Africa, America, Canada, Caribbean, Countries, Cruising, Europe, Ireland

Water waterfalls

Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to – TLC

Only I do go chasing waterfallsor rather they go chasing me.

And probably you too… after all they are a staple of your holiday day tours.

Angel’s from heaven: In Venezuela

But like rivers and lakes usually once you’ve seen one then you’ve seen them all.

Chasing rainbows: Niagara Falls

The must-sees are obviously Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls and Angel Falls.

The Big Three

The first of them I have ticked off in Canada on a trip to see family in Toronto.

The second on the list is with my friends from Ethiopian Airlines en route to Namibia.

Victoria tall. www.victoriafallstourism.com

While the third in Venezuela I’m inching closer to having acquainted myself with the Venezuelan Spanish ladies of Tobago.

Not all waterfalls have to have come down from the highest heavens.

Caribbean scream

Nor do they have to be at a neck-craning height to be blessed by the gods.

Water world

As I discovered in Kythera in Greek Attica.

Keeping dry in Kythera

Whether you’re gazing on nature’s wonders among the world’s great mountain ranges such as the Pyrenees

Rockie waterfall high

In the valley of the Rockies. cruising through the fjords.

Or with the sun on your back in the Caribbean waterfalls are one of the Gods’ gifts.

There are trolls up there in the fjords

Unless, of course, it’s Powerscourt’s waterfalls in my old back yard of Co. Wicklow in Ireland which you have to pay for.

Power of Powerscourt

Powerscourt, its gardens and splendid hotel and grounds and best-value restaurant is one of the country’s jewels.

Spray that again

All of which waterfall waffling brings me to the subject in hand, an invitation from one of the best Travel providers in the business.

Monty zoomer: Montmorency

American Holidays are flagging up their Canadian market and as well as Niagara Falls, the less well-known Montmorency Waterfalls.

The Montmorency Falls in Quebec are actually 30m higher than its much-vaunted Ontario neighbour.

You can decide for yourself which you prefer on your nine-day tour of Canada’s great Eastern Cities.

Toronto A

Where you’ll spend three nights each in Toronto, Montréal and Quebec.

You’ll fly from Dublin to Toronto and return from Montréal from €1539pp.

MEET YOU BY THE WATERFALLS

Adventure, Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Europe, Ireland

Out of my tree

And watching the Scary One plant her pear trees in the drizzle for National Tree Week has sparked memories of where I’ve been out of my tree around the world.

Let’s hear it for the beardies… on Barbados

Beardy trees

Caribbean: The trees certainly caught the Portuguese mariners” eye when they landed in Barbados..

Not the golden beaches, interestingly (well they have their own) but their bearded Ficus citrifolia.

While we all visit the West Indies for its beaches we miss a lot if we ignore its heartland so you should go safari.

Where Dwayne will tear up the woodland in his Jeep and the bowed bearded trees will flick your face.

Eat one of those famous Tobagonian meals of fish which has just jumped out of the sea and macaroni in Jemma’s Treehouse.

And sleep it off in your own treehouse in Castara Retreats in a hammock naturally.

Tree si

Bergamo is a poplar destination

Italy: And my favourite is this much-loved straight up and down tree… it’s very poplar.

My good friend and an Irish Travel Writer of the Year into the bargain, Muriel Bolger, wrote beautifully for me on their appeal, on a trip I sent her on to Northern Italy.

Which I checked out for myself in Bergamo this past Autumn.

I had, of course, familiarised myself with them when I went off-road on my Via Francigena pilgrimage.

Me and the chasing dogs.

Espana fir favor

Does this house look big on me?

Spain: And while the summer is when we all descend on Spain’s beaches here’s my ode to Autumn in Espana.

When nature is in a state of undress, and when she is at her most becoming.

The best way to discover a region is by foot and on my Camino in Galicia I trudged the same tracks the Medieval Peregrinos did.

I dare say that the tree growing out of this house was there then too.

The explorer to Tenerife, rather than the sun seeker, will head north, rather than south.

And the rainforest in the Northern Anaga Mountains. All of which you cam enjoy on your CanariaWays.com trip.

The Power of trees

Crane your neck: The Douglas Fir at Powerscourt

Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, Ireland: And when you live in the Garden County of Wicklow then trees are all around you.

The tallest one in Ireland is on the magnificent Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, near Bray, some 60m plus which is it the seventh highest in Europe.

And when you stay in the sumptuous hotel you get a view, and a review, like no other.

And shiver me timbers

Who put that there? On Edge

Celebrity Edge: And trees are the last thing you’d expect on a cruise ship.

But this is just one of the things which separates the $1bn Celebrity Cruises Edge from the other ships on the seas..

Edge which I boarded two years ago for its inaugural trip from Fort Lauderdale to tbe Bahamas boasts Eden, a forested wonder et land of plants.

But then every on Edge transports you to a different world.

MEET YOU UP A TREE

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Holiday Snaps – Stay home

We’ve got skin in this game with Daddy’s Little Girl waiting for the OK to go back to her work at the hotel.

It doesn’t help that we pass by the very same hotel on our daily walk.

It is expected that Scottish hotels will reopen in line with national guidelines on July 15.

What a vista!

And when they do it will be time to reacquaint ourselves with our favourites and treat ourselves with some new ones.

Such as the Dunalastair Hotel in Perthshire https://www.dunalastairhotel.com, a lovely sweeping valley of a county.

Booted and suited

And one I usually passed through instead of stopping when I would drive from Aberdeen to Glasgow reporting on football matches.

Lounging around

Except for a boys’ weekend in Dunkeld, writing poetry for our Edinburgh Fringe Show. Now what rhymes with Glenturret?

New offers include Luxury for Less (from €99 per night), to the indulgent Highland Retreat (£499 for two nights). Rooms at Dunalastair Hotel Suites are from £129 per night.

Courtyard

Also see Visit Scotland www.visitscotlsnd.com.

Coming out of quackdown

We’ve been missing them so much during quackdown.

But every duckie’s favourite getaway in Europe, Hastings Hotels in Northern Ireland, have reopened their doors.

You’ll know what Hastings are all about by now Belfast Chilled and their signature look of a rubber duck in your bathroom.

They’ve had Rory Quackilroy, Duck of Thrones… you get the idea.

So they were rightly interested when this little fella came on the market.

Just a thought you could market your own new duckie, Julie…. Quacks Armstrong! See https://hotrading.shop/products/helmet-duck-bicycle-horn-light and https://www.hastingshotels.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8pP5iqeQ6gIVk4eyCh3oRAlPEAAYASAAEgIydPD_BwE.

And also see www.discovernorthernireland.com

And meanwhile in the south

Lobbying for The Conrad

All our favourite hotels in Ireland are reopening.

We have already flagged up our favourite in our old stomping ground of Co. Wicklow, Powerscourt https://powerscourt.com and Flowerscourt.

And I now want to promote the splendours of Conrad Dublin, a hotel I’ve enjoyed on a function level but yet to laid down by head there.

Apart, of course, from when my head would hit the table through too much vino.

Among the goodies on offer in what they are packaging as Dream Away are the Picnic Package, the Literary Tour and Dublin City by Horsedrawn Carriage.

And seeing you’ve been locked away at home for months then why not treat the whole family to a night in the Conrad Family Room.

The interconnecting family room is €350 for the night for two adults and two children. See www.conraddublin.com.

To the lighthouse

Ciara O’Leary is all smiles at the lighthouse

So fine was the morning except for a streak of wind here and there that the sea and sky looked all one fabric, as if sails were struck high up in the sky, or the clouds had dropped down into the sky – Virginia Woolf

Lighthouses can be by contrast snug or solaces from people.

And Hook Lighthouse in Co. Wexford in the Republic of Ireland on June 29 is reopening its doors with the latter in mind.

Hook Lighthouse, the Lightkeepers Cafe and the outdoor dining option, the Seahorse, will all open seven days per week.

With last access to the grounds at 4pm and dining closes at 5pm.

Pre-book a free pass online at www.hookheritage.ie or take a guided tour by phoning (051) 397 055.

Also see www.failteireland.com and www.discovernorthernireland.com.

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Prehistoric Powerscourt

An oul’ dinosaur in Powerscourt… no, not me, but terra dactyls and Tyrannosaurus Rexes.

I’m in Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry in my own adopted county of Wicklow where it has been hosting our prehistoric predecessors.

The movie men and women have been here to shoot a secret Jurassic World short film.

Hollywood director Colin Trevorrow told Collider that Powerscourt’s grove of redwood trees look exactly like those in Northern California.

Take cover: Andre Holland and Natalie Martinez. Picture: Universal

Powerscourt has long been a favourite for movie-makers since Laurence Olivier turfed up here to film Henry IV there in 1944.

And now it can boast a Jurassic World eight-minute short film, the first Jurassic movie to have been shot in Ireland.

Battle at Big Rock has been shot by the director and co-writer of Jurassic World and its sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Do you know the way to the swimming pool? Picture: Christian De Grandmaison

And so… a teaser

Now this is how the plot goes…

A family takes the oul’ caravan out for a camping trip.

Camping, of course, can have its drawbacks…

Like the weather or someone forgets the groceries, or there’s no wi-fi, and maybe a large herbivore trundles past.

So who’s in it?

Only Selma and Moonlight actor Andre Holland and End of Watch’s Natalie Martinez.

Tree’s company. Picture: Powerscourt Estate.

My old friend Sarah Slazenger has had many unexpected requests at Powerscourt in her time.

But she is always equal to any of them, even including this old dinosaur.

Battle at Big Rock is available to watch online through YouTube.

And it has already garnered 3.8million views worldwide.

You want to know more about Powerscourt.

Well, this is how I got on when I went there with The Scary One… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/flowerscourt/

Powerscourt is a particular favourite of ours and they have now opened up a new distillery on the grounds… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/13/whiskey-a-go-go-2/.

This is https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/15/more-whiskey-a-go-go/.

What a waterfall: Powerscourt Waterfall

You should also visit http://www.powerscourt.com. And http://www.powerscourthotel.com.

And that picture above:

Well, that’s me at Universal Studios Hollywood where they have the best Jurassic World theme area…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/22/my-weekend-with-marilyn/.

Here’s some more fun, fun, fun in California… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/03/stair-wars-3/ From http://www.universarlstudioshollywood.com

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More whiskey a go-go

It was 12noon, the mother-in-law had been here for a full day and a half so nobody could blame me for hitting the whiskey.

Thankfully I’ve got a brand new distillery down the road in one of my favourite spots here in Co. Wicklow, Powercourt Estate.

I’d heard all about what they were planning when I stayed over a year last Spring and am delighted to say that it is a fantastic addition to the hotel, the gardens, the centre… heck, everything,

There’s a tour for €20 which will let you in on the whole distilling process and I dare say that there will be whiskey at the end of it.

There’s also a fantastic and well-priced cafe too and a shop where you can buy the water of life and various whiskey-related products.

And the uisce bertha… well, I tried the Fercullen 14-year-old single malt (€92.95) which Niall told me was smoky. I’d say its not as peaty as Connemara or my own favourites the Islay whiskies and had a slight sweetness but it was certainly what the medical man ordered.

Before I developed my palate and got a few bob in my pocket I was wont to drink a Scotch blend Bell’s which was in every supermarket and off that you’d go into.

So I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to pull an imaginary rope on a very real 18th century outside the old Mill which is now the distillery.

Visit http://www.powerscourtdistillery.,com. And Powerscourt House & Gardens http://www.powerscourt.com. And Powerscourt Hotel. http://www.powerscourthotel.com.

And get out to the rest of the county. http://www.visitwicklow.ie.

And now that I’ve warmed myself up I’m digging out my review from Powerscourt from last year. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/flowerscourt/(opens in a new tab) And the gardens https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/how-the-seasons-pass/.

Now this might be a case of drinking down to the top of the label.

TOAST YOU ON THE ROAD