Countries, Culture, Food, Food & Wine, Uncategorized

Ready, steady GOAT… racing in Tobago

You would easily miss the ‘No squatting’ sign on Englishman’s Bay in the Caribbean island of Tobago.

The fictional seafarer Robinson Crusoe did, before going on to spend 28 years doing just that, as a castaway here.

Daniel Defoe’s literary hero has been a source of enduring fascination for the past 300 years.

Defoe, who drew on many shipwreck stories of the time – tells us that Crusoe’s vessel sank within sight of ‘the great island of Trinidad’.

Logic dictates that can only have been its sister island Tobago.

The same logic means you can discount the rival claim from the island formerly known as Mas a Tierra, off the coast of Chile.

Which the Chilean government opportunistically renamed Isla Robinson Crusoe in 1966.

Beach life

It’s hard to know if Crusoe would recognise Tobago today.

His first challenge, of course, after making shore back in 1719 would have been to find food.

And through fortune, or good judgment, he managed to avoid the yellow berries on the beach – the ones my host warns me to stay away from.

Instead, Crusoe would have shaken the trees for coconuts and bananas.

Fruits of land and sea

And picked from mango groves, gladly living off the fruits of the land and the sea.

I’m a guest of the Tobago Tourism Agency and enjoy similar spoils at a range of restaurants.

The sort where the fish are close enough to jump out of the sea and onto your plate.

And where the owners are friendly enough for you to call them Auntie Alison or Uncle Kenneth.

The island of Tobago has been ‘settled’ 32 times including, randomly, by Latvians.

In an island just 12kms wide you’re never too far from the sea, or a breathtaking view of it.

In search of locals, whose ancestors were here long before Crusoe, we head for the rainforest, and its bird and animal sanctuaries.

Where hummingbirds, mockingbirds, back hawks and woodpeckers are in good voice.

Attenborough‘s pal

And where Crusoe would have learnt, as I do, of the natural healing power of plants.

My guides include rainforest expert William Slim, who counts David Attenborough as an admirer; bird expert.

Ean Mackay www.adventure-ecovillas.com and animal conservationists Ian Wright and Roy Collins.

I am particularly taken by the magical properties of the cocoa plant.

And by another called ‘roucou’ or achiote (Bixa orellana) which contains a dye which will turn your beard ginger (I bet Crusoe did the same).

Plus a plant that cures the flu.

In February, Tobagonians come out for carnival, the Caribbean’s oldest of its type, dating back to the slave trade era.

During which they go limin’ (pre-drinking), and chippin’ (a rhythmic sliding strut performed by revellers as they follow a band).

They practise for it all year round.

Every visitor to Tobago should make time to stop at Sunday School in Bucoo on the south of the island.

Not a true Sunday school, but a vibrant street party featuring steelpan and soca (soul of calypso) music.

For which the whole of the island comes out to dance and drink rum punch into the wee small hours.

Soca star

Soca, the soundtrack to Tobago, comes in many guises – from old-school kaiso (west African-influenced)…

To power Soca (fast-paced) and the Christmas favourite Parang, heavily influenced by nearby Venezuela.

Waterholics, a local water activities company, brings tourists by boat to Princess Margaret’s honeymoon spot, Nylon Pool.

Which she once declared were as clear as her nylon stockings (€109pp ilovetobagott.com)

Nylon Pool has the added advantage of being a raised sandbank amid deeper water, so you can have a bit of fun.

Standing around in the sea fir afternoon drinks, and I guess this is exactly what the party-loving royal did.

Christmas party

Amid Tobago’s 30C temperatures don’t be surprised to find a Santa in a festive T-shirt on the beach, and a No Man’s Land…

A small, sandy island which my boat party drops anchor on for our own bespoke Christmas party.

I suspend disbelief and indulge in rum punch instead of a sherry and mahi-mahi (like swordfish) instead of turkey.

Perhaps Tobago’s biggest distraction comes in the form of racing goats, who during my visit are in training for the Buccoo Goat Race Festival that takes place each Easter.

The ways of a nanny or billy goat were well known to Crusoe, of course, whose efforts in raising the big kids were chronicled in his adventures.

In Crusoe’s absence, though, we are fortunate to have jockey Levi, who shows me the ropes, and how to handle my giddy goat Bandanaman.

Which has a loose-fitting cord around its neck.

The starter shouts: ‘Ready, Steady. Goat’, or at least I do, and we’re pff.

I’m a natural, letting Bandanaman lead me 100 metres up the grass track near the football pitch.

Which just happens to be the hallowed ground upon which former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke first paraded his skills.

Today, though, it is Yorke’s former mentor Terry Williams holding the fort, flying kites with his young son Elijah.

Lie down and think of Tobago

It looks hard work in this heat, but after my exertions with the goats, I welcome the prospect of a cool down.

On an island where all beaches are public, you are spoilt for choice – from Lover’s Bay and Pirate’s Bay, to Crown Point’s Store Bay Beach.

Where the Trinis (Trinidadians) will pop over on a 20-minute flight, just for the afternoon.

It is on Pirate’s Bay beach that I meet a German party, who emerge, almost Crusoelike from the thickets, having walked the width of the island.

From Scarborough, its largest town.

A kindlier man might have given up their hammock but I have difficulty in getting out of mine.

My last day I spend as Crusoe might have done, in reverence to the Divine Creator – partaking of a full-throated spiritual singalong at the Bread of Life Ministries.

Which is a Pentecostal church near my hotel in Crown Point.

But while Crusoe’s most solemn wish would have been to be rescued, mine is that no big bird ever arrives to fly me off my fantasy island.

The brief

Getting there:

Fly from Dublin to London Gatwick and onwards to Tobago with British Airways (from €560 return www.ba.com) or Virgin Atlantic (from €586 return) www.virginatlantic.com.

Getting around:

Drivers and guides can easily be arranged at hotels to get you around Tobago. Car rental starts at about €50 per day.

Where to eat:

Mount Irvine Bay Resort has its own seaside golf course while for those whose favourite hole is the 19th, the resort serves the best rum punches on the island (doubles from €84 www.mtirvine.com.

Castara Retreats is a hidden gem with its hammocks on the balcony, buzzing village feel and bonfire parties on the beach (doubles from €777) www.castararetreats.com.

Kariwak Holistic Haven is near the airport, the bars, restaurants and casino of the ‘strip’ (doubles from €263. www.kariwak.com.

Where to dine:

The Blue Crab is Robinson, Scarborough, once featured on television chef Ainslie Harriott’s show, Caribbean Kitchen. Try the chicken curry www.tobagobluecrab.com.

Jemma’s Tree House on Fourmi Road, Hermitage, where you’ll share your table space with hummingbirds but that’s what comes when you dine in a treehouse.

Order the swordfish – so good they named it twice.

For more information on Tobago see www.visittobago.gov.tt.

Cruising, Culture, Deals, Europe, Uncategorized

Cruiseday Tuesday – a port in Porto

There are some destinations whose names tingle in your mouth every time you say them… Porto, Bordeaux, Pilsen, Buckfast.

Well, maybe not the last one but you can give the monks a pass on that one… it can be a solitary existence.

Broken only, I guess, if the bar/restaurant is pretty much on the premises as is the case with the Strahov Monastery Brewery in Prague http://www.klasterni-pivovar.cz.

Uniworld is offering an eight-day Douro River Valley trip on July 19, Porto-Porto on board the new SS Sao Gabriel in a. Open Stateroom.

You’ll enjoy six days of excursions and a private tour and port tasting at the prestigious port wine estate Quinta do Seixo.

And I’ve saved the best for last… Uniworld has granted a final extension of jts 100th anniversary celebration offer.

So you’ll save 30% on select 2020 luxury river cruises now until March 30.

Sail on Tenerife

As I’ve flagged up on this site already, Tenerife https://www.visitingtenerife.com has led the way in jumping on top of its Coronavirus challenge.

And it’s definitely open for business.

Why not do like Nelson and sail into Tenerife… and you’ll have a better result A walk through the ages… Tenerife?

TUI www.tuiholidays.ie is offering an additional €300 per booking with code May300.

So try: Dublin to Tenerife. Canarian Flavours on the Marella Explorer. All-inclusive, seven nights inside cabin From €779pps.

Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK, Uncategorized

My Sporting Weekend – More Muirfield please

Now I’m not just saying this because I want regular Open golf from Muirfield which is near my new home in North Berwick. OK, I am.

But I’m only a week back here and already I’ve discovered that there is a real threat to Muirfield’s regular slot on the Open rota.

My old mucker, golf scribe extraordinaire Martin Dempster, of The Scotsman https://www.scotsman.com, tells us…

That Muirfield and Carnoustie have fallen behind others in popularity with the R&A https://www.randa.org.

North Berwick, and Scotland’s Golf Course

To the likes of Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland where last year’s Open was held and I was the guest of the Northern Ireland Tourism board… www.visitnorthernireland.com

Portrush… and dreams do come true

200,000 is now the figure given as the target which courses must now which apparently stands against the two Scottish courses.

And it is Marin’s contention, and his instincts are usually bang on, that Muirfield and Carnoustie will be in a 15 to 20 year loop with Royal Lyrham & St Anne’s.

Now just on Muirfield, near Edinburgh on Scotland’s Golf Coast, didn’t do itself any favours with its policy on women’s members.

But that has changed now and other esteemed golf courses have had questionable policies too: – the WASPish Augusta anyone?

Now judging courses on their winners how about this list of winners, all of them in my lifetime: Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo (twice), Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson.

While before that there was Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, the latter who I followed around Hoylake.

Not a duffer among them.

Now you’re wanting to know how my game shapes up… well, here’s how The Boat D’Azur, Strip… the light fantastic.

And because I’ll always support Scotland www.visitscotland.com.

So here’s my pitch… protect Edinburgh’s Open, Muirfield Edinburgh – an old friend and Aberdeen’s Open, Carnoustie Aberdeen – a light in the north.

Where one of the greatest pieces of theatre played itself out… when Jean de Velde thrashed around in the burn.

And Aberdonian Paul Lawrie came from eight behind to lift the Claret Jug.

MEET YOU ON THE COURSE

America, Countries, Deals, Europe, UK, Uncategorized

Flyday Friday – Iceland rocks

The Daughters of Reykjavík will be waiting for you off your Icelandair flight.

And Andy Svarthol. And your Dry Cleaning.

If that sounds quite a party it’s because it is… these are just some of the bands who will be playing.

At the 22nd edition of Iceland Airwaves from November 4-7.

Turn the lights on: Iceland

Travel packages are available for 2020 and include festival pass. round-trip flights and hotel accommodation.

Packages with departures beginning November 2 are available, starting at €325pp for airfare from Dublin with festival pass.

Hotel inclusive packages are also available.

Icelandair www.icelandair.com also flies from Dublin via Iceland to 18 gateways in North America.

Including Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Edmonton. Minneapolis. Montreal, New York (JFK & Newark), Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa. Toronto, Vancouver and Washington DC.

And here’s a reminder of a couple of them… Go West. Aaawlando… Orlando, the rollercoaster capital and Easy DC.

Hamburgers and Londoners

Tuck in

Not that Londoners are any bigger fans of hamburgers than anywhere else… more that they are both great port cities.

And that our friends at Aer Lingus have up to 25% off deals.

So that’s Hamburg at €34.99 one-way from Dublin.

And London from Dublin at €25.99 one-way, from Cork at €34.99, Shannon €39.99 and Knock €25.99.

Book by March 2 and travel before April 20.

And here’s why I love these port cities so much… The London life and Hamburgers and ships.

America, Countries, Food & Wine, Uncategorized

Flipping marvellous – best pancake places

There is no evidence that Jesus ate a round of pancakes before going on to fast for 40 days… but there’s no evidence that he didn’t.

Today we’ll all tuck into our pancakes with the Son and Heir the flipper in our family.

God being good I’ll be on my way to Prague today.

Where I’m sure that being Central Europe there will be a big plate of pancakes a-waiting.

On-flight, British Airways: I’ve never lost the wonder of eating on an airplane since first peeling back the tinfoil as a kid.

In the years since I’ve found that it’s usually beef or salmon, with a vegetarian option.

While now that I’ve enjoyed business class on occasions on long-hauls there are breakfasts too… which obvs means pancakes.

Mine’s were on my flight to Jordan www.visitjordan.com with www.gadventures.com. Read on The water of life, Petra, and the sands of time.

Pile ‘em high

Everything is bigger in America

The big breakfast, America: It’s funny how certain foods and drinks taste better in the countries of their origin.

Guinness in Ireland, risotto in Italy and pancakes in the Oo Es of Eh.

Yes, I know that pancakes are from France because, of course, they invented food.

It’s just that Americans do it bigger and better... pile ’em high at breakfast and make sure you take in a diner.

And sweeter in Barbados

Watch out for predators

Life sweet in Barbados: The first thing you need to know about Barbados is that this is the home of rum.

So that when you come down for your breakfast at Turtle Beach https://www.eleganthotels.com/turtle-beach and Sandals https://www.sandals.co.uk/sandals-barbados/ in St Laurence Gap you’ll get rum pancakes.

Irie as they say in Bim which is why I went back a second time… Let’s rumba in Barbados and A kiss from Rihanna.

Uncategorized

Shop till you drop around the world

Now I’m very much straight (no man would have me!) and a Scottish-type of bloke so obviously I need help with clothes-shopping.

Heck, let’s be honest, I give it a wide berth. But seeing we’re in Fashion Season, post-New York, London this week and Paris and Milan to come…

My Travel professional friend Rachel brings us:

You never have to rush for the bus

What’s in a name?

Hit the shops

Vintage District – Kyushu, Japan: Now the schoolboy in me sniggers whenever I see the town Fukuoka mentioned. And even better pronounced.

But I’d never be so impolite, I’d always so please after namechecking the Japanese city.

Rachel tells us that the Dalmyo District has a wide variety of styles with outlets including Pearl and Nobu, featuring unique 19th century couture.

You simply must visit Kimagureya and YT, dahlings.

With retro looks right through from the Swinging Sixties to the Grunge Nineties.

And all for under a tenner! Visit www.welcomekyushu.com.

Sarong remains the same

Sarong but so right

Tahiti fashion week, the islands of Tahiti: My Maldives sarong is looking all lonesome in the drawer as we unpack.

Do you think I’d get away with suggesting to the Scary One that I go out and get another one? She won’t wear one though.

Rachel tells us that the Papa’ete Market is the place to go for your pareo where you can be one of half a million visitors…

And if it’s good enough for David Beckham!

Visit www.tahititourisme.uk/en.gb.

Surfers’ chic

Pink rock

Pacific City – Huntington Beach, California: Now I have to confess here that I only saw Huntington Beach by night… watching Snoop Dogg at the American Travel Fair.

And that voice in the background, no, not Snoop but my pal Bladhana from www.americanholidays.ie who know everything there is to know.

While the picture at the top is Visit USA’s and United Airlines’ www.united.com Aoife (sans bandana).

Onto other matters and here’s what Surf City USA has to offer… and, yes, there are boardies!

You’ll notice first off the quirky stores housed in modern craftsmsn beach bungalows.

And an artisan market inspired by California cuisine with patio dining, outdoor movie nights and plenty of places to hang out.

Now Rachel flags up Urban Outfitters, who dress the Son and Heir, but you’ll forgive me but Free People, Brandy Melville and Vissia.

Visit www.surfcityusa.com.

Now where are your fave shoppers destinations? Let me know…

MEET YOU IN THE STORE

Uncategorized

Auschwitz lest we forget… I think we have

Prisoners would rush to get the top bunk bed in Auschwitz.

Like overexcited schoolchildren at a summer holiday camp?

No, but because a malnourished human being will quickly lose control of their bowel movements.

And you wouldn’t want to be under that.

Behind these gates

The Son and Heir conveyed that story to me after visiting the Polish concentration camp as part of World Youth Day in Krakow.

Life in camp

And it is these graphic illustrations of what life was like in the concentration camp which are being increasingly retold this week, this day.

Eerie

On the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.

The challenging question for those of us whose mission is to see the world is whether Auschwitz is mawkish.

And, yes, it can be, if you disrespect the memory of those who were brutalised there by taking cheap selfies.

The Son and Heir

But I’m heartened at the same time by the ever-increasing interest in history by thus generation.

And the reverence shown by, among them, the Son and Heir at Auschwitz.

A personal war memory

And those young schoolboys who joined me in presenting the wreath at The Last Post at the Menin Gate in Ieper.

On my World War I Battlefields tour of Flanders and the Somme with GTI The Group Travel Specialists https://gtitravel.ie and In Flanders Fields.

Where I found the grave of my Great Uncle.

The politicians’ game

War history and war tourism is as old as time…

War tourism

For example the great Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott was not alone among well-known people to scour the Waterloo battlefield.

And my American colleague in Ieper took home fragments of exploded shells from Ieper.

Concentration camps today

I am always prepared to go the extra mile to seek out a battlefield, a graveyard or a genocide.

From visiting my first concentration camp in Dachau, and it was the first in Germany, on my Oktoberfest trip to Munich…

Every one a person

To discovering the inhumane lengths man will still go to settle grievances at the Museum of Crimes Against Humanity in Sarajevo.

Visit visitsarajevo.ba and www.bhtourism.ba.

Lest we forget?

I fear we have.

Uncategorized

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 http://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.

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 http://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 

Uncategorized

Flyday Friday – Philly charged

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I’ll always go where people play and pray.

And wherever you find sportsfans you’ll see prayers being sent heavenwards for the success of their sportsteams.

Philadelphia, a real blue-collar city is one of America’s great sports hubs.

And if you were around in the Seventies and Eighties in particular you would have seen the City of Brotherly Love’s teams win…

Chinatown. Philadelphia

At baseball: the Phillies,

Ice hockey: the Flyers,

American Football: the Eagles,

Basketball: the 76ers.

But then Philadelphia forgot what it was and who they were and in a Tower of Babel moment they incurred the Curse of Billy Penn…

The city’s founding father.

Read how they won back Billy’s favour in Philadelphia Freedom and www.visitphilly.com.

Philly is the only American city on National Geographic’s top 25 places to visit this year…

Grand Canyon

Along with Grand Canyon National Park which I’ll always flag up… The grandest canyon.

Now I don’t need a reason to praise Philly but Aer Lingus has flights there from €189 as part of a return trip.

As part of a raft of special deals, both American and European.

For travel April 1 to June 15. Visit www.aerlingus.com.

Money back

Got your interest, well let’s progress.

Your flight is late and you just have to suck it up (how I hate that phrase).

And you know that if you’ve got a connection to make and that’s not going to happen.

Your plane just gone?

Then you need to know your EU Regulation 261/2004… http://www.citizensinformation.ie.

And we have much to thank Sturgeon v Condor Flugdienst GmbH and Bock and Others v Air France SA last year.

Now I’m imagining it’s not the Sturgeon who wants Scotland to be independent and stay in the EU.But whoever you are we salute you.

Sweet Amsterdam

It would be wrong though to knock our airlines because they are corporate Leviathans.

They are manned by real people and as tempting as it is in the stress of the moment.

Air France-KLM http://www.airfranceklm.com sorted out an oversight on The Scary One’s Dublin-Amsterdam tickets.

Which meant that she hit the canals smiling… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/pictures-of-amsterdam/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/george-and-amal-hotel/.

Lufthansa http://www.lufthansa.com and Aegean Airlines https://en.aegeanair.com also got me on the next connecting flight from Munich to Athens.

Old relics… Athens

After things had gone Der pear-shaped…

Though this relic did see his old Greek relic in the end.

Ryanair www.ryanair.com are the passenger’s favourite whipping boy but they too will help you out.

I know first hand having had a booking moved.

Because I had again messed up on not looking carefully enough at the return flight from Tobago https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/13/flyday-friday-caribbean-island-hopping/

And http://www.visittobago.gov.tt to London.

Because it was going to return the next day. It’s easier than you think.

Anyhoos try out www.airhelp.com for a wee help out.

Paris match

Window to the world: Ryanair

We’ll be giving it plenty in 2020… Ryanair, I know you love a good sales pitch so you can have that one for free!

Because you do keep us interested with your seat sales the latest of which offers 10% off one way flights for travel January-May.

Paris which is from €21.99 is a city I’ve yet to crack properly.

Because of mes misadventures.

I recall being kicked awake while sleeping on Paris St Lazare railway station.

When I was a callow 17-year-old on my way down to the French Riviera with pals after my school exams.

I travel in slightly better style these days… http://www.atoutfrance.fr and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-boat-dazur/

And then on our family holiday a few years back I had the bell rung in my ear at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery http://www.parisinfo.com.

Cafe culture

As we were rushing back from Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde’s last resting place.

If I wanted ringing bells I’d have gone to the Notre Dame, merci bien, Monsieur.

Alas, of course, that wonderful church was ravaged by fire.

But mes amis in Paris tell me that they are working furiously to try to revive it to its former glory.

The Glasgow tongue

Our language is continually changing and that’s no bad thing.

But sometimes we forget that old words and definitions still hang around for an older Fifty Something generation.

My home city Glasgow www.peoplemakeglasgow.com is a case in point.

Just in from Glasgow Airport: ‘January Sale: save 20% on parking and the Lomond Lounge.

‘Book until January 8. Valid for arrivals until December 31.’

And then to reinforce the urgency… ‘It’s there and then it’s GONE. POOF.’

Visit www.hello@e.glasgowairport.com.

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES