America, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Holidos and don’ts – Green List and Scottish isles

And is your country on the Irish Green List https://www.rte.ie/news/coronavirus/2020/0721/1154621-coronavirus-travel/where you’re now allowed to visit?

And some more guidance too on if and how we insure ourselves amid contradictory Government advice.

I’m indebted here to my good friend Dominic Burke, of Travel Centres https://www.travelcentres.ie/.

Where are the humans: The Gibraltar Barbary Apes

And the Irish Travel Agents Association https://itaa.ie/ in Ireland for flagging up some anomalies here.

That Gibraltar is on it, but that you can’t get there unless you go through Spain which isn’t.

Monaco, go, go, go

Monaco the same with France too left on the list.

While if you want to visit the eskimos of Greenland you’ll need to go through Denmark which you guessed right is off the list.

Greenland… and white is the colour

I notice too that Belgium where I first met the similarly coiffure-bearded Dominic is off the list.

And we were invited to present the wreath at the Menin Gate in Ieper www.visitflanders.com, https://gtitravel.ie/ and In Flanders fields.

We’ll share a Trappist beer there again yet, Dominic.

Let’s all Muck in

Me old Muckers

I might not be able to get over to Ireland, well at least the southern part.

So it’s just as well that we’ve a few glittering isles of our own in Scotland.

Muck in the Inner Hebrides, or Western Isles, is reopening its self-catering accommodation, although Eigg is not.

Not every Scottish island has a funny name but I do love Ewe.

Get it… they do with it being a popular island to propose.

See www.visitscotland.com and Sunday Sermon – God’s Own Country Scotland.

A cruise to bear in Ireland

Shipping jobs

Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ descent into administration will be felt on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Whom we know through JMG Cruises http://www.jmgcruise.com

Our Irish ports will be hit hard.

Belfast was set to homeport in 2021 as was Cobh, no stranger to cruiseheads.

They have started and finished their trips in the past and were ready to do so again next year.

Visit https://www.thecruiseroomireland.ie/.

Over there, over there

It was an uplifting American war-time song… ‘and it won’t be over till it’s over, over there.’

The Americans, lest we forget, joined our two major conflicts in the last century.

And also led (and are still leading) us through the Cold War.

And yet, nobody it seems wants them.

The haters have been smirking that the Mexicans have been turning away American tourists at the border.

But it is no laughing matter, not least for a British, European.

And especially Irish market which relies so heavily on the Yankee dollar.

With Bajan Geraldine and Virginian Patay

The good news is that a vaccine looks on the way and that there are countries who want to welcome the Americans back.

We all know how much Americans love the Caribbean.

And I was embraced by the Virginia Ski Club on their annual trip to Barbados www.theclubbarbados.com with www.tropicalsky.ie and www.tropicalsky.com.

And I’m glad to say that that feeling is mutual.

With much of the Caribbean reopening to Americans, subject to requirements.

And my sailing pal Patsy

I got out to see for myself how history is still being made in Virginia https://www.virginia.org.

And Sign up for the Civil War… it is Virginia www.visitusa.ie and www.visitusa.co.uk.

And I am hankering to get back.

Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Ireland, UK

All roads lead to rum in Barbados

My Dear Old Mum and Dad took a bottle of Jamaican Black Heart rum in a suitcase when they used to visit us in the UK.

It had been their exotic indulgence and I grew to love the sticky sweet drink too.

All roads lead to Rum and today I was back in its birthplace, Barbados.

Virtually… with my friends from the Barbados Tourist board www.visitbarbados.org who, in truth, have spent more time on my shores than me on theirs.

There have been the two unforgettable trips Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna www.clubbarbados.com http://www.sandals.co.uk/barbados and hopefully more to come.

Particularly as they are trying to lure me there with their Barbados Welcome Stamp.

The stamp allows you to work there remotely for free for 12 months.

And who do we have to thank? Mia Motley, of course, the Prime Minister of Barbados.

I first came across Mis when my old West Indian Aberdonian pal Jevan brought me to a rally for her when she was the leader of the Opposition

Where, of course, there was rum and Soca and an inspiring speech from Mia.

And with my pal Cheryl, queen of Barbados

And with my pal Cheryl… ‘Miss Carter’

Now the remote work which let’s face it we’re all doing would be better from a Bajan beach.

At the moment we’re all allowed in but will get tested and if we fail we’ll have to self-isolate.

And all the gang are here

Mia is still working out the details and when the Stamp will kick in.

But I don’t see why I couldn’t do this on the Platinum Coast with a Green Monkey or Rum Punch in my hand.

And because I’ve been drinking rum then here’s a cocktail recipe from my occasional series Jocktails https://www.google.com/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/15/jocktails-bajan-monkey/amp/.

Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Europe, Food & Wine, UK, Uncategorized

Hungry and Thursday – pre-drinks and limin’

A teleprinter runs above your head in the Bridgetown, Barbados bus station carrying the news of the day.

We read that there has been a violent crime in the capital…

Hundreds of thousands are expected at the Grand Kadooment closing ceremony for the Crop Over carnival…

And the best places for limin’ are…

This is pre-drinking Caribbean style.

Way of life

Pre-drinking is one of the great modern inventions.

We know all about that from excitable teenagers and Twentysomethings around the house.

But while pre-drinking is something for the weekend for the young of Ireland and Britain limin’ is a way of life for everyone in the West Indies.

All of which brings us to British and Irish visitors being welcomed back now with famously open Bajan arms through Grantley Adams this month.

With flights from Gatwick on board Virgin Atlantic https://www.virginatlantic.com (July 18).

And Heathrow with British Airways https://www.britishairways.com and Jet Blue https://www.jetblue.com (July 25).

Crop Over next year

Crop Over https://barbados.org/cropover.htm#.Xv2Vp-R4WEc which runs from June through the first week of August is off this year but will return in ’21.

But no Crop Over 2020 won’t stop our Bajan pals from doing what they do… limin’ and dancing which is really just our craic.

It’s just that they’ve got the sun and the Soca.

And a welcome drink of rum punch on your arrival at Turtle Beach, Sandals or Club Barbados…

While Tropical Sky are your go-to holiday providers https://www.eleganthotels.com/turtle-beach?utm_source=local&utm_campaign=gmb&utm_medium=organic, https://www.sandals.co.uk/sandals-barbados/, https://www.theclubbarbados.com

And also check out Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

Of course hospitality is in the Caribbean gene and you’ll find just as big a welcome on Tobago.

Acting the goat

And I can’t say I’ve seen anything in the guidelines about social distancing with goats…

And I trust my kidder Bandanaman won’t have been putting his hooves up in lockdown.

See https://www.visittobago.gov.tt and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/amp/.

Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Ireland

A hug around the world

There’s a teacher on an Irish advert who promotes health insurance and says what she missed most when she was hospitalised was human contact.

‘I’m a real hogger’, she smiled. It was a visual thing, she wasn’t hoarding mementos.

Instead her animated figure was embracing nursery kids.

Crystal clear: Warm welcome in Barbados

She’s not alone in being ‘a real hogger’. The Irish love to hug and they are all happier for it.

So they’ll be missing hugging friends now that they, and us, are in lockdown.

Because some people are just more comfortable with hugging than others.

Yes, I’m talking about you, Crystal, Ruby, Geraldine, Marsha and Sheena.

On Barbados www.visitbarbados.org and Tobago https://www.visittobago.gov.tt.

Crystal, who taught me how to tie a bandana and unleashed this monster on the world…. Let’s rumba in Barbados

She was choked with the cold but the professional that she is, and perfect host too, she pushed on regardless.

And there was always a hug, as there was from everybody who worked at Club Barbados https://www.theclubbarbados.com on the Platinum Coast.

While Ruby who gave me my first Caribbean cooking class, okra, was in great form.

Delivering a telling-off before a hearty hug and laugh…. My kiss with Rihanna and www.tropicalsky.ie and www.tropicalsky.co.uk.

In safe hands: Geraldine, Jim and Virginia’s Betsy

Auntie Alison (they respect their elders and call their betters Uncle or Auntie) wowed us with her natural rhythm and moves…

As Uncle Kenneth and myself cooked Caribbean Chicken Curry in their restaurant, the Blue Crab http://www.tobagobluecrab.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/

I’ve been asked to relive those memories this week as part of a video by the Barbados and Tobago boards to promote the islands.

Irie!

Uncategorized

Hungry & Thursday – Dishy Rihanna

I was happier behind the video camera which is unusual, I grant you.

After getting my hand smacked the last time there was a Bajan cookery lesson.

My Bajan friends were back in town, cooking, mixing cocktails and dancing.

So it would have been rude not to join in when the music started.

Particularly as I’d some spicy Bajan food and rum punch to burn off.

Now the thing I found out in Barbados is that rum can be a vital ingredient in the food. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/rihanna-in-barbados/

And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/

Breakfast of champions

I even found it in the sweet treats at the breakfast buffet on my first trip to Barbados (and the bread) for Crop Over, their carnival.

The best breakfast I had was made by my friend Donna who hosed myself and her husband Jevan down, washing off the paint and mud, after Foreday Morning. Before filling us with carbs.

And I then went down to Sandals for my second breakfast http://www.sandals.co.uk/barbados.

Now over to Ruby, and a cookery lesson at Club Barbados http://www.clubbarbados.com on the Platinum West.Coast on my Tropical Sky http://www.tropicalsky.ie trip to the Caribbean.

Cou-cou is on the menu. It is Barbados’s national dish.

The thing is that you stir the cou-cou, okra or cornmeal, with a 1ft cricket bat-style (it’s their national sport) cou-cou stick.

Which is what Ruby is wielding here.

Eat your cou-cou as an accompaniment to flying fish.

And here’s some rum punch which will be thrust into your hand the moment you land on the island.

As made by our cool as ice mixologist on the night in Dublin this week.

It’s about three minutes so you might want to get your Mount Gay, which means rum, out and pour yourself a rum and coke while you watch.

Now there’s a lot going on in Barbados, culinary, slow tourism, adventure tourism (scuba, snorkel, in fact any kind of water sports).

It is 10 years of Barbados Food & Rum from October 24-27 http://www.foodandrum.com. Also visit http://www.visitbarbados.org.

And check out the road tennis!

As they say on Barbados…

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD