America, Countries, Flying

Get Connecticut with Aer Lingus

There’s a very special dog in Yale University who I left mid-lick (him, not me) but I dare say we can resume where we left off now we can get Connecticut with Aer Lingus.

Yes, Ireland’s national airline carrier is expanding its transatlantic roster with its second new route in weeks.

Shine a light: On Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut, marks Aer Lingus’ 16th transatlantic route from Ireland.

This follows the recent announcement of Cleveland, Ohio in its summer 2023 schedule.

With daily flights resuming from 26 March next year to Bradley International Airport.

Connect the other way

Classy: New Haven, Comnecticut

And of course they are coming the other way to Dublin.

And onto 28 UK and European airports including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome and Prague, plus many more.

Yes, and we’ll be only too happy to return the hospitality they showed us earlier this year.

So we’ve brought you the charms of Handsome Dan XIX, Yale, apizza et al in New Haven, Connecticut.

Book Hartford

Twain’s World: Mark Twain

But the state capital Hartford has much to keep you there before venturing further afield to New Haven.

The bookish among us, of course, know that Hartford boasted Mark Twain and his next-door neighbour Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Not surprising really when you consider the New England state’s academic pedigree.

And Yale, the alma mater of five Presidents.

Dan and the Man: At Yale

And count them nnnnineteen Handsome Dans, its early-18th century English bulldog mascot.

Fares from Dublin to Hartford start from €199 each way, including taxes and charges.

So get Connecticut with Aer Lingus.


America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Anne Frank’s birthday gift and other diaries

And mine’s started ‘Woke up this morning’ (the Bluesman in me), not nearly as observant as Anne Frank’s birthday gift and other diaries.

Eighty years have passed since Otto Frank gave Anne a diary for her 13th birthday in Amsterdam… and the rest is history.

And for the rest of history we have to rely on diarists, and today’s chroniclers, your humble bloggers.

We have, all my favourite Bandanini and Bandanettes, shared in wonderful odysseys, and with Bandanaman at the tiller, that’s obviously meant detours.

A Homer run

Dip your toe into Kythera in Greece

Homer’s Iliad: And isn’t the journey home always better when you’re diverted to exotic destinations?

We think Odysseus though was just using my excuse for His Scary One that it was a working assignment.

To linger longer in the islands of Attica Region such as Kythera…. or Corfu where we honeymooned and Odysseus dallianced.

Byron Alpshausen

Mad, bad, adventurous to know: Byron Country, Switzerland

Lord Byron’s Alpine Journal: And when Byron was exiled from England for getting ‘too close to his family’ where did he go?

To heaven’s ceiling in Interlaken, Switzerland, of course.

And where you can dine at the very hotel, the Hotel Interlaken, the Bad Boy of the Romantics quaffed wine. And this Swiss swisher too.

Where Twain shall meet

Yale, Connecticut

Mark Twain, a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court: And as prolific a traveller as Connecticut’s Samuel Clemens was this was his most epic journey.

Across 14 centuries and an ocean.

Twain is for many the Father of Modern Travel Writing.

And his home was tantalisingly up the road on my latest trip to New England.

What the Dickens?

Way to go, Joe: With hotel boss Joe at the Hotel Envoy, Boston

Charles Dickens’ American Notes, Pictures from Italy: The Great Victorian Age author of course stripped bare the England of his days.

But his curiosity and enthusiasm to explore the foibles of human nature stretched way beyond that… to America and Italy.

Which just so happen to be two of my favourite countries anywhere in the world.

Dickens was particularly impressed with Boston (good judge) of which he said: ‘Boston is what I would like the whole of the United States to be.’

But he seemed to have a conflicted view of Rome, observing on first viewing that it reminded him of London (no harm there).

But then being captivated by the Colosseum and just as quickly let down by the smallness of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. What the Dickens!

Fits the Bill

Peachy: Georgia

Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods: And, of course, we could pick from any of his vast collection of travel diaries/books.

But we’ll plump for his trek along the Appalachian Trail, probably because we’re jealous.

I know I could persuade the Boss to allow me the five and a half months to walk the 2,100 miles from Maine down to Georgia.

And that’s 14 states, and five states I’ve still to tick off.

Counties to Synge about

My Life’s Traveller: Sadie in Greystones, Co. Wicklow

JM Synge, Travels in Wicklow, West Kerry and Connemara: And full disclosure here, mine have been more in Wicklow.

Although I was captivated by Kerry and Connemara will always be the land of my childhood holidays.

Described as capturing ‘the embers of a dying culture’ and accompanied with drawings by Jack B. Yeats it’s a reminder…

That you can always come home to Ireland.

For today though we share Anne Frank’s birthday gift and other diaries and ask whose are your favourite diaries?





America, Asia, Caribbean, Countries

Another episode when me out on de road

It’s another episode when me out on de road, we don’t come out to pose, as Bajan Soca legend would say.

Yes, this is our destiny, yes, it belongs to we. And no, I’ve not forgotten all my English grammar.

This is Bajan patois and it is what I hope to be hearing for the next week.

Think too the rum-infused pitch of a smiling Barbadian (or Bajan) and you have it… Sweeet!

Cultural appropriation 

Me-me and Dee-Dee at Crop Over in Barbados

All of which brings us to the thorny subject of cultural appropriation.

Knowing how irked I’ve been in the past when English people have cried Hoots…

Or Begorrah when I was in Ireland.

And I confess I’ve grimaced myself when I’ve said Irie to the Bajans when I’ve been out in Barbados before.

Only to be met with mile-wide smiles and hearty hugs.

Now offence is naturally taken differently depending on where you go.

Read the room

Tea for me: At the Boston Tea Party

And the trick is to be able to read the room.

We don’t always get it right… I again made something of a social faux-pas recently in New England.

When I followed up my handshake with my host Ginny by extending my hand again to her colleague, a young Muslim lady.

The White Knight

The Mad Hatter: Greg in Colorado

Thoughts immediately returned to Aussie Greg, Great Protector of Muslim Women, and great White Knight.

I imagined his head would have exploded with rage as he’d shouted along the coach at me in Colorado.

When I put my hand on the side of a Jordanian woman’s shoulder in the narrow aisle to ask if I could please pass by.

‘You never touch the Muslim woman,’ he screamed, in full earshot of her husband.

All of which only served to embarrass the poor couple when a discreet word would have been better.

Ms Carter

Bajan queen: With Ms Carter

And so when we go jumpin’ this week at the Barbados Celtic Festival I will again be indebted to Ms Carter, our awesome host Cheryl.

Cheryl, of course, knows me of old and has taken the edges of my worst excesses when jumping at Mas (Bajan open-air music events).

It’s just another episode when me out on de road.