Grazie to Aer Lingus – New Italy + more USA

I felt a heel when I had to let colleagues know that I was sending someone else to sunny shores.

Sometimes it might even have been me.

But my pal Mary Conroy always delivered.

And I always enjoyed presenting her stories and pictures and I’m sure you enjoyed them too.

Now Mary’s travels sprang to mind today when I heard of Aer Lingus’s latest plans.

With two new routes in Italy and increased flights to their North American destinations.

Pretty Puglia

I remember that Mary’s trip to the heel of Italy, Puglia, was ‘Trulli Magical’.

And that Seattle was ‘Nirvana’… an out’ new headline always kept me happy.

So, back to our busy national airline carrier http://www.aerlingus.ie

They are opening up Brindisi, Puglia and Alghero, Sardinia from next summer.

La bella vita: Sardinia

The Dublin-Brindisi service will run twice a week kicks off on May 23 with one-way fares from €79,99.

And here’s what you need to know about Puglia https://www.viaggiareinpuglia.it/spostarsiinpuglia.do?r002=spostarsiInPugliaMezziPubblici&r019=en

While the Dublin-Alghero service begins on May 24 (also twice a week) at €79.99 one-way. And this is Sardinia… https://www.sardegnaturismo.it/en

You know already how much I love Italy, Il Bel Paese, but here’s a reminder…

My Roman holidays https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/04/see-rome-on-e50/, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/small-roads-lead-to-rome/

And the frescoes up north… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/15/padova-city-of-frescoes/

Orlando, here we come

Orlando Minnie-break

They’re also all over Orlando, my American playground. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/aaawlando-orlando-the-rollercoaster-capital/

The Floridian fantasyland https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/disney-why-i-love-the-donald/ will now get two extra flights per week bringing it up to six flights per week.

We all think we know Orlando but there’s much more to find out… http://www.visitorlando.com.

Ole… in Miami

Miami http://www.miamiandbeaches.com I’m yet to get around properly.

After having had only six hours proper time in.

And going around in a circle, missing Little Havana altogether (yes it’s possible).

The route to Miami will grow from two to three flights per week.

Coming back to that mini-Miami stay I did meet a little Havanan and their restaurant in Biscayne and here’s the evidence in the picture above.

And then there’s Seattle http://www.visitseattle.org which is very much on my to-do list.

Aer Lingus is making it even easier too, with daily service in the summer.

I’m listening

Increasing from five flights per week to a daily service.

Now we’ll likely be seeing a lot more of Seattle next year too.

With Kelsey Grammer hinting that the greatest television programme ever made, Frasier, will be making a comeback.

See you in Cafe Nervosa, Frase.


The rebirth of Puerto Rico

Every time there is a gentle zephyr in Britain and Ireland tired headline writers trot out the old banner: ‘batten down the hatches’.

But any storm here pales into insignificance compared with the annual worries Caribbean islanders have to go through.

Maria variously conjures up images of The Sound of Music, West Side Story or a Blondie song.

But there was nothing joyful about this Maria’s visit to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico in 2017.

Hurricane Maria made her presence known with winds of 155mph which ripped roofs off houses, deprived the island of electricity.

And caused nearly $100bn worth of destruction.

But worst of all nearly 3,000 people dead.

Future is bright. Photo by Reynaldo #brigworkz Brigantty on Pexels.com

That Puerto Ricans have rebuilt their island is credit to their indefatigable spirit.

And I was lucky to meet them first hand and hear about their island when I attended the American Travel Fair (IPW) in Anaheim in June.

Yes, Puerto Rico, is a US Territory. Of that much I already knew and that there was a large population in the States.

But while Americans are familiar with its many charms we as Europeans are less so, apart perhaps from Spaniards who know its Hispanic history.

For Puerto Rico boasts a rich culture with Caribbean and Spanish fusion food and music and dance at its heart.

It also has the only rainforest in the US forest system, El Yunque and three of the world’s five bioluminescent bays.

Rainforest: Photo by Molly Champion on Pexels.com

This year is a special one in the Puerto Rico calendar with the 500th anniversary of the capital San Juan.

While this autumn, or Fall, there is the opening of District San Juan, a five-acre hospitality and entertainment district.

We can help

Puerto Rico has identified tourism as a key driver in its economy.

And it should be on the list of any fan of the Caribbean.

I checked out http://www.kayak.ie and found a return flight package with Aer Lingus http://www.aerlingus.ie and JetBlue http://www.jetblue.ie with a layover in Newark on the way out and JFK on the way back.

Indomitable spirit. Photo by J. Rodriguez on Pexels.com

For the sample dates of September 23-30, it costs £605.96 (€670).

Visit http://www.DiscoverPuertoRico.com for more on Puerto Rico. And dip your toe in the Caribbean with these thoughts on Barbados… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/22/rumba-in-barbados/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/.

And as Dorian blows through the Caribbean let’s all say a silent prayer that she is not as angry as Maria.


Flyday Friday – Dubai

The Son And Heir was always reaching out as a toddler, curious to see what the world felt like it.

And he loved his lego which he called ‘Talls’.

He’d love Legoland in Dubai Parks and Resorts then.

And you’d love Emirates’ deal for your family for €5,569 http://www.emiratesholidays.com with return flights.

Emirates Holidays has a five-night stay at the 5* Rixos The Palm Dubai where you’ll stay in a Premium room (half-board).

The holiday includes unlimited access to Dubai Parks.

Prices based on October 26. Family is 2+2.

Join the Aer Club

My pals at Aer Lingus have been listening and after my gentle reminder that deals be tailored for this Flyday Friday column.

And so they have their flash sale with up to 20% off marked for running out tonight at midnight.

Travel between 23 September and 24 October 2019. Book by 30 August.

I’ll be away on a trip with my old Scottish pal and award-winning writer Tom Sweeney http://www.tomsweeneytravels.blogspot.com on Sunday, among others.

On the right tracks, Lisbon. Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

And he’ll be extolling the virtues of Lisbon where he was last weekend.

No doubt we will both reference the Lisbon Lions, the famed Celtic team who became the first British winners of the European Cup.

I had intended to pay my pilgrimage to the Estadio Nacional stadium where they won the cup when I visited Portugal Centro a couple of years ago.

And this is that review… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/secret-portugal/

Alas the traffic beat my pal and guide Jose Manuel Santos http://www.madomistours.pt and we (I) didn’t get to pay our homage.

I will return, particularly with Aer Lingus flights http://www.aerlingus.ie from €39.99. Obvs among a list of other great deals.

Brussels rules

The centre of Europe

Few cities have had such a bad press as Brussels – but that’s merely because of the politicians.

Belgium is one of my favourite countries and its people one of the friendliest.

Real internationalists, on account of their place at the crossroads of the continent.

And having been occupied by all the Empires, including the British who fought for their neutrality.

And took them in when they were invaded and liberated them.

Hence they’re being few countries that welcome the much-denigrated British quite like Belgium.

I’ve just dipped my toe in Brussels, staying there and visiting the Parliament and its politicians as a cub reporter.

All expense was spared and I was put up in the Red Light district.

I will be back though and will visit the Mannekin Pis and probably on the Esky.ie deal with Ryanair http://www.ryanair.com from €26 http://www.esky.ie.

Flights October 11, depart, and return October 16.

And read my poignant visit to the World War I battlefields https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/firstworldwar-in-flanders-fields/.