Asia, Countries, Deals, Europe

Flyday Friday – Yoga and New Delhi

No, seriously, this temple of a body isn’t made for yoga.

Which is why I sent another to India in my place, a yoga nut who then sent me nuts when she got her visa application mixed up.

Beret nice thank you: Etihad service

And got narky with the Travel providers… a red line in my book.

And this is why, boo-hoo, I didn’t get to India back then and why I am still waiting…

Waiting too for the bottle of booze from the aforementioned writer who had left me with all her crap to deal with.

That’s the way to do it. Photo by Abhishek Saini on Pexels.com

And guess what? I have air miles which I won when Etihad kindly showed me around their business class at Dublin Airport last year.

Visit http://www.etihad.com. And you judge for yourself whether you think my yoga has come on since.

From my Portugal http://www.visitportugal.com and Tobago http://www.visittobago.gov.tt adventures.Visit https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/12/sportugal/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/05/robinson-crusoes-tobago/

Look at that Lotus, I’m so relaxed I’m almost sleeping

Something happened on the way to the Forum

The heavens opened on the way to the Forum… and just as in Classical Rome, I had to shelter in a bus shelter.

Of course where I most wanted to be was the Pantheon with its open Dome.

Which I informed the couple I was huddled in with… ‘sure there’s only one place you’d want to be in Rome when it’s raining, ‘ says I.

Saye he in his rich Northern Irish brogue: ‘Aye, the pub.’

Throwing my money away: Well I did spend less than €50

Rome is an eternal joy, particularly at Aer Lingus prices… http://www.aerlingus.com.

Among its January Sales deals it has Rome down from €66.99 to €39.99.

And here’s how you can save on your walk to the Forum, Colisseum or Spanish Steps…

And retrace the footsteps of the ancients… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/04/see-rome-on-e50/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/small-roads-lead-to-rome/

Ibiza beezer

Party island. Ibiza. Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Pexels.com

I don’t know what it was about Spain that turned my Dickensian strict Dad into…

A screaming liberal.

Maybe it was the sun, but Ibiza meant half a glass of wine for this seven-year-old at dinner.

And I remember vividly the waiter who served it to me, Pepe.

Of course it gave me a taste for the grape that has never left me, particularly when it’s sparkling.

And you’ll certainly have more money in your wallet or purse to splash out in Ibiza.

After saving on your Ryanair flights which are from €28.99 with the low-fare airline’s latest seat sale which ends Midnight Sunday.

They’ve also thrown in Malta at the same price https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/malta-easer/ where there was much Champagne flowing after I made Miss F the happiest woman in the world…

I went back years later to see if I could cash in on the unfinished bottle.

Check out all the deals at http://www.ryanair.com

MEET YOU IN THE AIR

Countries, Culture, Europe, Food, Food & Wine

Carole King… you’re Beautiful

There are some mornings I wake up without a smile on my face to show the world all the love in my heart.

Today though is not one of them.

Today, I have the widest smile on my face.

Because today I am going to see Beautiful The Carole King Musical.

She’s Beautiful (as is my wife).

Carole King and her seminal 1971 solo album Tapestry has been something of a soundtrack to my adult life.

Since I first heard it in a record store as an 18-year-old and asked them to play it again…

You’ve got a friend

Before buying it there and then before going on to wear out the needle.

Will You Love Me Tomorrow? summed up my feeble attempts at wooing… of course, they didn’t even love me that night,

Then it was You’ve Got a Friend when She came along,

So Far Away was when she was pregnant with the Son and Heir in Aberdeen.

And trying to sell the house and me starting a new job in Liverpool.

Trying to shut her up? No, she’s just selfie-conscious

And since then Home Again as we have taken an Oydyssean journey around these islands.

It is the beauty of this timeless album that I won’t be the only one for whom it tells a personal story.

Of course, it’s Carole King’s story that Beautiful tells.

It is a story that begins with her selling her first song while still at school.

Through the ups and downs of her marriage to songwriting partner Gerry Goffin.

To her grand redemptive performance at Carnegie Hall in her native New York.

Hands on decks: Some ambient music at the Radisson Blu

Along the way we thrill to the Sound of the Sixties which she and Goffin and their friends Cynthia Wiel and Barry Mann shaped.

With such classics as On The Roof, Locamotion, One Fine Day, Pleasant Valley Sunday and You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, On Broadway and a bunch of others.

At the end of a fast-paced joyful paean to Carole who has inspired generations of singer-songwriters and still performs to this day, she had performed Tapestry in full with her daughter Louise.

I feel the earth move

Up the road at Hyde Park in the summer, I’m up dancing and clapping wildly to I Feel The Earth Move.

While I’m here at the Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End to pay homage to Carole King there’s time enough for some other kings.

And some queens and princes too at the Tower of London.

Pasta master: Fill yourself up

William the Conqueror built it nearly 1,000 years ago to fortify the capital of his new kingdom, King Henry VIII had two wives beheaded here.

Near to where I’m standing by the Bloody Tower where King Richard III had his two nephews suffocated in their sleep,

Another queen, Lady Jane Grey, was also executed here…

She spent only five days as monarc.

Before she had to make way fro Queen Mary, or Bloody Mary if you will who then made way for Queen Elizabeth.

Beefeater anyone?

It’s another Queen Elizabeth we’re chiefly here to see, the current queen, Britain’s longest serving monarch at 64 years and counting.

Or more accurately we’re here to see her bling, the Crown Jewels.

Talking of counting, try counting the number of gems in her crown.

On your walk around or the number of salt bowls or how many drinks you could get out of that punch bowl.

All of which can make you quite thirsty.

Fat as a king

I feast like a king at my palace for the weekend, the Radisson Blu Edwardian in Mercer Street, Seven Dials, near Covent Garden.

Our breakfasts are king-sized.

Instead of choosing buffet or continental they do both while evening meal is a Peruvian/Italian tapas fusion.

It works and the DJ with his decks and his ambient music add to the vibe.

A watery grave: Olde London

Fat as a king, I need to work off the half a dozen meat, fish and pasta tasting dishes and rich Peruvian chocolate dessert which means a stroll around the city of Westminster.

It is a ten-minute walk from Seven Dials across Waterloo Bridge and along the South Bank.

I try to ignore the garish and overpriced Dungeon and Shrek tourist traps and opt instead two read William Wordsworth’s thoughts inscribed on the walkway.

What a Wordsworth!

The great Romantic poet loved London and waxed lyrical about the Thames gentled gliding by.

I despair then at what today’s town planners are doing to this great old city.

With their London Eyesore and Gherkin (and who builds something in the shape of the bit of the burger nobody wants?)

The West End: And that boy Potter

I avert my eyes and, of course, am drawn instead to the Mother of all Parliaments. I cross Westminster Bridge and think on Wordsworth’s Upon Westminster Bridge.

And I consider knocking on Downing Street to give Theresa May a piece of my mind.

But Big Ben’s chimes tell me it’s too late, baby, it’s too late. I have an urgent appointment with another wordsmith.

HOW TO GET THERE

Fly to Gatwick airport with Ryanair… http://www.ryanair.com

WHO TO GO WITH

We had two nights on a SuperBreak https://www.wowcher.co.uk/travel/hotels/uk-hotels/ package in 2016 and took in the Beautiful: The Carole King Story at the Aldwych Theatre in the West End of London.

Don’t despair though there are one or two other offerings still running!!!

Visit https://www.nederlander.co.uk/aldwych-theatre

Save, save, save

Save 30% on theatre tickets with a hotel and ticket package from SuperBreak. http://www.superbreak.com. Also visit www.radissonblu-edwardian.com/MercerStreet‎.

This article was first published in the Irish Daily Mail in November 2016.

And don’t you know I only got to see the next best thing to Carole, Jessie Mueller who sang three songs from the musical only centimetres from the American Travel Fair in Washington DC… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/obama-washington-dc/

You’re beautiful too Jessie
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

Canada, Countries

Flyday Friday – Canada, eh?

We’ve been here before, flagging up Toronto and Canada and celebrating their favourite catchphrase. Eh!

I can’t say my brother returned from living for eight years in Toronto saying ‘Eh’ at the end of his sentences.

But he did talk about going for ‘errands’ and the ‘sidewalk’.

The great raconteur Peter Ustinov referred to Toronto https://www.seetorontonow.com and https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada.html as ‘New York run by the Swiss’.

And, yes, Toronto doesn’t have the raw edge of NY, or graffiti, but it works for them and is still cool.

It’s a great sports city too.

And it has made its mark with two relatively new franchises in baseball and basketball.

We went to the ball park to watch the Blue Jays during the summer I worked in Boston in the Eighties.

And you could see that the Torontonians were taking to their new team.

Who went on to win back-to-back World Series, beating the best from across the border which went down quite well.

Star of the team was Dominican (he hailed from the Dominican Republic rather than being a monk) George Bell.

With the fans ringing a bell every time he stepped up to bat.

While this year the Raptors shocked everyone, and perhaps even themselves.

By beating the stellar Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry et al, to lift the NBA Championships.

All of the hoo-ha that greeted each victory Downtown Toronto I’m reliably informed is but a whisper.

Compared with how the ice-hockey daft Torontonians are when the Maple Leafs are on a run.

I’m just saying but I have game.

All of which is my usual tangental way of flagging up a Flyday Friday deal.

This time courtesy of Air Transat http://www.airtransat.com which has a St Stephen’s Day sale on.

With a round-trip from Dublin from €318 (April 14-20).

Montreal, Toronto’s great rival, with its Canadiens hockey team, is from €329 (April 14-20). Tres bien! Visit https://www.mtl.org/en and https://www.tourismvancouver.com

And Vancouver, who boast the Canucks, from €363 (April 28-May 17).

Book by December 31. No flights available from this month to March .

Three million New Year cheers

I’m up early for every deal (on your behalf).

And so are Aer Lingus who have a January sale just released at a minute past midnight earlier today.

Ireland’s national airline carrier has three million seats on sale.

With up to 30% off European travel and North America from €189 each way.

Valid for travel from March 1 to June 15.

While flights to North America are from just €189 each way, Travel valid between April 1 and June 15.

You know this is the blog to come to for America… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/ https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/obama-washington-dc/ https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/philadelphia-freedom/

While also try https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/22/my-weekend-with-marilyn/ https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/disney-why-i-love-the-donald/

And all points in between.

Book by midnight, January 21. Visit http://www.aerlingus.com and http://www.visitusa.ie.

Januairy sales with Ryanair

Where Aer Lingus goes Ryanair follows although of course, they prefer to be out in front.

And the no-frills low-fares airline has up to 30% off too on return flights.

With 1 million seats to fit for travel between April and August.

Nice is from €24.99, Ibiza €28.99, Alicante €28.99, Faro €28.99, Malta €34.99 and Thessaloniki from €34.99.

Now let’s have a look at a couple of those from my visits there…

The French Riviera https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-boat-dazur/, Faro and the Algarve https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/12/sportugal/ and Greece https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/21/acropolis-later/.

And, yes, I know that that last post is on Athens but it’s just a teaser.

And on that trip to Athens, Kythera and the Attica region my colleague Dutch Bas flagged up what he thought was Greece’s best city, Thessaloniniki.

He obviously knows his stuff… it’s just I like to check these things out for myself.

Lauda and louder

I didn’t always turn the telly over when the Grand Prix came on… in the days of Nikki Lauda and James Hunt I did follow them around the chicanes (whatever the heck that is).

While, of course, the film Rush with Chris Hemsworth, also reminded us of the fantastic story of their rivalry and ultimate friendship.

I’m reliably informed by my female friends that Chris Hemsworth in a film greatly increases the enjoyment levels.

Nikki Lauda, who we lost this year remained a huge figure in Formula 1, broke into airplanes (and by that I mean launched his own livery rather than cracked the lock).

Ryanair’s fully owned Austria subsidiary Laudamotion is to increase frequency on its Vienna to Dublin route from daily to eleven times weekly from March 29-October 25.

And here’s a reminder of what Austria http://www.austria.info has to offer both in winter and in the spring, summer, autumn…

That’ll be https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/soll-mates/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/01/austrian-toilet-humour/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/03/__trashed/.

And seeing we’ve just put one election to bed in the UK and are preparing for an Irish election over here while the Americans also have it all to do next year too..,

How about? https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/11/25/moanday-morning-electioneering/

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

Uncategorized

I’ll vouch for a last-minute gift

It’s the night before Christmas so there’s still plenty of time to buy your present.

In fact no self-respecting bloke will even think about his gift until now.

It was important that I keep my gift for the Scary One fresh.

The bacon, sausages and eggs and tray of puddings.

Frying tonight

You see I couldn’t very well give her just the non-stick frying pan.

Which in my defence she had told me earlier in the year that she wanted.

Though not necessarily for her Christmas.

And the next year… I got her a spa voucher.

Oh, that’s the spot

Vouchers may seem prosaic but they really do the job.

Better somebody gets to buy what they want.

Than they have to gamble that it’s a surprisingly good gift.

Ryanair www.ryanair.com vouchers start at €25. And with flights from as low as €9.99 you’ll be quids in.

If like me you live in Leinster in the east of Ireland. Or if it’s one of your favourite places.

Flyin’ tonight

Then you’ll know all about the InterContinental http://www.intercontinentaldublin.ie  and from my stay there… The InterCon… what a Ledge!

The Dublin 4 institution is offering the chance of winning an overnight stay in an executive suite including Full Irish breakfast.

If you buy a voucher. From €25 up to €500.

Likewise Lusty Beg Island (now there’s a name) and Enniskillen Hotel. From €50-€500.

Visit www.reservations@lustybegisland.com and info@enniskillenhotel.com.

And if you’re sights are set on the US for next year, mine’s always are…

Then American Holidays www.americanholidays.com have vouchers for sale to make your American dream come true.

And if you’ve found you’ve missed the boat get your coloured pencils out and draw a voucher.

In lieu of the gift you’re giving. And it’s got your imprint on it.

Uncategorized

Flyday Friday extra – Laid-back in Portland

When the hippies had had enough of Haight Ashbury they moved up to Portland.

Which is what the cult American TV comedy series is all about which boasts the best of the Saturday Night Live crowd.

I know it’s my kind of place from their American Travel Fair parties www.ipw.com where we whacked back whiskey and ‘let her buck.’

And my Dad’s cousins are out there too.

Portland hoved into view with the announcement that British Airways www.ba.com will fly five times a week to beautiful Oregon from London Heathrow.

With return fares from €540 in World Traveller.

Visit www.travelportland.com and www.traveloregon.com. And it’s great for cruises… www.portlandspirit.com

Al have some of that

The Israelis are more used to waiting than the rest of us… in fact it’s the story of their people.

We in Ireland have been waiting too for a direct route out to Tel Aviv.

But it is now only a few months off with non-stop flights starting from May 26… http://www.elal.com.

The closest I got to Israel was 20ft across the Jordan and in the Red Sea in Jordan… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/petra-jordan-jesus-and-the-sands-of-time/. With G Adventures… http://www.gadventures.com.

Now to make that long-awaited next step.

Swede Christmas

It’s the time of year when you surf the channels trying to find something that hasn’t got Christmas lights on it.

Which is how I came across an Abba programme on Sky Arts.

Of course the Abba Museum is one of the most popular sites in Stockholm.

But it’s not the Swedish capital we’re flagging up here.

But hailing from a second city myself, Glasgow https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/15/sportstraveltraveltravel/ it’s second city Goteborg, or Gothenburg to you and me, that I’m flagging up here.

And Ryanair’s http://www.ryanair.com early Christmas presents…€9.99. While Frankfurt is the same price.

So let’s thrown in some Scandinavian and German memories here…

With https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-call-of-the-fjords/, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/29/ich-bin-ein-hamburger/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

Uncategorized

Flyday Friday – Caribbean island hopping

The best thing about giving advice, in this case aisle seats, is that you don’t have to follow it yourself.

And yes, I would have been better with a window seat so I could have looked out over Saint Lucia before we landed.

Jerry, the Big Rapper, who entertained us all in Wabi Rum in Jordan earlier this year, had promoted his island big time.

But here was I missing sight of the mountain that announces Saint Lucia to the world.

Saint Lucia is one of two alternative stop-offs on your Virgin Atlantic flight from London Gatwick to Tobago.

Tantalisingly, you wait on the plane for about an hour for a new crew to come aboard for the 20-minute trip to Tobago.

And never get off… still, can’t complain because Tobago is reward enough.

And yes, I’ve been entertaining you all with my adventures which put Robinson Crusoe’s to shame…

With It’s Robinson Crusoe’s very own Tobago, Ready, steady, goat… in Tobago and I should cocoa – Christmas in Tobago.

Virgin www.virginatlantic.com flies from London Gatwick from £496pp return. British Airways www.ba.com also flies from Gatwick, from £475pp.

The eleven hours will fly by with good food, wine and movies.

But I’m remembering why I prefer an aisle seat as my colleague Anthony was zonked out for most of the journey.

And I had to climb over him to get to the loo.

Thankfully he didn’t stir. Otherwise he’d have got a shock, waking up to me straddling him!

Ryanair’s Christmas gifts

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

I do wish airlines would stop putting on flights to the same city, London in this instance, on at the same time…

It was Athens with Lufthansa and Lufthansa and Aegean Airlines out of Munich during the summer… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/20/flyday-friday-averting-a-greek-disaster/.

And I was less lucky on that occasion, ending up missing my connection.

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Either they all change or I grow a brain.

I got myself in a pickle (again) between the Ryanair flights to London Gatwick and London Heathrow.

Cut me some slack… I hadn’t had any sleep, it being the early flight.

Still Ryanair did help me out of a booking mix-up when I was arranging tickets from Dublin for my Tobago trip.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Connections? I’ve got a loose one.

Better direct flights then. Ryanair www.ryanair.com has these Christmas crackers for travel in the New Year.

London from €9.99, Goteborg (which you and I know as Gothenburg) from €9.99, Cologne from €12.99, Luxembourg the same and Warsaw and Santander from €14.99..

Now, I’ve a Travel buddy who says he won’t go to the US while ‘that man’ is in charge.

By the same principle he won’t then be going to the UK. London is one of the world’s great cities and whoever inhabits No.10 Downing Street you won’t keep me away.

And here are some precious memories… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/23/carole-king-youre-beautiful/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/31/londons-punch-and-judy-show/

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

Uncategorized

Black Flyday Friday coming with Emirates

Just mentioning, and no pressure here, but tomorrow’s my birthday. Well, a lot of pressure then!

But if you need some guidance then Emirates has seven nights all-inclusive from €2,1499pp 5* You & Me Cocoon Maldives.

Among Emirates Holidays’ Black Friday range of deals.

Heron good things about the Maldives

The package has complimentary room upgrade from Manta Villa to Dolphin Villa.

You’ll save up to €875 on your stay.

Return Emirates Economy Class flights from Dublin.

Sarong remains the same

Valid for travel on 2-4 and 9-11 June. Based on two adults sharing a room. Book by December 4. Visit http://www.emiratesholidays.com

Yup, have sarong, will travel… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/12/atoll-tale-the-maldives/

Ryanair changing my world

Flyin’air: Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

It’s a national pastime, knocking Ryanair.

Save the world

But credit where credit is due and I’ve reason to thank the low-fares airline for getting me out of a jam this week.

When I again fell foul of the small print.

My gripe is that airlines don’t make out clearly on the forms that a flight is taking off on a particular day but returning the following day.

When you’re faced with booking online which we invariably are now just having a +1 next to the date will invariably catch you out.

Inevitably I got my return connection from London to Dublin wrong and panicked worrying that I would be out of pocket.

My benchmark: The boss

That though is when I steeled myself to fess up to The Scary One who internalised (a little) her anger and pointed me in the direction of the Ryanair Helpline.

Half-expecting that they would just palm me off I was delighted to find.

That they were agreeable to me switching my date to the next day.

Dig in: Michael O’Leary

Which just leaves me with fresh as yet unknown ways to screw it all up now.

I’m happy to repay the favour in the best way I can then.

Particularly as it involves being proactive about emissions.

Ryanair are pointing to their lowest CO2 per passenger/km in the EU airline industry.

How can you not help?

Which they’re happy to say is 23% lower than the average of Europe’s other big four airlines.

And they’ve not just been doing it by themselves. Those little envelopes we fill are working.

Ryanair have now offset a volume of 280,000 tonnes of CO2.

Thanks to the distribution of thousands of fuel-efficient cookstoves over a year.

They have also donated €250,000 to Renature Monchique as part of its Carbon Offset Initiative.

Portugal Cento

Which will pay for the planting of thousands of trees in the Monchique area of the Algarve.

And anything that helps Portugal as you know is good news as far as I’m concerned…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/secret-portugal-classy-centro/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/12/sportugal/.

Ryanair http://www.ryanair.com flies to Faro and to Lisbon from €16.99 and Porto from €21.99.

And just to say… there are a bunch of people who have put the oul’ embargo on us.

But when I can I’ll share.

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

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Flyday Friday – the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights of Aberdeen

Are home sweet home to me

The Northern lights of Aberdeen

Are where I long to be

I’ve been a wanderer all of my days

And many’s the sight I’ve seen

But hark the day I’ll be on my way

To my home in Aberdeen

Pick a colour, any colour. Photo by Tobias Bjørkli on Pexels.com

In nine years in the Granite City I saw bright lights (more nightclubs than libraries) but never the Northern Lights.

It wasn’t an Aberdonian at all who wrote the Northern Lights but Londoner Mary Webb who had never even been to Scotland’s third city.

She wrote the song with her husband Mel for a homesick friend Winnie, at the hospital where they worked.

While I’ve been a wanderer all of my days I did get to return to my home in Aberdeen A light in the north.

House about that?

But not to Iceland where the Heavenly Dancers have a shindig almost every weekend from the looks of it.

I’ve kept up close links with the Icelanders since I started this scribbling lark.

And sent many a scribe to the Land of Fire and Ice, and many then onto the Oo Es of A.

Our friends at Icelandair www.icelandair.com have given us the lowdown on all things aurora borealis.

The best time to see them is between October and March.

Green for go

But they have also been spotted as early as August and as late as April.

To save me more verbal diarrhoea let me just point you to these websites…

For the aurora forecast from the Veorstofa Islands, the Iceland Meteorological Office https://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/

Icelandair fly daily to Reykjavik. And it has 18 gateways to the US.

And looking at Icelandair’s list if what to bring I’ll have to leave a lot at home.

No, The Scary One’s coming with me… more baggage allowance, you see.

The bells, the bells

The wheel deal: Edinburgh

My first Hogmanay in Edinburgh I goosed a random lassie at the Mercat Cross at the Bells.

Which means at my first New Year in Edinburgh I kissed a random girl at the Market Cross when the clock turned midnight.

It was where people went then back in the early Eighties before it was turned into the big music party that it is now.

It’s still Hogmanay but it has lost a little bit of its identity, its old traditions of moving from house to house, flat to flat for a party.

And you would put yourself forward as the tall, dark man with the lump of coal and dram (short) of whisky which signifies health, wealth and happiness.

It has a castle too

Edinburgh is one-way from Ryanair from €14.99. I know it’s overdue but I will give you a city guide of the place I called home for ten years.

And here’s one I prepared earlier of the Dear Green Place, Edinburgh’s great rival, Glasgow, from €9.99 one way, where I spent the first 17… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/15/sportstraveltraveltravel.

And Hogmanay? Well, maybe it’s not as Scottish as we think.

Glasgow for the World Bagpipes Championships

And that Mary, Queen of Scots, who was brought up in France introduced it.

The drinking she left to the locals which after much practice they perfected.

And while we’re at it just off the blocks… Ryanair have a saving of up to 25% off selected flights.

If you book before midnight on Sunday.

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

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Fireworks

They hail from China, herald in the New Year, mark the burning of a Catholic traitor and are banned in southern Ireland.

And fireworks will be lit all over the UK tonight to commemorate the failure of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

That was when a group of disenchanted Catholic noblemen attempted to blow up Parliament and the Protestant British monarch James I.

Swizzle: Photo by Javon Swaby on Pexels.com

Now a bit of back story here about Jazza (as he’s never been known, probably more of a Jacques which is why Scots are called Jocks).

James had reason to be more afraid of gunpowder than the next man (and who doesn’t jump when a cannon goes off?)

Because his mum Mary, Queen of Scots (the real one, not that awful Saoirse Ronan version) blew up her Dad Henry, Lord Darnley.

That would tend to do it.

Anyhoos, fireworks.

I’ve seen a few, though few compare to home when I don’t make the bed properly or plump up the cushions.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle: Get the fireworks going

Every Hogmanay (it’s Scottish for New Year’s Eve) there is a fireworks display and a series of concerts.

You can actually set your clock by it.

Which is why a fellow journalist wrote it up in advance of the event.

In the eye of the storm

The only thing is that this would be the one year when an electric storm would lead to it being cancelled.

Embra is one of the great cities, was my home for ten years, and may yet be again.

Ryanair www.ryanair.com and Aer Lingus http://www.aerlingus.com both fly there. And Visit Scotland www.visitscotland.com will sort you out.

Disney

Light up, light up

The Happiest Place on Earth does fireworks spectacularly.

You’d be disappointed really if it was a damp squib, which incidentally is a firework.

Mickey’s mates

I looked out on the nightly pyrotechnics on the parks from my billet at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando www.fourseasons.com. https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en_GB/?CMP=OKC-wdw_themeparks_gmap_421

Here’s how it all went down with me and The Donald in Florida… Why I love The Donald.

I caught up again with the big-mouthed one in Anaheim this year…

Where I partied with Mickey and the gang.

Dresden

Ah, the Elbe

Fire is an elemental force that we must always handle with care

The fireworks over the River Elbe on our evening cruise were illuminating.

Dresden’s party

All the more so as this city has been burnt by fire, the Allied airmen’s firebombs in the Second World War razing the Saxon Venice to the ground.

That the Dresdeners rebuilt their city exactly how it used to be marks it down

As one of the most remarkable stories of modern urban planning… Dresden’s renaissance. And https://www.dresden.de/en/tourism/tourism.php.