Adventure, America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Let the train take the strain

As we’ve been planning a wee train trip when we can again, and I don’t mean North Berwick to Edinburgh, I’ve been checking out my friends’ recommendations.

And I’m indebted here to my old friend Aileen, who is more Roaring Twenties than Boring Twenties, for her shout in Paris.

With Aileen flagging up Le Train Bleu Restaurant (formerly the Buffet de la Gare de Lyon) located in the Gare de Lyon railway station in Paris.

Better than a burger joint then?

So I’ll pull up to the bumper, baby, and give you my fave trainy-related places I’ve been.

And all those Eastern European and Central Asian palaces will just have to wait.

The only way is up

An Alpine hand

The Jungfraujoch, Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland: They had me sold when they said my ears would pop.

The journey from Kleine Scheidegg up to the Jungfraujoch is Adolf Guyer-Zeller’s major feat of engineering.

That’s 9km up to the top of Europe between the Bernese Highlands and the Valais.

And you’ll get an ice bar with Swiss whiskey, a Tiso watch shop, and a Bollywood restaurant to accommodate those sari-clad ladies on the peaks.

Next stop, the Gold Rush

Golden touch

Golden, Colorado: And the Wild West was built on the railway.

The Colorado Railroad Museum gives you an insight into what life was like for those pioneers puffing through the plains.

With a guided tour. The only thing that’s missing is Butch and Sundance standing down on the banks.

Also check out the Art Deco frontage railway station in Mile High City, Denver where dreams of the Gold Rush were hatched.

What’s in a name?

A Wales of a time

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Anglesey, Wales: And far from being a party pooper here but this long Welsh name is a Victorian Age contrivance.

It used to stop before the ‘wyng’ bit but a tailor from the village added the rest to form the word.

Which means: ‘St Mary’s church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysillo near the red cave.’

Alas, the bigger they are the harder they fall.

And the jobsworths have closed the station because the platform is too small because of social distancing.

And ten minutes later you’ll be on the water

Water way to travel

Padova to Venice, Italy: Now I grant you there are more romantic ways to first see the Grand Canal.

By water, of course.

But for most of us we’ll first approach the city on the lagoon by train and through that bottleneck at the station.

But the thrill when you enter Venice is worth it.

Just bear in mind the erratic Italian trains, and forget what Mussolini said.

And leave yourself enough time if you have a cocktail reception to get back to in Padova’s Botanic Gardens.

Particularly if you’re in your boardies, Dragon, and haven’t brought a change of clothes.

Keep your eyes on the view

A familiar trip

Dublin to Greystones, Co.WicklowA: And as much as I gave out about the DART through Bray Head on my daily journeys to work…

No matter how I felt about going into work. this is a stunning stretch past Dublin Harbour.

It is not for nothing that it is compared with the Bay of Naples and used as a film substitute. And that Bono bought the view.

And, of course, it has the ultimate seal of approval in that Isambard Kingdim Brunel built the tumnel.

Countries, Cruising, Europe, Ireland

What a picture – my award-winning photographer wife

Every picture tells a story and this is ours.

World Photograph Day yesterday saw me trawling through my Travel memories with my award-winning photographer wife.

Sarah Frost as she was when she won two UK Royal Photography Awards.

And still is under her working name, before taking on my mantle.

Now The Scary One, as I affectionately and rather fearfully refer to her, has not been able to attend all my trips around the world.

A deserved reputation

Mostly because of the stipulations but sometimes I imagine because of reputation.

But when she has she has brought a colour to the trips.

Around Ireland…

Temple Bar

In our own garden county of Co. Wicklow, in Dublin, the iconic Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel at a famous Dublin 4 institution, and a haven too in Temple Bar, and in the heart of the Midlands in the border county of Monaghan.

And up north from where us Murtys hail and London and England where the Frosts hail.

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That way, Sweden

While she also caught the fun of skiing in Austria, wining and dining in Portugal Centro, cruising in the Norwegian fjords with stop-offs in Copenhagen and then a city trip in Hamburg.

And also at George’s and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel, her photographs have always enhanced the experience.

Though there was a time on board the MSC Preziosa when it was particularly slippy because of the Norwegian rain.

Photo album

And she looked as if she might fall overboard. I very nearly caught her too!

So opening up the album here are my Frostie’s Favourites and some of her creativity has even rubbed off on me. See if you can spot which are hers and which are mine?

The fjords

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Which one’s the troll?

And She was up every morning bright and early to capture Norway’s waterfalls, inlets and try to spot trolls.

There was one still sleeping off the previous night’s wine, in our MSC Preziosa cabin room.

Bitesize Hamburg

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Walking on air in Copenhagen

And when She wasn’t putting her feet up in the beach bar in tbe Rieperbahn she was snapping life around the port.

Amsterdam by George

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žCan I be trusted on a bike? In Amsterdam

And sometimes we make a rod for our own back because after staying at the Dylan Amsterdam where George and Amal stay then everywhere else is a disappointment.

Heart and Soll

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White delight: In Soll

I fell for you Heart and Soll as Cole Porter sang. And while I was falling down the slopes She was getting the ski boots off and capturing the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser.

The power of Powerscourt

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Towering talent… one of mine

And the two things that She loves more than anything in life and neither of them are me are in Wicklow that’s gardening and shopping.

Powerscourt has them both... and don’t my credit cards know it?

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One of Hers

 

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And one of Jose’s

And lastly here we are the picture of happiness as taken by our Portuguese guide, photography fan and pal Jose.

 

 

 

Countries, Culture, Deals, Europe, Flying, Ireland, UK

Holiday Snaps – Vienna top of the pops

When will you realise Vienna waits for you? – Vienna, Billy Joel

No, I’m not plumping for the maudlin Ultravox song as I mark the survey that puts Vienna top of the pops for quality of life for newlyweds and families.

The Austrian capital which has eluded me thus far pips Orlando and Amsterdam in the top ten study by Purely Diamonds

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And there’s always a beautiful sculpture

I took Miss F to Corfu for our honeymoon where she only had eyes for me as did the hotel keyboard player!

But Vienna has always been on our radar and Austrophiles that we are, I will waltz her around the square yet… to work off their famous hot chocolate and cakes, of course.

A two-film trip… to Australia!

Many of us are put off travelling to the other end of the world by the time we have to spend in the air.

For airplane (and movie) fans like myself I love it because it means I can see all the latest releases.\

My longest continuous trip has been to Los Angeles where I reckon I got to see all the Oscar nominations for that year.

Now Virgin Galactic are raising the bar by releasing details of their most ambitious airplane ever, their supersonic route from London to Sydney… in only five hours!

The Virgin Group Space flight company announced the first stage design scope for the build of its Mach 3 plane yesterday.

And he’ll be there waiting

They’re also teasing us with less than two-hour flights to New York. So that rules out a Martin Scorsese film then!

Easy does it

How are you all down there?

The more our politicians try to stop us travelling the keener we are to do just that.

And EasyJet are saying that they will fly at 40% capacity, 10% higher than their projections because of better than expected bookings.

And with 84% of its flights full. All of which should leave a spare seat for me.

Automatic for the people

No one to disturb us

Because this is where to come for all your musical touchpoints…  though there will be no REM, or Rapid Eye Movement, here as you’ll get a great sleep in this Automatic hotel.

Just up the road from my old stomping ground of Greystones in Ireland’s Garden County of Wicklow.

Firefly Bray, which is a sister hotel of The Martello, offers the latest in self-service check-in technology with your room key downloaded directly to your phone. And there is no on-site staff.

Firefly is close to the promenade front and the dramatic Bray Head from where you can walk the cliffs to Greystones.

Rooms start from €70 per night. Tell them I sent you!

And as is the way of it you wait for one Holiday Snaps and two come along in quick succession. I’ll be back with more. 

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

 

 

 

 

American Holidays Jamaica

Ireland’s first automatic hotel

Surfing and beach holidays in Switzerland.

Emirates to Seychelles

Visit Portugal

Florida’s Paradise Coast

Countries, Europe, Ireland, Pilgrimage

St James on Bray Head in Ireland

If you see Her throwing me over Bray Head don’t call the Gardaí… she has my permission.

No, I’m not getting maudlin during lockdown, it’s just that that’s where I want my ashes scattered.

There on my favourite walk between my old home in Greystones, Co. Wicklow and also by Bishop Elphinstone’s grave in King’s College, Aberdeen.

My beloved Greystones and my beloved

I wish I could be with you (alive you understand) tomorrow as you take your first steps on your Camino.

I took mine too on one of Camino Ways’ training walks on St James’s Day in Ireland’s Garden County.

Where I met founder and ‘force of nature’ Roland Monsegu who I would share many a glass of wine with over future years.

Got there

Including at one of my billets on the French Way to Santiago de Compostella where he was doing a recce.

Today is both St James’s birthday and the national day of Galicia where his bones lie in Santiago.

The first of their training Sunday walks will begin at the seafront in Bray at 9.30am and last a leisurely two to two-and-a-half hours.

It is a 7km healthy cliffside walk skirting the sea.

Working my ass off

While you can look down on the train to Greystones making its way to the tunnel built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Before emerging through the other side in Greystones.

You’ll see it yourself halfway around the bend, its newly-refurbished harbour dotted with yachts.

And its blue and yellow cottages standing out in the distance as it did in times of old so the fishermen could recognise their homes in the dark.

On the road

Which is the same in Galicia where the name of the province is a giveaway… they’re Gaels really.

If you’re in Ireland then you’re already blessed and it’s likely you’ll need to be to walk the Bray Head.

And to be part of the fun here’s where to get tickets.

You’re James too

And if you feel like going that extra mile then why not veer off from the group and go up to the top of the Head and the Southern Cross.

Where there is (yes, you guessed it) a Christian cross.

America, Asia, Countries, Culture, Europe, Ireland, UK

Meditate on the world

There are some people whose company just sends you to sleep… and then there are the professionals like my pal SLM who put you into dreamland.

Travel and Yoga Nidra professional Sarah Lloyd-Morrison is one of those precious gems you discover on your life’s journey.

You know the type: chilled, funny and unstintingly patient.

And I’m glad to say that she’s not blocked me since we returned from Tobago www.tobago.gov.tt and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/amp/.

Or at least this is what she told me to write when she had me under…. in her meditation class.

Tobago beyond: With SLM and pals in Tobsgo

And it’s just what I needed in lockdown and it’ll help me from killing my family.

Although there’s no guarantee that they’ll not kill me first if I say I’m meditating when there are chores to be done.

Of course now I can self-meditate I’m going to seek out a zen break.

Here are five of the best.

Rockies of ages

Shambhalah Mountain Center, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado: America’s hipster state where Brad and Dexter are so chilled.

Because of the Great Outdoors, the freestyle rock-climbing, white-water rafting, horseriding and maybe too the substances.

Where better then to zen out than Red Feather Lakes, 50 miles north-west of Fort Collins?

They’ve a variety of programmes from ‘Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction’ to ‘The Path of Simply Being’.

And they also have nature-based programmes with astronomy.

Stay a month, week or weekend in a tent or lodge suite. Visit https://www.shambhalamountain.org www.colorado.comand The New Frontiersmen.

Portyogal

Shamballah, Sintra, Portugal: I’m reminded here of the friendly Wolverhampton masochist who had me contorted during yoga in the Algarve www.quintadolago.com, www.visitportugal.com and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/28/sportugal-2/amp/.

Shamballah puts on a Yoga and Meditation Retreat.

And you know that Portugal is throwing its doors open again.

Before all this kicked off they were quoting three nights single room €350 per person. See https://www.shamballahretreats.com/retreats.

O Lotus Flower of Scotland

Kagyu Samye Ling. Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland: And this is the first Buddhist retreat in the west of Scotland.

They have all manner of accommodations including retreat rooms, camping and camper vans.

And five golden rules including: no killing, no stealing, no lying, no drink or drugs and no sexual impropriety.

You will, of course, be so zenned out you’ll love everybody because you’ll love yourself.

Or in the words of Choja Lama Yeshe Losal Rimpache: ‘Meditation means simple acceptance.’

See https://www.samyeling.org and www.visitscotland.com.

Ireland’s Garden County

Bobbio Centre, Co. Wicklow, Ireland: Now Irish sisters and brothers were a fixture of my upbringing.

My Dear Old Mum had a family of cousins who all went into the Holy Order.

And they would regularly turn up on our doorsteps in their long beards and shawls.

The Bobbio Centre in my beloved old stomping ground of Co. Wicklow is run by the Columbine Sisters.

They have 11 bedrooms and one en-suite single, special needs bedroom.

You have your meeting room and prayer room as you would expect and also a beehive which has created quite the buzz.

See https://www.columbansisters.org/bobbio-retreat-centre/ and www.visitwicklow.com..

Himalaya stayer

Vidya Niwas India Hotels, Himalayas: Hippies the world over will tell you that Dharamsala is where you need to go to find your inner zen.

And the Dalai Lama’s resident region in exile in India does have everything you need for meditation.

You can choose from the likes of The Rose Room, the Golok Princess Room, the Kotha Basant Room and the Sherpa Everest Room.

The views are gratis and the zen is guaranteed. See https://www.dalai-lama-dharma-dharamsala-miniguide.com/vidya-niwas.html

Where is your favourite zen retreat? Let me know and we’ll share.

And now we’re feeling all floaty here are some yoga guides… My Sporting Weekend International Yoga Day and Yoga-dabba-do – International Yoga Day.

Namaste: Sarah Lloyd-Morrison

And look out for my Meditation Diary with my Yogi Sarah Lloyd-Morrison in these pages.

MEET YOU IN NIRVANA

Canada, Countries, Ireland

Where Canadians honeymoon? Ireland

A quarter of a million Canadians can’t be wrong about Ireland.

Which is why so many in Canada https://visit-canada.ca will tune into an episode of CTV Life Channel reality show Where to I Do tonight.

About a couple who search for the perfect venue for the wedding of their dreams.

Lutrellstown

Filming took place here last summer and was supported by Tourism Ireland www.tourismireland.com and Fáilte Ireland https://www.failteireland.ie.

Rock on Tommy

I don’t know him myself but my Canadian pals will be familiar with host Tommy Smyth who is taking his show outside North America for the first time.

Tommy will bring Josh and Andee to Luttrellstown Castle on the outskirts of Dublin www.visitdublin.com.

And a personal favourite, Kilruddery House & Gardens in Co. Wicklow https://killruddery.com.

And the Cliff at Lyons in Co. Kildare http://www.kildare.ie/tourism/

Kilruddery

Tourism Ireland in Toronto have been bysy flagging up the prog.

Party time

And hosted an online ‘watch party’ for Canadian influencers.

The online party included a Q&A session with the show’s host Timmy Smythe who chatted about his time filming in Ireland.

The Orangerie at The Cliff, Co. Kildare

And don’t I know it about Irish weddings with my Dear Old Dad and Mum marrying in Dublin’s port town of Dún Laoghaire.

Lost in France

Before heading for Europe on a road trip where Dad got them lost in Paris.

Wicklow’s vista

And the lesson here… honeymoon in Ireland.

America, Cruising, Culture, Europe, Ireland

Gay you love me – five top gay wedding destinations

It may only have been for show at the Graceland Chapel, Las Vegas https://www.gracelandchapel.comwww.lvcva.com but Peter and Martin would have made a lovely couple.

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The King and I: In Vegas

As would Cami from Utah and myself who made sweet music on the dance floor of Harrah’s off the Strip https://www.caesars.com/harrahs-las-vegas and Strip… the light fantastic.

The Queen and I: At Harrah’s

All of which came back to me today with the fifth anniversary of Ireland becoming the first country in the world to pass a referendum to legalise gay marriage.

So to celebrate the glorious day, here are five great destinations, Ireland included, to tie the knot.

The Power of love

The Power behind the throne… my little flower

Powerscourt Estate, Avoca,Co.Wicklow, Ireland (https://powerscourt.com and https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/dubak-powerscourt-hotel-autograph-collection/?scid=bb1a189a-fec3-4d19-a255-54ba596febe2): And my old stomping ground of Co. Wicklow, Ireland’s Garden County.

A plush ballroom where celebs including Chris De Burgh’s daughter, the former Miss World Rosanna Davison, got married to slot machine heir Wesley Quirke.

The gardens and estate are a favourite location for movie producers but the biggest star of all is Powerscourt’s redoubtable matriarch Sarah Slazenger.

See Flowerscourt and www.visitwicklow.ie.

Say it with flowers in Amsterdam

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Dam romantic:Amsterdam

They’re everyone’s favourite celebrity couple so seeing that Celeb-catching belongs to the Gays.

Then where better to stay for your honeymoon than George and Amal’s Amsterdam hideaway.

The Dylan Amsterdam looks out over the Keizersgracht canal https://www.dylanamsterdam.com and George Clooney and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel.

They’ll put flowers in your bedroom, tulips of course and more on this king of flower in Pictures of Amsterdam.

And you’ll have a concierge to look after your every need and plan itineraries for you while there is also the invaluable city card http://www.iamsterdam.com.

As well, as of course, caviar in the Vinkeles restaurant. Well, it is your honeymoon.

Greek gods

And the bride wore white: In Kythera

Where all the men look like Zeus and I could easily have been turned. 

If you want the Athens experience then you’ll want to take in the Athens Riviera  http://www.athensattica.com where all the Beautiful People hang out.

While the Greek islands have always drawn us there.

With some even forgetting to go back like Dutch walking tour leader Frank and his partner who have settled down in Kythera.

And who can blame them? See http://www.visitkythera.com,  https://www.pyrgoshouse.com/attraction/walk-with-frank/ and My Greek odyssey.

Let’s go cruising

Norwegian would: With the Scary One on the fjords

Well, we had to didn’t we? Now cruises come in all shapes and sizes so there will be one to suit every one of you… 101 in our case.

And here’s one that comes highly recommended by Herself and Myself where we spent an anniversary http://www.msccruises.co.uk The call of the fjords.

Of course they can marry you on these cruises too which I found out on my first cruise Smooth sailing around the Western Med… no, not me.

If you want to go more upmarket still the gamechanger Celebrity Edge https://www.celebritycruises.com/gb/cruise-ships/celebrity-edge I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out To Here will sail you around the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

With the best entertainment, a floating tender and Eden!

Brag about Prague

We’re only here for the beer: At the Strahov Monastic Brewery

Yes, you can walk by the Seine or go down the Grand Canal in Venice.

But maybe you’re more party people and want to kick back.

Then there are few better places than Prague… https://www.prague.eu/en.

There is a real frisson about the Czech capital and you can’t help but feel infused by it.

As I was when I passed by a Stag party wearing T-shirts emblazoned with ‘I turned Philip Schofield’.

Have your nuptials in the Castle area and stay at the Golden Key Hotel https://goldenkey.astenhotels.com/en.

Where you’ll be enchanted by the wooden ceilings and dainty downstairs sauna.

And imbibe the best beer in the world at the Strahov Monastic Brewery https://www.klasterni-pivovar.cz.

  

 

Countries, Culture, Europe, Ireland

I wish I was back in Ireland

Where they are coming out of lockdown after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told his people when they could meet again.

While the only faces I see outside of my family back here in Scotland are our new guinea pigs Finlay and Fiachra.

Let me at the lettuce

May 18 is the first stage of a five-point road map.

With the phrase which will excite our garrulous Irish friends the most being ‘outdoor meetings between people from different households’

It sounds less of a reward than is first heralded, with myself and my new North Berwick neighbours having had a street party last week.

Jim tomorrow: With Travel pal Jim Gallagher and my Laurie

Don’t call the police, it was just the four of us from either side of the pavement.

If the Irish can hold their breaths (and they’ve been doing well, thus far, even cancelling their St Paddy’s Day parade) then that first hooley will be something.

It’s likely though to be phase five on August 10 before the real craic can start with the key phrase ‘larger social gatherings will be allowed.’

My local boozer: The Beach House, Greystones, Co. Wicklow

Other key highlights include:

*Opening of public libraries (June 8)

*Small retail offices will be open with social distancing observed (June 8).

*Small social gatherings will be permitted (June 29).

*If you like your museums then you’ll be at the front door of the newly reopened museums and galleries early… and the churches too (July 20).

And with the Son and Heir at our favourite Dublin bar Mary’s

*Bad news though for the kids of Ireland schools will reopen on August 10. Those who can be dragged away from the hooley.

Just to get you in the mood here’s what Dublin https://www.visitdublin.com, one of Europe’s great cities, has to offer.

We’ll meet again: No, not us, The Temple Bar

And here’s where to stay in Dublin and its hinterland, Co. Wicklow www.visitwicklow.ie.

The InterContinental in Dublin 4, Rugby central, it’s the InterCon… what a Ledge! and Flowerscourt, Powerscourt in the Garden County.

While beyond the Pale there is much to offer too… Monaghan’s country roads.

Now to catch a flight back… www.tourismireland.com and https://www.failteireland.ie.

Adventure, Culture, Europe, Ireland, Sport, UK

Skim Jim – the World Stone Skimming Championships,

And I’ll give you that one – I am an old tosser.

It’s a category of the World Stone Skimming Championships which will be held on September 27 on Easdale Island.

And yes it’s still slated to take place. Well with all those banks and beaches around you it won’t be hard to keep social distancing.

The founder: Bertie Baker

The brainchild of Bertie Baker, it was started in 1983 before falling away.

Before being brought back in 1997 by Eilean Eisdeal (The Easdale Island Community Development Group) as a fundraising event.

And a social gathering with the aprés-skim mighty as ‘stoners’ bopping away to covers band None the Wiser after the event.

A rolling stone

I know this why? My old Travel pal Keeley whim I met in Switzerland www.myswitzerland.com and Swhisskey on the rocks.

When we sidled off from the rest of the group to go stone skimming on an Alpine lake above Interlaken.

There’s something about the Alps and I was back skimming in Austria and Germany on my Topflightforschools www.topflightforschools.ie. walking trip around the Tyrol www.visittyrol.cim.

Stony, stony banks

Stone skimming is a game we all learn as children, easy to pick up with simple rules which translate across oceans.

The new Stones: None the Wiser

And which can be competitive too…

As my iron-pumping New York cousin Eddie displayed when he took me out on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond http://www.visit-lochlomond.com and www.visitscotland.com.

The Son and Heir

Watch for rogue throwers in Avoca

I worked on my throw, angle and trajectory (it’s all in the crouch) as I travelled through life finding new worlds as I went.

And a new pal to play with, the Son and Heir.

Being the competitive sod I am I needed to hold back the inevitable passing of tbs baton, or skimming stone.

Wicklow throwers

How sweet is the valley: Avoca

I would tale him on around the pools, streams and waters of our adopted county Wicklow www.visitwicklow.ie.

On one occasion I took it too far, at one of our favourite stretches, the poet Thomas Moore’s Meeting of the Waters in picturesque Avova http://www.themeetings.ie.

When I skimmed a ten and it bounced up onto the opposite bank.

Duck!

Luckily for me the boy in the other side ducked at the right moment and it jumped over his shoulder.

Of course there are. times when skimming a stone can be a solitary, reflective pastime when you want to get things off your chest…

Or out of your hand.

French farce

Off to go skimming on the Fresh Riviera

Such as when I found it the only way to get rid of my frustrations after I was denied the chance of driving a Fist 500 around the cliffs of the French Riviera.

I had stalled the classic car three times in the car park before we took off.

And the hire company’s guide persuaded me that he should take the wheel… The Boat D’Azur and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/uk.france.fr/en/news/article/contact-us/amp

All about the craic

Where’s your crouch? At the worlds in Scotland

The World Stone Skimming Championships http://www.stoneskimming.com is, of course, more than just the stone throwing.

It’s all about the craic too.

Time will tell if the pandemic will have abated to allow the Championships to run in September.

But until then I’ve got plenty of time, and space, to practise down North Berwick beach.

Countries, Europe, Ireland

Holiday Snaps: Easter Ireland

Thoughts of Ireland are never far from my mind but never more so than at Easter.

Easter was our time, my Mum and me.

When she would drive us over to see her Mum and Dad and sister in Co. Donegal in the north-west of the country.

We would have some adventures on the way.

Cheers: With Our Blondie

Such as the time when we ended up on the Scottish island of Arran. Because she was too busy talking.

And did not listen to the steward, and went into the wrong queue.

I’d keep up the tradition of going to Donegal http://www.govisitdonegal.com at Easter when I relocated to Ireland and County Wicklow http://www.visitwicklow.ie.

And we would always stay in the town of Ballybofey near to her home hamlet of Brockagh.

Get out of my picture

Mum, having been brought up in the only hotel in the hamlet, was always a stickler for standards.

But she was always treated as a returning heroine by Jackson’s http://www.jacksonshotel.ie manager Barry.

I never had the heart to tell her that Irish hoteliers treat every guest the same way.

Of course neither of us are able to visit Donegal just now.

Where Dad is seeing out eternity with the rest of her family.

But it is reassuring to know that Donegal hasn’t forgotten us.

Donegal’s delights

With my friends at Harvey’s Point https://www.harveyspoint.com sending on their Easter greetings.

Tranquil: Harveys Point. http://www.booking.com

And Niall and the team are naturally showing that Donegal optimism.

With an offer for when we get back travelling again.

The award-wining Harvey’s Point is offering 10% off gift vouchers which can be redeemed in full against future stays.

We’ll maybe not tell her though that it was another Ulster county Monaghan which laid out the red carpet for us.

When the Scary One only brought us there a weekend early.

Visit https://monaghantourism.com/plan-your-visit/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/monaghans-country-roads/

And Easter elsewhere

Lie back and think of Austria

There’s a meme going around just now.

Where Maria Von Trapp is being carted away from the hills (black humour will help us through this crisis).

Drink it all in

The Austrian hills are, of course a shifting landscape and beautiful either in the snow https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/europe/soll-mates/ or when the glades are verdant.

I was all over Austria last year walking with Top Flight for Schools https://topflightforschools.ie… and drinking https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/26/hungry-and-thursday-the-off-sales/!

In the pink: Get funky with your eggs

This being rural Austrian Tyrol https://www.tyrol.com it’s all about the eggs.

There are two kinds – the decorative ones and the chocolate ones. The decorative ones are blown beforehand so they are a hollow shell.

No yolk

Chocolate treats

The locals then use ferns and small flowers.

They are attached to the egg, before it is coloured or stained and then removed to leave a pattern.

The best bit though is that they are then used in an adaptation of a favourite childhood game.

Eierpecken is an Austrian pastime where the eggs are knocked together, just like conkers?

Visit www.blog.tirol/en/2018/03/diy-naturally-dyed-easter-eggs/ and here: www.pinterest.ch/pin/554998354055595995/
Austrian Tirol: www.visittirol.co.uk

Swiss roll

Fun and games: In the Swiss Alps

I like the way the Swiss roll.

And if you thought it was schnapps, schnapps and more schnapps you would only be half right.

Heaven with Hell

The beer, they go in for a brew called Hell, ain’t half bad.

While they also serve whisky at the top of the Jungfraujoch railway https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/jungfraujoch-top-of-europe/ and https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/.

And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/europe/swhisskey/.

And delivery of Easter wine is very much part of their seasonal rituals.

The big cheese

It was started as a religious, social and calming offering back in 1575 in Verbier and has continued ever since.

Let the train take the strain: In Switzerland

In the past the parishes or the bourgeoises bequests in kind and in money.

In return for being the ones to offer the distribution of wine, cheese or even bread during Easter.

Peak condition: In Switzerland

Nowadays, it encourages families and friends to get together for a feast.

So channel your inner Swiss today when you feast on wine, cheese or even bread during Easter.

These are the Swiss wines to look out for https://swisswine.ch/en/news/amazing-swiss-wine-regions-discover 
Verbier: www.verbier.ch/en/index.htm