America, Countries

Bye-Bye B-52s hello Idaho

And in the way that only music bands can do it’s bye-bye B-52s hello Idaho.

The New Wave pioneers are calling time on 46 years of their out there arty pop this year with a tour of the States.

All of which will go down especially well in trippy California and their homestead of Georgia although they won’t be playing Idaho.

They have once before near state capital Boisey.

Love getaway

We can get together: The B-52s

But no sleight intended, the great outdoorsy state (pop 1.5m) is the getaway state of their song and their imagination.

The B-52s are, of course, known for their escapism, their other biggest hit the impossibility catchy Love Shack.

The love getaway down the Atlanta Highway.

And I can vouch that even in their 70s now Fred, Kate and the gang can still get you up bopping.

I’ve got my jukebox money

Hurry up: I’ve got my jukebox money

As I, and others, can testify to when they brought the house down at one of our American Travel Fair lunches, in Denver.

Of course, it felt particularly apt, here in Colorado, in the shadow of the Rockies which it shares with private Idaho.

Idaho is, in truth, as dramatic and remote as in the B-52s’ imagination.

Footsteps of Lewis and Clark

Rocky mountain high: Idaho

And Lewis and Clark, of expeditionary fame.

Both of whom found it is as variable as anywhere on the great American landmass.

And take in Twin Falls where you’ll witness Shoshone Falls, dubbed as the ‘Niagara of the West’ whose waterfalls stands 45 feet taller than the eastern wonder.

Niagara of the West: Shoeshone Falls

Channel your inner trekker on the Northwest Scenic Byway to Coeur d’Alene.

Where sun and moon risings are recommended experiences on your itinerary.

The lunar thing is not by accident…

Out of this world

Over the moon: The Craters experience, Idaho

For an otherworldly experience visit Craters of the Moon National Monument.

As you drive up, you will be greeted by an ocean of lava flows – it feels like walking on the moon!

You won’t be walking of course across the Great American West… you’ll have yourself a car as big as a whale.

Something to think on when we say bye-bye B-52s, hello Idaho.

 

 

America, Countries, Europe, Ireland

It’s EaZzzzzy with Holidos and Don’ts

A redeye and no Aircoach… fear not it’s EaZzzzzy with Holidos and Don’ts.

Your globetrotting Bandanaman is hotfooting it over to his spiritual homeland of Ireland tomorrow morning.

But such are the vagaries of North Berwick, 15 miles east of Edinburgh, that there is no aircoach from outside my door.

As there was 24-7 in Greystones, Co. Wicklow.

Hubba bubba: Dublin Airport

And so I have the options of a £75 taxi from Castle Murty, asking The Scary One to give me an early morning lift.

Or grabbing the last train (hopefully it’s on as the slightest puddle causes cancellations).

And bunking for the night at the airport… I’ve ruled out the £100 hotel rates.

So the Holidos and Donts.

A site for sore eyes

It helps if you’re in any of the airports flagged up by the excellent Sleeping in Airports site.

And you’ll notice that most of their followers’ recommendations are in stopover airports in Asia.

But there are some old faves too in Europe and America.

Best for a layover

On the right track: Turkish Airlines Business Class

In Istanbul’s award-winning Turkish Airlines Business Class lounge sure but also in their rest rooms with privacy walls while they also have shower rooms.

But also in Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam where they have designated rest zones and plenty of amenities including a casino, fitness facilities, a library and a museum.

Denver too gets a shout-out probably because I spent longer there than anywhere… eight hours after being dropped off after my Wild West odyssey in Colorado.

And you’ll become an expert in putting with their 18-hole green on the balcony… and an arts aficionado with their excellent gallery.

Check it out: Munich check-in at Oktoberfest

Oh, and as for the rest the massages come highly recommended.

Munich Airport falls into the same category, and what it lacks for in ease for getting from one gate to the next when you misread your ticket it makes up for with helpful staff.

Arriving there just before the Oktoberfest you’ll find the staff dressed in Bavarian lederhosens.

And if you’re lucky then you’ll get the same Bertha who changed my ticket for a later one when I’d missed my original forwarding flight to Athens.

Dublin’s lair city

Dressed to thrill: At Dublin Airport

Now that I’ve had my accommodation taken care of by my friends in Ireland who are running the international travel network I won’t have to worry about kipping in Dublin Airport.

But there’s a sleeping pod with my name on it which I’ve bagsied in the past and no doubt will again.

And just to make sure your layover goes well a few tips.

*Lock your bags when you’re asleep and keep them wrapped around your shoulders.

*Put the alarm clock on your mobile to make sure you don’t miss the flight.

*And make sure you’re next to a plug socket just in case your mobile which has your boarding pass and Covid details and locator form on it is charged up.

See it’s EaZzzzzy with Holidos and Don’ts.

 

America, Countries, Europe, Flying

Why airports are museums

For some they are stressful thoroughfares but for the rest they are objets d’artes and why airports are museums.

If you are a seasoned traveller then it is inevitable that you will have spent hours on end in airports.

Go Broncos

Blue Mustang:  I want to jump on

Denver: Now if you have found yourself with eight hours before your next flight from Denver you might wonder what you’ll do.

Where’s a mini-golf course when you need one?

Well, yours is at the south end of Jeppesen Terminal in the pre-security area.

That Denver International Airport should have a mini-golf course should come as little surprise.

Psychedelic: Blue Bear in Denver

To those of us greeted by a giant blue Bronco installation, entering the airport.

The hip and humorous hombres from Denver have a thing for big blue animals as we know from our own perigrinations in Mile High City.

When in Rome

I’ll be back: The Trevi Fountain in Rome

Rome: It would have been the preserve of the Gods, of Mercury, to fly in Ancient Rome.

And so in today’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport they celebrate their seafaring past.

And so when I last visited the Eternal City they had an exhibition to Ostia.

Of course it wouldn’t be Rome if they weren’t honouring their most famous citizens with sculptures scattered through the airport.

And an array of mosaics including part of a mythological depiction of signs of the Zodiac and the four time zones, or the four seasons. 

Epic Athens

Spoiled and ruined at the Acropolis in Athens

Athens: Now what the fast food chain was in the days of Socrates and Plato is anybody’s guess but I’m thinking Figs on the Run.

Civilisations meet near the Burger King on the upper level of the main departures hall (before security).

And there you’ll see 172 authentic artefacts dating from the Neolithic and Early Hellenic eras to the post-Byzantine period.

I will be back to check them out only I’d messed up my connections through Munich and had a date with Athene on a hill. But that’s another story.

Amsterdam in miniature

Holland Boulevard, Schiphol

Amsterdam: The Netherlands have long been a crossroads from these islands, Britain and Ireland, where I live.

And, while of course, we should always take time out to see its largest city, the gem that is Amsterdam, there are times when Schiphol Airport will be a layover.

Now I’m a long-term advocate for art galleries, and believe that there is never a wasted minute, hour or afternoon spent in one.

Drink up: Amsterdam Airport

And so if you have time on your hands, and even if you don’t, then you should check out the Rijksmuseum.

Which became the first art museum in the world to open a branch at an airport in 2002.

And where travellers can visit the museum free of charge, 24 hours a day.  

Qatar welcomes the world

Animal magic: The oryxes in Doha

Qatar: Now Qatar will be welcoming peoples from around the globe at the end of this year when they host the World Cup.

So we’ll all see the herd of metal oryxes, a nice treat in arrivals.

Have a lie down: And there are more funky sculptures

As well as the jumbo yellow Lamp Bear by Urs Fischer after departures, security and passport control at the South Node.

Or the wooden toy Small Lie  which looms 32 feet over passers-by in the North Node.

And the larger-than-life sculptural Playground.

All of which we’ll appreciate all the more as we get back out flying again.

That’s why airports are museums.