Asia, Countries, Europe, Flying

Flyday Friday – Turkish d’flight out of Dublin

You know they’re smiling behind their masks… and why wouldn’t they? Because Turkish Airlines are back flying us out of Dublin.

And believe me they’re a delight.

I have fond memories of being met by Mr Turkish Airlines wwwa.turkishairlines.ie Onur Gul at their desk before being flown out to exotic destinations… https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/12/atoll-tale-the-maldives/amp/ and Wham bam, thank you Hamam.

They’ll be flying twice a week for the remainder of this month and four times weekly in July.

I do hope that we’ll not stop talking to our fellow passengers just because we’re wearing masks.

I’ve met some lovely and fascinating people on flights.

Sweet dreams

And the odd Manchester United fan in TA’s famed business class with whom I’ve slept tops and tails and who has snored their head off.

You know who you are, Brian http://www.kuramathi.ie.

Virgin territory

Passengers are a bit like needy lovestruck teenagers… stick with me here.

We need constant reassurance and validation.

And I’m happy to say that our airlines have been using this lockdown to tell us how much they love us.

I know, and love Virgin, from my fact-finding research trips to the Caribbean www.visitbarbados.org, www.visittobago.gov.tt and Let’s rumba in Barbados, My kiss with Rihanna and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/amp/.

And I am delighted that they have been keeping us members of their Flying Club up to speed with how we’ll all be taking to the skies again soon.

Come August they’ll be planning to return to 17 destinations.

They’re all available to book now along with flights from New York JFK, Los Angeles and Hong Kong to London Heathrow, starting from July 20.

And here’s what to do when you get there, https://www.virginatlantic.com, www.visitlondon.com and The London life and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/29/carole-king-youre-beautiful-londonwestend-musical/amp/.

Departing Edinburgh

No, I haven’t persuaded The Scary One to leave the delights of North Berwick near Edinburgh, I’m merely flagging up Edinburgh Airport’s http://www.edinburghairport.com reopened destinations.

Edinburgh was the last airport I flew out of … to Prague www.czechtourism.com way back in February. Yes years ago Hope springs eternal.

And I’m glad to say they’re now flagging up other old favourites back on the schedule.

Budapest, Malaga, Alicante and Barcelona https://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/ and Messi around on the water . And Smooth sailing around the Western Med.

And anybody who has flown out of Dublin Airport and then Edinburgh http://www.edinburgh.org  and Edinburgh – an old friend will be comforted by the comparative smallness of the Scottish version.

Taking to the Aer

And the last word is to back Aer Lingus’s www.aerlingus.com stance on the Irish Government’s latest direction of travel on quarantines.

While welcoming the lifting of the restrictions from July 9, they merely want clarity until then.

As one who would gladly queue overnight to get back, I echo their call. And all my airline friends who we appreciate even more, if that’s possible, now we’ve been seeing them less Flyday Friday – Airline angels with wings 

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

Countries, Ireland, UK

My Sporting Weekend – Rugby’s VAR and away days

The rugby Test match has come a long way since my days in the Schoolboys Enclosure at Murrayfield.

When programmes were 20p… they’re now about €15 although I’m grateful to the Irish Travel Agents Association for paying for me.

Both that and the ticket for the Ireland v Scotland match at the Aviva and the lunch before.

Remember to ground the ball

And the earpiece that hooks up to the referee and the action on the pitch.

As football tears itself apart over video assistant referees it seems that rugby has had the answer all along.

This magic earpiece, which you can buy at the ground, lets you into the decision-making on the pitch.

Both the referee and the captains’ response.

That the players eff and blind a bit so be it… we’re all grown-ups.

And I’ve got the kiltie on: With my Travel pal Michelle Jackson

That the crowd can hear the decision quickly and with clarity keeps us all informed.

And surely that is all we ask for.

Of course it can’t stop Scottish captains dropping the ball on the try line.

So here is my answer… let the spectator talk to the players on the pitch via a mouthpiece.

So where are we on a Travel blog with this? Edinburgh that is… where I now live again.

It’s the great thing about life and Travel…

Football can learn a lesson

Last week here I was at the Aviva this week I’m watching the Scotland v England game in Edinburgh.

Now I know the Scary One will get me back for that!

A girls’ weekend away

It struck me though, and my brother reminded me of it, that my adult life has spanned Britain and Ireland.

Get on your bike… for Rome

If only I’d progressed from being captain of the C team at school.

London goes round and round

See https://www.visitlondon.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4JqL2cHA5wIVF-DtCh1BsQ7HEAAYASAAEgLTtvD_BwE And read The London life and Carole King… you’re Beautiful.

Canada, Countries, Culture, Europe, Food & Wine

Meghan’s choice: London v Toronto

Eh? As they like to say at the end of every sentence in Toronto.

But it’s not the no-brainer you might think for Meghan and Harry.

Here’s a quick-fire comparison between Ye Olde England’s jewel and Canada’s pride and joy.

One day, I’ll be a princess

Toronto A

Restaurants

London: So we dug out her Instagram for this one and Meg-watchers will recognise Bocca di Lupo www.boccadilupo.com for the Italianophile actress.

Bijou; Toronto

 

Where to live

London: Frogmore Cottage in Windsor isn’t your old-style two-bedroom English country cottage. Obvs.

But it, and its royal household, is the property of the Sussexes. And they can always stay in Buckingham Palace when they’re in London.

Toronto: Outlook magazine http://www.outlookmagazine.ca/finance/8-richest-neighbourhoods-in-toronto/ recommends the old traditional neighbourhood of York Mills with starting prices of C$3.5m.

Well, Harry and Meghan have said they’ll work for their suppers… anyone for a new series of Suits?

And for more on London and Toronto visit www.visitlondon.com and www.seetorontonow.com.

And Harry and Meghan know what I think of both cities… Carole King… you’re Beautiful and Flyday Friday – Canada, eh?.

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Jocktails – Pour me an Espresso Martini

The Appletini doesn’t fall far from the cocktail tree.

It was our thing, me making cocktails for The Scary One on a Saturday.

Until I didn’t. Work got in the way which it never should.

Now the Son and Heir is working and making cocktails (he doesn’t drink them all), he has taken my place.

And so Christmas Day started (we waited until 3pm) with an Espresso Martini.

You’re wondering why I’ve got the sausages out.

No, I’m not about to cook them. It’s just my nod to Tobago Soca Christmas Parang singer Scrunter…Visit http://www.visittobago.gov.tt

And his standard Piece Ah Pork which was the soundtrack to my pre-Christmas trip to Tobago… It’s Robinson Crusoe’s very own Tobago and Not any old Glasgow bar.

Of course you can drink your Espresso Martini with anything you like.

Though, in truth, it’s pretty filling in itself.

Dick Bradsell is credited with creating the Espresso Martini at Fred’s Club in London.

After a woman is said to have asked him to give her something ‘that would ‘wake me up, then f*** me up’.

And so to your Espresso Martini:

You want 43mls of vodka, 21mls of espresso, 21mls of Kahlua and 9.5ml of sugar syrup.

Pour into a shaker with ice. Shake, fine strain and pour into a chilled Martini glass.

Garnish with a coffee bean and serve.

Alternatively give it a dry shake without the ice and it will foam up all the more.

Honey, honey

While a nice touch is to add honey.

London, of course, has many more cocktail stories to explore.

And as many cocktail bars as coffee beans… try Scarfe’s https://scarfesbar.com/#homepage-popup in posh Holburn.

Where I swear the double bass player accompanying singer ‘Marilyn Monroe’ is Boris Johnson… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/31/londons-punch-and-judy-show/ And http://www.visitlondon.comGet cocktails done!

And for another Jocktails with a coffee twist… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/05/jocktails-tenerife-coffee-liqueurs/

And as I say I rested up my shaker although I’m always happy to be on tasting duties.

MEET YOU IN THE BAR

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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