrounded by thousands of years of history and magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The hotel is located steps from a first-of-its kind Eternal City, an entertaining and immersive ‘model city’ which was designed and created by Uzbek artist Bobur Ismoilov to honour the artistry and tradition of Uzbekistan.

Nature’s ski lodge

Mountain high: In Austria

Falkensteiner Hotel Montafon (Montafon, Austria) NEW OPENING December 2022: And this being the mountains, then the focus is on sustainability.

The 123-room hotel is designed to blend into the surrounding mountains.

And the outdoor facilities have been harmoniously integrated into the surrounding skiing and hiking areas of the Erlebinsverg Golm.

The first certified, climate neutral ski area in Austria.

A dedicated ski shuttle connects to over 27 miles of scenic ski slopes, offering endless opportunities for skiing and winter sports.

Montevideo star

South American dream: In Uruguay

Hotel Montevideo (Montevideo, Uruguay) NEW OPENING December 2022:  Transforming an iconic corner of the city into an elegant destination for dining and design.

Hotel Montevideo taps into the vibrant energy of Uruguay’s bustling capital city.

Each room offers floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony to take in the city views.

At the hotel, savour authentic local fare created by renowned chef duo Ale Morales and Flor Coureges at Polo Bamba during the day.

And journey to the Sky Bar at Piso 10 for awe-inspiring sunsets that attract travellers and locals alike.

Out on a wing in Lausanne

Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland): One of Switzerland’s grandest dames, opened in 1909.

It has been restored to fuse old-world charm with modern luxury.

The estate near Lac Léman is divided between the historic Savoy Wing and the contemporary Park Wing.

Each of the sumptuously outfitted 196 rooms and suites are punctuated with Art Nouveau influence.

The Sky Lounge boasts spectacular 360° views of Lausanne, Lake Geneva.

Eternal pleasure 

No place like Rome: And what a view

Hotel Splendide Royal Roma (Rome, Italy): Established within an historic estate dating back to the 1800s.

The recently renovated Hotel Splendide Royal Roma is situated in the heart of Rome’s most prestigious neighbourhood.

Steps away from the Via Veneto, and the extraordinary Villa Borghese Gardens, the hotel offers unparalleled access to the very best cultural, culinary and shopping experiences in Rome.

All of which you can do seamlessly and in budget.

Each of the 69 exquisitely-decorated rooms and suites effortlessly balance the old-world elegance of period furnishings, classical art, and historic details with the understated refinement of modern luxury.

Boasting award-winning dining at the signature Mirabelle Restaurant and breathtaking views at the rooftop lounge.

This is a city hot spot that is a favourite with visitors and locals alike.

All of which is leading up to you rewarding yourself by staying in one (or more) of the Leading Hotels of the World in the new year.


Africa, America, Asia, Countries, Cruising, Europe, Oceania, South America

Swanning about the world

So all we do is go swanning about the world. Wrong, we let somebody else pilot the ship.

And that somebody would be Swan Hellenic who will show you the Arctic, Antarctic and rest of the world – from Brazil to Papua New Guinea, Norway to New Zealand, Australia to Africa, and Madagascar to the Mediterranean.

Swan Hellenic are introducing a new lady to the fleet for next year with SH Diana joining SH Minerva and SH Vega from the past two years.

So as with all things cruise let’s see the numbers.

There are 192 guests across 96 staterooms and suites, many with balconies.

Diana rules the waves

Ice one: And total peace

Diana’s passengers features a multifunctional room next to the observation lounge, a private dining room and two tenders.

And so the polar class 6 ice-strengthened hull plus extra-large stabilisers make the journey as smooth as silk for you to enjoy the Arctic and Antarctic.

There are new itineraries too on the roster, such as New Zealand in Depth and immerse yourself in its Maori culture and its Long White Cloud.

Dip your toe in: Luxury on board

Then there’s Papua New Guinea with its active volcano and Eclectus parrots.

For Japanophiles then you can explore the Land of the Rising Sun further than ever before.

And its Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples and the forested island of Yakushima.

Of course, all these exotic destinations bill themselves as the Land of something or other.

Dance away: Maori culture

And that is no different with Iceland, the Land of Ice and Fire.

In Iceland in Depth you can cruise along the fjords, something we’d encourage anybody in the Nordic or Scandinavia, nations. 

And so to the Land of Carnival, the Spirit of Brazil will give you those rhythms, beats and buzzing cities.

But you’ll also get to see humpback whales in the Abrolhos Archipelago.

While if Africa is more your thing then you can check out their Unspoilt Wilds of Southwest Africa.

And talk to the animals… the elephants, buffalos, lowland gorillas and chimps. And you’ll feel good.

Before learning about the wonders of voodoo in Benin.

Deal us in

Antarctic explorers: Off to see  wildlife

Prices range from £2,500pps to £19,000pps depending on the length and location of the expedition cruise.

That includes return regional flights to the port of embarkation and/or disembarkation (where specified)…

Group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port, one night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a four/five star hotel or onboard, all meals onboard, 24-hour room service, coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day.

There will be a lecture programmes by Swan Hellenic’s experienced expedition team and guest speakers, Wi-Fi, onboard gratuities and port taxes.

And one selected shore excursion/expedition activity per port of call, and branded Swan Hellenic expedition parkas and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions.

Phew. So get swanning about the world.


Asia, Countries, Europe, Ireland

Nollaig Shona or a Feliz Navidad

Perhaps it’s familiarity but my eyes always light up when I see banners illuminated in a language not my own… a Nollaig Shona or a Feliz Navidad.

Or any of the 7,000 languages in the world.

Although understandably there are more than their fair share there that don’t celebrate Christmas.

Heck, half the gospels don’t reference the Nativity at all, but we’ll pass over that…

After all it’s a long time since Christmas was ever anything to do with Christ anyway.

Instead then here we’ll shine a light on a handful of special lights shows around the time the world switches on.

To what are now called instead the Holiday Season.

Dublin’s flair city

Streets ahead: Grafton Street

Dublin (Nollaig Shona): And Dublin’s narrow shopping hub Grafton Street is where the Nollaig Shona banners stand out most.

And where Bono has been known to occasionally busk, but don’t let that put you off.

Cathedral of lights

Crystal clear: Malaga

Malaga (Feliz Navidad): Now the time was that the best Christmas party was with with my Spanish friends from their tourist board in Dublin.

But, of course, better still would be to enjoy the festivities in Espana.

And I’m told that Malaga is the place to go.

The city has a new design this year with 16 celestial angels on 32 columns that stretch the entire length of Calle Larios.

Santa’s home

Toast Turkey: With Onur in Istanbul

Turkey (Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun): Patara, St Nicholas (or Santie as we’d call him today) is just a Roman ruins now.

With ne’er a chimney to come down.

But they do mark this time of the year in the muslim country, with Istanbul, its largest city being one of the most cosmopolitan hubs in the world.

We’re reliably told that Istiklal is especially strung out with stylish festive lights.

Between buildings with chestnuts roasting on an open brazier fire.

Lap it up

Sky’s the limit: In Lapland

Lapland (Hyvaaa joulua Lapissa): So how has a Turkish holy man come to be relocated in our minds to Lapland.

Or more specifically Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland?

Well radio broadcaster Marcus Rautio claimed it for the Finns.

When he said that Santa’s workshop had been discovered in 1927.

While the earliest reference to him living in the North Pole is from a magazine cartoon from as 1866.

The best lights here though will be the heavenly dancers, the Northern lights.

O little star

Jesus was here? Bethlehem

Bethlehem (Khag molad sameakh/Eid Milad Majid): And for those who believe that Jesus was born in the Little Town.

And only Matthew and Luke carry the story while Mark and John skip his birth.

But Bethlehem does light up at this time of year with the historic Moravian district slated as the place to be.

So whether it’s a Nollaig Shona or a Feliz Navidad or whatever your language Happy Holidays everyone.




Asia, Countries, Deals, Europe

BlaQatar Friday

And with all roads (and flights) leading to the Gulf our Black Friday today comes as BlaQatar Friday with the world’s best airline.

Even as Qatar’s national team make a case for being the worst selection at their own World Cup.

Whatever has been said about Qatar the world is in love with their airline carrier with Skytrax naming QA the world’s best.

Hat’s off: To Qatar Airways

All of which has been good news for the army of fans who have been flying out to Qatar.

Not diverted by the fact that my own wee Scotland aren’t at the World Cup, we’re still promoting flights from here to Qatar.

With my local station, Edinburgh Airport flagging up their 12% off offers, all to be booked before November 30.

Final call

Whoaha Doha: In Corniche

So if you think your country will be in the final on December 18 you can fly out the day before and return the next day from £2176.65.

And if you look around you can bring your accommodation prices down.

We found the Tourist Hotel in Corniche, Doha on ebooking for two nights for under £400 ((£398).

If you’re not interested in the football (we accept all visitors here) then Jet2holidays are tempting us with their goodies.

With 5% to 50% off on selected hotels for a limited time.

Leaving on a Jet plane

Have skis, will travel: Val D’Isere

Now Jet2 might not be a high-end airways but they make no claims to be.

And they flew me seamlessly on my winter holiday this year to Val D’Isere in the French Alps.

They’re offering a range of winter holidays, last-minute getaways and summer holidays.

We zoomed in on their Jet2CityBreaks deal and happened first up on one of our favourite cities, Athens.

And the MET34 Athens where we’re told there’s 40% off the accommodation part of the holiday.

Situated in the Syntagma Square, you’re only 500m from the Metro Square.

Acropolis wow

Spoiled and ruined at the Acropolis in Athens

And just as importantly just a kilometre from the Acropolis.

And I know from my Greek odyssey that there are no more accommodating taxi drivers than the Athenians.

With the drivers (or maybe just the ones I had) giving me the option to pay whatever fare I thought the journey deserved.

Book by 23.59 on 29 November for travel dates up to 30 June.

And so you’ll get, say three nights for you and yours, for £1,178 in February.

Black is back

World in your hands: Qatar

There is no shortage of Black Friday deals out there so keep your eyes peeled and we will too.

So whether it’s BlaQatar Friday with the world’s best airline to see your team lift the cup.

Or you jet out with Jet2 on a cutprice deal for a budget break.