America, Countries, Culture, Europe, Flying, Ireland, Sport, UK

My Sporting Weekend – baseball in England

And judging by what a mess England are making of their cricket Test series in India, maybe they’ll go back to baseball.

There are few things more American than baseball.

And that obviously means that it came from somewhere else.

And this somewhere else is England where it had been a folk game.

Lord’s, the home of cricket, gave itself over to baseball for the first time when it hosted the Boston Red Stockings and the Philadelphia Athletics in 1874.

And Slugger Jimmy in the USA

So for all the big Wembley and Tottenham Stadium American Football matches it’s not a new phenomenon.

To bring American sporting franchises over to the Old Country.

We do, of course, have splendid memories of Aer Lingus‘s biennial American Colllege matches at the Aviva. Happy days!

For the record Boston beat Phladelphia 24-7.

In truth Beantown and Philly are winners when it comes to sport and you can’t visit without being touched by their love of their athletes.

Paris, non

Bravo: On World Cup final day

And the hairy-arsed Scots who make a biennial pilgrimage to Paris to converge around the Arc de Triomphe.

And watch their Bravehearts lose to Les Bleus were unable to do so this year.

So too did the Scotland rugby team whose match against Les Bleus of France was called off when the home outfit was hit by Covid.

Paris hasn’t always been kind to this hairy-arsed Scot either.

I had my butt kicked when I kipped down for the night in Paris Saint-Lazare railway station in my summer holiday down on the French Riviera after schoool.

The butt-kickers en force were the Gendarme…

And it wouldn’t be my first brush with the French law who took offence to me stopping the traffic in Saint-Raphael.

Let’s be Frank about Bruno

This year? When I’ll be back in Vegas

For those of us whose golden years (so far) were the Eighties Frank Bruno was ubiquitious, know what ah mean, Harry.

And his story was inexorably tied up with that of Mike Tyson’s though he was merely a punchbag for the Baddest Man on the Planet.

Sky Documentaries’ excellent Bruno v Tyson chronicles Frank’s story.

From inauspicious beginnings in South London through to him becoming the Gentle Giant of the Nation.

Las Vegas looms large as the two fights were held there…

The first Bruno v Tyson clash was set to be held in London before Iron Mike pranged his car.

The Las Vegas Hilton was the venue for the first fight and the MGM for the second.

With Vegas our venue for the American Travel fair this year we’re all hoping there will be boxing on then.

And with a seniors circuit now kicking in in which Iron Mike figures.

Let’s get this Bruno v Tyson III on in Vegas in the Fall.

MEET YOU AT A VIRTUAL SPORTS EVENT

 

 

 

Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

French voluntary rules… comme ci, comme ca

Merde! My Normandy Monet trip is in the balance after the UK imposed a two-week quarantine on travellers late last night.

In balance, oui. Because there is the option of going and just quarantining on the way back.

Because work for many of us lucky enough to find any is confined to our computer in our office/bedrooom.

And remember to check out if you are covered by your Travel insurance.

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Bravo: On World Cup final day at the French Embassy in Paris

Insure you’re ca va

Or what your holiday providers will do for you if you are caught short out there.

Or because there is the slim chance that the infection rates may dip in the next two weeks and France may yet be taken off the exempt list.

But equally as important is whether France impose Le Tit pour Tat.

No, not a porn film But a reciprocal two-week quarantine.

Le Tour: And I’ve made it to the top

Don’t treat us like enfants

The insouciant French have opted for voluntary quarantine thus fat…

France is leaving the choice up to ‘the public’s sense of responsibility’.

For now the greatest evacuation since Dunkirk is upon us as Britons try to get back before 4am tomorrow morning, Saturday 15, August.

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Chic: On the French Riviera

Ferry good

These days thankfully we don’t have to resort to fishing boats, and have Brittany Ferries instead.

I have been looking forward to Brittany Ferries and Normandy Tourisme‘s trip to Normandy ever since it came in.

To extend my French education which includes Paris, Strasbourg, Saint-Raphael, Mandelieu, Lourdes and the Pyrenees and Biarritz.

We’ll leave that to the UK Government. And judging by their record on education an algorithm will probably extend the quarantine to toujours.

Malta and Amsterdam too

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Get on your bike… if only we could

And let’s not forget that Malta and the Netherlands are in the soup as well as Monaco but then who among us can afford to holiday there?

We did on our much-storied post-school trip to Saint-Raphael on the French Riviera, taking a very scenic train journey out.

You won’t be able to though because… guess what, our politicians have banned us both ways.

 

ancient architecture attraction buildings
America, Countries, Culture, Europe

The multi-generation game

If I’d a pound, euro or dollar for every time someone asked me what ‘the new normal’ would be like I’d be the richest man in the world.

And be able to take the whole family on holiday.

Because that’s what I took out of the Family Travel webinar this week.

Where I was told that from now on ‘the children will get a big say in where we go on holiday.’

It’s called ‘pester power’.

And all of us who have been blessed/cursed with kids will know that the pestering starts from the moment you get the suitcases out of the attic.

Here are some random memories of holidays past and some admissions of bad behaviour…

The Scary One will tell you that was mostly me.

Men in Rome

Rome: And you’re rushing to make your audience with the Pope…

Well, visit to the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel. But you know what I mean.

When the Son and Heir decided that he needed to have some lunch. We had told to bulk up at breakfast.

Un pezzo, the slice of pizza Romans buy from pizza counters, wouldn’t do and he had to have pasta, meat and dessert.

‘If that boy doesn’t hurry up I’ll throw him in the Tiber,’ rasped his usually patient father who was immediately called out for making a scene.

Turns out though that Ally, or Alessandro as we’ll call him for these purposes, was just following the maxim ‘When in Rome,’

Because the Romans never like to be rushed.

See Small roads lead to Rome and Rome on €50 and https://www.rome.net.

The Big Grapple

New York: And I get that children want to head for the clothes stores when they’re in NY.

But despite our protestations The Son and Heir decided he wanted a new pair of trainers.

And had to wear them which meant we had to stop for him as he hobbled around Manhattan.

Now this isn’t all about The Son and Heir because when I took my Dear Old Mum out to NY for a family holiday she played up again.

She insisted that we spend forever in Macy’s.

She dissed my choice of a pink Guess handbag for my wife and then rushed me through every site.

As I tried to get souvenirs for the family.

The next time I went I was on my own… Old New York: Hamilton www.nycvb.com

London Calling

London: Now sometimes even when you get a break from the kids they still spoil it.

We’d scored a weekend away in Theatreland, London’s West End, to watch Carole King’s Beautiful musical.

When the next door neighbours started phoning up towards the end of the show.

To complain that the kids were having a party next door and that they had called the police.

It would have been easier if they had just invited them…

And when the dust settled Daddy’s Little Girl was even invited to to babysit for her.

See Carole King… you’re Beautiful and https://www.visitlondon.com.

aerial seashore
Beach life. Photo by Mariia Kamenska on Pexels.com

Major Majorca

Majorca: And you’re having to keep two kiddies safe in a waterpark where salmon-pink potbellied Brits are whizzing down the chutes.

Myself and the Son and Heir mastered the Beast.

While Daddy’s Little Girl was hurt in battle and bravely soldiered on after we’d taken her to the first aid centre and got her plastered.

No, not that plastered, we’re not irresponsible parents…

Although the Scary One did calm down with some Rioja after all that.

Visit https://www.seemallorca.com.

And for another island experience try a Tenerife walking holiday (family fun as you wear them out) with http://www.CanariaWays.com and A walk through the ages… Tenerife.

Lovin’ the Louvre

Paris spree

Paris: And she can’t take me anywhere (https://en.parisinfo.com).

The Parisians’ famous rudeness was put to the test when I tried to take back a guide book I’d just bought.

The shipowner on the Left Bank did her best insouciant shrug and answered me back in English when I tried to speak French.

And, of course, the kiddie winkles didn’t go a bundle on being told that they could only have frites.

Because the prices in the fast-food stalls started hiking up when they heard our English accents.

Try the French Riviera The Boat D’Azur or the Pyrenees The Lourdes prayer and Water way to go in Biarritz instead.

MEET YOU WITH THE FAMILY

America, Canada, Countries, Culture, Europe

Get an eyeful of these high-rise buildings

My Uncle Eddie pointed up… that’s the World Trade Center? Where I asked?

Two cranes of the neck later and there it was, touching the clouds. I was dumbstruck.

As the French announce the reopening of the Eiffel Tower https://www.toureiffel.paris/en/news on June 25 here are my five top tall towers.

Highful Tower

Mais oui

The Eiffel Tower, Paris: The best things in life are worth waiting for.

And when the rigging was up around the Eiffel Tower when me and my buddies visited France post-school I missed out.

I never imagined that it would take another 30 years before I would get another chance.

It was made all the better because ma famille was with me. Bravo! See https://en.parisinfo.com.

Two for the price of one: The Twin Tower’s. www.history.com

Up, up and away

The Twin Towers, New York: You always remember your first time… an ear-popping experience at the top of the World Trade Center.

They say in NY that you can always tell who the tourists are because they’re the ones looking up.

True! But equally thrilling is looking down at the specks of people and the moving yellow taxis.

NY has an abundance of iconic buildings but the Twin Towers will always be magical.

Today you can visit One World Trade Center https://www.wtc.com/about/buildings/1-world-trade-center. And also check out www.nycvb.com and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/28/old-new-york-hamilton/amp/.

Turn, turn, turn: The CN Tower

Canada high

The CN Tower, Toronto, Canada:

The CN https://www.cntower.ca/en-ca/home.html was taller though at the time.

And as luck would have it my brother was living up there at the time.

We didn’t get to eat at the revolving 360 restaurant but you always need to leave yourself with something to come back for.

See https://www.seetorontonow.com.

A positive sign: Prague

Clock this

Astronomical Clock, Prague: Not the tallest tower, of course, but the Astronomical Clock should also be seen from the inside too.

Where one American loudmouth kid got more than he bargained for.

As our guide shot back at him that her city had been bombed.

I love those sparky, big-drinking Czechs. See www.czechtourism.com and Hope springs eternal.

City of Brotherly Love

Philadelphia storey

One Liberty, Philadelphia: The cityscape of Philly reveals this buzzing metropolis in its best light.

But it is as much the story behind One Liberty that is as enthralling.

It revolves around the Curse of Billy Penn.

Which was placed on Philly’s Big Four Teams after One Liberty Hall was built, higher than the-then tallest building which houses a statue of the founder of Pennsylvania.

Only one thing for it, put Billy back in his rightful spot on a beam on the Comcast Building, higher than anybody in Philly.

He approved and the tams started winning again. And I saw all their achievements in an exhibition too.

See https://www.visitphilly.com/articles/philadelphia/must-see-attractions-philadelphia/ and Philadelphia Freedom

Countries, Ireland, UK

My Sporting Weekend – Rugby’s VAR and away days

The rugby Test match has come a long way since my days in the Schoolboys Enclosure at Murrayfield.

When programmes were 20p… they’re now about €15 although I’m grateful to the Irish Travel Agents Association for paying for me.

Both that and the ticket for the Ireland v Scotland match at the Aviva and the lunch before.

Remember to ground the ball

And the earpiece that hooks up to the referee and the action on the pitch.

As football tears itself apart over video assistant referees it seems that rugby has had the answer all along.

This magic earpiece, which you can buy at the ground, lets you into the decision-making on the pitch.

Both the referee and the captains’ response.

That the players eff and blind a bit so be it… we’re all grown-ups.

And I’ve got the kiltie on: With my Travel pal Michelle Jackson

That the crowd can hear the decision quickly and with clarity keeps us all informed.

And surely that is all we ask for.

Of course it can’t stop Scottish captains dropping the ball on the try line.

So here is my answer… let the spectator talk to the players on the pitch via a mouthpiece.

So where are we on a Travel blog with this? Edinburgh that is… where I now live again.

It’s the great thing about life and Travel…

Football can learn a lesson

Last week here I was at the Aviva this week I’m watching the Scotland v England game in Edinburgh.

Now I know the Scary One will get me back for that!

A girls’ weekend away

It struck me though, and my brother reminded me of it, that my adult life has spanned Britain and Ireland.

Get on your bike… for Rome

If only I’d progressed from being captain of the C team at school.

London goes round and round

See https://www.visitlondon.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4JqL2cHA5wIVF-DtCh1BsQ7HEAAYASAAEgLTtvD_BwE And read The London life and Carole King… you’re Beautiful.

Uncategorized

Flyday Friday – Philly charged

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I’ll always go where people play and pray.

And wherever you find sportsfans you’ll see prayers being sent heavenwards for the success of their sportsteams.

Philadelphia, a real blue-collar city is one of America’s great sports hubs.

And if you were around in the Seventies and Eighties in particular you would have seen the City of Brotherly Love’s teams win…

Chinatown. Philadelphia

At baseball: the Phillies,

Ice hockey: the Flyers,

American Football: the Eagles,

Basketball: the 76ers.

But then Philadelphia forgot what it was and who they were and in a Tower of Babel moment they incurred the Curse of Billy Penn…

The city’s founding father.

Read how they won back Billy’s favour in Philadelphia Freedom and www.visitphilly.com.

Philly is the only American city on National Geographic’s top 25 places to visit this year…

Grand Canyon

Along with Grand Canyon National Park which I’ll always flag up… The grandest canyon.

Now I don’t need a reason to praise Philly but Aer Lingus has flights there from €189 as part of a return trip.

As part of a raft of special deals, both American and European.

For travel April 1 to June 15. Visit www.aerlingus.com.

Money back

Got your interest, well let’s progress.

Your flight is late and you just have to suck it up (how I hate that phrase).

And you know that if you’ve got a connection to make and that’s not going to happen.

Your plane just gone?

Then you need to know your EU Regulation 261/2004… http://www.citizensinformation.ie.

And we have much to thank Sturgeon v Condor Flugdienst GmbH and Bock and Others v Air France SA last year.

Now I’m imagining it’s not the Sturgeon who wants Scotland to be independent and stay in the EU.But whoever you are we salute you.

Sweet Amsterdam

It would be wrong though to knock our airlines because they are corporate Leviathans.

They are manned by real people and as tempting as it is in the stress of the moment.

Air France-KLM http://www.airfranceklm.com sorted out an oversight on The Scary One’s Dublin-Amsterdam tickets.

Which meant that she hit the canals smiling… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/pictures-of-amsterdam/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/george-and-amal-hotel/.

Lufthansa http://www.lufthansa.com and Aegean Airlines https://en.aegeanair.com also got me on the next connecting flight from Munich to Athens.

Old relics… Athens

After things had gone Der pear-shaped…

Though this relic did see his old Greek relic in the end.

Ryanair www.ryanair.com are the passenger’s favourite whipping boy but they too will help you out.

I know first hand having had a booking moved.

Because I had again messed up on not looking carefully enough at the return flight from Tobago https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/13/flyday-friday-caribbean-island-hopping/

And http://www.visittobago.gov.tt to London.

Because it was going to return the next day. It’s easier than you think.

Anyhoos try out www.airhelp.com for a wee help out.

Paris match

Window to the world: Ryanair

We’ll be giving it plenty in 2020… Ryanair, I know you love a good sales pitch so you can have that one for free!

Because you do keep us interested with your seat sales the latest of which offers 10% off one way flights for travel January-May.

Paris which is from €21.99 is a city I’ve yet to crack properly.

Because of mes misadventures.

I recall being kicked awake while sleeping on Paris St Lazare railway station.

When I was a callow 17-year-old on my way down to the French Riviera with pals after my school exams.

I travel in slightly better style these days… http://www.atoutfrance.fr and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-boat-dazur/

And then on our family holiday a few years back I had the bell rung in my ear at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery http://www.parisinfo.com.

Cafe culture

As we were rushing back from Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde’s last resting place.

If I wanted ringing bells I’d have gone to the Notre Dame, merci bien, Monsieur.

Alas, of course, that wonderful church was ravaged by fire.

But mes amis in Paris tell me that they are working furiously to try to revive it to its former glory.

The Glasgow tongue

Our language is continually changing and that’s no bad thing.

But sometimes we forget that old words and definitions still hang around for an older Fifty Something generation.

My home city Glasgow www.peoplemakeglasgow.com is a case in point.

Just in from Glasgow Airport: ‘January Sale: save 20% on parking and the Lomond Lounge.

‘Book until January 8. Valid for arrivals until December 31.’

And then to reinforce the urgency… ‘It’s there and then it’s GONE. POOF.’

Visit www.hello@e.glasgowairport.com.

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES