Culture, Food, Food & Wine

Hungry and Thursday – cook around the world

A sallow 17-year-old, I was sent away with a recipe book, and not a clue how to cook – that’s an Irish Mammy for you!

Of course, I was never afraid to seek guidance, knocking on my flatmate’s door to ask how to make an omelette.

When he had his girlfriend around!

Well, you can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs.

I’m still checking out how the experts do it: when the Scary One allows me into her kitchen.

Here are my cookery demos from around the world:IMG_0964

It’s got arms and legs

Pulpo; The driver transporting me from Santiago de Compostella on my Camino would repeat two words on our 100km drive.

Albergo (hostel) and pulpo (octopus) .

Eating pulpo with Galician tomato sauce (not the stuff out of the bottle) sitting on a high stool with a vase of Rioja…

Bueno!

My friends at the Spanish Tourist Board in Dublin took us to Cookery School to show us how it’s done.

It looks like just boiling: something I could master.

Visit CaminoWays www.caminoways.com and read A pilgrim’s prayer

And obvs salty pulpo was the first dish I ordered in Tenerife with CanariaWays www.CanariaWays.com.

Where they taught us how to make mojo rojo, a fancy tomato sauce! A walk through the ages… Tenerife.

Ruby’s a gem:

Barbados Okra: Cooking in the Caribbean is a shared experience.

Which is why Ruby enlisted me as her assistant at Club Barbados http://www.thelubbarbados.com

To make Barbados Okra.

This is how to do it… heat the butter in a saucepan and sauté onion and garlic until soft and nicely smelly.

Add okra, salt and remaining water. Cook for ten to 15 minutes on low heat or until okra is cooked. 

 

Of course Ruby had something to say.

Also see www.visitbarbados.org and www.tropicalsky.ie.

And here’s my misadventures in Barbados Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

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Pasta masters

Pasta: Catherine Fulvio is Ireland’s pasta master.

And she’s now got me, of course, too whenever she needs some advice at her www.ballyknocken.ie.

Catherine and her kitchen were good enough to teach me how to make my own pasta and more.

When Top Flight, the Italian specialists, brought us along to showcase their new brochure www.topflight.ie.

Italy is a culinary dream and everyone returns with tales of their favourite restaurant and dish.

Mine’s is a risotto ai piselli in Padua… Frescoes

Cooking with Auntie

Curry favour: Or more accurately Uncle…

The uncle in this case being Uncle Kenneth at the Blue Crab restaurant in Scarborough, Tobago http://www.tobagobluecrab.comand http://www.visittobago.gov.tt

Uncle Kenneth let me help him cook the chicken curry… there’s a big Indian culinary influence on the island.

Auntie Alison was the real entertainer (hilarious) though telling the womenfolk how to keep their men interested.

Auntie Alison was the real entertainment (hilarious) though telling the womenfolk how to keep their men interested.

Here’s a peek, and some of my ramblings on the island made famous by Robinson Crusoe and, er, Ainsley Harriott… ainsley.

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How to boil an egg

Egg fried rice: The obvious one. But in the hands of a professional cook, and entertainer, it’s pure comedy.

And on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas they’ll do just that with their open kitchen.

What these guys can do with an egg… we’ll actually hatch a chicken in their chef’s hats.

While starting a singalong.

Visit www.royalcaribbean.com. And here’s a Royal party for you A Royal Party.

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Holiday Snaps – Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad!

And that’s all you need for a grande old Spanish Christmas party.

The Christmas party season is upon us and I toasted it with fine Spanish white and red vino in Dublin.

I was, of course, one of nearly two million visitors from Ireland to Spain this year.

When I walked hill, glen, park, volcano and church tower in Tenerife with http://www.CanariaWays.comhttps://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/tenerife-walk.

And I fully intend to be one of the two million going back out next year.

Thankfully our travel providers are all over Spain too so we bring you these offers out there.

I did, of course, also visit Barcelona https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/

But I’m not getting into that one here and say that I love Catalonia and Spain.

Click & Go http://www.clickandgo.com has a three-night Barcelona City Break for two adults with flights from Dublin from €231pp on February 4.

You’ll be staying at the Catalonia Born hotel which is within easy reach of the Arco del Triunfo and the Picasso Museum.

If you like your art then your in the right country.

And you’ll be with the right company with Insight Vacations’ Highlights of Spain nine-dayer on March 14 which is down from €1795pps to €1580pps.

Our friends at Insight have picked out as their particular highlight the world’s finest collection of Spanish paintings.

Plus an impressive foreign collection at the Prado Museum.

And you’ll also be wowed by Granada and the Alhambra Palace while you’ll also get Barcelona again.

Peniscola is best known from El Cid (ask your parents) while Valencia’s huge gates to the old town are the perfect welcome.

Aer we go

Seville’s showstopper is the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings and Cordoba with its 2,000-year-old bridge.

And keep your eyes on our airlines for the best deals and organise your own holiday.

I’m picking out Aer Lingus http://www.aerlingus.com and their Santiago de Compostela offer of from €39.99 from Dublin.

The Camino into Santiago will be one of the journeys of your life.

And here’s how it went for me with http://www.CaminoWays.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/camino-a-pilgrims-prayer/

While they fly from Cork to Gran Canaria from €69,99 and to Lanzarote from €69.99 and from Shannon to Lanzarote from €69.99.

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Give us this Day – We are what we wear

It’s their stage when holy men get a chance to dress up and play the diva.

Still there’s probably some religious significance there too.

And fancy dress is clearly one of the upsides of the role.

It also includes a job for life and care right up to the end.

And you’ll get straight entry into heaven, and life everlasting.

These were many of the reasons why I flirted with becoming a Catholic priest when I was a boy.

OK, I didn’t make it to the seminary probably because I wanted to make it with girls.

That’s something which you can do if you want to go on to become a vicar or minister, rabbi or imman.

With Catholic priests, of course, you get to wear the dress too.

I was sorely tempted too to buy the vestments I saw for sale in the window of a shop in Medjugorje.

Where I’d gone on a Marian Pilgrimages http://www.marianpilgrimages.ie tour just last month…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/18/medgugorje-whats-your-story/

Clothes maketh the man, some might say, and I have been drawn to all kinds of cultures because of theirs.

Jesus in a skirt, yes. In a church in Tenerife https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/tenerife-walk/ with http://www.CanariaWays.com.

While I also witnessed a promised Land of Hasidic Jews (if that’s the collective noun) passing through the world’s biggest through hub for Jews and the world’s best airport, Istanbul. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/wham-bam-thank-you-hamam/

With Turkish Airlines’ business lounge being the jewel in the crown… http://www.turkishairlines.com.

Crossroads of history

Istanbul is one of the world’s great cities for any number of reasons but definitely because it is a crossroads city where cultures and religions meet.

Like the beautiful Sarajevo https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/21/sarajevo-the-scot-that-was-heard-around-the-world/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/24/sarajevo-revisited/

Which the Bosnian city has had its Catholic and Orthodox visitors where you’ll see both religious and secular dress.

Jordan is another crossroads where you only have to stand by the river with Muslims on the side of Jordan country https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/petra-jordan-jesus-and-the-sands-of-time/.

While also seeing white robed Russian Orthodox Christians douse themselves in the river in deference to Jesus who they believe was baptised at that spot.

Which I witnessed on my G Adventures trip to the Middle East… http://www.gadventures.com.

Talking of Orthodox Christians then you an always turn up in Greece, while waiting for a lift.

In an InterContinental Hotel in Athens http://www.intercontinental.com on an Attica Region trip and http://www.athensattica.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/22/give-us-this-day-greek-orthodox/.

He was beautifully adorned in his black vestments and donned a beautifully coiffured white beard.

Now there’s a look I can definitely pull off.

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Hungry and Thursday – Drink Canaria dry

It was a challenge, rescheduling our wine-tasting meeting in Tenerife from early evening to late morning.

But I’m always up for a challenge.

The problem was that we had a woman and a man down on our climb up to Aver the previous day.

And that meant postponing that night’s drinking.

But the Canarian wines dulled their senses and eased their pain (and mine).

Bentayga winery

I return to Canarian wine and that memorable CanariaWays.com http://www.canariaways.com trek https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/tenerife-walk/ and introduction to the magical multi-faceted North and West of Tenerife.

Because someone else has had the idea too… https://www.hellocanaryislands.com/ and they pinged me their latest news.

Ears to Tenerife

We’ve been drinking Canarian wine since the 15th Century while they’ve been drinking it since God put grapes in the ground.

And St Andrew stopped off on the island and got drunk, leaving a lasting legacy… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/02/tenerife-and-scotland-wave-the-same-flag/

There are 135 different varieties with the volcanic malvasía a particular favourite of William Shakespeare who references it in his plays.

El Grifo Winery

And which I tasted on that fact-finding mission.

You can find it in the off-sales Merchant of Vinos. OK, I made that last bit up.

There are many other native varieties such as the baboso, listán or vijariego, among others.

Vines at Camino La Faya

And needless to say I couldn’t pronounce any of them after drinking my fifth, sixth, seven, eighth… hic!

What distinguishes these wines is the salinity of the sea and volcanic minerals.  

And the islanders have been working hard to recover little-known native varieties that have gone on to prove very popular. 

Half a bottle to go… in Tenerife

The islands have 11 certificates of origin. Tenerife has five of these seals of quality:

Ycoden Daute Isora, Abona, Valle de Güímar, Tacoronte Acentejo and Valle de la Orotava. 

Islands’ vine lands

And the beauty is that each island is different:

Lanzarote is known for its volcanic malvasía and La Palma for the aromatic malvasía.

Is that all I’m getting?

There are also other peculiar wines such as wines from the whistling island La Gomera, made with the forastera variety.

The baboso reds hail from El Hierro, a variety recovered from the brink of extinction, as well as the more extended whites of Diego or Verijadiego.

It’s wine o’clock and guess what I have a bottle of malvasia in the rack and The Scary One’s off work tomorrow!

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Cruiseday Tuesday – Scotland is Arctic

It can feel positively Arctic in Scotland so it should come as little surprise that Scotland is being billed as part of an Arctic cruise… with our old friends G Adventures.

G Adventures http://www.gadventures.com will be hosting us tonight in Dublin to reveal more of their wares as part of their G Stock Live road trip.

And I will be able to speak to them about their product with more authority (no comments, please) having been their guests in Jordan earlier this year…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/petra-jordan-jesus-and-the-sands-of-time/

Of course they cover the Seven Seas too and their Galapagos Islands and Cambodia packages from their current sale randomly jumped out at me.

My fjord escort: My own wee Troll

As did their 16-day Cruise the Norwegian Fjords with Scottish Highlands package for May 17.

Which is reduced from €4899 to €4164.

Starting in Tromso, the gateway to the Arctic you’ll travel as far north as Nordkopp where the Atlantic and the Arctic Seas meet before hopping your way down the fjords.

And believe me they are full of myth and majesty as we found out…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-call-of-the-fjords/

Light up, light up. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You’ll pop in Shetland Islands, the most northerly point in the UK, whose nearest train station is Bergen in Norway, before finishing off in Edinburgh.

Heck, the Shetland Islands used to be Norwegian before being given to Scotland in a dowry in 1472.

Every day’s a school day on Cruiseday Tuesday!

Tenerife… I’ll be back

The beautiful Garachico. On Tenerife

The sharp Norwegian winter air is bracing but if you prefer a winter warmer…

Then TUI has seven nights on January 17 in an inside cabin on the Marella Explorer from €879pps.

For more on the Canarian Flavours package visit https://www.tuiholidays.ie. Call 1850 45 35 45 or visit a TUI Store / travel agent.

A toast to the Canaries

Unless you’ve been hiding under a stone you’ll know that I’ve been in Tenerife this autumn.

Where I learned a whole lot of stuff… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/tenerife-walk/

Just promise me you’ll drink some of the Shakespearean wine, the Malvasia.

And a stroll on the island

And eat some of their wrinkled potatoes with mojo mojo sauce!

Now if you like your TUI cruise, and why wouldn’t you, why not try Canaria Ways’ http://www.CanariaWays.com and read all about https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/tenerife-walk/

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Give us this Day – hotel churches

Every hotel should have them… comfy beds, good showers, quiet, great vistas, and often, but not always, a TV. And obviously a church.

Which is where Francesca and her hotel in Sutri in the Lazio region of Italy, 70km outside of Rome, comes in.

Francesca is my babysitter on that leg of the 100km pilgrimage from Viterbo into Rome.

Which means that she has to show me the directions out of the village.

And onto the Via Francigena which means tutto diretto, always straight.

But, of course, she has to tell me twice… and inevitably I get lost and almost shot by a farmer shooting pheasants.

It happens.

And before she sent me on my way, she had to go into town early to get me plasters for my feet.

Charity begins at Rome

From my walk which was by then 5km longer than it should have been.

On account of me getting lost.

I would put on maybe 20 extra kilometres.

This being Italy and on the Via Francigena route charity is at the forefront.

And so back to the church.

It is a quirk, or an age-old custom, perhaps both, to have a church attached to their hotel.

And this is a working one, not like the church besides the Paradores hotel I stayed in recently.

Next to thE El Teide National Park in Tenerife.

Which for reasons unbeknown to me was locked.

Now there are few better ways to start a day than a quick quiet reflection.

On our place in the world among the hustle and bustle.

Now that can be a prayer in a church, or wherever your God lives, and a look outside and what He made.

OK, he seems to have given preferential treatment to the Italians, Il Bel Paese (the beautiful country).

But wherever you are in the world there are signs of his handiwork.

More hotels should have churches. After all who needs a gym?

Anyhow, to the important links… http://www.FrancigenaWays.com and http://www.CanariaWays.com.

And here are a couple of reminders of why walking the good walk is good for you and gets you closer to God.

And I don’t mean by almost bringing you nearer to death! https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/small-roads-lead-to-rome/ And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/tenerife-walk/

MEET YOU IN THE PEWS

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Holiday Snaps – UNESCO sites and bike treks

Mariaclaudia kept us on a tight leash which is as it should be and is fiercely proud of her Padova.

Which is why her antennae pinged when I asked to be dropped off at the train station during free time.

Of course she drew out of me that I was going to spend the afternoon in Venice.

And that I would be taking two Venice tyros with me.

Against type I took a clean shirt and tie with me in my rucksack for the official function at the Padova Botanical Gardens, the world’s first, opened in 1545..

For emergencies… and yes, the train was late and so were we.

‘The Dragon’ wasn’t so preemptive and drew withering glances for wearing a t-shirt and boardies.

There are other ways to traverse the Veneto region that you’re more in control of such as on your bike.

Freedom Treks have the field covered and to celebrate the 75th anniversary of UNESCO they are flagging up Bolzano to Venice among others.

seven-night Bolzano to Venice Hotel & Bike self-guided tour, taking in Padova, departing this month, costs from £746 pp (two sharing) and includes B&B accommodation in four-and-three star hotels.

You’ll have luggage transportation, travel guide with maps and route notes and GPS tracks available on request.

Get on your bike in the Veneto region

There will be a welcome meeting, local contact number for assistance, four-hour ferry cruise on Lake Garda, entrance to Villa Valmarana ai Nani and ice cream in Vicenza.

Return flights, transfers, bike hire, cycle helmet and local taxes extra.
Freedom Treks (01273 224 066, www.freedomtreks.co.uk).

And for a reminder on all that Padua and the Veneto region has to offer https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/11/give-us-this-day-padova/

Travel in our footsteps

Typical street in Vejer de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain

The effervescent Eva (and you’ll be hearing a lot more about mine hostess) had put our CanariaWays.com http://www.canariaways.com group to bed in Tenerife.

And was already thinking of her next group in Tenerife.

I will come back to Tenerife, both in person and on this blog, but I don’t want to ignore the rest of Spain.

After all there are two million visits from Ireland every year.

Every year in Trinity College our travel circuit are treated to the company of the signors and ignores of Seville.

And some flamenco dancing which has me twirling and clicking and swirling all the way home. Filled with vino naturally.

The traffic lights stop on this street: In Andalusia

Travel Department’s trip to Costa de la Luz in Andalusia also includes Seville, the Moorish town of Niebla, a wine museum at Bodegas Andrade. And a walking tour in the vineyards.

Prices start from €659pp for seven nights including return flights, 4* half-board hotel accommodation, transfers, and excursions with an expert local guide, departing this month and next.

Plaza de Espana – Spanish Square in Seville, Andalusia, Spain

For more information or to book, CLICK HERE or call 01-6371600.

The four-hour flight

Moroccan culture. Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni on Pexels.com

A deal maker for many is flights under four hours and Sunway http://www.sunway.ie has them aplenty and is happy to share.

Morocco felt like the nearest furthest place I’d visited when I went there 15 years ago. And probably still is.

Marakech, the Pink City, is a hustle and bustle of souks and stall-holders, snakes and spices.

More of which another time but let’s flag up the charms of its little brother, Agadir.

The natives. Photo by Edwin Vossen on Pexels.com

Sunway has seven nights self-catering at the 2*+ Intouriste Apartments from  October 26.

From €399 price including flights/return airport transfers/ accommodation/20kg FREE baggage

Agadir offers several kilometres of beach, kayaking, surfing, hiking, nearby golf clubs, and road trips through Berber villages.

Ah yes, it’s all coming back to me.

Cultural Ireland

Reflections of Dublin. Photo by Mark Dalton on Pexels.com

There are some holiday providers who really get you under the skin of a country and G Adventures http://www.gadventures.co.uk are right up there.

As I found out when I took a group trip with them to Jordan https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/05/11/petra-carved-into-my-heart/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/petra-jordan-jesus-and-the-sands-of-time/

G Adventures and National Geographic Expeditions are into the fifth year of their joint partnership.

And they have added eight new trips to their National Geographic Journeys collection.

Blarney Castle. Photo by Chris Carter on Pexels.com

There are three new countries to the Journeys product line. As well as us here in Ireland there’s Singapore and Greece.

It doesn’t surprise me that Ireland is included. I remember well a story-telling afternoon in an authentic Irish cottage in Killiney, Co. Dublin when I stayed at the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel http://www.fitzpatrickcastlehotel.com.

For those who don’t live in Ireland, why not?

And here’s their package: Iconic Ireland – 9 Days from €2,449. 

Uncover Celtic culture and admire medieval architecture across the stunning countryside, and delve into historic Dublin and the rebel city of Cork. Eat, dance, and sing with the locals.

Of course you’ll also kiss the Blarney Stone.

Croatian delights

The Plitvice Lakes in Croatia

Must split… the Scary One is calling.

But before I go (and I’ll sneak back for more updates) let me tempt you with Split and Croatia.

I’ll be stopping off on my way to Medjugorge where I’ll complete the set of Fatima, Lourdes and Medj next month and sharing.

Travel Department has an Undiscovered Croatia package highlighting the medieval town of Zagreb and a wildlife walk through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Plitvice Lakes National Park.

See, my ramblings all come around in the end.

You’ll also be charmed by Opatija, Rijeka and Pula.

Prices start from €859pp for 7 nights including return flights, B&B or half-board 4* hotel accommodation, transfers and guided excursions, departing this month and next.

For more info or to book, click here or call 01-6371600.

And if I’ve still got your attention I’m hearing that you want more Snaps. So I’ll snap to it.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

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Vegging out in Tenerife

There are some strange bedfellows, that’s for sure, some foods that should never be seen on the same plate.

I mean courgettes and pretty much anything, or really anything that allows courgettes air time.

You can also mention brocolli, aubergines, leaks, lentils and most pulses in the same breath.

I’ve had a skinful

So the good folk of Tenerife should think again about banana and courgette croquettes.

Particularly as your spotted bananas do fine just as they are.

In fact Tenerife is Europe’s biggest exporter of nanas and the spottier the skins the tastier.

But back to broccoli… and inevitably George Herbert Walker Bush.

When Bush Snr became President of America he was asked now that he was the Leader of the Free World what would he ban.

I’m crook

To which he replied: ‘Brocolli, ny mom used to force us to eat it when we were kids.’

The broccoli growers were soon up in arms and marching on Washington.

George, you’d have had my vote.

And CanariaWays www.canariaways.com, a branch of CaminoWays www.caminoways.com who have been hosting me these past few days.

With Aer Lingus www.aerlingus.com which flies seven times a week from Dublin to Tenerife and twice a week from Cork

Cats and Canaries

I’ve been reminding you about my adventures on Caminos A pilgrim’s prayer and FrancigenaWays’ and my walk into Rome Small roads lead to Rome.

And brining you curios of Tenerife life Tenerife and Scotland wave the same flag.

Caught in a time warp

I’ve been up mountains, through rain forests via black lava ash beaches.

And lived to tell the tale, and all with the help of my wonderful guide Eva.

All to meet the owner of a bar who is caught in a time warp with calendars and posters all around his bar of General Franco.

But the beer was €1!

I’ll share the tale… not the beer.

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Tenerife and Scotland wave the same flag

O Flower of Tenerife

When will we see…

No, I haven’t been on the vino, only I have.

Or been out in the Midday sun. Guilty too.

But I could be home, if it weren’t for the 30C temperature, the humdreds of volcanoes, 11 microclimates and rainforest… Need I go on.

Flagging it up: The St Andrew’s Cross masthead

It’s just that that’s a Scottish flag waving proudly.

And it’s not a Scottish exiles pub.

It’s there in the masthead of a local newspaper too.

Now there is a prosaic answer to why we share flags.

One theory goes that it’s because Admiral Lord Nelson lost a battle here and the flag was confiscated.

And the Tinerfenos confiscated it as spoils of war and adopted it as their national flag.

The flag, that is.

Convincing as that sounds, and the Scottish flag alas has flown over more defeats than victories. the romantic in me favours another story,

Here’s where to get the wine

That St Andrew (or Andres) our shared patron saint visited the island (maybe they did package tours then from the Holy Land).

Just in time for the new wine.

Just to be sociable he imbibed.

When he was grabbing a siesta (our Andrew was a quick learner) the local bambinos tied pots and pans to him.

So when he awoke his language was not so much of the saintly kind.

No, this guy is in Scotland

You want to know more about Andy’s links to Scotland.

Well, the best place to go is a dovecot in Athelstaneford 32kms east of Edinburgh and the National Flag Heritage Centre.

St Andrew’s visits

Where the story of King Oengus II is played out.

The King of the Picts had a visit from Andrew, maybe after Oengus had too much wine too, on the eve of battle with the Angles.

Andrew had not come empty-handed either, he was promising a famous victory.

And her too

The next day Oengus and his army saw white clouds forming a diagonal cross across a blue sky.

A Scottish tale

Handy, as Andy had died on a disgonal cross.

And so the legend of the flag was born and St Andrew was adopted as patron saint of Scotland.

Athelstaneford is well worth a visit… www.nationalflagtrust.com and my bonnie wee country too www.vistscotland.com.

But this is more like it… Tenerife.

While our sister island Tenerife is too.

We’re kinsmen

I’m here in Tenerife this week roadtesting the new www.caminoways.com frontier the Canaries www.canariaways.com. With flights from Dublin with www.aerlingus.com seven times a week and twice a week from Cork.

Fares start from €69.99.

And I’ll uncover, and share more, as I go. For more visit www.webtenerife.com and www.webtenerife.co.uk/tenerifenolimits.

And to get into the spirit if walking in Spain and what CaminoWays does here’s my Camino to Santiago A pilgrim’s prayer.

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Holiday Snaps – Is it Pee for Prague?

It is one of the world’s great statues and on a similar theme to the better known Manneken Pis in Brussels – the Prague statue ‘Piss’.

You’ll no doubt go to the Astronomical Clock when you’re there and it is worth it, although hellishly busy.

But you should have a ‘Piss’ stop at the statue outside the Kafka Museum near the river.

David Cerny erected (sorry, I should probably say built here) ‘Piss’ as a satirical statement against politicians in 2004.

The fountain’s basin is made of bronze and shaped like the Czech Republic.

The two mechanical men stand in the fountain, opposite one another, 6 ft 11 in tall with bronze penises, urinating.

Every country should have its own Piss statue and demand that politicians visit.

And why am I telling you this? Because Click&Go has three nights in Prague in November from €189pp http://www.clickandgo.com.

And also because I can reprise my Prague article… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/24/czech-it-out-2/

Corfu love island

Refelections of Corfu. Photo by Alexander Mils on Pexels.com

I was spoken for, but that didn’t stop the keyboard singer at the bar who was glancing our way on our honeymoon in Corfu.

The besotted newly titled Mrs M drew my attention to the singer’s attentions.

With the ouzo filling my bladder I then had cause to pass the crooner by on the way to the rest room .

Where I noticed they were still smiling at me on my way back.

At which point I needed to inform my new wife: ‘Sorry, he’s not looking at you, it’s me he likes!’

Again, I’m only telling you this as a lead-in to an offer. TUI http://www.tui.com has seven nights S/C at the 2* Ekati 2, Kavos from €399pps, departing Dublin on September 13.

Which corresponds with our 25th wedding anniversary.

I love Malta

Bay of plenty: Valletta. Photo by ines bahr on Pexels.com

You’d think that there was an imaginary hand of fate at play… or that the Scary One has been phoning around my Travel buddies.

Malta was where on a hot, hot day, I bent down in exhaustion and she screamed YES.

We were particularly taken by Malta’s smaller sister island of Gozo.

Now I’m going to fly a kite here and suggest that the Scary One would like to return. And fly a kite…

The second edition of the Gozo International Kite and Wind Festival will take place there form October 18-20.

Concorde Travel http://www.concordetravel.ie has seven nights B&B at the 4* Seashells Resort, Qawra for €599, depart Dublin on October 14.

Or you can depart Cork on October 17 and stay at the 4* all-inclusive Seabank Resort & Spa, Mellieha for €769.

And they’re off

The Prancing Horse. Photo by Zachary DeBottis on Pexels.com

It was from my Dear Old Dad that I inherited the love of sport. That said neither of us got motor racing.

Apart from commonly repeated allusion I never heard him show any interest in the sport, and I use that term loosely.

The one reference point he had was in his common jibe at my Mum’s driving: ‘Stirling Moss,’ he would shriek and laugh uproariously.

He always enjoyed his own jokes, though my sainted Mum never did see the funny side.

As Formula 1 returns after its midseason break and Lewis Hamilton has a procession to his 72nd title it’s as well to flag up a motor racing holiday thrill.

Cassidy Travel http://www.cassidytravel.ie/ (01) 6265100 has a three-night break to PortAventura World Salou. And of course Ferrari Land.

From €245pps based on a family of four you will be staying on site in the 4* PortAentura World Salou on a B&B basis.

With entry to the theme park for the duration plus one day in Ferrari Land.

Flights from Dublin to Barcelona, part October 20.

I’ll drink Canarian dry

I’m coming up behind you!

God being good, I’ll be off to trek the Canaries tomorrow. But I’ll leave you in safe hands with Mrs M.

The CaminoWays.com team is launching the latest arrival to its family of active holidays and I’m road testing it and Tenerife’s bars.

 CanariaWays.com is focusing on the spectacular walking tours in the Canary Islands.

And to kick it al off they’ve got 10% off all bookings until the end of September using the CODE: CANARIAWAYS19.

And all bookings will go into a draw and two travellers will have a chance to get their holiday for free.

So let me tell you about their ten-day Walking Trip: Grand Walking Tour of Tenerife.

You’ll see the whole island, from Mount Teide National Park to Garachico and Anaga Rural Park.

The price is €1017pps, including nine nights’ accommodation with breakfast, luggage transfers and transfers to trail heads when needed.

As well as holiday pack with practical information. More details: Tenerife Grand Tour.