Countries, Europe, Sport

My Sporting Weekend – Trouble Dutch

The news that Ajax have been denied a title because their league has become null and void shines a light on the Netherlands.

Is the future Oranje then for other leagues in Europe?

And will the same fate befall Celtic in Scotland, Liverpool in England, Juventus in Italy and Barcelona in Spain?

The Germans, where Bayern Munich lead the pack, are making tentative steps at getting their league back on.

Cleaning up with Ajax? No, not this time

But in the light of the decision by their neighbours, the Netherlands, we can only hope that the Germans see it through.

All of which news about Ajax will be welcomed heartily by their fiercest rivals Feyenoord of Rotterdam.

Watching football abroad is a way of getting under the skin of a country.

Which was what I wanted for my own star player when we went on our first holiday, to Amsterdam.

That man Robben: Dutch great Arjen Robben

And took her to the Netherlands v Greece international at the De Kuip Stadium.

With football, as with travel, getting there can be very much part of the experience.

And going by train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam with the orange-clad Dutch fans in their boiler suits and half-basketballs on their heads.

The train was bouncing and so was the stadium despite the hosts only scraping a 1-0 win.

I Amsterdammer: Herself

We had pea and ham soup and French Fries with mayonaisse. I sure know how to spoil a girl.

Of course I stepped it up when I ‘finally ‘made it’ and took Herself to Amsterdam with KLM www.klm.com Pictures of Amsterdam and www.iamsterdam.com.

Where we stayed at George and Amal’s favourite Amsterdam hotel, the Dylan George Clooney and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel and www.dylanamsterdam.com.

George and Amal were here too

Being the accidental tourist that I am I haven’t always got to the game.

Or when I did, in Munich I got a bloody nose for my trouble…. My Sporting Weekend – German football leads way.

Only here for de beer: Munich

I still owe the Son and Heir a Roma match after turning up at the Olympic Stadium without my passport (be warned).

I was back under different circumstances at the end of my Via Francigena pilgrimage Small roads lead to Rome.

And if you want to get around the Eternal City without breaking the bank, here’s the trick… Rome on €50 and https://www.rome.net.

MEET YOU AT THE GAME

Adventure, America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Women’s Day – my own heroines

And by order of the management my heroines are – The Scary One, Daddy’s Little Girl and my Dear Old Mum.

All of whom have been wonderful (and challenging) fellow travellers on life’s unpredictable journey. Never my fault, of course.

Love boat in Amsterdam

Where do I start? I give her one thing to do, remember my dates for our weekend away in Monaghan Monaghan’s country roads.

While we almost ended up by taking the wrong bus from Hamburg, to east Germany rather than Kiel.

Springtime in Bergen

En route to our MSC cruise www.msccruises.co.uk up the Norwegian cruises where we almost missed our ship in Bergen. Moi???

It was always going to be a challenge on the slopes with Topflight www.topflight.ie to Soll Soll Mates.

Hamburgers on the menu

But we stayed out of trouble in Central Portugal, Secret Portugal all down to our perfect host Jose https://www.madomistours.pt.

While we were on the same wavelength this time in Amsterdam Pictures of Amsterdam and George Clooney and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel.

My Queen of Dragons in Belfast

Because the previous time, 23 years earlier, when there was a fork in the cycling route and we ended up going 10kms out of the way.

Then there was the adventure of 13 and a half years in Ireland with The InterCon… what a Ledge! a particular highlight.

Mum Champagne

Get a grip

My first holiday companion… I was in her belly en route to her homestead, Co. Donegal https://visitdonegal.net and we’ve been back countless times.

Latterly when I would take her up from my home in Co. Wicklow.

On one occasion I was tasked to drive her and my Auntie Ronnie who was grieving her husband, my Uncle Tom, up from Dublin… in Ronnie’s automatic sports car!!!

My Mummy… and just as old

Then when I accompanied her to New York https://www.nycvb.com/about/ for my cousin’s wedding… and suddenly I was back to 12 years old again.

While she wimped out of the Red Hot Chill Pipers concert when we were VIPs in my home town of Glasgow https://peoplemakeglasgow.com at the World Pipe Band Championships https://www.theworlds.co.uk.

Daddy’s Little Drinking Girl

Piping hot

Now there are only good memories… from the time in England’s Lake District https://www.golakes.co.uk when she asked me to find a friend for her.

To a family camping trip in Co. Wicklow https://visitwicklow.ie… when she was nine and she swigged from my whisky flask and claimed that she thought it was tea!

With my trekking pal Big Jim Gallaghet

There was no pretence when we attended a cocktail night at the Dylan https://www.dylan.ie

Well, she is her Grannie’s grand-daughter… and don’t even get me started on the other Grandma, the storied Bamba.

*And now I’ve got started I’ll move onto my heroines from my own personal Travels.

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In 2020 bring the world to you in Vegas

The Bells, the Bells! And that’s just the Bell’s whisky!

In the words of the world’s most famous binman, that great sage Coronation Street’s Norman ‘Curly’ Watts:

‘Who told the Scots that they owned New Year?’

Being of the Scots variety myself I’d just taken it for granted that it was ours.

So like the rest of us Caledonians I partied over the TWO (count them) public holidays.

But what of the other places around the world where they hold New Year’s parties too.

All Greek to me

Athens: They’ve been waving their togas around and clinking vessels of wine while we were still scratching ourselves and drawing on walls.

And they still are up at the Acropolis (although I can’t swear to the togas bit).

But there are few better backdrops for a New Year’s fireworks party than Athens’ most iconic landmark… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrlU10r2zOA 

I know all about the Acropolis having endured a modern-day Odyssey to get there in the autumn of last year (still sounds funny to write that).

Read all about it as you plan your travel itinerary for this year… Acropolis later and http://www.athensattica.com.

I can’t recommend Lufthansa http://www.lufthansa.com and Aegean Airlines http://www.aegeanair.com highly enough after they got me out of a jam. Which is why it was an odyssey.

Never sleeps

New York: The Big Apple is a film set at any time of the year and we all know the tradition of the ball drop in Times Square (and I thought that was all behind me as a teenager).

But regardless of what you might be told it’s not just us tourists who pack out the square on the last day of the old year… my  own NY rellies do too.

Of course the neon lights, billboards and skyscrapers are worth seeing any time of the year.

And if you do then check out my pal Tom’s Beacon Hotel, the jewel of the Upper West Side. He loves all visitors but especially the Irish…. https://www.beaconhotel.com 

While check out the New York websites and avail of the City Pass too for the best way around the great city… http://www.nycvb.com and http://www.citypass.com

The great thing about Ireland and the States is just that… but also the pre-clearance.

A dam good party

Amsterdam: The Son and Heir’s pal Amsterdam Andy, although he hails from Bray he’s been given the moniker (by me) on account of working there now.

I’m well jel.

The Rembrandtplein is one of the best squares in a city where there is no shortage of them.

Mainly on account of the sculpture recreation of the Nighwatch https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/pictures-of-amsterdam/which you can place yourself in for a photo… of course we did.

If you’re feeling flush then fork out for the Dylan Hotel which is where George and Amal stay…. you deserve it https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/george-and-amal-hotel/

Visit http://www.iamsterdam.com.

There’s another Scotland

Glasgow: I know all about Edinburgh having lived ten years there and Daddy’s Little Girl being born there.

And I also enjoyed more than my fair share of Hogmanays (don’t ask me why) at Merkat Cross in my student days before the whole action was moved up to the Castle and Princes Street.

But while Edinburgh prides itself on its New Year celebrations, its great rival Glasgow has a party every weekend.

The George Square party in 1990 was legendary as it heralded in the Dear Green Place’s year as European City of Culture.

When two likely lads stood in Princes Street in Edinburgh with a signpost saying ‘you are only 55 miles away from the European City of Culture.’

Stay at the http://www.carlton.nl/en/hotel-george-glasgow. In typical first-footing welcoming style they will leave you a bar at the top of the hotel in your private lounge too!

And visit http://www.peoplemakeglasgow.com, the website which does what it says on the tin.

Vegas, baby

And only because my year is revolving around my IPW American Travel Fair trip http://www.ipw.com to host city Las Vegas http://www.lvcvb.com.

It’s the ultimate party city at the ultimate party time of the year.

A travel colleague was in touch as soon as the bells had rung to talk about what we were going to do.

I don’t know but I’ll be on the lookout for Cami, a Utah transvestite who I might just have proposed to.

But what stays in… well, you know the rest.

Stay at the Palazzo at The Venetian http://www.venetian.com. And read all about my adventures in https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/vegas-strip-the-light-fantastic/

Because if you can’t get around the whole world at New Year or any time of the year (and I am trying my best) come to Vegas.

Where the world is on your doorstep… Paris up the road, Venice here and even ancient Egypt too.

I love it… fly out with British Airways, I did http://www.ba.com.

And I’ll be giving it plenty in 2020.

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Spend a penny, drachma, dinar

There is a sign in an Irish bar to help the clientele find their way to the toilet… ‘men, left; women always right.’

And isn’t it just the case that whoever we are and wherever we are in the world that we all love toilet humour?

So then in the interests of research I have been gathering men’s and women’s toilet signs from around the world.

I’ll be scoring them… out of five.

I’ll show them this evidence too when I’m taken down to the police station and asked to explain my actions.

It’s all Greek to me

It’s a nod to the Ancient Greeks and might even be taken from doodles from early Homer.

You want to concentrate on these signs though with the ladies’ hair not coming all the way around the chin.

And here are some more thoughts on Greece http://www.athensattica.com/things-to-see/sightseeing/acropolishttps://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/21/holiday-snaps-postcard-from-kethyra-%f0%9f%87%ac%f0%9f%87%b7/

Or https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/21/sporting-weekend-fun-olympic-games/

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German sense of humour

The Germans are unfairly stereotyped for not having a sense of humour. Scheisse!

But in a region, Bavaria https://www.germany.travel/en/travel-information/federal-states/federal-state-bavaria.html which boasts a Wanktunnel I’d say they can do better…

And some thoughts on Bavaria… Germany leaves me gratified.

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Toilets from Amsterdam

When it’s Spring again, I’ll sing again Toilets from Amsterdam https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/see-and-do.

Hat’s how they do it in this Middle Eastern restaurant from a converted mosque in De Pijp… Pictures of Amsterdam.

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Traditional Tirol

We’re jumping from foot to foot which means that we really want to go.

And that’s how the Austrians, and particularly the Tirolians https://www.tyrol.com, dress up their herrs and fraus.

For this and much more toilet humour try https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/01/austrian-toilet-humour/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/03/__trashed/

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Let’s Split

Sometimes it just needs to be what it says on the tin.

And here in the airport in Split, Croatia http://www.croatia.ie, in the Balkans, the crossroads where South-East Europe meets the Old Ottoman Empire it’s best to have androgynous signs. This ticks the boxes.

And here are some Balkan memories from Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/18/medgugorje-whats-your-story/.

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Mr and Miss Sarajevo

Or for political correctness you can always hedge your bets with a couple of symbols and the local language.

These guys and gals have smiles on their faces. I guess it translates to Thanks Armitage Shanks.

The historic capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina http://visit-bosniaherzegovina.com is fascinating and fabulous.

Go visit.., https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/21/sarajevo-the-scot-that-was-heard-around-the-world/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/24/sarajevo-revisited/

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