Asia, Countries, Culture, Deals, Flying

Wu, Wu… The Land of the Rising 2021

We all deserve a big treat. And for 2021 we’re looking east, the Far East, and Japan, with our old friends Wendy Wu.

Which is as it should be as it was at the Chinese New Year lunch in Dublin in January that we travel writers first spoke about COVID-19.

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The shape of things apart

There are many reasons to tour Japan at any time but the world’s focus will especially be on The Land of the Rising Sun in 2021.

When the delayed Olympics will take place.

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Geisha load of this

A big cuddly bear… and a panda

Now as often happens with these things Japan’s charms are currently being flagged up on TV by one of our favourite Travel writers… in this case Joanna Lumley.

Who waxes lyrical about Japan’s stunning rail network and routes.

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Pandamonium… that would be me on tour then

As usual Wendy was there first and she has two new tours including the UK’s first three-week fully inclusive rail tour.

Of islands covering the islands of Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido.

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Wendy crew

And from now until the end of August there are a range of special offers.

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And what’s for the next dish?
  1. Free single supplements for solo travellers (worth up to £1790pp) plus a range of dedicated solo departures.
  2. Free business class upgrades with Emirates, British Airways, Finnair (ex Dublin and Edinburgh), Air China and many more (worth up to £700pp.
  3. BA World Traveller Plus upgrades (worth up to £600pp)
  4. Free Vietnam Airlines Premium Economy Upgrades (worth up to £300pp).
  5. Savings up to £500pp per person across cherry blossom departures through March and April.
  6. Holidays can be booked with a deposit from £99pp with flexible terms and conditions.

MEET YOU UNDER THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS

Countries, Europe, Flying

Holidos and Don’ts – saunas

Saunas are definitely a Holido… the best fun you can have with your clothes on, or off.

Us Brits, or Irish like to take our togs. trunks, bathers, bikinis with us to the sauna.

So here’s my sweltering saunas to relax in.

Aviemore

No, not that hut

Not, what you might expect but my first sauna experience, in the Scottish Highlands, left its mark on me.

And Clare, my then-girlfriend, who I ran over on the nursery slopes.

And whose thigh swelled up into a lovely rainbow colour.

I ended up spending the rest of the holiday on my own. Still the sauna was a great hiding place.

See www.visitaviemore.com.

Soll, Austria

I’ll slip off to the sauna

I moved on, and thankfully had learned my lesson, when myself and my Snow Queen went to Soll on a Topflight trip a few years ago.

Sarah didn’t fancy the sauna so I went myself and decided to go au naturel with the other Austrians.

Though I kept my eyes front and centre (honest!).

The next day I was sorely tempted to say to the handsome dude at the next table at breakfast (and within earshot of Sarah): ‘I didn’t recognise you with your clothes off’

Visit https://www.wilderkaiser.info/en/destination-tyrol/region-villages/soell-winter.html and www.topflight.ie.

And visit Soll Mates.

Czech Republic

Sweat off the beer

The pick of my Czech saunas has to be in Marianske Lazhny with Czech Tourism www.czechtourism.com.

When I took a Japanese woman’s bathrobe (and they’re small) by mistake, and she called me out.

Then there was Prague last week in my Aspen Hotel, the Golden Key… https://goldenkey.astenhotels.com/en?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9azstJHy5wIVzbHtCh3vZQmYEAAYASAAEgI6GvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds and the Hotel Beethoven, Teplice.

Where the sauna, massages and medical treatments take years off you.

Some of the ninetysomethings looked like octogenarians.

Istanbul, Turkey

My cup of tea

Well, if it’s good enough for Florence Nightingale, Rudolf Nureyev, John Travolta, Kate Moss and East 17.

The 300-year-old Cagaloglu Hamam https://www.cagalogluhamami.com.tr is ornate and also offers trained assassins with karate chop hands for massage.

And then there’s the Turkish tea, or stronger. See www.visitistanbul.com and Wham bam, thank you Hamam.

Finland

It’s blowy outside

Kuusamo, where even Santa sheds his big red suit… don’t worry, he puts a towel over his lap.

At Kuusamo Airport, eight to ten people can sit comfortably on its U-shaped benches.

And while cooling down on the terrace, you can admire the views of the runway and the tiny Kolvanki Lake.

The basic fee is €50 (for two hours) + €10pp.. Extra hours are €15.

How to book? At . You can also call +358 (0)20 708 8810 or send an email to ania.murtovaara@finavia.fi .

You can also check out the saunas at Helsinki and Kittila. Visit https://www.finavia.fi/en/newsroom/2016/would-you-enjoy-sauna-airport