Africa, America, Asia, Australasia, Countries, Ireland, UK

A 94-year Mum odyssey

Happy Birthday Teasy, for you it’s been a 94-year Mum odyssey, and thank you for bringing me along for some of the journey.

I say that, but latterly I have done most of the heavy lifting…

And this Donegal Diva has fallen back on the credit she has built up over the years.

Like how she hounded me on a trip to New York when I was her plus one for my cousin Eddie’s wedding.

Teasy’s Travels

Or when I took her up to Ballybofey where my American cousin Kath and Dublin cousin Monica had also congregated.

And she tactlessly complained within my earshot that she had a husband, four brothers and three sons and I was the most selfish of them all.

The thing is as My Scary One, my wife, will tell you she’s the only one who could get away with that.

Slice of heaven: With Mum in Glasgow

Teasy, or The Squeezy, as we affectionately call her, has infused me with much, not least my looks.

And a love of travel although she has a fair jump on me there with South America and the Antarctic the only continents she hasn’t visited.

And I dare say she’ll get there yet.

When she does she’ll be able to regale them of her travels around the globe after she empty-nested.

A holiday Saga

Wall, what is it good for? Great Wall of China

It was quite the Saga… the Squeezy dragging my Dear Old Dad up mountain, down dale and across ocean.

They were Ying and Yang, no, not twins on their China trip but opposites.

My mum was up for anything which meant she jumped at the chance to fly over Mount Everest.

While Dad was back in the bedroom with Delhi Belly.

Chop, chop: The Great Canyon

They also took the helicopter over the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon with me retracing her footsteps years later.

While Mum followed the pilgrims on their knees up the steps of the Catholic Cathedral in Mexico City.

Probably though it was the tequila. Dad, of course, got Montezuma’s Revenge.

The rest of the world

Got the hump: In Australia

There was Australia, South Africa, Russia and all points in between all while I was having a very different Saga experience.

Not, not early onset dementia, but working for Saga during summer holidays in Aberdeen University student halls.

 

 

America, Canada, Countries, Cruising, Deals

New York Princess

They start out a wide-eyed wanderer but end up a New York Princess. And may it always be so.

And for every Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) there’s a Josephine from Monaghan, Kathleen from Donegal and Celia from Galway.

My Irish aunties could only have dreamt of beginning their new lives in America off a cruise.

And spend 11 nights in luxury accommodation with entertainment and the best food and drink.

All of which you’ll get aboard Princess Cruises on September 24.

Cassidy Travel will fly you out from Dublin and stay in an inside cabin in this majestic fleet with full board basis from €1,099pp.

And, of course, this isn’t just a one-stop to Ellis Island.

The itinerary

Ronan reigns: Saoirse Ronan

You’ll sail from Southampton and visit Corner Brook and Sydney in Canada (no, me neither).

And Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and then New York.

Southampton, we know, it being the cruise capital of England, and it is that tbf, a through town.

September is the best time we’re told to see Corner Brook in Newfoundland with the trees just starting to change colour.

Captain Cook it

It’s there: Captain James Cook

But did you know that Captain Cook (yes, him) was here?

He made his name, of course, discovering Australia, although to be fair the Aborigines knew about it for thousands of years already!

Sydney we all know is Thomas Townshend, Baron Sydney, the-then UK Home Secretary at the time of Sydney’s foundation.

One can only baulk at the thought of some poor immigrants shack town in Rwanda being built with the signpost Pateltown (or Palace).

Another Sydney

Another string to its bow: Sydney, Canada

Sydney found himself in the post at a special time of change with the American War of Independence raging at the time.

And the Canadians, or more specifically the Nova Scotians, found themselves on the wrong side and ended up with the Brits… and the Home Sec.

In keeping with its Scotianess you won’t be surprised to see the Cape Breton Highlanders Museum.

And I guess that’s what The Big Fiddle is all about, the largest in the world.

Mad George’s wife’s town

Skip to it: King George

 

Charlottetown, named for Mad King George’s wife, has echoes of an olde world, with what looks suspiciously like jarvie racing (they call it harness racing) at the Red Shores Horsetrack.

Don’t hang around though, get a gallop on, because you know the ship won’t wait for you.

And the Big Apple

Laddie and Lady: On the Hudson

Whether you’re a prince or a New York Princess.

The Big Apple is waiting and there’s no time to waste.

 

 

America, Countries, Food & Wine

Hoppy 4th July

Hoppy 4th July… let’s celebrate American Independence Day the way the founding fathers would have, with good ale.

Because while we think we can drink we have nothing on Washington, all the Adamses, Franklin and Co.

Colonial Americans drank roughly three times as much as modern Americans, primarily in the form of beer, cider, and whiskey.

And uisce beatha (Gaelic for water of life) is probably what the Spirit of 76 was all about.

Our old friends at Westward Whiskey in Portland, Oregon, have already been on.

And they’ve been showing off their wares with a new product for Independence Day.

And they remind us (OK, we didn’t know) that they begin their process by brewing an artisanal American Ale from scratch.

They use locally malted barley, ale yeast, and a slow, low temperature fermentation.

We love our American whiskies and we will return to them in due cours.

But to make the tortured pun in the title of today’s blog work it’s all about the beer on today’s Independence Day.

Drunken Sam

A bucket of booze: In boozy Boston

Sam Adams: Now the great Bostonian rabble-rouser spent so much time swigging ale in radical public houses that his enemies nicknamed him Sam the Publican.

Sam, of course, took it as a badge of honour, and the Bostonians repaid him by putting his badge on their beers.

Now there is no one Sam in Boston.

And you will be able to digest a range of his ales in the Samuel Adams Tap Rroom next to Faneuil Hall in Old Boston.

As well as Tap room merch, and I am already seeking out where they might sell Old Fezziwig for my can holder I bought there recently. 

There’s also Oktoberfest (the next beer date on my calendar).

And St Paddy’s Day as well as any number of other reasons to swill.

Sam’s namesake, John, the first vice-president, and a future president is cited in a letter to his wife during the days of British overtaxation.

He wrote: ‘I am getting nothing that I can drink, and I believe I shall be sick from this cause alone.”

He died at 90 of old age.

By George

Hail to the Chief: Issy, George, and Jim

George Washington: Now America’s first president and its saviour on the battlefield was more of a wine and whiskey man than beer.

But we dare say he imbibed ale as a chaser.

Washington even boasted one of the largest whiskey distilleries in the country at Mount Vernon.

And it produced 11,000 gallons in 1799, the year he died.

Mount Vernon in Virginia even boasts a small beer recipe the Great Man wrote up.
 
And he had produced for his soldiers during the French and Indian War during the 1750s.
 
And that’s a blend the Virginians still swear by today.
 
They put it on for their visitors with their Battlefields and Brews tour in Northern Virginia.
 
And I, of course, road tested it for you while out there.

Revere for the beer

Can I sign up? Outside the Green Dragon Tavern

Paul Revere: And probably because he was talking to children, although they drank too, Longfellow played down how boozy Revere’s ride was.

But it was effectively a pub crawl, starting out from the Green Dragon Tavern, a version of which exists to this day.

Revere isn’t just immortalised in poetry.

He’s also commemorated in pewter with Liberty Ale, named for him.

First brewed on 18th April 1975, it celebrates the 200th anniversary of his Midnight Ride.

The tasting notes tell us it is brewed as a single hop beer, Cascade, with 2-Row pale malt and a top fermenting yeast.

Franklin my dear

A Bell’s: Whiskey or Beer in Philly

Benjamin Franklin: Now not to let the truth get in the way of a good story.

But Ben likely didn’t say ‘beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.’

Instead his letter to a French noble waxed lyrical about wine.

That was his favoured tipple. But it got lost in the translation and is now the accepted version.

A brewer and distiller in his own right, Ben gave us too The Drinker’s Dictionary.

It has over 200 euphemisms for getting tore up including Piss’d in the Brook, Wamble Crop’d, and Been too free with Sir John Strawberry.

Although a proud Bostonian, he came to be associated more with Philadelphia which he made his home.

A good choice as they’re blue-collared people who love their sport and know Sir John Strawberry only too well.

Now we’re not sure if it still exists but our gurgling googling turned this up

A Three Horshoes pub in Northamptonshire in the English midlands with a brewery with his name.

There is a connection you see with Franklin’s Uncle Thomas and a forge… happy horshoeing.

Martin Van Boozen

Drink up: But Martin Van Buren had a boozy Presidency

Martin Van Buren: And one from left field here.

The eighth President was said to have been born on the floor of his father’s tavern and got a taste of ale there.

The New Yorker is quoted as saying: “If you’re asking if I’d rather be president or not get drunk I think you damn well know the answer to that.”

And that is probably among the reasons he didn’t get re-elected.

Worth noting that the Founding Fathers all drank.

And most of the 45 presidents, bar George W Bush and Donald Trump…

And the latter at least could probably do with a pint just to calm him down.

Rewind too now to the drafting of the US Constitution and the 55 signers celebrated the birth of the fledgling nation with a full-bore blowout.

They put away 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of claret, eight bottles of whiskey (phew)

Twenty-two bottles of port, eight bottles of hard cider, 12 beers and seven bowls of alcoholic punch.

The punch was said to be large enough that one observer said: ‘ducks could swim in them.’

So cheers, and a Hoppy 4th of July to y’all.

 

  
 

 

 

America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, Music, UK

Mayday Bravo

And whether you’re keeping the red flag flying here, celebrating the Internationale or just twirling around a maypole it’s Mayday Bravo today.

It was, of course, an Irishman, Jim Connell, who came up with the emotive words in 1889 to go with the tune O Tannenbaum.

He had been travelling by train, where you can do a lot of your thinking, in London.

So to mark May Day we’ll revive our Rainy Days and Songdays occasional series with these May Day tunes.

Way to go, Joe

Folk champion: Joan Baez

 

Joe Hill – Joan Baez: And this workers anthem relates to a union leader, framed on a murder charge and executed in Salt Lake City.

But the organiser stands for everyman and of course returns to the narrator in a dream.

And in typical American storytelling style it covers the geography of the whole country… from San Diego up to Maine.

Lennon doctrine

Comrade Lennon: And Jimmy in Prague

Working Class Hero – John Lennon: They were more Lennon than Lenin in Prague during Soviet rule.

When they would congregate at the Lennon wall to protest.

Lennon, the Working Class Hero from Liverpool, has influenced as many if not more around the world from Hamburg to New York and beyond.

Tennessee tunes

Music town: Memphis, Tennesse

Sixteen Tons – Tennessee Ernie Ford: This ditty of a song with the catchy refrain derives from Kentucky’s Merle Travis in 1947.

And the line ‘You load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt” came from a letter written by Travis’s brother John.

We’ve taken Tennessee Ford’s 1955 version which hit the top of the Billboard charts and was inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.

The New Boss

Something to say: The Who

Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who: And the Cockney Four whose shows were as much about menace as music nail it here.

And they captured the working class fascination of the Mods in Quadrophenia in their odyssey to Brighton.

But it’s this anthem against The Man and its clarion call: ‘Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.’

Lady Donna

Summer time: Donna Summer

She Works Hard For The Money – Donna Summer: Now you might not associate the Queen of Disco with a societal message.

But the New Yorker penned this after seeing a toilet attendant asleep on her shift at a post-Grammy event in West Hollywood.

And a reminder too for all that while music is replete with messages of working men, working women have had it just as bad and worse.

 

 

 

 

America, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Food & Wine

Chocs away on Easter Sunday

And for many it’s what today is all about… Chocs away on Easter Sunday.

And thoughts away of dem sweet places where I’ve savoured the treat of the Gods.

We have the Central and South Americans to thank for extracting the cacao which makes our chocolate.

And when we want to know more on anything our go-to people are the Smithsonians in Washington DC.

Jumping for joy: It’s Choccie Day

And Hayes Lavis, cultural arts curator for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has the skinny on chocs.

He tells us that ancient Olmec pots and vessels from around 1500 B.C. were discovered with traces of theobromine.

And for those who know their chocs they’ll recognise that as a stimulant compound found in chocolate and tea.

So now we’ve done the science let’s sample the choccie tastes of the world.

ChocolaTobago

Ground force: In Tobago

And the way to a man’s heart is the love of a daughterie.

So when you come across a chocolate called Laura in the West Indies then you get that special rush.

This Tobago taste of heaven is a French-Caribbean collaboration and named for the manufacturer’s matriarch Laura.

Sold in high-end shops like Harrod’s it’s still best sampled where it’s made, Tobago Cocoa Estate.

Swiss sweet

The Scary One is here: In Switzerland

We all know about Swiss sweets… Toblerone and it’s mountain triangular shapes.

And Lindt which is everywhere of which I was reminded from the minute you arrive in Geneva.

You’d have to tell me if SWISS airline still gives out comp choc to it’s passengers…

I like mine, my Lindt, though like the Asians who love to take selfies at the top of Europe.

To show off to family back home, at the top of the Jungfraujoch.

In Bruges

Flowing nicely: Easter in Bruges

Was I the only one who wondered why a restless Colin Farrell didn’t cure his boredom through chocolate and beer?

Mind you, it would have been a very different movie.

Yes, go up to the cathedral and also check out St Anthony’s tongue.

But the best taste of all in Bruges is their oh-so-tasty chocolate.

Cadbury’s and Brum

Smiles better: Cadbury’s

Now you might not immediately link Bruges in Belgium and Birmingham in England.

But they’re both canal cities, major historical trade hubs.

And they are both hooked on chocolate.

It is no exaggeration to say that Brummie Joseph Cadbury was a chocolate evangelist.

As a Quaker and teetotaller he saw chocolate as a healthy alternative.

Joseph was a general good egg all round (or Cadbury’s Creme Egg) if you will

He set up a village in Bourneville for his workers and provided for all their social, health, education and sporting needs.

And a great pacifist, he even took on Queen Victoria over the Boer War.

All of which you can discover in the excellent Cadbury’s museum.

And finally, a Big Chocolate Apple

The Big Bunny: At Jacques

I’ve always been a great advocate of only having friends in cool places or jobs, or preferably both.

And in return they get the pleasure of hosting me.

Kate is one such, a New Yoiker and food and drinks editor who took La Famiglia Murty around Manhattan.

Chinatown, her own office kitchen on Production Day, and Jacques Torres Chocolate factory.

Now Willie Wonka’s got nothing in Kate or Jacques.

I mean bacon-flavoured chocolate… you read it here first.

Enjoy! Chocs away on Easter.

 

 

America, Countries

Honeymoon in Vegas

If you’ve seen the movie and visited Neon City you’ll know you’re never too far from finding yourself on Honeymoon in Vegas.

Whether you’ve been ‘volunteered’ to get hitched like Martin and Peter at the Graceland Wedding Chapel.

Or you’ve been won over by Cami from Utah at Harrah’s party bar on the Strip then Vegas can tempt you into sealing a deal.

Cami here, love: In Vegas

Vegas has become inexorably linked with a spontaneous and over the top wedding and honeymoon destination.

And unsurprisingly it’s many Americans’ go-to honeymoon holiday according to website Lovehoney who have listed the Insta faves.

And, of course, when you’re romancing in Vegas then you cuddle up with your loved one on the gondola.

Take a gondola 

Hooray for Harrah’s: And The Whip-Its

If you’re lucky enough, and surely your sweetheart deserves the best, you’ll be staying at The Venetian or its sister hotel The Palazzo.

Where clearly the Italian theme continues with fabulous frescoes.

We all know fireworks go off when you’re in love, and fountains spring up.

And in Vegas the nightly Bellagio Fountains display is where the magic happens.

While you shouldn’t miss out either on that Insta must, the Grand Canyon photo backdrop.

While Vegas scores for many, what Americans love most on honeymoon is a bit of hula-hula.

A Hula of love

Aloha Kitty: Hawaii

And a Luau which is an evening of Hawaiian traditional music, dancing and culture.

While a dawn trip up to the summit of Haleakala will give you that earth-stopping moment with your sweetheart.

And it’s what 28,000 snap-happy honeymooners have done.

We heart New York

Lady Liberty: New York

And is there a more romantic setting in the Oo, Es of Eh than Central Park from a horse-drawn carriage.

Unless, of course, you’re at the top of the Empire State Building.

And if you are in an Empire State of Mind and have some music in you then of course you have to head for Broadway.

For Hamilton or whatever else is hot these days.

From Maui to Miami

Another Little Havana: In Biscayne, Miami

And Maui, in second with 7,900 Insta hashtags sits in the archipelago of Hawaii.

It is famed for its volcanic black sand beaches, and I can vouch for the black stuff from Tenerife.

But also its beautiful gardens and the trail to Waimoku Falls.

You’ll not be surprised either to see Floridian favourites Orlando and Miami hashtagged too.

By the experts obviously who know the difference between Little Havana and a Cuban restaurant in Biscayne.

And that top ten again

So if you’re thinking of America for your wedding holiday then go for bust and choose a Honeymoon in Vegas.

Or Maui or New York or Miami or any of these must-visit destinations.

 

 

 

America, Countries, Deals, Europe, Flying

Goodbye to pre-departure tests

If a week’s a long time in politics then a day’s an absolute lifetime as we say a tentative goodbye to pre-departure tests.

The UK and Ireland are not exactly throwing their doors open… we still have to put those little sticks up our nose.

But it’s enough to see punters bombarding their travel agents for summer holiday ideas.

Special agents

Ruby do: With Ruby in Barbados

Our holiday providers have reported business up 150%.

With operators at the likes of Jet2Holidays (flash sale) and Barrhead Travel here in Scotland glued to their phones.

A kinda Christmas come late.

For us Caribbean converts in Scotland (I’ve always been a believer) there has been a rush.

To get on the new Virgin Atlantic Edinburgh to Bridgetown, Barbados route.

While old favourite Tenerife (and why not take in the north and west of the island too) is also seeing brisk business.

State of redemption

Acting Goofy: And a big dog in Disney World In Orlando

The Oo Es of A is always a dream destination with Orlando warming up nicely with a whole raft of attractions.

See you there in June (although I’ve jinxed that on so many occasions I’m loath to name it in case I can’t claim it).

While start spreading the news, New York is among the dream destinations we are lining up as our big comeback holiday.

Now if you’re a UK/Ireland hopper like me then you’ll always favour going through Dublin for your transatlantic trip.

You skip pre-clearance you see.

Aer of optimism

Stairway to US heaven: Brohna Tinnelly and Sean Ryan at the steps of an Aer Lingus plane in Dublin

Our old pals at Aer Lingus are always front and centre with their deals.

Ireland’s national airline carrier has a January Seat Sale.

They have two million seats on sale including up to 20% off European and UK* travel.

As well as flights to North America from just €169 each way as part of a return trip.

And as they reminded us when I was over in Dublin for our American Thanksgiving catch-up their VeriFLY app takes all the work out of it for us.

That way you can upload your Covid-19 related documentation required for your destination,

And that way all of your Covid documentation is verified before travel.

Ya dancer: Ryanair seat sale

As usual we’ll bring you the best deals and destinations right here.

And with that in mind Michael O’Leary and Ryanair never miss out on the opportunity to seize the moment.

And they are offering 100,000 seats from €16.99.

Politicians watch out

Edinburgh Airport Covid rules

So let’s say a tentative goodbye to pre-departure tests.

Safe in the knowledge that politicians being politicians then they’ll likely change all the rules next week.

Let’s not let them.

America, Countries, Sport, UK

Women football ban

In a previous life I scribbled about saaacer but the women football ban never came up then.

Nor years earlier when I dated Bostonian Carol at university in Aberdeen who left the foot in with all the men she tackled.

On the football pitch you mucky devils!

While any adolescent Scot from the early 80s will identify with the rite of passage film Gregory’s Girl.

Although we in our all-boys school could only have dreamt of a keeper like Dorothy.

If we’d been allowed to play football competitively rather than on the playground. 

Michelle and Matthews magic

Prize girl: Michelle Akers

I confess too that I wasn’t as star-struck as I should have been when I met American soccer legend Michelle Akers, also in the Granite City.

Because England great Sir Stanley Matthews was there with her.

All of which reminiscences have been sparked by today’s woman’s FA Cup final.

When they will reflect on the first showpiece, between Southampton and Scots Stewarton Thistle, (more a back pitch) 50 years ago.

Male chauvinists

Team of all talents: The Dick, Kerr Ladies

Still it must have felt like Wembley where Arsenal and Chelsea will compete today for the players in 1971.

The women’s game in the UK quite amazingly and disgracefully had been in abeyance for the previous 50 years.

And not because it wasn’t popular, though that shouldn’t matter either.

Tens of thousands turning out to see the lassies play.

No, because the chauvinistic chiefs of the FA banned women’s football in 1921 stating that it was ‘quite unsuitable for females’.

Despite the legendary Dick, Kerr Ladies and St Helens Ladies playing before 52,000 the previous Boxing Day.

Female pioneers

Equal pay: How the times have changed

The FA were perhaps worried that their women would swap their pinnies for boots.

But the Dick, Kerr Ladies were not to be put off.

And they took on a US tour and played men’s teams over there.

Whether that inspired the grandmothers of Carol Terry or Michelle Akers.

They did start an American revolution in women’s saaacer.

And that has made them the force in the game though the English are now catching up.

Football family

Yanks very much: US superstar Megan Rapinoe

I’ll maybe give Carol some thought if I do return to Beantown next year after 34 years away.

When I hope to revisit Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, and the Celtics, their basketball team.

In the absence of a Boston team, I’ll adopt NWSL champions Washington Spirit from DC out of east coast solidarity.

Out of respect for Carol.

As no self-respecting Bostonian, or friend, would plump for a New York side (in this case Gotham).

So on My Sporting Weekend as I watch the Women’s FA Cup final I will reflect on the women football ban.

And did I say that I have the pinnie on today while The Worker, she’s out in the field?

 

 

America, Canada, Countries, Europe, South America, UK

Benefits in going Cold Turkey

It’s a country I love and where I should be this month, and it might surprise you, but there are benefits in going Cold Turkey.

Turkey is for ever set at a crossroads, of continents and civilisations and change.

And diverse colours, hues of peoples and views.

And that changing perspective is as true of Nature and the seasons as it is of the peoples of this multi-faceted country.

As holidaymakers we’re more used to seeing Turkey when it’s roasting.

But it’s resplendent too when it puts on the winter whites.

Cappadocia caps it

Balloons for all seasons: In Cappodocia

Don’t just take my word for it though (well do) but Cappadocia glistens more than anywhere in the world according to our Instagrammers.

Wellness experts at Area 52 have looked at locations across the world and analysed Instagram hashtag data to see which are the most relaxing winter destinations to de-stress this year.

And Balloonists’ Nirvana Cappadocia tops the list with 

I’ve something of a history with balloons having missed out on the pleasure in locations as wide as the South of England, South Africa and Florida.

All of which makes me think that the best is just waiting for me when I get back on board with my favourite Turkish Airlines carrier.

And join the 257,000 Insta clickers who have got there first.

Lapping it up

Northern Lights too: Lapland

And yes you would expect Santa’s home in Lapland to be a favourite for winter worshippers.

And, particularly children which is why I put an old colleague and her nipper first… and incurred the wrath of Daddy’s Little Girl.

Lapland has been the focus of 222,000 Insta followers. 

Give a little Whistler

Whistler while you ski: Canada

With our attentions switching back to the full return of skiing my own revival on the slopes is on course.

Back in the day when I first took up pen my old boss used to snap up the Whistler trips.

And joined the thousands who broke off to snap the Canadian vista on Insta, 45,700 in all.

NY in winter

Icescraper: New York

Now when you’ve seen The Big Apple in the sweltering summer you’ll be glad to chill out in the winter.

This year I’ll leave it to my Irish-American relatives to enjoy their Thanksgiving Day (bucket list) but I’ll be doing the next big thing.

And break bread with my Irish family and friends at Visit USA in Dublin. 

Insta Kings

Now because we just know that you all love a list, here’s a rundown of the other favourite Insta winter destinations.

On the King Charles Bridge in Prague

Location

Instagram Hashtag

Cappadocia, Turkey

257,000

Lapland, Finland

222,000

Missoula, Montana

124,000

Whistler, Canada

45,700

Prague, Czech Republic

27,200

Dolomites, Italy

27,200

Bled, Slovenia

26,500

Lofoten, Norway

10,500

Tromso, Norway

10,400

South Coast, Iceland

8,800

New York, USA

6,700

Mt.Cayambe, Ecuador

5,200

Lapland, Sweden

4,200

Highlands, Scotland

3,600

Yosemite, California

2,700

Rila, Bulgaria

862

Swiss Alps, Switzerland

845

Lake Baikal, Siberia

169

 

America, Countries, Deals

Boston T

Anybody who has spent any time in Boston will know that the locals get round by T… Boston T.

No, not an abbreviation for the drink for which it is most associated but rather the Tram, or trolly.

Which in my time working in Beantown in the Eighties I found started overland in my neighbourhood in Tremont Street before duckign down into the Subway.

And I got the whole authentic experience returning at night of seeing the long-tailed residents of the reclaimed harbour run around the tracks.

A real Bostonian experience for this traveller.

America is built on its rail networks which criss-crossed the coasts and coast to coast and which I dare say my Irish navvy antecedents helped build.

And while there is something romantic about a Greyhound or a Peter Pan coach, the same can be said for the train.

And particularly when our friends at Travel Department are at the controls.

The Rail East

East Coast USA by Rail incl. Boston, New York, Philadelphia & Washington DC: This 10-night holiday allows you plenty of time to enjoy each city with guided tours and free time to explore at your leisure.

You’ll begin your journey in Boston, and visit America’s oldest & most prestigious university on an excursion to Harvard.

For those who suffer under the misconception that America lacks history then visit Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall.

And immerse yourself in Boston Tea Party history down by the Bay.

Lady Liberty and Laddie Liberty: NY

Your next stop is the Big Apple where the locals know if you’re a tourist because we’re the ones who look up.

And you’ll find too that New Yorkers while tarred with always having an angle (true) are a friendly bunch.

Ring the bell: Philly

And one in fact came back through the turnstiles in the subway to help mia famiglia with our map and directions.

Next, history enthusiasts will be in their element as you take a tour of Philadelphia’s key highlights like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

And the news from the Capitol: In Washington

The final stop on this whirlwind tour is the capital and jewel, Washington DC.

Where, of course, I’ve got a hotline to the White House and have already had the red carpet laid out for me.

Deal us in

Priced from €3199 pp and Including flights, transfers, that ten-night accommodation on a B&B basis and expert guides.

Departures on 20th May and 4th November 2022.

For more information https://www.traveldepartment.com/holiday/east-coast-usa-by-rail-incl-boston-new-york-philadelphia-washington-dc