Africa, America, Asia, Countries, Europe, UK

Fiveday Friday – take those drinks outside

Just on a whim, and because this is how we’ll be drinking in the future, here is a new feature Fiveday Friday.

Five of the best travel experiences from around my world of travels (and some of them won’t involve drink).

I’m spurred here by a radio shout-out for the sprawling 500-year-old The Lindsey Rose.

The Rose lies near Ipswich, Suffolk in England’s East Anglia http://www.thelindseyrose.co.uk and https://www.visiteastofengland.com.

Southwold in Suffolk, which is about 118 miles east and a two-and-a-half hour drive from London, was recommended to me by my old boss.

And with its dainty beach huts and English Country Garden pubs it was very much like ‘somewhere different but the same’ for this Scottish family within your own country.

Which is what we’ll all be reengaging ourselves with more and more now.

That’s not to say we won’t be reflecting on those awesome outdoor drinks dats we’ve enjoyed around the world.

Beer o’clock in South Africa

The Brewery and Two Goats Deli, Nieu-Bethesda, South Africa: And this beer garden deep in the heart of Afrikans country even has a wooden hammock.

Where you can sleep off your wooden smorgasbord sample of beers and stouts.

There’s nothing wooden though about this little haven in Nieu-Bethesda. Visit https://www.southafrica.net/uk/en/ and What’s new pussycat?.

On the Bosphorus

TTG Travel/Turkey Travel Group: And if the back garden can be a stretch of water which splits two continents….

Pleasure cruises are perfect for small groups and you can work off that Turkish spread with a boogie on board.

While looking out on two continents on the Bosphorus.

See https://www.turkeytravelgroup.com, https://visit.istanbul, www.turkishIrlines.com and Wham bam, thank you Hamam.

Swiss for Prosecco

Interlacken, Switzerland: Well, you do build up a thirst whizzing through a wood and the main road on your tutti bike.

It’s an electric scooter hybrid, you understand.

And you’ll find a bar in the valley where your Prosecco Spritzer has never tasted so good.

See www.myswitzerland.com and Swhisskey on the rocks.

Der Plague and Der Great Outdoors

Oberammergau, Germany: And not a bad place to drop in on as the good burghers of this Bavarian town know all about pandemics.

They made a pact with God back in the Middle Ages where they would put on a Passion Play if He rid them of the plague.

And you’ll want to sit outside anyway to take in the murals that tell the story of Oberammergau.

See https://www.passionsspiele-oberammergau.de/en/home and https://www.topflight.ie and www.topflightforschools.ie.

Jocky Mountain High

Salt & Lime, Steamboat Springs, Colorado: Now Coloradans are ideally placed for this COVID crisis because they’re outdoors people.

They freestyle up the Rockies, white water raft on the French Powder River and then sit down in the open air on their ranches.

And rooftop restaurants such as this one, Salt & Lime Morning www.suckandlime.com in Steamboat Springs www.colorado.com.

Countries, Culture, Europe, Pilgrimage, UK

Give us this Day – church is back in Germany

And again the Germans are leading the way.

With Chancellor Angela Merkel giving the green light for churches to reopen.

Worshippers will have to wear masks, respect social distancing, and there will be no singing.

Which will, alas, be taking the best bit out of the service.

Signs of peace are out and you will have to keep to your own marked territory at communion.

Pray de Cologne

Closer to God: Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral will be their guide with only 122 people allowed in for its reopening ceremony as opposed to the 20,000 who visit every day.

Now I’ve spent a bit of time in German churches.

Not as much as I’d like… wherever I travel I love to go where the locals play and pray.

Churchtown: Oberammergau

This year I was meaning to go to Oberammergau for the ten-year resumption of the Passionsspiele https://www.passionsspiele-oberammergau.de/en/home.

Passion of Bavaria

But the reenactment of the Passion of Christ which the villagers first put on in 1634 as a thank you to God for ridding them of the plague has been moved back to 2022.

Thankfully I did get to join the Bavarians at play as part of our walking holiday with www.topflightforschools.ie and www.topflight.ie.

When they had the drapes out for the 2020 Oberammergau which was due to start on May 16.

Everyone has a cross to bear

But they were that day celebrating a landmark anniversary of their fire service.

By dressing up in traditional lederhosen and parading through the streets.

With their buildings adorned with murals depicting their plague history.

Simple Christianity

Their churches by contrast are fairly simple affairs with small wooden crosses, a lectern and an inviting Bible on a seat when you enter.

Light a candle: Oberammergau

Which I did, taking a detour from the people milling through the streets and villagers to find a place of worship with its doors open.

Remember that!

Plague reminders

Now while it seems like 40 days and 40 nights since we last did Mass…

It’s as nothing compared with the resilient and God-fearing Dresdeners.

Dresden, a city rebuilt

Who saw their Frauenkirche levelled by the Allies’ firestorm in 1945.

And left in rubble all through Communist rule until the Saxons started rebuilding it when they got their province back.

Which you can read about in Dresden’s renaissance and https://www.dresden.de/index_en.php.

A day out in Oberammergau: Remembering the firemen

It’s an inspirational story, one of endurance, patience and redemption.

Here in Scotland it’s our Catholic Church rather than the reforming church which is first out of the blocks on lockdown xx (yes, the great resistors).

And of course in the absence of live sport never since the Holy Spirit dropped in on the Apostles will transubstantiation feel so exciting.

When the church doors reopen.

MEET YOU IN THE PEWS

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The faces of 2019 – Adventure

I’d like to say it’s been a walk in the park, and it was, but it’s also been a walk up mountains and through rain forests.

And desperate dashes through airports to catch (and miss) airplanes!

But someone’s been smiling on me.Because I didn’t miss one trip and got to race with goats in Tobago, ‘Bandanaman’, whom I got to christen.

He’s a winner too.

And some even giddier goats: take a bow ‘Auntie’ Ali, ‘Uncle’ Kenneth, Marsha, Phil, ‘Porridge‘, Ean and Ian and ‘Santa’ Brendan.

And here’s our moment of glory.., Ready, steady, goat… in Tobago and www.visttobago.gov.tt.

It’s been all go and the shoe leather has taken a beating.

In Europe’s most popular national park Teide in Tenerife.

And the hills up to Afur in the midday beating sun which our guide Maria took in her stride.

And even had some ooomph left at the end to give us a pilates demonstration at the top of the mountain.

With CanariaWays.com in Tenerife… http://www.visitingtenerife.com.

And through the Alps from Ehrwald in Austria http://www.tyrol.tlinto Germany with mountain man Reini… where naturally I had a run-in… Water rip-off – a German pit stop

But, of course, I’ll be back in Bavaria https://www.bavaria.by.

It is a region I have loved since first going to the Oktoberfest 34 years ago.

The coming of the Lord

And where the Messiah himself graces them with his presence next year…  Oberammergau and https://www.passionsspiele-oberammergau.de/en/home

And I’d recommend you go on your trekking holiday with https://topflightforschools.ie.

We were, of course, always back in time for the entertainment.

It’s now or never

The lederhosen-clad Septuagenarian singer Christened Ehrwald Presley.

On account of his oompah, waltzing and keyboard renditions of The King.

Not all walks worked out alas and I missed out on the trek up the Hollywood Hills.

Because of a 24-hour sickness bug.

But I made up for it in style all across LA, West Hollywood and Anaheim www.visitcalifornia.com, www.attractiontickets.com.

As part of the American Travel Fair www.ipw.com and My weekend with Marilyn and Stair Wars

Just gone swimmingly

With all that walking I definitely earned myself my dips.

Not a natural swimmer I was glad of the chance to cut corners and the Dead Sea and the Nylon Pool gave me that.

Where I laid back, read a book and dreamt of Jordan http://www.visitjordan.com.

And stood in the sand back in the crystal waters of the Caribbean deep in the sea in Tobago It’s Robinson Crusoe’s very own Tobago limin’ with other revellers.

I’ve tried to conquer some water sports demons.

And went searching for submarines and tanks in the depths of the Dead Sea… Petra and the sands of time

And found out why snorkelling isn’t me… my moustache blocks the airways!

Which is why I dispensed with the snorkel and just used the goggles to see me some rainbow fish in Tobago.

Everybody’s gone surfing

It wasn’t all just corner-cutting. I did learn to paddle board on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas off Barcelona…. https://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/ and Surfing the seas in Barcelona

And http://www.royalcaribbean.com

While our Sligo pro surfer Gearoid taught me how to stay up on the surf in RC’s simulator FlowRider.

Well for three seconds at least.

Fun, fun, fun

I’d been practising with the Beach Boys you see in Surf City, Huntingdon Beach.

Enjoy your adventures in 2020. And…

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

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Moanday Morning – Bank Holidays

Yes, I grant you that it’s odd to rail against holidays in a Travel blog, but there you are, we lead rather than follow.

Bank holidays aren’t worth getting out of bed for which is why I’m not.

Besides, nothing is open. And why do bankers need extra days off anyway?

Do they not get enough already and did they not take enough off us anyway?

You might say that we all get the bank holidays off.

Well, no. When I was a wage slave I had to work them and I got them back in lieu but never when I wanted them.

Let’s blow our own trumpets: National Days

I’m not against holidays (as if) and national days are a focal point for people to reflect on their shared identity.

I’ve had the good fortune to be in many a country when they’ve been celebrating their national day and it is is a joy.

Last month it was German Unity Day when I was in Garmisch in Bavaria.

And, of course, the Bavarians need little excuse to slip on the lederhosen.

Either there or in Oberammergau where they are getting ready for the renewal of the Passion Play http://www.passionsspiele-oberammergau.de/de/startseite next year.

Running up the flagpole: In Tenerife

Next month it’s St Andrew’s Day in Scotland and I know you’re all wanting to know why St Andrew is our patron saint.

Flying the flag

Well, we have to go back to 832 AD and a village in the east of the country which was still to be formed into Scotland.

King Angus of the Picts (basically the Highlanders) and a contingent of Scots (Lowlanders) was invading the Lothians.

They were run by the Northumbrians who were helped by Saxons, led by Athelstan.

Keeping up?

Angus, fearing he would be overrun said his prayers (you would, wouldn’t you) and it seems that St Andrew was the saint who was up.

Piping hot: At the Bagpipes Centre in Glasgow

A white diagonal cross, that being the shape St Andrew was crucified on, appeared against the blue sky.

Angus was suitably inspired to vanquish his enemy and repaid St Andrew by making him the patron saint of the soon forming Scotland.

There’s the quaintest St Andrew’s Flag centre in a doocot (where pigeons live) in Atheltstaneford which is 15km south-east of Edinburgh… http://www.scottishflagtrust.com. It is open from April to October.

Wrapping myself up in the flag

St Andrew’s Day is November 30.

I like to wrap myself up in the Saltire as much as the next Jock.

And next to the St Andrew’s flag there is probably nothing more Scottish than bagpipes.

Except they’re Persian but let’s gloss over that.

Here’s what happened when I went to the World Bagpipes Championships a few years ago… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/15/sportstraveltraveltravel/

Encore: At the French Embassy in Dublin

It is Europe’s oldest flag and has inspired even the Tinerfinos, the Tenerife natives, who have the very same flag as us.

You want to know why? Here’s a couple of explanations…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/02/tenerife-and-scotland-wave-the-same-flag/

There’s not much else that we share but we do love to visit… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/tenerife-walk/

And you know how the French love avoir le denier mot. Well, they did when they won the World Cup two years ago.

And I was there at the French Embassy in Dublin which is technically France, and it was Bastille Weekend. Bravo! http://www.france.fr/fr.

And as a French Travel Writer of the Year winner you know Je t’aims La France…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-boat-dazur/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-lourdes-prayer-pyrenees/