Asia, Countries, Food & Wine, Music

Rainy Days and Songdays – the Big Rapper in Jordan

With lockdown bringing a revival in camping, what’s your campfire song? You’ll go some to match the Big Rapper in Jordan.

There must be something about the desert that brings out the entertainer in me… and it transpired in St Lucian Big Jerry too.

I came late to rapping…

When I slipped my ‘A Wake Up For The People’ into the set of our poetry performance group The Forth Stanza’s show at the Edinburgh Fringe https://www.edfringe.com/

Bandanaman, RapperMan

A line or two of which I reprise for you here….

Wham, bam/Come home Uncle Sam/Bored of Ford/Get Carter/Shelter the Shah/Hostages to barter/Joni warned us of the Devil’s bargain/And told us to get back/Get back to the garden… We are stardust, we are golden/And we’ve got to get ourselves/Back to the garden

It’s a ramble through Modern Western History which I sang heartily among a company of Berbers by a Moroccan campfire.

Before sidling off to be violently sick (dodgy beef tajine in the Atlas Mountains. Honest!).

Moroccan roll

Still I saw the most wonderful light show in the sky www.visitmorocco.com.

With Happy Hannah in Petra

We weren’t even on the booze in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan, a mostly dry country, some 15 years later.

Not that you missed it with the fruit and rosehip teas.

The post-banquet entertainment in our G Adventures https://www.gadventures.co.uk/ was by the man I tagged Big Rapper.

Carry on camping

You see I was holding him to his promise of a rap which he had made the day before by the Dead Sea The water of life, Petra, and the sands of time.

Now I’d say Jerry has a career awaiting in the music business if he fancies it.

Judging by his rap which conjured up the spirit of the Middle East and Jordan’s place in the region as an honest broker.

The perfect couple

Jerry and his girlfriend Hannah are the type of young people you would choose for your own son and daughter.

Only they found each other and are due their first child any month soon.

The Little Rapper

Good luck guys with your Little Rapper. And if you want a song to send your baby to sleep I can send you a video.

Of Bandanaman sampling Joni Mitchell https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cRjQCvfcXn0 in my ‘A Wake Up For The People’.

Australasia, Countries, Culture, Europe, Ireland, Sport, UK

My Sporting Weekend – Rugby’s back in New Zealand

It was a rite of passage at my rugby-playing school in Scotland…. going to watch the touring New Zealand All Blacks in Edinburgh.

And I was counting down from weeks out to see Graham Mourie’s all-conquering rugby team finish off their itinerary at Murrayfield.

And listening to Timmy Teague’s promises that he would go onto the pitch and do the pre-war Haka war dance with the players.

How I felt on a rugby field

I got a flashback of Timmy as I heard of the return of rugby to the Land of the Long White Cloud with the Highlanders beating the Chiefs 28-27.

Highlanders’ fling

A thrilling match with the Highlanders stealing it at the end.

And best of all it was played out in front of 20,000 rugby nuts, with no need for face masks or social distancing.

The Land of the Long White Cloud

Nirvana, and a country where we’ll all be flocking to www.newzealand.com when we get the chance.

I have a hankering to visit Mangaotaki and the other locations used by Peter Jackson for Middle-Earth in Lord of the Rings.

Where my old colleague and singing partner from Rising Star Karaoke Bar https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/things-to-do/entertainment/rising-star-karaoke and Aaawlando… Orlando, the rollercoaster capital Eoin played rugby.

Lord of the throw-ins?

‘Mr Brightside’ loved it and also learned the Haka… every rugby team in New Zealand practises it in training.

Stick your tongue out

Timmy could have done with some practical too… he was hopefully out of sync.

But he did do it. And the police allowed him back in to watch the second half of the game.

Hakademic really

He’d have been as well missing it. Scotland were hammered.

The All Blues: Not quite the same and Scotland take a beating in Dublin

But there’s nothing new about that.

Now you want to explore how to get out there.

Jimbo and Tommy Bowe. www.emirates.com

Well, I’d always recommend G Adventures www.gadventures.co.uk while check major airlines for flights and conditions.

MEET YOU AT THE GAME

Adventure, Asia, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Sport, UK

My Sporting Weekend – cow fighting breaks out

Lockdown has stopped us humans competing against each other but animals continue to do it, well, naturally.

I got to hear of the strange sport of Combat de Reines In Switzerland where cows fight each other www.myswitzerland.com and Swhisskey on the rocks.

And I intend to make it my mission to seek out this ultimate moortial (sorry) arts duel on my travels as well as these other animal v animal contests.

Kicking seven cow bells out of each other

A bit of stewarding doesn’t go amiss

Combat de Reines, Switzerland: These contests date back to the 1920s when the skiers were on a break in the summer.

And they attract as many as 50,000 spectators across the season.

Although I’m assuming the cows are happy to fight behind closed doors (or in the open field) without us there.

The mootivation (ouch) for the cows is herd dominance although some need jivvying up and prefer to munch the grass.

Camel ye, come all ye

And in the red corner. https://wrestlingtv.in/have-you-heard-of-camel-wrestling-check-how-popular-it-is-in-turkey/

Camel wrestling, Turkey, Middle East, Asia: And your otherwise loping humpy desert dweller will bear his teeth…

If you try to jostle him along. Or put a female camel on heat between two males.

So not that different from humans then really.

The season is November to March so there’s still hope.

And here’s some Turkish delights and Jordanian japes to tantalise you… https://www.goturkeytourism.com and Wham bam, thank you Hamam. And www.gadventures.com, www.visitjordan.com and Wham bam, thank you Hamam.

Herd up your haggises

http://www.facebook.com

Haggis hurling, Scotland: OK, this isn’t actually a sport but try telling that to the young Irish group I was with a couple of years ago.

Dry-witted Aberdonian Stevie informed our party that because we were running late he’d have to take the haggis farm off the agenda.

Distracted by another question Stevie might not have returned to the subject.

Had I not reminded him and warned him that this might yet appear in their articles as fact.

Invented in 1977 by a Robin Dunseath in 1977 it is still going strong. And check out www.visitabdn.com and Aberdeen – a light in the north and wwwvisitscotland.com.

One for the puperazzi

Catch that wave

Dog surfing, Huntington Beach, California: And to think I might never have learned about this sport of canines had I not pried.

The good folk of HB had invited me out for breakfast in Dublin to tell me about their new hotels and I probed them for info about their beaches.

I discovered that they have a popular annual dog surfing competition and that Garrett McNamara and his Brazilian labrador Bono lead the way.

And no, I never did hear if this Bono wore shades too all the time. Maybe the next time I get out to HB I’ll check it out.

Visit https://www.surfcityusa.com, www.visitcalifornia.com and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/19/my-weekend-with-marilyn-2/amp/.

I haven’t heard if September’s big surf is going ahead but the Pacific is a big ocean.

Acting the goat

Goat racing, Tobago: And a skill I got me, Marsha.

Marsha had gone through our coach asking us what we were good at, with housebuilder Antony scoring highest and me lowest.

But I showed her! Me and my goat Bandanaman only beat Antony and his kid in the goat race.

The big event is held in Buccoo at Easter and if there’s any justice myself and Bandanaman will be at the starter’s gate.

Although I might pass on the crab race.

Visit https://www.visittobago.gov.tt and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/amp/.

Countries, Culture, Europe, Flying, Ireland, UK

Give us this Day – charity begins abroad

The collection plate has for a long time been coming around twice.

While there’s always someone at the church door with another charity box.

You might recognise them from coming around your house.

We have, of course, been given a reprieve during lockdown.

Give a little bit

Doctor’s orders… my Dear Old Dad

Of course charities are having it tough right now with many of us left cash-strapped by the Covid crisis.

But while there’s less to go around just now we’ve been here before and found an enduring solution.

Tithes, integral in Islam, used to be a central plank in Christianity.

But they’ve not gone way.

Going through my Dad’s personal effects I came across documentation from his contributions to the Church.

A percentage of his income.

Middle Eastern culture

A design for life: In Jordan

One of the joys of visiting the Middle East is immersing yourself in Islamic culture.

And it is heartening to find holiday providers who feel the same.

Such as G Adventures https://www.gadventures.co.uk and http://gadventures.iewho through their Planeterra Foundation https://planeterra.org help build community projects in their destinations.

Which I found when I visited Jordan www.visitjordan.com.

We can often be suspicious when we hear of the biggest companies allying with charities.

And Celebrity Cruises https://www.celebritycruises.co.uk/?ecid=ps_accord_google_brnd_bndpurebrand%5Bexact%5D_gbr&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIu5TajbvM6QIVYIBQBh1PvARHEAAYASAAEgKjY_D_BwE and Malala Yousafzai didn’t initially seem to be ideal bedfellows.

A very young Godmother

But the Nobel Prize winner has lent great credibility and authenticity as Celebrity’s Godmother I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out To Here to their involvement in the destinations they visit.

Now I’m as guilty as the next man of glossing over Liam Neeson et al’s message to give on airlines… and then failing to fill those little envelopes.

But once I get back on a plane (and I mean that to be soon) I will ensure I empty my pockets into the envelope.

There are some out there who need no pricking of their conscience.

The Scots who give 

And a square meal for all around the world

Such as Scots Magnus and Fergus MacFarlane who were so moved by an article in The Glasgow Herald on the Marian apparitions in a small Bosnian town that they went out there.

And then began a charity drive through the Balkans Wars which grew into the phenomenon that is Mary’s Meals https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/who-we-are/our-history/marys-meals-a-fruit-of-medjugorje/

Which helps give a square meal to those in less developed countries to provide a springboard and which you can see out in Medjugorje.

Where I visited with Marian Pilgrimages https://marian.ie and What’s the story, Medjugorje? Wouldn’t you like to know.

And Sarajevo’s rebuild

Christians and Muslims: In Sarajevo

You can also take a day out to Sarajevo where Muslim and Christian have come together over time.

But where still the human instinct to give through charity has helped rebuild the central city of Sarajevo  Sarajevo revisited: Arnie’s story.

Adventure, Asia, Countries, Culture, Uncategorized

G – I miss my Jordan pals

Zuhair Zuriqat is quite a mouthful of a name for a Western audience.

But our Jordanian G Adventures http://www.gadventures.co.uk guide made it light-hearted for us.

By telling us we’d remember it by thinking of an animal sanctuary and what’s on the top of our head.

Sophie’s choice companion

It’s been a year this week since I first met and last hugged Zuhair.

And Jerry and Hannah, Beatrice and Banni, Sophie, Rick and Harry.

The memories are never far away The water of life, Petra, and the sands of time.

But they were heightened yesterday when founder Bruce Poon Tip caught up with us by video call.

And told us why we’ll all be reunited soon.

It’s all about the group

Hannah Mirabilis: With Hannah in Wadi Rum

Because it is in our human make-up to come up with the technological solutions.

And adapt to our changing circumstances.

And because the desire is there to connect again with each other and the destination.

Most importantly though it’s the communities we form and meet when we travel.

Beatrice, a boatie and a beardie

G Adventures puts the group dynamic at the heart of much of what it does (although they now have an independent traveller arm too).

And I was encouraged to share a room like the others when I travelled to Amman last year.

I got into the bedroom early in the morning and was met with a bare bum hanging out of a duvet, the bum belonging to Aussie Harry.

And the camels are the friendliest locals of all

We came face to face a couple of hours later when the phone went and I handed it to him… it was a wrong number.

High jinks

It set the tone for the trip from the Dead through to the Red Sea with stop-offs in Petra and Wadi Rum.

West Indian Jerry joked that there was no point in him blacking up with the mud in the Dead Sea as he browned me up.

Jim and Jerry

Wadi Rum in the desert was where one of our number who will remain nameless emerged from our canvas-thin tents.

To complain about the snoring the night before.

Zuhair the hero

What’s your headwear of choice?

One I will own up to was my flirtation with snorkelling.

When the group could barely hide their anticipation about swimming through the coral to see a sunken tank and aeroplane.

I was in and out quicker than you could say Zuhair Zuriquat… my bushy top lip was stopping the air from getting to my nostrils.

G – I wish I could be back there in Jordan www.visitjordan.com.

Bruce almighty

And for the best take on how Travel will move forward…

Read Bruce’s e-book Unlearn: The Year the Workd Stood Still www.unlearn.com on Apple Books or Kobo in Canada.

Asia, Countries, Culture, Deals

My Sporting Weekend – Good Korea move

How will COVID-19 alter our interactions with the Far East… well, in this household it is just bringing us closer with the Son and Heir bound for China in October?

To teach English as a foreign language.

And the football nut that he is, I dare say, he will look out some games.

I’ll have a Meeeowcha then

If he was out in the Far East, South Korea in this case, this weekend he could have watched live football.

Albeit on the TV with the South Koreans first out of the blocks, to mix my metaphors, to resume games.

G Whizz

South Korea falls behind Thailand as a favourite destination for backpackers and Asianophiles but will this spotlight tempt us to put it on our list?

In the pink: Korea’s natural treasures

With all things long haul I place my trust in G Adventures www.gadventures.co.uk who took me out to Jordan this time next year… www.visitjordan.com.

And owner Bruce will be telling us travel professionals next week how they’ll get us back out there soon.

The real deal

They are still promoting offers on their site with an eight days Seoul to Seoul package catching the eye.

Valid on October 2 the Korean trip was £1749 but is now £1487.

Fly the flag

Now some of these places might sound familiar from the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

After arriving in the capital Seoul, you’ll take a bullet train to the seaside town of Busan on the tip of the peninsula.

My body is a temple

Where you’ll stay in a temple.

You like your temples? Then G Adventures offers you the chance to a 14th Century temple hidden in the rocks Haedong Yonggungsa.

Who put a windmill there?

You’ll also get to check out the 500-old UNESCO site, the Yangdong Folk Village

Continue to the next UNESCO site of Bulguksa Temple on the slopes of Mount Toham for the Dabotap and Seokgatap stone pagodas, Cheongun-gyo, and two gilt-bronze statues of Buddha.

Cold War history

Almost not enougb time to check out the football.

No trip to South Korea would be complete without a trip to the Demilitarised Zone between South and North Korea.

The Demilitarised Zone www.en.wikipedia.org

With more than a million soldiers on watch each day, it is one of the last remnants of the Cold War.

The buffer zone is 4km wide and is 250km long which means that the wildlife has pretty much taken over… and they’re more sensible than the humanlife.

You’ll need a good three-four hours at the Demilitarized Zone before heading to The War Memorial of Korea.

Seoul music

Before you return back to Seoul for another night in the city.

A city with heart and….

Talking of the Demilitarised Zone and teaching English as a foreign language my old Northern Irish flatmate Ian went out to North Korea to do just that in the 90s.

Funnily enough I haven’t heard from him for a while.

But the top rugby player that he was, who knows he may have ended up teaching the oval-ball game to Kim and his pals.

MEET YOU ON THE PITCH

Countries, Culture, Europe

My Italian stage

What did you do during the Coronavirus War of 2020, Daddy? Well, I returned to my career as an Italian heartthrob actor obviously.

While Thomas Trabacchi kept house, home and sanity together in North Berwick, south of Edinburgh.

And Thomas rockin’ the Bandana look in North Berwick

My thanks to one of my oldest friends and Italian-Scot per excellenza Cello for flagging up Thomas (er, me).

My biggest fan: Miriam Leone

And his hit television series Thou Shalt Not Kill – Non Uccidere opposite former Miss Italy Miriam Leone who plays Detective Valeria Furio.

My leading lady

Non Uccidere is set in Turin in Piedmont which is often overshadowed by its big neighbour Milan.

Shine a light on Turin

But Turin https://www.turismotorino.org/en has its delights too…

Yes there are the grand squares Piazza Castello and Piazza San Carlo .

While the biggest attraction (away from the ‘Grand Old Lady’, the football aristocrats Juventus) is the Shroud of Turin.

Shrouded in history

Which is kept in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist.

Built during 1491-1498 and designed by Guarino Guarini the Chapel of the Holy Shroud was added in 1668-1694.

Another beardie legend

If it’s John the Baptist history and curios you want then why not get out to where John baptised Jesus.

And on the banks of the Jordan

Which is either inland in Jordan or on the banks on the Israel side. You choose in your G Adventures trip www.gadventures.co.uk and www.gadventures.iewww.visitjordan.com.

Turin too is home to the National Cinema Club http://www.museocinema.it/en which brings us back to my starring part in Non Uccidere.

Where I have some raunchy scenes with Inspector Valeria Ferro (you’ll know better than me how to access Italian TV series).

My leading Sadie

It’s a price that Mrs M is more than prepared to pay for getting me the rest of the time.

Turin and Italy ‘Il Bel Paese’ http://www.italia.it/en/home.html is slowly coming through its lockdown.

If the buildings could talk

And on Monday parks, factories and construction sites will reopen.

We look forward, of course, to when we can get back out to Italy.

Il Bel Paese

With our favourite holiday providers www.topflight.ie, the Italian specialists, and FrancigenaWays www.FrancigenaWays.com.

And our special places Small roads lead to Rome and Rome on €50 and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/15/padova-city-of-frescoes/amp/.

And Turin where I am something of a celebrity.

FORZA ITALIA

Asia, Countries, Culture, Europe, Flying, Food, Food & Wine

Flyday Friday – your lockdown Captain speaking

And when he can’t tell you you’re cruising at 15,000ft with the skies clear what does he do?

Our friends at Etihad https://www.etihad.com/en-gb/ have taken an alternate course for us while we are confined to barracks.

And the captain has got the cabin crew to do what they always do, excel at keeping the restless passengers occupied.

And so the purple-suited ones are encouraging us to learn a new language. Arabic anyone?

Etihad style: And plenty of room

It’s the first language in 25 countries around the world.

See https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KHl80riQ65s&feature=youtu.be

It’s just a taster but a great idea nonetheless and it might just give me precious time when I am put on the spot.

One of our own

Like when I was off to the Black Sea and the crew member started talking Bulgarian to me because they thought I was a local.

With time hanging heavy on us all Daddy’s Little Girl has been badgering me to teach her Italian.

It is la bella lingua and one that I have dipped in and out of but I have little excuse now to get the tapes oit again.

Andiamo.

And particularly if my Laurie helps me with my Italian cooking.

Rusotto… in all its forms

I had already been given a crash course in making pasta from scratch by Italian specialist Catherine Fulvio.

At her Ballyknocken Cookery School https://ballyknocken.ie in my old stomping ground of Co. Wicklow https://visitwicklow.ie in Ireland.

In the company of Italian tour specialists Topflight www.topflight.ie.

The joy of ceps

Etihad also offer cooking tips with their in-flight chef rustling up a quick mushroom risotto… https://m.youtube.com/watch?segmentCode=&utm_campaign=version4_row_ramadan_230420_apr20&utm_source=guestsenen&utm_content=etihadguestoffer&bid=686619102&gsn=311934473&cid=ema%3Agst%3Aversion4_row_ramadan_230420_apr20%3Aguestsenen%3Aetihadguestoffer%3Aallsegments&v=-mcgkEULFx8&utm_medium=email

Fun guy him… and I do love an oul’ risotto Rome on €50.

I’ve seen first-hand on an inspection tour of their fleet at Dublin Airport just how they look after the little ones.

And you can download a number of family activities from their site.

Jet-propellled: In Jordan

Which is all good to know as we’ll want to occupy ourselves in our own seats as much as we can.

When we take to the skies again.

Are we there yet? Well, I’m in no hurry… I’m on an Etihad airplane.

Shukran Etihad.

Jaunty Jordan

And shukran too to my Jordanian host Zuhair, G Adventures www.gadventures.co.uk and Visit Jordan www.visitjordan.com who took me a whip-crackin’ away to Petra,.

And also the desert and the Dead and Red Sea last year The water of life, Petra, and the sands of time.

Give a little bit

Keep flying high: Virgin Atlantic

Now there’s always a bit of resentment that creeps in when we see someone as visible as Richard Branson asking for a dig-out.

But before we jump on the bandwagon it’s worth remembering the work that he and other airlines have been doing for years for charity.

In the Third World.

We may all be strapped for cash just now but when, and if, we can we should remember that when we next board a flight.

To fill the envelope.

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

Asia, Countries, Culture, Europe, Food, Food & Wine

Hungry and Thursday – the kebab

It’s been an oasis in a desert of closed stores – the kebab shop here in North Berwick, south of Edinburgh.

Where a haggis supper (that’s battered haggis and chips) is even better than your most succulent T-bone steak.

Heck, it always has been.

And also a doner, or shish kebab, or pakora.

A stick-on

Tastes of our adolescence which have stayed with us into adulthood.

And not just if you live in Turkey or the Middle East, but very much a staple growing up in Scotland.

How Bazar!

And in the Bazar restaurant https://www.hotelbazar.nl/en/restaurant-bazar-amsterdam/ in the Middle Eastern De Pijp district of Amsterdam.

Which is a converted mosque and harvests the spices and flavours of North Africa and Asia.

Which are showcased out on the Albert Cuyp Markt on Albert Cuypstrasse in Oud-Zuid (Old South).

De Bazar in De Pijp in Amsterdam

They had come to Amsterdam (https://www.iamsterdam.com/en and Pictures of Amsterdam) to work in the Heineken factory.

A taste of Jordan

Where you can take in the whole Heineken Experience https://www.heineken.com/gb/agegateway?returnurl=%2fheineken-experience.

Our server Rasha was fresh into the great old Dutch city from Jordan.

And regaled us with stories of her homeland.

Which I was lucky enough to visit with G Adventures https://www.gadventures.co.uk and http://www.visitjordan.com.

Portable cooking in the desert

And eat in the Wadi Rum desert… The water of life, Petra, and the sands of time.

It was, of course, the Turks who introduced the kebab to this gastronomically-challenged Glaswegian.

Which introduced me to Turks. And I’m very glad it did.

Family holidays

I introduced myself to Turkey on a family holiday to Bodrum https://www.bodrum.org where they took to us immediately.

And particularly the Son and Heir who they swirled around at the market on account of his near-Muslim name Ally.

He knows my order

I returned a couple of years ago, to Istanbul https://visit.istanbul.

As a guest of Turkish Airlines https://www.turkishairlines.com to their headquarters.

And to see the new $12bn Istanbul Airport, the biggest in the world.

And eat their speciality kofte meatballs, and kebabs, at the Istanbul institution, the Sultanahmet Koftecisi http://www.sultanahmetkoftesi.com.

I’d even fly myself

The Turks https://www.goturkeytourism.com and their kebabs have been part of British culture from my childhood and before.

They have helped to feed me since I were a boy, and not just after a slew of beer on a Friday and Saturday night.

Thank you Turkish Airlines

And they are here for us again in our time of troubles.

With Turkish Airlines at the heart of the mercy mission to cargo PPE to the UK.

They deserve our gratitude and acknowledgment.

And on this their National Sovereignty and Children’s Day an apology for the insults thrown at them during the Brexit referendum.

Africa, America, Asia, Countries, Culture, Europe

Murty’s further adventures of Tintin (or Jim Jim)

So what do I have in common with Boris Johnson? The art of scribbling, of course, but also Hergé’s The Further Adventures of Tintin.

It transpires that the most famous ginger boy journalist in history has been keeping the convalescing British prime minister’s spirits up.

Because rather than poring over government papers and that pesky bug the premier has been gorging on Tintin adventures.

Encore Tintin

In French obviously!

More Tintin… this time in English

Maybe though he’s looking for inspiration on how to beat the bug because this coronavirus really could be a script out of a Tintin book.

Un pour Boris

One for Boris

Tintin and the Curse of COVID-19

The one where Tintin and Snowy head for Wuhan and the white fox terrier is captured by wet market traders who want to sell him for food.

And he also exposes a laboratory which is harvesting viruses.

We all need a scientist

All the gang come out, or are there already…

Thomson and Thompson are on a lecher tour, while Bianca Castafiore is performing to adoring Chinese ausiences.

And ‘blistering barnacles’ Captain Haddock is getting into all kinds of scrapes while Professor Calculus is researching a cure.

My journalist hero (no, not Boris)

Of course Tintin has been a hero for Fiftysomething journalists all over the world.

With the BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardiner even retracing Tintin’s steps for a TV special.

Hergé, interestingly, never left Belgium and his grasp of the world came from a photographer friend.

A joke in every line

Which means that the settings were somewhat stylised and his characters stereotyped.

But the adventures were, and still are captivating, and inspired a love of travel in all of us.

His adventures

The first of his 24 books was Tintin In The Land Of The Soviets which he wrote in the Twenties and where Frank revisited. Which you should do… https://www.visitrussia.org.uk.

While Hergé, like many young men in the Twenties was transfixed by America.

Tintin in America saw the Wee Man ride off into the Wild West. Sure you have to… www.colorado.com and The New Frontiersmen.

While he also took on the gamgsters of the Prohibition era.

And you can learn all about the real ones at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas https://themobmuseum.org. Also visit www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic

Tintin in the Far East

And he rocks a kilt

Tintin does travel out to China https://www.chinadiscovery.com in The Blue Lotus and other exotic destinations Cigars of the Pharaoh and The Crab with the Golden Claws in Northern Africa.

I got a glimpse of Egypt which just stirred my passion to get out there (I had passed up on Sharm el-Sheikh a couple of years ago) from the Jordan side of the Red Sea.

See www.visitjordan.com, www.gadventures.co.uk and http://www.egypt.travel.

Hergé Museum

And I had the type of misadventure that Hergé couldn’t even make up, and which I might even reprise when I stir up some courage again… https://www.visitmorocco.com/en.

The best place to see Hergé, of course, is in his homeland, the Hergé Museum in Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve outside Brussels https://www.museeherge.com/en.

These days we are all confined to barracks and in the case of Boris Johnson bed-ridden by COVID-19.

So why not, do like Boris and let Tintin take you around the world.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD