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Flyday Friday

It’s the final straw. Well done Emirates for introducing eco-friendly paper straws this month. And binning plastic swizzle sticks and stirrers and replacing them with eco-friendly alternatives.

And from August plastic bags used for Inflight Retail purchases are to be replaced with paper bags.

It reckons it will be able to remove an estimated 81.7 million single-used plastic items from landfill each year.

And that’s not all! It has introduced onboard blankets made from 28 recycled bottles, saving 88 million plastic bottles from landfill by the end of 2019.

The airline is also segregating large plastic bottles on board to be recycled in Dubai and the rest of the world. This diverts an estimated 3 tonnes or about 150,000 plastic bottles from landfill in Dubai each month.

Emirates operates two flights from Dublin each day to Dubai and from there connects passengers to more than 150 destinations. Visit http://www.emirates.ie. And why not visit http://www.emiratesholidays.ie for some great suggestions too.

London calling

The time is right: Photo by Pixabay

There are some things on our doorstep which we just take for granted… and obviously just shouldn’t.

One such is London.

London is one of the great cities of the world and so familiar yet so new… no matter how many times you visit you will always find something you either never knew was there or you just hadn’t got round to yet.

For me one of the great joys of London is Theatreland. It’s Beautiful! Cue for me to dig out my weekend there when I caught the dazzling and fun-filled Beautiful: The Carole King Story a couple of years back. Bear with me and I’ll post it soon.

For now Aer Lingus flies Dublin to London City from €47.99, one way including taxes and charges, to Gatwick €29.99 and to Heathrow €45.99. Cork to Heathrow is from €45.99, Shannon to Heathrow €45.99 and Knock to Gatwick €32.99. See http://www.aerlingus.com. And visit my review of London’s West End and a musical that made the earth move…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/23/carole-king-youre-beautiful-londonwestend-musical/(opens in a new tab)

Shout of Africa

Congratulations to Ethiopian Airlines which has just been named the Best Airline in Africa for the third year running at the Skytrax 2019 World Airlines Awards in Paris.

Ethiopian also won Best Business Class in Africa and Best Economy Class in Africa at the awards. Ethiopian has 120 destinations worldwide. For best rates visit http://www.ethiopianairlines.com.

I missed out on the pleasures of flying out with Ethiopian this year to Addis Ababa, preferring to send a female colleague instead…. well, it was World Women’s Day… they were going to ‘meet’ Lucy, the world’s ‘oldest’ woman.

And it is a pleasure I will certainly be keen to enjoy in the future. The Ethiopians are a wonderful friendly people and have the secret of good ageing… as shown by Lucy.

But also because everyone there is seven years younger on account of them using a different calendar as they explained the first Enkutatash I celebrated with them at Dublin Airport… and such was the hospitality of Ethiopian;s Country Manager for Ireland, Meseret Tekalign and her team, and food I went back for seconds this year.

Me and Meseret: I’d look good in gold

Flyin’ air

Now I’ve been a customer of Mr O’Leary in the last week and intend to be again next weekend. It is an acquired taste but there is no denying that he has added to the gaiety of the nation and that his fares are darned reasonable.

Just back from Lourdes, and I will tell you about it in the coming weeks, and at just two hours it isn’t far to go for a miracle.

Ryanair is offering Lourdes at €22.98 one-way among a tranche of other great offers.

And this will leave you lots of spare change to buy those holy trinkets, candles, holy water and Virgin Mary statues because if my Dear Old Mum is anything to go by you can never have too much holy stuff around the house to bring you luck.

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

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HOLIDAY SNAPS

Glass half full: Simon and I in Ieper

Sante… say it before you take the glass to your lips and afterwards and raise a fat wallet to the host who has bought you the drinks. It’s Beer Day today.

What do you mean that’s just another name for Saturday?

Now that’s the way the Flemish toast. And in Ieper they go to Tom’s Bierhaus. Simon here has been there before and I dare say has drunk every one of Tom’s 120 or so beers at least once.

While you and I might have our own glass behind the bar, Simon, who is a guide with GTI The Group Travel Specialists whom I visited the World War I battlefields in Flanders and The Somme with a couple of years ago, has this wonderfully shaped drinking vessel. Visit http://www.gti-ireland.com.

And if you want to know more about how the soldiers relaxed away from the front, check out my review https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/firstworldwar-in-flanders-fields/(opens in a new tab)

Other great beerologists I know… the dude in Boulder, Colorado, who persuaded the University to employ him to go to the Middle East, Italy and Greece to research booze and the different recipes from the ancient tomes and then recreate them. Visit http://www.colorado.com.

Dragon’s Den, anybody? I’m in.

He’ll definitely be at the Great American Beer Festival, the largest in the USA, in Denver from October 4-6.

You can sample over 4,000 different beers.

Don’t tell Flemish Tom, or maybe do!

Find the lady

Galway always at the races

When my Dear Old Mum and Dad got to me, their youngest, they decided that the best way to ensure that they had holidays to themselves was to pack me over to my cousins in Dublin.

From where we would then head off to a mobile home in Salthill for our holidays.

Among the treats in store were a trip to Knock, swimming in Spiddal, and one of my faves, a trip to the Galway Races where I would watch in awe and lose a punt or two on the card hucksters who would lure you in with their Find the Lady scam.

If Galway Races are one of your must-do events of the summer then you’ll want a tip as to where to stay.

The plush Hotel Meyrick is in an ideal location on Eyre Square ad has fantastic packages during the week of July 29 to the last day of the races on Saturday, August 3.

For the full schedule of events, live music, dining options, information on this year’s Most Stylish Ladies Day event and the travel packages available at the hotel, visit http://www.hotelmeyrick.ie or call (01) 91564041.

I should be so lucky

As a bonzer Sheila, Kylie Minogue loves her sport so it should come as little surprise that she will be headlining the entertainment at the Emirates Airlines Dubai Rugby Sevens in December.

For AED400 (€96) for Friday or AED500 (€120) for the entire weekend fans at the 50th anniversary of the Dubai Sevens can enjoy a feast of music and sport.

Emirates Holidays is offering return flights from Dublin with Emirates, three nights at the four-star Zabeel House Al See with breakfast and entry tickets to the Emirates Airlines Dubai Rugby Sevens for Friday and Saturday which includes that unmissable Kylie concert.

The Sevens will take place from December 5-7 and the Irish team will be expected to be among the favourites.

For flights to Dubai direct from Dublin visit http://www.emirates.ie, for Emirates Holidays bookings including event tickets visit http://www.emiratesholidays.ie or call the Emirates Holidays call centre on (01) 800 800 740. Tickets for the events and more information, visit http://www.dubairugby7sc.om.

Shout of Africa

A lioness… you’re a cool cat too, Michelle

Congratulations to my friend, oft-time contributor to my Irish Daily Mail section when I was there and general Jacko of all trades, Michelle Jackson, on being shortlisted for the blogger’s award at the coming Experience Africa convention in London.

Jacko Kerouac, another name I have bequeathed her, is a great lover of South Africa, and I fell head over heels for the country too on my recent visit to the Eastern Cape.

I’d been told about the great rate of exchange and fantastic cost of living before I went and can now vouch too that the landscapes, history, culture and food and drink are only matched by the wonderful, open and smiling people.

Escape2.ie and Air France are offering a seven-night city break from €1,189pp staying at the 5* Taj Cape Town with luxurious spa and top-class dining. Depart September, prices from €1189pp.

Or spend ten nights combining Cape Town with a safari.

The Aquila Private Game Reserve offers a range of game drives, giving you the chance to spot lions, elephants, leopards and much more. Depart between September 2019 and April 2020, excluding December, price from €2059pp.

Visit http://www.Escape2.ie or call (01) 435 0096. And visit http://www.thenoveltraveller.com.

Spanish stroll

Sara, Jaime and the Son and Heir

Ola Sara, mia amiga!

You’ll be glad to know that I’m off to Spain at the end of the month. Sara, the media darling of the Spanish Tourism Office in Dublin has long been chiding me that I am wont to send writers rather than go myself to Espana.

Mea culpa!

But I do love Spain, it’s just that when I do go there there’s a danger that I won’t come back.

All of which makes this Sunway offer all the more alluring as you do the major mainland attractions in just eight days.

Take in Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, Granada and Valencia

Departure dates – June 29, August 10, 24, September 7, 14 and 21, October 12. Prices from €939pp, single supplement €375pp. Book (01) 231 1800 or check http://www.sunway.ie.

Say a little prayer

Water of life: To send me on my way

I need a miracle(s). And the best place for that is Lourdes.

I’m also reliably informed that there are a bevvy (if that’s the right collective noun) of Irish bars there… a lot of thirsty pilgrims I guess. All of which chimes in nicely with Beer Day.

So I’m going to fill myself with wholly spirit. See you next week. I’ll leave you in the capable hands of the Scary One.