Africa, America, Asia, Caribbean, Countries, Cruising, Culture, Europe, Flying

In defence of Travel people

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts – Mark Twain

Cathy’s clown: DC Easy DC and www.washington.org

The next time you see a cinema usher, a football steward.

Ave Maria: www.CanariaWays.com In defence of Travel people

Or if you even run into a sports writer, then I trust you’ll pick them up on getting in for free!

Muriel, my pal: With Muriel Bolger

Only you won’t because you’ve got class.

King Louis: Friends of racing in Tobago, Louis, Nadine and Clem. www.visittobago.gov.tt Ready, steady GOAT… racing in Tobago

And you know that they’re doing their job.

Kythera: My Greek odyssey www.athensattica.com

And that they’re good at what they do or else they wouldn’t get asked.

Herr for the beer: Hamburgers and ships and www.hamburg.com

My friends

I ran a gauntlet of abuse on my way to becoming Ireland’s Travel Editor of the Year – and from the very people I was helping, my own staff.

Aer we go: With Paula and Aer Lingus www.aerlingus.com

Who would, and to be fair it wasn’t all of them, put me down when I was on my Travels (in my own time).

Oo Es of Eh: www.visitusa.ie and www.kennedyspacecenter.com

And snidely refer to my trips which always produced articles, written on time and to the brief I was given, as…

Wooah. Barbados: www.visitbarbados.org Let’s rumba in Barbados My kiss with Rihanna

Junkets, Jollies, Beanos, freebies.

Of course it didn’t apply when I sent them.

Fab Four: With Maria www.spain.info/en Eoghan www.travelextra.ie and Sharon www.ttc.com

And they would be the ones who would be late with their copy.

Petra time: With Zuhair… www.vistjordan.com and The water of life, Petra, and the sands of time

Sometimes even embarrassing themselves and a host.

Your Onur: And www.turkishairlines.com and Wham bam, thank you Hamam

While their articles would often have to rewritten..

Your USA: With www.visitusa.ie

And all because it was a ‘junket’ and not given the same attention as any other article.

I would then have to apologise profusely to the providers who thankfully and very generously considered me worthy of the ultimate accolade…

Your South Africa www.southafrica.net: With Siseko in Dublin What’s new pussycat?

Their Pleasure To Work With award which was sneered at when I got back to the office.

LA story: Universal Studios’ www.universalstudioshollywood.comJon, The Scottish Sun’s Heather and Tickets Direct’s www.ticketsdirect.com Kate. And My Weekend With Marilyn and Stair Wars.

Back then, and it’s only a year ago, I would call on the services of the finest freelancers who never let me down.

Star women: The Irish at IPW

On the other side

Now I’m on the other side of the fence I have been glad to say that the holiday providers I cultivated then and many writers and editors remain the best of friends.

Zach the lad: My old pal Zach from my Deep South The Promised Land, The story of the Blues and The King of Kings odyssey www.deep-south-usa.com,

And you always know who your friends are in your time of need.

Give it a twirl: At Pic du Midi. www.hautes-pyrenees.com and The Lourdes prayer

Don’t Cancel

So that’s why I’ll not rest in promoting our industry which, like Twain, I believe is vital to the human condition.

Live like a Royal: Messi around on the water In Barcelona www.barcelonatourisme.com withPaula and www.royalcaribbean.com.

And that’s why I’ve been sprinkling this polemic with pictures of us around the world.

Grand oul tome: With BA’s Tara and Queen of Vegas Tryphavana. And www.lvcva.com and www.ba.com. And Strip… the light fantastic and The grandest canyon.

So join me to support #DontCancelPostpone and #tourismstrong.

America, Countries, Culture, Europe

Life’s a drag… queen

There’s no photographic evidence that it ever happened and I don’t know what it says about the ‘nurse’ who agreed to date the drag queen me.

Nursie clearly had second thoughts the following day and didn’t turn up at the bar.

Although my much-storied Australian flatmates had great fun in telling me every five minutes that I’d missed her.

All of which diva prancing around (the occasion was a student ‘Tarts and Tramps’ party.

Oh Nicki, you’re so fine: Ms Minaj

Where the guys dressed as women and the women as hobos) brings me to RuPaul’s new season of Drag Race which also showcases Nicki Minaj and Michelle Visage.

Which is, thanks to Daddy’s Little Girl, a big fave in our house.

I particularly love RuPaul and the beautifully pink Trini, that’s Trinidadian and Tobagonian to you and me Nicki Minaj.

And as you know I love a bit of colour and make-up and slapped it on in Tobago in December.

While Nicki also likes to tear it up at Tobago carnival… www.tobago.gov.tt and Ready, steady GOAT… racing in Tobago. And https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lt9dXQ-YmZ8.

All of which stuff and nonsense allows me to talk about the divine divas I’ve sashayed with on my travels.

Sugsr bum-bum: The Drag Race girls

Vegas baby

Cami, Las Vegas: What happens in Harrah’s in Vegas stays in Harrah’s in Vegas.

Dance the night away

And when that mad. glad joint off the Strip kicks into life again then myself, my travel companions and Cami who comes down from Utah will be there.

Now who wants a shot… and a drink too?

Visit www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic

Pride of Barcelona

Pride, Barcelona: Barca. the football team may be the pride of the Catalonians.

And Lionel Messi… but how about Lionel Missy?

I’ve been watching too much Drag Race… my favourite is Heidi N Closet from Missouri.

While my Drag Name is Shirley Brassy.

But sun on your back, on the streets of Barcelona with a Sangria Familia is where to spend Pride.

And it’s the perfect place to kick off your cruise when we get back on the water.

Visit https://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/, and www.msc.com.

Dee-Dee and Me-Me

Purple reigns in Barbados

Dee-Dee, Barbados: Don’t smudge my make-up, mon.’

But the husky-voiced Dee-Dee broke out a smile that was as warm as the Barbados night on Crop Over at Barbados Carnival.

I was in for a dime in for a Bajan dollar with my purple painted beard.

Visit https://www.visitbarbados.org and My kiss with Rihanna.

LA is my laddie

LA -La

LA ladies, Anaheim: ‘At last my man has come along’… she could have been singing to me at Platinum Triangle in Anaheim on Pride night.

We stole a moment later and a pic for my scrapbook.

But what kind of gentleman am I… I forgot her name and didn’t call.

Visit https://visitanaheim.org www.visitcalifornia.com and My Weekend With Marilyn.

Adventure, America, Asia, Countries, Cruising

My Sporting Weekend – Olympic ‘sports’

It might have escaped your attention but Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis broke the world record this week.

Which beggars the question: what’s the point apart from the bit at the end of the stick?

I mean who pole vaults anyway, or shot putts, or throws discuses?

Bending over backwards. www.wikipedia.com

Field of screams

Javelins have their place… partly because of bonkers Tessa Sanderson who I interviewed in my first job and the force of nature that is Fatima Whitbread.

They could make it even better if they were to time it to when the long-distance runners were on the track.

Long jump? Nothing exciting has happened since Bob Beamon jumped out of the pit.

And high jump? Since Dick Fosbury flopped over the bar in the Sixties.

Give it a hurl www.wikipedia.com

Home run

Baseball: I’m surprised it isn’t in the Games already but it hasn’t been since 2002.

But seeing that the Japanese are pretty good at it..,

Anyway, because I’ve got some game from the Washington Nationals… if the UK team want a Joe DiMurtio.

And check out my Washington adventures Easy DC.

Capital: Slugger Murty

Chairman of the board

For flip’s sake www.wikipedia.com

Skateboarding: Born out of the old outdoor swimming pool in Venice Beach, it should remain there.

Venice Beach life should be experienced though https://www.venicebeach.com as should Muscles Beach https://www.musclebeachvenice.com but they wouldn’t introduce body-building, would they?

Aw, hell, I’ve only gone and given the IOCC ideas.

And also check out www.visitcalifornia.com.

Kicking on

Karate kid

Karate: I’m only surprised it isn’t.

I never got near the oul’ Martial Arts other than having a dressing gown which was dangerously close to a Del Boy fashion item.

Hardly a spectator sport

Get your rocks off

Sport climbing: I don’t even know how they judge this.

But I do know a crowd who do… the Coloradans who spend their days climbing the Rockies.

And their evenings getting stoned at their craft beer and organic restaurants… Go West and www.colorado.com.

Everybody’s gone surfin’

Surfing: And here’s another newbie that I’m pitching myself for.

After roadtesting the Royal Caribbean Flow Rider in Barcelona.

And then throwing some shapes at Surf City USA, Huntington Beach https://www.surfcityusa.com.

I’m only surprised the Japanese haven’t tried to get sumo wrestling included… I’d watch that.

Visit https://www.japan.travel/en/uk/ and https://tokyo2020.org/en/.

MEET YOU AT THE GAMES

Uncategorized

Holiday Snaps – Black Effing Friday

Thirty years working to a deadline and Black Friday can feel like a pressure I don’t need. Which is why I’ve latched onto Click&Go… http://www.clickandgo.com.

Who see the day as a springboard for their offers.

I dipped my toe again in Barcelona’s waters this year, 17 years after my first foray there.

And I found Christopher Columbus, arms open, just as welcome as ever.

Click&Go has three nights in the 4* Onix Ceo Hotel with return flights from Dublin from €189pp. For Travel in January.

And when you go you must pop into this restaurant, just off La Rambla, http://www.myfuckingrestaurant.com . And find out more about Barcelona with http://www.barcelonatourisme.com.

As I did… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/ or https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/30/hes-from-barcelona/

Of course Chris has been America’s longest-running cheerleader and points out in that direction from his plinth in La Rambla.

Though like a certain Travel blogger we know and love his sense of direction wasn’t great.

Because he fell on America when he was trying to get to India while this statue doesn’t direct you there at all.

We know our way there and know to go with Click&Go.

Photo by TheUknownPhotographer on Pexels.com

They have three nights in a double room in the 4* Row NYC Hotel in New York. With return flights from Dublin to New York.

From €499pp based on two people sharing for Travel in January.

And if you’ve got tickets for Hamilton can you give me your contact? In return I give you http://www.nycvb.com.

If not you can still see Hamilton all round town… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/

We’ve got American friends of my favourite cousin who lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland which is really the outskirts of Washington DC in town so I’m off to talk America.

I will report back and until then enjoy your Black Friday deals and…

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

Uncategorized

Hungry and Thursday – sangria and La Sagrada

Wel, you’d expect there to be wine around a church, and this being Spain it’s not too big a jump to see sangria too.

In Barcelona the most famous church of all is La Sagrada.

And the best way to make sense of this Teletubby church is with a jug of after jug of Sangria.

Which you can pick up fairly cheaply outside the church which is refreshing.

To the palate and the pocket. They do some pretty good pizzas and hot dogs and the like, and of course paella at a good price too.

Sangrias are one of the easiest cocktails to mix and always scream summer.

Whether in their home of Spain or in your back garden.

Sometimes it can go amiss such as when we were students and a bunch of us were working for SAGA Holidays in Aberdeen University’s Halls of Residence.

My flat mate was down with the lurgie so we decided to put some cough medicine in with the wine, the fruit, the soda water, the fresh orange juice and the lemonade.

I’m mont sure if it really made him better.

And when my old mucker Jevan, of Barbados fame https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/rihanna-in-barbados/https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna turned up all hell was let loose.

Party time

He’d only brought some cream pies from the kitchens and a food fight broke out through my flatmate’s room.

And on into the garden which our botanist landlord had expressly told us to stay out of.

Miraculously we managed to survive getting chucked out and with some good carpet cleaner I was able to maintain my friendship with my flatmate.

Who was meticulously tidy.

The good news was that he was back on his feet and propping up the bar next to us by the weekend,

But don’t try this cough medicine in the sangria trick at home, kids.

For more Barcelona frolics http://www.barcelonatourisme.com where I have wandered on my way to the port and some cruise ship fun… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/

Uncategorized

Holidos and don’ts – souvenirs

Now the only thing you need to know about souvenirs is this…

The answer is a fridge magnet.

They’re small, cheap (no, don’t blame me) and easy to pack away.

And they provide a picture, or pictures, of the place you’ve been to.

Let’s not flip-flop around the issue: https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/malta-easer/

Of course, they range in price.

I paid €2 for this one in Barcelona, outside La Sagrada Familia.

And I was spitting to discover that I could have got the same one down a side street for €1!

Catch of the day. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/12/atoll-tale-the-maldives/

These are a few thoughts on that great city and that weird church. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/30/hes-from-barcelona/ https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/13/holiday-snaps-la-sagreda-familia/ And visit http://www.barcelonatourisme.com.

And here’s the said magnet in the main pic.

That reminds me. I will bring you my review from Barcelona with Celebrity Cruises on the FlowRider on Oasis of the Seas. http://www.celebritycruises.ie

This Memphis magnet tilts into Elvis: https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/elvispresley-the-king-of-kings/ And how about Philly https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/philadelphia-freedom/ and Boulder and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/go-west-denver-buffalo-bill/

So let my Barcelona experience be a lesson for us all.

Watch out… don’t buy your magnets in a tourist trap, and Las Ramblas is the same. Or an airport.

Magnetic pulls

The ones below remind me of more poignant trips.. on the Via Francigena into Rome http://www.FrancigenaWays.com on https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/small-roads-lead-to-rome/

And finding my Great Uncle Willie among the War dead https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/firstworldwar-in-flanders-fields/

Fridge magnets are fun and funky and sometimes functional.

Here’s a recipe. And a review of nearby Washington. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/home/easy-dc-2/

You get the bottle openers, the mini-notepads, the ones that will hold a photo.

And a matchbox one that one of my guys broke… you owe me big time!

A bit screwy, but: And here’s my Dresden review https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/

So, some snobby folk will look down their noses at you when they see the collection on your fridge.

But stuff them, these keepsakes will cheer you up when you open the door for your milk in the morning.

What a picture: And here’s my Florida review https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/aaawlando-orlando-the-rollercoaster-capital/

And you can be sure that it’s the gift that everybody can use.

Places I’ve been: And reviews I’ve done: https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/secret-portugal/ https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/vegas-strip-the-light-fantastic/https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/23/carole-king-youre-beautiful/https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/disney-why-i-love-the-donald/

After all we’ve come a long way from salting our meat in the side of a hill…

We all have a fridge now.

The bigger the better

And if your fridge isn’t big enough then that’s a hint that you need a new fridge.

You’ve been warned.

There’s more magnets I haven’t included that I will, and more trips and magnets to collect.

But let’s leave you with a family of Trolls… it’s not a self-portrait despite the noses.

We’re all scary. http://The call of the fjords
Uncategorized

Holiday Snaps La Sagrada Familia

Some things were never meant to be finished… take The Scary One (please). She is always finding things that still need to be done to the house.

Word reaches me that Antoni Gaudi’s magnus opus, the Sagrada Família, first begun in 1882 but only a quarter completed by the time of his death in 1926, has hit another snag.

And just when they looked like getting over the line after Barcelona’s city authority granted La Sagrada Familia’s first building permit. I’m not even asking under what terms they built what’s already up.

Seventy per cent is done (so they had chipped away at it at some point since the Great Man died).

Eight of its proposed 18 spires have been completed and the plan is to have it all finished by 2026, the centenary of Gaudi’s death.

But I guess nobody counted on the 3,000 residents living in the nearby apartments and their objections.

Watching the cranes above the psychedelic spires while draining a jug of sangria recently I couldn’t help wondering whether Antoni had been on something.

And whether they shouldn’t just tear it down and start all over again.

Make up your own mind. Barcelona is a great city for a ramble… or rambla. Visit http://www.barcelonatourisme.com. Aer Lingus http://www.aerlingus.com and Ryanair http://www.ryanair.com both fly to Barcelona.

La Fete National

You dancer: Paris. Photo by Carolline De Souza

I hope you’re having a good one. I won’t wish you Joyeux Quatorze Juillet, or Bonne Bastille, as the French don’t really do that in the way the Americans wish you Happy Fourth of July.

If you want to find out more French nuances then pop by the French Corner in Dublin where Alliance Francaise Dublin and the French Library with the French Embassy will be putting on free workshops and games and face painting for l’enfants.

From 11-5pm today. City Spectacular, Merrion Square, Dublin.

If that gets you in the mood for a bon vacance… remember that Aer Lingus has a range of offers to French cities from €45.99. Visit http://www.aerlingus.com. http://www.atout.france.fr.

Wu Wu… savings

Cherry amour: The Cherry Blossom in Japan. Photo by Bagus Pangestu

My old friend Wendy Wu is tempting us with discounts on her 2019 and 2020 Asian tours.

She’s giving us an Early Bird saving of €200pp if booked before August 5.

So you love the Cherry Blossoms and the Autumn Leaves. As a sample of the many Asian offers, how about Discover Japan, 13 days from €7,090pp. Twin share.

Visit http://www.wendywutours.ie.

Every day is the 11th July

Wall, what is it good for? A gable end with King Billy

As I revealed in one of my random Did You Knows yesterday, the Battle of the Boyne was on July 1 and when converted to the Gregorian Calendar became the 12th of July when it should have been the 11th of July.

Of course we were more interested in commemorating another royal victory this week on the 11th.

The final piece of the Game of Thrones tapestry has been woven in at the Ulster Museum in Belfast to mark the end of the saga.

Before it gets taken to Bayeux where it will be exhibited from September to December.

The Ulster Museum is one of the best cultural and historical museums on this island. And it’s free. Visit it. http://www.nmni.com.

I’m heading up to Royal Portrush on Sunday for the final day of The Open Golf Championship.

I’m thinking they should start a tapestry to Northern Irish golf royalty… McDowell, Clarke, McIlroy. Visit http://www.nimadeforgolf.com, http://www.theopen.com.

Windsor Lego Castle

Queen lives here: Windsor Castle. Photo by Kris Schulze

Back in the day when I first started this scribbling lark, I found myself in the Royal County of Berkshire… where I found myself a wife.

Then where Legoland now is was Windsor Safari Park. Nothing to read into that, just saying.

Berkshire, to the west of London is a great location in its own right for its royal history and quaint villages and is also ideally situated for the Big Smoke.

And that makes it great for families. Cassidy Travel knows it and has put together a great Legoland and football package to keep everyone happy.

If Mum doesn’t fancy the footie, and these days it’s more likely it would be Dad, the shopping in London is unparalleled.

Stay in the 3* Travelodge Windsor Central and choose between Arsenal v Burnley or Chelsea v Leicester City. Package from €379pps based on four sharing. Includes a day pass to Windsor Legoland Resort.

Flight departs Friday, 16 August. Call Cassidy Travel (01) 8395000. Visit http://www.cassidytravel.ie.

For a few levs more

Greet value: Bulgaria. Photo by Pixabay

They were low-maintenance for two teenage girls.

All they wore for the whole fortnight we were in Bulgaria was their football tops and trackie bottoms.

I think they had a few changes of the same outfits. It was the wrong team they supported but they were sweet girls and their grandparents were nice too.

Bulgaria is still remarkably good value as evidenced by a Sunway survey in conjunction with the UK Post Office.

They compared the cost of holiday essentials including a bottle of beer, a coffee and a three-course meal for two with a bottle of wine in 20 European beach holiday resorts.

Sunny Beach on Bulgaria’s Black Sea comes in at €44.44 for nine items. The most expensive is Sorrento at €159.40.

Sunway offers seven nights B&B at the 3* Hotel Kudadasi for €399. Visit http://www.sunway.ie. for this and other great holiday offfers.

And Holiday Snaps is just about to get snappier with an extra day of the snappiest snaps in Snaptown, Snapetonia.

Watch this space… and…

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD