Holiday Snaps – Yoga around the world

I’ve just returned from Austria and Germany, as you know, after a Topflight http://www.topflight.ie hike around the Tirolian hills, with a 20-strong walking party which included some yogi.

No, not the smarter than the average bear type, but yoga teachers.

And take a bow Red Flash, below, Black Magic and Hot Yoga Hilary. Which, of course, is something that they can do better than the average Me who can’t even touch his toes.

Here were my thoughts on some Austrian food at the time… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/03/hungry-and-thursday-barbecues/

I’ll tell you more about this intrepid trio when I share with you my full grown-up review but for now let’s have a look at a yoga retreat in Croatia.

Courtesy of my friends at Travel Department http://www.traveldepartment.ie.

All you aspiring yogi will be spending your first night in Split on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast where I’ll be landing into God, and your accidental traveller willing, later this month. On my way to Medjugorje.

The remaining four nights of your TD holiday will be at Senses Resort on the relaxing, remote island of Hvar.

Aerial view at Hvar town in Southern Croatia, famous luxury travel destination in Europe, Mediterranean.

You will be based in a secluded resort in the charming village of Vrboska, close to pine forests, pebble beaches and the crystal blue Adriatic Sea.

There will be a total of seven yoga sessions, three every morning and three every evening, as well as a welcome Slow Flow and Guided Meditation.

It’s a stretch

I’m already feeling relaxed.

You will start each day by opening up the body/mind and getting energy flowing from tip to toe.

The morning classes will build to a relatively strong flow class, incorporating breath work and mindfulness throughout.

Evening sessions will focus on a particular section of the body, moving more deeply into it through specifically targeted postures.

And we are assured that all yoga sessions will be led by a yoga teacher from MOONSyoga.

And what’s more a yoga mat will be provided for all yoga sessions. 

Prices are from €829pp including return flights from Dublin, with five nights’ 4* B&B or half-board hotel accommodation.

You will get all your transfers, seven yoga sessions with an expert yoga instructor, daily breakfast and four evening meals. Departing May and October 2020.

For more information or to book, click here or call 01-6371633.

Yoga in Quinta

And I’ll maybe also tell you about the time I passed up World International Yoga Day in India to send a former yoga fan colleague of mine.

But in the meantime here’s a random pic of a couple of colleagues of mine in Quinta da Lago sports complex, The Campus, being stretched by a beautiful yoga teacher.

She got onto me too as you can see in the main pic. http://www.quintadolago.com. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/12/sportugal/

It’s a hard life!


Holiday Snaps – Dog surfing, California

They’ve been in training all year for the big event, and it’s almost upon us – Surf City Surf Dog in Huntington Beach, Southern California.

This is where Bono, the Brazilian labrador made his name (I never did hear if he also wore shades).

And the pupparazi will be at Surf City Surf Dog in Huntington Beach in numbers for the free event on Saturday, September 28.

Where there will be a surFUR expo, athletes of all breeds and pawsome fun! 

Have I forgotten something? On Huntington Beach

Earlier this summer I visited Huntington Beach to see Dean Torrence trill Surf City USA and Snoop Dogg have us dancing on the prom to his DJ set.


Get him on stage: Bandanaman

And here’s when I tried my hand at surfing on FlowRider on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/a-royal-party/

And watch out for Ireland’s surfing superstar Gearoid McDaid’s masterclass and my day on Oasis of the Seas. http://www.royalcaribbean.com.

I also had a jaunt around Barcelona in the Star Ireland’s Chic magazine out today.

Aer Lingus flies Dublin to LAX with pre-clearance. Visit http://www.aerlingus.com.

I found an economy return for the sample dates of August 31-September 7 from €321.04.

Now I’m a big fan of Kimpton boutique hotels and LOVED the La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood just up from Huntington Beach. Visit http://www.lapeerhotel.com

So I’m angling for a stay at the Kimpton Shorebreak Resort, Huntington Beach when I visit Surf City USA next http://www.surfcityusa.com.. Visit http://www.shorebreakhotel.com. http://www.visitusa.ie.

And some Canaries

The origins of names can be surprising… The Canaries, for example are named after dogs (canaria) and not tweetie-birds.

The most common golden-coloured creatures on the Canaries are the sunbathers on the beaches.

TUI serves the Canaries all year round but if you’re looking for some last-minute sun…

And remembering that elsewhere if you live in the West or South in Ireland is Dublin…

From Cork to Lanzarote: Seven nights’ self-catering, staying at the 2+ Lanzarote Paradise Club, Costa Teguise, from €349pps. August 27

From Shannon to Lanzarote: The same deal but leaving on August 29.

Visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie.

India… at a stretch

Would you like to go to International Yoga Day in India and can you tell me by the close of play today?

As Mamma told me, they’re would be days like this!

Big-hearted fella that I am I nominated a yoga fan to go out there to stretch and contort her limbs.

I’m too kind for my own good!

That’s why I’d keep this Travel Department break to myself.

Explore Amazing India is a 12-night TD active Holidays small group tour.

And there’s more than just yoga.

You’ll cycle through Delhi at sunrise and hike between ancient forts in Jaipur.

How about a traditional homestay, learn to cook traditional Indian food on Dausa and a Hindu aarti ceremony?

As well, of course, as the Taj Mahal and the other iconic sites.

From €1,999pp for 12 nights including return flights and accommodations and features. Visit http://www.tdactiveholidays.ie.

Full steam ahead Thomas

A plaster cast, or stookie where I’m from, is a useful makeshift bridge for a Thomas the Tank Engine track. Take note, Thomas Land.

The Son And Heir had broken an arm but that wouldn’t stop him playing with his favourite toy.

He’ll be interested then in Irish Ferries discount on a trip to Drayton Manor & Thomas Land in Staffordshire near Manchester.

Thomas Land has 25 rides and attractions.

A couple of smilers: Thomas and The Son and Heir

From €595 for a family of four (kids under 11) for three nights in the 3* Tillington Hotel.

It also includes a one-day park pass to Drayton Manor & Thomas Land and a return car ferry.

Valid until August 16. Visit http://www.irishferries.com/drayton.

A call from The Ronald

Ronald and Nancy Reagan and Mickey and Minnie

I seem to be a magnet to American Presidents, living and dead. The Donald, The Dickie and now The Ronald.

The first has cropped up across America and the Caribbean looking for selfies with me.

While the Richard Nixon Library in California invited me to a 50th anniversary of the Moon Landings with Buzz Aldrin in attendance.

Now Ronnie’s pals http://www.reaganfoundation.org want me to get out there for a talk from a Supreme Court Associate Justice.

It’s flattering but if they want me to help run their country get me on the payroll.

Mexican waves

Strike a pose: Mexico. Pic by Matthew T Rader. Pixels.com

Mexico is one place I reckon The Donald wouldn’t follow me.

But HIS loss.

Escape2 has a seven-night all-inclusive Mexico trip from €1599 including Air France flight, departing November.

Stay at the 4* Riviera Maya. Visit http://www.escape2.ie. Contact (01) 435 0005.



Tour de Friends

Back in the day I used to scoot in and out to work to the centre of Edinburgh from my home in Portobello, the Scottish capital’s town seaside resort.

But since relocating to hilly Co. Wicklow I’ve let it slide. Until….

It took my friends at Travel Department to come up with the brilliant and masochistic idea of getting a bunch of travel professionals to cycle one of those multi-cycle trucks around Dublin.

The ghetto blaster might have been boasting about walking 500 miles but we were out of puff cycling 500 metres. Still the playlist of karaoke classics kept us going… Don’t Stop Pedalling as Journey really meant to sing.

The magic bus: And we’re doing the pedalling

We were rewarded though with refuelling stops at the pizzatastic Pizza Yard in Ranelagh with its almost yard-long wooden board of pizza http://www.pizzayard.ie and Keshk Cafe Restaurant http://www.keshk.ie on Mespil Road with its array of Egyptian, Greek and Turkish fare.

All of which made us think of the types of exciting foreign destinations TD specialises in.

A bicycle made for two… and a few others: With Ruth Marnell, of O’Hea PR

For 2020 TD is offering cycling holidays with group sizes of 6-16. Imagine then whizzing around Italy, Portugal, Spain and Vietnam.

TD takes care of flights, transfers, accommodation, expert cycling guide and bike hire. Prices start from €2,229 pp for the 8-night Portugal Azure Ocean Cycling Holiday. 

Taking a detour for a minute (and I did, trying to find my way along the canal back to my DART station), let’s talk about Albania and how I wouldn’t have been allowed in when I was a young buck.

It’s my hairy-facedness that was the problem. Then it was only a moustache but Enzer Hoxha, their mad dictator (is there any other kind?) had a downer on furry top lips.

Albania, of course, has changed and has opened its doors to the West (and that means us). We had hoped to get in when we honeymooned in Corfu, a spit from Albania, but their Troubles put a paid to that.

So we’ ve unfinished business there. And TD active Holidays do business there. Result.

Take a horseback ride in Antigone National Park, a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Berat, with its collection of Ottoman houses, and a hike in Llogora National Park. Tours start from €1,399 pp for 10 nights. 

A vineyeard sitting at the base of a mountain in the evening sun.

One of the great joys of travelling is meeting new people and particularly so if you go solo…. as sometimes The Scary one insists I do.

TD knows its solo traveller… It has launched solo twin share options.

You will share a room with a fellow solo traveller (of the same gender) for the duration of the trip. I’m remembering introducing myself to bewildered and befuddled Aussie Harry across the bedroom in the middle of the night recently in Jordan. We became great friends.

This will appeal particularly to value conscious travellers, enabling them to avoid single supplements. The most popular tours for solo travellers booking with TD active Holidays include searching for vampires on the Explore Transylvania trip.

Write your own caption above for this one who has always wanted to go there… in search of her ancestors.

Visit http://www.traveldepartment.ie and http://www.tdactiveholidays.ie.