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, Europe, Food, Food & Wine

Hungry and Thursday – the end of buffets?

Buffets are like marmite (and you can get that too) so the prospect of no buffets is just another thing to pile on our COVID tray.

First off, a history question? Who introduced the buffet?

Padova in north-west Italy actually.

I discovered this on a trip to the Veneto region… https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/11/padova-city-of-frescoes/amp/.

Boney’s Italian adventure

Napoleon, it transpires, was responsible for the introduction of the buffet when he held parties for his pals in the Italian grand casas.

Well you don’t think he got that girth from croissants do you? Visit http://www.turismopadova.it/en/basic-page/padua-24-or-48-hours.

Here’s where I’ve stood in line for my food asking for more. And there’s always more!

Carry on Cruising

Cruising: And one of the draws of a cruise for many is their food.

And you can eat around the world on a cruise, and go back and do it all over again!

Get there early for breakfast, lunch and dinners on MSC Cruises https://www.msccruises.ie/en-ie/Homepage.aspx and The call of the fjords

Particularly when the food-mad Italians are around!!!

Of course where you go on your cruise can inform your choice of foods.

And on the Celebrity Cruise Edge https://www.celebritycruises.ie/onboard/our-ships/celebrity-edge/ maiden voyage I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out To Here from Florida to the Bahamas they like to spice it up.

And that’s my five a day

If you want though a taste of home then Royal Caribbean are the cruise for you.

When you can visit an authentic British Fish and Chip Shop.

Authentic that is for being on the top deck with a cocktail in hand https://www.royalcaribbean.com and A Royal Party and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/24/messi-around-on-the-water/amp/.

Caribbean cruising

Barbados: And seeing we’re talking about the Caribbean (and aren’t we always?) then a Caribbean buffet always has something special?

Yes, rum!

Because bread, cakes, pancakes, bacon, you name it they have it, and it will be on the hot plate in Barbados https://www.visitbarbados.org and Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

Der buffet

Dresden: And for Germans, eccentrics that they are, that means doing things differently.

And the Saxons in Dresden Dresden’s renaissance https://www.dresden.de/en/tourism/tourism.php at the German Travel Mart https://www.germany.travel/en/trade/gtm-germany-travel-mart/gtm/gtm_10.html put out all their meats at one side of the room and the veg at the other.

Guess which one I went for!

America’s a rollercoaster

Orlando: You’ll pay for it if you were overdoing the Hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/things-to-do/dining/pat-o-briens.

Because in American hotels bigger is better.

And there will always be a chef waiting with a frying pan offering an anything you want omelette.

As well as the plethora of sweet treats.

But remember you have theme parks of loop the loops awaiting you.

And believe me you don’t want to make the Hulk angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry.

See https://www.visitorlando.com/en-ie, https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us. And Aaawlando… Orlando, the rollercoaster capital and See off Voldemort, then for a beer at Moe’s.

MEET YOU AT THE BUFFET- SOME TIME

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Give us this Day – The Wee Chapel

Living in area known for its orchards we were drawn to our house by its apple trees.

One of the other attractions was its outhouse which is a popular feature of houses in Ireland.

I duly named it the Wee Apple and turned into a bar.

I promptly set up a grotto too which I christened The Wee Chapel.

Me and Martin: At the Frauenkirche

All of which is my roundabout way of saying that prayer houses don’t have to be as grand as St Paul’s Basilica.

Any church you go into in Italy of course will beckon you in to pray.

This is what it’s all about… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/04/see-rome-on-e50/.

And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/small-roads-lead-to-rome/.

And it’s not just us Catholics that have the best churches, as we’d like to think. Here’s the Frauenkirche in Dresden… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/,

And the Muslims have their Blue Mosque in Istanbul https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/wham-bam-thank-you-hamam/.

Blue for you: The Blue Mosque in Istanbul

We really do find God in the smallest of things and the quietest of places, in nature and in us.

Catholic priests, who tried to say Mass during the days of Henry VIII and then again under Cromwell, would often find a hidden room in an estate.

While in Ireland it was a Mass rock.

For Muslims a makeshift prayer place can be set up anywhere.

Which way is Mecca? In Jordan

With a few stones placed in the right direction… towards Mecca.

As I found in Wabi Rum in Jordan this year https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/petra-jordan-jesus-and-the-sands-of-time/.

The Blue Cross

The reason why I’m talking about my Wee Chapel this week is because I have come back with more trinkets from my latest pilgrimage.

Of course I was falling over holy paraphernalia in Medjugorje https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/20/give-us-this-day-confessions-and-medjugorje/.

Now Our Lady and the Blue Cross will be taking up residence in my Wee Chapel.

Which means that when I’m out picking up the apples I will say a wee prayer as I pass.

Me picking up apples?

Now The Scary One really will consider that a miracle!

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Give us this day – Luther and Saxony

Dave Allen, the dry Church-poking Irish comedian would end his routine with the retort: ‘Good night and may your God go with you.’

I never questioned growing up that my God was a Catholic God.

Until I had a disagreement with my Jesuit-run school and ended up at my local Protestant school.

I, of course, took my dogma with me.

Which should have earned me a beating for telling them in religion class that they were all wrong.

But it didn’t.

I also found myself regularly in a Protestant kirk which broadened my understanding of Christianity.

And guess what, I didn’t burn.

Celebration: Of God in the Frauenkirche, Dresden

And nor did Martin Luther after the firebombing of the Frauenkirche in Dresden in the Second World War.

Luther, the Father of the Reformation, was a proud Saxon.

Although pride being one of the Seven Deadly Sins, it might be better to revise that to Son of Saxony.

And his permanence in front of the ruins of the Frauenkirche gave the Dresdeners strength in the immediate days after the bombings.

And in the forty years afterwards under Communist rule.

A proud Dresdener… and Ingrid

The Frauenkirche was eventually rebuilt just as it was before the bombings.

Dresden rebuilt

And I had the privilege of hearing the pastor of the church tell us about standing at the pillars with his father and him telling him that it would.

The resourceful Dresdeners asked their citizens to send them their wedding photographs to help them see what it used to look like.

And the son of one of the English bombers built the orb that sits on top of the Frauenkirche now. Nice touch.

Read how Dresden rebuilt itself in my review of the city which was known as the Florence of the Elbe and is again https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/. And visit https://www.dresden.de/en/tourism/tourism.php.

MEET YOU AT YOUR PLACE OF WORSHIP