Countries, Culture, Europe

Rainy Days And Songdays – Beethoven

Rainy Days And Songdays goes all classical this week.

With a nod to Ludwig Van Beethoven on the 250th anniversary of his birth.

Not growing up in a musical family we had limited exposure to Classical music with one accidental exception.

The Jewel

Fur Elise would play out a couple of times a week from my Mum and Dad’s bedroom.

Not because my Dad was a secret fan of Ludwig but because it was the music on my Mum’s jewellery box.

All of which allowed me to look all sophisticated.

When I drew my Travel companion Elise’s attention to the synergy of our staying in a hotel, the Beethoven Spa https://www.lazneteplice.cz/ in February.

I dare say The Great Man’s name proliferates on hotels, bars and cafes all over Central Europe.

Ring of truth

But our Hotel Beethoven in Lazne Teplice in the then Austro-Hungarian Empire but now Czech Republic has a ring of authenticity.

Because Ludwig actually stayed here and the good people of the Spa and medical town even helped him.

With that delicate problem of his… his hearing!

The Hotel Beethoven boasts a gallery of Beethoven artefacts on its walls on the way to its baths and saunas.

Including pictures of a number of ear horns and creepily the life mask he had made here.

Chocolate heaven

If you ask too you can be taken to the ornate door of the room where he stayed.

And I dare say you can work on a price with them.

And then there’s the Cafe Beethoven where they play his music (obvs) and you can sit at the piano and pretend to be him.

Did I mention they have a glass cabinet of home baking with a carousel of the most calorific chocolate cakes?

Go the full hog, you’re on holiday after all, and pair it with a Hot Chocolate.

Ludwig’s birthday coming in December means that there are possibilities that some of the events planned in his name may go ahead.

Check out www.czechtourism.com and Hope springs eternal.

And for where we are with Beethoven 2020, see https://www.bthvn2020.de/en/.

Countries, Culture, Europe, Ireland, UK

The 12th of July – some myths debunked

Every day is the 12th of July I was reminded every Saturday growing up in religiously divided Glasgow.

This was how fans of the city’s Protestant club Rangers mark King William’s victory over Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne.

It turns out though that they got their dates wrong and that it should be July 1 they should be marking.

On the white charger; The Orange Heritage Museum

The calendars were reset in the 18th Century and The Boyne got July 12 when that date had belonged to the Battle of Aughrim.

Beyond these castle walls

I gleaned much of the true story from Malahide Castle https://www.malahidecastleandgardens.ie/ in north Co. Dublin.

I learned that the sitting family back in 1690 settled down for lunch before heading for battle only never to return.

Charge: But is it William? www.laganhistory.com

An impressive painting hangs in the Castle dining room of the battle.

And the guide informed us that the figure on canvas that we know and love/hate could not have been King Billy.

What’s missing?

No garter you see.

Wall, what is it good for? www.extramuralactivity.com

And he was on a white horse too which would have made him easier to spot and kill.

And one of those ubiquitous Belfast black taxi tour drivers verified this very fact.

On the excellent Lucy Worsley’s BBC series British History’s Biggest Fibs https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08cgp55 verified.

Northern Exposure

The Irish Problem as it was called morphed into The Troubles in the North, or Northern Ireland as it’s officially known.

Keep the orange flag flying high

And one constant throughout has been the symbolism of King Billy whose murals and drapes proliferate throughout the province.

But in truth King Billy’s story stretches throughout the island of Ireland.

And the three countries of the island of Britain.

And his home country of Holland.

Flying Dutchman

For those keenest of Orangemen retracing King Billy’s footsteps here’s an itinerary.

Begin your journey in the Paleis Het Loo in Apeldoom north of Amsterdam https://www.paleishetloo.nl/ and Pictures of Amsterdam.

I’ve landed: William of Orange of Devon

Land in Brixham, Torbay in Devon like William did www.devonguide.com. It’s a pretty seaside town in England.

And then make your way over by ferry with Stena Line https://www.stenaline.co.uk to Ireland.

There you’ll want to visit the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre http://battleoftheboyne.ie/ in Co. Louth equidistant between Belfast and Dublin in modern Republic of Ireland.

Before heading for Belfast and the Museum of Orange Heritage https://visitbelfast.com/partners/museum-of-orange-heritage/#&gid=1&pid=5.

A dash of Orange

Just a thought if you’d never heard of King William of Orange might you inadvertently venture in thinking it was a celebration of fruit.

History all around us

And you might be surprised to hear that King William’s place in the Irish cultural landscape isn’t recognised by everyone on the island.

An old colleague I’ll call Simone because that was her name even wrote that King James won the Battle of the Boyne.

Just as well that she had a good editor to stop Irish (and British) history being rewritten for ever.

And for a glimmer of Northern Irish life see Belfast Chilled and Belfast’s rich tapestry.

Asia, Countries, Culture, Deals, Europe, UK

The Sunday Sermon – Yoga Nidra

My mouth will speak words of wisdom, the meditation of my heart will give you understanding – Psalm 49:3

And that rings true for my sensei, mindfulness mentor and fellow Tobagophile Sarah, or SLM as I call her… www.tobago.gov.tt and

Now SLM is my kind of teacher… she encourages you to put your body to sleep which is how I used to spend schooltime.

Lie back and think of Nidra

It’s called yoga nidra and it originates from India.

And there is no need to touch your toes… which I can only do when I’m sat down anyway.

It’s all about uncluttering the mind, relaxing the body in a prone position and giving yourself a break.

And talking about breaks this lockdown being my spiritual break from my Catholic chapel I reckon Jesus would approve.

Jesus loves you

I reckon he’d also endorse the Yoga Explorers retreats https://www.bookyogaretreats.com

Book Yoga Retreats lists a zen (I’m calling it the collective term for yoga) of retreats and helpfully flag up ‘Clean and Safe’ resorts.

Their other destinations will be heavenly I’m sure… it’s just helpful though to be guided by the experts.

And so without further adoooooo. Here is my pick…

Cornish classic

Three-days Escape From It All Yoga Weekend in Cornwall, England (Clean and Safe): You’ll have two yoga sessions a day, daily morning meditation and freshly prepared food with all diets provided for.

And all set in woodlands and minutes away from those cliffs and coves that we all remember from Poldark.

We’re not guaranteeing that you’ll look like Ross or Demelza at the end of it all but it can’t to any harm.

And you’ll get the three yoga styles of Restorative, Scaravelli and Nidra.

Airport transfers are available from Newquay Airport. From €443.

Thai’s the limit

Rejuvenating Detox, Yoga and Meditation Retreat, Thailand: And when you go all the way out to the Far East you’ll want to give yourself a fortnight to get the fullest of experiences.

And Wonderland Healing Center in Koh Pha Ngan, Surat Thani, will oblige. You’ll get a daily detox specialist, yoga, meditation, dance, sound healing, breath works… take breath!

Swimming pool, herbal steam sauna, herbal cleansers and nutritional supplements.

There are seven different styles of yoga and I’ll lie down and think of them all and then opt for Nidra. From €787 for 16 days/15 nights.

Spanish steps

Meditation and Yoga Therapy Way of Life, Valencia, Spain: And in this heat you’ll maybe not want to be ovestretching.

Yes, Nidra is on the menu here on the list of options.

This retreat we’re told is based on the Mindful and Heartfelt yoga practices as a way of life.

And if you like your chanting mantras Cullera Beach is the spot for you.

From €690 for seven days/six nights.

French fancy

Zen Yoga, Meditation, Deep Relaxation and Guided Walks, Vernodes, Dordogne, France: And the stress is on no stress… leaving behind the noise of the outside world.

And experience of Zen.

For me, Zen and the art of Murtycycle maintenance then.

From €402 for four days/three nights.

Portuguese man of ooooaaam

Rejuvenating Yoga Holiday, Ericeira, Portugal: And Moka Surf House are only offering a big Mongolian Yurt.

They promise chirping birds in the morning, the shadow of their ficus (no me neither but I’m willing to find out) from the afternoon sun and at sunset a terrace to relax on facing the sun.

And yes, Nidra

All a bit different from the tortures this woman put me through along the road at Quinto da Lago https://www.quintadolago.com/en/resort/.And check out the super SLM on www.slm-yoga.com.

Countries, Culture, Europe

Srebrenica, lest we forget

It is just 25 years ago since Europe was plunged into a genocide we again ignored.

And just like the Holocaust of the Jews and Gypsies and homosexuals in the Forties the civilised West did not think the Balkans Muslims were worth protecting.

Camp of hell

Until too late.

I am indebted to my good friend Onur Gul, of Turkish Airlines www.turkishairlines.com who has family links to Bosnia-Herzegovina, for flagging up today.

Poignant: Onur and his daughter

As he visited the graveyards in Srebrenica https://www.srebrenica.org.uk/.

Where the massacre of an entire town took place while we turned a blind eye.

I will be back

I had hoped to visit Srebrenica this year after missing out in the Autumn when I went to the Balkans.

With Marian Pilgrimages www.marian.ie to Medjugorje.

Arnie’s story

And discovered that it was too far from Sarajevo and I didn’t have enough time.

But while they may have been out of sight they were not out of mind.

Bey Mosque, Sarajevo

Sarajevo which was itself under siege marks its own and the greater Balkans wars.

It’s there in black and white at the Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide http://visitsarajevo.ba/?lang=en.

And you will get a sense of how the horrors of the war were played out as you take in the audio, video and everyday artefacts and personal testaments.

History revisited

One of the most heartwarming of them all is Arnie’s story. Yes, that Arnie.

For more visit Bosnia-Herzegovina https://www.visit-bosnia.ba/.

And while you search for holiday providers, let me recommend Marian Pilgrimages’ sister company Croatia Tours www.croatia.ie who operate in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

And here are some recollections of my Balkans odyssey… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/24/sarajevo-revisited/ and What’s the story, Medjugorje? Wouldn’t you like to know

America, Caribbean, Countries, Cruising, Europe, Ireland

Fiveday Friday – dip your toe back in outdoor swimming pools

I’m not sure what the rules are for outdoor swimming pools in Scotland (probably because in the Frozen North nobody ever considered it a thing) but the English are dipping their toes back in today.

Swimming is one of the staples of many people’s holiday although I confess that I spend less time in a pool now than when I was a kid, preferring instead to sip cocktails by the bar.

In some places you can do both. Here are my five top pools on my travels.

Bim-ming pool

Swim up

Sandals, Barbados: The ultimate in luxury where you can drink your Strawberry Daiquiri in the middle of the pool.

And then swim up to the island pool and have another. OK, waddle over.

A game of volleyball with the ultra-competitive Americans becomes even more fun after all that. You try spiking a ball with a cocktail in your hand.

Visit Barbados, or Bim as the locals call it https://www.sandals.co.uk/sandals-barbados  http://www.visitbarbados.org and Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

To infinity and beyond

Kuramathi, Maldives: And you can’t beat an Infinity Pool where you feel you are swimming right into the Indian Ocean only for the end of the pool to stop you.

You’ll have to get out of the pool to get your cocktail though.

On a one-mile island surrounded by the Indian Ocean you would think you’d be in the sea all the time but I leave that to the fishes.

And instead dip into my own private pool which comes with my cabin and check out the restaurant pools. Where you’ll have company with the island’s herons.

See http://www.kuramathi.ie, https://island-marketing.business.site and Atoll tale – the Maldives.

Dive into Las Vegas

All to yourself. http://www.hotels.com

Palazzo, Las Vegas: For many Vegas is all about staying in and making your fortune but then you’d be missing out big time.

Head for the top of the Palazzo hotel on the Strip https://www.venetian.com/towers/the-palazzo.html and swim your little heart out before .

And look down below on the crazy city waking up. See http://www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic.

And if you see a pair of red-rimmed sunglasses there would you let me know please?

Swimming in the fjords

Stormer: In the fjords

MSC Preziosa, Norwegian fjords: How’s this for a bracing swim? The Norwegian fjords.

You didn’t think I’d be dipping my toe in the isthmus did you?

But still I was fairly pleased with myself at taking to the pool in the Nordic drizzle while everyone (my professional photographer wife among them) hanging over the side taking piccies.

I never tire of swimming in a pool in the middle of the ocean… surrounded by a metal hulk of a floating hotel https://www.msccruises.co.uk, http://www.royalcaribbean.com, http://www.celebritycruises.com. And The call of the fjords, A Royal Party, Messi around on the water and I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out To Here.

Tenerife trunk call

La Laguna Gran Hotel, Tenerife: And just what the oul’ limbs need after a hike through rainforests, volcanic parks, arid hills and church towers.

Word to the wise. Be sure that you have someone with you or leave a wedge in the door.

Otherwise you could find yourself not getting back out. On second thoughts you don’t have to be anywhere, so don’t bother.

See http://www.CanariaWays.com, http://www.visitingtenerife.com and A walk through the ages… Tenerife.

PS: The Irish Sssssea

And an honorary mention to the Forty Foot in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin’s port https://www.dlrtourism.ie which is mentioned in Ulysses.

I’d always admired the locals swimming away in its ripples.

And I dipped in on the hottest day of the year a few years ago and jumped out just as quickly,

MEET YOU IN THE POOL

Asia, Europe, Flying, UK

Flyday Friday – Flight to the Promised Land

God’s people had spent years in exile, facing down plague and pestilence to get to the Promised Land.

Sound familiar.

But they got there… and so will we.

The Holy City

Pegasus www.flypgs.com are resuming flights from Wednesday (three times a week) from London Stansted to Tel Aviv via Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen.

From €244.99 one-way or on the Pegasus mobile app.

And like the Chosen People I have waited for this.

G force

From the moment I was invited by G Adventures https://www.gadventures.co.uk/on a Jordan http://uk.visitjordan.com/mobile/Home.aspx and Israel two-week cultural trip.

Lie back and think of the Middle East

And herein a lesson to us all. I altruistically opted for the alternative Jordan trip rather than leave my workmates to cover me for another week.

It did allow me to empathise with Moses when he reached Mount Nebo and looked over The Promised Land but was forbidden to enter because of a row with God.

I’ve been trying to get on God’s good side praying furiously in lockdown… I don’t want to give HIM any reason to block me.

Auld Greeky

Echoes of Athens in Edinburgh

And this one you’ll get if you’re from Edinburgh or are a fan of the Scottish capital.

The city was known as Auld Reeky on account of the smell which came up from the lochs, or lakes, across from the Old Town.

Which was dredged and made into today’s Princes Street Gardens with bridges put over the new land to the newly-built New Town.

Athens of the North

And the architecture inspired the name Athens of the North.

And why am I telling you this?

Athens of the South

Because Edinburgh Airport is resuming flights again to Greece https://athensattica.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/europe/my-greek-odyssey/.

And France https://www.google.ie/amp/s/about-france.com/mobi/index-amp.htm, and Italy http://www.italia.it/en/home.html.

And here’s how I see it… The Boat D’Azur and The Lourdes prayer. And https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/11/padova-city-of-frescoes/amp/, Small roads lead to Rome and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/04/see-rome-on-e50/.

What a difference a year makes

Service with a smile behind the mask

I’m reminded that this time last year I was being entertained by Etihad www.etihad.com on board one of their planes in Dublin Airport,

And although none of us knew then what was coming down the tracks I was struck by how adaptable and innovative Etihad were.

And it will serve them well as they set out their plans for flying to more than 50 destinations worldwide.

The way it was: Etihad last year

Now with flexible fares and the opportunity to change the date of your flight for free if you need to.

Well, well, well

I’ve already told you about their Wellness Ambassadors at every point of your journey. And a wellness kit.

All’s well then!

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

America, Caribbean, Countries, Cruising, Europe, Food, Food & Wine

Hungry and Thursday – the end of buffets?

Buffets are like marmite (and you can get that too) so the prospect of no buffets is just another thing to pile on our COVID tray.

First off, a history question? Who introduced the buffet?

Padova in north-west Italy actually.

I discovered this on a trip to the Veneto region… https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/11/padova-city-of-frescoes/amp/.

Boney’s Italian adventure

Napoleon, it transpires, was responsible for the introduction of the buffet when he held parties for his pals in the Italian grand casas.

Well you don’t think he got that girth from croissants do you? Visit http://www.turismopadova.it/en/basic-page/padua-24-or-48-hours.

Here’s where I’ve stood in line for my food asking for more. And there’s always more!

Carry on Cruising

Cruising: And one of the draws of a cruise for many is their food.

And you can eat around the world on a cruise, and go back and do it all over again!

Get there early for breakfast, lunch and dinners on MSC Cruises https://www.msccruises.ie/en-ie/Homepage.aspx and The call of the fjords

Particularly when the food-mad Italians are around!!!

Of course where you go on your cruise can inform your choice of foods.

And on the Celebrity Cruise Edge https://www.celebritycruises.ie/onboard/our-ships/celebrity-edge/ maiden voyage I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out To Here from Florida to the Bahamas they like to spice it up.

And that’s my five a day

If you want though a taste of home then Royal Caribbean are the cruise for you.

When you can visit an authentic British Fish and Chip Shop.

Authentic that is for being on the top deck with a cocktail in hand https://www.royalcaribbean.com and A Royal Party and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/24/messi-around-on-the-water/amp/.

Caribbean cruising

Barbados: And seeing we’re talking about the Caribbean (and aren’t we always?) then a Caribbean buffet always has something special?

Yes, rum!

Because bread, cakes, pancakes, bacon, you name it they have it, and it will be on the hot plate in Barbados https://www.visitbarbados.org and Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

Der buffet

Dresden: And for Germans, eccentrics that they are, that means doing things differently.

And the Saxons in Dresden Dresden’s renaissance https://www.dresden.de/en/tourism/tourism.php at the German Travel Mart https://www.germany.travel/en/trade/gtm-germany-travel-mart/gtm/gtm_10.html put out all their meats at one side of the room and the veg at the other.

Guess which one I went for!

America’s a rollercoaster

Orlando: You’ll pay for it if you were overdoing the Hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/things-to-do/dining/pat-o-briens.

Because in American hotels bigger is better.

And there will always be a chef waiting with a frying pan offering an anything you want omelette.

As well as the plethora of sweet treats.

But remember you have theme parks of loop the loops awaiting you.

And believe me you don’t want to make the Hulk angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry.

See https://www.visitorlando.com/en-ie, https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us. And Aaawlando… Orlando, the rollercoaster capital and See off Voldemort, then for a beer at Moe’s.

MEET YOU AT THE BUFFET- SOME TIME

Culture, Europe, Food & Wine

Edam good cycle in Holland

Men left, women always right as the old sign says… except, of course, when left means going back on yourself to Edam and right means returning to Amsterdam.

It was the one and only time I signalled correctly which is probably why SHE ignored me.

And we cycled around for another 10km in the twilight before returning to the crossroads.

By the time we got back and had our crepes and Amstel beers I was feeling it.

The top table: The Dylan Amsterdam

And I was cramped up the next day.

And did I say that we had only got the wrong day to go out to Edam as it was their half day?

Still we did manage to get a cheeseboard, garlic Edam cheese and one of those slicers with a delft pattern before they closed their shutters.

Slice of the action: Edam www.holland.com

The cheese might have got a bot smelly in my backpack on the ride home too but I wasn’t telling my parents for whom it was a souvenir.

All of which reminisces have been prompted by an itinerary suggestion from the now reopened Dylan Amsterdam… www.dylanamsterdam.com.

Where I took the by now Mrs M nearly 30 years after our first visit to Amsterdam.

Another power couple

Safe to say we were moving in far different circles and hotels in 1999 than now with the Dylan being George and Amal’s Dutch hotel of choice… George Clooney and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel.

One of the distinguishing features of the Dylan (and there are many) is the fabulous concierge service.

And here it’s almost as if they can read our minds.

Because among their alternative excursions is the Kroller Muller Museum which houses the world’s second largest collections of Van Goghs.

Blooming marvellous: The Dylan Amsterdam

And they are tempting us with a cycle around the Hoge Veluwe National Park afterwards.

When I’ll be sure to be giving the directions.

Like all great cities Amsterdam just leaves you wanting to come back for more www.iamsterdam.com and Pictures of Amsterdam.

Not least to get round the plethora of funky museums. And yes, of course, there is a cheese museum… http://www.cheesemuseumamsterdam.com/.

Check out the Dylan Amsterdam for best rates and conditions and be assured that your concierge will take great care of you.

My little flower: At the Tulip Museum

And help you with directions although some of us need them more than others.

We flew with the national airline carrier www.klm.com and would recommend them highly.

Countries, Culture, Europe, Ireland

Rainy Days and Songdays – Summer in Dublin

I remember that summer in Dublin and many since but as we mark 40 years since the classic Bagatelle song I reflect that I won’t be spending this summer in Dublin.

You don’t need a song to be nostalgic for you to feel nostalgic, but it helps.

Times have moved on from a bus to Dublin’s town port, Dún Laoghaire, to a DART train to Greystones in Co. Wicklow.

But you still get ‘drunks telling you how to get rich’… and I hope that never changes.

Grafton grafters

So what am I missing about Dublin?

Just the one thing… everything.

‘The young people walking along Grafton Street?’

Yes, and the buskers https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ij2zuAgB7ws, the exclusive Brown Thomas https://www.brownthomas.com/ store (BTs, as Dubliners know it) and Bewley’s Oriental Cafe…

Where you can clutch your hot chocolate and cinnamon swirl and people-watch from the balcony.

Grafton Street, the artery between Merrion Square and St Stephen’s Green is one of Europe’s great social hubs.

Busking in Dublin’s glory

Summer in Dublin was one of those specifically Irish pop songs as they were back in the day.

Just as the Boomtown Rats and U2 were bringing Irish pop and rock to the world’s attention and following the good work of Thin Lizzy.

And you can pose with Phil Lynott today outside the pub in front of which he used to play, Bruxelles, www.bruxelles.ie in one of the off-streets.

While Bono has been known to busk too, unannounced, on Grafton Street.

Trad dancing

You want some trad… well the snug in O’Donoghue’s, Merrion Row, https://www.brownthomas.com/ is where The Dubliners were formed, taking their name from a James Joyce short story.

Summer in Dublin didn’t get picked up across the water in Britain (shame).

But it did among the Irish-American community. Namely my Queens, New York cousins who were over in Dublin that summer.

I was a permanent fixture there in my teenage years.

A mere Bagatelle

So here’s Bagatelle’s Summer in Dublin… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MMhWll_mfGk.

And I’m still waiting, like all of us, for them to release the song they mention in Summer in Dublin ‘Rock’n’roll never forgets.’

Unless they’ve forgotten.

And for more on Dublin, see www.visitdublin.ie and https://www.google.com/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/26/city-delights-dublin/amp/.

You want more? Rugby central, it’s the InterCon… what a Ledge! And Raising the Bar.

Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Sport

My Sporting Weekend – Hamilton, Monaco and Barbados

You know when you think you’ve seen someone famous, like Lewis Hamilton or me. you convince yourself it’s just someone who looks like them.

And so I had a job in persuading my fellow revellers at Grand Kadooment, the closing parade of the Barbados Carnival, that it was actually Lewis on the float.

Lewis should be there right now… he is, every year in the land of his forefathers. As should I as was before Let’s rumba in Barbados My kiss with Rihanna

But www.visitbarbados.com instead he is in Austria whizzing around the track in that country’s Grand Prix.

Alas without the cheering petrolheads who go from circuit to circuit following their favourite boy racers.

One solution would be to have a series of purely road races so we could all see.

And nobody does that quite like the most famous race of them all… Monaco.

Me? I can’t even get out of the pit lane in my Fiat 500.

Don’t worry, Lewis, I’m no threat. And besides I’d rather be driven around the Cote D.Azur in a speed boat anyway… The Boat D’Azur and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/about-france.com/mobi/index-amp.htm.

Everyone should visit Lewis’s home, Monaco (it’s one of four globally actually) if they’re in the French Riviera on holiday.

It’s only one of those great French train journeys around stunning cliffs and we took it from our camp base in St Raphael.

Full reveal here… we pulled down the shutter when the ticket conductor came around.

Not the first, or last, time we tested the officials, or gendarmes’ patience on that post-school holiday.

Visit https://www.francethisway.com/places/saint-raphael.php and https://www.visitmonaco.com/en.

And back to Lewis’s beloved Barbados. We chased him down the street… he’s used to everybody being in his slipstream.

His float though was going a little slower but as you can see from the picture he ended up giving us the bum’s rush.

So until the next time it’s back to playing with my toy racing cars.

I only wish I had a track like this one in Istanbul Airport’s Turkish Airways www.turkishairlines.com and Wham bam, thank you Hamam.