Countries, Culture, Europe

Flying turtles to the Canaries

And let’s not be shellfish here that someone else is getting abroad, that Aer Lingus is flying turtles to the Canaries.

No lateral flow tests, no 72-hour PCR test, no passenger locator forms…

Well, this turtle is Canarian.

Julius Caesar (stay with me here) has been kicking his stubby feet in Co. Down, Northern Ireland, for the best part of a year and a half.

The loggerhead sea turtle washed ashore in 2019.

Hail Caesar

Crate expectations: JC gets the deluxe treatment

Julius Caesar, thus named by the Donegal family who found him because of his fighting spirit, has been recuperating in Down.

At the Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry where they have put the poor fella back together again.

JC was just three months old when he was swept along the current (and who hasn’t been there).

And he was carried along the Gulf Stream to Co. Donegal.

Donegal diver

Just the ticket: And it’s Turtle luxury on Aer Lingus

The poor wee thing was underweight, just under a few hundred grammes, and suffering from hypothermia.

So it was just as well that it was Donegal where he was found.

Because Ireland’s most northern county boasts the warmest people in the world.

OK I’m biased as my Dear Old Mum and her people are daughter and sons of the sod.

The Ulster folk are famous for their hospitality as anyone who has enjoyed their ‘wee’ Ulster Fry will testify.

Turtle’s Ulster Fry

Turtle loving care: And the crew is besotted

So it’s no surprise Donegal’s fellow Ulsterians filled JC up.

Those pounds piled up on a diet of fish mixture, squid and gel.

Just a thought here but I might just have been a turtle in a previous life.

As I’ve got on famously with them in Barbados and in the Maldives.

Well, after 20 months being pampered in Ireland the day finally came today for JC to head home to the Canaries.

And when you travel from Ireland you need to promote the national airline carrier.

And of course Aer Lingus was only too happy to fly JC on the EI 782 to veterinarian Pascual Calabuig at the Tarifa Wildlife Recovery Centre on Gran Canaria.

Turtle on board

It’ll take longer: The swim back to the Canaries

JC’s minder Portia Simpson is going along for the company.

Our turtle, now weighing 25kg, is protected in a specially designed waterproof crate.

I can only say the best things about Aer Lingus’s flight experience… and the same can be said for turtles.

JC is not the first turtle that Aer Lingus has repatriated.

Another rogue loggerhead turtle, Leona, was found in Co. Clare in 2013 and transported to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria by Aer Lingus in December 2014.

This is your pilot speaking

Next time I’m flying: And i’ll choose Aer Lingus

Pilot Captain Peter Lumsden introduced the VIP to the passengers.

‘It is our pleasure to welcome aboard a very special passenger today and to ensure the safe transportation of JC the Turtle to Gran Canaria.

‘Keeping the turtle’s temperature above 19 degrees is critical to his wellbeing and he requires regular monitoring and shell lubrication so placing him in the aircraft hold was not an option.

‘Like all of us on the flight today, I’m sure he is looking forward to the warmer climate upon landing.’

Turtle minder

And so say all of me. The Canaries are a pleasure any time of the year, but especially in the late summer after a year in cold storage.

So the next time Portia needs a hand, then I’d be happy to fly turtles to the Canaries.

 

 

 

 

Countries, Culture, Ireland, Music, UK

Song for Ulster

The 12th of July means something in Northern Ireland and its hinterland so today it’s Rainy Days and Songdays Song for Ulster.

No, not the songs you would hear on the marches and matches but the best of Ulster from the charts.

Alternative

SLF: Belfast bravado. http://www.imdb.com

Stiff Little Fingers (Alternative Ulster): And first up is the pride of Ulster punk.

Belfast boys SLF used the backdrop of The Troubles for material and recorded the first single Suspect Device disguised as a suspect bomb.

The producer thought it was real and contacted the band for a real one. Instead we give you the brilliant Alternative Ulster.

Get your kicks

Call them up on the telephone: The Undertones

The Undertones (Teenage Kicks): It is the stuff of punk legend that SLF and Derry’s finest The Undertones did not get on.

The Undertones accused SLF of sensationalising The Troubles and the violence.

Teenage Kicks famously initially had the line: ‘I wanna hold it, hold it tight’.

An Ode to Derry

Star composer: Phil Coulter

Phil Coulter (The Town I Loved So Well): When a composer speaks with honesty and experience about his world (Derry)then the results are memorable.

Phil, of course, had musical pedigree before this, his signature song, having written Eurovision classics Congratulations and Puppet On A String.

Comedy classic

Harmon harmonies: Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy (National Express): And you’ve got to love a band with a lyric: ‘And it’s hard to get by/when your arse is the size of a small country.

Derry’s Neil Harmon also penned an album The Duckworth Lewis Method. Geinius.

Van the Belfast Man

Hat’s the boy: Van the Man

Van Morrison (Madame George): The poet laureate of Belfast, Van may be a grumpy old sod but he’s never forgotten his roots.

You can still see him at one of his legendary cabarets at the Europa Hotel although, alas, characters like Madame George are long gone,

And a special mention too to the three Ulster counties in the Republic of Ireland

The Republic Counties

Name of the game: Clannad

Donegal and Clannad and Harry’s Game over Daniel O’Donnell.

Hipsters Cavan and The Strypes and Blue Collar Jane.

And Monaghan with their history of Country music and ‘Big Tom’ McBride and his Gentle Mother. And my Country Roads.

Raff, you handsome prince

Can I be in your band: Michael and Travel set

But the last word goes to the North’s finest… my pal Michael Rafferty who has been playing covers of our favourites every night through lockdown.

And Michael is locking it down, deservedly at 500.

Check out his Handsome Princes and Michael tells me he’s the handsomest of them all.

It’s my Rainy Days and Songdays Song for Ulster.

Countries, Food & Wine, Ireland, UK

A wee Irish breakfast?

It’s the question every Irish guest house landlady or hotel waitress will ask you… a wee Irish breakfast?

Of course no Full Irish breakfast is ever anything like wee.

So to celebrate the reopening of Irish guest houses and breakfasts this week on top of hotels last week a celebration of The Wee Irish.

And a Sunday confession from where they do it best… Northern Ireland.

Tis Grand

The Grand Central menu

The Grand Central Hotel Belfast puts on one of the best breakfasts you’ll find anywhere on the island. Or anywhere anywhere.

Alas the Observatory Bar with the best views of Belfast does the best cocktails too.

The wine flows like water at the Europa Hotel.

Where if you’re lucky you can take in a cabaret dinner watching Van Morrison and his jazz pal Joey DeFrancesco at the Europa Hotel.

While the combination of two Scotsmen abroad finishing off with an orange stout nightcap in the iconic Crown Bar…

Full Irish

Soda bread: With Irish fairy dust

And so when the Full Irish arrived the next morning my eyes quickly sent a message to my belly.

And I could touch neither pork sausages, crispy bacon, scrambled or poached sausages or black pudding and mushrooms.

All of which nearly saved me for my reunion with The Son and Heir at his digs and a walk around town and through the Botanical Gardens.

Now while the Grand Central offers up an Irish Breakfast for inclusivity, a couple of words more here on The Ulster Fry.

The Ulster Fry

One night in Belfast: With Tom

The Hairy Bikers point us in the right direction.

And for those who want to know how an Ulster Fry might deviate from a Full English, well…

Potato farls anyone? Well they’re a delicious potato and flour flat fried savoury cake.

Soda bread? And there was always this slice of Ireland on our breakfast table in our Scots-Irish house growing up.

It’s pretty much as it says on the packet, if the packet is in the shape of a wee Ulster mammy, of which my Dear Wee Mum is one.

The Nine Counties

Belfast boys: With the Son and Heir in Belfast

The secret ingredient is, of course, magic Ulster fairy dust.

More too here on Ulster and I’m not being political here but the province is bigger than the country Northern Ireland.

So that’s the six counties of the North, Armagh, Antrim, Down, Derry, Fermanagh and Tyrone.

And the three from the South, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal, with my Mum’s county Donegal in the South but further North.

Irish logic

Well, that’s Irish logic for you.

Only to mention this because I did manage to get my Ulster Fries of my Donegal youth.

And when on best behaviour with the Scary One elsewhere in the Northern Irish capital, and in Monaghan.

So a wee Irish breakfast anyone?

Well, yes, but watch out for the wee night out the night before and the invitation for a wee drink?

 

 

America, Caribbean, Countries, Food & Wine

Tabasco Irish Louisiana and the source of the sauce

When you drink your next Bloody Mary you might just drift off to Avery Island and think of Tabasco, Irish Louisiana and the source of the sauce.

Every year I seek out Charlie Whinham of the Louisiana Office of Tourism.

Among the hundreds of exhibitors at IPW, the American Travel Fair to talk hot sauce.

And a certain Donegal entrepreneur, and as you know by now Donegal entreneurship is in my blood.

Saucy Edmund

Tabasco is the brainchild of Edmund McIlhenny.

Himself a descendant of the north-westernmost county in Ireland whose family then made good in Maryland.

It was commonplace for the names of the Irish diaspora to America to be altered.

Because the book keepers would not understand the thick brogue or decipher the signature.

The same was said to apply to the Irish streaming over to Britain.

Which is why it is possible that the Murtys started off life as Murtaghs.

What’s in a name?

I prefer though to think that we are descended from the ancient High King of Ireland Muircherach Mac Lochlainn.

Either way the Irish grew a reputation for being hot-headed.

And Edmund McIlhenney’s original Tabasco was guaranteed to make your head overheat.

Edmund had decamped to New Orleans around 1840.

And in true resolute Irish style he made a fortune as a banker.

He lost it in the Civil War, and went off to reinvent himself in a whole different field… as a gardener and inventor of a hot pepper sauce.

The bould Edmund had his in-laws to thank for both putting him and his family up in their plantation in Avery Island after the Civil War.

The man himself: Edmund McIlhenny

And giving him a garden to tend.

We’ll pass over the story that has it that Edmund was given the Mexican tabasco peppers and tabasco recipe by plantation owner Maunsel White.  

And move to the 1870s when Edmund obtained a patent.

And started to trade the sauce around the US, before his sons expanded the business worldwide.

It’s more Guinness, Smithwick’s Ale and whiskey down at my Dear Old Mum’s old family bar, now the Ramblers in Brockagh, Co. Donegal.

And back to Tabasco Louisiana

But I dare say that if they do get some exotic out of the county type like said Mum asking for a Bloody Mary then they may have a bottle of the oul’ McIlhenny’s out back.

Lotta bottle: It’s Tabasco time

Because Donegal never forgets its sons. 

So let’s hear it for Tabasco, Irish Louisiana and the source of the sauce.

We’ve done Mississippi but not to its terminus in New Orleans. 

So off to the Big Easy for us in the future.

And we’ll make that two hour 45 minutes drive to Avery Island to take the Tabasco tour and finish it all off with the best Bloody Mary in the world.

 

 

America, Countries, Culture, Ireland, Music

Rainy Days and Songdays – The Royal Canal and other Irish landmarks

Now the screw was peeping, as the lag lay sleeping. Dreaming about his girl Sal. And that auld triangle went jingle-jangle. All along the banks of the Royal Canal The Auld Triangle, The Dubliners

Luke Kelly drolled that ‘in the female prison there are 75 women and among them I wish I did dwell, and that auld triangle could go jingle-jangle all along the banks of the Royal Canal.’

And if you know this song, penned by Brendan Behan (and if you don’t then you’ve been missing out) you’ll walk along the Royal Canal in the north of Dublin singing it aloud.

Or if you’re cycling too as I have done, all the time hoping that the broken bottles wouldn’t puncture my tyres.

The Beardie Boys: The Dubliners

That was then, and this is now, and the announcement of the €12m scenic 130km Royal Canal Greenway is to be welcomed.

If you do the lot you’ll have chalked off 90 bridges, 30 locks, 17 harbours and four aqueducts.

And take in Co. Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Longford.

So as a preamble let’s get on with our Rainy Days and Songdays six of the best songs with Irish landmarks.

What a Corker!

Jim and Alan at the Phil Lynott statue in Dublin

As I was goin’ over the Cork and Kerry Mountains, I met with Captain Farrell and his money he was countin’. I first produced my pistol, and then produced my rapier. I said ‘stand and deliver, or the devil he may take ye Whiskey in the Jar, Thin Lizzy 

Musha rain, dum a doo, dum a da.

The Cork and Kerry Mountains have always held a special affection for me as the first travel assignment when a cub reporter in Reading.

Going over said mountains in our Citroen cars was not helped by a bout of seasickness going over on the Swansea-Cork ferry.

But nothing that the local tipple, Murphy’s Stout and the craic didn’t put right.

Low lie those fields

Those low-lying fields: Athenry

Low lie the Fields of Athenry, where once we watched the small birds fly. Our love was on the wing. We had dreams and songs to sing. It’s so lonely round the Fields of Athenry  – Fields of Athenry, The High Kings

Lowing, or maybe braying, around those Fields of Athenry were our four donkeys which came with the rented cottage.

I can’t remember what la famiglia called the three others but mine was Oaty as in Donkey Oaty!

I was maybe just tilting at windmills.

And as for stealing Trevelyan’s corn… we just bought some from the Centra for the donkeys.

The Band is back together

Neat little town they call Belfast

 In a neat little town they call Belfast, apprentice to tradeI was bound…, a sad misfortune came over me which caused me to stray from the land, far away from my friends and relations, betrayed by the Black Velvet Band Black Velvet Band, Peaky Blinders

It was more good fortune that came over me… to take me away from my friends and relations to the States after university.

And work, no not on the Black Velvet Band’s pitch, Broadway, but Boston where I inevitably served tables at an Irish pub.

Where every night among the most requested songs was Black Velvet Band.

And yes, of course, like our gullible hero of the song ‘many an hour’s sweet happiness I spent I spent in this neat little town Belfast.

As for a black velvet band, or any colour for that matter, try as I may I never persuaded one… i wonder if she’ll be there when I return.

Where the Dark Mourne sweeps…

London’s got nothing on this

Oh Mary this London’s a wonderful sight with people here working by day and by night, they don’t sow potatoes, nor barley, nor wheat. But there’s gangs of them dogging for gold in the street. At least when I asked them that’s what I was told so I just took a hand at this diggin’ for gold. But for all that I found there I might as well be in the place where the Dark Mourne sweeps down to the sea Mountains o’ Mourne, Don McLean

Mourne Mountains, Co. Down: It’s always a thrill to see the Mountains of Mourne, my Dear Old Mum’s home province, when driving either north or south.

Mountains of Mourne this sweeping range, has a special place in our hearts as the lullaby I would sing to Daddy’s Little Girl.

It was round by Brockagh’s corner

Harkin’s Bar, Donegal

 It was down by Brockagh Corner one morning I did stray, I met a fellow rebel and this to me did say, he had orders from our captain to assemble at Dunbar. But how were we to get there without a car The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem

Beockagh, Co. Donegal: And still on lullabies this gentle little ditty about the Irish War of Independence is an alternative to nursery rhymes.

If your mother is from Nationalistic north-west Donegal that is.

Well it got me through childhood… give three cheers to the Teasy and Johnson’s Motor Car.

Meeting of minds in Wicklow

Moore Wicklow please

Sweet vale of Avoca! How calm could I rest. In thy bosom of shade with the friends I love best. Where the storms that we feel in this cold world should cease. And thy hearts, like thy waters, be mingled on peace. The Meetings of the Waters, John McCormack

And my beloved old homestead of Co. Wicklow and its poet laureate, Thomas Moore.

The Meetings is a family favourite, going back to the days when my Donegal Granny and Grandpa honeymooned here.

We would often return there in our Thirteen Years in Ireland on family day trips.

And skim stones which can be more of a danger sport than you might imagine.

Particularly if you’re that young boy on the other side of the bank who ducks just as a stone is jumping up out of the water.

Still, I did get a 12!

 

 

America, Canada, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Some mothers… travels with mine

I’ve got a husband, five brothers and three sons and James (my Sunday name) is the most selfish of them all.

Never mind that I’d driven her and her sister up from my home in Co. Wicklow to her homestead of Co. Donegal.

Or that I was standing just feet away from my cousin when she was giving out.

On this Mothering Weekend these are our travails.

God’s (and her) Own Country

La Famille: In Donegal

Ireland: And for my Dear Old Mum that’s Donegal where she grew up in a hotel in a rural hamlet, and holds court every time she goes back.

At Powerscourt Waterfalls in Co. Wicklow

Of course the Donegal natives go along with her Diva-like behaviour and indulge her.

Green, green Ireland

It gets us a free pot of tea every time we go back to the now renamed Ramblers Inn.

The Queen of Queens

New York attitude

There’s an advert which the Irish are all too familiar with where two old ones batter the heck out of each other because each wants to pay the bill.

It is quintissentially Irish and it annoys the Scottish half of me to boiling point.

Of course when my Dear Old Mum is with her own siblings and relatives her need to show her largesse goes off the scale.

And so when we went to my cousin’s wedding in Queens in New York she berated me in front of my extended familly and insisted that she pay for the pre-wedding meal.

Before bossing me around Manhattan. Well, I didn’t ask her to wear high heels.

A wee break in Scotland

The Royal Wave

And I can’t even get that.

Anyone who has been to a major golf tournament (2000! Open, St Andrews) will tell you that the queue for the Portaloos is long.

And that when you eventually get in then you will make the most of it.

Of course, too long for my Dear Old Mum, who sent a random spectator to knock on the door and ask how long I was going to be.

She obviously wanted to see Tiger.

But of course I got my own back and outran her, and jumped the Swilcen Burn with the crowd to see him lift the trophy.

Piping up: In Glasgow

One of my favourite trips was when I took her into her adopted city and my homestead of Glasgow to see the World Bagpipes Championships.

Another particular quirk of the Irish is to be dumbfounded that you could ever by hosted by anyone else. She, of course, wanted to pay!

And one that got away

King of the wild frontier. Go West.

My brother, that is who emigrated to Canada after meeting a Torontonian.

I broke the habit of a lifetime by being responsible and putting my studies before a few days in Canada to see my brother get married.

But my Dear Old Mum didn’t forget me then and brought me back a Davy Crockett type hat which became my signature look from then on in my student town of Aberdeen.

 

Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Deals, Europe, Ireland

Holiday Snaps – Black Magic Friday

And we’ve had many a black Friday this year. Saturday through to Thursday as well, it must be said.

So let’s make this a Black Magic Friday, home and abroad, with these offers for the day that’s in it.

Donegal is so on point

And your own lake

Harvey’s Point, Donegal: And Donegal is the magical Irish county to escape life for a while.

The award-winning Harvey’s Point ate offering a 10% discount on all gift vouchers purchased online through Monday.

And the vouchers are valid for three years.

Inter the InterContinental

Dip your toe in

InterContinental, Dublin: And not just because of the picture above, although it doesn’t harm it.

But because i was able to bring my own lady of leisure, and today’s birthday girl as it happens, here for a bit of spoiling in the past.

While I also enjoyed many a function there too, an oasis next to my work in Ballsbridge.

The refurbed InterCon is offering a €290 dinner, B&B, complimentary suite upgrade for two.

Book between now and December 2 for a stay between December 2 and March 2021.

Get your Sandals on

Sandals, West Indies: And after the year we’ve had we owe it to ourselves.

Sandals will always be about the hot tub, and bottle of Champagne and free mini-bar which got replenished every day.

On an unforgettable first trip to Barbados.

Well, Sandals are all over the Caribbean and have some tasty Black Friday treats.

Seven nights at the Caribbean Grand Luxe for the dates May 1-June 30 from £1865pp.

Jamaica is one that has got away in the past but won’t in the future.

Stay seven nights at the Riviera Bamboo Grove Premium from £1399pp for the sane travel dates.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

America, Australasia, Countries, Culture, Europe, Ireland, Sport, UK

Football’s back – take your pick

Now it all depends on whether you’re American, English, Irish or Australian who all embrace their football game.

It’s in the human DNA you see since the day Cain decided to kick Abel’s skull into a ditch.

So here are some thoughts on some of the teams I’ve adopted from my travels.

Touchdown

Off Pat

New England Patriots: I don’t know if you’re allowed it but I adopt all the American sports teams wherever I go.

It does make it easier to pick a winner if you’ve got the New York Jets (my Long Island cousins’-team), the Washington Redskins who are now looking for a new team, and the Denver Broncos.

It’s just that you go with the team where you spend the most time… and that was my summer after university in Boston.

Hoop dreams

All’s Well: Celtic v Motherwell. www.celticfc.net

And I had little choice growing up in Glasgow in the Seventies where Catholics and Protestants didn’t mix to choose Celtic.

Particularly as my Great-Uncles had built Celtic Park.

But Scots kids were allowed too to have an English team and I chose Liverpool.

Forward fast to the Nineties, had a son on Merseyside and it came full circle with The Son and Heir becoming a fully-fledged Red.

GAA-GAA

Prize guys: Donegal

In Ireland, soccer (football) was known as a Garrison game, a preserve of the occupying British Army.

And Gaelic Football, Camogie (the female version) and the stick game hurling were the Irish sports.

I could pick any of Donegal, my Dear Old Mum’s county, Dublin where I worked for 13 years or Co. Wicklow, my adopted home.

But as my Mum drummed it into us as kids that Donegal was the best place on Earth.

And that the rest of Ireland hate serial winners Dublin, it has to be Donegal.

Perth, WA

What’s up your sleeve?

My bonds with Western Australia started when my parents took me back a jersey of the West Coast Eagles. Minus the sleeves of course.

And continued when I joined a Top Deck booze bus to the Oktoberfest in Munich and discovered they were all Aussies and Kiwis.

Fast forward six months and Brownie and Smutley had arrived on my Aberdeen doorstep and went on to set up a WA colony there with their friends.

My one and only Aussie Rules football game was with an English guy at Surrey’s cricket ground, The Oval.

I remember Collingwood were one of the teams but don’t recall the other.

Collingwood are the New England Patriots, Dublin or Manchester United of their country.

Everybody else dislikes them unless you’re one of them.

MEET YOU ON THE PITCH

Countries, Europe, Ireland

Holiday Snaps: Easter Ireland

Thoughts of Ireland are never far from my mind but never more so than at Easter.

Easter was our time, my Mum and me.

When she would drive us over to see her Mum and Dad and sister in Co. Donegal in the north-west of the country.

We would have some adventures on the way.

Cheers: With Our Blondie

Such as the time when we ended up on the Scottish island of Arran. Because she was too busy talking.

And did not listen to the steward, and went into the wrong queue.

I’d keep up the tradition of going to Donegal http://www.govisitdonegal.com at Easter when I relocated to Ireland and County Wicklow http://www.visitwicklow.ie.

And we would always stay in the town of Ballybofey near to her home hamlet of Brockagh.

Get out of my picture

Mum, having been brought up in the only hotel in the hamlet, was always a stickler for standards.

But she was always treated as a returning heroine by Jackson’s http://www.jacksonshotel.ie manager Barry.

I never had the heart to tell her that Irish hoteliers treat every guest the same way.

Of course neither of us are able to visit Donegal just now.

Where Dad is seeing out eternity with the rest of her family.

But it is reassuring to know that Donegal hasn’t forgotten us.

Donegal’s delights

With my friends at Harvey’s Point https://www.harveyspoint.com sending on their Easter greetings.

Tranquil: Harveys Point. http://www.booking.com

And Niall and the team are naturally showing that Donegal optimism.

With an offer for when we get back travelling again.

The award-wining Harvey’s Point is offering 10% off gift vouchers which can be redeemed in full against future stays.

We’ll maybe not tell her though that it was another Ulster county Monaghan which laid out the red carpet for us.

When the Scary One only brought us there a weekend early.

Visit https://monaghantourism.com/plan-your-visit/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/monaghans-country-roads/

And Easter elsewhere

Lie back and think of Austria

There’s a meme going around just now.

Where Maria Von Trapp is being carted away from the hills (black humour will help us through this crisis).

Drink it all in

The Austrian hills are, of course a shifting landscape and beautiful either in the snow https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/europe/soll-mates/ or when the glades are verdant.

I was all over Austria last year walking with Top Flight for Schools https://topflightforschools.ie… and drinking https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/26/hungry-and-thursday-the-off-sales/!

In the pink: Get funky with your eggs

This being rural Austrian Tyrol https://www.tyrol.com it’s all about the eggs.

There are two kinds – the decorative ones and the chocolate ones. The decorative ones are blown beforehand so they are a hollow shell.

No yolk

Chocolate treats

The locals then use ferns and small flowers.

They are attached to the egg, before it is coloured or stained and then removed to leave a pattern.

The best bit though is that they are then used in an adaptation of a favourite childhood game.

Eierpecken is an Austrian pastime where the eggs are knocked together, just like conkers?

Visit www.blog.tirol/en/2018/03/diy-naturally-dyed-easter-eggs/ and here: www.pinterest.ch/pin/554998354055595995/
Austrian Tirol: www.visittirol.co.uk

Swiss roll

Fun and games: In the Swiss Alps

I like the way the Swiss roll.

And if you thought it was schnapps, schnapps and more schnapps you would only be half right.

Heaven with Hell

The beer, they go in for a brew called Hell, ain’t half bad.

While they also serve whisky at the top of the Jungfraujoch railway https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/jungfraujoch-top-of-europe/ and https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/.

And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/europe/swhisskey/.

And delivery of Easter wine is very much part of their seasonal rituals.

The big cheese

It was started as a religious, social and calming offering back in 1575 in Verbier and has continued ever since.

Let the train take the strain: In Switzerland

In the past the parishes or the bourgeoises bequests in kind and in money.

In return for being the ones to offer the distribution of wine, cheese or even bread during Easter.

Peak condition: In Switzerland

Nowadays, it encourages families and friends to get together for a feast.

So channel your inner Swiss today when you feast on wine, cheese or even bread during Easter.

These are the Swiss wines to look out for https://swisswine.ch/en/news/amazing-swiss-wine-regions-discover 
Verbier: www.verbier.ch/en/index.htm