Adventure, America, Asia, Australasia, Canada, Countries, Deals, Europe

Working abroad revisited

Where do I start? In Boston singing Happy Birthday Ole, Happy Birthday from Harry’s, Happy Birthday Ole.

Is as good a place as any.

It’s the rite of passage for British and Irish university students to go and work in North America after finishing their degrees.

Beantown: Boston

For fear of spooking you I’ll maybe skip the story of me being chucked out of the YMCA after nicking the bed of a Colombian.

I think he was called Escobar.

USIT www.usit.ie are the people to go to for students, teachers and trainees.

San Fran

And here are the options:

•Camp USA or Canada and work as a counsellor anywhere from Calgary to California.

•Coaching soccer with the chance to work in Chicago, Atlanta or Boston.

•J1 Summer work in the USA in San Diego, Montauk or Myrtle Beach.

•Intern in New York or San Fransisco on a grad visa.

Once upon a time… in Copenhagen

•Interrail across Europe from Copenhagen to Bucharest in one adventure.

•Volunteer or travel to Vietnam, Thailand or Laos.

Our friends at USIT in 19 Aston Quay sent me a brochure of their wares, and seeing I’m a caring, sharing sort…

So let’s start in North America.

You’ll be looking for a one-year graduate USA visa which is the only option where you don’t need a job before travelling.

You’ll want to check out www.usavisa.ie and www.J1Online.ie.

I’ll turn you into Messi

And here’s one I’d do if I fell between the age range of 18-35, Coach Soccer USA.

After wowing them in The Campus in Quinto da Lago www.quintodalago.com.

For Canada it’s the two-year IEC Visa. Applications open but don’t hang about. Visit www.usit.ie.

Fancy a bit of opera

For Australia you can decide to stay on for another year.

And take up a third year visa you will need to do six months of regional work in your second year.

For New Zealand and a tip here. If you’ve used up your one-year working visa you can now apply for…

The New Zealand Skilled Visa.

And also check out the Land of the Long White Cloud for teaching jobs – they’re crying out for us.

The Rest of the World and try out volunteer jobs in:

Thailand, Nepal, India and Vietnam.

The Taj Mahal… no, not the restaurant

And again www.usit.ie is where to visit.

Now let’s talk Interrail… we did a thing called Transalpino after school, down to the French Riviera.

You can get a range of trips with USIT.

I’ve just got back from the Balkans so I’m pushing this:

The Balkans for Beginners: Ten days pass from €277.

You’ll take in Genoa up through Austria, down through Slovenia and Croatia and into Bosnia & Herzegovina.

And you’ll love Sarajevo and Dubrovnik. Visit www.interrail.ie.

Adventure, Canada, Countries, Culture, Deals

Meghan BC: British Columbia

Meghan ‘Before Crown’. Or Meghan BC ‘British Columbia’.

The Duchess of Sussex is going back to the future by setting up home again in Canada.

So why BC? Well, no doubt you’ve met someone who has been and says it is the best place on Earth.

Lose the stress

This is their boast… that time spent in nature can make us less stressed and that its majestic wild can improve short-term memory by 20% and boost creativity and problem-solving by 50%.

They call it the British Columbia Effect.

Breathe in the air

And so like Ms Markle we’ll let someone else do the work!

Find clarity in the mountains

Kootenay National Park celebrates 100 years in 2020. From grasslands and glaciers to narrow canyons and extensive mountain ridges, Kootenay National Park is a land of awe-inspiring contrasts.

Stay in an “oTENTik” (part tent, part cabin) visit Radium Hot Springs (part of theHot Springs Circle Route)

Or hike the 17.5km Kindersley-Sinclair trail; one of Kootenay’s most epic day hikes.

National Park admission is priced from £5.80 per adult.

The water of life

Retreat to the mountains with Mountain Trek’s health programs near Ainsworth Hot Springs.

Offering all-inclusive wellness retreats, guests will enjoy daily Nordic Hiking, detox in the on-site spa, take on a gourmet nutrition plan.

Mindfulness

And practise mindfulness. All-inclusive programs are priced from £4,162pp excluding flights and transfers.

Wide, wid rivers

Get your heart pumping with CHM Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures new Alpine Heli Trail Running and Full Zillmer Canyon Via Ferrata trips, available from July 2020.

These heli-supported mountain adventures run from the Bugaboos Lodge and newly renovated Cariboos Lodge.

Previous mountaineering experience is not required to explore the Zillmer Canyon’s slots and waterfalls

Hit the trail

While trail-runners can expect to cover up to 25km per day across ridgelines, forest trails and mountaintop terrain.

Three-day trips are priced from £2,084 per person, excluding flights.

What a sunrise!

Go hut-to-hut on the Spearhead Traverse, Whistler.

The new Kees and Claire Hut at Russet Lake offers 38 bunks across six sleeping areas along the remote Spearhead Traverse.

With a further two brand new huts planned to open this year.

The 40 km route crosses 13 glaciers over 2,000 metres between Whistler and Blackcomb.

Hikers are able to stay for as little as £26 per night.

Chinatown: Vancouver’s Eastern flavour

Head North for BC’s first Northern Lights Festival in Fort Nelson, held 12-21 March.

Watch the Aurora Borealis dance across the sky and enjoy a series of cultural and musical events in BC’s Northern climbs.

A Full Festival Package includes access to all events.

It is an overnight trip to the Fort Nelson First Nations Lodge at Liard Hot Springs, a sled dog ride with Streeper Kennels and a snowmobiling adventure.

With Jag Adventures, priced from £706 per person excluding flights and transfers.

Bridge of highs: Vancouver

Wander in the Rainforest

Step into the wild with new operator Coastal Rainforest Safaris this spring.

Safari-style camping on the secluded Branham Island in the Great Bear Rainforest.

A whale of a time

Whale and bear watching and unique insights into the local Indigenous Kwakwaka’wakw culture.

Three-day safaris are priced from £2,292 per person based on double occupancy in a safari-style tent.

Including all meals and activities, excluding flights and transfers.

Beach life: British Columbia

Homalco Wildlife and Cultural Tours will continue to offer new Indigenous led wildlife and cultural experiences on the edge of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Join the Great Bears of Bute excursion and see some of BC’s most iconic predators.

Or the new full-day People Water Land excursion, running from June – August.

Showcasing Homalco culture in Bute Inlet. Prices to be confirmed.

A great stay

(Sleep…and) Be Soothed by the Sea

Re-connect with the North Shore at the new waterfront Seaside Hotel in Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood.

The hotel’s design echoes the outside elements offering guests world-class comfort inspired by a unique waterfront ambiance.

Across 71 rooms and suites, the Seaside Provisions restaurant and The Waterfront Spa.

Room-only priced from £213 based on a mid-week May 2020 arrival.

Cool BC. Photo by B B on Pexels.com

Sunshine Coast

Disconnect in Desolation Sound at the newly reopened Lund Resort at Klah ah men.

The first, full-service Indigenous Resort on the Sunshine Coast.

The redesigned Back Eatery features a seasonal indigenous inspired menu.

And the new Sweet Shack coffee shop offers the Resort’s exclusive 13 Moons Coffee.

A spa is set to open onsite in late 2020. Standard Queen rooms are priced from £125 based on a mid-week May 2020 arrival.

Seaplanes, yes please. Photo by Vladislav Vasnetsov on Pexels.com

Island of dreams

Check in to the newly renovated Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa on Vancouver Island.

As part of its $17 million renovations the resort has revealed 14 newly appointed Ocean Courtyard guestrooms.

With stunning views of the Georgia Strait.

Modern swish. Vancouver. Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Spa fun

The renovated Pacific Mist Spa is focused around the life-giving power of water.

The resort also offers two new restaurants; the AQUA Bistro & Wine Bar and Ocean 7.

Which use fresh ingredients from local purveyors and exercise sustainable practices in all menu creations.

Standard rooms are priced from £122 based on a mid-week May 2020 arrival.

For more information on The British Columbia Effect, visit: www.hellobc.com/the-british-columbia-effect-US

For more information on British Columbia, visit: www.hellobc.co.uk

And because I know you just love a seaplane… then come with me on this thrill https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/12/atoll-tale-the-maldives/.

Countries, Cruising, Deals, Europe

Smooth sailing around the Western Med

He stood on the ship bridge, togged up to the nines, his hand shaking as h publicly reconfirmed his love to his wife. ‘I’ve got Parkinson’s,’ he said. ‘This is our 50th wedding anniversary. We really wanted to do this because I don’t know if we’ll see my 51st.’

The story was told to me on the first day of my mini-break on an Island Cruises jaunt around the west Mediterranean.

I had inquired as to what a lectern and a Bible under a glass case were doing at the heart of a control room.

Which I could only liken to my vague memories of sitting awestruck in an aeroplane cockpit as a boy.

I imagined the couple holding hands and looking out of the waves, letting their minds drift over their years together.

I hope they celebrated 51, 52, 53 years together and are still going strong. Because if any holiday can be life-reviving then that holiday is a cruise.

We took off from Toulon, halfway through the liner’s tour from Italy round to the Balearic Islands.

But although only on the mothership (its size must really experienced to be believed) for a few days it became my floating home from home.

Home that is if you enjoy the life of a country gent or a Beckham.

Life on board

But let me killl off some preconceptions straight away.

You’re stuck on it: Well, why would you want to get off when you’re in the middle of the sea. And you’ve got the sun beating down on you and you can look over the rails at the waves swishing comfortingly below.

The sea is always the same: Only if the weather remains the same, you’re stuck in the same spot and it’s always the middle of the day.

I was next up: Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Pexels.com

The sea is constantly changing and so are your surroundings, so much so that you’ll think that you’re wasting time by sleeping particularly if you can be taking in a breathtaking sunrise.

The onshore excursions are too short: Yes, if you just go to a plaza an sit drinking beer. But I would defy anyone not to get spring in their step whey they are awoken by the captain announcing you are in Barcelona.

And you look out for the first time on the statue of Columbus pointing to the US.

Las Ramblas is a shoppers’ paradise but personally I found the sea front more alluring and spectacular.

I was also put off by the market stall on the main thoroughfare where hens in cages are sold.

For the best way to see Barcelona, take advantage of the helicopter option. If you’ve never been in a chopper, don’t worry about noise.

You get earphones or turbulence because it’s like I imagined Aladdin felt on his magic carpet. Landing too is a skoosh like stepping off a stair.

Sports action

Sports mad? There seem to be more pools, football arenas and studio per square metre the any other city I’ve been to.

For the soccer-mad Briton a visit to the Nou Camp is awe-inspiring. The dilemma is deciding whether to ty to pack in more sights or to return to the liner to enjoy a few extra on-board activities.

Beautiful sunsets. Photo by Shawnna Donop on Pexels.com

Just don’t cut it too fin or they’ll leave without you.

Don’t imagine you will run out of things to do on board. You can swim, drink, eat, and of course, eat.

You’ll never be bored

The buffet is an eat-all-you-like when-you-like, what-you-like treat… that comes at a price!±

Out guide told us that on average people put on a stone a week during a cruise.

He said this while downing a large glass of water. He has come down from 25 stone to 18 with a plan which involves drinking litres and litres of H2).

You can also gamble on board in get ship’s casinos. Or having sampled foods from around the world in any of he exclusive restaurants you can burn it all off in the gym.

Have a go on the rowing machine while looking out over the swell or opt for a massage in the on-board health suite.

Or simply do nothing.

When do we ever really give ourselves that luxury,

Turn off the mobile phone and just relax by the pool.

Even if somebody wanted to see you you couldn’t get to them so you might as well ignore that phone.

In the evenings it’s sheer indulgence to be able to saunter on from your living room (read, the restaurant) to your lounge (read, the theatre) to enjoy West End-style shows.

Delights around every corner. On Majorca. Photo by Zach Besley on Pexels.com

Majorca adventures

But then the dy finally comes – damn, I’m only halfway down the cocktail list when we have to get off.

Thankfully though, it’s not Old Blighty yet. As part of our package we have a couple of nights stop-off in Palma, Majorca.

We stayed in Santa Ponsa, in a lovely secluded hotel called the Jardin del Sol Suites & Spa which is close enough if you want to be near the busier main village.

We used the hotel as base and what a luxurious base it was. A Jacuzzi bath and a shower with sprinklers.

You will get hot if you go to Majorca in high season but that’s great, it gives you the chance to have a bath and a shower.

And if you want a siesta, then you can sprawl out on the hotel’s triple beds!

Michael and Catherine

The balcony looks out on the swimming pool and the glistening sea.

Drag yourself away from it all though and get out into the north of the island, it’s the most picturesque part of Majorca. But don’t just take my word for it.

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have a home there.

You’re in the high part of the island here and the views from the top of the passes are stunning.

The pick of the tourist attractions is the monastery at Valdemosa.

The best Chopin: At Valdemosa. http://www.seemallorca.com

Let’s go Chopin

It would be interesting enough for its history, religious relics, position and scenery.

But it is all the more fascinating because of its association with Frederic Chopin, the composer and his lover George Sand.

Ostracised by the religious zealots in the village, the sickly Chopin was taken in by the monks and nursed by Sand.

You can still see his manuscripts and what is claimed to be his piano.

There’s only so much high culture you can take though, and any trip to Majorca would not be complete without some Spanish dancing.

The Son Amar show in a huge arena in the middle of the island crams it all in.

And that’s just the food which is shovelled on to plates and whisked away while you’ve still got your fork in your hand.

Still, there’s a show on.

Still not finished: La Sagradia Familia Photo by Enrico Perini on Pexels.com

The least said about the comic the better – maybe humour doesn’t always travel but the flamenco dancers and the magic art were well, magic.

But like the sun setting on the horizon over the Med on the liner, so it had to set on my cruise.

With my in-flight magazine on my lap and looking out on home soil again, I thought of circling Barcelona in a helicopter and the view at sunrise on my Island Cruise trip.

Reasons to cruise the Med

I’ll give that a go: Flamenco dancer. Photo by Mark Neal on Pexels.com

Watch the sunrise: You can watch the sunrise anywhere but you can’t watch it appear over the horizon with a cooling breeze around you on board a luxury cruise. Pure poetry!

Take in a cruise show: You can just watch while nursing a cocktail in your hand, or budding thespians can take part in one of the talent shows.

Step ashore in Barcelona: And then a take a flight over the city. It’ll be the smoothest flight you’ve ever had. Swirl over forests, haciendas, Las Ramblas, the specatacular seafront rebuilt for the Barcelona Olympics and the statue of Columbus.

Join the monks in Majorca: Visit the monastery that housed the hard-living hard-loving George Sand and her composer beau Frederic Chopin. Their short life together on Majorca could make a Hollywood blockbuster.

Learn flamenco in Spain: The La Mer Show is good old-fashioned Spain for the tourists, bu too less enjoyable for that.

El deal

She’s got the whole world in her hands. Arty Majorca. Photo by Tim Savage on Pexels.com

Operating out of Palma, Majorca, until October, Island Cruises offers 14-night cruise-and-stay packages from £675pp.

Comprising a seven-night cruise followed by a seven-night stay in one of 29 Majorcan hotels.

Cruise and stay packages at the Jardin del Sol Suites & Spa with accommodation on a half-board basis start from £965pp.

Flights are available from Glasgow and Edinburgh, supplements apply.

For more information and recruitments call Island Cruises on (08707) 500 414 or visit http://www.islandcruises.com.

*Since this article was published in The Scotsman in 2003 Island Cruises has gone through a number of changes with TUI now moving the previous brand forward with great success. Hence you being redirected to https://www.tui.co.uk

And remember for your Cruise News it has to be Cruiseday Tuesday on the day between Monday and Wednesday…. and we’re still pushing Stena’s spanking new ship. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/01/13/cruiseday-tuesday-stena-estrid-what-a-maiden/

While for a whizz around Barcelona here’s what I found when I went back with Royal Caribbean… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/.

Countries, Cruising, Deals, Europe

Cruiseday Tuesday – Beethoven cruise

It was the classical music of my childhood days – the Beethoven tune that played out from my Mum’s jewellery box.

Beethoven’s Fur Therese. Come again… should that not be Fur Elise?

Well, no, if you plump for Therese Mulfati as the most likely candidate for Elise ahead of Elisabeth Rockel and Elise Barensfeld.

Light up: Strasbourg

Which I am with my Mum a Teresa who in her poetic youth styled herself Therese.

All of which stuff and nonsense brings me around to the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Amsterdam tales

Take a river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel.

Taking in Ludwig’s house in Bonn, a live concert in Amsterdam’s Dominicus church.

Call (0808) 115 832 or email sales@amadeus-riveramadeuscruises.co.uk.

Majorca corker

There’s a ship out there

Where was your first cruise and did it live up to expectations?

Mine’s was Majorca. It’s in the mists of history now but warm in my memory.

And soon to be part of your cruising experience too after I found some old cuttings in my early Spring clean…. Smooth sailing around the Western Med

Which I’ll write up for you once The Scary One gives me a coffee break.

But back to Majorca and my old friends TUI have savings of €200 per booking on sailings from May-October.

Highlights of the Mediterranean: Dublin to Majorca. Board the Marella Discovery for seven nights all-inclusive and enjoy an inside cabin from €1029. For May 2.

Harbour your dreams

Colourful Coasts: Dublin to Tenerife. On the Marella Explorer in an inside cabin. All-inclusive. Seven nights from €992pps.

Visit www.tuiholidays.ie.

And here’s a reminder of what a wonderful island Tenerife is A walk through the ages… Tenerife: you’ll really want to stay longer.

So, where was your first cruise and was it your best? Let me know and we’ll share the love.

MEET YOU ON THE SEAS

Adventure, America, Countries, Deals

Holidos and don’ts – Rollercoasters

Every holiday has its ups and downs and rollercoaster holidays have more than most.

Of course you’re probably a big fan of the corkscrews otherwise you wouldn’t have booked this type of holiday.

Well, maybe, but then it could be a family holiday and Himself or Junior are the rollercoaster junkies.

Me, I’m a nervous rollercoaster but I will put myself forward.

Well, someone has to make a dent in it

But as tempting as it is may be you ought to miss out on the bacons, sausages, eggs, omelettes, pancakes and muffins.

Particularly if you’ve been down at the Irish duelling piano bar Pat O’Brien’s in Orlando https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/things-to-do/dining/pat-o-briens.

And CityWalk’s Rising Star karaoke club. https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/things-to-do/entertainment/rising-star-karaoke Doing giant Hurricane cocktails and shots.

Been there, done that

In my unforgettable trips Aaawlando… Orlando, the rollercoaster capital and Why I love The Donald with https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us and https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en_GB/.

Don’t overdo the Duff at Moe’s

Motion sickness tablets: Right you get to the rollercoasters and your tummy starts doing somersaults.

You want to go on but you worry that you’ll bring up your breakfast over that cute excited little girl in front of you.

And that’s where motion sickness tablets come in handy.

Choose your rollercoaster: Don’t be a hero.

My old pal Colin is as tough a bloke as you’ll meet and will run through brick walls on a football field.

But he doesn’t like big dippers. That’s fine, there are plenty of attractions, funky characters and food… on the ground!

While some of us love a corkscrew or a loop the loop while others (me) like a vertical drop.

Harry’s game

And then there are those 4D carts like you get in Harry Potter which tilt and play with your senses.

To give the illusion that you are riding on your broomstick around Hogwarts Castle.

And playing quidditch with Ron Weasley.

The feeling of disorientation will pass, the memories never will.

 

All that was left were the glasses

For many of us (me) we feel safer if we have water to cushion the fall.

And so for me it was Wet ‘n Wild Orlando which alas closed in 2016.

Dropping down through a trap door down the chute and round some loops

Before thundering into the final splash was one of the most exhilarating rides of my life.

So, Wet ‘n Wild has gone, you’ve still got Aquatica.

And in California

Disneyland Park, Anaheim https://disneyland.disney.go.com/destinations/disneyland/?CMP=OKC-dlr_themeparks_gmap_38 has it all.

And now something else again which for you Star Wars fans is something else again… Stair Wars

The way to do any of these theme parks, of course, is priority booking.

And the people to do it with are Attraction Tickets www.attractiontickets.com.

MEET YOU ON THE BIG DIPPER

Countries, Deals, Europe

Holiday Snaps – The last word in rubbish

Now, I’ve stayed at some rubbish hotels but this Greek hotel is good rubbish.

Because it’s all about sustainability with word reaching us about 18 Micon Street in Athens.

Now, that’s a view

It’s an old tool-making outlet with many recyclable materials used.

And it’s within stumbling distance of a number of other recyclable Greek retail businesses.

Blue and white, naturally

Prices at 18 Micon Street which has views of the Acropolis https://www.18miconstr.com/en/ from €152 (£130) per suite.

It’s all got me swaying to a return trip to Greece this year for another chapter in my odyssey… My Greek odyssey.

Where you can get extra help from the certified guides www.thisisathens.com on all the museums and sites.

Spring cleaning and Majorca

 

Beach life: In Majorca

We’ve been up in the attic… I think I’ve got a child there who I forgot about.

There were though a couple of articles lining the Scary One’s keepsakes.

From Majorca and Biarritz, and don’t worry I’ll get them the oul’ blog on this site soon.

It’s been too long since I’ve been there… a family holiday and then before that a stop-off on an Island Cruises trip.

My old friends at TUI www.tuiholidays.ie have a range of offers but the one I picked out is for free child places.

And because I know Ireland doesn’t start and stop in Ireland…

Shannon to Majorca, seven nights at the all-inclusive 5*Holiday Village Majorca, Cala Millor.

Two adults, one child from €3,029 or from €4,089 for two adults, two children.

Blow Monday

 

He’s hot style

Every Monday used to be Blue Monday when I was a wage slave.

Not now. And I’m four-square behind the Canary Islanders and their campaign against such doom mongering.

How could you ever be blue in a set of islands where whistling is a language and there is a plethora of eco-systems?

As you know A walk through the ages… Tenerife.

Well, the islanders have asked their ninos and this is what they said… https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=lBQy-gsv_x4.

It’s all part of this campaign #StopBlueMonday. Visit www.hellocanaryislands.com.

Africa, America, Asia, Countries, Deals, Europe, Ireland, UK

Flyday Friday – It’s Baltic

Quite why people from Chilly Jockoland (or Scotland to you or me) should tease Baltics people about the cold is anyone’s guess.

But tease them we do with every cold day referred to as ‘Baltic’.

I guess we’ll just have to find out for ourselves, particularly as Air Baltic have a fantastic sale on.

St Petersburg

How about Tallinn from €59 and Riga from €69?

Those cities will be familiar to us as being part of the Baltic States.

Stockholm

But that also applies, of course, to Scandinavia, and Stockholm and Helsinki are also pitched at the same price.

And to St Petersburg. From €85. And Moscow which is nowhere near the sea (but we’re not going to tell) from €89.

Helsinki

The sale finishes at 23:59 on Thursday. For travel until December 17. Visit www.airbaltic.com.

Hamburg

Now it’s where you kick off your Baltic cruises The call of the fjords.

And from where you’ll jump off en route to Hamburg Hamburgers and ships.

Camel ye to Abu Dhabi

And they’re off

Right, I’ve done the goat racing in Tobago. Now for the camel racing.

So that means Abu Dhabi although I might leave that to the experts as you can see.

I’m a bit shoogly on Humpy here in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan The water of life, Petra, and the sands of time.

Etihad www.etihad.com has Abu Dhabi as your sole destination or as a stop-off.

Anyone betting on me?

Return tickets from €947.

And if you go further afield as part of a multi-city flight deal then Etihad will put you up in an Abu Fab premium hotel for free.

Sentimental journey

Hey, Lady

Aer Lingus www.aerlingus.com has been going on a sentimental journey of its own with its first new uniforms in 22 years.

So I guess that was what was behind the musical background for their January Sales deal.

It has 30% off Europe and North America from €188 as part of a return deal.

Planes or trains

I may be away for some time

I can’t, and won’t, as a Travel writer preach on flygskam ‘flying shame’.

But I will say that as a cruise fan that FlyBe www.flybe.com has always provided an invaluable route from Ireland to Southampton.

Amid the navel-gazing over FlyBe’s problems one thought: make trains cheaper!

Countries, Deals, Europe

Holiday Snaps – Prague for under €100

It’s my own fault for not keeping a lock on my drinks cabinet… my Becherovka gets drained by the Son and Heir and his Daft Pals.

Of course when I rumbled him he had the answer. Not the answer but an answer.

He would buy me another bottle.

The only problem being the spiced liqueur that was invented in a pharmacy as a medicine is only made in the Czech Republic.

https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/24/czech-it-out-2/
Miracle water too… and beer and Becherovka

Lucky then that I’ve got pals in Czechland and that Cassidy Travel www.cassidytravel.ie have this super-duper short deal.

For two nights from March 9, and they also have Amsterdam Pictures of Amsterdam and www.iamsterdam.com from March 10 for the same price.

And to give you a taster of the Czechs Hope springs eternal and check out (I know) www.visitczech.com.

I’d like to say that he learned his lesson.

But the bottle of Croatian wine given to me by my friends at Croatia Tours www.croatia.ie for Christmas is testament to the fact that I can’t.

This is more like it

So that’s another trip I have to make… it’s one that I was on and off the bus for.

Maybe he’s really doing me a favour.

Chairman de la board

Which counter to move?

Long before gamers there were board gamers, of which I am one.

But I confess that I’d never heard of the ones Francophiles will be playing at Soiree Jeux at the French Library Dublin on Thursday (free from 6.30pm).

Now this is all French to me but mes amis at Alliance Francaise Dublin www.webmaster@alliance-francaise.ie are tempting me with Carcassone, Star Realms, Les adventuriers du rail and many others.

Now I’ve had my own adventuriers du rail on my post-school trip down to the French Riviera.

We slept on the platform in Paris St Lazare station.

Yes, of course we hit the naughty area

And were awoken by the gendarmes kicking our sleeping bags and brandishing their guns.

It would not be the last time that the gendarmes had cause to pull their guns on us.

After we (or let’s say I) stopped the traffic in Frejus.

While my adventuriers du rail were not finished there.

With me missing la traine because I was off trying to buy du biere.

The last I saw of my old pal Adam was 37 years ago.

When he was waving out the window of the train at me.

French Riviera watersports

Although I just missed out on the class reunion last month. I’d have had words to say.

I expect there will be board games in the restored chateau that Brittany Ferries http://www.brttanyferries.co.uk is pitching.

That’ll actually be a Mimosa

As part of its 20% off 2020 holidays in France.

You’ll be staying in Le Domaine de la Baie, not far from the centre of Audierne.

Book now and you can stay for just €177pp.

There are sand beaches, a surf and sailing school and a picturesque fishing harbour and marina.

Which to me means seafood. And Brittany too is well known for its cidre. Tres bien.

And for more on France, visit http://www.atoutfrance.fr.

And I know that you’re dying to know that I never did grow up and got into similar high jinks.

When I returned to the French Riviera 35 years later…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-boat-dazur/

One foot in Algarve

Don’t forget the romance

Two point two children is the average but our two point three didn’t mean we were above average.

And we didn’t redeem ourselves to our Portuguese host when we broke her skylight in the Seventies.

Two point one is what Click & Go ate pitching… with seven nights in the 4* Estrela do Vau Hotel, Praia do Vau.

From €669 per family for Travel in May. Visit www.clickandgo.com.

And why Portugal is the perfect destination for fun and families…

https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/12/sportugal/ Secret Portugal.

Asia, Countries, Deals, Europe

Flyday Friday – Yoga and New Delhi

No, seriously, this temple of a body isn’t made for yoga.

Which is why I sent another to India in my place, a yoga nut who then sent me nuts when she got her visa application mixed up.

Beret nice thank you: Etihad service

And got narky with the Travel providers… a red line in my book.

And this is why, boo-hoo, I didn’t get to India back then and why I am still waiting…

Waiting too for the bottle of booze from the aforementioned writer who had left me with all her crap to deal with.

That’s the way to do it. Photo by Abhishek Saini on Pexels.com

And guess what? I have air miles which I won when Etihad kindly showed me around their business class at Dublin Airport last year.

Visit http://www.etihad.com. And you judge for yourself whether you think my yoga has come on since.

From my Portugal http://www.visitportugal.com and Tobago http://www.visittobago.gov.tt adventures.Visit https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/12/sportugal/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/05/robinson-crusoes-tobago/

Look at that Lotus, I’m so relaxed I’m almost sleeping

Something happened on the way to the Forum

The heavens opened on the way to the Forum… and just as in Classical Rome, I had to shelter in a bus shelter.

Of course where I most wanted to be was the Pantheon with its open Dome.

Which I informed the couple I was huddled in with… ‘sure there’s only one place you’d want to be in Rome when it’s raining, ‘ says I.

Saye he in his rich Northern Irish brogue: ‘Aye, the pub.’

Throwing my money away: Well I did spend less than €50

Rome is an eternal joy, particularly at Aer Lingus prices… http://www.aerlingus.com.

Among its January Sales deals it has Rome down from €66.99 to €39.99.

And here’s how you can save on your walk to the Forum, Colisseum or Spanish Steps…

And retrace the footsteps of the ancients… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/04/see-rome-on-e50/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/small-roads-lead-to-rome/

Ibiza beezer

Party island. Ibiza. Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Pexels.com

I don’t know what it was about Spain that turned my Dickensian strict Dad into…

A screaming liberal.

Maybe it was the sun, but Ibiza meant half a glass of wine for this seven-year-old at dinner.

And I remember vividly the waiter who served it to me, Pepe.

Of course it gave me a taste for the grape that has never left me, particularly when it’s sparkling.

And you’ll certainly have more money in your wallet or purse to splash out in Ibiza.

After saving on your Ryanair flights which are from €28.99 with the low-fare airline’s latest seat sale which ends Midnight Sunday.

They’ve also thrown in Malta at the same price https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/malta-easer/ where there was much Champagne flowing after I made Miss F the happiest woman in the world…

I went back years later to see if I could cash in on the unfinished bottle.

Check out all the deals at http://www.ryanair.com

MEET YOU IN THE AIR

Countries, Culture, Deals, Europe, Uncategorized

Cruiseday Tuesday – Cruise year resolutions

This is the year you’ll go cruising… now you’ve said it there’s no going back.

It’s never been cheaper according to our friends at Click&Go www.clickandgo.com.

They reported a 23% increase in 2019 with prices down by €136pp year on year.

Most popular destinations are Barcelona, Copenhagen and Palma.IMG_4161All of which I know a thing or two about…

https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/ and The call of the fjords. The most popular month for cruising is October, followed by September and November. And seeing that our wedding anniversary is September and I only went and worked on our 25th then I probably owe her big!

Keepers of the Flam

35D95376-E141-409C-9808-6C9617E55E57.JPGMy father-in-law taught Casey Jones all he knew.

And then passed it onto his daughter, often at the end of a wind and rain-splattered platform.

Copying down train numbers.

Which is why we keep finding ourselves seeking out all manner of train-related nonsense when we’re away.

A lot of which is pretty good it must be said.

Such as Flam Railway in Norway on our MSC www.msccruises.ie trip up the fjords.fjord_boat.jpgOf course dipping our toes in the fjords only left us wanting to submerge ourselves in the whole country.

Travel Department will complete the odyssey with Oslo as well as Bergen which I’ll be only too happy to revisit.

So you’ll cruise (let’s make that we’ll) along the UNESCO World Heritage site of Naeroyfjord.

You’ll see the glaciers and waterfalls of the former Viking stomping ground of Hardangerfjord.

And stand on a mountain top to take in the Eidfjord.

Naeroyfjord.jpg

Before you enjoy the Flam Railway, one of the world’s most besutiful and steepest normal-gauge railway lines.

It was foggy when we went (it won’t be when you go) so we couldn’t see those mischievous trolls!

Prices start from €1569pp for seven nights including return flights.

B&B/half-board accommodation, guided excursions, a fjord cruise and a Flam railway journey.

Depart April-October 2020. Visit www.traveldepartment.ie.

Cruise with my first love

You’d think after 30 years she’d know me better.

That’ll be my first Travel love, TUI, whose newspaper branch I started this scribbling.

Or perhaps they know me too well with their list of five Travel New Year Resolutions they have set for me this year.

So they suggest that I do this:

Explore somewhere new. Tick.

Be more prepared. Mmmm… I thought that’s what you had people for!!!

Eliminate the stress. See above.

Pack smarter. Now, I am ahead of the eight-ball here having only taken on hand luggage, a rucksack, to go to Tobago.

Try it, you don’t need that DJ or cocktail dress, or full kilt.

Look your best. Again one change of clothes and the washing facilities of where you stay.

Or take something that you can leave and exchange for some clothes you buy,

11So we’re all prepared let’s go cruising.

TUI is offering a saving of €200 per booking for seven nights in an inside cabin with Spanish Delights from Cork to Majorca on the Marella Dream. 

From €1,079. Use code CRUISE200. For sailings from May-October 2020.

MEET YOU ON THE SEAS