Asia, Canada, Countries, Europe

Bonne Fête Nationale mais non Bastille

Oui, the French are celebrating their national day today… Bonne Fête Nationale mais non Bastille.d Fr See e ex

But why did nobody well us that the French aren’t celebrating the storming of the Bastille at all?

And that it is only a coincidence that the day falls on the samed date as the start of the Federation of France.

Bastille daze

Oui mais non… Bastille

So, a tip ici. Don’t wish your amis Happy Bastille Day.

All of which makes sense.

I mean who’d make a thing of freeing seven prisoners.

And two of them lunatics, and one an Irishman who thought he was Julius Caesar?

Well without further adieu Bonne Fete National around la monde.

La Mère ship

Grab an Eiffel

Paris, France: Naturellement. And as you would expect it’s all fly past entertainment, fireworks and flag waving.

And free entry to the Louvre… say bonjour to Lisa and the Parisiens.

The Montréal thing

Vive Montréal

Montréal, Canada: And emigrées are toujours more Francaisez

Canadiennes whoop it up in French Canada with all the Paris pyrotechnics but a Canadian twist with their r own home-grown Montréal Cirque Festival.

Something to Prague about

On the King Charles Bridge in Prague

Kampa, Prague, Czech Republic And you might not associate our Czech chums with July 14

We don’t know if it’s a throwback to Bohemia to Napoleon tor if it’s shared experiences of 1968.

But it’s jazz time in Prague with thousands in the square by the Vlatva River and on Charles Bridge. Ah oui, la joie de sax.

Tahiti treatment that

Ooh, really rela la: Tahiti

Tahiti, French Polynesia: And doesn’t July 14 and every fête remind us all how interconnected we all are?

Coconut cracking, fire walking (ouch!), stone weight lifting, food tasting and beauty pageants in Papeete’s To’ata Square anyone?

It’s all part of the Heiva i Tahiti Festival since independence day from June 29. Maeva Tahitians.

Indian Côte D’Azur

Vive L’India

Pondicherry, India And this little bit of the Tamil Nadu in the south-east of India will for ever be France.

Which is why it’s often called the Indian Côte D’Azur (not to be confused with the original French one) or the Riviera of the East.

So fly the flag for India and fly the flag for France. Et a La Tricolore.

And we’ll return to morel in vexilology treats at a later date…

Only today belongs to the French et Bonne Fête Nationale mais non Bastille mon amis.

 

 

 

 

Africa, America, Canada, Caribbean, Countries, Cruising, Europe, Ireland

Water waterfalls

Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to – TLC

Only I do go chasing waterfallsor rather they go chasing me.

And probably you too… after all they are a staple of your holiday day tours.

Angel’s from heaven: In Venezuela

But like rivers and lakes usually once you’ve seen one then you’ve seen them all.

Chasing rainbows: Niagara Falls

The must-sees are obviously Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls and Angel Falls.

The Big Three

The first of them I have ticked off in Canada on a trip to see family in Toronto.

The second on the list is with my friends from Ethiopian Airlines en route to Namibia.

Victoria tall. www.victoriafallstourism.com

While the third in Venezuela I’m inching closer to having acquainted myself with the Venezuelan Spanish ladies of Tobago.

Not all waterfalls have to have come down from the highest heavens.

Caribbean scream

Nor do they have to be at a neck-craning height to be blessed by the gods.

Water world

As I discovered in Kythera in Greek Attica.

Keeping dry in Kythera

Whether you’re gazing on nature’s wonders among the world’s great mountain ranges such as the Pyrenees

Rockie waterfall high

In the valley of the Rockies. cruising through the fjords.

Or with the sun on your back in the Caribbean waterfalls are one of the Gods’ gifts.

There are trolls up there in the fjords

Unless, of course, it’s Powerscourt’s waterfalls in my old back yard of Co. Wicklow in Ireland which you have to pay for.

Power of Powerscourt

Powerscourt, its gardens and splendid hotel and grounds and best-value restaurant is one of the country’s jewels.

Spray that again

All of which waterfall waffling brings me to the subject in hand, an invitation from one of the best Travel providers in the business.

Monty zoomer: Montmorency

American Holidays are flagging up their Canadian market and as well as Niagara Falls, the less well-known Montmorency Waterfalls.

The Montmorency Falls in Quebec are actually 30m higher than its much-vaunted Ontario neighbour.

You can decide for yourself which you prefer on your nine-day tour of Canada’s great Eastern Cities.

Toronto A

Where you’ll spend three nights each in Toronto, Montréal and Quebec.

You’ll fly from Dublin to Toronto and return from Montréal from €1539pp.

MEET YOU BY THE WATERFALLS

America, Canada, Countries, Culture, Music, Sport

Rainy Days and Songdays – Weeknd & Canada dudes

A Blinding performance from The Weeknd at the Super Bowl Half-Time Show I think you’ll agree.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed on America’s Big Day, not least by me, that they drafted in a Canadian, The Weeknd, to lead the parade.

And so this Rainy (more snowy) Day and Songday I’ll toast the Torontonian The Weeknd and Canada.

And run through a fave five Canadian singers.

Joni, remember me

Smiling now: Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell, Fort MacLeod, Alberta: Who Mountie John MacLeod was I’ll have to do some digging to find out.

But he must have had some Scottish in there somewhere.

Joni has history with my homeland of Scotland of course, and not that far from an old workplace.

The singer-songwriter was allegedly thrown out of The Doric bar.

On Market Street just down from the old Scotsman newspaper building.

Whether she is prepared to look at things from Both Sides Now you’d have to ask her.

Leonard, the Montreál thing

Alleluia: It’s. Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, Montreal: I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel lyrics and those dirty New York stories which always appeal to an adolescent.

The poet laureate of pop is rightly revered in his home city of Montreál, an arts city par excellence.

And you can do the whole Leonard thing on a tour of his haunts around the city.

Alanis’s jagged little thrill

She smiles too: Alanis Morisette

Alanis Morisette, Ottawa: Capital cities come in many different shapes and sizes but often it’s the ones that aren’t the biggest cities that enchant the most.

Proud Ottawan Alanis burst onto the scene in 1996 with her cynical classic Jagged Little Pill.

And isn’t it ironic that it’s in sharp contrast to the chilled vibe of Ottawa.

Where locals put on a summer yoga class for hundreds on Parliament Hill

While there are few cooler things to do than skate on the world’s largest naturally frozen rink, the 7.8km long Rideau Canal.

The Groover from Vancouver

And the chicks love him: Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams,Vancouver: And we’ll even forgive Bryan his annoying Robin Hood ballad ‘Everything I Do’.

Because he gave us the rousing nostalgia favourite The Summer of 69.

Vancouver reminds you that Canada is the second biggest country in the world with a Pacific vibe quite different to the Atlantic Canadians on the other side.

Regularly ranked in the world’s top five of liveable cities (you can both hipster and whale watch) it has a stunning backdrop.

Drake’s Toronto

Stay your distance Drake

Drake, Toronto: I, and every red-blooded male, should by rights hate him for Drake taking Rihanna off us.

Quite what they’re Facebook personal status is is almost certainly just toying with us.

Toronto is as we know home to hundreds of cultures but there is a special fusion with the Caribbean.

Not that that gives this uppity Torontonian the right to lay hand on my Ri-Ri.

Under the famous CN Tower the city is teeming with life and entertainment although Brady and Mahomes would go largely unnoticed.

In the Big Four Gridiron (they call it Canadian Football lags behind Ice Hockey, Baseball and Basketball.

All of which the Torontonians have beaten their neighbours at over the years. Eh!