Countries, Europe, Sport

My Sporting Weekend – Trouble Dutch

The news that Ajax have been denied a title because their league has become null and void shines a light on the Netherlands.

Is the future Oranje then for other leagues in Europe?

And will the same fate befall Celtic in Scotland, Liverpool in England, Juventus in Italy and Barcelona in Spain?

The Germans, where Bayern Munich lead the pack, are making tentative steps at getting their league back on.

Cleaning up with Ajax? No, not this time

But in the light of the decision by their neighbours, the Netherlands, we can only hope that the Germans see it through.

All of which news about Ajax will be welcomed heartily by their fiercest rivals Feyenoord of Rotterdam.

Watching football abroad is a way of getting under the skin of a country.

Which was what I wanted for my own star player when we went on our first holiday, to Amsterdam.

That man Robben: Dutch great Arjen Robben

And took her to the Netherlands v Greece international at the De Kuip Stadium.

With football, as with travel, getting there can be very much part of the experience.

And going by train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam with the orange-clad Dutch fans in their boiler suits and half-basketballs on their heads.

The train was bouncing and so was the stadium despite the hosts only scraping a 1-0 win.

I Amsterdammer: Herself

We had pea and ham soup and French Fries with mayonaisse. I sure know how to spoil a girl.

Of course I stepped it up when I ‘finally ‘made it’ and took Herself to Amsterdam with KLM www.klm.com Pictures of Amsterdam and www.iamsterdam.com.

Where we stayed at George and Amal’s favourite Amsterdam hotel, the Dylan George Clooney and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel and www.dylanamsterdam.com.

George and Amal were here too

Being the accidental tourist that I am I haven’t always got to the game.

Or when I did, in Munich I got a bloody nose for my trouble…. My Sporting Weekend – German football leads way.

Only here for de beer: Munich

I still owe the Son and Heir a Roma match after turning up at the Olympic Stadium without my passport (be warned).

I was back under different circumstances at the end of my Via Francigena pilgrimage Small roads lead to Rome.

And if you want to get around the Eternal City without breaking the bank, here’s the trick… Rome on €50 and https://www.rome.net.

MEET YOU AT THE GAME

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Give us this Day – The Wee Chapel

Living in area known for its orchards we were drawn to our house by its apple trees.

One of the other attractions was its outhouse which is a popular feature of houses in Ireland.

I duly named it the Wee Apple and turned into a bar.

I promptly set up a grotto too which I christened The Wee Chapel.

Me and Martin: At the Frauenkirche

All of which is my roundabout way of saying that prayer houses don’t have to be as grand as St Paul’s Basilica.

Any church you go into in Italy of course will beckon you in to pray.

This is what it’s all about… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/04/see-rome-on-e50/.

And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/small-roads-lead-to-rome/.

And it’s not just us Catholics that have the best churches, as we’d like to think. Here’s the Frauenkirche in Dresden… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/,

And the Muslims have their Blue Mosque in Istanbul https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/wham-bam-thank-you-hamam/.

Blue for you: The Blue Mosque in Istanbul

We really do find God in the smallest of things and the quietest of places, in nature and in us.

Catholic priests, who tried to say Mass during the days of Henry VIII and then again under Cromwell, would often find a hidden room in an estate.

While in Ireland it was a Mass rock.

For Muslims a makeshift prayer place can be set up anywhere.

Which way is Mecca? In Jordan

With a few stones placed in the right direction… towards Mecca.

As I found in Wabi Rum in Jordan this year https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/petra-jordan-jesus-and-the-sands-of-time/.

The Blue Cross

The reason why I’m talking about my Wee Chapel this week is because I have come back with more trinkets from my latest pilgrimage.

Of course I was falling over holy paraphernalia in Medjugorje https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/20/give-us-this-day-confessions-and-medjugorje/.

Now Our Lady and the Blue Cross will be taking up residence in my Wee Chapel.

Which means that when I’m out picking up the apples I will say a wee prayer as I pass.

Me picking up apples?

Now The Scary One really will consider that a miracle!

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Moanday Morning – Travel snobs

Standing on top of the ancient world, the Acropolis, I reflected that somewhere, somehow, someone will be turning up their nose.

A relative of mine walked the Via Delarosa and said they felt no passion.

While a former Travel colleague thought the Trevi Fountain a wet blanket and the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the decline.

An old relic… and the Acropolis. Visit https://athensattica.com

And Big Ben just a clock… it is, in fact, the bell not the clock, but we won’t quibble. See http://www.visitlondon.com.

I’ve yet to walk the Via Delarosa. I have an idea that it will be moving but have an open mind. https://info.goisrael.com/en/the-via-dolorosa.

I love the Trevi Fountain https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/04/see-rome-on-e50/. Also see http://www.romeinformation.it.

And Big Ben and London. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/23/carole-king-youre-beautiful/.

Now everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

And to share it.

Although in today’s world too many people are only too willing to thrust their own negative judgments on you.

Whether you want to hear them or not.

You need to have something to say and you feel you have more kudos if it involves giving someone or something a kicking.

Lean of me. Photo by hitesh choudhary on Pexels.com

It is a growing Travel snobbery that I feel has crept in from the world of food snobbery.

Travel snobbery gives you ownership of a destination or an out-of-the-way natural beauty spot.

You know the type… ‘oh, I went there before the tourists swarmed all over it.’

Clock this: And listen to the Big Ben bell. Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

And ‘shouldn’t tourists with selfie sticks be banned?’

Or ‘oh, I hate people who just want to tick destinations off their bucket list, they’re not proper Travellers.’

Now let’s deal with some of those complaints individually:

Not everyone’s cup of tea

The Louvre which houses the Mona Lisa. Photo by Timea Kadar on Pexels.com

I get it. If you don’t feel it, you don’t feel it and it doesn’t mean you don’t have a soul.

But is it just attention-grabbing to suggest the Trevi Fountain is well meh?

Really, you won’t be diminished if you just say that you can understand how other people are enchanted by it.

But that you just don’t get that same feeling.

Some philosophical thinking about New York? Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

I mean I was underwhelmed when I first set eyes on the Mona Lisa.

I’ve been thinking, when I’ve been drinking, is it because there is so much pressure to be impressed?

You can go one of two ways.

Either be bowled over by it because subconsciously you feel you should.

Or rally against it because you don’t want anyone to tell you what to think.

Are we really taking control of our own thought processes?

OMG… I’m turning into Carrie Bradshaw.

Those selfish selfies

Peak enjoyment: Get me up the Jungfraujoch

A favourite post-holiday grumble is that you can’t get anywhere near the site because of selfie-stick holders.

And let’s call it like it is, or point the finger at the naysayers to call it as they see it…

They’re usually Asians.

Now one of the stranger things I’ve seen on my travels is a group of Chinese visitors at the Tiso shop on top of the Jungfraujoch railway https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/swhisskey/

I was told by my Swiss guests that they were buying their watches and taking selfie pics there so that they could show them off to their friends and family back home.

Closer to the sun: And the Tiso watches in Jungfraujoch

Which was worth shelling out the extra cash.

Now I’ve been lucky enough to be given a number of selfie sticks on my travels.

But they’re all sitting broken in a drawer now, more plastic!

Nor do I really know how to use them. I’ve backtracked and stopped using them.

And there’s a great by-product you get to talk to real live people when you ask them to take your pic.

Buck it list?

Closer to God: The Vatican. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We all of us have limited time on this planet.

And we all want to see the world’s great landmarks.

At the same time.

In the same place… the Sistine Chapel.

Yes, people shouldn’t take photos with flash. But what to do… confiscate phones?

It’s all a bit of fun until someone gets blocked. Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

It does detract from your enjoyment when the stewards whistle snd holler when yet another person flashes (the camera on their mobile).

It’s overtourism, and while it’s unrealistic that we can cut the numbers visiting the chapel, and I wouldn’t want to…

We can let in fewer people at any given time, reduce the time you’re there and create more slots.

Simples.

MEET YOU ON THE ACROPOLIS