Africa, America, Countries, Culture, Europe

Putting these statues on a pedestal

All joking aside about Zlatan ‘The Ego’ Ibramovich being cut down to size.

But is it right that the Sweden soccer superstar should befall the same fate as Lord Nelson here in Dublin and Saddam Hussein in Baghdad?

The fallen Zlatan

Now I’m all for sportspeople, celebrities, actors and even, and particularly, animals to be put on a pedestal.

Because haven’t the aristocracy and the war leaders had their day in our affection and deference?

So here are is my unscientific list of my favourite statues.

And please let me know who I’ve missed out.

Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh

Bobby’s boy: With Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh

Well, if Bobby’s tale was good enough for Walt Disney then it’s good enough for me.

Bobby is buried not far from here in Greyfriars Kirk next to his master John Gray on whose grave he slept every night.

And he was then awarded the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh.

You’re advised though not to kiss his nose for luck as many started doing… it’s not lucky for Bobby as it’s wearing away.

For more on Edinburgh and Scotland visit http://www.edinburgh.org and http://www.visitscotland.com.

And, of course, I always like to flag up ma wee hame country. And here’s a wee sample of what we eat and drink…

With https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/19/hungry-and-thursday-whisky-and-the-water-of-long-life/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/26/hungry-and-thursday-curried-christmas-turkey/

Fannie Lou Hamer, Ruleville, Mississippi

A little big woman: Fannie Lou Hamer in Mississippi

Sometimes it’s the design that catches you and stops you in your tracks.

And so it is with this remarkable little woman,

The President of the USA, Lydon Baines, Johnson took extraordinary measures in stopping her saying her piece at the Democratic Convention by having television change its schedule.

Fannie Lou Hamer’s life was extraordinary, born into a sharecropping family and picking cotton from the age of six, she was later forced out of her home, threatened with her very life and beaten.

All because she wanted to sign on on the voting register.

She summed up her struggle in the Civil Rights Movement thus, and of course nobody could say it better: ‘I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.’

Visit www.visitmississippi.org

And why not read my American Trilogy… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-promised-land-martin-luther-king/, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-story-of-the-blues/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/elvispresley-the-king-of-kings/?

Anne Frank, Amsterdam

The flower of youth: Anne Frank in Amsterdam

Us journalists like to think of ourselves as hard-bitten but I had to choke back the tears walking through the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam…. http://www.annefrank.org.

The audio narrative dwelt on a passage in her diary where she mentions that she wants to become a journalist when she’s older.

And what a journalist she would have been… ethical (yes, some of us are), prying and fearless.

Amsterdam is one of the world’s great cities and Anne one of history’s greatest figures… http://www.iamsterdam.com.

And here is proof of that… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/pictures-of-amsterdam/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/george-and-amal-hotel/

Piss, Prague

Statues should be provocative and the Czechs have this one down to a T.

‘Piss’ is the good people of Prague’s commentary on the politicians who have urinated all over their country.

You’ll not see it here but once the water gets flowing they pee all over the map of the country.

The Czechs as well as being the world’s biggest lager drinkers, per population, with some of the world’s best beers, are wonderfully anti-establishmentarian.

Visit http://www.czechtourism.com and here’s some other musings on the Czech Republic https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/24/czech-it-out-2/

Phil Lynott, Dublin

The boys are back in town: With my old pal Al

There are statues to musical giants all over the world but while former Thin Lizzy lead singer Phil Lynott isn’t the best or most famous singer of them all, try telling that to Dubliners.

It is a tradition now for visitors to Dublin to have their photo taken outside Philo’s statue off the main Grafton Street shopping thoroughfare.

That other statue, the Tart with the Cart, Molly Malone? Well you can leave that to the uninitiated.

And seeing you’ll be in town here is where you want to stay… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-intercontinental-what-a-ledge/

And this site will point you in the direction of other goodies… http://www.visitdublin.com.

Nelson, Bridgetown, Barbados

You can stay: Nelson in Bridgetown

He’s obviously not the only Horatio or the biggest, and as I’ve alluded to already some not too far from here even blew him up.

But he was a survivor, except when he was killed obvs, and he lost an eye and an arm.

Death might even have been a better gig too as he was transported home in a vat of rum… a good way to go and one that the Bajans would have approved of.

Until, of course, his old shipmates drilled a hole in the vat and drunk the rum!

Statues are a controversial subject but my Bajan hosts were keen to tell me that Nelson was part of their story too.

And so ignore the white liberals who like to speak for black people, they’re glad to have him keeping his one eye open on what’s going on in Bim.

For more on Barbados see http://www.visitbarbados.org. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/rihanna-in-barbados/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/

Martin Luther, Dresden

Closer to God: Martin Luther in Dresden

Some statues can withstand anything.

Martin Luther stood as a defiant symbol of Dresdeners refusal to see their city disappear after the Allies’ firebombing at the end of the Second World War.

The Dresdeners rebuilt the obliterated Frauenkirche sixty years later, after they had got rid of the Communists, using as the plans photographs they had asked the public to send in from their weddings.

Dresden was known as the Florence of the Elbe and it is one of the great architectural stories of our age, or any age, to see how the Dresdeners have rebuilt their city to the same grandeur of its renaissance days.

For more information on Dresden http://www.dresden.de and also take a trip through the ages with me with https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/

Hans Christian Andersen, Copenhagen

With Tom and My Little Princess in Copenhagen

Yes, the Little Mermaid is more visited, but personally I prefer the top-hatted Hans in the heart of Copenhagen.

Hans was an eccentric all right and once decamped on Charles Dickens, walked around the house in the starkers, and made it difficult for Charlie to show him the door.

Very Scandinavian and it just makes me want to revisit Denmark… http://www.visitingcopenhagen.com and digging out my Scandinavian wanderings https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-call-of-the-fjords/

Nelson Mandela Voting Line, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

March to Freedom: In Port Elizabeth

Statues shouldn’t just stand there. No, really. And this is a moving symbolic Voting Line which sums up South African democracy.

This is our host Sisseko and beside him a kid as he would have been back in 1995 when South Africa had its historic vote.

It is also immersive and you don’t have to climb up a plinth to get next to it as they do in Glasgow when they put police cones on the Duke of Wellington.

It is the way I should imagine that Nelson, a native of the Eastern Cape, would have wanted it.

And for more on South Africa’s Eastern Cape visit http://www.meetyoursouthafrica.net and http://www.southafrica.net. And this is how I tries to do it justice… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/homemyoffice/whats-new-pussycat/

Martin Luther King, Washington DC

Unfinished business: Martin Luther King in Washington DC

We’ll never stop building statues, of course, and I expect a Bandanaman up in my name when my Travelling days are done.

This statue of Dr Martin Luther King is never meant to be finished though.

Until the Civil Rights struggle has been finally met which, of course, it never will be, alas.

But what genius and how moving. For more on my favourite capital city visit http://Easy DC and http://www.washington.org.

Uncategorized

City delights – Dublin

Just a city boy
Born and raised in West Glasgow
Took the midnight bus
Going all the way

JOURNEYMAN JIMMY

With apologies to Journey, but I am a city boy and these are my city delights.

Kicking off with Dublin where I have worked for the last 13 years (and hope to do so again).

There will be no science to this.

I’ll just dip in and out of the cities I’ve visited and loved, ones I hope to see, and some I’m not that keen on.

The four courts: Photo by Picography on Pexels.com

The History

Dublin should really be called Blackpool, but thank goodness it’s not.

Not that the English pierside city hasn’t got its charms. But!

Black pool (dubh linn) was the name given to the settlement founded in 888.

Where the Poddle stream met the river Liffey to form a deep pool at Dublin Castle http://www.dublincastle.ie.

The Vikings, the Normans, the British, the Irish, the buskers have all sampled her pleasures.

And hers too…

Selling her wares: Molly

The History

Molly Malone. She never existed.

And she was probably an amalgam of many Scottish/English/American and Irish traders of the 18th and 19th centuries anyway.

But Irish fishmongers did yell ‘Cockles and Mussels Alive, Alive O.’

Today you’ll find Molly, who is known locally as ‘The Tart with the Cart’, outside the Irish Tourist Information Centre. http://www.discoverireland.ie.

The Dubs have a way with words, a sharp sense of humour and a healthy mockery of their celebrities.

The boys are back in town: With my old pal Al

Feet of clay

The fag on the crag: Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square.

The prick with the stick: James Joyce on North Earl Street.

The crank on the bank: The cranky poet Patrick Kavanagh.

The ace with the bass: The much-loved Thin Lizzy rocker Phil Lynott.

And when the Dubs come to honour their Greatest Ever Citizen…

The smart ass in the sunglasses.

The fighting Irish

Look out for the bullet holes: O’Connell statue

Dublin still bears the scars of its wars for independence.

On the plinth of the statue of Daniel O’Connell, ‘The Liberator’, the entry point to Dublin’s most historic city.

Along the street to the General Post Office where the Easter 1916 leaders proclaimed independence and holed themselves in http://www.dublinvisitorcentre.ie and http://www.visitdublin.com.

Against the bullets of the British Army,

And at Kilmainham Gaol http://www.kilmainhamgaol.ie where the leaders were shot, among them James Connolly who was strappped to a chair on account of his gangrenous leg.

The craic

The party spirit is indistinguishably Irish but the word ‘craic’ is borrowed from the Scots, even referenced in Robert Burns.

Before making its way over the Irish Sea to the Ulster Scots.

What’s most important though is where to find it.

The simplest answer is: every day on the streets of Dublin.

But here are a few pubs where it’s in great supply.

O’Donoghues, Merrion Row http://www.odonoghues.ie

Where The Dubliners, Ireland’s most famous folk band were formed and where you can still hear the best trad music.

Mary’s Bar & Hardware, Wicklow Street http://www.marysbar.ie.

It’s something of a country thing, a multi-purpose business, Mary’s doubling up with WOWBURGER upstairs.

And you can have a beer and a burger. And then downstairs again for another, and some live music.

The Workshop http://www.theworkshopgastropub.com

I admit a vested interest here… my cousins run The Workshop On George’s Quay looking out on to the Liffey.

It’s the one with the squirrel mural and it’s handily placed next to Tara Street DART (train) station.

Which I and generations knew as Kennedys.

It has transferred itself into a gastropub in response to our changing tastes and how it does taste.

With the most beautifully presented and sumptuous dishes.

Get some food in you

It may be in the national psyche because of the Potato Famine. Irish people are obsessed with food and can talk for hours on the subject.

I have been lucky enough to be wined and dined in a few..,

Chapter One, Parnell Square http://www.chapteronerestaurant.com

Dublin is not short of Michelin-starred restaurants and Chapter One is my pick.

Don’t ask to have your steak done ‘your way’ as an amateur diner posited unless you want a dismissive, lip-curling look from your waiter.

You’ll agree though when you eat it.

Chai Yo Teppanyaki, Baggot Street Lower http://www.chaiyo.ie

Teppanyaki at its best as it should be as it’s the venue for the annual Wendy Wu brochure launch.

And Wendy. Queen of Asian high-end Travel, should know.

All the Teppanyaki dishes are served with soup, fried rice and mixed vegetables.

I often go for the Chef’s Special as I reckon they know best.

King Prawns, Chicken Teriyaki and Fillet Steak. I’m stuffed. Oh, go on them.

Pizza Yard, Sanford Road, Ranelagh http://www.pizzayard.ie

When you’ve been cycling through town on one of those multi-cycle party trucks (and do) then you’ll get a hunger up.

Just as well then that we got to stop off at Pizza Yard where they will slap down a two-yard long pizza on the table.

Of course I went for the al funghi (with mushrooms). Wash it down with Italian lager.

A little local knowledge

My kind of mess

The Hugh Lane Gallery http://www.hughlane.ie

Messier than any student bedsit.

But it was that organised chaos that inspired artist Francis Bacon.

So when he died he bequeathed that his studio be recreated back in his native Dublin.

But skip…

The Book of Kellls, Trinity College http://www.tcd.ie

Maybe because I’d been dragged along to see the ancient scripts when I was a kid.

But I remember the queues being long and I couldn’t understand any of it.

And finally

Don’t say ‘Top of the mornin’ ’

Do say: ‘What’s the craic?’

Really, this is finally. And my favourite hotel in Dublin https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-intercontinental-what-a-ledge/