America, Asia, Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Europe

Happy World Friendship Day Pt 1

Happy World Friendship Day and this post is dedicated to the friends we make around the world on our travels.

And whom we’re all missing so much.

Winnie the Pooh is the patron of World Friendship Day.

And who better than the silly willy-nilly old bear all stuffed with fluff.

I’m forever indebted to Mississippian Zach who looked after me (and the rest of the group but mostly me).

On the second leg of my American Odyssey in the Deep South.

Marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King and honouring the two other Kings, Elvis and BB King.

Hit the road Zach

If it had been left to me it would have been more Tragical than Magical Mystery Tour.

With me leaving my mobile phone back in Cleveland, 124 miles from state capital Jackson.

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Zach keeping an eye on me

Where we were assembling for the opening of the Two Mississippi Museums, the Museum of Mississippi and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

Zach only organised for a friend who he said was travelling up to the opening himself, but who may very well have been enlisted to help this dopey Scotsman, to take the mobile with him.

The story doesn’t end there though.

And when I put my phone down in the huge hall in the convention centre in Denver Zach appeared to warn me:

’We’re not getting someone to travel 100 miles if you forget your mobile phone this time!’

Geraldine, my Soca friend

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We binge-watched American sitcoms when the children were younger (whaddya mean? we still do).

And that meant following the misfortunes of old divil Arthur who had to be walked by his daughter Carrie’s friend Holly.

I’m obviously too young for any of that only I’m not.

And Geraldine walked me and my new Virginian friend Patsy when I went in search of Rihanna at Club Barbados in Barbados

As well as being a reason for getting up early Geraldine went the extra mile for me.

When I showed an interest in Soca music by singing King Bubba tunes.

And on the last day of my trip a CD of her favourite Soca music was waiting for me at reception.

Ich bin ein Dresdener

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If only I’d had Ingrid as my teacher when I was young.

Ingrid took us on a walk through Dresden and Saxon history at the German Travel Mart.

Her grandmother had talked to her about the Red Heaven firestorm that set alight their city at the end of the Second World War.

And told us of life under Communist rule. So good I went back for the same tour after my booze cruise on the River Elbe.

I wear the wrist band pass for the tour to this day.

And also others from my Travels which includes Denver, Los Angeles, the Czech Republic and Portugal.

Jose, the real Special One

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Life’s a beach

I can’t take her anywhere.

Jose Madomis  is taking us around Portugal Centro , wining and dining and us.

And explaining at any given opportunity why his home town of Coimbra is the centre of the Portuguese (and wider) world.

When El Scary One pipes up about how she doesn’t like Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho.

Suck-up that I am I mentioned how inspiring they both were and got my wine glasses filled up and beers bought for me.

What Amann, what a man, what a mighty good man

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Do I pass as Jordanian? With Zuhair

It’s Zuhair, as in zoo hair, our Jordan guide told our G Adventures party.

It’s never easy being a guide and even tougher when you can’t eat and drink while the rest of your party are stuffing their faces and lubricating.

But Zuhair cheerfully took us all around Petra, the Dead and Red Seas and the baptism sites of Jesus, Mt Nebo.

Where Moses looked out onto the Promised Land and Wadi Rum.

And waited for the end of the evening Call to Arms before putting fork to food.

We were an interntational party and it’s well seen that Jordanians are the peacebrokers in the Middle East if Zuhair is anything to go by.

Friends all and friends for life…

And now I’ve begun I’ll bring you more of the guides who have made my trips and the friends from the parties I have been on.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

 

 

 

 

America, Caribbean, Countries, Cruising, Culture, Food, Food & Wine

Cocktail Hour around the world

It’s Cocktail Hour all day today (not just 6pm) because it’s World Cocktail Day, and I’ve been swallowing up the hours.

And while holidaymakers may like to mark their territory with their towel, I like to claim a coaster at the bar.

For my fave Strawberry Daiquiri cocktail.

Which I have savoured… from the Maldives to the Caribbean My kiss with Rihanna and Turtle recall and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/. And http://www.visitbarbados.org and http://www.visittobago.gov.tt

Now if we can’t get out there to our exotic locations we can at least conjure up the taste of the Tropics at home.

With these cocktails:

Something for Buffalo Bill

The Colorado Bulldog, Colorado:

Colorado-Bulldog-1

Ingredients: Vodka, coffee liqueur, cream or milk and coca-cola.

A White Russian with a fizz… and this would put even more whiskers on Tsar Alexander’s bushy beard.

How to: In a shaker mix vodka Kahlua, cream/milk. Pour into a glass with ice and add Coke.

Visit www.colorado.com and take in Beertown Denver www.denver.org and Go West and The New Frontiersmen.

Take it as red

The Redhead in Bed, 25 Degrees, Huntington Beach, California:

Cocktails and food at 25 Degrees - Huntington Beach

Ingredients: Ketel One Citroen vodka, strawberries, lemon juice, sparkling wine.

I’ve yet to have a Redhead in Bed anywhere (honestly) but if I did it would be in Huntington Beach.

How to: Mix One Citroen vodka, strawberries, lemon juice, and sparkling wine for an added kick.

For those who like to drink their dessert, 25 Degrees offers four spiked shakes, mixing vanilla ice cream and your choice of Guinness, Maker’s Mark, Kraken Black Spiced Rum, or Kahlua among other sweet milkshake additions.

Visit www.surfcityusa.com and My weekend with Marilyn and Stair Wars.

Turning Japanese

Shochu Mojito, Japanshochu-mojito_002

Ingredients: Mint, shochu, sugar, lime, fizzy water

If you had been planning to get out to Japan this year for the Olympics then you have our sympathies but here’s a multi-discipline event you can do from the safety of your own home.

This is a Japanese twist on a classic mojito which swaps the rum usually found in a Mojito with shochu, a Japanese liquor typically made from buckwheat, sweet potatoes or barley.

This is an easy cocktail to whip up once your guests arrive (two minutes prep time) and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

How to: Add the lime, mint and sugar to a tall glass and bruise with a muddler. To this, add the shochu and fizzy water and stir. Serve over ice with mint to garnish. www.japan.travel/en/uk/

And, of course, you all know by now that all your favourite Scottish bartender needs is a cocktail brolly, a maraschino cherry and a shaker and we’re talking Jocktail Hour… Jocktails… the Strawberry DaiquiriJocktails – Whisky Sour, Hungry and Thursday – sangria and La SagradaJocktails: The Bajan Monkey, 

Jocktails – the Hurricane  Jocktails – Mimosas Jocktails – the Sazerac.

And a host of others.

Adventure, America, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Sport

My Sporting Weekend International Yoga Day

There’s no point trying to duck out and watch the yoga from the thicket outside… Derek!!!

And, of course, the women in our company, and the men to be fair, in Tobago https://www.visittobago.gov.tt and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/amp/. were never going to allow him to be a bystander.

Tomorrow is International Yoga Day snd I’ll be doing a downward dog in Scotland.

When I could, of course, have been aoammmming in India.

It’s the kind of surprise and challenge I miss from my time in the office.

Bend over and stretch: In Tobago

When Incredible India called and invited me to send a member of staff to India for a few days…. only they needed a name by the next day.

And confirmation that they had an appropriate visa.

It would have been easier had I gone myself but big softie that I am I sent the ditziest, most entitled member of staff because she said she was a yoga nut.

A nut all right… she only threatened to report the PR I was dealing with to their superior while having me to sort out her mess.

And then dissing me further down the road.

All of which reminisces brings me around to what is being done around the world to tempt us for the future.

Red Rock Revellers

Yoga at altitude, Denver, Colorado: And where better to stretch your limbs than in the stunning backdrop of Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

We settled for watching down on high the early-morning exercisers while we did move our limbs later when OneRepublic entertained us.

Visit https://www.redrocksonline.com/yotr/, www.visitdenver.org, Go West and The New Frontiersmen.

Beach yoga, Huntington Beach, California: Zen out on the beach where Snoop Dogg plays sets.

And dogs go surfing.

Well it is the Californian life. See www.visitcalifornia.com, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/03/holiday-snaps-surf-dog-huntington-beach/.

Laid-back California

LA Rooftop Yoga, West Hollyeood, California: Try rooftop yoga in laid-back WH where one Sunday per month you can join in a class at the Andaz West Hollywood.

They’ll even throw in a complimentary Zico (I thought he was a footballer) coconut water drink.

While you’ll also get 20% off bottomless brunches at the Riot House restaurant on the first floor. See www.visitwesthollywood.com and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/19/my-weekend-with-marilyn-2/amp/.

It’s a stretch: Tobago

Tobago: And we’re back to the eccentric Derek who as well as trying to spy on us doing yoga also wore a suit on the hottest day of the year to one of Tobago’s most secluded beaches.

They also love to roll out the coconut water in the Caribbean. Stretch out and get yourself over next year. https://www.visittobago.gov.tt and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/amp/.

Quinto da Lago, Portugal: Have you ever noticed that yoga teachers are sweet assassins.

Ours in The Campus, Quinta do Lago on the Algarve couldn’t have been smilier as she got us to use muscles that hadn’t been exercised in tears.

See https://www.quintadolago.com/en/sports-wellness/the-campus/ and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/28/sportugal-2/amp/.

And I’ll be back tomorrow with some more yoga, this time from its spiritual home, Asia.

That’s unless I get a last-minute invitation to get out there myself. And guess what, I’m keeping it for myself this time.

Altogether now… aoam.

MEET YOU ON THE MAT

America, Countries, Culture

Father’s Day alert, y’all

It’s the one place where Daddys still hold their place at the pinnacle of the family…. Nashville.

From Dolly Parton looking up doey-eyed at her kind-faced Daddy.

To Kenny Rogers fishing and hunting and getting some home-spun philosophy from his.

With Johhny Cash, biting and spitting and brawling with his before hugging it out.

The new Nashville duo

Country Music has always been a safe, homely, old-fashioned throwback.

Where Dancing Dads go to lune-dance and wrap themselves up in fuzzy warm nostalgia.

You’ll see here that I want to get out to Nashville… and so to my hint for Father’s Day for Sunday, June 21.

I should already have been to Nashville already, last year.

But as seems to be the story of my life I was double booked.

Have boots, will travel

I was out instead in South Africa https://www.southafrica.net/uk/en/ What’s new pussycat? when I could have been visiting Keith Urban https://keithurban.net in the Home of Country https://www.visitmusiccity.com

Thankfully the folks from Nashville who took us to see Keith The Country To Country Weekend in Dublin last year haven’t forgotten us.

And they’re giving us the next big thing to being out there – vouchers for when we can get to Nashville.

Hitting all the right notes

Purchase a travel gift card for either $100, $250 or $500.

And you’ll get personalised service from a Nashville Visitor Specialist.

Travel funds can apply to lodging, attraction tickets or bundled hotel packages.

Power couple: Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman

And if you already have a trip planned, check out the Visitor Coupons & Special Offers.

Or check out the Music City Shop to gift authentic Nashville gear.

Pick out a Nashville t-shirt, koozie (stubbie-holder to you and me), hat or a Music City campfire mug.

Imagine yourself in that

Visit imogene + willie (I’m not making this up) for the perfect pair of local jeans.

While I’m reliably informed that you should check outHaymakers & Co. for the perfect button down and more.

Elvis and me: At his breakfast bar in Memphis

And what shouts Country more than a button-down shirt.

Personally I browsed Lansky Bros, the tailors to the King on Beale Street, Memphis for mine.

Don’t ask me why: Before the Keith Urban gig in Dublin

On my Tennessee and Mississippi odyssey… https://www.deep-south-usa.com and The Promised Land, The story of the Blues and The King of Kings.

Book your room in Nashville by visiting hotel websites for special deals and offers.

The Grand Ole Oprey

Such as: Dream Nashville,Noelle, Omni Nashville, Union Station,The Russell, Fairlane HotelThe Hermitage Hotel, .

Or purchase a Vacation Package through Visit Music City. Visit And see http://www.visitmusiccity.com/fathers-day-nashville 

Who needs a hat? On Issy in Colorado

And for more Cowboy action then here’s my Wild West journey  http://www.denver.org http://Go West. And http://www.colorado.com and The New Frontiersmen. And Like a Greystones cowboy… in Texas.

America, Culture, Europe

Virtual Pride in America

Say it loud and say it Pride, I may have been late in arriving but I love an LGBTQ+ party.

Which is why I’ll be rifling through the wife’s closet this year before coming out of it for Virtual Pride.

Queen Bey and Queen Jay

My first Pride was three years ago in Washington DC http://www.washington.org Easy DC where I had a Capitol time, darlings.

I am, of course, self-censoring here and won’t be bringing you pictures of myself sticking dollar bills into the male dancer’s trunks on the podiums.

Frockie and Jocky in the Rockies

But I like the girls:With the Bandanettes at Denver’s Mile High Stadium

I climbed on to the pedestal myself when they were off on my break but with my body… all I got were nickels and dimes.

I was back for more in Denver http://www.denver.org http://Go West where myself and the multi award-winning and shots-drinking Isabel Conway and Portland’s finest Laura Guilmond formed the rock trio to beat all trios.

With rubber mics and guitars. And a warning here… there was sax too.

Marilyn and Murty

Some like it hot

This time last year and it was West Hollywood http://www.visitwesthollywood.com and My Weekend With Marilyn where they had rainbow up the zebra crossing.

And then Anaheim where at last my man has come along… the jazz and old standards singer in the side bar to the main dance floor.

Lying with Mari

And I also managed to fit in a European Pride too in Barcelona before I went cruising… Steady I was a guest of Royal Caribbean and hopped on their ship for a bit of surfing.

That’s why it’s called the Strip

With Cami in Vegas

Now my friends in America where I should be now, Las Vegas to be more precise http://www.lvcva.com Strip… the light fantastic and already have Florida from just after the lockdown under my belt have been in touch.

And they have put more flesh on the bones of Virtual Pride from these great American cities.

Dogs in Drag, you say

Denver PrideFest, June 20-21 – Colorado: It is recognised as one of the top ten Pride events in the US, and I can believe that of Denver PrideFest.

It is a free, two-day festival that (usually) takes place in Denver’s Civic Center Park with the pick-out the Dogs in Drag Parade.

While there is also a Gay Pride Parade and a Big Gay 5K.

This year’s virtual event will include digital versions of the parade, 5Ks, concerts, dance parties and more. www.colorado.com

Say it big

Frothy Seattle

Flag day

2020 Seattle Pride Parade and Trans Pride Celebrations, 26-28 June – Washington: Seattle Pride is working with PrideFest and Trans Pride to put on the best show they can in late summer. Keep up-to-date here for the June Virtual spectacular. www.visitseattle.org

Man Diego

The bras and stripes

San Diego Pride, 11-18 Juy – California: And this way your Pride fun can go on and on.

San Diego Pride runs across a week in July with a burst of activities. Using the #TogetherWeRise, She Fest launches it all off recognising the talents and contributions of women, followed by Light Up the Cathedral with a ceremonial rainbow lighting.

There’s a Spirit of Stonewall Rally and a a 5K too. sdpride.org. www.sandiego.org 

West Jollywood

Sailors in port? West Hollywood

50th Anniversary Celebrations to Kick Off via Digital Platforms, West Hollywood: And I’ve saved my best for last.

This is the 50th Anniversary of LA Pride.

And nothing will be underplayed.

Rainbow Letter Day

As CSW Executive Director Madonna Cacciatore said: ‘Pride is not just about a specific month or weekend in June. Los Angeles’ LGBTQ+ community lives and breathes Pride every day’ and therefore, celebrations will span through to 2021. www.visitwesthollywood.com

So Vogue… let your body move to the music.

America, Countries, Culture, Europe

Hat’s the way to do it

We’ve long forgotten that it was milliners Dunn & Co who came up with the brand ‘If you want to get ahead get a hat’ in the 1940s.

But it’s the enduring appeal of the power of a slogan that it endures,

It has also become something of an unconscious personal mantra.

I’d even go as far as to coin my own slant: ‘put on a new hat, put on a new you.’

Hatta boy!

So an entirely unscientific trawl through five hats on my travels and why when I put them on I’m transported right back there.

The tail of Denver

Remember the Jimbo

Davy Crockett hats, Denver, Colorado: And a reacquaintance two years ago with an old friend, a raccoon hat in Denver www.denver.org and Go West.

I got a reputation for myself in my alma mater, chilly Aberdeen Aberdeen – a light in the north for wearing said hat.

Forward fast to San Antonio, Texas, and the Alamo town www.visitsantonio.com hosts the US Travel fair www.ipw.com in 2023.

And I’ll blend in with all the other Davy Crockett impersonators.

Does this car look big in me? The Cote d’Azur

In the Cannes

Trilby hat, Cote d’Azur: Well it is Cannes and it’s what they’ve come to expect of me out there.

A classic Fiat 500 is obligatory too. Visit www.mandelieu.com and The Boat D’Azur.

Sailor boy: In West Hollywood

Sail away in California

Hello sailor, West Hollywood: It’s nautical but nice and in Pride Week in camp WeHo you have to make an effort.

I strutted like a peacock after getting a compliment from a queen.

I was on my morning constitutional www.visitwesthollywood.com and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/19/my-weekend-with-marilyn-2/amp/

Buen Camino

Camino hat, Santiago de Compostella, Rome, Tenerife, the Austrian Tyrol: And if you’ve walked the Camino then it’s important to tell everyone after.

It also keeps the sun off your head but that’s secondary.

Visit www.CaminoWays.com, www.FrancigenaWays.com. www.CanariaWays.com and www.tyrol.com. www.topflight.ie and www.topflightforschools.ie.

And A pilgrim’s prayer, Small roads lead to Rome, A walk through the ages… Tenerife.

If the hat fits

Cowboy Jimmy

Cowboy hat, Washington DC: Like a Greystones cowboy, riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo.

It was given to me by my Portland, Oregon https://www.travelportland.com friends and I showcased it with a glittery beard in DC https://washington.org and Easy DC.

And on the hottest day of the year carting luggage around New York https://www.nycvb.com and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/28/old-new-york-hamilton/amp/.

MEET YOU IN A HAT

America, Countries, Culture

Give us this Day – Native Americans and pandemics

Rather than the White Man civilising the Red Indian he all but obliterated him… and not at the point of a gun but through disease.

From 1492, when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, the indigenous peoples of the land mass we now know as America have had to endure…

The importation of smallpox, bubonic plague, chicken pox, measles, cholera and malaria among others.

Bandanaman and his cheerleaders at Denver Broncos’ Mile High Stadium

All of which they had no immunity to, whereas the Europeans had built up a resistance to many diseases.

Shamans

Smallpox was particularly rampant with the Lakota people calling the outbreak of 1518 ‘the running face disease’.

And their belief in shamanism proved unsatisfactory in confronting this assailant.

On the range… in Colorado

Today’s Native American and Alaska Native is more likely too to contract our latest pandemic because of their poorer socio-economic status.

Their struggles though drew them instinctively to others in trouble.

An Irishman’s friend

And the Choctaw Indians who suffered in the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma donated money to the Irish in the Great Famine of 1847.

Buffalo Bill’s grave in Colorado

The Irish, of course, have never forgotten and are now contributing to a fund for Navajo and Hopi communities hit by Covid-19.

An act which the Native Americans call iyyikowa.

Just the job

We can learn more about the First Nation from visiting their reservations, their association’s website www.aianta.org where they have a vacancy just for me.

Tee-hee, tepee… at the Mile High Stadium

And the best Smithsonian in Washington DC, the American Indian Museum https://americanindian.si.edu and Easy DC.

I knew I was in the America of my childhood Saturday movies when I walked through Denver Airport and was met by Freckled Face and Eats No Meat… Go West.

And went on to see the Native Americans at dance at Mile High Stadium http://www.denver.org and https://www.denverbroncos.com/stadium/.

And me as a Bronco

Before paying tribute to the Native Americans’ favourite White Man (before me) Buffalo Bill… http://www.buffalobill.org.

And rode off on the Plains www.colorado.com and The New Frontiersmen.

MEET YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE

America, Countries, Culture, Deals, Europe

Covid-day Snaps – Canarian ‘safe’ passports

Nobody likes their passport pic, particularly now we can’t even smile.

Mine’s looks like it could have been taken more than 100 years ago when they were first introduced.

But we don’t even flinch at being asked now for it and I suspect we’ll quickly get used to the technology being rolled out by the Canary Islands to get us back travelling.

The Canary Islands (Spain) and the World Tourism Organisation have agreed a flight in July for the world’s first ‘safe’ flight using the Digital Health Passport, developed by Canarian firm Hi + Card

I can just taste that Tenerife Shakespearean wine Malvasia.

CanariaWays www.CanariaWays.com will make you earn it with their walking holidays but it’s worth it. Also see https://www.hellocanaryislands.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5dWNgOam6QIVCLLtCh2C-AsBEAAYASAAEgLfaPD_BwE

My other family

Family business:: I feel I know these LA folk

If your family is driving you up the wall you may be taking sanctuary in a TV family… me, I’ve been a fly on the wall at the Pritchards and the Dunphys in LA.

Our first introduction to American cities was througb the gogglebox… The Streets of San Francisco https://www.sftravel.com, Cheers in Boston https://www.bostonusa.com, Miami Vice https://www.miamiandbeaches.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/23/fort-lauderdale-and-miami-a-tale-of-two-sittings/.

Colorado rocks

Denver’s Dynasty www.denver.org Go West and Mork and Mindy in Colorado www.colorado.com and The New Frontiersmen Pawn Stars in Las Vegas www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic and House of Cards in Washington www.washington.org and Easy DC.

And New York www.nycvb.com where my Uncle Petie became a superstar in my eyes when Kojak filmed in his bar.

From Missouri to happiness today: Cam and Mitch

I always make a point of annoying the Scary One by pointing out that I’ve been there which is probably why she doesn’t watch Modern Family…

The climax of which is playing out in a two-parter.

Gay parents Mitch Pritchard, an uptight lawyer and Cam Tucker, a hillbilly football coach steal the show.

Hello sailor: In West Hollywood

But it is time for them to move to Cam’s Missouri and leave behind LA https://www.discoverlosangeles.com and I dare say to West Hollywood, the chillest, gayest part of LA https://www.visitwesthollywood.com and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/19/my-weekend-with-marilyn-2/amp/.

Where I was complimented on my sailor’s hat and bandana combo.

And if we you feel like the only news you’re getting out of the Oo Es of A is bad then I’ll redress the balance.

So hold on and I’ll let you know how among others my Native American and my Deep South pals are meeting the challenges and prevailing.

We’ll wait for you, Princess

Cruise liners were a sitting target for their critics when the virus first visited.

But they have shown a self-sacrificing responsibility and a willingness to change and I believe they will come back stronger.

Princess www.princess.com has announced the cancellation of select 2020 summer sailings.

And this is a reminder of what we’re all missing and will enjoy again https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/30/cruiseday-tuesday-the-princesss-medallion-man/amp/.

We stayed open

Health is wealth: At the Buchinger Wilhelmi

Our European friends pride themselves on their spas and scientific holiday retreats.

And the Buchinger Wilhelmi http://www.buchinger-wilhelmi.com medi-spa, which overlooks Lake Constance and the Alps and prides itself.

On its therapeutic fasting and integrative medicine, has stayed open through this crisis.

They have a ten-day fasting programme from £2340pp.

And it includes two consultations with a doctor, daily nurse, check-ups, food/drink, fasting provisions and daily activities.

Now, I love an oul’ spa and retreat and my friends, the Czechs know them better than most… www.czechtourism.com and Hope springs eternal.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

America, Countries, Culture, Deals, Ireland, UK

COVID-day Snaps – Testy times in Montana

Yes, it was the Cojonasvirus that did for the Testicle Featival in Clinton, Montana.

It’s what I miss most from my travels, not the sun (tick) or the drink (tick) but what’s different… that I can’t find at home.

Testicle festivals (and yes, we’re talking bulls here) are more commonplace than you might think.

Because after all they’re what’s being sized up at farm shows.

In fact a cows’ udders contest was one of the first journalist duties I was given at the Newbury Show in southern England.

Did Woodward and Bernstein start like this? Well possibly if they began their careers at the Clinton Daily News https://www.clintondailynews.com.

Visit https://www.visitmt.com. And here’s a further take on the West in Colorado Go West and The New Frontiersmen and https://www.denver.org and www.colorado.com.

Get on your bike in Northern Ireland

And a big shout-out to nine-year-old James Cunningham who has raised €2,800 for homeless charity The Peter McVerry Trust.

James has only been on a virtual cycling ride, 280kms over two days (that’s 12 hours).

Clontarf’s James, the next Stephen Roche, is a legend in his own right which isn’t surprising as he’s got good genes.

Mum Fiona is the award-winning Tourism NI ROI Market Manager.

Now Northern Ireland is perfect terrain for bikes and I’m flagging up one of its jewels, Rathlin Island.

The isle, off the coast of Antrim, is reputedly where King of Scotland Robert the Bruce met his spider in a cave and tried, tried, tried again.

Which was why we sailed across some choppy waters for a cycle.

Despite our best advice the Son and Heir and Daddy’s Little Girl gorged on chocolate bars and fizzy drinks.

Which meant our cycle up to the lighthouse took a little longer than it should.

Unless you are James Cunningham! See http://www.rathlincommunity.org/visit and. https://discovernorthernireland.com.

And here’s a sample of the great North… Belfast Chilled and Belfast’s rich tapestry.

Portugeezers

And by the power of Zoom we hooked up with our friends from Portugal to fly the green and red country.

The plan was to dye the old beardie in national red and green colours but lockdown lethargy kicked in.

And Daddy’s Little Girl was still in bed when I needed my makeover.

So you’ll just have to make do with this photo from the Portuguese Christmas lunch in Dublin from a couple of years ago.

The good news is that Portugal https://www.visitportugal.com/en is ahead of the curve and making it safe to travel again, and I’ll tell you just when.

You may well want to get away from people and out to nature.

Where you’ll see birds with Ibis fliers with beaks like spoons… https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/12/sportugal/amp/.

Or check out Lagoa Dos Salgados in the Algarve.

Prestigious clifftop resort VILA VITA Parc https://vilavitaparc.com/en/welcome can arrange a guided tour (€65pp).

Rates: Doubles start from €330 per night.

Package: Stay three nights B&B from £1835pps with Elegant Records, economy class flights from Luton with EasyJet including private airport transfers.

Call Elegant Resorts on (01) 244897000 or visit http://www.elegantresorts.co.uk

Obrigado.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

America, Countries, Culture, Europe, Food & Wine, Ireland, UK

Hungry and Thursday – home distilling

Stocks are running low what with The Son and Heir and Daddy’s Little Girl being home… the solution, brew your own.

I took a shot at this in my Twenties when I bought a homebrew pack and drunk it with Andy, my Best Man.

Beer country: Colorado www.denver.org

Probably before it was ready.

Beer professor

Would that I had known Travis then. He’s only a beer archaeologist in Avery, Colorado… The New Frontiersmen and www.colorado.com.

All of which brings me onto breweries, and more specifically brewery trips.

Watch out for the monks: Strahov in Prague

Czech this out

The Strahov Monastery Brewery, Prague https://www.klasterni-pivovar.cz: And memories of sitting in a bar (remember them) in the Prague area, The Castle, with a trio of different Czech beers on the menu.

Before being given a guided tour of the on-site brewery and finishing off the night drinking Czech liqueur with plain-clothes monks.

See https://www.czechtourism.com/home, Hope springs eternal.

Bottle it: BrewDog

Brew for you

BrewDog, Aberdeenshire, Scotland: https://www.brewdog.com/bars/uk/dogtap-ellon?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=gmb-dogtapellon: And they had me at pets who the hipster employees are allowed to take to work.

The dinky craft beers from the outpost of Aberdeenshire Aberdeen – a light in the north and www.visitscotland.com.

Happy hour: Brains in Cardiff

Booze Brain

Brains, Cardiff, Wales https://www.sabrain.com: And our lecturers at my journalism college in Cardiff knew that to be a top reporter we needed to hone our drinking.

So they gave us a Brains brewery tour and an hour free drinking in the bar… which meant half a dozen beers. See https://www.visitcardiff.com and https://www.visitwales.com.

A beer for rascals

Colorado cheer

Avery Brewing Company, Colorado, USA: https://www.averybrewing.com: Where the man with the coolest job in the world (after me) beer archaeologist Travis works.

Travis persuaded the brewery in Avery in America’s craft brewing heart, Colorado, to employ him to curate beers from the ancient Middle East, and further afield.

Last orders: In Monaghan

One for the road

Brehon Brewhouse, Co. Monaghan, Ireland http://www.brehonbrewhouse.ie: The best beers are often the ones at the end of a long and winding road.

And having gone round and round in circles in the backwaters of Co. Monaghan https://monaghantourism.com and Monaghan’s country roads we finally found our bar in the friendliest micro-brewery in the area. Nectar!

MEET YOU IN THE BREWERY