Adventure, America, Countries, Culture, Deals, Flying, Ireland

Crazy Horses

You know you’re in the Wild West when you see wild horses thundering across the Grand Canyon.

And look out from The Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum at Lookout Mountain at the Great Plains where he once roamed.

The wide open spaces, the freedom, the clean air, the sanctity of nature, the conservation of the animals on whom their very survival depended.

Bandanaman and Issy in Clark, Colorado

It’s how people lived for centuries in these lands before we found ‘a better way’.

I have my Native American headdress on (though not literally though I did have one as a kid), having signed up for the virtual conference from New Mexico next month.

Buffalo Bill’s grave

It’s just that this COVID business has reminded us all to reconnect with the earth.

All of which you’ll find on an Escorted Tour with your American Holidays

Take their Canyon and American Lands Adventure for 2021.

TV broncos star: In Broncos’ Stadium, Denver

Kick it off in Vegas before departing for Zion National Park and hike Angels Landing.

Next up is Bryce Canyon National Park, renowned for its crimson-coloured sandstones, the hoodoos.

On my way to my next million in Vegas

You’ll recognise Monument Valley from all the old movies and here you’ll learn all about its place in Navajo legend.

Travel through the Navajo Reservation to the Cameron Trading Post to pick up jewellery and your dreamcatcher.

Of course you won’t have to wait long for your dreams to come true as you’ll cap off this unforgettable tour in the Grand Canyon.

The First Americans

Watch it from the rim or hike down it… however you take it in you’ll only sample a fraction.

And if that’s not enough Americana for you then you’ll travel back to Vegas along Route 66.

All this for two from €2099. Price includes return flights Dublin-Vegas. Seven nights’ hotel accommodation and tour guides.

America, Countries, Culture

Rainy Days and Songdays – Ban-ban-ban Bandaman

Ban-ban-ban-Bandanaman, Ban-ban-ban-Bandanaman, Take my hand, You got me rockin’ and a rollin’. Rockin’ and a rollin’. Bandanaman.

One of the most seminal pop bands in history, a California travel convention and the reunion of my Scottish poetry group and Edinburgh Festival faves.

It’s great when a Bandana plan comes together which is what happened when I channeled my alter ego for a Zoom meeting with my old poetry grouo.

And showcased my Beach Boys pastiche of their hit Barbara-Anne.

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Because it was nearly a year ago that the Beach Boys https://www.thebeachboys.com gave me and my Travel friends a private concert at the American Travel Fair in Anaheim, California www.ipw.com.

Touching times 

At the American Travel Fair in Anaheim, California http://www.ipw.com and  http://www.disneyland.disney.go.com and http://www.visitcalifornia.org.

Where I rushed to the stage after lunch between convention meetings.

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And the great man Mike Love touched my outreached hand… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y44BJgkdZs

The lunchtime entertainment at IPW is always the highlight of my Travel year… http://Stair Wars.

And while the identity of some acts was closely guarded others were released with fanfare which you would do with the Beach Boys.

It is my chance to destress from the year to date and I move heaven and Earth to make myself known to the act… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09dQmeB_NgU.

Which I did in my first year in Washington DC http://www.washington.org and http://Easy DC.

When Ne-Yo threw his towel into the crowd and I stretched out to garner it to my chest.

Killer tunes

Cathy Keefe Reynolds, who looks after all the Travel journalists with the care you would would your own children (and we often behaved as such), marked the moment.

On video.

This year in Las Vegas we were promised another cracker.

Vegas baby

Only for COVID-19, who in another lifetime might be a boyband, put paid to our Las Vegas gig… http://www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic.

I’d been holding out for Vegas’s favourite sons, The Killers.

Their new album Implode the Mirage is out on Friday.

So they’ll be honed to perfection for next year’s Travel Fair.

If you can make yourself available, boys. Visit http://www.thekillersmusic.com.

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

America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Bring us your tempest-tost to America

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door

Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus, 1883

And earlier in the poem dedicated for the new Statue of Liberty which would sit on the Hudson Bay, a gift from America’s old allies France…

‘Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand. Glows worldwide welcome.’

Today those same French must wait at least 30 days along with the rest of the European Union, or those in the Shengen free-travel zone.

Before they can re-enter America.

The UK, now out of the European Union, is exempt.

While Ireland is a special case.

Which will allow me (for now) to visit the Florida Keys in a week and a half… https://fla-keys.com.

But what will be when the American Travel fair, IPW, throws open its doors in Las Vegas I’ll just have to wait and see.

And hope that my friends who I meet up with every year in an American city will be there.

Swede Agnetha, who I first met in the Czech Republic www.visitczechrepublic.com and was the first journalist I met in Washington Easy DC and have seen every year since.

There was the coachload in Colorado The New Frontiersmen and https://www.colorado.com.

Of Chinese, German, Jordanian and a very annoying Australian Alpha Male although in the spirit of the New Colossus I’d let him back in

While I always look forward to seeing Dutch Martin, my Blues-loving pal from our Deep South odyssey… The Promised Land, The story of the Blues, The King of Kings.

Who I met in Los Angeles https://www.discoverlosangeles.com and www.visitcalifornia.com last year.

I know Lady Liberty has her arms outstretched for us all and let’s hope the 30-day suspension achieves its aim.

And that this tempest-tost traveller, and those like me, will all be toasting our favourite country with our favourite people…

In Vegas https://www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic, in June.

Uncategorized

In 2020 bring the world to you in Vegas

The Bells, the Bells! And that’s just the Bell’s whisky!

In the words of the world’s most famous binman, that great sage Coronation Street’s Norman ‘Curly’ Watts:

‘Who told the Scots that they owned New Year?’

Being of the Scots variety myself I’d just taken it for granted that it was ours.

So like the rest of us Caledonians I partied over the TWO (count them) public holidays.

But what of the other places around the world where they hold New Year’s parties too.

All Greek to me

Athens: They’ve been waving their togas around and clinking vessels of wine while we were still scratching ourselves and drawing on walls.

And they still are up at the Acropolis (although I can’t swear to the togas bit).

But there are few better backdrops for a New Year’s fireworks party than Athens’ most iconic landmark… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrlU10r2zOA 

I know all about the Acropolis having endured a modern-day Odyssey to get there in the autumn of last year (still sounds funny to write that).

Read all about it as you plan your travel itinerary for this year… Acropolis later and http://www.athensattica.com.

I can’t recommend Lufthansa http://www.lufthansa.com and Aegean Airlines http://www.aegeanair.com highly enough after they got me out of a jam. Which is why it was an odyssey.

Never sleeps

New York: The Big Apple is a film set at any time of the year and we all know the tradition of the ball drop in Times Square (and I thought that was all behind me as a teenager).

But regardless of what you might be told it’s not just us tourists who pack out the square on the last day of the old year… my  own NY rellies do too.

Of course the neon lights, billboards and skyscrapers are worth seeing any time of the year.

And if you do then check out my pal Tom’s Beacon Hotel, the jewel of the Upper West Side. He loves all visitors but especially the Irish…. https://www.beaconhotel.com 

While check out the New York websites and avail of the City Pass too for the best way around the great city… http://www.nycvb.com and http://www.citypass.com

The great thing about Ireland and the States is just that… but also the pre-clearance.

A dam good party

Amsterdam: The Son and Heir’s pal Amsterdam Andy, although he hails from Bray he’s been given the moniker (by me) on account of working there now.

I’m well jel.

The Rembrandtplein is one of the best squares in a city where there is no shortage of them.

Mainly on account of the sculpture recreation of the Nighwatch https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/pictures-of-amsterdam/which you can place yourself in for a photo… of course we did.

If you’re feeling flush then fork out for the Dylan Hotel which is where George and Amal stay…. you deserve it https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/george-and-amal-hotel/

Visit http://www.iamsterdam.com.

There’s another Scotland

Glasgow: I know all about Edinburgh having lived ten years there and Daddy’s Little Girl being born there.

And I also enjoyed more than my fair share of Hogmanays (don’t ask me why) at Merkat Cross in my student days before the whole action was moved up to the Castle and Princes Street.

But while Edinburgh prides itself on its New Year celebrations, its great rival Glasgow has a party every weekend.

The George Square party in 1990 was legendary as it heralded in the Dear Green Place’s year as European City of Culture.

When two likely lads stood in Princes Street in Edinburgh with a signpost saying ‘you are only 55 miles away from the European City of Culture.’

Stay at the http://www.carlton.nl/en/hotel-george-glasgow. In typical first-footing welcoming style they will leave you a bar at the top of the hotel in your private lounge too!

And visit http://www.peoplemakeglasgow.com, the website which does what it says on the tin.

Vegas, baby

And only because my year is revolving around my IPW American Travel Fair trip http://www.ipw.com to host city Las Vegas http://www.lvcvb.com.

It’s the ultimate party city at the ultimate party time of the year.

A travel colleague was in touch as soon as the bells had rung to talk about what we were going to do.

I don’t know but I’ll be on the lookout for Cami, a Utah transvestite who I might just have proposed to.

But what stays in… well, you know the rest.

Stay at the Palazzo at The Venetian http://www.venetian.com. And read all about my adventures in https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/vegas-strip-the-light-fantastic/

Because if you can’t get around the whole world at New Year or any time of the year (and I am trying my best) come to Vegas.

Where the world is on your doorstep… Paris up the road, Venice here and even ancient Egypt too.

I love it… fly out with British Airways, I did http://www.ba.com.

And I’ll be giving it plenty in 2020.