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Travel Extra Holiday World edition

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*Terms and conditions apply, see cruisingpower.ie for details. IRELAND'S PREMIER SOURCE OF TRAVEL INFORMATION FEBRUARY 2013 VOLUME 17 NUMBER 2 Free The Glens of Antrim Istanbul Australia’s north west wonderland PRICES AND OPTIONS FOR 2013 WASHINGTON CAPITAL EXPERIENCE NEW GUINEA THE LAST FRONTIER PICK ME UP I’M Free page 001 cover Feb 2013 r 2 14/01/2013 09:49 Page 1
Page 1: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

*Terms and conditions apply, see cruisingpower.ie for details.


The Glens of Antrim IstanbulAustralia’s north west wonderland





page 001 cover Feb 2013 r 2 14/01/2013 09:49 Page 1

Page 2: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

page 002 11/01/2013 11:34 Page 1

Page 3: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

Holiday Villages

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CALL:1850 45 35 45


VISIT:Falcon Travel Shops or Local Travel Agent


*Prices are subject to availability and includeextras. Flight supplementsmay apply. Insurance andflightmeals not included.Departures fromDublinAirport. Falcon is fully bonded and licensed by CAR (TO 021)


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page 003 11/01/2013 11:35 Page 1

Page 4: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

THE KNOWLEDGE www.travelextra.infoCONTENTS

5 News TV holidays back on airwaves6 Hotels: News10 Brochures: First flush of 201314 Trends: Places to watch in 201316 Destinations: Washington DC,Chiang Mai, San Diego, Australia’s out-back, Yosemite, Broome, Alaska, Santi-

ago de Compostela, Asturias, CostaLuz, Papua New Guinea, Lisbon, Alen-tejo, Kwazulu Natal, Gran Canaria, Brit-tany, Ski Austria, Ski Andorra. 37 Holiday World: Fair for the fares58-63 Flying: Trans Atlantic growth64 Fashion: Courtney & Lennon65 Cruise launch: Celebrity Reflection66 Afloat: Cruise and ferry

68 Cruise: Brilliance of the Seas70 Ireland: Home holiday news72 Ireland: Glens of Antrim & K Club74 Postcards: from the travel industry76 Global Village Inside the travel industry77 Window seat: Our columnists78 Pictures: Out and about

The 2013 holidayseason, at firstglance, does not

throw up much hope forbargains. But if youthink laterally and fol-low the trends in the in-dustry, you can make themost of your free time in2013.FLASH sales areso commonplace nowthat they may have to berenamed prolongedbeam of light sales. Getyourself on as manyemail lists as possible tokeep track of them. Startwith the airlines, to catchthe flash sales that werepioneered in this countryby Ryanair, four daysseat promotions at €12,and have been copied byall the main airlines andthe main hotel groups.Individual hotels are alsoholding flash sales. ESHOT lists areguaranteed to save youmoney. The biggest mar-ket in the flash salesbusiness is operated bycompanies such asGroupon, giving theireshot recipients 24 hoursto book a low cost deal.These are ridiculouslycheap, hotels are sellingrooms in the hope of get-ting a few euro backfrom a meal or in thebar, or generating repeatbusiness. There are now25 flash sale websitesand eshots, so many thatsomebody has set up awebsite to keep track ofthem all, calleddealspage.ie.ONLINE depositswere the good newsstory of 2012. Airlinessuch as Aer Lingus andBritish Airways no

longer force you to payfor your flight in fullwhen you book. Remem-ber that travel agents andtour operators also allowyou to pay a low depositrather than taking yourcredit card for the fullamount in January whenyou are not travellinguntil July. Some airlinessuch as American Air-lines are also allowing ahold option” when yousee a low price on the In-ternet you can hold it fora day and then decide. Ifthe price is gone up, youcan still buy at yester-day’s fare.VOUCHERSare the currency of re-cession. Stay in a hoteland expect to have a €50voucher off your nextstay left by your pillow.

BIDE your time ifyou are flexible withyour plans and you don’tlike any of the fares orprices you see, flashsales by the major air-lines are common place.They sell off the emptyseats at a better rate thanyou can get now. Sign upfor the email alerts fromall the major airlines toget this. Airline revenuemanagement systems usefour main factors in put-ting prices on the win-dow (computer or yourtravel agency): historicalflight data, seasonality,market demand, and(most importantly) com-petitive considerations.If there are more thantwo airlines on a route,prices are harder to man-age for the airline andbetter for the consumer.

BOOK now if youlike the price and are dueto fly in the next sixmonths. The airlines liketo get the very earliestbookers to pay throughthe nose for their tickets,people who KNOW theyhave to be somewherefor a wedding or a fam-ily occasion. After that,it is a pretty simpleprocess where the airlinefare rises as each sectionof the aircraft getsblocked off. Sometimesif sales are a little live-lier than they antici-pated, they will taketickets off the market -the reason the lowestfares you’re searchingfor may already be soldout is because the airlinethinks they’ll be able tosell those seats at ahigher value and will as-

sign them accordingly.The computer has a re-think with six weeks togo. With a fortnight togo, prices will climbsteadily, so much so thatif you miss your flightand have to rebook, theshortest Ryanair flightcan cost you €300.NEW destinationscost less than well estab-lished ones, because theytake a while to becomewell known enough.This applies to packageholidays as well as air-lines. This year there arenew routes to Scandi-navia and America thatwill take some time toestablish themselves.New systems can helptoo. United moved theirmuch-praised Orion rev-enue management sys-tem to origin anddestination-based insteadof by segment in 2012. Itunder performed whichtranslates as good newsfor the consumer..CHERRY pick.The wise guys in avia-tion have been un-bundling their productsand services. They telltheir investors they saythis has created “highmargin items” whichdrives profit. Fliers cancherry pick what is left.If you don’t want thechecked bag or food, optout and save money.FERRY pick. Lowdeposits are the normwith ferry companiesand they offer a more re-laxed journey with dayrooms, showers and evena mini-spa. You arriverelaxed and with asmany bags as you like.


Opportunity knacks

Travel ExtraAdvertising & Subscriptions6 Sandyford Office Park

Dublin 18(+3531) 2913708

Fax (+3531) 2957417

Editorial OfficeClownings Straffan

Co Kildare

Managing Editor:Gerry O’Hare

[email protected]

Editor:Eoghan [email protected]

Publisher:Edmund Hourican

Sales Director:Maureen [email protected]

Accounts and Advertising:Maria [email protected]

Picture Editor:Charlie Collins

[email protected] Subeditor:

Ida [email protected]

Chief Features Writer:Anne [email protected] :Eanna Brophy

[email protected] Carberry

[email protected] Higgins

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Contact 01-2957418 ifyou have difficulty getting Travel Extra.

Make sure to catch the flash rather than splash the cash

Page 004 Knowledge r 14/01/2013 14:32 Page 1

Page 5: Travel Extra Holiday World edition


SuccessfulgetawayNew travel programme gets 420,000 viewers

BROOKINGS Institute in the USA’sannual report suggests Ireland dropped from12th to 22nd in the rankings for end to end pas-sengers since 2003 with a dip of 4pc, in com-mon with many European countries beingovertaken by Latin America/Caribbean traffic.US-UK traffic dropped 3.8pc but remains 3rd(after Canada and Mexico). Spain (+17pc) re-mains 13th, Switzerland (+70pc) rose from24th to 18th and was the only European coun-try to overtake Ireland. Netherlands dipped1.5pc and from 14th to 23rd. Belgium (+40pc)improved from 34th to 32nd. Brookings saysDublin provided 1,35m passengers in contrastto DAA's figure of 1,53m for all transatlantic.Kuoni have listed their top 10 in 2012: 1 Mal-dives, 2 Thailand, 3 Sri Lanka, 4 USA, 5 UAE,6 Mauritius, 7 Malaysia, 8 Barbados, 9 Singa-pore, 10 St LuciaNEW YORK CITY welcomed arecord 52m visitors in 2012, a new all-timehigh and a 2.1pc increase over 2011VACCINE SHORTAGE Thereare fears of a typhoid vaccine shortage fearsfor holiday makers after the recall of the vac-cine by Sanofi.BEIJING Irish citizens have been able tomake three-day visa-free visits to Beijing andShanghai since New Year’s day.

The new Irish travel programmeGetaways has achieved aNeilsen rating of 420,000 and

a 27pc market share onits debut.Produced Maggi Gibson for Holy-

wood based JannineWaddell and pre-sented by 2005 Rose of TraleeAoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin andBelfast broadcaster Joe Lindsay, theseries covers 12 destinations in sixepisodes airing on Thursdays onRTE1 and Mondays on BBC NI, aprogramme which is which is sixminutes longer due to the absence ofcommercial breaks.Each programme features one main

foreign destination and a local stay-cation destination. In this seriesAoib-hinn and Joe are heading to Malta,northern Italy, Lisbon, the Izmir re-gion in Turkey, Chicago and Mo-rocco. The Holiday Show on TV3 isconcentrating on home holidays thisseason. Joe Lindsay and Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin


Contact your local Travel Agent | www.sunway.ie | 01 2366 845

All the above prices are per person based on 2 sharing. Prices include: Flights / Taxes & Charges andBagggage allowance. Return airport transfers and 7 nights accommodation in the properties listed above.

Prices are per person based numbers shown. Child prices are based on under 12 sharing including flights, accom. & taxes. Instantpurchase on above offers. Deposit only offers available, please ask Sunway Sales agent for prices. Offers subject to availability.

Tunisia2* Dreams Beach Htl B/B from €347 €397 €449 €427Majorca2* Sun Beach Apts S/C from n/a €397 €499 €569Gran Canaria2* Colina Mar Apts S/C from €399 €467 €529 €439Lanzarote2* Marazul Apts S/C from €399 €489 €599 €529




€150OFFPER COUPLE_______







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Orlando SpecialOrlando 3 Bed Disney Area Home with Pool

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FromFrom €619pp619pp

Page 005 News 14/01/2013 11:16 Page 1

Page 6: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

Flat outto Abu Dhabiand beyond withthe World’sLeading Airline*

etihad.com01 6569900


*2012, 2011, 2010 & 2009 World Travel Awards

page 006-007 11/01/2013 12:16 Page 1

Page 7: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

In our Pearl Business Class, you have all the room in the worldto get comfortable. Stretch out on our award-winning 6’1”fully-flat bed or, whenever you feel like it, order restaurant-quality cuisine from your very own Food&BeverageManager.Not to mention over 600 hours of entertainment on the widestscreens in the sky. We’ve got 10 flights a week from Dublinto over 80 global destinations. Nothing less than you deservefrom theWorld’s Leading Airline.*

How would you like to fly with the best?

Bollywood Actress Katrina Kaif - an Etihad Brand AmbassadorProduct availability may vary according to route and market.

Experience the very best inflat-bed comfort.

page 006-007 11/01/2013 12:16 Page 2

Page 8: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

HOTELS www.travelextra.infoFEBRUARY 2013 PAGE 8

GUILBAUDS The DailyMeal.comhas listed Patrick Guilbaud 68th among its 100best hotel restaurants in world. The numberone was Joël Robuchon Restaurant at MGMGrand Las Vegas.ADARE Manor has become the the firstever Irish property to win a World TravelAward It was awarded World’s Leading Bou-tique Golf Resort.SOFITEL will be opening two newproperties in Dubai in 2013. Sofitel The Palmwith 361 rooms and 182 serviced residences,and 31-storey, 350-room Sofitel DowntownhotelFERMANAGH Lusty Beg Islandowner Michael Cadden has opened a new 35-bedroom Fermanagh Hotel on site of the for-mer Fort Lodge HotelDAILY MEAL Five Irish restaurantsin the Daily meal’s top 100 list for Europe,Chapter One 25th, Guilbaud 48th, Fishy Fishy,Kinsale 82nd, Ballymaloe 83rd and Aniar, Gal-way 88th Osteria Francescana in Modena Italywas selected as the best restaurant in Europe.ABU DHABI Jumeirah at Etihad Tow-ers has opened the Observation Deck at 300EXPEDIA has bought hotel price com-parison website Trivago for €477m.TRAVELODGE hotels have comileda list of unsuual things left behind by hotelguests in 2012, theyb include a winning Eu-roMillions ticket, a stamp album worth€250,000, an original Harry Potter wand,breast implants, a box of live crabs, a PersianChinchilla kitten, a pantomime horse, a€50,000 Rolex watch, a diamond encrustedphoneSHANGRI-LA group’s first UK prop-erty will also be the first new-build five-star inLondon in over a decade. It will take up floors34 to 52 of this architectural giant, offering 202rooms and suites. Epic views of the capitalwill, of course, come as standard.OSLO’s “The Thief” opened on 9 January– is so-christened because it sits in Tjuvhol-men, a fjord-side district where criminals wereonce executed. But times change, and TheThief – equipped with 119 rooms – is the latestelement in the gentrification of a waterfrontthat is rapidly shedding its warehouses forcafés, shops and the drama of Norway’s na-tional opera house.NICARAGUA’s first luxury accom-modation opens in February, with the unveilingof the Mukul Resort. ouse spa.THE REFINERY is to open in NewYork’s Garment District on West 38th Street(between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), making useof the Colony Arcade Building – a former hatfactory.

Charlie Sheil, GM of the Marker Hotel: a four star plus property to open in Dublin’s Grand Canal HarbourSquare March, is a sign of renewed optimsim in the hotel industry

Rovers returnDublin and south-west lead occupancy improvement

Irish hotel occupancy has im-proved in 2012, but there are stillregions of the country with dan-

gerously low levels of occupancy.Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn

said that things had improved, parti-cal on the touirm hotspots, but thatthere were parts of the country “wherethere are lots of 50, which are notgood.” Occupancy rates are lowest inthe midlands, the trophy propertiesthere are going to find it hardest.Challenge for hotels is generating themargin to reinvest in the propertyFáilte Ireland research suggests that

domestic trips are holding up, and 9mtrips were

taken by Irish people in Ireland butIrish people are spending less, €100mless in 2012. Of hoteliers and guest-house owners surveyed by Fáilte Ire-land 8/10 are increasing marketingeffort, 7/10 are cutting operatingcosts, 6/10 are discounting prices and1/2 targeting new markets, introduc-ing new products or services, whilethe other three responses are fallingthis one is increasingRedmond O’Donoghue, chairman

of Fáilte Ireland said that the hotspotsreported increased hotel occupancyleading to strong margins. He saidthat while 2009 and 2010 were aboutsurvival, 2011 was stop the bleeding,number up 5pc, 2012 was the year ofconsolidation, and 2013 is the year forgrowth at last.“The physical infrastruture is in

place, bridges, tunnels, the tourism in-frastructure is in place, hotels, golfcourses and attractions, the heavy lift-ing has been done, the programmesare in place with the Gathering.”

O’Donoghue said that 2012 was anexceptional year for business tourismand that 2013 prospects had initiallybeen much weaker but were nowstrengthening.O’Donoghue praised what he

called a “tourism friendly govern-ment” and contrasted the irish posi-tion on VAT with that in Portugal,there the government increased their13.5pc VAT rate to 23pc under pres-sure from the Troika ‘nearly killingthe industry’

0818 44 44 47

Region 2010 2011 2012Average 58 59 63Dublin 63 66 73East Midlands 44 41 46South East 61 59 64South West 61 62 64Shannon 53 54 49West 59 61 66North west 52 51 54Big town 61 64 69Smal town 55 55 57Rural 55 54 57


Profitabllity up down sameHotels 54 25 21Guesthouses 38 16 46Hostels 35 16 49Atratcions 30 31 39Self catering 25 31 44Bed & breakfast 15 17 68


Page 008 Hotels 14/01/2013 09:10 Page 1

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After 2012’ssad, sorry,pathetic ex-

cuse for a summer,it doesn’t seem onebit too early to beplanning ahead fornext year. So, if you want to get an ideaof what’s likely to be the next trend, theFalcon summer 2013 brochure is readyto rock.There are enticing savings for those

ready to book before the end of January2013 - savings of E150 per adult orE300 per couple, one-parent family sav-ings, guaranteed free child places, freeroom and board upgrades, group placesand holiday flexibility guarantees forthose prepared to plump for next year’ssummer holiday right now.You can reserve your plane seat for

Euro15 (adults) and Euro 7 (children)and babies aged under two get a 10kgbaggage allowance on top of theirpushchair or car seat.There are family-friendly places with

loads of kids’ clubs – and a “grown-upzone” on page 17, if you are travellingwith another adult, with a la carte diningin Holiday Villages themed onMexican,Italian or Chinese food, just for exam-ple.The 2013 summer brochure also in-

cludes details of next year’s cruise op-tions with an extended choice on twoup-graded “Platinum” ships, the Thom-son Dream and Thomson Celebration.All Inclusive is the big thing at the

moment with both self-catering andhalf-board upgradable (facilities andtimings vary by hotel) – see page 18. Ifyou like the idea of stashing your wallet

for a week or twoin your room safe– this is for you!On pages 12

and 13, Falconinclude a quickguide to their main

Holiday Villages, specially for children.These are ideal for families because ofthe variety of entertainment, sport andboth outdoor and indoor (just in case ofa cloud or two) activities ranging fromcrèches, cartoon character appearances,stage academies, assault courses, foot-ball and the like.For under-twos there are “swim-a-

song” courses where babies and youngones are taught pool skills using nurseryrhymes and interactive play (sessions fillup fast so book ahead) and evening ses-sions are limited to two per week orthree per two weeks (clearly these arepopular!).For three-to-eight-year-olds there are

Kids’ Clubs with expert-run academies(stage and football – although not si-multaneously so don’t worry that youryoungster will return home with thehistrionics of a Roy Keane …).From Egypt to the usual Spanish sun-

spots in the islands and mainland, theAlgarve, Turkey, Bulgaria, Crete, Za-kynthos, Corfu and Cyprus – the choiceis wide and getting wider at Falcon.Importantly, of course, all holidays

are with a licensed and bonded operatorwith 24/7 support in-resort (if you wantit – no intrusive sales talk if you don’t)so no chance of being stranded abroador losing your precious holiday money.More from Falcon on 1850 45 35 45.



With 268p a g e sof holi-

days to choosefrom, the ThomasCook Summersun2013 brochure isreally packed withnew destinations,hotels and ideas for next summer – suchas more family activity holidays andmore all-inclusives.There are 37 new resort hotels for

next year, three of them in stylishFrance, and an entirely new coastline inSpain – the Costa de la Luz in the south-west of the country.There’s a newhotel also onCrete (which

gets warmer earlier and stays warmer laterbecause of its southerly position) and thereare the eight “Aquamanias” including anew one on theAlgarve.Villas have also been added to the pro-

gramme, such as the three-bedroom Sun-shine Villas in Puerto Rico on GranCanaria which sleep six adults in a smallcomplex on a hillside from €629 per per-son for seven nights from Dublin or Cork.For families, the Thomas Cook

brochure also tackles the problem headon (see page 7). The low-down on whatyou and your brood can expect at thecompany’s specialist familyWORLD re-sorts is explained in detail, from room-size to kids’ clubs and pool areas.

Better safe thansorry, say I – and thelist of resorts withthis kind of attentionto detail is included –there are just four ofthem, but they arethe business! Baby-WORLD features

baby-bottle sterilising and food-warm-ing facilities.Sunstar resorts are for older children

with entertainment laid on such as socceracademies, dance-coaching, crèches,evening cabarets, teen activities andevening sessions so parents get a night off.There is also guidance on which re-

sorts are “young and lively” (nowthere’s a euphemism) with Club 18-30 ifyou’re looking for 24-hour non-stopparty holidays. Escapades is what tolook for if you’re dead set on the world’sbest nightlife.After you’ve picked the kind of holi-

day you want, it’s a choice of destina-tion and hotel. There are literallyhundreds to choose between.I know the H10 Estepona Palace on

page 105 as it’s where a relative gotmarried eighteen months ago. The view,from the terraces, of the sea, beach andeven NorthAfrica is stunning – but it re-ally can be difficult to choose when thelist appears endless.For more, contact your local travel

agent or 01-514 0328.




From Aruba toZanzibar –and just

about every otherletter of the alpha-bet in-between:Topflight are offer-ing the world thisyear – and their newbrochure is a hefty 140pages long.Tony Collins and his team are nothing

if not enthusiastic and their big sellingpoint is they are Irish-owned, bonded tothe hilt and multi-award winning. Soyou get the choice you want, without therisks of going it alone.New this year in the brochure is the

destination of Sri Lanka – perfect tocombine with firm favourites such as theMaldives, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnamand Malaysia.The company uses a wide range of

airlines to carry customers across theworld including Virgin Atlantic, Thai,China Airlines, Air Mauritius and Eti-had, although its specialist partner isBritish Airways.Needless to say, within the brochure’s

pages is a glamorous array of beach hotels,each more alluring than the last, on a daz-zling choice of islands from west to east.I was glad to see my old favourite,

Blue Waters on Antigua, featured. It’s

genuinely laid-back, set on awonderful, calmbeach and it’s notthe largest resortin the world,which suits mefine.There are

plenty of adult-onlybeach hotels which are ideal for honey-mooners not yet ready for the patter oftiny feet and all-inclusive hotels forthose who want nothing more than to puttheir wallets away for a week.On Cuba, there are some specialist

tours for those who want to see this is-land before the days of Castro end.ARum and Rhythm Tour gives you aninsight into Cuba, the beaches as well ashistory and politics.The Maldives (not a place I have ever

visited personally, something I must putright) are quite stunning. If global warm-ing doesn’t get tackled soon, they are firston the list to disappear – so see themquick!Dubai is selling itself now as “afford-

able luxury” and certainly there is morevalue to be had here than there was atthe height of the boom and the hotels arereally top-class. You’ve heard of “ThePalm” (a resort of man-made islands inthe outline of a palm-tree) – now go andsee it for yourself. More from the com-pany direct on 01-240 1788.


OFF THE RACK Anne Cadwallader’s Brochure Reviews

Page 010 Brochures 14/01/2013 09:16 Page 1

Page 11: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

DUBLINHOLIDAY WORLD 2013 SHOW DATESRDS SIMMONSCOURTFri Jan 25th 10am - 1pm Trade OnlyFri Jan 25th 1pm - 7pm Trade and PublicSat Jan 26th 11am - 5.30pm Trade and PublicSun Jan 27th 11am - 5.30pm Trade and Public

BELFASTHOLIDAY WORLD 2013 SHOW DATESKINGS’S HALL BELFASTFri Jan 18th 1pm - 9pm Trade and PublicSat Jan 19th 11am - 5.30pm Trade and PublicSun Jan 20th 11am - 5.30pm Trade and Public

YOUR TRADE DAYFriday 25th January, 2013

VISITTo Pre-Register for FAST TRACK ENTRY log on to


VENUERDS Simmonscourt | Simmonscourt Road

Ballsbridge | Dublin 4

EXHIBITPlease contact Maureen Ledwith

t: + 353 (0)1 291 3700e: [email protected]

To find out more log on to:www.holidayworldshow.com


Wedding & HoneymoonDestinationsat Home and Abroad

Over 55’sHolidays

page 011 11/01/2013 12:20 Page 1

Page 12: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

Travel trade promotion€5 ONE4ALL VOUCHERper booking for all accommodation bookedwith a transfer valid for bookings made

from now till 14th February 2013

Email [email protected] at the end of thepromotion to claim your vouchers.


page 012-013 11/01/2013 12:22 Page 1

Page 13: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

• Competitive Prices

• 250,000 Worldwide properties

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lowcostbeds.comLimitedLondon,RomanshornBranch.BranchRegistrationNumber:CH–440.9.024.481.2VATNumber:CH763279RegisteredAddress:Maria -Stader-Weg4, 8590RomanshornBranchSwitzerland.

the trade’s favouriteaccommodation provider

page 012-013 11/01/2013 12:22 Page 2

Page 14: Travel Extra Holiday World edition


If 2012 was the yearof the east thanks tothe three airlines who

bring us to theAsian gate-ways. Increased capacityin 2013 will be to thewest and to the north.Not that the east has

faded. Emirates, Etihadand Turkish have all en-joyed high load factorsand each of them is nowtalking about doubledaily services. With Eti-had offering ten weeklyservices through AbuDhabi, Turkish offeringten through Istanbul, andEmirates offering seventhrough Dubai, a wholenew world of one-stopconnection possibilitieshave opened up.Australia is by far the

most important for theIrish market. It remainsour long haul destinationof choice with a large in-crease in tourism amongthe young and the over50s, who seem to be tak-ing the opportunity of-fered by bargain fares tovisit their relatives whohave gone out on oneyear visas. Etihad offerone stop connections toBrisbane, Melbourne andSydney. Emirates offerAdelaide and Perth aswell. The Emirates dealwith Qantas means thatDubai rather than Singa-pore is going to be thegateway of choice forpeople flying toAustralia.Direct services to

India, a real possibility

before the recession thathit both Ireland and AirIndia are no longer on therunway but we have lotsof new one-stop options.Emirates serve ten

cities in India, Etihadnine, and TurkishAirlinesserve Delhi and Mumbai.While Dublin’s direct

service to Beijing is still apossibility (the Chinesecapital is the same distancefrom Dublin as Los Ange-les), Etihad serve sevencities in China, Emiratesand Turkish three each.Emirates and Etihad bothserve four cities in Pakistanand Turkish two.All three serve

Bangkok, our secondfavourite long haul holi-day destination. KualaLumpur is still a directflight possibility. Emi-rates recently launched aflight to Phuket and im-proved their Bangkokconnections. Etihad havegreat connections to theSeychelles.Vietnam, for a long time

a two stop destination, isnow just one stop away viaTurkish or Emirates.The options are also in-

creased when you looksouth toAfrica. Durban isnow one stop away byEmirates.

So far one excitingnew westboundroute has been de-

clared for 2011, theUnited service to Wash-ington Dulles. It offers

100 seats less per aircraftthan the equivalent AerLingus services to BWIin 2002-3 and Dulles in2007-9 but it opens uplots of exciting prospectsin Virginia and Marylandas well as the vast openair museum that is Wash-ington DC.A hub or an alliance

can make a difference.Charlotte was the newroute of choice in 2011and it opened up dozensof extra Florida connec-tions. Aer Lingus’s tie inwith Jetblue has createdwest coast opportunitiesthat would never havejustified a direct service.Air Canada has

launched a new code-share with Aer Lingusand increased capacity onthe Dublin Toronto route.It is a matter of time be-fore this becomes year-round.South American one

stop options are also in-creasing. British Airwaysnow has eight directflights under its own liv-ery to Dublin each day.The propensity of other

airlines to offer theirlower cost flights in theIrish market, rather thanaffect local sales, meansit can also make sense tofly east to go west, to SaoPaola via Istanbul.Extra connections to

Frankfurt in 2013 willmean more connectionoptions throughLufthansa’s fast growinghub.Anew fourth runway

means it will overtakeHeathrow as Europe’sbusiest airport in threeyears’ time.

Tour operators areshowing unduecaution in the

chartering of services for2013, many preferring in-stead to block book seatson scheduled airlines.Tenerife is the only ex-

ception, with both Falconand Thomas Cook return-ing to the island afterpulling out in 2012 be-cause of competitionfrom Aer Lingus andRyanair.There will be extra

weekly charter flights toCorfu, Palma, Faro andLanzarote. Sunway’sAgadir operation resumesin summer after two sea-sons when it was just awinter service.Services to Egypt, Mo-

rocco and Tunisia are stillsuffering the effects ofthe Arab spring.But there is action here

as well. Three new touroperators received theirlicenses in the Novemberlicensing round.The entry of One Stop

Touring Shop into theIrish market has boostedinterest and bookingsacross their range of threeproducts, Insight Vaca-tions, Contiki for the 18to 35 age group and Uni-world Boutique River

Cruise Collection.The dramatic entry of

Wings Abroad into themarket in 2011 was a suc-cess despite the effect thenew competition had onprices, and are hoping toexpand further in the Irishmarket in 2013 with alonger season from Shan-non. Aer Lingus have op-erated their Izmir flightsince 2011 on a charter li-cense.Short haul routes are

also growing again aftertwo years of hiatus. AirFrance’s service to Pauwas one of the most ex-citing developments of2011.Aer Lingus had 18 and

Ryanair 17 seasonal serv-ices last summer. Capac-ity has been cut back somuch that it is unlikelythere will be further cut-backs in 2013, particu-larly after a summer ofhigh prices.

Fashions change fastin the holiday busi-ness. Often the

choice of destination isdecided for us by an am-bitious tour operator orairline operator.Topflight, Sunway andthe Travel Departmentare all planning expan-sion in Asia in 2013.Direct flights have

made a brief impact in thepast for unlikely destina-tions such as the Azores,

Cape Verde, Corsica,Cuba, Dominican Repub-lic, several Greek islands(most recently Santoriniand Skiathos), Romaniaand Thailand. Most fea-tured as fashionableplaces for about threemonths before they, ortheir access routes,stopped.Sometimes a bad expe-

rience (Jamaica 1992) ora season of intensiveoverbooking (Croatia in2004) can see off the rep-utation of an entire desti-nation. Croatia andBulgaria in 2006-8 bothpeaked only to perish asthe punter decided theproduct was not exactlywhat they wanted.Sicily and Sardinia, in-

troduced more gingerlyby innovative tour opera-tors in the late 1990s,both stayed the pace.Flights to Bulgaria, for

instance, went from oneto nine weekly and backagain to three over analarming three year pe-riod. This ski season Bul-garia has no direct flightsfrom Dublin.Croatia is returning to

the bookings chart thisautumn and could well bethe new Croatia.Let’s hope the beds are

still available, unlike lasttime, when we arrive forthe holliers in 2013. Theaverage price of a 2x2bucket and spade holidayclimbed to over €3,000last summer.

Most of the air capacity to the USA is directed to New York

Westerly wanderingsWesterly wanderings

Increased frequency on west bound routes offer possibilities in 2013


Page 014-015 Trends r 11/01/2013 12:29 Page 1

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ALGARVE Nothing seems to dent the popu-larity of the southern Portuguese coast. It recentlycaptured Majorca’s crown as the mainland summerholiday destination of choice for Irish people and thesummer services from all Irish airports are set to sta-bilise or increase again in 2013.ANDALUCIA There are 100,000 beds inTorremolinos alone (more than New York), so achange in fashion or a spat between Ryanair and an-other airport will never stop the trail of Irish holidaymakers returning to Spain’s most touristed region.AUSTRALIA Increasingly our favouritelong haul destination out of Ireland. Go diving withthe Whale Sharks in Exmouth or swimming with thefresh water crocs in Kakadu and you will never everforget the experience. All the major cities are nowone-stop options through the Middle East.BOSTON Is Boston the new New York? Theavailability of an extra aircraft has enabled Aer Lin-gus have put on extra services for the summer of2013. Shopping is tax free, the hotels are cheaper andthe museums are amazing.CANADA Air Canada are getting more adven-turous by the year with the size of craft and Transathave opened up Montreal as well. The beautiful northbeckons.CHINA Ethnic travellers used to fill the fewavailable seats through our favourite European hubsto this vast and diverse country, pushing prices

Pagoda-high. This has changed with the creation ofadditional transfer options. Direct flights fromDublin? It is an inevitability.DUBAI An amazing 25-year success story oftourism is set to continue as Emirates increased theircraft from a 237-seater to a 360-seater and still findthey need more capacity.LISBON COAST Picture postcard townslike Ericeira and Obidos are among the highlights ofone of the most richly decorated stretches of coast inEurope. For a long time Irish eyes were focussed fur-ther south, but good air services to Lisbon has at-tracted the surfers, of both the real and web variety,golfers or those whose idea of a good time is a nice

wine and the finest seafood watching the sunset overthe Atlantic.MAJORCA A victim of its entrenched rela-tionship with tour operators in the past, tens of thou-sands of hotel beds along the coast have beenreleased to accommodation only specialists in thepast two years and brought greater flexibility.MALTA Getting married? There are nearly 400churches in Malta, one at every turn of the road.It also can save a lot of money. A wedding in Maltawill set you back an average of €4,500, comparedwith the average of €23,000 at home.SCANDINAVIA Lots of extra capacityfrom SAS and Aer Lingus’s return to Stockholm andCopenhagen should keep the major Scandinaviandestinations on the radar for 2013.TURKEY This is one of the fastest growingdestinations out of Ireland, going from 10 to 20flights weekly in two years. You can fly to Antalya,Bodrum and Izmir on the south west coast. The Turk-ish Airlines daily service to Istanbul which offersconnections throughout the country is to go fromseven to ten flights weekly in May.WASHINGTON The newest west boundroute of 2012 was the United Airlines daily service.Washington is not just the US capital, it is a vast openair museum. There are lots anniversary commemora-tions of the US Civil War,


Dublin on the arrivals board at Abu Dhani


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Page 16: Travel Extra Holiday World edition


Washington DCruns on gos-sip. They

spend days cultivating itand plucking it when it isripe. People gather in thetrendy clubs and high endeateries to bitch and back-bite.Government agencies

and embassies scramblefor streetscape, compet-ing with each other likearriviste merchants.Lobbyists and lawyers,

tens of thousands of each,and politicians, peacockthrough the streets andsocial spots like shop-keeper’s daughters.So what do you do in a

village? Take to the sad-dle, tinkle the bell andcycle the length of itsfinest sights. The mall isWashington’s viewinggallery of monuments tothe fallen, its martyrs andmilitarists, a map ofAmerica’s heroes andhang-ups around a poolof swampy water.The tour, led by Tujon

Gallagher of Bike andRoll (“it’s as easy as rid-ing a bike,” he reassuresus) is magnificent beyondexpectations, his storiesinformed and entertainingas he talks us through thepolitics of commemora-tion, of which the Mall inWashington is a casestudy.Probably the most

complicated of all is theFDR memorial, each sec-tion of it a battleground ofcompeting interestgroups. America’s

wounds are most openlyon display with the Viet-nam memorial, commis-sioned and in place 22years before the WorldWar II memorial.

There is no WW1memorial yet, ahundred years

after the event. There is afeisty Korean war memo-rial. Martin Luther Kinglooks white and Maoist,as befits the Chinese de-sign. There is big type to

the left hand side of Lin-coln, his inaugural speechforever in three feet highcarving looking to the eu-ture rather that the future.Most impressive of all,slightly eccentric, is Ein-stein, a short distancefrom the main cluster.Don’t look for any

mention of the losing sidein the Civil war anywherein the city. There is none.“You have to go to Rich-mond, Virginia, for that,”Eddie Sielenski one ofthe guides said. “Thenorth won and there wasthis attitude around.”You couldn’t help but

think that after 150 years,a bit of Civil War recon-ciliation might be inorder. If the French andGermans can do it…They have drained the

enormously stenchy pondand refreshed the water.Apity, because that waspart of the story.You can also ogle the

White House from be-yond the perimeter fence,132 rooms and six chefs.This is all a prelude to

the Hill, all pomp and se-curity and the self impor-tance accorded thepolitical masters of theheaving collection of cul-tures that is theUnitedStates.A security lock-down

in the US Congress meantwe were shut in like HolyHour drinkers in the olddays, listening to thevaledictory speech of Illi-nois politician Judy Big-gert to an empty House ofRepresentatives. They es-corted us in, took our mo-

bile phones from us, andwhen a distant alarm wasactivated then told us wecould not retrieve ourpossessions even if wewere allowed to leave.It was one of the most

interesting lock-ins on theplanet. We also peeked into the public gallery ofthe Senate, looking downon a floor full of failedUS presidential candi-dates.

At Juniper restau-rant they tell usthey make their

own honey on the roof ofthe hotel.

The Doyle Collectionhas three hotels in thecity, three slices of Ire-land in the embassy dis-trict. The Dupont CircleHotel offers 327 rooms,in a great part of the city,near James Hoban’s pub(the man who designedthe White House has nomonuments in the city butgets an Irish pub namedafter him) and just roundthe corner from one of themost eccentric bookshopsin the world, an amazingestablishment calledKramer Books, a book-shop with a bar, or is it abar with a bookshop?

An earthquake has prevented visits to the Washington memorial, adding to the mystique of the column

Easy DCEoghan Corry in Washington

A fitting monument to the Irishman who designed the White House


Biker in Dupont Circle, the way to see the city

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Page 016 washington dc r 11/01/2013 12:31 Page 1

Page 17: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

how about you...?


Rosemary Chawke Mandy Walsh Ian Walsh Jennifer O’Brien Sinead Davy


0818 33 20 03Email: [email protected]

Web: www.travelhomeworking.ie

I dreamt of being able to spend more time with my daughters, Katie(aged 5) and Laura (aged 3). Now I work from home, I am therefor the children if they need me. I am also earning way more thanI did before, so I can treat us all more often.Rosemary Chawke, TipperaryTravel Counsellor for 7 years

“ “Three blocks away is

another slice of Ireland,the Fairmont EmbassyRow hotel, whereAlexandra Byrne andStephen Johnston host usfor breakfast in their sig-nature restaurant, 2100Prime.This place used to be

the Jockey Club and thereare still pictures of horse-men around the walls.This is where Kennedydined on the evening ofhis inauguration.The best bit of Wash-

ington DC, without adoubt, is the rooftop barin the W. This place hassome amazing monu-ments, stunning sights,and an occasional historicavenue. And that’s justthe fellow-revellers –there is more to see if youturn around to look at thecity instead. The WhiteHouse is waving distancebut a tree gets in the way.Hotel GM Ed Baten

tells me that half of the

revenue at the W comesfrom food and beverages.It is easy to see how, thisis one of the coolestplaces in town, topping avery historic hotel, hauntof presidents for 150years, and a nightmare torefurbish before they re-opened it two years ago.Try their Rock and Eyecocktail made with spicesand Jamaican dark rum.

Inevitably,WashingtonDC has a media mu-seum, the Newseum

where journalism junkiescan soak it all in. The trib-utes to the fallen includeVeronica Guerin who getsthree mentions whileMartin O’Hagan and theEastbourne victims fea-ture in the list of thefallen. I meet the staff totalk about the inclusion of

Irish journalists JarlathDolan andAustin Finn onthe list of the fallen and tocorrect the spelling ofTony Hennigan’s name.This is where I had a

sobering meeting with thesister of Gerardo Ortega –a journalist killed in thePhilippines last year forexposing corruption inlocal government at theFreedom Forum sectionof the journalism mu-

seum on PennsylvaniaAvenue, the Newseum.

Since MayWashing-ton has been acces-sible from Ireland

once more. The route wasprofitable from the firstmonth United Airlineslaunched the direct flight.The key to this is the air-craft type, a Boeing 757-

200, with 16 businessclass seats plus 186 seatsin economy and the factthat Dulles is a Unitedhub with 65pc of theirpassengers onwardbound.There are other op-

tions. Is it worth flyingeast to go west?Lufthansa is the first cus-tomer for the new Boeing747-8 which is beingused to launch their newbusiness class product.The staircase up to busi-ness class has beenwidened and become adesign feature of thecraft. Luggage bins arebigger and tucked out ofthe way.Lufthansa has config-

ured the aircraft for 467passengers with 98 busi-ness in class and 380 ineconomy. They servegreat food and wine andeven change the lightingto resemble the outsideworld and take the hardedge off the jet lag.


The best view of Pennsylvania Avenue is from the balcony of the Newseum


Page 016 washington dc r 11/01/2013 12:31 Page 2

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No beach, bigdraw. The mostpopular inland

holiday destination inAsia, Chiang Mai is awonder to behold beforeyou do anything touristylike climb up the steps ofits eagle’s nest temple.Thailand was the first

Asian country to cut it asa beach destination. Backin the 1950s and 1960swhile the rest weren’tsure where to start, Thai-land captured five majorEuropean markets, get-ting people excited aboutPhuket, Krabi, Phi Phiand Koh Samui.They even got the

movie with the bestname, the Beach.How did Chiang Mai

fit into all of this? Eventhe people who oversawthe success are not sure.There are bigger cities

like Beijing and morehandsome places likeHanan or Ankor Wat. Butas a uniquely tourist des-tination, Chiang Mai topsthe inland charts.

Chiang Mai lookshandsome as wearrive and start

with a highly efficientcheck-in at the FuramaHotel, a three star offer-ing that is better thanmany four star hotels Ihave been in, with bigrooms.It has two pools sur-

rounded by quasi-reli-gious statues, one ofwhich is an enchantingrooftop pool with a viewacross the valley to themountain from which thetown’s iconic templebeckons, Wat Phra ThatDoi Suthep.The temple is a spiri-

tual place, where peoplecarry flowers as they do

circuits and nests of can-dles fill the air with aspiritual sizzle.

Mountain townsin Asia are dif-ferent from

their crowded lowlandcontemporaries, ChiangMai is villagey and al-most sprawling, with a

European style 17th cen-tury walled town at itsheart. The night market isfull of stuff from China.Aren’t all markets nowa-days?There are 30,000

rooms in Chiangmai and350 hotels, ranging fromthe D2 discount chain tofive star product at about€40 a night. Hoteliers

complain there are toomany.Hoteliers always do.

The highlight of thetrip? A day at theChiang Mai

school for the blind onArak Road, splashingpaint and generally mak-ing a mess as my taste ofa Voluntourism project.At meal time the childrenput their hand up formore food and we rushdown to fill their plates.When they sing and

perform a cacophony oflocal instruments and thewhole experience is lessawkward than I imagined.

I am a critic of supplyside well-meaning volun-tourism, especially as thetravel aspect of it is hope-lessly marked up, butwhen you make a childsmile it is difficult tochaff.When I get one of the

kids to feel the keys ofmy laptop he pulls the woff, which is orrying.

At night ChiangMai offers one ofthe liveliest

scenes on the planet, wespend several hours trans-ferring by tuk-tuk be-tween night clubs,The Riverside restau-

rant, spread between in-door and outdoor sec-tions, where there is aterrific live band.The pounding heavy-

bass Good View.The high soaring singer

in the Bali room in Fab-rique, here the elders gowhile the young oneshang out in the technodancing room.The sardine-packed

Mandalay where awoman in our group gothit on by twenty fresh-faced youths in the courseof a thirty yard scrumpush to the bar.The Monkey Club, all

screens and bounce.On to the temple of the

young night-lifers, WarmUp, where I felt likeeverybody’s grandfather.There was a Shangi

beer and Mekhong Thaiwhiskey in each one.Thai whiskey is a mis-

nomer: it is made from asugar cane base whichmeans it is really rum,best drunk with cola anda morning-after warning.Shane MacGowan

wrote a song about it, soit must be good.Is there a downside?Of course. Where you

have tourists youhave chicanery. The Thaitourist board say thebiggest number of com-plaints they get each yearis because tourists are fer-ried into shops they donot want to go.When tourists are

brought to the RoyalGems shop, a 40pc com-mission goes to the driverwhich gives a hint ofwhat the mark-up is like.One driver got €3500 inone day last year.

Prayers at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

n Eoghan Corry flew to Chiang Mai with Emirates via Dubai and Thai Airwaysfrom Bangkok.

n Night Market Walking Street - ThaPae Gate. An iconic market in the OldCity, the heat and crowds become a bitoppressive but always worth a look.n Chiang Mai Safari. Travel through300 acres of Doi Suthep-Pui NationalPark and interact with animals rangingfrom giraffes to zebras to rhinos.n Chiang Dao Cave turned into ashrine and religious site.

nWat Umong 14th-century templebuilt into the side of Suthep mountainand constructed of a series of tunnels.nWat Chiang Man. This temple wasoldest temple in Chiangmai built in1297 at the site King Mangrai usedwhen he supervised the building ofChiang Mai.n Elephant Nature Park, elephant res-cue project set in Northern Thailand.


Bright lightssmall cityEoghan Corry in Chiang Mai


Songkran FestivalChai Phra Kiat Temple

Page 018 Thailand Chiang Mai r 11/01/2013 12:33 Page 1

Page 19: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

Take an island break.Drop out of the ratrace, lose yourself in

the stunning Maltesearchipelago and find yourinner balance by indulgingin the intimate experience ofrelaxed living.Urbanites may be excused

for thinking that a smallisland in the Mediterraneanmight be rather stifling, butMalta is surprisinglywell-connected and highlycosmopolitan.Short distances mean that

you can get around withextreme ease and beingclose to its quieter areasdoes not mean that youhave to forsake the vibes ofthe city. Imagine being ableto wake up in one of thebeautiful boutique hotels

around the island, and com-bine the beach, relaxation,shopping, culture andnightlife at once.This is the beauty of our

archipelago. The moreurbanised Malta is only a 25minute ferry ride away fromits quieter, smaller sisterisland of Gozo, where thepace of life allows you thebreathing space you need tosavour the quaint villagesand stunning views whichmight just leave you breath-less once more.If it’s a true combination

that you’re after, then lookno further than the harbourarea – Valletta and the ThreeCities or the wonderfullylong, winding Sliema and StJulian’s sea front.

Walking along the coastin either area is enough of acultural tour in itself.The Harbour area is a

monument to Baroquearchitecture and the city ofValletta has been designateda World Heritage Site.You could choose to stay

in various architecturallysignificant buildings, fromhistoric Art Deco outside therevamped City Gate, whosecontemporary feel juxtaposesnicely with older buildingsjust inside; or you couldchoose to stay in one of thebeautifully restored, 16thcentury town houses orpalazzi in the heart of thecity – which allow you tomingle with the residentswhile living it up in style.Shopping on Republic

Street, only a few streetsaway, is a terrific way ofsightseeing and getting thelatest season’s must havesin one.The stunning architecture

of the 19th century PalazzoFerreria sets the tone ofyour shopping experience –banks, cafes, restaurants,international franchises anddepartment stores all located

in listed buildings. Indulgein a gelato or try sipping acappuccino in Piazza Regina,outside the National Library,with the Grandmasters’Palace on your left andshops to your right.Valletta is furnished with

a surprisingly wide selectionof restaurants and cafeswhich cater for discerningtourists. Menus will changeregularly so that you cannever anticipate how yourtaste buds will be tantalised:Mediterranean fusion whichcompetes with Italian, Frenchand typical Maltese cuisine.Just across the imposing

Grand Harbour, lie the threecities, the chief one ofwhich, Vittoriosa or Birgu, asit is known in Maltese,houses not only monumentsand museums, but also aCasino. There’s plenty tosee, the Inquisitor’s Palace,the Maritime Museum andthe beautiful parish churchof St Laurence - waking upin living museums likethese is an experience whichleaves you wanting more.Indulge in a tour of some

of the island’s best shoppingin Sliema, across the

Marsamxetto Harbour fromValletta. Shop to yourheart’s content along thepromenade, the two busyparallel streets Bizazza Streetand Tower Road or in Tigne,where local boutiques rubshoulders with internationalfranchises. The wide varietyof restaurants and cafes willquell any appetite.Staying in the hotels here

is a charming experience.They are woven into theSliema residential town core,keeping you close to all theamenities while ensuring restand relaxation after a dayshopping or at the beach.The leisurely walk along

the Sliema–St Julian’s prome-nade will bring you to StJulian’s – once a charmingfishing village but now a hipsea-side town with a villagecore and busy nightlife, withbars and restaurants whichspill into it’s neighboringsuburb of Paceville.So lose yourself in the

area and let Malta’s uniquemelange of old-world charmand contemporary vibessweep away your stress, makingfor one of the most enjoy-able holidays you’ll ever have.


For the lowest faresfrom Dublin to Maltaall year round


Page 019 Malta ad feature 14/01/2013 10:32 Page 1

Page 20: Travel Extra Holiday World edition


The fourth personyou meet in a citytells you every-

thing you need to knowabout it. The fourth per-son you meet in SanDiego will be in the navy.The bay defines the

city, rather than the otherway round. The skylineattempts to fight backwith two tall skyscrapersand 15 other wannabehigh-risers.It doesn’t quite make

an impact compared withthe sparkling ocean andits multifarious jetties andshipping paths (one jettyis named after JohnWayne, in tribute to thebig-hatted man’s fishingtrips to the Baja afterwhich he crashed into it,not once, but twice).San Diego is not just an

All-American apple piecity: it is whiteAmerican,retro American, moreDenver than LA or SanFran. Hispanics andAfrican Americans com-bined make up less than10pc of the population.Want that border feel-

ing? Go to El Paso.Come here to party.

And meet a sailor.

San Diego was allabout the navywhen Top Gun was

filmed here 25 years agoand counting. Naval in-stallations, the largest inthe world, dominated theeconomy.It is a ten minute walk

from the dock to KansasCity Barbeque, where thesleazy bar scene in TopGun was filmed and TomCruise romanced KellyMcGillis with their rendi-tion of "You've Lost ThatLoving Feeling.It looks the same (de-

spite a fire in the interim)and is crammed withchatty locals.A red hairedwoman down the bar de-clares she is Irish andstarts a competitionamong the clientele andthe fun goes on, a chorusline of wit all along thebar. How could they evenfit a camera in here, nevermind a crew?The naval base has

135,000 military workerbees moving around it atany time. They fill thenightclubs and bars, thestreets by day and if youhave sharp eyes, you cansee the Navy Seals train-ing in the morning fromone of the stunning roomsacross the bridge from thecity in the Hotel del Coro-nado, the largest resorthotel in the world when itopened in 1888.They say that every

week at least one female

visitor on the beach is inneed of mouth to mouthresuscitation.It is a spectacle when a

battle squadron pulls outto sea, gathering theirnautical baggage and dis-appearing with astonish-ing speed: the giantaircraft carriers that usu-ally sit in the bay, as im-portant to the cityscape asany skyscrapers, theflotilla of destroyers, fastsubs and finally the air-craft, who never leave onboard the carrier takingoff over the city at inter-vals.One battle squadron is

the size of the entire Irisharmy.But if they ever consid-

ered invading us wecould be certain to talkthem out of it the nightbefore in the bar.

Which bar? If itdoesn’t looklively enough,

you can try the other 39bars or 100 restaurants inthe Gaslamp Quarteralone. Other Americancities are scramblingaround trying to inventneighbourhoods out ofurban disarray, San Diego

has eight of them com-pacted together like pier-stones, The two mostfamous are the GaslampQuarter and Little Italy,the East Village, Embar-cadero, Cortes Hill, Co-lumbia and Horton plaza

all come with their owncharacter (I wonder didHorton inspire Dr Seusswho lived locally?).The celebration revs

into gear for 6pm andcontinues until 2am, thestreets in the GaslampQuarter lively and safe aseveryone spills out FifthAvenue and back insearch of the perfect beer– the multifarious localbrews are a new attrac-tion.One restaurant sits re-

splendent amongst themall: Jim Croce’s widowIngrid has opened ashrine to good food aswell as her singer-song-writer husband. Hercookbook is calledThyme in a Bottle.The night then ex-

plodes into multi-facetedaction. You can hear TomCruise’s lines from TopGun somewhere behind

you on the sidewalk: em-barrass yourself, get abeer to put the flames out.Or maybe crash and burn.

Cliffs and beaches,beaches and cliffs.We made peace

with the Pacifica on a tourof the coast with JoeTimko, who spent histwenties at Ocean Beachwriting the great filmscript that didn’t happenand then, happily, decidedhis time would be betterspent hosting visitors tothis beautiful city.The coast to the north

passes through the beachbum magnet of OceanBeach, with its long holi-day pier reminding you ofwhat pier pressure reallyis in South California.The shoreline life thendoes a dolphin leap overone large estuary and thengets really interesting.La Jolla (pronounced

by the locals, with veryunhispanic accentuation,Lahoya) is the expensive,Leucadia the pristine,Torrey Pines the golfmecca, Soledad point theview, but for the exotichead for a little further.Here you find the high-

est, wildest cliffs andplaces to laze and spend alittle time looking east.And most exotic of all, astretch of sand belowwhere distant figures are

TheUSSMidway used to be known as the USSNeverdocks, now it is a permanent fixture in SanDiego

n BA have a daily direct non-stop service from London Heathrow using a Boe-ing 777 aircraft with a choice of 3 cabins on board World Traveller, World Trav-eller Plus and Club World. Arrivals and departures will be into London HeathrowTerminal 5. Arrivals and departures will be into London Heathrow Terminal 5.n San Diego is British Airways’ third destination to California, in addition toLos Angeles and San Francisco.n Fares start at €758 return including all taxes and surcharges from Dublinusing codeshare Aer Lingus.n Bookings can be made at www.ba.com or through your travel agent.n Departs Heathrow 15.50 Arrive San Diego 20.05 Depart San Diego 22.00 Ar-rive Heathrow 15.20. These timings will be updated with the summer timetable.

Naval GazingNaval Gazing

Eoghan Corry finds why it’snever lame in Southern california

Flight BA273 toSan Diego may beTHE most hidden

of hidden treasures ofWillie Walsh’s trove.It is the only direct

route to the southern Cal-ifornian destination fromEurope and the airlineand the local tourism bu-reau have decided to riska visit by a group of Irish

writers. Embarkation isfrom Terminal 5, tall andquiet, housing England’slongest escalator and itsown rapid transit train toget to the distant satellitegates. A glass of cham-pagne on arrival helpssteady the nerves. Theflight from Heathrowover the frozen waste-lands of Greenland and

Canada is 11 hours butyou gain eight hoursalong the way in timedifference. I am in one ofthe so called “love seats”in the middle of businessclass, shared with a mid-dle aged American malechemist, we share an in-terest in good conversa-tion and a copious supplyof Californian wine.


Page 020-021 San Diego r 11/01/2013 12:49 Page 1

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DESTINATION USAcelebrating naturalism.“There is a gay section onthis beach,” says Joe, “acouples section, and asection where all the con-fused people are.”The surprise here-

around is that SanDiego’s orientation is sonorthcentric. It is as if thecommunity is reluctant tolook south. They tell youthat Tijuana has a reputa-tion for being a danger-ous place to visit, but thatis only part of the story.It is surely to San

Diego’s advantage that aheaving city double thesize of San Diego nestlessouth of the border.On the whale watching

expedition (a trip that willalways turn up a splash-ing tail or two) they talkabout the sealife thatwanders up and down themigration path to theBaja, as if “all that downthere” was a distant Tír nanÓg. The mood is: you

can go but don’t comecrying back to me whenyou fall off your horse onyour return.

Regular first timetourists don’thave time for the

cliffs, they are too busycashing in on the big sig-natures. San Diego hasfour, their Legoland thebest of the family afterBillund (subject to theproviso that I have not

visited Tampa), they havethe original Seaworld, afamous zoo and its sistersafari park.Zoos are something of

an acquired taste andhave no place in the itin-erary of an internationaltourist who has seen realanimals in their naturalhabitat.San Diego’s zoo, to its

credit, knows what isdoing, and does it well.The animal kingdom isturned into something of

a soap opera for the visi-tors, an endless cycle ofhappy marriages and cutekids, with the hard nosedbattle-weary world ofconservation gettingmentioned as the justifi-cation for it all.It is hard not to be

taken in by the pandawith the stick of bambooor the condors who havebeen saved from extinc-tion, their siblings re-leased back to the wild.That is the measure of

success: there were only22 Californian condorsleft when they werebrought into care, the zooreports that its 300thchick hatched this yearand many have been re-leased again to the wild.It works. The policy is

so successful and so fa-mous that zoos aroundthe world send peoplehere to find out how theydo it.As our guide Emily

Martin described it “thispair have a cute littlestory, they definitely likeeach other so we arekeeping our fingerscrossed for some babyjaguars this spring.”

The zoo, like muchof the energy thatilluminates San

Diego, was spawned bythe opening of thePanama Canal nearly acentury ago.Balbao Park nearby re-

mains in pristine “hail-the-new-canal” 1915condition, unusually forthese things (San Diegowas supposed to be firstport of call of ships head-ing north).It now houses an eclec-

tic and spell-binding col-lection of museums, ofwhich the strangest is themodel railway museum.The Prado looks like thecover of that Eaglesalbum, the Californian

tower a delicious faux-conquistador construc-tion. And the seafood,beer and wine are greattoo.Balbao is the secret

weapon of San Diego, notas famous as Legoland orSeaworld or the zoo, butmore fascinating than anyor all of them.If you have one attrac-

tion to see before BA274departs for home, it is theUSS Midway, home to4,104 sailors in its 30-year career patrolling thePacific, where you cansee how generations ofsalts lived, worked andbreathed.Visitors climb to the

Barillo National Monu-ment to look back alongthe bay and city skyline.On the way back join

the queue for fish tacos atHodads. You won’t regretit. An all American expe-rience with Mexicanfood. So San Diego.

Ocean beach pier

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It is easy to under-stand, as the Romans,the Byzantines and

the Ottomans clearly did,that Istanbul is the centreof the universe.Tourists got to the

Hagia Sophia and BlueMosque and Topkapipalace to learn that.In the process they fail

to understand that the Is-tanbuli universe has itsown centre: Eminonuquay.It is a tram ride from

the tourist attractions (notjust the overground ones,check out the Romanbaths) and here thethrongs gather to cramthe ferries bound every15 minutes for the magi-cal, mysterious Asianshores.They are coloured

vividly with scarletlifebuoys, and belchblack smoke as they chugaway from our continent.The 20-minute crossingto Uskudar costs about 50cents. It can be a breezypleasure, enhanced withstrong tea in tiny tulipglasses.The skyline shines in

every direction, billowingmosques, brandishingtheir towers like medievalbayonets, the silentGalata Tower, a relic ofGenoese-colonial times;Topkapi lurking behindits veil of vegetation, theextravagant mansions andpalaces that line theshoreline, and in the dis-tance, the gatepost castlesof the Bosphorous whichreminded everyone thatConstantinople was un-stormable.The sunshine dances

on the choppy surface ofthe Bosphorus. The mys-terious Kiz Kulesi, afairytale lighthouse on a

rocky outcrop, sits nearthe shore. In the distanceyou can see the Princes’Islands, a taste of holidayresort Turkey, a threeeuro boat ride from thecity, like lumps of granitepeering out in the Sea ofMarmara.They are an enticing

sight, sun resorts from thesouth east magicallytowed to lie within easyreach of the metropolis.Then before you have

taken it all in, the enginesgo quiet. Welcome toAsia.

In Athenian antiquityUskudar was calledChrysopolis, the “city

of gold”.It is a city in its own

right, full of life and tra-dition. You can go to theendpoint at Fehnerbahce(the only major soccerclub is on the Asianshore, unlike Galatasarayand Bezitkas) to walk thegardens and look back atEurope.Dominating the main

square is the magnificentIskele Camii, which wasbuilt sometime around1557 by Sinan as a tribute

to Mihrimah, daughter ofSuleyman the Magnifi-cent.If you make it to Yeni

Valide Camii you willfind a peaceful courtyardto sit in with cats for com-pany.As the evening light

fades the buzz of BagdotStreet matches anythingback acrosss the Bospho-rous.Istanbul is not just a

city of 2,000 mosques,157 churches and 18 syn-agogues, but also home tosome of the hottestnightlife in Europe.The hottest places are

within easy reach of eachother. Su Ada has theedge on the private yachtscene as it is offshore. Itis vying to be trendiestnight spot in Istanbul withSortie (formerly Laila, re-cently renamed), andReina (still, as its name

suggests, reigning cham-pion).The rooftop 360 offers

floor-to-ceiling windowsopens out onto a huge ter-race and, late at night,turns into one of the city's

hippest clubs.The restaurant with the

best view in town isHamdi, serving inexpen-sive local produce madewith the best local ingre-dients in the best locationsince 1970. MustafaBey’s family has built theplace up and it is now a500-seat business overthree floors.The food is VERY spe-

cialist - minced meatpizza, yoghurt starters,and no one else servespistachio kebab. Don’tmiss it.

There is lots to seeand a short time todo it, so Guide

Yirdiray Kirmizi quicklyidentifies the pace I likeand we have 25 stops ona city tour to beat all citytours - five mosques,three churches, fourparks, four viewpoints,three museums and otherattractions all flash by atspeed.We pay homage, in

rapid fire succession, tothe reliquary (Patriarchateat Fener), the beautiful(St Giorgio), the aesthetic(St Savior in Chora), thespiritual (Church of Pana-gia of Blechernae, leafygreen and out of the way,a real treasure), the bor-ing (Tekfur Palace), theover-rated (spice market)and the sublime (the hugeunderwater cisterns nearHagia Sophia).

n Eoghan Corry flew to Istanbul with Turkish Airways, who fly daily directfrom Dublin.

n Sirkeci Station is a Germanic mas-terpiece almost within the shadow ofTopkapi Palace. For decades this wasthe way to arrive in Istanbul, aboardthe Orient Express from Paris to Con-stantinople. The route still operates.n Salacak is hopping-on point for aquick boat trip out to the strange KizKulesi (Maiden’s or Leander’s Tower).(It costs about €3) kizkulesi.com.tr

THINGS TO DOn Kanaat Lokantasi (SelmanipakCaddesi 25), a clean, plain, brightly litdining area. Big tureens brim withclassic mezzeler (shared starters), in-cluding imam bayildi – aubergine,tomato, onions and olive oil,n House Café Ortaky (SalhanesiSokak 1; tel +90 212 227 2639), theperfect pit stop for coffee or a sharedbottle of Turkish rosé.


Golden HornEoghan Corry finds treasure beyond

Topkapi in Istanbul


Ice cream sellers awaiting their day

There are many treasures beyond the astonishing skyline in Istanbul

Page 022-023 Istanbul r 14/01/2013 12:49 Page 1

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Hagia Sophia isone of threemust-dos in pic-

ture-postcard Istanbul,the first-stop venuealongside the BlueMosque (still blue) andthe Topkapi Museum,which has probably themost amazing singleroom of exhibits any-where in the world, thesword of David, the staffof Moses, the beard ofMuhammad and the skullof John the Baptist all inthe same place. Hmmm.It costs €10 (20 new

Turkish lira, each worth-half a euro, like an oldDeutschmark) to get in toHagia Sophia, €10 forthe Topkapi and €7 in tothe harem, which is cheapconsidering what a malehad to forfeit to get a jobthere in the Sultan’s time.I note the circumcisionroom too is closed but Iam back in Taksim beforeI have opened my legsagain, my return delayedby a joker who divertedme to the wrong tramstop in a bid to get meinto the carpet shop.

Most tourists stayin the nest ofhotels around

Taksim Square, an eclec-tic area, which mixes le-gitimate bars like thedelightful Biz Jazz Bar (ithas GREAT live musicand a bubbling atmos-phere) with more sordidgirly bars where unsus-pecting clients arecharged €25 a beer andsubjected to a drip-pric-ing technique to part withmoney than they an af-ford.Most of the dodgier

places are clearly markedwith danger signs, such asTayland 85 but CE&SAbar has a legitimate airabout it until you arrive.The tourist bits of Is-

tanbul are filled with awell trained breed of hus-tlers. A single male in Is-tanbul makes friendseasily.All these guys withwoolly hair and friendlyeyes all want to talk toyou and bring you to adistant door where theybring you down stairsinto a darkened roomwhere a friendly womanjoins you.

It is not as much sexthey are selling (that too,probably) than over-priced drink, your drinkcosts €15, hers costs€40, so you are hit with abill for €150-€200 at theend of the hour. Thismakes the process morelike what happens at theGalway Races than tradi-tional prostitution.I didn’t indulge. The

system was explained tome by a friendly waitermore intent on getting mea fish casserole than anexotic belly dance.

You can’t miss thedeparture pointon Eminonu

quay to Istanbul’s hiddentreasure. The sultan’s re-sort island of Büyükada isa €3, thirty minute boatride from the city andcould be a distantMediterranean red-tilehideaway. It being July,the place was teemingand while hiring a bike(€7.50) enables one to es-cape to a more distantbeach it does not seem toshed the crowds.This is a taste of holi-

day resort Turkey, a merethree euro boat ride fromthe city.


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Roof mosaics in the Kariye Museum

Page 022-023 Istanbul r 14/01/2013 12:49 Page 2

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Broken Hill is thatrarity, a miningtown that en-

dured. Because it has 30hotels and dozens of pubsand great restaurants itcan offer that rarity, acomfortable bed and theremoteness of the bush atthe same time. My hotel,the Palace, has flamboy-ant murals and the re-flected fame of havingbeen used as a film loca-tion for Priscilla, Queenof the Desert. It is on Ar-gent Street, near CobaltStreet, in a town wherethe streets seem to havebeen named from a chem-istry set.They felled every tree

within a hundred km ofBroken Hill to fuel thesmelters of the town. Theroad takes you fromsparse scrubland intothick vegetation like itcrosses a boundary. Thebull dust gets into every-thing. More the grit out-doors than the greatoutdoors.The earth is less barren

than I expected.When the12-year drought broke inFebruary 2010 the earthstarted greening again.Lake Eyre in South Aus-tralia, probably the mostbeautiful ephemeral lakeon the planet, started fill-ing with water. I won’tget to see it this trip butinstead I visit CoogeeLake and other smallerlakes around Broken Hill,red dust bowls nowturned into a playgroundfor ducks and blackswans.Who tells the birds the

lake is full so they cantravel 500km to nest

here?Dinner is in themagnificent Bro-ken Earth restau-

rant looking down on thetown from the mine-scarred line of lode, whatused to be the original

Broken Hill before theopen cast machinery toreit to shreds. I tuck intoKatie Clifford‘s Aus-tralian bush tasting platemarinated char grilledcrocodile skewers with adug and passion berryjam, grilled kangaroo fil-let with a native pepperleaf potato hash and driz-zled with a honey mus-tard sauce, paperbarkwrapped quail with asticky lemon myrtle andhoney glaze and smokedwallaby fillet served witha bush tomato pickle.I feel like bouncing

down the hill afterwards.In the ghost town ofSilverton the silverran out long ago so

the miners upped withtheir wooden houses andmoved to Broken Hill.The little wooden churchused for the weddingscene in a Town CalledAlice is dedicated to StCarthage, legacy of anOffaly priest who camethis way in the 1880s.Margaret Edwards servesthe best quandong pie ontheplanetintheSilvertoncafé.Badger Bates shows

me the rainbow serpent

painting he is making inthe tiles at MutawintjiNational Park, whereTristate tours havebrought me to see ancientrock paintings. We useballistic spears nowadayswhen we hunt, says tourguide Maca Malyankapa.His whitefellah name isMark Sutton and hethinks his family origi-nally came from Barber-stown in Kildare. “TheIrish are the blackfellahsof Europe” I tell him, bor-rowing a line from theCommitments, and hechuckles all the longdrive home.

How far out backis the outback.Australians, who

invented the concept,seem to change theirideas all the time ofwhere it begins andwhere it ends.The tourist

people describe BrokenHill as Sydney’s most ac-cessible outback. Theyhave a point.Part of the confusion is

caused by the fact thattourism to the Australianoutback is an oxymoron.Unless, that is, you are aBanjo Patterson wannabewith swag and pole and amasochistic yen for beingbitten by unidentifiableinsect-life and doing thedunny in a billabong. Theoutback doesn’t comewith comfortable beds,Castlemaine in theevening, croissants forbreakfast and runningwater.Thankfully the miners

came to the rescue. Re-mote mining towns withhotels offer us the oppor-tunity to the outback, orat least that version of itthat we recognise fromfilms such as Mad Maxand Priscilla.


A little touch of Offaly in the abandoned mining town of Silverton

Back Bush

Enduring tradition of local art is continued byBadger Bates


n Eoghan Corry flew to Australia with Emirates,who fly direct Dublin to Dubai daily 7 days a weekand offer 70 onward connections a week to FIVEAustralian cities: Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Mel-bourne and Adelaide since Nov 1.www.emirates.com 01-4773256. Mine-fuelled pride on Main Street in Broken HillThe endless roads are surrounded by greenery

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Yosemite is wherethe national parkswere invented. It

was considered so beauti-ful, so remote and soiconic that it should be setaside for the people. Ofcourse it had already beenset aside for the peoplewho lived there for theprevious 8,000 years butthat is another story.Even the name rum-

bles. The seven mile longvalley, a shoebox of greenbetween waterfall-pockedgranite walls six times theheight of the Cliffs ofMoher, deserves its repu-tation. But at 4m visitorsa year it is straining underthe weight of its ownpopularity.It is a breathtaking

place but it is the brand-ing that makes it differ-ent. If Yosemite was inNamibia or Mexico, wewouldn’t have heard of it(or it would be a niche in-terest, like Fish RiverCanyon or CopperCanyon).

Yosemite and Yel-lowstone are thebest known na-

tional parks in the US andits all pervading popularculture, and because it isa two hour drive outsideSan Francisco, Yosemitegets more visitors, 4m ofthem a year. On peakdays in summer there are35,000 people clamour-ing to get into the parkthrough the tunnel and thetwo-lane highway.When they come they

scatter round the signa-ture waterfalls, the Bridalveil, straight out of theJackson interpretation ofTolkien, and the hugeYosemite falls, tallest wa-terfall in the continent al-though that is a bit of acheat because it descendsin three stages.There is a cavalcade of

bus tours through the val-ley, two hours with photostops, pausing at all theright places to look up atthe sheer granite cliffs.Put to six times the heightof the Cliffs of Moher, ElCapitan, 3,300 feet high,the Three Brothers, NorthDome, Glacier Point, the

Sentinel, Cathedral, Sen-tinel Dome and Cloud'sRest, from 2,800 tonearly 6,000 feet high.

There are three no-table two or threehour hikes, to the

Mirror Lake (where Iwent in 2004), the Mistwalk through the water-fall spray and the highYosemite Falls around acircuitous path.

For those who don’thave the time and energy(which is most visitors) ittakes a few minutes tostroll up to the lowerYosemite falls and standwith the spray splashingover your camera lens.The shuttle driver got around of applause for hercorny joke, she describedit as “a walk in the park.”It has a distinctive rum-

bling sound, the back-ground track of the valley

that makes the journeyhere so special and inde-scribable in words orvideo. John Muir, theDunbar native who madeYosemite famous and gotit designated as a park,described it as “the greatYosemite Fall pours itswhite floods from aheight of 2,600 feet,bathing the mighty cliffswith clouds of spray andmaking them tremblewith its thunder-tones.”

But the rumble of fourwheel drives is the morefamiliar backing track ofthe park nowadays,111,000 vehicles fightingfor roadspace.

Muir did not havea couple ofhundred people

posing for picture makingfunny faces and handtrusts when he came here.Yosemite is a victim of

its own success, a place togape and pose rather thanmeditate and sit in a traf-fic jam as you try to exitto go home. In Muir’stime the average dwelltime in Yosemite was tenweeks, nowadays it isfour hours.Did Yosemite change

our relationship with na-ture? They like to think sohere. The gold rush wasin full flight and peoplewanted to dig everysquare foot of dem darhills. But the granite wasnot going anywhere, andthey allowed coniferoustrees to overgrow the tidyshrubbery landscape cre-ated by the hundreds ofgenerations of Miwukand Palate husbandry,dedicated to creating con-ditions where the Cali-fornian Black Oak wouldthrive and its life sustain-ing acorns would remainin endless supply. WhenMuir came by the valleywas 80pc meadow, now itis 80pc forest.On the other side of the

mountain there was an-other beautiful valleycalled Hetchy Hetchy.They flooded the valleyfor a reservoir in 1914.We did the same to Poula-phuca. Nature’s loss isour loss.

The river Merced runs be-hind the Yosemite ViewLodge, a hotel which

sounds a lot more grandiose thanit is.The view, unless you look up-

wards, is of the car park and thenorthern approach road to thepark. We landed late and wereshown to spacious motel stylerooms, you know the type fromthe movies, an open balcony cor-ridor on the front above the carpark. There is also a balcony atthe back and the stormy riverthundering past, swelled with themelt waters of the High Sierra. Iloved the sound the second Iheard it, and determined to sleepwith the balcony door open. Bigmistake.They gave us a little time to

settle so I headed down to theopen air pool for a plunge and asauna under the Californian sky.We were fed in a crowdedrestaurant, 20 of us crammed to-

gether on two long tables thatdidn’t quite fit and meant theyoung male waiter had to passour orders down the line, basicmeat and two vegetable dinners(trout, beef or chicken) and thecopious bottles of Pinot Noir weemptied in rapid sequence. Theconversation at some point dur-ing the evening, I am not surewhen in my Pinotnoired state,turned to the hotel’s residentghost. The lads who came in toprepare for breakfast tried toscare us with some eerie laughterand a hand waving from a door.We laughed and went back toour rooms, and I slept soundlywith the water thundering by.When I woke the first thing I

noticed was the waste paper bas-ket overturned and the sweetwrappers from my Hershey giftchocolates scattered across thefloor. I had eaten perhaps four ofthem but there seemed a lot morethan that. Then I saw the bag too

was shredded. There had been aparty in my room to which I wasnot invited.The mystery was solved by

my friend Frederico Gigena

from BuenosAires. He is a travelagent, but one of the best pho-tographers I have come acrosson my weekly criss crossing ofthe planet. When he returnedfrom our wine session he wasvisited by a racoon who came toplay in his bathroom and wasgiven chocolates and peanuts asa present. No doubt he arrived inunannounced to me. Good job itwas not a bear.The story of the racoon would

normally be enough to liven upeveryone’s morning but the oth-ers had more dramatic tales totell.Oksana Kocuriene form

Lithuania had felt a presence inher room. John Kailath fromKerala had scratch marks wherehe had been touched when hewas taking one of the lodge’stwo headed showers.As they recounted their tales

the group was spooked. Maybeit was the ghost of a racoon.


Eoghan Corryin Yosemite

Yosemite: where the concept of a national park was invented


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To see the best bitsof the norhternoutreaches of

Western Australia, youneed to take to the sky.Our Cesna is waiting forus on a red dirt airfield.Our pilot Yohan Chandi-ramani completes a run-way inspection foranimals before we takeoff for a flight over CapeLeveque and the vastBuccaneer Archipelago.The star attractions arethe horizontal falls, waterflushing through two nar-row inlets as the tide risesand falls with a ferocitythat has createdheadaches for three cen-turies of sailing vessels.As we fly over the

nude section of CableBeach the pilot jokes:“we'll get lower next timeto get those sweet backpackers.”From up here you are

reminded that WesternAustralia is a vast state ona vast sub-continent. At976,790 sq miles, if itwere independent itwould be tenth largestcountry in the world justafter Kazakistan.

Our flight to asheep stationturned camel trek

centre in MountAugustusbrings us over a differentlandscape.When the Fitzroy river

floods it becomes the sec-

ond largest in the world,14km wide, so the land issurprisingly green.There I heard about the

aborigine who was re-fused a passport becausehe was not Australianenough.Gudibul Butt and

Bugily Bangu told mehow it happened. Theyplanned a big adventurefrom their Mount Ander-sen camel tour operationto Pushkar camel fair inRajasthan.They all trundled into

Broome post office toapply for their passports,where a stern woman toldthem that needed birthcerts from both their par-ents. This was a problem,

for many of the group hadparents whose births hadnot had never been regis-tered. “How do I knowyou are Australian?” sheasked the disbelievinggroup.The matter was re-

volved just two hours be-fore the flight was aboutto take off.Casper my camel re-

sponds to the lads shout-ing “husta” in their nativelanguage, Nyikina-Man-gala, as we weave

through bush tomatoplants, waddle, eucalyp-tus and boab trees.Gudibul (“that’s myblackfellah name, thetourists call me TJ”) feedshim grass along the way.Rob Bamkin runs in-

digenous tours on behalfof the JarlmadangahBurru community inMount Augustus.The place has a dark

past. The aboriginal peo-ple were worked here inslave like conditions until

1967. They received nomoney, just their food andclothing.A hundred yearsafter slavery as abolishedin America it as still ex-tant in Australia.Eventually, when the

owners were required toclose down they thrashedthe place before theywent.There is a toilet but

when I flush before re-turning to the airplane Iwash down a frog.

Spot the genuine Aussie: The camel was imported to Australia, tour guide Gudibul Butt was refused a passport because he was not Australian enough

Broomewith aview

Eoghan Corry in Western Australia


n Eoghan Corry flew to Australia with Emirates, who fly direct Dublin to Dubaidaily 7 days a week and offer 70 onward connections a week to FIVEAustraliancities: Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide since Nov 1. www.emi-rates.com 01-4773256.n Internal flight from Perth to Broome was with Qantas Airways:www.qantas.com.aun Ground arrangements were by Purely Unreal” Kimberley Dreamtime Adven-ture(+61 8) 447 214 681 www.kimberleydreamtimeadventures.com.aun Broome Sightseeing Tours www.broomesightseeingtours.com (+61 8) 9192 0043n Matso's Broome Brewer, www.matsosbroomebrewery.com.au (+61 8) 9193 5811n Acccommodation was at Eco Beach, Broome WA: www.ecobeach.com.au Tel:(+61 8) 9193 8015n Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa: www.cablebeachclub.com(+61 8) 9192 0400 The Hoizantal Falls from the air

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Broome, rather ap-p r o p r i a t e l y ,sweeps a visitor

off their feet.As befits thetop westernmost cornertown of Australia, nearerto Singapore than to Syd-ney, it has a strong senseof its own identity, asmall town always awareof its precious place in abig world.Precious is not an over-

statement, becauseBroome is a town built onpearls. The most expen-sive pearls in the worldstill come from here.Pearl shops line DampierTerrace, selling their

wares, Linney’s, Kaili’s,Paspalay.The pearling masters

who lived here wereamongst the richest peo-ple in Australia in theirtime, utilising migrantJapanese and virtually en-slaved aborigines for div-ing duties - pregnantwomen were preferredbecause they had extraoxygen in their bloodstream.They included Patrick

Percy, who committed amurder in Cork as PatrickO’Sullivan before fleeingto the new world and be-coming, of all things, apoliceman.

Drive a couple of hoursin either direction, andyou will find more beau-tiful and even more re-mote coastland.You can smell the

silkiness of theocean” says Ed-

wina Kelsch as we ap-proach Eco beach resort.Eco is an aboriginal

word although it mighthave been dreamed up aspart of a modern market-ing campaign.The name may have

been the inspiration forentrepreneur Karl Plun-kett who set up his high-end resort here, twice,

after it was blown downby a 300kph cyclone inApril 2000.They pride themselves

on being eco-friendlydown to the shampoo andsoap. “You can tell fromthe smell from the sewer-age system when peoplehave brought their ownsoap in for a big eventlike a wedding,” SimonMurray, our host tells us.An owl comes to sit on

the balcony with adoomed mouse danglingfrom his beak, the soundsof the waves beyond.Later I float on my

back for a long time in thedark bay looking up at the

Southern Cross and themilkspill of unfamiliarstars.Paula O'Brien from

Le igh l i nb r i dgewelcomes us to

Cygnet bay Oyster farm.She guides touriststhrough the facilities andbrings them on boat ridesacross the azure bay. It isan astonishing placewhere the tide can run at18 knots as a body ofwater four times the sizeof Sydney harbour pilesin and out of the baytwice a day.There is just one main

road in and out of here,

and 2,600 islands to beexplored in one of theemptiest places on theplanet.Cable Beach resort

lodges have the designand feel of a traditionalpearling master quarterswith the room in the mid-dle of house to keep coolin summer. From theocean bar we watch thecamels returning fromtheir sunset trek.How do people get

here? Fly from Perth orSydney. They are cam-paigning to get directflights from Singapore.Not a moment too soon.


Sunset camel trek on Cable beach

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Try telling anAlaskan that sizedoes not matter.

The state is more thantwice the size of Texas,560,000 square miles. Onits own it would be the19th biggest country inthe world just behindIran, twice the size ofTurkey, three times thesize of Spain, 17 and ahalf times the size of Ire-land.It is also EMPTY,

home to less than thepopulation of Dublin.It is a challenge to visit

somewhere so big. I hadtwo important pieces ofadvice to follow.DON’T go by cruise

ship.SPEND time inland. A

lot of it.I was curious about the

first bit. More than half ofAlaska’s tourists come oncruise ships, hop off for ashore excursion and areback by sundown.What do they see from

the sea? Luxuriant coast-lines dropping dramati-cally to the sea, greenSitka spruce and westernhemlock faced off againstbarren mountain andcake-icing snow cappedmountains. Island after is-land, under the low greysky. Then, a revelation,the first streaks of blueand the white mountainsgetting ever whiter.

When I stoppedby at the statec a p i t a l ,

Juneau, to see its famous(fast retreating) down-town glacier the first ofthe cruise passengers ofthe five month season hadyet to arrive, the onlynoise was the rumble ofthe waterfall, and thebears seemed pleased. “A

trip up here puts you inyour place pretty fast,”Elizabeth Arnett from thetown tourism body said.On one side of the city

is the Juneau ice field, afrozen wasteland wherehikers can dare, and onthe other the largest tem-perate forest in the world,two thirds the size of Ire-land.She pointed a hill that

was covering an iceberghill, the lake where chil-dren swim in summer(“kids have no nerve end-

ings.”)The state capital is the

city paved with gold.They only got 80pc of thegold out of the quartz intheir local low grademine, local tour operatorJohn George explains.And seeing as the entiretown is built on mine fil-ings, the streets AREpaved with gold. And, headds with that air of tri-umph, if you see a rain-bow up here, there is goldat the end of it.Bears wander into

town all the time. I amstaying in Linda Wende-born’s splendid guest-house opposite theCapital building where Iam greeted by Duffy, thefriendly Scottie who runsto the window and barksevery time a black bearcomes into the garden.Bears don’t mess withDuffy the fam-bearslayer, he bit one on the

hind quarters last year.Tourists are told they

can pan for gold in thelocal creek, and some-times people do get littlenuggets from it. But thereal gold in Juneau todaycomes in three varieties,MasterCard, Visa andAmerican Express, andall summer long thosenuggets get handed in.Up to 600 cruise ships

a season stop by. Thebusy South FranklinStreet, once the red lightdistrict, is lined with jew-ellery shops. Alaska doesnot produce jewellery, itjust sells a lot to day trip-pers from the cruiseships, scrambling onshorefrom up to five ships aday which dock or lay inthe harbour, racing awayto the choice of 42 shore

excursions and back onboard for dinner.The jewellery shops

then close and wait forthe next cruise ship or, inSeptember, for the nextseason.“The red light district

used to be legal,” JohnGeorge says. “We closedit down in 957 in the hopeCongress would be im-pressed before we gotstatehood in 1959. Nowwe know a little moreabout Congress we thinkwe might have kept itopen.”Ahalf day down-

coast, Sitka’stourist attractions

are its hikes and its totempoles. Dave Nevins tookme on a hike to BeaverLake, over the green for-est and through the pilesof snow where the forestmeets a few meadows.Then the Totems. My

guide Jolene Nielsen gotboth her Tlingit nameSeik and her Englishname Jolene from hergrandmother. Her sur-name comes from a Dan-ish fur migrant whomarried in to the family inthe Russian fur tradingtimes.You sense thatAlaska’s

native Americans, 13 na-tions of them, have apride and self esteem thathas been drained fromtheir people elsewhere.

The promotionalmaterial for mywhale watching

trip out of Seward warnedme to witness the amaz-ing annual migration ofCalifornia Gray Whales,travelling over 5,000miles from Baja Califor-nia to Alaska's BeringSea. I last saw a distantsplashing tail of a greywhale in San Diego inFebruary. Could these bethe same whales?The captain on the ship

Tim Fleming was a bit ofa character. “If you keepyour feet on the deck wewill return with the num-ber of people we left

with,” he tells his passen-gers. “This is a non smok-ing vessel Don’t smoke.”The whale whisperer,

as his colleagues call him,brings us out in quest ofporpoises and greys andhumpbacks. The coolestthing we saw on the tripwas two humpbacks intangent, like synchro-nised swimmers. It wouldbe a bonus to see an Orca.Everyone’s dream is tosee a Blue Whale. Timhas only ever seen one.Anchorage is a lively

place with more pubs andrestaurants than a Cork-sized city might suggest itcould support. Myfavourite is the F StreetStation bar, where Dianeis serving pints of amberto a lively clientele. Thereis a block of cheese on thecounter where customershelp themselves. Whenthe local health authori-ties objected, they put a“for display reasons” onlysign atop.It is jumping off point

for one of the great touristexperiences, the flightover Mount McKinley.Willis Thayer wel-

comed me to Rusts; fly-ing service and loaded meon a Cessna 206 wherewe took off at 140mph tosee northAmerica’s high-est mountain, McKinleyfor the Americans or De-nali for the nativeAlaskan people.We flew across Susitna

valley and watch theroads and civilizationstop and entered the road-less part of the state.Roadless means snowmo-biles in winter, one of theunforgettable sights yousee the figure skatingmarks on all the frozenlakes, the tracks causedby snowmobiles, theplayground expandswhen the ground goeswhite.It is a nice place to take

stock of the vastness ofAlaska and the mightySusitna river which drains8pc of the state.Big and empty.

Canoes in the midnight sun

n EoghanCorry flewwithAlaska to Juneau fromLosAngeles. www.alaskaair.com fly to91 destinations and operate from the Irish gateway of Chicagon He was hosted by the Alaska Division of Tourism www.travelalaska.com

Juneau andthe paycock

Eoghan Corry gets hisjust desserts in Alaska

John George tells Juneau’s colourful history


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There are places tounravel the secretsof the Liffey. All

of us have our favouritelocations, all have theirattractions.You can sit in the

morning by the HalfMoon looking back at thecity, the Ha’penny bridgewith its love locks, Is-landbridge weir and theboat houses, Lucan’s ele-gant single span bridge,the capricious artificiallake at Salmon Leap, orall the spots from Claneto Kippure have their

fans.For me, it is at its finest

viewed from the cornerroom of the K Club, a lowsun shimmering throughthe leaves of the northKildare trees.The K Club as it has

been known since 1993,or Straffan House, as ithas been since its con-struction exactly 180years ago, is enthroned ona small ridge over a mileand a half stretch of thestoried river.Here the water is a

world apart from the tidal

urban waters of the city,more Anna than Livia,quintessentially bucolicand rural, crisscrossed byperiod footbridges, divid-ing into little islands (onone of which is the hal-lowed 16th green wherethe Ryder Cup was wonin 2006) and tumblingover an angled weirwithin earshot of the lux-ury suites, the first spill ofthe Liffey descent formany a canoeist.Hotel guests have the

opportunity to fish here,bream brown trout orsalmon in season andhave the chef cook theircatch for dinner.

Lots of hotels claimbe part of historybut this one is per-

sonal. To come to Straf-fan House is to becomepart of history.The portraits on the

walls give you theflavours, French wine andart collecting entrepre-neurs, but the history hereis personal.The year 1974 for in-

stance, when I took myfirst dive off the weir andswam in the deep freshLiffey, my lungs puffedup with young boy’spride and the dreams of

making it across the riverwithout surfacing for airlike the older lads coulddo. The K Club was inmy neighbourhood. Myfirst visits to the housewere in the raucous mad-ness of Kevin McClory’stime when the nearestthing the Ireland of theCosgrave coalition had toa rat pack hung out there.It gave us the first taste

of a world that was moreexotic than we were usedto. Straffan continued todo that and continues todo that to this day.

No one wouldhave known orimagined it, but

that was a foretaste of thescale of the ambition thatthe visionary MichaelSmurfit with that farfetched dream of stagingthe Ryder Cup, MichaelDavern and Audrey Bro-phy have brought to thefaux-French mansion inNorth Kildare over thepast twenty years. Noscheme was too great forStraffan to attempt it, nothoughts too exotic.And as times changed,

the country’s most ambi-

tious hotel and countryclub has reinvented itself.The K club had an

Easter egg hunt when wevisited. There were 50children staying over.How times have changed.Three years ago a four-year-old would not be letpast the gate.The drawing room with

its fabulous chandeliers isset out for a children’slunch. There are familiesin the pool. For an extrahundred euro they willgive you an adjoiningroom for the family onone of their special offerbreaks.I live two miles from

the K Club, but had neverstayed there. EasterThursday sounded like agood idea time to try it.

To know your hometerritory it is al-ways good to take

a look from a differentangle. North Kildare islooking its best as wecheck in. From our tur-reted corner room the sunwas shimmering on themile and a half stretch ofLiffey.

There are miles ofwoodland walks throughthe gardens and storiedgolf courses. Each has apersonal memory, if onlyto remark on how the di-lapidated and decayedwas restored to suchgrandeur.Caitríona from Bless-

ington sorted out a seriesof complicated backknots in the spa and a fil-let of seabass with freshnative mussels crayfishartichoke and yellow co-conut sauce awaited inthe dining room.

John Ryan fromThurles, the barmanand custodian of the

Vintage Crop bar, gave anengaging tour of thehouse and its artwork.Concierge Brendan Far-rell has been here sincethe hotel opened. Alwaysa good sign.It was a splendid visit,

way above expectations,and a revelation of howtimes have changed inour country and mycounty.And I was home in a

minute and a half.

K Club packages generally start at €285pps for a two night break with one meal.Wedding packages start at €67.50 a plate.

K sera sera



Eoghan Corry brings some local memories to the K Club

the spa in Straffan

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If you think the word“pilgrimage” is syn-onymous with pain,

hardship, self-denial anddarkness, you’ve clearlynot thought, or experi-enced the “Camino delSantiago de Compostela”in Galicia, north-westernSpain.Even the singular word

“Camino” does not trulydescribe the experience,because there’s more than

one, and they start off atvarious points throughoutSpain and France.The word “Camino”,

however, throughout theworld now means Santi-ago because ALL“Caminos” end in that an-cient and dignified city –a UNESCO World Her-itage site since 1985.Ireland has Croke

Patrick – and everyoneshould do that climb just

once. Santiago is anotherexperience that the reli-gious, and the not-so reli-gious, should try at leastonce.The 74-metre-high

twin towers of the mag-nificent Cathedral (whichwere once also used aswatchtowers) dominatethe city skyline. And in-side the Cathedral, thesights are just as com-pelling.

Perhaps because ofthe crowds oftravel-worn and

unwashed pilgrims thathave flocked to theCathedral for centuries, ithas a unique feature: theworld’s largest incensecenser.Weighing some 80

kilos, and swung by eightrobust and robed men, thecenser is brought out onlyon special occasions. Wewere lucky enough towitness it…It hangs from the high

ceiling with eight ropeswhich, at a given signal,are pulled so it swaysrhythmically from side toside in a pendulum effect.It swings ever higher andhigher, until it almostreaches the roof …Pilgrims are awe

struck. Anyone standingin its way would meet

their Maker rather soonerthan intended – but checkthe dates when it’s beingused so as not to be dis-appointed.Visitors can climb to

the roof of the Cathedral.The bird’s eye view fromthe top looking out overthe historical squares sur-rounding the Cathedral,not to mention the outly-ing hills, is well worth theclimb.

The roof-top touralso informs visi-tors about the

Cathedral’s history. Thereason it was built to bewalked-on was that it wasintended as much for de-fence as for worship.The battlements along

its top are another re-minder that medievalSpain was torn apart bywarring factions. TheCathedral was once even

used for pilgrims to sleepin as well as worship.The Camino is what

brings people to Santiago,irrespective of where youstart or end. The well-worn path takes youthrough medieval vil-lages, forests, fields, hillsand mountains.All along the way – the

“Way of Saint James” –there are ancient shellsigns marking the path.Shakespeare and Chaucerspeak of pilgrim’s shells.It’s that traditional.There are also hostel-

ries, restaurants andmany, many places to eat,sleep and rest as youmake your way to Santi-ago. The views of theSpanish countryside areunimaginable and manymiles of the Way are to-tally inaccessible anyother way than by foot.

Journey’s end

n Aer Lingus operates a daily afternoon service which takes 95 minutes and hasbecome hugely popular with both Irish pilgrims and other walkers.The airport in Santiago is a mere fifteen minutes away from the city centre.

nWe stayed at the Hotel Virxe daCerca, located in the heart of the cityand occupying a building dating backto the 18th century. It was once abanking house and Jesuit residence.n There are literally hundreds of ho-tels, hostels and guesthouses in the cityto cater for the thousands of pilgrimsand other visitors who find Santiago ir-resistible – whatever the time of year.

THINGS TO DOn Amust-visit is the city centre dailycovered market “Plaza deAbastos”where fish, meat and vegeta-bles, plus flowers, are in abundance.You will wring your hands that suchproduce is not available back home.n Outside the market, country-womenfrom the fertile valleys around the citybring in huge panniers of fresh greens,onions and garlic. They also bring inrabbits, chickens and pyramids of dif-ferent cheeses.n The food in Santiago is fabulouswith fish available everywhere, partic-ularly shell fish – very apt when youconsider the shells along the pilgrims’way. Santiago is the capital of Atlanticgastronomy.


Camino’s End

Gerry O’Hare is cockle shell-shocked by Santiago de Compostela


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Asturias is a part ofSpain NOBODYgoes to. More

Irish people go to SantaPonsa in a week than goto Asturias in a year. Ithas tourists of course, lotsof them, but 92pc of themare Spaniards, under-standably slow to tell therest of the world abouttheir country’s hiddentreasure, tucked away inthe north west, like Gali-cia next door but with realmountains.The province has an in-

fluential celebrity fan inWoody Allen, who shotparts of Vicky CristinaBarcelona in Avilés andOviedo. They have cele-brated this and his kindquotes about theprovince. They also havea famous camino path toSantiago.The Irish, to date, have

tended to stick to thesouth on their Camino-quest, through Bourgasand other centres inCastille-Leon.The journey starts well,

a lunch stop at an ancientconverted convent HotelDon Paco, swarthy hamsand Beronia wine toppedoff with a blast of Aguar-diente de Orujo thatwould put hairs on abear’s chest. Bears are athing around here, one oftheir last refuges on themainland.The night stop is in Ca-

sona La Paca, a havenamid the greenery. Thenearby Casonas se In-danos are worth a visit,mansions of colonial re-turnees at Nalon, Muroand Somao villages. Din-ner consists of what mayhave been the most deli-

cious monkfish I haveever tasted.For a song to end the

evening, ask for the an-them, Asturias PatriaQueria, sung as passion-ately as the Banks wouldbe by any Corkperson.

The effervescentLorena Diazshows us round

the Talasoterapia centrein Gijon, celebrating eachfeature with an excitedsmile, guiding us to thedark relaxation pools, hotand cold running treat-ments, and basins of hun-gry garra rufa fish to

nibble dead skin fromyour toes. Fish pedicurehas its tail-fin of contro-versy but this felt good.At lunch in Sidrearia

Tierra Astur restaurant inGijon we sample 35 ofthe 40 different types ofcheeses found inAsturias.The signature cheese,Cabrales, is matured in anatural cave for threemonths. Two bites andyou KNOW it is worththe trouble.Las Caldas Villa Ter-

mal, 8km from Oviedo, isan epic five star withhuge rooms, stunningplaster work and gildedmirrors. The hotel was

converted in 2008, anduses the healing waters ofits own thermal spring.Evening ends with a

massage, as these thingsdo, muscles meltingunder the firm grip of amasseuse.

Asturias is as farfrom the lami-nated menus

flaunting €6.99 egg andchips meals as you coulddream.Better, Asturias offers

the same great wine,frothy local cider, aston-ishing hams, angula(baby eels plucked fromwhere the river meets theocean), eccentric spicysausages, bean-basedmeals and cheese, all attwo thirds of the pricesyou pay a couple of hoursdown the motorway.A round of drinks at the

little bar down the roadcosts six euro, Bar JardinLas Caldas. You would

pay that for a glass ofwine on the Costa. Thefive star is okay but if youwant atmosphere, a gen-erous vino tinto and asnack and a chat aboutlocal soccer star JuanMata or Kevin Moran’sdays at Sporting Gijonhead 50 metres down theroad to the corner ris-torante.

The price differen-tial applies toeverything. Beer is

cheaper. Food is cheaper.Golf is cheaper, and theyhave 18 great courses.Rooms are cheaper inevery category, they have30,700 beds, eight fivestar, 58 four star and 159three star.For this you get access

to the most Spanish ofSpanish provinces, far re-moved from Flamencoand bull fighting but of-fering something equallyrich, diverse and aston-

ishing and unknown.Apart from the 2,400

Irish who come each year,just 26,000 come fromEngland and 39,000 fromFrance.The shortage of inter-

national visitors meansfewer people who workin the hospitality sectorspeak English than inprobably any otherprovince except Ex-tremadura. That can be anadvantage, of course.Nobody else offers that

pre-Romanesque archi-tecture, beautifully highforehead churches thatpop up on the side of themountainy road or evenin the suburbs of Oviedo,such as the stunning SanMiguel de Lillo and SantaMaría del Naranco on theNaranco mount. Youdon’t find the like any-where else except As-turias.

There is another in-triguing identityquestion about the

place and one of particu-lar interest to Ireland.Asturias turned up at

this year’s Festival Inter-celtique as the seventhCeltic nation (Galicia asthe eighth). They havetheir own pipes, and judg-ing by the museum inTeverga, Manuel Fernan-dez Delgado is their ver-sion of Willie Clancy andDiamantina Rodríguez istheir Mary O’Hara.We went indoors that

day because the rain inSpain falls mainly on themountains, apparently,rather than the plain. Ourcycle trip along a disusedcolliery railway is can-celled, although MirteSaskia, a Dutch travelconsultant, takes that op-tion through a protectedarea for bears.‘What do bears do in

the woods?’ She didn’tsee anyone to ask. LikeAsturias itself, they arethere but few take thetrouble to see them.Time to change that.

Asturias’ unique pre-Romanesque architecture is exemplified by the church of San Miguel de Lillo

Eoghan Corry was hosted inAsturias by the Spanish Tourist Board andAsturianRegional Tourism. Access is through Santander direct from Dublin or throughMadrid to Asturias airport.

n Centro de Talasoterapia offerssweater spa sessions and much more.www.talasoponiente.comn Gijon, sea port town on theCantabrian Coast. The city dates to the5th century BC and the Roman 1stcentury BC. It sits on two beaches,check out Cimadevilla the old town.n Oviedo is on the coastal camino, theSan Salvador cathedral has gold stud-ded treasures such as the 1000-year-old Cross of the Victory, the days ofthe reconquista from the Muslims.

THINGS TO DOn Stay at the bucolic garden hotel inCudillero Hotel Casona de la Pacawww.casonadelpaca.com.n Las Caldas Villa Termal a lusciousfive star waters resort, 8km fromOviedo, dine in the salon de los epejos.n Dine at Casa Chema a short distancefrom Oviedo www.casachema.comn Dine at Sidreria Tierra Astur to tastethe local cider, www.tierra-astur.comn Hotel Don Paco 18th century con-vent once home to Napoleon’s occupy-ing troops, hotelesmontemar com


Storied AsturiasEoghan Corry goes to the greenest part of Spain


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It is no surprise thatSpain’s south westerncoast, the bit on the

Portuguese side of thestrait, is much more re-strained than their CostaDel Sol orAlgarve equiv-alents.Somehow it went un-

detected during the bigrush to the departuregates over recent years. Itis a big hit with the Ger-mans and Scandinavians.This year they want totempt the Irish to come aswell.Daniel Navarro ex-

plains why they decidedto change the brandingfrom Costa de Luz, theold name that has beentried in some Irishbrochures such asTopflight’s down theyears.The thinking behind

Luz made sense: a differ-ent light, but it nevercaught the Irish imagina-tion. So now it’s Huelva.The average of 156 daysof sunshine give the areafive times more sunnyhours than the north ofEurope, and the last sun-set of Andalucia beforePortugal, a factor thathelps keep both greenfees and hotel prices onPortuguese as well asSpanish price points.Huelva has had good

beaches, good golf andthe great bars that Irishpeople love in Spain.Alongside the 16 kilo-

metres of virgin beachthere are 80 kilometres ofprotected coastal area and60pc of the area is wood-land.The extras mean

Huelva’s product is lessseasonal than the beachesto the east, 65pc of offseason clients are foreign.There are 25,800 hotel

beds, ensuring the com-petition to keep pricesfrom spiking too outra-geously and a widechoice of hotel type totempt even the most de-manding traveller.

So is he right?Huelva suggestssomething more

than the sunshine. Theshrine of El Rocio popsup on satellite channeltravel shows oftenenough to indicate thatthis is somewhere com-pletely different.It is our first stop, what

a sight. Devotional pil-grims at the shrine of ElRocio, praying and light-ing candles in a cavernlike building that fills

with eerie sanctifiedsmoke. The village isstraight from the wildwest, with horse rails out-side the taverns and sandin the streets. You can al-most hear the Ennio Mor-ricone film score as youwalk down the street, ex-cept there is a “Dios tesalve, María” hummingaway in the backgroundinstead of that Clint East-wood spaghetti westerntheme that would go witha town like this.La Rábida monastery

does not look like it haschanged a bit since ChrisColumbus got the nodhere to meet the Queen ofSpain. You can imaginehim sitting a disk heredrawing up his sales pitchfor his Caribbean cash-

pile.We all learned at

school that Christopherthought he was going toIndia and China and wasconvinced he had reachedit until his deathbed. It isnot the full story.Our guide drops a few

hints that Columbus wasbeing clever, telling talesto impress the venturecapitalists before he couldventure on his real mis-sion.Nobody would pay for

a voyage to an unknownnew continent that heldno means of paying backthe debt. So he pretendedhe would get to the spice-lands instead.It was a ruse to loosen

the purse strings of theSpanish monarchy andpay for his dream.In Galway in 1579 he

would have found outabout St Brendan. He hadaccess to navigationalaides that he was a longway short of China thanhe pretended.And he wasthe rocket scientist of hisera, the premier navigator

in an age ruled by the cul-ture of caravel.In nearby Palos de la

Frontera they have recon-structed the three ships.Visitors are not admit-

ted on rainy days. We hadto talk our way in, feelinga bit like Columbus look-ing for his voyage money.But the argument wasworth winning.The ships are the size

of a camper vehicle, with-out ANY of the modcons, and these guyssailed west into the un-known on THESE?

For more earthywonders, drivenorth to peek into

the Cave of Wonders inAracena, imaginativelylit to highlight the colour-ful ponds beneath the sur-face.Then a train ride

through the sculpted min-ing scars of the Rio Tintovalley, one of the oldestand best known mines inthe world. The Romansleft 15m tonnes of slaghere and that was beforethe copper mining started.For years we have been

ignoring our main prod-uct, golf, Daniel says.‘That is crazy, especiallywhen you are trying to at-tract business from Ire-land.’The pool in the sprawl-

ing golf resort of ElRompido is bracing andthe hospitality is great, abig-ticket lobby, buffetladen with traditional fishand paella dishes andtheir western cousins, anda bar where the view backon to the greens remindsyou of why you came.The main golf hotels

are open throughout theyear, and the bug com-mercial golf develop-ments, El Compido, andElsantila are emphaticthat their product is bettervalue than the competi-tion.Green fees on their

magnificent courses rang-ing from €30 to €45.Nor is there a handicap

of distance. The mostconvenient access isthrough Faro, rather thanMalaga.

You can visit replicas of Columbus’ three vessels

The ravaged landscape of Rio Tinto

n Eoghan Corry travelled to Huelva as a guest of the Spanish and AndalusianTourist Boards and stayed at El Rompido Cartaya.

n Donana Natural park, a wildlifehabitat with the reputed site of the lostcity of Atlantis in the Marisma de Hi-nojos in the centre of the park,n La Rábida Monaster, Gothic andMoorish revival architecture; theirwalls are decorated with frescos by thetwentieth-century Spanish artist,Daniel Vázquez Diaz.

THINGS TO DOn El Rompido Cartaya 196 rooms allsuite hotel with two golf coursesweaving their way around the marsh-lands (marismas) and down the coast.n Hotel Nuevo Portil, splendidly situ-ated golf hotel on a beach facing outon to a lagoon www.nuevoportilgolf.esn There are 11 golf resorts in theHuelva region.


Caravel cultureEoghan Corry ponders why Columbus left Huelva


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Malaysia’s danceof the sevenveils has been a

joy to behold. In the late1970s and early 1980s itrevealed its beach desti-nations to Ireland’s grow-ing band of holidayhunters, Penang and halfa dozen others whosewhite sand, palm linedbeaches fill ourbrochures.Then we got interested

in the exotic jungles ofSabah and Sarawak, theBorneo provinces – as farfrom peninsular Malaysiaas Poland is from us.Nearly 15,000 Irish peo-ple a year now travel toMalaysia.But the one that was

most familiar, thestopover destination ofKuala Lumpur, has beenoverlooked for what it is.Kuala Lumpur barely

featured on maps, nevermind traveller maps, untilthe 19th century.When Malacca was a

famous destination,Kuala Lumpur was ariver swamp, prone toflooding. The last 20years has seen the rise ofa new type of tourist des-tination, the Asian city-break.The Asian citybreak

was a creation of thestopover requirements ofAussie-bound airlines,but it has now got a life ofits own, KL, as they callit, wanted to be top of themarket.They built the signa-

ture attractions – the KLtower and the PetronasTowers, two of the talleststructures in the world.Tourists like an icon –here they get two of them.

The KL towercomes completewith spectacular

views, the revolvingrestaurant that creates atleast one

“where’s my handbaggone” incident everyevening - it’s usually onthe window sill at theother side of the room bythe time you have fin-

ished the post-dinnerTiger beer).The Towers visit brings

you to the viewing deckon the 38th floor betweenthem, giving the viewer aunique feeling of beingsuspended above with KLspreadeagled below.This is a strange place

to have such a built envi-ronment. The place is stilltrue to its marshy her-itage, and still floods in

monsoon season. Therivers are, by necessity,filled with concrete cul-verts and drains. The tworivers that gave the cityits name are now almostperipheral to the land-scape, but they remind usall of their existenceevery rainy season.Sungai Gombak (previ-

ously known as SungaiLumpur, which meansmuddy river) and Sungai

Klang (Klang River)were used to derive thename Kuala Lumpurwhich literally means"muddy estuary"The swamp is buried

under a city whose fren-zied activity belies theheat, as market stalls mixit with massive shoppingcentres.The gadgets and com-

puter centre is an attrac-tion in itself. Chinatown,with its fake Rolexes andpirate DVDs is best vis-ited in the dark, when theair is filled with bargainsstruck and tourists beingpersuaded to pay fivetimes the going price foreverything. Everythingneeds to be argued, eventhe top end malls expectyou to haggle, about 20pcbelow the going rate. InChinatown offer one sixththe price and endure theinsults. It is worth it in theend.

The charm of thecity is that it is astopping off point,

not just for tourists, butfor every aspect of Asianculture, every aspect ofthe world. It applies to itsreligion, its culture andmost famously to its food,where peninsular Malaycuisine picks up influ-ences from its Indian,Chinese, and Europeanheritage.The Malaysian side

cafes are like pubs inrural Ireland, full of char-acter and eccentricities intheir own right, staffedand patronized by charac-ters and eccentrics. Theconversations are longand unhurried, and thelocal delicacies are servedwith pride.The slow-cooked

works of art served up bythe amazing chef JohnLocke in Precious restau-rant in Chinatown looktoo handsome to eat, butyou will be glad whenyou do.

Kuala Lumpur’s twin towers

n www.tourismmalaysia.gov.mynMalaysian Tourism Board, Level 3 A Shelbourne House, Shelbourne Road,Ballsbridge , Dublin 4 Tel: (01) 237 62 43 [email protected] Flight time from Ireland is 12 hours with Malaysian Airlines (Via London orAmsterdam) www.malaysiaairlines.com, Etihad Airways (Via Abu Dhabi)www.etihadairways.com or Emirates, via Dubai www.emirates.com

n Kenko Fish Spa where fish gentlynibble at your toes, exfoliating yourweary feet. It’s an exotic experience,but perhaps not recommended by podi-atrists.n Lake Gardens Park is a green oasisin the city.n Royal Selangor Pewter Factory andVisitor Centre, has been producingworld class pewter since 1885. It’s apopular tourist stop, but may not helpthe luggage weight on the return home.

THINGS TO DOn Petronas Towers are open 6 days aweek and offer a tours to the skybridgeon floor 41/ 42 and the observationdeck on floor 86 in tower 2. Ticketsare available from 8:30amn Kuala Lumpur bird park is theworld's largest free-flight, walk-inaviary, home to more than 3,000 birdsn Aquaria is a world-class aquariumboasting more than 5,000 exhibits ofland and aquatic creaturesn Menara Kuala Lumpur the world's7th tallest communication tower



Eoghan Corry walkstall in Kuala Lumpur

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M14 N15

M13 N14

P11 R13

P10 R12


M12 N12L9aK8
















K9 L11





































P6 R8














P8 R10


H7 J5




H8 H9


H4 J4

H3 J3

T4 T3 T2 T1

H2 J2

H1 J1





F4 G4







G6 G5









C5a C5





B1 C1

A4a A4 A3a A3 A2a A2 A1A1a












Abbey Court HotelConference Leisure Centre P8/R11

Abbey Hotel Donegal Town M3

Abbey Travel B7/C7

Abbeyleix Manor Hotel P8/R11

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority C6

Aherlow House Hotel P8/R11

Air Transat E5

Alabama Tourism(c/o Global Travel Marketing) G5

Allianz - Travel Insurance G14

American Holidays F4/G4

Andalucia Tourist Board H4/J4

Aquatica E4

Aran Island Ferries S1

Armagh City & District Council K3/L3

Arrow Tours A2a

Aruba Tourism Authority G11

Associacao Turismo do Algarve G8

Attraction Tickets Direct E4

ATTS Travel Representation Solutions K8

Austrian Trade Commission C8

Azamara Cruises K8a

Balearic Island Tourist Board H4/J4

Ballsbridge Hotel Dublin N1

Banbridge District Council M4

Barbados Tourism Authority F9

Basquetour SA H4/J4

Beauty Glow M14

Belfast Citysightseeing M5

Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau M5

Belleair Holidays G12

Belvedere Hotel Parnell Square Dublin N1

Best Western Global Marketing Group F2

Best Western PlusAcademy Plaza Hotel Dublin N1

Blarney Golf and Spa P8/R11

Blue Insurances A1

Breaffy House Castlebar N1

Brian McEniff Hotels P12

Britannia Hotels N11



































































In association with




RDS Simmonscourt, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4Fri 25 Jan 1.00pm - 7.00pm • Sat 26 Jan 11.00am - 5.30pm • Sun 27 Jan 11.00am - 5.30pm



page 034-034 11/01/2013 14:14 Page 1

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Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts Aruba G11

BudgetAir.ie L8

Burren Castle Hotel Lisdoonvarna M3

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay E4

CaminoWays.com K4

Camping El Delfin Verde A5

Campissimo/ESE Communication B8

Campsite L'Atlantique A16

Campsite Suelia Le Fief A16

Canada Life D11a

Canadian Affair E5

Carlingford and Mourne Region N13

Carlow Tourism P10

Carmarthenshire L9/L10

Carrick Cottage GV6

Carrickcraft R4

Carrigaline Court Hotel R7

Castel La Garangeoire A19

Castel La Grande Metairie A19

Castel le Domaine de la Breche A19

Castel le Domaine de la Paille Basse A19

Castel le Domaine de SÈvenier A19

Castel Séquoia Parc A19

Castellon Tourist Board H4/J4

Castlecourt Hotel Westport N3

Castlerosse Hotel & Holiday Homes R2

Catalan Tourist Board H4/J4

Causeway Coast & Glens K3/L3

Cavan Crystal Hotel N1

Celtic Horizon Tours K9/L11

Celtic Link Ferries A18

Central Hotel Donegal M3

China National Tourist Office D3

Chocolate Fountain M9

Choice Hotel Group S8

Cill Dara Travel A3

Citywest Hotel Leisure & Golf Resort N1

Clayton Hotel Galway N1

Clonea Strand Hotel& Leisure Centre P8/R11

Clyde Court Hotel Dublin N1

Cobh Heritage Centre R8

Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann X1

ComReg T3


Connectedtrips E8

Contiki Holidays K7

cruise.ie K2/l2

Cuba Tourist Board F8

Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium R6

Cyprus Tourism Organisation D7

Dalata Hotel Group N1

Darby O'Gill's County House Hotel P8/R11

DayToursWorld.com A14

Deep South USA G5

Delta Airlines E6

Derry Visitor & Convention Bureau K3/L3

Diagonal Plaza SA K6

Diamond Coast Hotel Enniscrone N1

Discover Bundoran P12

Discover Faughan Valley S9

Discover New England F6/G7

"Discover Newport, Rhode Island" F6/G7

Dominican Republic Tourist Office G9

Donegal International Airport M2

Donegans Monasterboice Inn M12a

Dublin Airport Authority H1/J1

Dubrovnik and NeretvaCounty Tourist Board D10

Earl of Desmond Hotel Tralee M3

Egyptian State Tourist Office D5

Eircom PhoneWatch A15

Embassy of Argentina D2

Embassy of Brazil D1

Emirates J3/H3

Estoril F7

etravel.ie K2/L2

Eurotherapy UK A20

Exodus Travel E12

Failte Ireland K1/L1

Faithlegg House Hotel S16

FBD Hotels South East S16

Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism P3

Finnstown Country House Hotel N1

Fitzpatrick Hotels GroupNew York/Dublin F3

Flavour of Tyrone Tourism N5

Flightrights.ie T4

Flower Campings B10

Flyusa.ie K2/L2

Fosters Chocolates E13

Fota Wildlife P6

Frank Kean MINI A13

Frank Kean Volkswagen B12/C12

"Georgia Dept of Industry, Trade &Tourism" G5

Gohop.ie E6

GoKerry N7a

Gold Coast Golf Hotel & Leisure p8/R11

Gozo Tourism Association G12

Great National Hotels & Resorts P8/R11

Hastings Stormont Hotel M5

Health and Wellness Centre D8

Heffernans Travel G11

Heritage Island M1

Hertz Rent A Car G2/G3

Hotel Beacon NYC F1

Hotel TRH Mijas H4/J4

Hotel Westport S4

Hurtigruten J7

Hydro Hotel Lisdoonvarna M3

IKEA/Kids Zone Kids Zone

Imperial Hotel Cork R3

Imperial Hotel Lisdoonvarna M3

India Government Tourist Office C4

Insight Vacations K7

Interhome H7

Intrepid Travel F10

Irish Golf Review S2

Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) A1a

Irish Water Safety S6

Israel Ministry of Tourism C3

Jolet Vacances A17

Kansas & Oklahoma Travel & Tourism G1

Kaunas City Municicipal Administration D8

Kilkenny Tourism R12

King Thomond Hotel Lisdoonvarna M3

KLM - Air France E6

Knockranny House Hotel R14

Kreative Dental Clinic T2

Kusadasi Dental Travel L4

Lady Gregory Hotel P8/R11

Las Vegas Conventionand Visitors Authority E1

Lee Travel K8b

Les Castels A19


Liberty Helicopters F1

Lisburn County Council M5

Lithuanian State Department Of TourismD8

Lopesan Hotel Group L7

Louth Land of Legends M12


Malaga Bike Tours H4/J4

Malaga City Tourism Board H4/J4

Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board A7

Maldron Hotel Cork N1

Maldron Hotel Cardiff Lane Dublin N1

Maldron Hotel Cardiff Wales N1

Maldron Hotel Citywest N1

Maldron Hotel Clarenbridge Galway N1

Maldron Hotel Galway N1

Maldron HotelJohn Redmond Street Cork N1

Maldron Hotel Limerick N1

Maldron Hotel Limerick N1

Maldron Hotel Parnell Square N1

Maldron Hotel Portlaoise N1

Maldron Hotel Smithfield N1

Maldron Hotel Tallaght N1

Maldron Hotel Wexford N1

Maldron Hotels Group N1

Mallorca - Mevorca- Ibiza - Fornguera H4/J4

Malta Tourism Authority G12

Martha's VineyardChamber of Commerce F6/G7

Massachusetts Officeof Travel & Tourism F6/G7

Matthews Tours N12

Mercury Direct G12

Mexico Tourism Board B11/C11

Midleton Park Hotel & Spa N1

Mississippi Tourism G5

Mitsubishi Motors K10/L12

Moira C. / Beach Fashion S13

Moroccan National Tourist Office C9

MSC Cruises J6

Muckross Park Hotel P8/R11

Nesbitt Arms Hotel Donegal M3

New Hampshire Division of Tourism F6/G7

New Orleans CVB Louisiana Officeof Tourism(c/0 TTM) G5

New York Pass F1

Newry & Mourne Tourist Office M7

Nire Valley Failte N14

Northern Ireland Tourist Board K3/L3

Nuevo Mundo D2

NYC & Company F1

NYS Collection GV7/GV8

Old Ground Hotel Ennis R3

Orlando Flexticket E4

Orogold Cosmetics GV5

Passport Office L6

Pembrokeshire L9/L10

Pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela inGalicia H4/J4

Pillo Hotel Ashbourne S14

Polish National Tourist Office E10/E11

PortAventura H4/J4

Portlaoise Heritage Hotel N1

Prince of Wales Hotel P8/R11

Promotur Turismo Canarias H4/J4

Puglia Region H10/J8

Pullmantur Curises H7

Quality Hotel Clonakilty S11

Quality Hotel Youghal P4

Quebec Tourism E5

Rathgar Travel G7a


Riu Hotels & Resorts E9

Road Safety Authority OUtside

Rory McDwyer Travel A3a

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line K2/L2

Royal Marine Hotel P1C

S.A. De Xestion Dop Plan Xacobeo J4/H4

Salou Tourist Board H4/J4

SATA International E7

Seaworld Parks & Entertainment E4

Seychelles Tourism Board B2

Shamrock Lodge Hotel Athlone N1

Shannon Ferries M13

Shannon Oaks Hotel Portumna N1

Silversea Cruises J5

South Tipperary Tourism R13

South West WalesTourism Partnership L9/L10

Spanish Tourism Office H4/J4

Spring Arona Gran Hotel K6

Spring Hotel Bitacora K6

Spring Hotel Vulcano K6

Spring Hotels Tenerife K6

Stena Line M11

Stillorgan Park Hotel P2

Strand Travel A4

Sunelia A16

Sunspot Tours G12

Taipei RepresentativeOffice in Ireland B4

Talbot Hotel Carlow P2

Talbot Hotel Wexford P2

Tennessee Tourism G5

The Beaches ofFort Myers & Sanibel E4a

The Cruise Broker H7

The Heritage Golf& Spa Resort Killenard N1

The Hotel Marketing Company D6

The Lake Hotel Killarney N7

The McWilliam Park Hotel S3

The New Hampshire Ski Group USA F5

The Newpark Hotel R3

The Park Hotel R3

The Sunday Times P1/R1



BK Bluebird Holiday Homes CM9

Cara Motor Homes CM15/CM13

Clogher Valley Country Caravan Park CM2

Cookstown Caravans CM7

Dethleffs Motorhomes CM13/15

Energy Wipe GV1

Irish Camping and Caravan Club CM1

Kenneally Caravans CM9

Kirkcaldy Caravans CM7

LPC Caravan & Camping Centre CM7

Lunar Touring Caravans CM7

Movera CM13/15

Pilote Motorhomes CM13/15

Rapido Motor Homes CM13/CM15

Reimo CM13/CM15

Smyth Leisure CM11

Sprite Touring Caravans CM7

Sterling Touring Caravans CM7

Sunlight Motorhomes CM13/15

Swift Holiday Homes CM20

Swift Touring Caravans CM7

Venus Caravans CM7

Willerby Holiday Homes CM9

The Sunday TimesTravel Photo Competition A8/A9

The Travel Broker A2

Thomas Cook Holidays B1/C1

Thomas Cook/Flexibletrips B6

Titanic Experience P5

Top of the Rock F1

Tour America A4a

Tourism Thailand B3

Tower Hotel & Leisure CentreWaterford S16

Trailfinders H2/J2

Tralee Chamber Alliance N8

Tunisian National Tourist Office D4

Turismo de Santiago de Compostela H4/J4

Turkish Airlines K5/L5

Turkish Culture and Tourist Office K5/L5

United Airlines E2

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise K7

VHI Healthcare D11

Victoria House Hotel P8/R11

Vilnius City MunicipalityTourism Division D8

Visit Florida E3

Visit USA Committee Ireland G1

Waterford Tourism P11

Waterways Ireland S18

Westport Plaza Hotel N4

Wet'n Wild Orlando E4

White Hotel Group M3

White MountainsAttractions Association F6/G7

Whites of Wexford N1

Windsor Travel E7

Woodstock Hotel Golfand Spa Resort P8/R11

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Twenty hours onthe Qantas A380top deck to Syd-

ney, then a connectionQF757 toAdelaide, and itis all worth it.Adelaide is known as

the city of a hundredchurches because it wasthe first colony where set-tlers were not forced to goto the mandatory Angli-can church each week,unlike other parts of Aus-tralia.Nowadays, it is also the

city of a hundred pubs,where believers come tolisten to the good word,the one on the bottle withall the Xs.They even named the

street with the trendy wa-tering holes and restau-rants Gouger Street.Brendan Behan could nothave put it better.If you want to see the

grape on the vine youdon’t have to go far. Pen-fold’s winery is out atMagill, eight kilometresfrom the city to see whereAustralia’s most famouswine is made. Grange2005 retails at bout €500a bottle and was the firstattempt to produce a pre-mium wine in Australia,which didn’t have theconfidence to go unforti-fied until the 1950s.Nowadays South Aus-

tralia is responsible formost of the country’s ex-ports, a miracle consider-ing it is a region knownfor Riesling and Shiraz,two grapes that a previ-ous generation were con-sidering ditchingaltogether.After our meal at the

Majestic Roof GardenHotel myself and GrahamHowe, a South Africanwine writer who has be-come a genial travellingcompanion on many con-tinents, work our waythrough the wine menuand the journey aroundthe region is rewarding.

The indigenous tourwas not a part ofAustralian tourism

when I first visited thiscountry. It has trans-formed perception of aland which otherwise hasprecious little history.In Maitland there is a

bar where the whites andblacks are still segre-gated, in 2010 Australia.

OnYorke Peninsula thereis an old barn where theaboriginals were huddled.You can still see the holesin the wall where theguns were pointed asKingWilliam’s men mas-sacred men, women, chil-dren, the lot. ThroughoutSouth Australia there aremonuments to the perpe-trators, none to the vic-tims.An Aussie back in the

bar inAdelaide says there isno written evidence of themassacre from whitesources, so it never tookplace. I explain my theory,that this is how a lot ofAussie history works, in-deed a lot of world history.Aggressors aren’t good atkeeping records of theirown atrocities. We agree todiffer andhaveanother beer.

On Tynte Street inNorth Adelaideyou can stay in a

fire station. Yes, completewith fire brigade intact.It is the idea of a third

generation Limerick man,Rodney Twiss and hiswife Regina have a rangeof heritage properties inthe lush suburbs, recreat-ing the 1880s in modernAdelaide. Rodney was anantique dealer in a previ-ous life and is putting funback in to the lives of fre-quent fliers as hobby hos-pitality, and furnishes hishouses lovingly with arte-facts to capture the toneof each residence. It is afar cry from the ho-mogenised world of cor-porate hotels, right besidethe airport.

The old classic Victo-rian bluestone fire stationwas bought and restoredby Rodney and ReginaTwiss in 1998.They refurbished it to

offer three accommoda-tion suites to choosefrom, each with its ownensuite king size spabathroom, and each deco-rated with fine antiquesand appointments.The Penthouse suite

has a seven metre sun-deck, an ultra-modernWestAustralian red jarrahkitchen, Juliette bal-conies, two squashyleather sofas and a toastylog gas fire.The Loggia has a huge

marble two person spabathroom, and Italianatecourtyard decorated withTuscan hued walls, alions head cascadingfountain and slim pencilpines,.The Fire Engine suite

comes complete with a1942 International FireEngine, the original fire-man hooded lights (creat-ing a wonderful mood) aswell as the fire pole withthe luxurious fittings andcomfort, including a re-laxing spa bathroom.The Fire Station Inn is

just doors away from cos-mopolitan North Ade-laide's fabulousrestaurants, cafes andtrendy hotels.

The city of a hun-dred churches andpubs is also the

city of a hundred restau-rants. On O’ConnellStreet (yes, named afterthe same man) the mixedplatter at Café Mykonosis daunting but duty re-quires me to work myway through it.South Australians say

you can find wine, out-back and wildlife, withinthree hours from Ade-laide.Just don’t forget to

taste before you go.

n Consumer www.australia.com Trade www.tourism.australia.comn Eoghan Corry flew to Adelaide with Qantas.

Shiraz is the wine type that rulesthe Barossa and Clare Valleysoutside of Adelaide.

Now 95pc of the world’s Shirazcomes from here. “The export marketwent for fruity flavours of shiraz,” saysJeff Easley, the owner of TouraboutAdelaide who conducts wine tours inthe region. “Wine that did not have toomuch tannin, that could be enjoyedyoung.”South Australian Shiraz started ap-

pearing on Irish shelves in the early1960s. Now we can’t get enough of it.More bottles of Jacob’s Creek (fromBarossa) are consumed in Ireland than

anywhere else. South Australia pro-duces 65pc of the sub-continent’s ex-port wine.It is not the only variety from here but it

might be. Jeff’s verdict on the local PinotNoir: “It is like an Agatha Christie novel,all plums and cherries and pepper.”There are five wine producing areas

within easy reach of Adelaide:n Adelaide Hills,n Barossa Valley,n Clare Valley,n McClaren Vale regionn Langhrone Creek,To this can be added Coonawara, half

way toMelbourne, 4 hours from the city.

The accommodation that comes with, not just a fire escape, but a complete engine


Adelaide ofthe oddities

Eoghan Corry in thecity of 100 churches ..and hundreds of other

things too

Page 036 adelaide 14/01/2013 14:26 Page 1

Page 37: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

As the holidayb u s i n e s schanges rap-

idly, so does Ireland’spremier travel and hol-iday fair. This yearpeople are looking forvalue for money, andthere are 1,500 expertsall assembled underone roof to tell themhow to get it.This year the show

has a new dimension.The Over-55s Showgives those with moretime on their hands theopportunity to checkout hotel-based holi-days in Ireland, sunholidays at special sen-

ior rates, cruise bar-gains, including over55s only cruises,trekking and walkingactivity holidays andcity breaks.The visitors to the

Dublin Holiday Worldat the RDS this monthare more savvy andbetter prepared cus-tomers than previousyears. The hunger forinformation about the70-odd destinationswhere Irish people nowtravel for their holidayshas grown with each ofthe show’s 20 years.“They have access to

a great deal of informa-tion not just from guide

books and the internetbut from word ofmouth of their friendsand family who havealso travelled. Theycome to the show look-ing for first handknowledge,” saysMaureen Ledwith,sales director of Holi-day World.Three times as many

people take a longhaulholiday compared toten years ago and thecruise sector has growneven faster.Adventure and expe-

rience are the themesof this year’s HolidayWorld Show with anew dedicated adven-

ture travel section.The show is also of-

fering impressive goodvalue. The average hol-iday is cheaper nowthan they were twentyyears ago, even beforeyou consider inflation.In recent years over

50,000 visitors have at-tended the exhibitionannually; market re-search indicates thatmost people go to theHoliday World Showto look for ideas andexpert advice from as-sembled travel profes-sionals.

In Ireland the aver-age person takes4.8 trips abroad per

head. The Europeanaverage is 1.5. Thatpartly explains why theHoliday World Showhas become such a partof our lives.“As fast as the indus-

try changes, the morethe benefit of theshow,” Edmund Houri-can of Business Exhi-bitions says. “Manymore visitors are nowusing the internet forresearch before theyvisit the show. Thatmeans they can makebetter use of their time

when they are here.”HolidayWorld Show

is divided into zones tohelp information gath-ering and to help youfind experts who an-swer questions face toface. Exhibitors in-clude tourist boards,tour operators, travelagents, airlines, hotelsand their marketinggroups, ferries and thefast growing cruisesector. All 32 countiesare among home holi-day exhibitors.The show is organ-

ised on behalf of theIrish TravelAgentsAs-sociation by BusinessExhibitions Ltd.


Model Lynn Kelly gets into the escape-it-all spirit at the 2013 Holiday World Show this weekend in the RDS. Over 50,000 people from across the countryare expected to use the show as a wonderful opportunity to banish the recession blues and pick up money saving tips for that well earned holiday.


Holiday World 2013 opens in theRDS Simmonscourt


page 037 holidayworld r 14/01/2013 13:43 Page 1

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Friday January 25th1.00pm – 7.00pmSaturday January 26th 11.00am – 5.30pmSunday January 27th 11.00am – 5.30pmFriday January 25th 10.00am – 1.00pmAdults €7 OAPs €4Students €3 Children Free€142 Adults & up to 4 childrenDon't forget that the DART has great familyrates on Saturday and Sunday.40,000 visitors2,000 travel experts from 55 countries, touroperators, travel agents, hotels, national andglobal tourist organisations, airports, airlines,theme parks, bus, coach, car, rail, camping,travel services, adventure holidays, ferry andcruise companies, caravans and motorhomes,n Republic of Ireland and Northern Irelandn Europe and the Mediterraneann The Caribbeann The Americasn Africa and the Middle Eastn Asia and the Pacificn Caravans and motorhomesn Adventure Holidaysn Tour operatorsFriday January 25th at 2pm Official openingby Lord Mayor of Dublinwww.holidayworldshow.comExplore the ENDLESS OPTIONS for Over 55sHotel-based holidays in IrelandSun holidays at special senior ratesCruise bargains, including over 55s only cruisesTrekking & walking activity holidaysCity BreaksBelfast January 17-19 2014Dublin January 24-26 2014


Trade OnlyHow Much:

Family Price:


How Many:Who's’ there:

Where From:

Official Opening:

Website:Over 55s Show:

Next Year:

Welcome to HolidayWorld 2013 here atthe RDS. This is the

annual gathering of the world’sbest and most appealing desti-nations brought home righthere to your doorstep for youto consider, investigate andthen discover for yourselves!After another year of relent-

less austerity I have seen thatpeople are deciding it is time toget back living again, rather thanjust existing, and constantly put-ting ‘Real life’on hold.Planning for a holiday a

cruise or short trip abroad is anessential part of that processfor very many of us and Holi-day World is the ideal place togather all of the informationyou need ... then make life easyfor yourself and grab one ofthe many fantastic value ‘Ex-clusive Holiday World’ offersavailable here at the RDS.We extend a very warm wel-

come to all of our industrypartners who join us this week-end from all over the globe.They have travelled here inorder to share their intimateknowledge and love for theirdestination with You, our Hol-

idayWorld visitor. We do hopeyou take advantage of theirpresence to glean as much in-sider information as you canfrom the real experts – peoplewho live and breathe their re-gions and love to share theirknowledge with you.The destinations and holi-

days showcased this weekendare available to book here withyour ITAATravelAgents all ofwhom are fully licensed andbonded for your protection.ITAA Agents represent a

wealth of knowledge, experi-ence and exceptional personalservice which is just not avail-able on the Internet.Why not avail of their expert-

ise and book your holiday here,secure in the knowledge that youare getting professional advice,your money is safe and shouldyou need assistance before, dur-ing or after your holiday youragent is ready,willing and able tohelp you?Home holidays are of course

also an integral part of HolidayWorld and our entire island isrepresented here with a greatselection of attractions, holidayideas and destinations. In this

year of The Gathering why nottake the opportunity to sharesome of the knowledge andideas available here at HolidayWorld with your friends andrelations abroad and encouragethem to visit us during whatpromises to be an exciting andeventful year in Ireland.Whether you are looking for

your ideal Family Holiday, anExotic Cruise, ‘a long- prom-ised’ Faraway Holiday or in-formation on getaways thatwill indulge your passions ordiscover new ones..., be as-sured you have come to theright place.I do hope you enjoy your

time at Holiday World andyour 2013 holiday wherever ittakes you and if one of ourITAATravel Professionals canassist you along the way wewill be delighted, after allthat’s what we’re here for!With all good wishes for a

happy and enjoyable 2013 hol-iday.

Clare DunnePresident



If you dance with your heart,your feet will follow. Enter-tainment at the 2013 Holi-

day World will be provided byDancerite, the acclaimed the-atrical show which is run byOrla and Geraldine O’Hanlon

and based in Rathcoole.It caters for children and

teenagers between the ages of 3and 17, offering an environmentwhere you can learn to dance,meet people of common inter-est and have fun while you do

so in a friendly and stress freeenvironment.Every two year the Dancerite

team offer their students the op-portunity to participate in a liveperformance to showcase theirwork.


Page 038 holidayworld 14/01/2013 11:41 Page 1

Page 39: Travel Extra Holiday World edition


Holiday Worldprovides aunique opportu-

nity for the consumer tomeet, network, negotiate,conduct business and stayabreast with the latest de-velopments in the travelindustry.If you have a passion

for adventure, culture,cruises, city breaks, eco-friendly, beach or safariholidays, or are consider-ing a career break Holi-day World 2013 is theultimate show to get in-formation from some1,500 travel and tourismprofessionals who will beready to give one-to-oneadvice and information.Over 700 exhibitors

representing 70 countrieswill be available at theshow to provide you withface-to-face informationon how best to accessyour dream holiday.The Holiday World

Show, now in its 24thyear, has become thebiggest single event intravel and tourism in Ire-land, providing an antici-pated 50,000 visitors withthe unique opportunity of

meeting with over 1,500industry professionals forpersonal advice and in-formation.

Staged annually inDublin under oneroof, Holiday

World is a must attendtravel exhibition for bothbusiness and consumer.The show brings to-

gether hundreds of ex-hibitors from all aroundthe world with tour oper-ators, travel agents, ho-tels, airports, national andinternational tourism or-ganisations, as well astheme parks, adventuretravel, airlines, bus,coach, ferry and cruisecompanies and more be-sides.Those seeking the in-

dependence of a campingor caravan holiday arealso particularly wellcatered for, with this bur-geoning sector very wellrepresented at this year’sevent.“Hundreds of special

low price deals are avail-able for show visitors for

holidays and short breaks.In addition there are alsohundreds of free to enterholiday prize drawsthroughout the show.”Maureen Ledwith says:

“After the economicstresses and strains of thepast few years, it’s timeeveryone turned their at-tention to planning awell-earned break for2013.“The Holidayworld

Show packs expert ad-vice, special offers, not-to-be-missed promotions,entertainment and exclu-sive competitions allunder the one roof for agreat value-for-money,family day out.”

Edmund Hourican,managing director,Business Exhibi-

tions Ltd., organisers ofHolidayWorld Show said“Our professional marketresearch taken at HolidayWorld Show indicatesthat most people go alongto the show looking forexpert personal advice,

and for ideas. They alsoattend for the opportunityto win one of the manyfantastic trips, while atthe same time having agood family day out”.“The number and di-

versity of exhibitorsmeans that visitors areable to gain first hand in-formation to enable themto better plan holidays. Inshort, visitors to the showwill get advice that is notavailable from any othersource,” he concluded.“It is the only place in

Ireland that you can meet,and take advice from over1,500 travel and tourismindustry professionals toassist you in planning the

perfect holiday for youand your family.At the Holiday World

Show you will literally beable to roam the globe insearch of that dream hol-iday.It may be Aruba, An-

tigua, Austria, Brazil,Cuba, China, Greece,India, Mauritius, Mexico,Thailand, or the USA. Itis the place to find thenext hip city break, orbest destination in the“new Europe” or a safari,a luxury cruise, beachholiday, ski holiday,home holiday, activityholiday, spa holiday, or ashort break.Visitors to the show

will also be able to gainfirst-hand information oncruise holidays, thefastest growing sector ofthe Irish travel market.Holiday World Show

2013 will provide the ex-citement of new places tovisit, and others to dreamabout. Visitors will re-ceive a free catalogue,children have free admis-sion, and there are hun-dred of chances to winfree holidays and shortbreaks in free to enterprize draws on exhibitors’stands.All you have to do is

visit, and you could winthe holiday of yourdreams.

Passport to 2013Passport to 2013The world under one roofThe world under one roof


Holiday World’s resident High King Frankie O’Gorman

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Wondering where to find thebargains? There is no short-age of places to look.

FliGHTS: Airlines are doing‘core free goods’ off-peak promotionsfor flexible passengers who are thencharged for all ancillary services.Ryanair have started running two typesof offers, one in which you pay thetaxes and one in which they pay thetaxes.The ways in which they calculate thisare complex, but relate to the numberof unfilled seats they have and the me-chanics of collecting departure tax. Itmeans that a savvy traveller can travelwithout paying anything at all.HoTElS: There is one networkwhich claims to offer a network ofcompletely free hotels, for an annual€40 membership fee. This strategy fillsplanes and ships.The idea is that it offers 320 hotelswhere accommodation is free, butguests are required to pay for breakfastand dinner. It involves relatively fewrestrictions on when and how long youstay. Soon clients will be naming theirown price or expecting to have a majorslice of the product or service forgratis.

aUCTionS: New pricingmodels in the travel industry include‘pay what you want,’ auctions and‘core free goods.’Some of the more innovative holidaycompanies see this as the way forward.It makes sense because these offersgive brands the chance to engage withconsumers and build loyalty, and occa-sionally give them an opportunity toshake off some of their competition aswell.CrUiSE: Some cruise lines haveworked out that getting a passenger onboard means they can make money ononboard spend in the bars and casinos,so they are doing everything they canto sell cruise holidays cheap withoutdestabilising their market. Virtually no-body pays full brochure prices forcruises nowadays, even at peak period.One cruise company has not sold a sin-gle cruise at full brochure price formany years. They are offering ‘secondpassenger travels free deals.’SUPErSaVEr:Anonymoushotels invite people to ‘name your ownprice’ via blind auctions. It is done withflights and car rental, too, and this ideais likely to expand because it allowsoperators to move stock that would re-main unsold if left to traditional book-ing methods.

SoCial nET: Social net-working sites such ascouchsurfing.com offer a showcasesfor ‘no-cost, full-service’ offer. Theysometimes even provide free guidedtours, leisure activities with theirfriends and tips on experiencing locallife.UPGradES:. Business classseat sales depend on the economybeing strong. When they lie empty itcosts the airline unearned revenue.Some airlines are offering businessclass upgrades for a few hundred euro.Best of all this tends to happens whenbusiness traffic is lightest, the summer,which happens to coincide with the pe-riod when leisure traffic is highest.

ToUrS: City tours are geared togenerate business for the paid ones andthere can be nearly fifty per cent refer-ral rates.HaGGlinG Haggling with thehotel for a better price is as old as thehills but is enjoying a revival. Savvyconsumers can now use the internet todo their comparative research whilewatching the pennies, and are morelikely to be confident and make a ‘hardsell.’ Pricing flexibility has made lifeeasier.FrEE is the new cheap. Customersare in the driving seat during thesesqueezed market times and looking tobe given something for nothing as theyweigh up their getaway options.


HolidayWorld SHoW Jan 25-27 2013

Answers to questionsAnswers to questionsThe world under one roofThe world under one roof

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Eoghan Corry’stravel clinics willrun over the three

days of the HolidayWorld show in RDS Sim-monscourt, Jan 25-27.Experts from around theworld will be on hand toanswer consumer ques-tions from the floor. In-cluded among thespeakers this year will be:HElEnCAROn:CEO of Falcon HolidaysIreland, CEO of FalconHolidays in Ireland, Ire-land’s largest outboundholiday company, for-merly commercial andtrading director forThomson and FirstChoice Holidays in Eng-land with responsibilityfor in-house and third-party trade sales, as wellas cruise distributionstrategy and commercialrelationships.JOHnKi-nAnE: CEO ofThomas Cook Ireland,Ireland’s second largestoutbound holiday com-pany, associated with the

travel industry in Irelandfor more than 20 years.lORRAinEQUinn of RoyalCaribbean, Manager inIreland of the cruise linewhich has more than70pc of the Irish cruisemarket and has turnedcruising from a nicheinto a core part of ourholidays plans. RoyalCaribbean have launchedthe two largest cruiseships in the world andinvested heavily in newluxury ships that ply thewaters of the med,Caribbean, Baltic, Mid-dle East and Alaska.REBECCAKElly, Develop-ment Manager of MSCcruises, the Italian cruiseline which has become abig favourite of the Irishholiday population.SOniAliMBRiCK ofAzamara cruises, one ofthe most luxurious cruiseclines in the world whichhas chosen Dublin as a

departure point for a se-lection of its cruises.ROSiEMElEAdy, thewedding planner, whose“best job in the world”promotion in 2010which earned worldwidepublicity. She will talkabout wedding and hon-eymoon options for pub-lic, the legal andfinancial obstacles tolook out for and the keyanswers you need beforeyou plan your weddingor honeymoon abroad.AndREMiGliRiAni sa-fari specialist withGohop holidays, SouthAfrican born expert onthe complex business ofmanaging tourism upclose with stunningwildlife, who is familiarwith the all the optionsright across Africa.KATHRynMcdOnnEllof the Spanish touristboard, responsible forkeeping the people who

sell holidays in Spain tothe public up to datewith the fast changingtourism product in ourbiggest holiday market,over a million Irish holi-day makers go to Spaineach year.ROSEMARyMAyRUHBER,expert skier and instruc-tor with the ski club ofIreland who has skied allof the terrain familiar toIrish snowseekers, whowill give tips on how toget the best value out ofyour snow holiday.ORlACARROllofFailte Ireland, who willtalk about the new andupgraded attractions onoffer to the home holi-day maker in 2013.MiCHAElHARRinGTOnof Nuevo Mundo, SouthAmerican specialist withGohop holidays, on thelocations and prices towatch


HOlidAyWORld SHOW JAn 25-27 2013

Michael O’leary speaking at Holidayworld 2011

FRIDAY:3.0 Forum Travel in 2013: Home and Abroad.3.30 Dance routine4.0 Spain 2013 with Kathryn McDonnell5.0 Cruising with Rebecca Kelly of MSC cruises &Lorraine Quinn of RCL5.30 Going to India with Raj Sunani

SATURDAY12: Get active in 2013, expert panel.12.30 Go to Turkey, Discussion with Turkish Air-lines and Turkish tourism.1 Ski and snow with Rosemary Mayruhber1.30 USA in 2013 expert panel2.0 Dance performance2.30pm Safari with Andre Migliarina3.0 Luxury cruising with Sonia Limbrick od Aza-mara3.30 Dance performance4.0Weddings &Honeymoons with Rosie Meleady,the wedding planner4.45 Meet the experts, Helen Caron & John Ki-nane on the Irish holiday industry.

SUNDAY12.30 Dance performance1.0 Meet the experts: Australia, Thailand, Actionholidays.1,45 Meet the experts: Travel and health2.30 Michael Harrington of Nuevo Mundo3 o’clock dance performance3.30 Home Holdiay options with Orla Carroll4.0 Safari with Andre Migliarina4.45 Meet the experts, open forum on cruise


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There are lots of ex-citing stands tocheck out at Holi-

day World 2013.aBU dHaBiEach year sees an explo-sion of new things to doin Abu Dhabi. Etihad isincreased capacity againthis year, and the Emi-rate wants Irish people tolearn more about what’sat the other end of thejourney, They have justsigned the contract tobuild a branch fo theLouvre.andalUCiaOne of Europe’s biggesttourist destinations stillhas lots of secrets to re-veal. Find out about thecycle tracks, the city ofMalaga that tourists misswhen they turn left at theairport exit, the amazingseafood and spendid his-torical sites.BraZilHosts forthe next World Cup, thenext Olympics and newroutes through the majorEuropean and MiddleEast hubs have alreadyled to an increase in hol-

iday making to Brazil,.CariBBEanTThe Caribbean quarteris one of the liveliest atHoliday World. Think ofthe song.CHina an excitingplace to visit at the bestof times, there are newregulations in place thisyear that allow Irishtourists to visit for 72hours without requiringa visa.CrUiSEAgentssuch as and cruise opera-tors will all be here.Cruise is the fastestgrowing sector in Irishtravel and there will belots of show only op-tions.dUBroVniKnew arrival at HolidayWorld 2013, offering ataste of one of the moststunning medieval citiesin the world.EMiraTESGateway to the east formany of us, they havegrown phenomenally injust twelve months.Plane for the future in-

clude a lounge at Dublinairport.liTHUaniaThe Baltic country issmall, but has four UN-ESCO world heritagesites, and lively citieswith direct flights fromDublin.MalaySiaEven in recessionMalaysia is growing itstraffic from Ireland. Findout why at their stand.laS VEGaS isin the midst of a buildingboom and still deliveringmore beds in the middleof a recession whichmeans great prices in anaction city. You don\teven need to be a gam-bler. Go to see all eightCirque du Soleil per-formances, and get outof the city, it is sur-rounded by amazingdesert landscape.nEW yorKThere is more than 20pcmore air capacity to thecity that never sleeps for2013.PUGlia the heel

of Italy's boot, has lots tooffer, exciting hotels andrestaurants in caves, an-cient towns, desertedbeaches and some of thebest food on the planet.SEyCHEllESAs exotic as it gets, ithas great connectionsform Ireland this year,and stunning resortssuch as the Banyan treein Mahé.THailand Fewcountries are buildingmore luxury hotels,Thailand will deliver16,018 rooms in thecoming three years.There is a dizzying rangeof flight connectionsfrom Ireland, including a

new Emirates flight toPhuket.TUniSia Majorinvestment in high-endhotel and spa facilitiesover the years has beencombined with amazingprices as the visitorsstayed away over thepast two years. Don’t letthe opportunity to gothere pass you by.TUrKEy there islots of interesting newsfrom Turkish Airlinesand the tourist board.Check out the huge num-ber of domestic and in-ternational connectionson offer from Turkish,exotic Istanbul, and theplayground of the south

west coast where theIrish go in their droves.Our visits to Turkey areincreasing each year.USa The launch ofbrand USA has brought asense of unity and pur-pose to the vast numberof competing destina-tions and cultures onoffer. There are 18flights a day throughoutnext summer to six dif-ferent destination cities& Finallydon’t miss the series ofADVICE CLINICSover the three daysshould enable you tofind all the answers tothose questions that havebeen keeping you awake

Stands to check outStands to check outyou feel like you have been around the worldyou feel like you have been around the world

HolidayWorld SHoW Jan 25-27 2013

Allow time to browse the stands

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Sharon Carroll of the Riverside Park Hotel and

Thecia Birmingham of the Lady Gregory Hotel on

the Great Northern Hotels stand atHoliday World

Henry Healy, reputedly Barack Obama's eighthcousin with Yvonne Muldoon and Aoife Gregg ofUnited Airlines at the Holiday World Show

Alice Potts and Padmaja Naik of Indian Dreams

on the Incredible India stand at Dublin Holiday

World 2012

Irwin Gill, travel trade support, and Aisling O'Con-nell, sales and traffic, Turkish Airlines, at the Holi-day World Show in Belfast

Daryl Downey of Westport Music Festival,

Michael Ring Minister of State at the Department

of Tourism and Orla Carroll of Fáilte Ireland on

the Discover Ireland stand at Holiday World

Kim Sperry of New Hampshire Lakes, Patricia Pur-due of Massachusetts, Kathy Murphy of VermontTourism, Nancy Gardella of Martha's Vineyard,Kathy Scatamacchia of Discover New England

Sandra Corkin of Oasis Travel and LorraineQuinn of Royal Caribbean at the Belfast HolidayWorld Show

Yvonne Muldoon of United Airlinesand Tom

Travers of the Beacon Hotel in NewYork at

Belfast Holiday World show.

Teresa Murphy of Air France/KLM/Delta andMatthew Davies, Port Director, US Customs Bor-der Protection pictured at Holiday World Dublin

Richard Greenaway of Mercury Direct, VeronicaCalimerri of Malta Tourism and Richard Camberof Belleair Holidays at Belfast Holiday World

Michael Bowe of Michael Bowe Travel and Mar-tin Skelly of Navan Travel at the ITAA stand atthe Holiday World Show

Peter Ward, Maria Slye and Wayne Timmons onthe Cyprus stand at Holiday World

Minister Michael Ring, Matt Corcoran, Elena Ciu-perceanu of IATA and Jean Maxwell at the ITAAstand at the Holiday World Show

Beverleigh Fly, John Hennessey-Niland Deputy

Chief of Mission at the US Embassy and Yvonne

Muldoon of United at Dublin Holiday World


Stars of the show

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Diversity. We donot know themeaning of the

word. Papua New Guineais a country of 830 lan-guages (in a country witha similar population toour own, 6.4m) and val-ues that were uncorruptedby the colonial bulliesthat rampaged througheach and every one of itsneighbours.It is as if the people

from Malahide cannotunderstand the peoplefrom Swords. In Madangthere are 170 languagesin one province. Englishis spoken by less than 1pcof the population, thestreet pidgin formulatedfrom the three nearestthings they have to a ma-jority language is gainingcurrency adequate for thebureaucrats to operate. Itdrags as many of the eas-iest spellings for commonwords together as it can,haus for House is aprominent one, and al-though it utilises words ofEnglish, I cannot under-stand a single sentencewhen people speak it.But the soul of the peo-

ple is untouched by such

concerns.When I landedin Madang, my guideKaut Idel and driverBugau Damon taught mea few words in the Em di-alect of the Darus lan-guage. This is important,because the Ea dialect ofthe Darus language can-

not always understandwhat the Em dialectspeakers are saying.ILUK. I was like a little

boy who has learned myfirst swear-word, launch-ing it at everyone whetherthey deserve it or not, iluk– for good morning.ILUK. ILUK. ILUK.

Everyone smiles andreplies, glad I have madethe effort until the womanwho has come to do thegarden arrives with herangry looking machete.She stared back

blankly.She doesn’t speak our

language, Kaut said.Nobody suspectedthat, tucked inthe folds of those

inaccessible mountainsunder the equator were amillion shy people, hid-den from the outsideworld until 1930.Three second genera-

tion Kilkennymen, Aus-

tralian born Mick Leahyand his brothers Jamesand Dan, came up herepanning for gold in the1930s and found a mil-lion people here that no-body had heard of. Thelocals were pretty unique,uncontaminated by con-tact with the outsideworld.The Leahy brothers

(they pronounced it lay-hee, which is closer to theIrish language originalthan the normal Englishtranslation) eventuallyfound some gold andstarted about mining itwith the help of thefriendly natives who hadnot a clue what was goingon. He gave them a shellfor a month’s work, im-ported from Thursday Is-land and they weregrateful.When the Leahys

crossed this path they ex-pected to find the placebarren and empty. Insteadthey found it marked outwith well drained gardensof sweet potato. The peo-ple who saw them aremostly dead now. ButAnis Waka, my driverfromWurup Pogla (“bedsverry cheap,” as in merry,the sign outside the local

lodge says) told me abouthis grandfather. Thegrandfather who died,aged 101, in 2008, re-members the white menbrought salt and tasting itfor the first time. He toldAnis that the big changein people’s lives was thatit made log felling andtimber work easier with

the technology theybrought, modern axes re-placed stone age ones.The piece of technologythat impressed themmost? The umbrella. In avery monsoony countrythey were amazed by theumbrella.He was afraid of these

white skinned people

Where Robinson Crusoe landed (or at least Pierce Brosnan in the 1994 movie)

n www.papuanewguinea.travel Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Author-ity, No. 4, 2 Archie Street, London SE1 3JT [email protected]

n Mount Hagen Sung Sing held onceper year with Unesco support, a greatway to see a huge range of diverse cul-tures in two days.n Mount Willhem, the highest inPapua New Guinea, has an excellenttrail that takes hikers to the top, pastlakes, waterfalls, moss forests, and thevestiges of a WW2American aircraft.

THINGS TO DOn The national museum in PortMoresby has an excellent collection offolk art from all around the country.n Try the excellent black mountaincoffee.n Story boards, the local wood carv-ing which sell at reasonable prices


Eoghan Corry in Papua New Guinea


Thousand Guineas

Desert island life

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when first he saw them,but thought they were thesprits of the ancestors.The logic went that whenpeople died at that time,their bodies were burned,they bones were collectedand put them in the river.Now a group of whitemen had arrived withthese pans and dirt, theywent down to the riverand collected river waterin the pans. The peoplethought they might betheir ancestors lookingfor their bones back, notQueensland adventurerslooking for gold.When my hosts

met me in thehighlands at

Mount Hagen everythinghad changed except thelandscape, a valley wasreminiscent of Africa,maybe more Mauritius,with exotic green plantseverywhere, bananas,

coffee and carefully irri-gated fields.It was supposed to be

dry season but it bucketedon me the night I arrivedin Mount Haven.The forest chorus line

is filled with the Chirrupof grass hoppers as thelight tails off. It rises involume until it drownsout all other sounds, realand imaginary, for this isa land where every roomand every hallway is dec-orated with scary masks .The electricity failed andwe had glorious darkness,until the generator kickedin. And the grass hopperscame to full chirrup at thesame time as the genera-tor.I spent most of the time

eating western food, butafter a couple of broadhints, Lawrence Walepand Josephine Leo servedme up a traditional dishon Thursday: sweet po-

tato, pumpkin, hibika(spinach), snakebin andyellow fin tuna, not ex-actly a traditional mumu(where animals are fedout of the same pit as thehumans) and no taro, butit hit the spot and wasserved with the sound ofthe waves nearby.At Tokoe I met the

village elders infull dress and

they told me that theirneck decorations indicatetheir wealth, a bar ofwood for every ten pigs.Ten pigs is the bride pricefor a woman up here.Some of them have manywives.Pigs are important.

When something scurriesacross the road it is usu-ally a dog or a pig andoften it is a pig. Everyoneeats pork, except the Sev-enth day Adventists, theyeat chicken. They believethat the bad spirits in thewater are picked up bypigs.They showed me how

the women bury the um-bilical cord of a newbornchild beside the codlinplant. It delineates theboundaries later if there isa family dispute, the sizeof the plant also showswhether the child is wor-thy.You get the impression

the Christian layer overthe old religion is verythin indeed. As you passthe graveyard each graveis covered by a little

house to house the spiritsof the ancestors. There isa cross by the door tokeep St Peter happy, butthey don’t think they goto the pearly gatesstraightaway.Rondon Lodge is on a

hilltop at some greatheight, so high that in theevening you watch thewhite fluffy clouds roll inbelow your deck likegiant cruise ships floatingin to the valley, the greatcloud of white at one end,streaks of fluffy white atthe other, that leave themountains on the otherside visible above andbelow. It is a floor show,not the skyshow we areused to.The Wahgi River val-

ley is stunning, with highmountains on each sideand a big muddy ribbonserving as the river, withwomen washing clothes

and children diving in therefreshing muddy water.

The country getsfewer tourists thanCounty Carlow.

Getting there is not toodifficult, with directflights from Singapore – Icame through Sydneywith Air Niugini.The isolation made its

people resourceful andresilient. As the worldgets more boring and ho-mogenised, Papua NewGuinea still stands out asan example of a formergolden age. It is a modernsociety where peoplewatch the Rugby Leaguematches fromAustralia inTV, but when the screenflickers still it is as ifnothing has changed.The one success story

of Papua New Guineatourism is its diving.My day snorkelling

was as pleasant as can beimagined, we swam to theisland that Robinson Cru-soe landed on (or at leastPierce Brosnan when heplayed Crusoe in the1994 movie version) andsplashed around in theshallows for a couple ofhours.In that underwater

wonderland there werecrabs moving house, fishgrazing, large wavinganemones.Maybe that is why the

tourists like to dive. Seal-ife is more familiar thanthe diversity that lies be-yond each clearing in theforest, behind everymountain pass. We alltalk about how we like tofind something new whenwe travel. In Papua newGuinea we have too muchof it to ignore.

Eoghan Corry with village elder Simon Lusamand friends in Sokaka village


Where Robinson Crusoe landed (or at least Pierce Brosnan in the 1994 movie)

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There were manycontenders for thebest new visitor at-

traction in Europe lastyear. Our vote goes toLisbon.The new Lisboa Story

Centre opened in Septem-ber, located in formergovernment offices atPraça do Comércio wheredecades of bureaucraticfastidiousness obscuredthe fact that this was con-sidered among the mostmajestic squares in theworld when the city wasrebuilt after the GreatEarthquake of 1755,looking out meekly onthe capricious Tagos.The bureaucrats have

moved out and there hasbeen attempt to introducea plaza culture to thesense of squanderedgrandeur. Street chairsfrom new restaurants spillon to the square, stallsselling the bitter ginjinhacherry liquor, with astatue of King Don Joséon horseback in the mid-dle of it all, surveying thechange with a stern eye.The story centre is de-

signed to shake up thelocal tourist scene – literally.One of its features is a

theatre where the earth-quake effect is recreated,while a video shows re-enacted scenes of dailylife on a panoramic widescreen, until eventuallythe walls begin to tumbleand visitors get a threeside video depiction ofthe monastery of Carmocollapsing on the inhabi-tants.It is more Doomsday

than Disney but it works.As in Belfast, disastermakes for a great visitorexperience.

The new Lisboacentre serves as adecent starting

point for a walking tourof the city, through RueAugusta and the Baixa,with its wooden cage likestructures, and Rossiosquare, best seen in thecharacteristic sunlight.You can take a tram

from there to thepanoramic views over thecity from of St Jorge Cas-tle, Lisbon’s historical tophat. The two latest high-lights here on the hilltopare some of the oldest andthe newest, Catia Davidtalks us through the pre-historic Moorish home-steads with their internalgardens, neatly excavated

and recreated as theymight have been in can-tilevered whitewash thathangs over the preciousoriginal walls like an ap-parition, a modern cloudoverhanging a prehistoricdream world.They also offer a

periscope tour of the city,where in a darkened roomvisitors watch a mirror re-flection of the trafficmoving all around the liv-ing-breathing city.

Lisbon is an exam-ple of a city thatused its Expo ex-

perience well. The de-cayed docklands, so longa repository of acres of

abandoned military vehi-cles shipped home fromthe abandoned empire,was transformed into thenew Parque das Naçõesfor Expo 98.Orient Station designed

by Santiago Calatrava (ofTHAT Liffey bridge), acable car that brings visi-tors an aerial view of thereborn wasteland whichincludes Europe’s secondlargest aquarium, housing8000 animals and plantsfrom 500 differentspecies it was the largestat the time of Peter Cher-mayeff’s design. It sits onthe Tagus inlet like anoversized life buoy, andsigns will direct youthrough the five oceans,

Antarctic third from thebottom on the right andmind-the-octopus.After dark you don’t

have to look far to findsomething else uniquelyPortuguese. Lisbon cele-brates its fado music, amusical tradition distilledfor touristic purposes intosomething more likeStockton’s Wing thansean-nós.In Clube de Fado our

first encounter was taste-ful and haunting, the tasteof Cabo Verde soup madefrom potatoes, onion andolive oil and cabbagechourico washed downwith the sounds of “AyMouraria” in our ears aswe did a quick pub crawl

of the streets around ourhotel.“Nostalgia is what is

left when all is passedaway,” they sang. And itmakes sense over a litreof Bocks. An amazingperformance by MafaldaTaborda, who starts herrecital by launching intoPoema Deolinda Mariaalongside stunning guitarwork by Fernando Silva.The city is currently

staging a fado-based mu-sical, Uma Noite em Casade Amalia. Producer Fil-ipe La Feria greets us tothe theatre in a boomingvoice. We are the onlytourists here. There arejokes in Portuguese inter-spaced with poems androusing songs.Our hotel is the LX

boutique Hotel, perchednoisily over one of thetwo best nightclubs inLisbon, Music Box (theother is Lux), and withinwalking distance ofeverything worth seeing.Our hostess Carmo

Botelho starts the tourwith a visit to the newLisboa Story Centre and acup of ginjinha, the localbitter cherry liquor, froma roadside stall.Treat your palate to

a visit to Con-feitaria de Belém,

where they make 20,000pastries a followed by agorgeous pastry coveredin cinnamon and icingsugar. Miguel Clarinhatells us the secret Pasteisde Belém recipe is stillcherished and preservedby members of his family.They haven’t told him thesecret yet, which is wor-rying. What happens ifone of them chokes on acinnamon fleck?

Alittle bit of Ire-land is to befound at Lumiar,

forgotten and unknown,where you can take theroute past the SportingLisbon stadium to see therelics of St Brigid.Some disorientated

Kildare crusader broughtthem here in 1587 andthey have stayed hereever since.

The relics are in asmall-undistinguishedurn to the left of the altar,

where you can switch ona light bulb to illuminatethem. Few people everask about her.They take the relics

out for a holy processionon February 2nd, not the1st like at home.Brigit does not have a

nameplate or a statue inher honour in the pictur-esque church. It seemsappropriate and wonder-fully spiritual.

Brigid’s relics

Exhibits at the new Lisboa story centre

n Aer Lingus flies daily from Dublin to Lisbon and twice weekly from Cork(commencing 1 April). One-way fares start from €49.99. For more information,visit www.aerlingus.com

n The revitalised Terreiro do Paço inPraça Do Comercio square has outdoorterraces, restaurants, cafés and a dis-cothèque, a food court, refreshmentkiosks, a florist’s, a tourist office andkiosks selling the city’s bitter cherryliquor, ginjinha.n An audio-guide system depicts

scenes from Lisbon history through sixthemes. Myths and Realities; GlobalCity; All Saints’ Day 1755; Pombal’sVision, Terreiro do Paço and VirtualLisboa.n The 1755 earthquake is presented inan immersion experience theatre.


Shaken cityShaken cityEoghan Corry finds Lisbon

is rocking


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Think Portugal andyou think “Al-garve” (or maybe

Lisbon and its coastline)and although they are,without doubt, the coun-try’s top tourism attrac-tions, you could go somuch further.Increasingly, visitors to

southern Europe are look-ing for that indefinablemoment which they knowthey will remember for-ever. The unexpected andunique instant when theysuddenly fall in love withthe country they are visit-ing.Which is where the

Alentejo region of Portu-gal comes in with itswarm spring sunshine, itswine and incomparablefood.The region is almost

exactly plumb in the cen-tre of Portugal, on theedges of the Serra da Es-trela Natural Park – avast, mountainous areasculpted during the IceAge with valleys shapedlike horseshoes, polishedrocks and glacial lakes.The villages of the area

are clustered in the val-leys and the economy isbased on sheep and goat-herding and the manufac-ture of the local Serra daEstrela cheese with manyauthentic crafts for salesuch as basket work usingchestnut and wicker,weaving, embroidered cot-ton and smoked produce.

Although there areno bears hereanymore, there

are wolves – and youwould need the appetiteof a wolf to enjoy all theethnic fare available inthe local restaurants.If you consider your-

self a wine buff and a gas-tronome, Alentejo is asecret just waiting to bediscovered – which it canbe, so easily, now AerLingus has a Thursdayand Tuesday service.The region is almost

entirely unknown to Irishtravellers although it of-fers top-class hotels(fancy staying in a re-stored castle?) stunning

views, quiet roads andgourmet restaurants at af-fordable prices.Add to that the many

wineries where you cansavour the region’s manyorganic and home-grownproducts, and it’s the stuffof a foodie’s dreams.Ireland is now trans-

formed into a nation ofwine drinkers but, whilewe take almost all ourholidays in wine-produc-ing countries, and imbibethe product marvelling atthe low cost, our knowl-edge and confidence inwine is often quite poor.One of the best ways of

understanding wine is byvisiting vineyards and ei-ther getting a tour or sim-ply sampling the wineson offer and learning thedifferences between thegrape varieties.Some countries are bet-

ter than others for this –in Australia and Califor-nia the wineries are fullygeared up for visits andmany have restaurants

and other attractions. Eu-ropean wineries tend tobe significantly smaller inscale and there is almostnever a charge to taste thewines.

You will generallybe greeted by theowner or a mem-

ber of the family – oftenthe eldest daughter or thewife of the eldest son.Don't be afraid to askquestions as producersare generally passionateabout their subject andare happy to show youaround and explain howthey make their wine.Co-operatives in Eu-

rope are often excellentplaces to begin your winetasting adventure as youwill not feel the same ob-ligation to buy wine ifyou dealing with employ-ees rather than familymembers. The samecould be said of large

commercial wineries.If you are travelling by

ferry and plan to bring alarge quantity of winehome there is no limit onbuying alcohol but cus-toms must believe it is forpersonal consumption soit would be wise to leavethe white van at home.So this year if you are

holidaying in Portugal,why not take the opportu-nity to learn a little moreabout the wine you drinkat lunch and rememberthere is likely to be avineyard within an hour'sdrive.Alentejo is dotted with

wineries and with castleswhere you can stayovernight – a legacy offending-off their neigh-bours, the Spanish con-quistadors.

Within an hourof arriving atLisbon airport,

you can be enjoyinglunch and a wine-tastingat Monte da Ravasqueira– a traditional estatewhere the local landlordplanted his vines as re-cently as 1990.You can visit the vines,

their cork trees, olivetrees, bee-hives and alsothe specialist cattle andhorses they breed here.The Adega da Cartuxa

was our next stop andhere again you will beimpressed with the prop-erty and enjoy the winetasting – but a word to thewise.Your hosts everywhere

will insist on you sam-pling everything. So, byevening, there is a certain

buzz as you sit down todinner somewhere likeThe Evora Hotel beforean overnight at The HotelConvento do Espinheiro(which, as its name sug-gests, is a formermonastery now restoredto a five star hotel)Next day we visited the

picturesque village ofMonsaraz, and two morewineries at Adega daErvideira and Herdado doEsporao, which is rep-utably the largest vine-yard in all of Europe,before moving on to thevineyards of Carmin anda night stopover and din-ner at the Hotel daMoura.After a lazy break-

fast of tropicaldishes and

cheese we went to theHerdade Grange vine-yard. Yet another “mustsee” before lunch at theHotel Gale Clube deCampo which (beside theobligatory wine tasting)has a spa if you feel theneed to sober up afterlunch.We took a jeep ride to

Heradade da MalhadinhaNova (a restored, cobble-stoned village with tinyhouses and a couple ofrestaurants) similar to thevillage at Bunratty for anevening meal and stayedovernight at Herdade daMalhadinha Nova.Finally, and our last

vineyard was and lunchwas at Heradade dosgrous and a city tour ofBeja.. Our final night wasyet another imposing cas-tle the Pousada Estremoz,a royal palace from the12th century. The accom-modation was definitelyfit for a king or a queen.In four days we had

visited and stayed at thepremium vineyards andimpressive accommoda-tion before the journeyhome to Ireland. Dare Isay it. We were well forti-fied...


Alentejo: a different, less commercial Portugal

n Aer Lingus flies daily from Dublin to Lisbon and twice weekly from Cork(commencing 1 April). One-way fares start from €49.99. For more information,visit www.aerlingus.comn Hotel Convento do Espinheiro. [email protected],Horta da Moura:[email protected] da Malhadinha, Pousada Don Alfonso.



Gerry O’Hare in undiscovered Portugal

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My cheetahpurred.

I thought it was growl-ing at first. But it was def-initely a purr. I strokedbehind its ears. I tickledunder its chin. And thenwith its rasping tongue itlicked my arm, andlicked, and licked.“That is how it ten-

derises its meat,” the han-dler Dumisani Ncube saidwith a great guffaw whichsounded like it was at myexpense, an in-joke be-tween him and the spot-ted one.I didn’t just handle the

cheetah, I handled a cara-cal as well, stroking be-hind its lynx like ears,reminding me of my catat home. The claws wereferocious. This smallishanimal jumps on an im-pala’s neck, wraps itsclaws round the jugularwhile simultaneously rip-ping out the stomach withhits hind legs, and thentucking in on the carcasswhile it is still half alive.Here it was stretched onthe ground while I pettedit.There is a thin dividing

line between so-calledwildlife "sanctuaries", re-serves and zoos. How dida ferocious wildcat preda-tor end up in what is ef-fectively a petting zoo?The theory behind the

Wild Cat Project is that

damaged animals will benursed back to health andsent back to the wild.They haven’t releasedany cheetahs, but theyhave released eight ser-vals, seven caracals andtwo wild cats. The ani-mals are given Disney-

names (mine was Moya)as part of the deal. It’swhat these places do togenerate funds to keeptheir projects going.There is a big debate

about using wild animalfor entertainment - andvery critical conserva-

tionist opinions on ele-phant-back safaris, closeencounters with wildlife(especially endangeredspecies).There are good exam-

ples of cheetah conserva-tion at Samara gamereserve in Eastern Cape

and the cheetah breedingcentre at Wilgespurit.The concept takes all

the wildness out ofwildlife - they becomepetting zoos. But ILOVED cuddling mycheetah.I felt subversive, at one

with wildestAfrica and atone with the Pharaohswho thought cuddlingcheetahs was somethingspiritual or immortal.

The first challengeof visiting Hluh-luwe-iMfolozi is

pronouncing the name. Itis a contender for themost unpronounceabletourist attraction on theplanet, more like shlush-lewy, with a very lightemphasis on the L.Our base was Hluh-

luwe river lodge, a familyowned lodge perched ona ridge over the river val-ley, a shadow of its for-mer self thanks to eightyears of drought. Cy-clonic rain in February

and March failed to solvethe problem.We meet some black

rhino almost as soon aswe embark on our firstgame drive and ascendthe low hills look backon the world’s very firstwildlife park – five yearsahead ofYellowstone, ourguide Garth Larrett de-clares proudly. “Do youknow the mating call of ahippo?” Garth asks, “meneither.” Garth entanglesus in acacia bushes whenhe goes offroad.Hluhluwe is rhino cen-

tral. The animal is underreal pressure from a newpoaching epidemic (200lost so far this year, up tosix a day) as rhino hornfetches a higher pricethan gold. “Saving pri-vate rhino” is the one ofthe most clever names ofone of the projects to pre-vent this happening.The rooms are plush

self-contained buildingswith fetching gecko drop-pings on the sheets.There is a small and

deep pool in the centre of

Who is the real cheater?



Eoghan Corry finds new friends in KZN

Ask about the selephant who once sat on a safari vehicle in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi

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the lawn and picking yourway back from the bar orthe pool at night time it isnatural for every log orleaf to take on an a mys-terious life of its own.Someone spotted a

python coming throughthe lodge grounds day be-fore we arrived. Thedaughter of the ownerfears for her hens (threeof them were lost to agenet, while Sprinkles thechicken was taken by aneagle).“It is not the snake bite

that kills you it’s thevenom,” Garth Larrettsays with that sort of “it’snot the fall that kills youit’s the sudden stop at theend” style of logic.“There is no such thing asa poisonous snakes, justvenomous snakes.”

Bryan Olver trainsmany of theguides who do

game drives in privatelodges all overAfrica andhe is an amazing gamedrive companion. Hewears his knowledgelightly and reveals thebackground details of the

animals like a fairgroundcard-player. Hipposmight not be truly vege-tarian after all. The storyabout how black andwhite rhino got theirnames might be wrong.The leguaan, the Nilewater monitor eats moreanimals than the croco-dile.A thought from Bryan

Olver: the impala is theworld’s most successfulmammal. All the youngarrive together, floodingthe predator market, andthe dominant male getsbooted off the haremwhen he gets out of con-dition.The impala are every-

where, the McDonalds ofthe bush, lots of them,everyone east them, verytasty and they even havean M on their backsidefor good measure.The best way to see an-

imals is from the back ofone. One of the thingsabout being from Irelandis that you are alwaysgiven the crankiest horsewhen you do one of thosehorse riding experiences.At Hluhluwe River

Lodge adventures they

threaten me with a retiredracehorse called DanzigLane. Instead I get Spike,a feisty eleven year oldpolo pony with a mind ofhis own and no second orthird gears. Elmarie Lar-rett (“us Free State chicksdon’t take any nonsense”)warns us about hippos inthe reeds as we descendto the lake.

En route to a localschool Garth tellsus that the goats

we encounter on the roadare known as Zululandspeed control. At Phu-malani School, the chil-dren sang a song whichhad the chorus Limpopo.What do they need? Toi-lets that work, says Mar-tin Verbeek, who ownsanother sustainabletourism lodge, theWilde-beest Eco Lodge. Thevice principal ThobileNgobese, her Englishname is Angel, talkedabout more playingspace.The teachers Thandi

Buthelezi, Thandi Mk-wanazi and NomathembaNgcobo don’t mindtourists coming to gawk

at their kids, especially asthey bring money to theschool.Later we go to a Zulu

homestead to participatein some magical rituals.Our sangoma promisesnot to tell our fortunes butinstead summons the an-cestors to wish us wellamid much angst-riddenchanting.

Phinda MountainLodge won’t letguests lock their

doors. Our hostessTammy Vermaak ex-plains why. There are no

fences around the Lodge,so you might need some-where to run if you meeta predator on the lodgegrounds.They aren’t joking. In

1994 one of the guestsslipped away from thedinner table to fetch herjumper and was eaten bya lioness. Nowadays theyget a guard to accompanyyou back to your lodgeafter dark.They had a hyena call

last week, today a nyalastopped by to drink atswimming pool, and thereis a rainbow skink in myown personal plunge poolas the sun descended over

the valley and the cicadachime ushered in theAfrican night.The ecotourism group

@beyond like to styletheir dining areas by theZulu traditional fiestaterm Boma, part of theirmission to pay homage tolocal culture. We dine onwarthog in the boma atPhinda Mountain Lodge,with sand at our feet andglowing flames in thecentre of the faux-tentstructure. It is very wild-boar in taste, like gameypork and I try to get theDisney cartoon out of myhead.

The rhino is among the most under pressure animals in Africa


Much of SouthAfrica’s safariproduct is a

fraud. The private re-serves that most touristsvisit in South Africa areeffectively safari parks,farmland that was al-lowed to regenerate.Carnivores and herbi-vores are kept apart byfences. It works for them,it works for the animals,and it works for thecountry.

Even the big nationalparks have managed pop-ulations, not that it mat-ters to most of thetourists who comethrough with their check-list. The dilemma of let-ting camera laden touriststrample through fragileenvironments to see realwildlife is solved withthe flick of a switch.Other countries, those

to the north and east, callit credit card Africa,where the wine list is as

important as the gameviewing options. Butthey miss the point.When you go to South

Africa you stay in thatEuro-American comfortzone that most of us donot wish to leave. Wewant our animals in areasonably natural condi-tion, up close and per-sonal.A cheetah that purrs? It

is not as nature intended.But the alternative maybe worse.

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You could call it acamino to theCalima. Irish

people have long fallen inlove with the Calima, thewarm sandy breeze thatblows from the Saharathat blows to Gran Ca-naria and is responsiblefor those famous Mas-palomas sand dunes.On EI 782 en route to

the sun and over the lastSt Patrick’s Day I metsome of them, peoplewho have returned to thesame group of resorts forthree decades.On St Patrick’s Day in

Playa des Ingles (it had anair of Playa des Irlandesesfor the day) we wereguests of Victor Auz, agracious lawyer whoserves as consul generalof Ireland on the island,for St Patrick’s day.The day was marked

with a message fromMichael D Higgins andone of the sweetest prizegiving ceremonies I haveever attended, “for beingnice people” to Rita andJack Costigan, ConnieScanlan and Laly LozanoMartel, a Canarian withthe most extraordinaryLimerick accent acquiredafter years of dealing withIrish clients for Corona,Stein and Sunway.It wasn’t the biggest

Patrick’s day party I haveever attended, but itmight be the most pleas-ant. As night fell a ThinLizzy cover group gave itsocks in a stage outsideMulligan’s Pub.They should give more

of those nice personawards.

GC is the secondmost popular Ca-nary after Lanza.

Every year 90,000 visi-tors from Ireland trundleto this island alone, asmany as Greece.What brings them? Urs

Rohrig hosts many ofthem at the Hotel MarinaSuites in Puerto Rico. Heknows what his Irishguests like.The Irish spend more

money on holiday thanany other nation, he says.

Get it right, get the crispybacon in the right place atthe breakfast buffet, theconviviality in the bar, thepace of life just at theright pitch, and they keepcoming back. MarinaSuites, and a few otherlocal hotels is one of thereasons why Puerto Ricois our second most popu-lar resort on Gran Canaria- I retell the story of atravel agent who oncesent someone to thewrong Puerto Rico .

Activities and vari-ety can do it aswell. Some of

these are water based,cruises along the shore-line and some exhilarat-ing paragliding out ofMogán, described in thebrochures as a fishing vil-lage but it is tourists thatare baited and reeled inhere nowadays. Mogán isthe only town wheretourists can get marriedon Gran Canaria.A trek inland can be

just as exciting and sur-prising. A drive up to the16km wide crater thatdominates Gran Canaria.Travel a few kilometres

away from the shore andyou find yourself in littlevillages where masstourism is far behind, AtFataga you can stop andsample the ancient atmos-phere, at GuayadequeRavine you can do a light

hike, at Cueva Bermeja inthe Tagoror Restaurantyou can lunch in a realcave in, at the poetic pic-ture postcard village ofAguimes you can, well,write poetry, or just takean expresso and sit in thestreet and try to imaginewhat Hemingway orCharlie Donnelly mightsay about it.The most iconic feature

is not faraway at all, it isjust outside our hotel, thedunes at Maspalomas, atidy slice of Sahara sandhills misplaced here bythe ocean current systemand the wind.They are the island’s

most accessible naturalattraction, and like all ofnature’s beauties in amass tourism age, underthreat.An unexpected hazard

is the nudist area on theway. Not glamorous at

all, unless crinkly Ger-mans are your taste.

The capital Las Pal-mas de Gran Ca-naria, capital of

the island of Gran Ca-naria, is situated on thenorth-eastern vertex ofthe island where a smallpeninsula sticks out intothe sea.It is a five euro, one

hour daytrip into thecountry’s past. The centreof the city is divided bythe old Guiniguada Gullywhere a little Sevillecolony was establishedafter the five year battlefor the island. Triana, theoldest neighbourhood,even looks like Seville.This is where Fran-

cisco Franco planned hiswar, was transported byan English sympathiserWebb who took him toMorocco. The clock iseven left stopped at 17July 1936 in the 18 roomboutique Hotel Madrid.In the San Juan districtwhere the houses arepainted, as fishermen do,in the colour of theirboats.

Hotel Palm Beachin Maspalomaswas my home for

five nights. It is a six floorhotel with the most amaz-ing retro bar, a splendidpath to a splashy beachdouble-dip beach. Twopools and a breakfast buf-fet designed for every na-tionality (you can alwaystell that Germans come innumbers when the buffetis stacked with jugs oftomato juice). I like tosleep with my balconydoor open and the soundof the waves filteringthrough. There is nothingmore conducive to anight’s sleep than thesound of the ocean out-side.They tell me one client

once complained aboutthe sound of the waves.They said they would

switch it off.

The famous inland craters: one of the enduring attractions of Gran Canaria

n Aer Lingus flies three times weekly to Gran Canaria throughout the year onTuesday, Thursday and Saturday. EI 783 from Gran Canaria departs at tea-timeleaving time for a last day at the resort or some shopping.

n There are seven Canary islands inall, the big four, La Gomera, LaPalma, Hierro and six islets of whichthe only inhabited one is La Graciosan Tourism fashioned Gran Canariafrom the moment the first Swedishcharters in the 1960s and now of theCanaries total of 12m some 4m cometo GC, 4m Germans, 3.5m English,3.5m Scandinavians, 500,000 Danes,then Dutch, Irish and French.n Emmett’s Irish liquor is made fromCanary bananas and exported back tothe Canaries

n Sam Stephenson designed some ofthe avant garde apartment buildings inPuerto Rico.n The far western show Sioux City isa popular excursion at a faux Ameri-can desert film set built for the 1975Lee van Cleef movie Take a HardRide, with a classic rope and knife actand the Leha family show.www.siouxcity.esn Gloria Palace Thalasso & Resorthotel (www.gloriapalaceth.com). Taketime to enjoy the thalasso therapy fa-cilities, the pools and the sun.


Gran-stand view

Eoghan Corry in Gran Canaria


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Tourism inBarcelona is thriv-ing. Vast queues

snake along the sides ofAntoni Gaudí 's still un-finished Basilica de laSagrada familia master-piece, waiting for the sur-prises inside.Over in the Barri Gotic,

it’s shoulder to shoulderat peak times as a medleyof languages hit yourears, tourists rambling inand out of the boutiqueshops, exploring the nar-row streets with theirRoman and medievalbuilding in the old heartof the city.Las Ramblas, a long

series of shopping streets,is also packed withtourists and atmosphere.Nip in to the Mercat deSant Josep; the enclosedmarket is a feast forsenses of smell, sight andtaste, a hall full of jamon,the superlative Spanishdried ham, cheeses of im-probable shapes andsizes, fish far fresher andmore interesting than typ-ically seen on an Irishfish stall, and a delectablearray of fruit in peak con-dition, again somethingseldom seen on Irish shopshelves.Barcelona province

tourism interestsare anxious to

steer some of the businessthe city finds so easy toattract out to the rest ofthe province, which theythink has at least as muchagain to offer.Irish tourists know

about the sun and sandproduct, so local tourisminterests are keen to opentheir eyes to the

province’s architecturalriches. The public trans-port network aides theircause. It’s cheap and ef-ficient.The Barcelona metro

L2 (purple line) will bringyou to Badalona in 30minutes for two euro, orthe Rodalia commutertrain will get you there in20 minutes, to the beachand the historical andcommercial centre.There you’ll find a re-

cently redevelopedRoman museum locatedon the site of the city ofBaetulo. It’s one of thoserare museums designedby people who know how

to entertain even thewhingiest pre-teen.The experience brings

you through pathwaysraised over the dug-outRoman ruins, withsoundtracks leading yourimagination into the an-cient streets. Barkingdogs, bleating sheep, thechime of goat bells, thesounds of the communalbaths, the sounds ofworkers, brings the exhi-bition to life.For €3.60 return, you

can get from Barcelonacity to the seaside resortsof Sitges and Canet delMar.Both have a formidable

range of attractions, apartfrom the Mediterraneancoast and sunshine.With an array of pretty

half moon beaches, oldwhitewashed fishermen’shouses, meandering nar-row streets and a slightlyBohemian atmosphere,Sitges is a lively townwhich remains a populardestination for richCatalunyans on holidays.Picasso and his set fre-

quented it in the late 19thcentury. It’s now popularwith gay tourists - therainbow flag can often beseen outside nightclubsand bars.In the town’s MercatVell (old market)

there’s a new perma-nent exhibition explain-ing the history of Bacardirum, Casa Bacardi.It takes visitors through

the story of the local resi-dents who moved to San-tiago de Cuba in search oftheir fortunes, in theprocess creating one ofthe world’s most famousbrands. At the end of thetour, visitors get to try

their hand at making mo-jitos under the guidanceof expert bartenders. Thesecret? Slap the mint be-tween your palms to re-lease the flavour.Canet del Mar, less of a

party town than Sitges, isworth viewing for itsunique modernist archi-tecture – local architectLluís Doménech i Mon-taner used the town as alaboratory for his devel-opment of the Catalanmodernist style, a searchfor a particular nationalstyle for Catalonia draw-ing onMedieval andArabstyles, characterized bythe predominance of thecurve over the straightline, by rich decorationand detail, by the frequentuse of vegetal and otherorganic motifs, the tastefor asymmetry. The for-mer home of modernistarchitect Lluís Doménechi Montaner and his familyhas been turned into amuseum explaining thefiner points of his de-signs.Today, the best-known

Catalan modernist archi-

tect is Antoni Gaudí. Avisit to Colonia Guell, an-other 17 minute train ridefrom Barcelona, offersthe rare treat to see aGaudí building that, forme, is even more magicalthan the better-knownSagrada Familia.

Reacting to socialconflicts in facto-ries in Barcelona

city, in 1890 EusebiGuell set up a new idealtextile factory complex.It was in a rural area, in

a colony with good hous-ing conditions for theworkers, hospital, shops,schools and day-care fa-cilities. The colony wasdesigned by various mod-ernist architects, andGaudí was commissionedto build the church.Like Sagrada familia,

the church has never beencompleted, only the cryptwas finished. It’s incred-ibly beautiful, and is re-garded as a culminatingpoint in the architect’swork as most of his ad-vanced architectural ideaswere introduced for thefirst time, the hyperbolicparaboloid shape of theoutside walls, the fluidtreatment of the interiorand the blending of thebuilding into the environ-ment.He used controversial

materials – burnt ceramicbricks of irregular shapeand size mingle withbasalt and limestone,smelting slag, glass anddifferent types of mortar.In the hands of a lessertalent, the work wouldhave been a shambolicmess, but in these giftedhands it’s a building ofrare beauty, mingling en-ergy, colour and serenity.Some of the ideas anddecorations echo thoseused in his later designfor the rather largerSagrada Familia project.Beautiful conch shells en-cased in wrought ironstands form the holywater fonts and baptismalfonts, an idea also used inthe Barcelona basilica.

Passeig de la Rambla in Badalona

Ida Milne travelled to Barcelona province courtesy of the Spanish Tourism Of-fice.

n The Hotel Estela in Sitges(www.hotelestela.com): located al-most on the beach, nine bedrooms arecovered in fantastic creations byartists - mine had walls dripping inpaint blood.n The Cal Ruget Biohotel in Penedès(calrugetbiohtel.com)has magnificentviews of the mountains of Montserrat.A typical masia or farmhouse, theproperty has its own vineyard, organicgarden and a pleasure garden with apool and bar.The property offers lots of corners de-

signed to relax and enjoy unparalleledpeace of mind. Run by Veronica Gri-mal and Florian Porsche, who workedin the hotel industry before setting uptheir dream enterprise, using fair tradelocal produce. Their friend PaddyMannion, with Clare connections,helped entertain us.n The Hotel Colón Thalasso Termal,Plaza de les Barques, Caldes d'Estracwww.hotel-colon.net/web/ct/index.php offers awonderful spa and a swimming poolwith heated sea water.


BarcelonaBarcelonaand moreand more

Ida Milne finds out why travelling outfrom Barca opens a whole new world


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Take the ferry toFrance, turn rightand you will feel

at home instantly. Thestone walls, the road-signs, the Ty Failtiud out-side the little crossroadtaverns, give this place aConnemara with ciderfeel.Oscar Wilde, the ship

not the writer, brought ushere to Roscoff, thesmaller and prettier of theFrench ports served fromIreland.The range of cabin op-

tions is probably the bigselling point on the OscarWilde, giving it more afeel of a cruise ship thana ferry as does the excel-lent dinner in theBerneval (is the Bernevalthe only restaurant in theworld named after astonemason?), where thefood is up to the standardof Alexandre deBerneval’s other cre-ations.Interestingly, if you

have a family you don’tsave much money bygoing to the Left Bankbuffet.Oscar is pretty close to

full capacity, 1250 onboard can (the ship canhold 1600) but there arestill late deals. One of myfellow passengers got alate sailing with a cabinfor €350. That beatsRyanair.Roscoff is a town wor-

thy of a visit on its ownand I love the drive on theD58 down through Mor-laix, smaller and occa-s i o n a l l ystuck-behind-a-truckmore frustrating than theE03 and A84 highwaylink from Cherbourg tothe coast.Our family have been

doing this since the daysyou had to drive throughthe entangled town cen-tres of Coutances andGranville.When bound for Cher-

bourg, our arrival-day rit-ual always involves avisit to Mont St Michel.This year we stop by theCairn de Barnenez in-stead. Most of the stoneswere taken away forbuilding as late as the

1950s and had to be re-placed. It offers an inti-mate encounter withancient Brittany, and doesnot require you to parkmiles away and be bussedto the main site, as MontSt Michel has done sincelast summer.The drive is across

country throughthe Parc d’Ar-

morique. Our stop forlunch for four in Huel-goat costs €36. I love thiscountry, but sometimes Iwish that my entire vo-cabulary in French wasnot learned from Inspec-tor Clousseau movies.One of the joys of a

holiday in France is shop-ping in their amazing su-permarkets. Monsieur LeClerc’s hypermarché sup-plies us with our gro-ceries. Shampoo whichcosts €6 at home was onsale for €2.49. Nutellawhich costs €12.20 athome cost €4.40. Freshgreen beans cost 29 cent.It is nearly worth comingto do the weekly shop-

ping.Canvas Holidays have

our accommodationready, microwaves andbarbecues are prettymuch standard as thesethings go nowadays. Theriver flows by, there isBreton cider in the fridge,Calvados and Bordeauxon the shelf, and Nuadhánis in his heaven.Oddly Brittany is the

hottest part of Francewhen we arrive for ourannual family holiday, 33degrees. It sometimeshappens.

On to the banks ofthe River Ellé inSouth Brittany

we found Ty Nadan, pre-sumably Tigh Nuadháinor Tigh Neamhain to us, asort of Ticknevin Co Kil-dare in the sun.Just three hours from

the ferry you feel the lit-tle cluster of villagesaround Ty Nadan are indeepest France. On ourmeals in La Casa on RueGeneral de Gaulle in

Plouay, and Grignotiereon Rue de Bourgneuf inQuimplerlé, we are theonly tourists in restau-rants crowded withFrench. The Grignotierehas five pages of a menuoffering amazing localcrepes, Think of a flavourand it is there (I havechestnut on mine). Theyeven have Breton kir withcidre instead of whitewine.The sign said not to

swim, but I pretend myFrench is not up to read-ing it before a plunge inthe whirlpool under LesRoches du Diable. Thewater is warmer than Iexpected but the currentsa little more capriciousthan I anticipated and theact of getting out on slip-pery rocks a little moredifficult than I expected.

According to the cele-brated Barzaz Breiz, anIrish saint Guénolé did adeal with the devil tobuild a bridge if he gotcustody of the first soulthat crossed it. Guénolésent across a squirrel, andthe devil plunged into thewhirlpool and waits therefor the chance to snatchanother soul. Nobody, ap-parently consulted thesquirrel in this adventure.

The first marché ofthe visit and thefirst supermarket

of the visit remind mewhy we come every year.There is a culture of car-ing about food in an al-most spiritual way. Thereis a peculiarly Frenchway that people herefocus on the quality oflife. It is a joy to sampleit for a few weeks everyyear.Thursday’s marché is

in nearby La Trinité surMer, where we dine in abusy seafood restaurant,Le Quaie. We then eat

pistachio ice cream on thesea front with a forest ofsailing masts ahead of usin the bay.The drive along

Quiberon peninsulaopens up a new type oflandscape, a sort of Bre-ton camping theme parkfilled with Dutch, Ger-mans, English and Irishand the occasional Frenchto break up the traffic.Carnac is a pleasant

town of two halves, themedieval centre and the1903 resort built on theold salt flats. The seasidearea has been overtakenby the sort of develop-ment that we saw inGorey, Bundoran and adozen other Irish seasidetowns. The coastal drivehas been turned into asuccessions of rond-points and chicanes. Thebeaches are crowded anddevoid of atmosphereuntil you approach LaTrinite and there at theend of Chemin desDouaniers you have oneof those distinctively Bre-

n Ty Nadan and Grand Metairie are among the handpicked sites for camping inFrance, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and Holland offerby Canvas Holidays. Canvas provides self-catering accommodation to suit allbudgets, offering flexibility on dates, duration and travel arrangements.n Irish Ferries cruise ferry ‘Oscar Wilde’ which operates services from Rosslareto Cherbourg and Roscoff year-round. www.irishferries.com 0818 300 400

Speared byBrittany

Eoghan Corry finds Carnac rocks

The countryside abounds with classic Bretonstunning but unostentatious country churchessuch as chapelle St Catherine de Bonigeard

The ordered lines of megaliths in Carnac have a theory for every stone

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ton vantage points thatsurvive through boomand bust. France has had17 of those since the rev-olution. We are worriedabout ours.

And stones. Lotsof them. Carnacin Brittany has a

backdrop straight out ofthoseAsterix cartoons theFrench teacher was al-ways trying to get us toread.Around Carnac there

are several thousandstones in carefullyarranged lines, spreadingout across the hills andslopes. Tourists arriveevery day wonderingwhat they mean. There isonly one way to answerthat: shrug the shoulders.They are so old, nobodyknows.For my part I think it is

an elaborate calendar pre-dicting the end of theworld. I told an Englishbus tourist that, and he

loved it.La Grande Metairie is a

gargantuan campsite be-side the menhirs ofCarnac. It is pretty easy tofind, head for the thou-sand standing stones informations at Kemario,turn left at the old milland you are – back in Ire-land.Lots of Irish have been

coming here since it

opened in 1969, when itas the one of the firstcampsites to respond toGeorges Pilliet’s call tochateau owners to openup- as campsites, but itdidn’t prepare me for thescale of the invasion, andthe car registrations I wasto find here.The signature is the

petting farm of goats thatare housed near the pool.

Like most sites the activ-ities have expanded andthe site of teenagers zip-lining across the campusis now normal. There are2,500 people on site andone fifth of them are fromIreland.My regular morning

plunge here is off a ma-rina in St Philibert. Thesea is relatively stormythis week, and it is excit-

ing to swim through thesealife along the shoreand back to the beach,then departing home toLa Grande Metairiecampsite, stopping forone of those amazingFrench loaves, and havebreakfast ready for thesleepy teenagers in mymobile home and my gra-cious mother-in-law, whohas come along for theoccasion.Each morning the con-

versation is the same.Why can’t we makebread like the French do?

The drive north toCherbourg, a bigshop in Auchan

(the range and price of thecheese is enough to makea grown man cry, and thatis before you reach thewine section), and we areon the ferry by 5pm. It isa bumpier crossing thanthe journey out, but Isleep through most of it,in a state of exhaustion.

With one break. I al-ways love to wanderround the decks in themiddle of the night on thecrossing from France. Itis one of the great travelexperiences.They now have free

wi-fi on the Oscar Wildebut it gets a bit clunky sothe best time to douse is4am.We dock at 11 and the

drive home is a happyone. Time to unload allthat wine.My daughters have

been going to France ontheir holidays since be-fore they could walk. Wehave sampled over 60campsites in all corners ofthe vast country as thesites graduated fromsplash pools to archeryand zip lines and as theFrench campsite productevolved and improved.They are young ladiesnow, but still want to goback to a campsite inFrance. Says a lot.


Shoes off at the beach of Ly Guard, La Trinite Sur Mer

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Unlike other na-tions, the easternAlps are the

favourite playground ofthe Irish snow-goers. Wetend to cluster in half adozen Austrian resorts,the local hostelries as fa-miliar as any in Bishop-stown or Balbriggan.So it seemed like a

good idea to kick off the2013 ski season withthree resorts in threedays. Even in the peep-and-flee world of traveljournalism, its seemed alot to ask.Saalbach, Zell an Zee

and Bad Gastein are theRiviera of the Irish skimarket,Saalbach and ZellAm Zee are an hour apartand Bad Gastein a further40 minutes further.

The warm winter of2007-8 led toSaalbach investing

Eu1.8m in snow ma-chines. “No matter whathappens we can nowguarantee good skiing,”skischule director HansHinterholzer says. Youget the impression thatSaalbach is in control ofits own destiny. The in-vestment is provided by12 local investors fromthe town’s hotels. Overby the Spielberghaus theyoffer tobogganing downthe slopes.Karin Pasterer from the

tourist board accompa-nied us around Saalbach,

and ski instructorKostadinovic Nemanjabrought us into the icing-cake Kohlmaiskopf, themost spectacular of the180 km on offer, servedby 60 lifts.At Christmas and mid-

term they can bring70,000 people on to thismountain with new fastlifts bringing them from3,000 to 6,000 feet. No-tably the dreaded drag lifton the lower slopes hasbeen replaced by a propergondola two years ago.Soon the t-bar will be asextinct as T-Rex herearound.The region offers sum-

mer skiing at the Kaprunglacier but as Kostadi-novic says, “it is not funin winter.” At Bobbie'spub there is an Irish rugbyjersey on the wall. They

like the Irish skiers whocome in large numbers tothe town.Zell am Zee is a

smaller resort,with just 8,000

beds but comes with astar attraction, a lake thatfreezes from mid Januaryto the end of February.It is also accessible by

railway, with theSalzburg to Innsbruckline running through theheart of the town. Therail journey formSalzburg takes and hourand 15 minutes.The slopes here offer

138km of good skiingserved by 53 lifts but thiswill be dwarfed by theprospect of a direct link toSaalbach planned forthree years time, puttingthis up with the big linkedski areas such as Four

Valleys, Les Trois Val-lées, Espace Killy, Ski-welt, Paradiski, andGrandvalira.The nightlife is lively.

The town has an Irishpub, O’Flanagans is theIrish pub and terrificevening dining at thefamed Crazy Daisyrestaurant. We adjournedafterwards for beers andbop in the Dillie, floodsof dry ice spewing formthe walls to interrupt thetalk of the white stuff.To discover one of

three real treasures of theEastern Alps you have tohead uphill. ChristianSchatzer runs PinzgauerHutte on a mountain spur,looking down on the val-ley. After lunch he willarrange to have youbrought up by skidoo, areindeer sleigh in reversewith the cart draggingskiers stopping each timea snowboarder comes un-done. It is fun.The dining on the

mountain is proudlylocal, offering the delica-cies such as Tiroler Grostland Kaiser Schmarmalongside Anglophoneimports.On the ski down I met

an amazing 72-year-old,Joaquim Temmel fromLinz, who spends a weekhere each year.

He doesn’t do wimpishtings like use the lift. Hewalks up the mountainand skies back down,often off piste.This year he is mourn-

ing for his dog who usedto accompany him onthese adventures. Some-times he would ski waistdeep as the dog prancedup and down through thepowder “like a dolphin.”

Bad Gastein, as in-dicated by thename, was a spa

town long before ski be-came popular and carriesall the bow-tie grandeurthat its status can bestow.It has a tuxedo casino(bring your passport oryou won’t get in), a sig-nature midtown waterfallwhose sound thundersdown the main street, anda famously lively bar, theSilver Bullet, well knownto Irish repeat Gasteiners.It fits the brochures

neatly because it hasmore accommodationwhen you count the threetowns, 7,000 beds in BadHofgastein, 5,000 in BadGastein and 2,500 in Dor-fgastein.Both Bad Hofgastein

(Alpentherme Gastein)and Bad Gastein (theFelsemtherme) have largecommunal spas with fit-

ness centres, massagetreatment rooms and mul-tiple pools, including uni-sex saunas where nudityis mandatory.The best restaurant in

the valley is a short driveout of town. At Bertahofrestaurant we tasted thelocal delicacies, trout,chicken stuffed with rein-deer, and a delicately pre-pared heifer thyroid.If the slopes have

chilled you, you canwarm up among the thighslappers at the Hirschen-hutte whereAstrid Schaf-flinger the waitresspromised our vegetariancolleague a surprise.The dinner show is

pricey but the communaldance afterwards getseveryone on their feet,amid much ringing ofcowbells and toasts inSwedish.It was going to be all

uphill after that. It waswindy when we reachedthe Stubnerkogel joint skiarea, gondolas swingingin the breeze as we as-cended 2200m to the topin seven and a half min-utes.Bad Gastein and Bad

Hofgastein offer access to200kms of ski slope.Hans Naglmayr, whoplays the long woodenAlpine horn in his sparetime, was our guide andlunched in Schlossamrestaurant on the moun-tain where we ate noodlesoup, Kaiser Schnitzeland baked potato, asigned photo of racer Jo-hann Grugger on the wall.Hans is a park ranger

by summer who has seenthe snowline rise in hisshort lifetime. When thetalk turns to global warm-ing he declares, “it istwelve, not a minute be-fore twelve, the time hascome.”After three of these re-

sorts you understand whythese things matter.

Sallbach offers 138km of groomed slopes

n Topflight www.topflight.ie 01 2401700 is a wholly Irish owned and has beenvoted Ireland’s leading ski tour operator at the Irish Travel Industry Awards.n The ski season continues right up to Easter which is on March 31st this year.n Topflight uses Salzburg Airport as its gateway to all its ski resorts in Austriaincluding the resorts of Saalbach, Zell am See-Kaprun and The Gastein Valley.n The best value for ski holidays is always in mid January, but the longer daysof spring – with sunny days on the slopes – are a great alternative in March.

n The lift pass for Saalbach Ski Cir-cus costs€220 in high season for adults.n Ski and Boot Hire costs €99 and SkiSchool well worth the investment re-gardless of your standard €172.nWith Topflight, a week’s holiday inSaalbach costs from €749 includingTopflight Aer Lingus charter toSalzburg, transfers, and Half Board ac-commodation as well as rep servicesand full luggage allowances.n The Lift Pass for Zell am See costs€216. Standard Boots and Skis cost€129 and Ski School costs €170 for 5days tuition.nWith Topflight, a week’s holiday inZell am See-Kaprun costs from €589including Topflight Aer Lingus charterto Salzburg, transfers, and B&B ac-commodation as well as rep servicesand full luggage allowances.

n A six day lift pass to the GasteinValley costs €218 in high season.Standard skis and boots cost €129 andski school costs €178.n Aweek’s accommodation inGastein costs from €599 in the MondiBellevue Apartments with WellnessCentre including Topflight Aer LingusCharter, transfers, accommodation,and rep services, including full lug-gage allowance.n Tobogganing is one of the funthings to do un Saalbach. It is usuallymade more enjoyable by a visit to amountain hut before the journey starts.n Zell am See is located on the lakeand has ice skating, curling, sleighrides, tubing, and ice hockey. Greatbars include the Diele and Crazy DaisyBars as well as Flanagans Irish Bar.

SalzburgEoghan Corry tries three Austrian resorts



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Up is the word.Andorra hasgrown up, which

is an achievement consid-ering the top of CroaghPatrick is lower than thelowest point in the littleprincipality.The principality made

its name as a playgroundfor beginners after thefirst ski lifts opened in1957, became all trendywhen the Grandvalirawas created in 2004opening up 193km ofpiste, and then became atad too expensive for theIrish who looked east toAustria, Italy and Bul-garia instead.For 2012-3 Andorra is

back. Prices have beenreined in and the season islooking good. Better ho-tels and spas have beenthrown alongside shop-ping into Andorra’s box.

There were blueskies above whenwe reach Les Es-

caldes and the HotelPrisma near Andorra laVella, an unusually urbansetting for a ski experi-ence.The town got its name

from the numerous hotsprings and we are here to

sample the Caldea, aspace age wellness centrenear the little river. It isthe reason to stay a fewkilometres from theslopes, One nearby six-kilometre gondola runcan get you up the moun-tains in 14 minutes.Entry to Caldea is €39

to use the pools, €59 in-

cluding treatments, offer-ing five storeys of pools,treatment rooms, andsaunas. There is a freebus from Arinsal for peo-ple staying on that side ofthe mountain and shopsstay open until 8 o’clockat night, with great dutyfree prices.It comes complete with

a bizarre grapefruit pool,a small swimming poolwith grapefruits bobbingaround in the dark, some-thing to help your skin,apparently. It doesn’twork. I tried.

Soldeu is a goodplace to measurehow far Andorra

has come from the ‘bar-gains and beginners’place it used to be.A morning on the

slopes shows what a goodjob they have done. Aswe lap up the kilometresaround the resort there aresome challenges and afew icy wobbly bits (Sol-deu ain’t drowning insnow, like Ischgl is thisweek) but the scenerymakes it all worthwhile.A line of Andorran

kindergartners parade byin little suits with mag-nets on their back, to holdthem on the ski lift. Oneday a week they get upthe mountain to ski. Whatan education.

An Irish ski instruc-tress. Lesley Boyd fromDundrum spends her win-ter here, and is one of thebest tutors in the resort.You can ski down to

the little village of Pas dela Casa, throw a snowballinto France and take thelift back up again, rattlingalong at the regulation 2.4metres per second as thescenery unfolds around.Not to be outdone,

Noemi Roguera andAinaPerez brought us on anamazing tour of Arinsal,

taking the James Bondcable car over to Pal andthrowing another snow-ball at the Spanish border.

Andorra’s bigdrawback used tobe the transfer

time, but the French haveshaved an hour off thetransfer time to Toulousewith the grandioselynamed European RouteE09.Barcelona has three di-

rect flights a day fromDublin but Toulouse is abetter transfer option.Unless something gets

lodged in the bridge atPrat de la Plau. But youdon’t get to visit a moun-tain principality withouthaving to go up themountain.

Atravel insuranceglitch was solvedlast season. An-

dorra is outside the EU,so travel insurance claimsused to take time while toget processed.The ski resorts have

decided to offer theirown, at 3.20 a day, or 45for the season. It meansno paperwork when youpresent with that sprainedwrist, and they will haveyou strapped and back onthe slopes straightaway.Andorra won’t ever be

Espace Killy but it has in-finitely cheaper wine andbetter shopping.



Children under 11 get free lift passes in selected Andorran resorts

Eoghan Corry travelled toAndorra with Topflight, Ireland’s leading ski tour op-erator, supported by Ski Andorra and Aer Lingus.Topflight operates an Aer Lingus Charter programme to Andorra for the full ski

season, from Dublin to Toulouse and from Cork to Barcelona onAer Lingus sched-uled flights. All flights operate on a Sunday to Sunday basis.See www.topflight.ie (telephone 01 2401700)Aer Lingus schedule is on www.aerlingus.com


Eoghan Corry skis like a prince in the principality

Spend a day-ah at the Caldea

n Soldeu has over 200kms of piste isan excellent resort for all levels ofskiers with some challenging red andblack runs, as well as cruising reds.Topflight would recommend theSports Village complex ski in and gon-dola within the complex, or the PioletsPark Hotel, as well as other budgetprice accommodation. Après ski activ-ities include husky dog rides, skidoo-ing etc. as well as the usual après skifor singles. Lift Pass for Grandvaliracosts €189, children under 11 getFREE lift pass when one adult prebooks. First Time Ski pack €275n Prices at the 4 Star Sport Hotel from€799pps, Sport Hotel Villages from€1049pps, Piolets Hotel from€799pps and Hotel Piolets Park from€829 pps prices are based on Marchdepartures when snow is always gooddays are longer and sun is usuallyshiningn Arinsal has 63kms of piste in theVallNord sector of Arinsal. The liftpass for the area can be used for Ar-calis as well, reachable by free ski bus.Arinsal is a very good value resort,

great for families as well as singles,and better for beginners and lower in-termediates.n Lift Pass €148 children under 11get FREE lift pass when one adult prebooks.n First time ski pack €239 to include6 days ski and boot hire, 5 days skischool and 6 day lift passn Prices at the 4 Star St Gothard Hotelfrom €479pps price includes flights,accommodation and transfers and halfboard free ski bus into Andorra laVella for shopping and Caldea well-ness and live entertainment 6 days perweekn Entry to Caldea is €39. entry towellness extra facilities is €59 andwatch out for special offer packagesincluding massage etc.n A big plus for Andorra is its capitalAndorra la Vella and its 3kms of shop-ping including well known shops suchas Mango, Bershka and Zara all offer-ing low prices, as well as ski gear,electrics, and low low drinks prices,especially for quality brands.


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AER LINGUS is to provide cus-tomers on its European network with in-cabininternet access from mid-2013. It will provideservices via the KA-SAT satellite operated byEutelsat Communications. JetBlue Airwayssubsidiary LiveTV is also involved. The serv-ice will be implemented on a phased basisthroughout the fleet. Aer Lingus already signeda deal to bring internet access to its long-haulflights early in the New Year.IBERIA EXPRESS will doublecapacity on Dublin-Madrid June 29-July 31,flying twice daily at 12.05 and 18.20, increas-ing from 9 to 14 weekly. In August it will oper-ate 10 weekly, up from 8 in 2012 and remaindaily for other months.DUBLIN AIRPORT reports 10mpassengers to/from Europe in 2012 (+2pc)6.9m to Britain (-1pc), 1.6m trans-Atlantic(+5pc), 480,000 Middle East and North Africa(+84pc) domestic 63,000 ( down 49pc). Termi-nal 1 was used by 10.3m passenegrs and Tem-rinal 2 by 8.8m.BEIJING The site for the new 28.7sq kmnine runway US$112bn Beijing Airport hasbeen selected for Daxing district. It is sched-uled for completion between 2017 and 2018.FASTJET has bought collapsed SouthAfrican budget airline 1time for one rand.HEATHROWAirport has confirmedthat the new Terminal 2 will be home to STARAlliance, Aer Lingus flights and Virgin At-lantic’s domestic routes when it opens in 2014.AER LINGUS has reported that thefour Heathrow routes are among the 10 mostprofitable routes in its network, which spansmore than 100 routes.SHANNONAirport’s new managementshould review the high costs associated withthe airport’s designation as a diversion airportfor mechanical and medical emergencies overthe North Atlantic, a government task force hasrecommended.RYANAIR Girona routes to Bologna,Fez, Nador and Turin will be transferred toBarcelona in summer 2013.AER LINGUS says that the fourHeathrow routes are among the 10 most prof-itable routes in its network of 00 routes.ENGLAND’s CAA responded to acomplaint by Aer Lingus about landing chargesfor small aircraft, finding that whileHeathrow’s landing charges discriminate bynot reflecting that it is cheaper to handlesmaller aircraft, they are not unreasonable as,given Heathrow’s constrained runway capacity,they incentivise best use of scarce capacity.DUBLIN AIRPORT’s Twitter ac-count has been named Best Airport TwitterFeed in the Moodies,RYANAIR is to launch a Dublin-Jerezroute for summer 2013.SHANNON airport reported 1.45mpassengers in 2012 and target of 1.7m in 2013.

Flybe in the frameFlybe has offered to operate

flights for three years on 20routes where Ryanair and Aer

Lingus currently both have services,a move that could secure the future ofthe airline.The largest English regional airline

has made the offer to facilitateRyanair’s takeover bid for Aer Lin-gus. Without Flybe’s offer, the com-bined Ryanair-Aer Lingus would bein a monopoly or dominant positionon those 20 routes.Flybe has issued four profit warn-

ings since its 2010 flotation.British Airways is offering to take

responsibility for some of Aer Lin-gus’s services out of Heathrow for atleast three years.The moves by British Airways and

Flybe are a core part of a remediespackage that Ryanair has submitted tothe European Commission, to try topersuade Brussels to approve thetakeover bid.British Airways would run these

services for between three and fiveyears.

After that it would have the right tobuy the Irish flag carrier’s Heathrowslots and reallocate them to differentdestinations, such as New York.British Airways would be able to

purchase up to 20 pairs of slots fordaily flights that are held by Aer Lin-gus at the airport.International Airlines Group, par-

ent of British Airways, say they havesigned a non-binding memorandumof understanding with Ryanair whichis subject to EU approval and IAGboard approval.

Judges in Europeancourts have been in-terpreting EU261 li-

ability so compensationis now payable for adelay of three hours,rather than five as wasthe case under February2005 legislation.Originally passengers

whose flights were de-layed could expect to be

given meals and accom-modation only, as op-posed to those whoseflights were cancelled.A court case in 2009

held that any delay overthree hours qualifies forthe same payments as acancelled flight. Late lastyear, the verdict wasconfirmed.Delays of three hours

that are not excused onthe grounds of ‘excep-tional circumstances’such as weather or techfaults invite the passen-ger to demand a cashpayment of €250 forflights of up to 1,500km,€400 for a flight be-tween 1,500 and3,500km and €600 forabove 3,500km. Waiting for EU261


Flybe’s future could be secured by Ryanair’s takeover bid for Aer Lingus

English regional airline eyes up cross-channel routes

CityJet is projected tohave 26 aircraft insummer 2014, ac-

cording to the latest in-vestor plans from AirFrance/KLM.Air France’s medium-

haul fleet is to be reducedfrom 146 aircraft in Sum-

mer 2012 to 127 in summer2014. The airline says thiscan be done without loss ofcapacity due to flexibilityand utilisation.The Regional fleet is to

be reduced from 150 air-craft to 118. KLM fleet wilbe unchanged.

The Transavia Francefleet is to grow from 8 in2012 to 20 aircraft by 2016for leisure routes.Air France-KLM says its

Transformation Planshould enable it to gener-ate, in 2015, an operatingmargin of 6 to 8pc, compa-

rable to its peers. Opera-tions will be reduced by 34aircraft to allow mediumhaul to break even in 2014.Medium haul is 38pc ofAirFrance revenue and 31pc ofKLM and is vital for long-haul feed.



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EU-wide secondary trading of slots by air-lines has been approved by the European Par-liament, a step proposed a year ago by theEuropean Commission. The assembly rejecteda separate proposal to raise the use-it-or-lose-itslot obligation form 80pc to 85pc. The EUwants to end an opt-out on a 1996 law whichallows EU nations to limit competition to twosuppliers in four handling areas: baggage,ramp, fuel and freight or mail.WIZZ AIR will pull out of its routesfrom Cork to Warsaw and Wroclaw in Polandand Vilnius in Lithuania from 13 January. Itwill continue to operate services from Cork toGdansk, Poznan and Katowice in Poland. WizzAir Corporate Communications Manager,Daniel de Carvalho, once European Communi-cations Manager for Ryanair, has written to thenewspapers, claiming the closures were sea-sonal factors and unconnected with the launchof similar services by Ryanair in November.Emirates over 220,000 passenger con-nections in its first year on the Dublin Dubairoute. It carried over 10,000 tonnes of freightin and out of Ireland. The freight includedBotox for Australia, live crab to China, familypets to Australia and New Zealand and Irishpotatoes to Dubai.BA is now code-sharing with Flybe/Lo-ganair on Donegal Carrickfin-Dublin.AER LINGUS has one extra dailyAmsterdam service in 2013, up from sevendaily to eight daily.RYANAIR has been designated as theIrish carrier on Dublin-St Petersburg. A curiousnew ryanair.ru website is reading as “under de-velopment.”AER LINGUS is offering a premiumPremier Class seat, without Premier Classservice, is offered on a selection of Aer LingusEuropean flights according to the web-site,suggesting that their A330s will be used onsome Dublin-Malaga flights.AUSTRALIA’s Competition and Con-sumer Commission has authorised an alliancebetween Qantas and Emirates for a period offive years. The federal government, the stategovernments of Victoria and Queensland, Aus-tralian Tourism Export Council and the Na-tional Tourism Alliance have all supported theapplication, which will effectively turn Dubaiinto the gateway to Australia, an unofficial po-sition formerly held by Singapore.DELTA is to buy Singapore Airlines' 49pcstake in Virgin Atlantic for $360m. Benefits forpassengers will include shared access to DeltaSky Club and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse air-port lounges for elite passengers. The airlineshave agreed a transatlantic joint venture withthe British carrier on routes between Britainand North America. The pair plan to cooperateon services between New York and London,with a total of nine daily round-trip flightsfrom London Heathrow to JFK and Newark.Singapore paid $950m for this stake in 1999.

Back to growth

Twelve airlines have announcedincreased capacity and newroutes for the summer.

It is the first sign that the decline of15-20pc in air capacity has stabilisedand may be about to change.After last year’s growth in Middle

Eastern service, the biggest growtharea for 2013 has been in NorthAmerican and Scandinavian services:n Aer Lingus is increasing fre-quency on Dublin-Boston andDublin-Chicago and will increaseDublin-Orlando to three weekly. AerLingus is launching weekly to Corfuon March 13.n Air Moldova which is to increaseits Dublin–Frankfurt–Chisinau A320weekly service to twice weekly fromJune 19 to Sept 4, an extension of 8extra weeks using an E-190 insteadof A320, 58 extra seats per week.n Air Canada which resumes itsseasonal service two weeks earlier

than last year on May 18.n American Airlines is to operateDublin to JFK daily at 9am using a2-class B757 from June 12.n Delta is increasing Dublin-JFKfrom seven to ten weekly, using a767-300ER instead of a 757, June17 to August 28. Flights will be at11.20 and 14.50, return flights fromJFK at 19.20 and 21.25.n Etihad is to increase capacity onsix of its 10 weekly Dublin-AbuDhabi morning flights fromA330-200 (262 seats) to B777-300 (412seats) aircraft from July 1 fromA330-200 (262 seats) to B777-300(412 seats) from July 1.n Minoan is to fly to Oxford 12times weekly increased from daily.n Norwegian is to fly twice weeklyfrom Dublin to Helsinki April 14-October 26, although there is achance this will remain year round.n Ryanair is to launch twice weekly

from its base in Zadar from summer2013.n SAS is increasing capacity andwill fly 26 non stop flights a weekgtp, Dublin to Copenhagen, Osloand Stockholm.n Smartwings is to fly Dublin toPrague from June 3 to September 23using a B737-800.n Turkish is to increase its Dublin-Istanbul from seven to ten weekly inMarch.n USAirways is to upgrade itsDublin-Philadelphia service to adaily B767-200ER from a dailyB757 on March 22.There will be extra weekly charter

flights to Corfu, Palma, Faro andLanzarote as well as the new twoweekly service to Tenerife. Sunway’sAgadir operation resumes in summerafter two seasons when it was just awinter service.

Turkish Airlinesnow flies to 214destinations in 94

countries. The airline in-creased its Dublin fre-quencies from seven toten in 2012 and is plan-ning to go double daily,depending on aircraftavailability.CEO Temel Kotil says

that 300 destinations by

2015 “will be the ab-solute limit. More willbe not possible. We willalso increase frequenciesthroughout our net-work.”He expects to add 20

to 25 new destinationsper year, including Ha-vana and Mexico City.The carrier is consider-ing more long-haul

routes, which could in-clude destinations likeBogota or Panama City.New destinations al-

ready announced includeBuenos Aires (Ar-gentina), Sebha (Libya),Niamey (Niger), Oua-gadougou (BurkinaFaso), Yaounde andDouala (Cameroon) aswell Isfahan (Iran). Turkish CEO Temel Kotil


Delta’s 767 service to JFK will see three extra flights this summer (inset) business class on Delta’s 767

Dublin sees new services and capacity for 2013


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KNOCK airport passenger numbers wereup 5pc to 685,000 in 2012. New Ryanair routesto Spain, Germany, France and Italy helpedcontribute to the increase, with the airport nowserving 25 international destinations.RYANAIR have struck a deal of €49.99per seat for bureaucrats during Ireland’s presi-dency of the EU. Other services include a pres-idency helpline open 15 hours a day, 30 days‘credit’ terms, free flight changes, and assis-tance desks at Dublin and Brussels Charleroi.AER LINGUS reported that its oper-ating profit of €90.9m, passenger revenue up5.5pc, yield per passenger up 7.2pc, long haulyields up 11.5pc.EMIRATES will offer better connec-tions from Ireland from March 31, with a fifthdaily service to Bangkok departing Dubai 0340and arriving 1300.CAPA Centre for Aviation says that Emi-rates is now within touching distance of be-coming biggest airline in the world rated byavailable seat kilometres (ASK), Turkish is oneof the fastest growing with ASK up 24pc.EMIRATES has launched the firstA380 concourse in the world, at Dubai Interna-tional Airport.AIR FRANCE is to launch its lowcost operation ‘mini’ to 58 domestic destina-tions, with a €15 charge for checked baggage,fares from €49 one-way, and no seat selection.CITYJET's Dublin-Pau flight has gonefrom summer 2013 schedules. Air Baltic'ssummer schedule flights to Vilnius are stillunder negotiation. Baltic have stated their in-tention to withdraw the route.POWERSCOURT Ritz Carltonhotel in Wicklow is to host CAPA’s secondCEO conference, ‘Airlines in Transition’ onApril 11-12. The conference will be over twodays and feature approximately 20-30 CEOspeakers of full service and low-cost airlines.AIR CANADA’s Dublin-Torontoservice resumes two weeks earlier than lastyear on May 18 and operates five weekly be-fore daily service from May 28. Air Canadawill keep their one remaining larger B763 onthe route six weekly with business class onoffer once weekly.AIRFREIGHT capacity from Irishairports fell by 50pc between 2007 and 2011,according to John Whelan, chief executive ofthe Irish Exporters Association. The IEA haspublished recommendations to reverse thistrend with support from DAA, the Mid-WestRegional Authority (MWRA), Shannon Devel-opment and Bombardier. It finds that airfreightcapacity (non-stop and multi-stop routings)leaving Irish airports amounted to 207,730tonnes in 2007, but that this had fallen to105,077 tonnes by 2011.‘DAA says that online pre-booking servicesat its car parks represent 70pc of parking soldto customers each year, one of the top foursuch operators in Europe.

More seats to USAEach of the airlines operating

trans-Atlantic routes from Ire-land has announced an in-

crease in capacity for 2013.Shannon airport’s transatlantic pas-

senger numbers will increase by 22pcthis year according to the chair of thenew Shannon Airport Authority,Rosie Hynes.Aer Lingus now has direct non-

stop competition to New York fromthe three major US airlines and fromthe three global alliances.Dublin Airport will have 12 daily

scheduled flights to nine different USairports. Aer Lingus is increasing fre-quency on Dublin-Boston andDublin-Chicago and will increaseDublin-Orlando to three weekly.Delta is increasing the Dublin-JFK

service from 7 to 10 weekly and in-troducing more capacity on the nor-

mal daily service, with three flightsusing a 226 seat aircraft in a 26-200configuration rather than the current208 seat B767-300 in a 36-172 con-figuration.Dublin-JFK flights take off at

11.20 and land at 13.50 daily and thenew afternoon flight on Tuesday,Thursdays and Sundays takes off at14.50 and lands at 17.15. The returnflight takes off from JFK at 19.30 andlands at 07.25 while the second flighton Mondays, Wednesdays and Satur-days takes off from JFK at 21.30 andlands at 9.30.American Airlines’ previously an-

nounced daily Dublin-JFK servicewill probably be year round. It willuse a 2-class B757 from June 12. Theflight will leave Dublin at 9am mak-ing it the first service to leave Dublinfor New York each day. United to

Newark is also scheduled at 0900.Air Canada’s Dublin-Toronto serv-

ice resumes two weeks earlier thanlast year on May 18 and operates fiveweekly before daily service fromMay 28. Air Canada will keep theirone remaining larger B763 on theroute six weekly with business classonce weekly.US Airways will operate Shannon

to Philadelphia daily from May 22 toearly September, using a B757.United Airlines are to fly Shannon

to Chicago five times a week onMonday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturdayand Sunday June 6-August 28 at11.00am.Delta Air Lines has confirmed that

its seasonal flight between ShannonAirport and JFK will recommence onMay 11, using a B757-200 aircraftwith 170 seats.

Terminal 4 in JFK: Aer Lingus will be moving to Terminal 5 to join Jetblue this year

Capacity increases from trans-Atlantic airlines

The International AirTransport Associa-tion said 2012 was

the safest year on record,without a single crash onmodern western aircraft forany of its members, whichcomprise the world's 240leading airlines.It claimed that, statisti-

cally, a passenger couldtravel for 14,000 years

without being in a crash.The Air Safety Network

also claimed 2012 had thefewest number of passen-ger flight accidents (11)since 1945.Worldwide fatal airliner

(12 or more passengers) ac-cidents totalled 23, result-ing in 511 fatalities,including 36 killed on theground.

By the IATA definitionof "western-built jet hull-loss accidents" – or onewhere a modern aircraft iswritten off – the industryrate was at a new low ofjust one significant incidentper 5.3m flights. Includingall aircraft in service, theglobal rate is one crash per470,000 flights.Günther Matschnigg,

IATA's senior vice presi-dent for safety, operationsand infrastructure, said:"It's an incredibly safe in-dustry, the safest way totravel – but we still need tomake it safer."He called for a rigorous

safety audit programme forAfrica, the only regionwhere the air accident ratehad worsened.



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EMIRATES has launched its first com-mercial flight from Dubai to Phuket, MargaretShannon told the travel press at a dinner to cel-ebrate Emirates' first year in business in Ire-land. She reported on an excellent year'sstart-up business out of Dublin for the airline,one of the most positive of the new routes theyhave opened in the last year.BA has announced that its B787 Dreamlinerwill not have first class, 214 passengers in 35-25-154 (3:3:3) configuration. BA’s A380s willhave 469 seats, 14 first, 97 business, 55 pre-mium economy and 303 economy.DUBLIN is among top five transfer mar-kets to Islamabad, Karachi and Lagos throughTurkish airlines Istanbul hub, figures leaked toRalph Anker of anna.aero reveal.RYANAIR have announced a weeklyKnock-Malaga for summer 2013.CITYJET is to fly from London City toDresden and Paderborn for summer 2013.ETIHAD says that all aircraft to haveconnectivity by end of 2014, wifi will costUS$13.95 for one hour, US$24.95 for 24 hoursBA has started flights from LondonHeathrow Terminal 1 to Zagreb in Croatia.AER LINGUS are to operate 24 Vir-gin flights daily linking Manchester, Edin-burgh, Aberdeen with London Heathrow, usingLingus aircraft and crews fromApril.MERGER The much anticipated mergerbetween American Airlines and US Airwayscould be announced this month.SATA’s weekly charter to Madeira will re-sume from February 3, eight weeks earlier thanlast year.BRITAIN’s Court of Appeal gives Lon-don OFT go-ahead to investigate Ryanairshareholding in Aer Lingus because of theamount of routes served by both airlines out ofEngland.RYANAIR has announced that JulieO’Neill and Louise Phelan are to join its board.IATA’s Brian Pearce says that he expects airfares to fall in 2013.VIRGIN is to facilitate boarding passscans fromApple Passbook at Heathrow,Gatwick and Manchester.AERCAP leasing company has sealed a$1bn deal with Guggenheim.AMERICAN Airlines to launchDublin-JFK using Boeing 757-200 June 122013, available for sale from November 5, thefirst flight leaving Ireland for New York eachday, 9am from Dublin.WHICH magazine’s airline survey for2012 put Swiss top, Turkish 2nd, Lufthansa3rd, Aer Lingus 4th, KLM 5th and Ryanair16th and last. Turkish Airlines were top forfood and drink.ETIHAD report that Dublin-Abu Dhabiwas their 10th busiest route in 2012.

Aer Lingus report astrong response totheir new pre-order

facility for meals.Meals can be ordered in ad-

vance at www.aerlingus.comof which the favourite is the€7.50 Irish Breakfast of twopork sausages, grilled bacon,

tomato, black & white pud-ding and a hash brown servedwith McCambridge's Irishbrown bread, fresh orangejuice and a choice of tea orcoffee, which is available allday.Breakfast is not available

on EI Regional flights.


Yes, I ordered it last night

Russia a priorityEurope’s transport ministers

have implemented a series ofproposals which could make

growth by Gulf carriers in Europeanmarkets more difficult and might alsoaffect US airlines in Chapter 11.The council of ministers asked the

EU Commission ton reach comprehensive EU-levelagreements with all neighbouring

countries by 2015;n open negotiations with Turkeyand India;n prepare a roadmap for EU-Russiaaviation relations once Russia agreesto phase out royalties for overflyingSiberia.n engage in a dialogue with Gulfcountries with a view to enhancingtransparency and fair competition;

n revise regulations protectingagainst subsidisation and unfairpractices;n modernise the regulatory frame-work governing the global aviationmarket in association with the Inter-national Civil Aviation Organizationn liberalise market access and air-line ownership and control whilesafeguarding fair competition.

New technologywill reduceholding patterns

at Dublin airport, ac-cording to the IrishAvia-tion Authority.Point Merge is an in-

novative system whichuses new air traffic man-agement techniques toassist airlines in flyingmore environmentally

friendly continuous de-scent approaches to anairport. Continuous De-scentApproaches permitthe aircraft to reducetheir fuel burn by up to250kgs per flight de-pending on aircraft size.Point Merge at Dublin

will greatly reduce theneed to put aircraft intotraditional holding pat-

terns, thereby providingenvironmental benefitsby cutting fuel burn andCO2 emissions, as wellas reducing delays topassengers.Rather than using tra-

ditional “race track pat-tern” holding stacks,Point Merge places ar-riving aircraft onto de-fined arcs. Point merge in action


Leo Varadkar: Aviation developments in Irish EU presidency may see agreement with Russia

EU transport ministers move to curb ME expansion


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AIR CANADA has announced itsnew low-cost carrier and leisure group under anew brand, Air Canada Rouge. initially to flyroutes which are new for Air Canada to Venice,Athens, Edinburgh and several destinations inCuba, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, andJamaica. Service will primarily be out ofToronto initially, with two flights a week toAthens from Montreal. Rouge’s B767s willhave a three-class configuration with 282 seats,including 230 economy, or ‘rouge,’ seats; 28“rouge plus” premium economy seats withmore legroom; and 24 “premium rouge” seats.Air Canada’s last remaining 767 will flyDublin to Toronto in summer 2013, leading torumours Dublin may become a Rouge route in2014.NORWEGIANAir Shuttle is to oper-ate Dublin-Helsinki next summer twice weeklyApril 14-October 26, competing with Aer Lin-gus. Norwegian Air Shuttle ASAwarned it willgo outside Norway to register the B787 planesit has purchased for long-haul flights unless thegovernment loosens up labour laws. Norwe-gian plans to begin flying to New York andBangkok next summer, but it may need to reg-ister the planes in Sweden or another countryin order to hire foreign staff.LUFTHANSA’s Dublin Frankfurtmorning flight departure will be one hour ear-lier during summer 2013 than before (at05.45), as the current winter times continue.Dublin-Munich increases to 3 weekly betweenMay 1 and October 2. AWednesday A319flight has been added.SCHIPHOL airport is to be movedfrom a six to a seven wave hub.RYANAIR has received the last of its or-dered B737-800 aircraft from Boeing, making350 delivered, 305 in service. Ryanair said.“We remain ready to place a significant orderfor more aircraft if and when we can reach asensible pricing agreement with one of themanufacturers.”WALES government wants to buyCardiff Airport from its current owners, FirstMinister Carwyn Jones has announced. Hesaid an agreement had been reached withowner TBI and it will work towards a purchaseover the next few months. Passenger numbersfell in the first half of the year to 440,000 from558,000, which the airport said was mostlycaused by the decision by low-cost carrierbmibaby to end its Cardiff flights. The airportreported a 2011 operating loss of £319,000.CYPRUS Airways is asking the statefor an additional €73m as part of a restructur-ing plan to make the company viable. Thiswould be over and above €31m requested ear-lier this year, with €15m already granted.ETIHAD is buying a 70pc stake in AirBerlin's frequent-flyer scheme. Air Berlin saidit expected cash proceeds of €184.4m from thesale of the 'topbonus' scheme - more than thewhole company's market value. Under thedeal, Air Berlin will keep 30pc of the scheme,which has 3.1 million members.

Ryanair has offered fresh con-cessions in December to Eu-ropean Union antitrust

regulators reviewing its €694m bidfor Aer Lingus.The EU’s antitrust authority in

Brussels extended until Feb. 27 itsdeadline to rule on the deal, accord-ing to a website filing today. It didn’tgive details of Ryanair’s offer. Thecarrier’s previous offer to allay possi-ble antitrust problems failed to con-vince regulators who didn’t send it torival airlines for their comments, ac-cording to two people familiar withthe matter.Ryanair, which owns 29.8 percent

of Aer Lingus, in June renewed itspursuit to buy the rest of the smaller

competitor to bolster its Irish opera-tion, five years after the EU blockedan earlier takeover attempt because itwould create a monopoly for Irishflights. The bid has also drawn oppo-sition from Aer Lingus managementand Irish politicians.Ryanair last month received formal

antitrust objections from the Euro-pean Commission, listing the regula-tor’s competition concerns with thedeal. The antitrust agency said in Au-gust that the takeover could eliminatecompetition on a large number ofroutes because the two airlines areeach other’s closest competitors andfew new competitors are likely.Ryanair Chief Executive Officer

Michael O’Leary said in Septemberthat the company would consider sell-

ing its Aer Lingus stake if regulatorsturned down a “revolutionary” pack-age of concessions. The airline hassaid it could exit all 46 Dublin routesthat overlap with Aer Lingus and thatseveral rival carriers are interested incompeting at Irish airports.Ryanair is also facing a full inves-

tigation by the U.K.’s CompetitionCommission of its holding in thesmaller carrier after the national reg-ulator said it may lead to higherprices.When Leo Varadkar said he would

not sell the government share holdingto Ryanair, Ryanair responded by say-ing Varadkar had has no power toblock Ryanair’s offer “if we acquire ashareholding of 50pc or more.”

Ryanair’s chances of EU approval for their Aer Lingus takeover bid are about one in three

Ryanair pushes‘fresh concessions’in takeover bid

The European Com-mission has pro-posed new rules for

the better protection of airpassengers.The rules aim to achieve

a decreased number of air-craft accidents and fatali-ties through better use of

data on occurrences.An occurrence is defined

as any type of event signif-icant in the context of avia-tion safety which might nothave resulted in an accidentbut which merits being col-lected and analysed.In addition, new rules

would promote more effi-cient exchange of informa-tion between memberstates.This legislative proposal

is the core element of thefuture European aviationsafety system which aimsto shift Europe towards a

proactive and evidence-based safety system, i.e. asystem that attempts toforesee and prevent acci-dents based on the collec-tion and analysis of data,rather than simply reactingafter accidents.




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RYANAIR now have 55 bases. Ryanairnew bases fromApril 2013 include:n 52nd base at Eindhoven with one aircraftand new routes to/fromAgadir, Bordeaux,Chania and Fez.n 53rd base at Krakow with two aircraft andnew routes to/from Dortmund, Gothenburg,and Manchester. Ryanair offers 32pc of allseats from Krakow, more than double LOT, thesecond largest carrier there.n 54th base (first in Croatia) at Zadar with onebased aircraft and 7 new routes to Dublin, EastMidlands, Gothenburg, Haugesund, Liverpool,Paris and Wroclaw, a total of 68 weekly flights(up 60pc on last year).n 55th base at Chania in Crete with one basedaircraft and 10 new routes (26 in total), to Bil-lund, Bremen, Bristol, Eindhoven, Katowice,Memmingen, Thessaloniki, Venice, Vilnius andWarsaw. There is talk of two Moroccan basesand a Tel Aviv operation, which is supportedby tourism interests but opposed by El Al.GALWAY County Council has re-sponded to a request for funding by the boardof Galway Airport by agreeing to provide acontingency sum of €50,000 to the Carnmorefacility, provided Galway City Council pro-vides a sum of €50,000, the Department ofTransport provides €100,000 and commercialinterests can generate €500,000 by Feb 28.ENGLAND’s Competition Authorityhas cleared the proposed transaction wherebyStobart Group Limited would acquire sole con-trol of Aer Arann. The Authority’s investiga-tion and analysis indicates that there is little orno overlap in the activities of Stobart and AerArann. Stobart is active in road haulagewhereas Aer Arann is active in air transport.BMI Regional has replaced the BD flightdesignator used under its previous incarnationwith a new BM flight code.LOT CEO Marcin Piróg has been dismissedand the airline is to shrink by half in a bid tosurvive.EMIRATES has upgraded all five dailyflights to London Heathrow to A380s twomonths earlier than expected.ETIHAD have signed a three-year $6mmarketing agreement with Tourism Australiaafter Qantas pulled out of its arrangement withTourism Australia.RYANAIR will increase Dublin to War-saw Modlin from 5w to 6w fromApril 1.PRE-CLEARANCE PresidentObama has signed the No Hassle Flying Act al-lowing The USATransportation Security Ad-ministration the discretion to allow checkedbaggage arriving in the US on an internationalpre-cleared flights, including those from Ire-land, to be transferred through to its final desti-nation without having to be re-checked.ETIHAD is to upgrade six of its 10weekly Dublin-Abu Dhabi morning operationsfromA330-200 (262 seats) to B777-300 (412seats) aircraft from July 1.

RockyroadtoDoublinThere is no doubting which air-

line group was the biggest inEurope this year. The

Lufthansa group carried 96m passen-gers to the end of November and willfinish the year with something ap-proaching last year’s total of 106m.The second biggest, and the biggest

standalone, will be Ireland’s airline,Ryanair, who reported passengernumbers for 2012 of 79.6m, up 4pcon the year before. The figures arephenomenal for an airline that startedwith a 15-seater Bandeirante aircraftfrom Waterford to Luton in 1985.Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary

doesn’t believe the airline has reachedits full potential yet. But he faces abig problem if his airline is to growfurther, he has run out of aircraft.“There is still so much growth

within the EU countries,” he toldTravel Extra late last year, “Ryanaircan double in the next ten years.”“Ryanair’s growth is continuing. It

is just that the percentages get smalleras the base gets bigger. One of thereasons we are only growing by 5pcis that we sit 80 aircraft on the groundfor the winter.”The figures came just days after

Ryanair took delivery of the last twoaircraft of their Boeing 737-800 deal.

Ryanair is now in the market for 200new aircraft.O’Leary says that the rate of fur-

ther growth depends on when the nextaircraft comes. “We will carry 83-84m passengers next year based onthe current aircraft deliveries. Thenwe need another aircraft delivery.”“Prices of aircraft have not come

down yet but this is a fluid situation.We are continuing the dialogue withBoeing and continuing the dialoguewith Comac. Boeing have plenty ofavailability in the order book. We arein the early stages of talks to see if wecan reach an agreement on price.”Ryanair is looking for deliveries in

2015, 2016 and 2017, the year thatBoeing’s upgraded 737 Max jetlineris due to enter service.“There is no dialogue with Airbus

but again if we got hold of Aer Lin-gus we would want to talk to Airbusabout immediate aircraft orders forAer Lingus.”This month in Gothenburg he said

that a new order was possible beforethe end of 2013, to grow passengernumbers to 120m. He said the longterm plan is to assemble a fleet of 500aircraft.“We are talking to 60 new airports

we do not fly to it, some in Israel, we

are inundated with requests and air-port deals at the moment. We arefrankly less enthused by Russia,Ukraine and those countries at themoment.”If O’Leary gets his way with the

EU next February he would control agroup that had 89.3m passengers,within striking distance of Lufthansa.Aer Lingus carried 9.7m passen-

gers in 2012, up 1.5pc from 9.51m.Short haul operations were up 0.7pc,and long haul was up 9.4pc after thebig capacity cuts of 2010-1. Aer Lin-gus numbers are being driven bytransfer traffic. Aer Lingus' AnnualReport 2011 says that 21pc of pas-senger revenues are now generatedfrom passengers connecting frominter-airline carriers.Aer Lingus have said that over

47pc of their passenger bookings arefrom outside Ireland. On trans-At-lantic services 30pc of passengers aretransfer customers, about 300,000passengers.O’Leary says he would grow Aer

Lingus numbers to 15m. Then thegame would commence.In the meantime Air France are

stalkingAlitalia once more. It will bean interesting year.

Michael O’Leary speaking at Holiday World in 2911

Ryanair seeking new 200 aircraft deal with Boeing

An Italian govern-ment has drawn upnew financial reg-

ulations for the aviationsector which are directedspecifically at Ryanair.The legislation seeks to

redefine the term 'air base'and which air carriers shall

be considered establishedin Italy.Although Ryanair oper-

ates in 10 Italian airportsand carried 22m passengersin Italy in 2011, it does nothave an office in Italy andthat none of its employeesare based in the country,

even when they are for-mally registered as resi-dents.The government's inter-

vention aims to extend do-mestic tax, social securityobligations and labour lawsto those air carriers that, al-though established in an-

other EU member state,regularly operate withinItalian territory.Italian prosecutors re-

cently opened an investiga-tion against the airline'schief executive and legalaffairs director for allegedtax evasion.



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Pretty pastelsArnotts’s summer

collection is shaking offthe gloom of winter

Followers of NUXE products are thrilledthat they have just launched NuxellenceJeunesse, containing Calendula Petals,

Galanga Leaves, as well as many more botanicalingredients, this anti-aging fluid will show hugesigns of skin improvement after using for twoweeks. Many followers of Nuxe are delightedthat it is now available in Ireland.Murrays Pharmacies is one of the stockists.

Another very useful product from the range istheir Nuxe Huile Prodiguese dry oil, this yearcelebrating 20 years, it can be used on face, bodyor hair and gives this wonderful sheen.It also contains vitamin E.For Holiday glamour, this one item with sev-

eral uses is a must have

Sonia Lennon wears a Courtney Lennon longwhite dress €390 at the launch of the ArnottsSpring Summer 2013 collection


FASHION AND HEALTH with Carmel Higgins

This season sees an explosion of floralpatterns. There are wonderful girlyfeminine dresses, skirts and coats,

oversized floral prints, watercolour prints lay-ered on top of a pastel palette, geometric de-signs and plain fabrics in sharp clean cut lines,as well as lots of ankle length pants in multipatterned fabrics. It is an eclectic mix whichcan be as individual as you want.Brands like Just Cavalli, Love Moschino and

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania as well asAnna Sui are labels to look out for.Their clothes take us from the gloom of late to

a new fresh feel, teamed with accessories likeclutch bags, high high heels and scarves which thisseason is very much in vogue,The newest clothes fashion label comes from the

TV 'Off The Rails' duo Courtney Lennon. Their fab-rics are wonderful and designs can be worn fromday into evening, from workplace to dinner.A full length dress will take you over many days

hols whether sitting at a bar, cruising, dining at thecaptain’s table. Understated, multifunctional, yetpowerful, these clothes will take you everywhere.Their designs can begin with a simple dress, add-onmini capes, peplums, jackets change a simple dressto whatever you want to wear it to.Courtney Lennon clothes are available at Arnotts

and five outlets throughout the country, including theCavalli floral print jean on the right, €270.Sizes come up to 16. These clothes should be in

everyone’s wardrobe, as they are suitable for almost alloccasions.

For sun or cruising holidays, which is growingyear on year, Arnotts in Dublin have a huge se-lection of swimwear, beach clothes and fashion

clothes suitable for cruising, with tropical colours inone pieces or bikinis to die for.For gals who want high glamour, Arnotts have some

amazing French brands, a fuchsia red two piece.A one piece swimsuit and matching pareo is an in-

vestment buy. The swimsuit has one shoulder adornedwith diamante.Stunning and worth the price, another French brand

Huit, has aptly named Cleopatra swimwear in blackwith gold spiral motifs. It is also available in bikinis,and costs approx €98. Sizes go up to 16.Brands like Gotex have swimwear with matching

cover-ups which take you from beach to bar.And if youwant to look ten pounds lighter in ten seconds, thenMiracle swimwear is worth looking at. It comes withcontrol panels using the latest technologyIt is worth investing in a few good pieces, then you

can't go wrong buying the latest from Penneys highstreet stores, costs are unbelievably cheap and sun hats,beach bags and flip-flops can allow you spend yourmoney on a couple of expensive items which sets thetone for your holiday wardrobe.Mixed with Penneys beachwear this will give you

more choice yet knowing that your holiday wardrobehas some very high quality items to mix and matchwith. Cosmetic companies who work closely with fash-

ion houses to co-ordinate sea-sons colour trends are also verymuch into skincare and antiaging products.With our pared down spend-

ing, we are more careful aboutwhat to buy and what to spendcash on.Holiday World takes us

around the globe and with lug-gage an expensive add on to ourflights we have to pack sensiblyand bring clothes to take us fromthe beach to the bar and on into thenight.The latest cosmetics for real

glam colour comes from LASplashCosmetic from California.The range includes fabulous eye

colours, vivid, intense colour, min-eral eye shadows, glitter splash forface and body, loved by the youngand trendy, high pigment pressedshadows that are easy to blend.Making smokey eyes is easy

peasy with LA Splash Cosmeticsand their eyeliners are almost fool-proof, precision pen eyeliners theperfect tool to acquire a bold liquidfinish, the LASplash definitive multipurpose eyeliner and eyeshadow inone, use the pointed tip for defining

lines and the full tip for blendable coverage, these won'tbreak the bank as prices are extremely affordable,available throughout the country, for further infowww.makeupshop.ieOona Doherty opened the Oona Doherty Beauty

Clinic in 1985 with a dream to have an outstandingBeauty Centre, she has achieved that, her salon Make-UpShop at 2-3 market Cross Sligo offers many excel-lent treatments as well as having won 10 consecutiveGuinot Crown Salon Awards for high standards inBeauty Therapy.Oona specialises in Red Vein treatment and Skin Tag

removal as well as being a professional MakeupArtist.She trains therapists and salon owners in AirbrushMakeup, used by most photographic fashion models,film stars and now available in Ireland, this is amazingespecially for weddings and TV.Oona is very interested in skincare and recently

while in Budapest found a range of organic skincareIlcsi, which is very affordable, whilst there she visitedthe lab and witnessed the fresh hand picked producearriving in and being made into cleansers, toners, mois-turizers, treatment creams and all using just pure natu-ral ingredients.The shelf life is approx twelve months. These prod-

ucts smell divine, Ilcsi is in business for the past 50years, Oona is now selling these at her salon, onlineand is also the distributor.The Airbrush she uses is Kett Airbrush from New

York, Kett also do a range of high definition cosmeticsand is used here in Ireland by TV3 as well as countlessmakeup artists. 071 9145523 or www.makeupshop.ie

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Whoever coinedthe phrase“new car

smell” knew a thing ortwo about anticipationand excitement. A smelllasts longer in the mem-ory than anything else, animage, a sound, a touch.So you can imagine the

feeling when your nostrilsfill once again with thatnew ship smell.One single, identifiable

smell for a ship of 319metres length, 122,000tonnes and 3,046 passen-ger capacity? Unlikelyuntil you get it.It permeates over the

background blend of allthose salty sea flavourswe associate with get-aways.It seeps in from every-

where, the carpets, thefixtures, the bed linen onthe luxurious staterooms,as far ahead of the previ-ous generation of cruiseships as we are fromwindy-handle windows inour cars.So it was when

Celebrity Reflectionlaunched in Florida thismonth. And when Euro-pean agents and travelwriters were brought on atwo day pre-launch cruiseout of Eemshaven andback to Amsterdam.It became apparent

how deeply the crisp newimage the Solstice classhas been implanted on themindset of the travel in-dustry.Ireland and UK sales

manager Michael Englishtalked about Celebrity re-flection being ModernLuxury, a trump over tra-ditional luxury. He wantspassengers to pay more

for the premium.Delivering five Sol-

stice ships in the middleof a recession has madethat a tad more difficult.

The Celebrity prod-uct has beentweaked some-

what from the four previ-ous ship launches in theSolstice class.The signature product

is the spa. Celebrity Re-flection AquaSpa will bethe most versatile such fa-cility in its fleet. It willhave a Persian Gardenwith 15 curved, heated

tile beds, a heated stoneslab called The Ham-mam, infrared saunas,aromatic steam rooms, anicy cold "Cold Room" foruse after warm/hot im-mersions, do-it-yourselfscrub and salt bars, andsensory showers that willallow tropical rain in-fused with fragrances,arctic cold mists, andsound, scent, and lightchoices.The ship’s captain

Nicholas Pagonis nomi-nated the Spa as hisfavourite place to relax onboard.Even the showers in

the staterooms have sprayshowers to calm the mus-cles after a night of exer-tion on the dance floor atthe Skybar.Captain Pagonis says:

“Everywhere you gothere is somethingunique. When I have myfamily on board mydaughter’s favourite placeis the hideaway. When Iwant to dine, the Merano,

Tuscan or Blu.”Hotel manager Damien

O’Connor, of a Bally-bunion father and Sker-ries mother, says nobodyin the industry has thehardware that Celebrityhas.He has worked on five

cruise lines and on 30-40ships in 15 years, and“worked on Silverseasthe five star product, on

Carnival the fun ships, Iwas involved in the Dis-ney set-up and I havedone work for cruise linesin Greece.”‘We were all involved

in the Solstice, and westepped on board thatbeautiful cruise ship andwe thought we had neverseen anything like it.Then this newest shipwas handed over to us.”


The magnificent ceiling of the Opus dining room on board the new Celebrity Reflection

ReflectionsCRUISE 2013

Eoghan Corry takes a pre-launch on Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity intends to offerseven night cruises inthe Mediterranean in

the near future, including openjaw itineraries in summer 2014.“We will continue with our

10 and 11-night cruises,” CEOMichael Bayley said at thelaunch of Celebrity reflectionoff the Dutch coast, “but wecan offer more because of thecapacity we have added in to

the market and became of thedemand we have had both fromthe American and Europeanmarkets.“We are working on other

ideas that we will unveil in thecoming months as it relates todeployment, itinerary, and par-ticularly how it relates to desti-nation how we are planning onbundling destination with thecruise experience, how we can

partner with you in sellingthose products into the market-place.“We are particularly inter-

ested in the affluent segment.We will be working with youmore in the future on our mar-keting partnerships targetingthe customers who will enjoythis experience and willing topay a premium for that experi-ence. That will become our

focus over the next year or two.“If you think it is good now

it is going to get even better.We are working on our product.With the fifth of the Solsticeclass and Solsticisation of Mil-lennium class we have a worldclass product and an excep-tional level of service and prod-uct quality.“We believe from the feed-

back of our customers that our

cuisine is really quite good.Weare continuing to focus on ourproduct, invest and improvemany elements of the product.We really hope you will staywith us on this journey over thecoming couple of years.“To the trade I say your suc-

cess is our success. Togetherwe can move into the futureand be even more successful.”

n Celebrity Reflection set sail on a series of Mediterranean sailings before cross-ing the Atlantic to begin its first Caribbean season. Celebrity Reflection was benamed on 1 December in Miami, with four Godmothers – all of them employeesof the company whose lives have been touched by breast cancer – presiding overthe ceremony.


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ASSOCIATION A new cruise lob-bying and information body, the Cruise LinesInternational Association, has been formed bythe merger of Passenger Shipping Associationand Association of Cruise Experts.GREENCASTLE There has beenwarm reaction to a report making a strong casefor the proposed €8m Greencastle-Greenoreferry link. The link could provide a €10m ayear boost for the counties.CELEBRITY cruises are offeringcomplimentary drinks package on all 2013cruises booked before Feb 28, includes domes-tic beers, spirits, house wines, specialty coffeesand soft drinks (worth $50 per person, per day)UNIWORLD will offer river cruisingin Italy in 2013, Splendors of Italy combines aseven-night river cruise along the Po River andthe Venice Lagoon with a two-night land stayin Florence and three nights in Rome.ROYAL CARIBBEAN are of-fering up to USD$1,000 free onboard credit onselected Southampton & Harwich cruisesbooked before Feb 28.PRINCESS new 3600-passengerRoyal Princess, currently under construction,will enter service in June in the Med. Amongthe features will be a glass-bottomed Sea Walk,extending 28 feet beyond the side of the ship128 feet above the ocean; two fresh waterpools flanking an island area between them;evening water and light shows featuring acomputerized fountain with 85 water jets.AZAMARA late-night and overnightstays are a new feature of each cruise in Aza-mara's 2014 schedule. Its two ships will con-duct 72 new voyages, ranging from four to 17days and visiting some 240 ports in 66 coun-tries. In 2014, the ships will be positioned inEurope, the Far East, Central and South Amer-ica, the Caribbean, and the U.S. Pacific Coast.A three-day call in San Francisco will allow foran exploration of its nearby wine country.CARNIVAL has unveiled additionaldesign details for the 3006-passenger CarnivalSunshine (the former Carnival Destiny) whichwill complete a $155m makeover in April.New attractions include a racing-themed waterpark featuring five water slides and 40 interac-tive water features, a Cuba-themed tropical bar,an Asian restaurant, and more.CELEBRITY four-day, five-day, andeight-day trips will ply the Pacific in April,linking popular California points like SanDiego, Catalina, Santa Barbara, Monterey, andSan Francisco. After the April cycle, the 1814-passenger Celebrity Century will travel northto begin its seven-day all-summer schedulefrom Vancouver to Alaska.SEABOURNE's 2014 World Cruisewill visit 53 ports in 20 countries during its116-day circuit that leaves Los Angeles nextJanuary and terminates in Venice. Among itsstops: Sydney, Honolulu, Hong Kong, andMumbai. The 450-passenger Seabourn Sojournwill conduct the voyage.

Festive FranceThree ferry companies are gear-

ing up for increased traffic onthe Irish-French ferry routes

this summer.Irish Ferries Ireland to France of-

fers include a €100 booking depositand a free trip to Britain for a car plustwo passengers on their Ireland toBritain services. The offer is open tomotorists making a return booking toFrance during June, July andAugust.On board features include live familyentertainment, free wi-fi, and early ar-

rival times in France.Brittany Ferries resume their

weekly sailings from Cork to Roscoffon their luxury ship Pont Aven (somecabins even have balconies) on Mar23rd and continue until Nov 1st.Celtic Link Ferries will transport

all vehicles on Friday 15 March 2013for €1 each. The deal includes a ve-hicle, cabin and the people in thecabin for one euro, for St. Patrick’sDay 2013. “Celtic Link Ferries aresimply bringing in as many passen-

gers as they can for as little price thatthey can” said Passenger ManagerRory McCall.On the Irish Sea, Irish Ferries is

promoting Haven Holidays packages,inclusive arrangements toAlton Tow-ers and various other resorts.Irish Ferries’ Head of Passenger

Sales, Dermot Merrigan said: “OscarWilde will once again operate a threereturn sailings per week schedule be-tween Rosslare and the French portsof Cherbourg and Roscoff this year.”

Amul t im i l l i o ndollar invest-ment in dining

will greet RoyalCaribbean's passengersthis year.Each ship will have

revamped menus andmore variety.Calling in 72 coun-

tries, Royal Caribbeanhas added internationalflavours to its diningrooms and "hot from theoven" desserts.It is establishing addi-

tional training coursesfor its chefs and staffs.Allergen and dietaryprograms, gluten-free,lactose-free, and low

calorie options will beavailable, with icons onmenus identifying theitems.The carrier claims to

have the most extensiveselection of dining ven-ues at sea, with a total ofabout 100 options acrossthe fleet.

Allure of the Seas


A cabin on Irish Ferries’ luxury ferry, Oscar Wilde

Ferry companies gear up for exciting summer

Norwegian hassigned a contractwith a German

ship builder for a new4200-passenger, 163,000gross tons ship to be deliv-ered late in 2015.It will be the largest in

Norwegian's fleet. Thesame yard is currently

completing two other newships, the 4000-passengerNorwegian Breakaway andthe 4000-passenger Nor-wegian Getaway.The Breakaway is sched-

uled for delivery thisApril,while the Getaway will fol-low next January.The Breakaway will in-

clude three Broadwayshows, a comedy troupe,dueling pianos, a celebrityrestaurant, five water slidesincluding the first free fallslides at sea, a three-levelsports complex, a nine-holeminiature golf course, bas-ketball court, rock climbingwall, studio cabins for sin-

gle travellers, private-en-clave suites, a 23,000square foot spa coveringtwo decks and featuring 22treatment rooms, and more.Among its more exotic

features will be a real icebar — requiring guests towear hooded coats andgloves to keep warm.



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CUNARD’s three Queens will each em-bark on long voyages in 2014, from Southamp-ton, New York, Fort Lauderdale, and SanFrancisco. The 2620-passenger Queen Mary 2will leave Southampton on its tenth worldcruise. The 2014-passenger Queen Victoriawill also sail from Southampton and visit 40ports in 19 countries over 116 days. The 2010-passenger Queen Elizabeth will embark on a118-day voyage featuring embarkation pointsin Southampton, Ft Lauderdale, and San Fran.CELEBRITY will call on 170 prima-rily warm-weather ports in 42 countries nextwinter, 2013 - 2014. Ships will leave from 20home ports. Six ships will sail the Caribbean,while others will ply Australia-New Zealandwaters, the South Pacific, and the Galapagos.On the West Coast, San Diego, Los Angeles,Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and Hawaii willfigure in a new series of itineraries, replacingmany trips that formerly went to Mexico.Rounding out the offerings will be a SouthAmerica series.DISNEY In 2014, for the first time, eachof Disney's four ships will be based in Florida.Three of its ships depart from its terminal atPort Canaveral, while the fourth, the 2700-pas-senger Disney Wonder, will conduct Bahamasand Western Caribbean cruises from Miami.Almost all will stop at Castaway Cay, the com-pany's popular private island.HOLLAND America will assign sevenships to Europe this summer sailing 107 depar-tures on 53 different itineraries. Trips rangefrom 7 to 64 days and include 20 overnightsCELEBRITY will have six ships inEurope this summer, sailing from seven depar-ture ports to 25 countries all over the Med,Britain, Ireland, and the Baltic.CARNIVAL has ordered two ships, onecarrying 4000 passengers and the other 2660.To be built in Italy, they are scheduled for de-livery to Holland America in the autumn of2015 and to Carnival in the winter of 2016.Carnival Corporation operates 100 ships withabout 203,000 lower berths. Nine new shipsare currently under order for 10 cruise brands.MSC has redesigned its casual buffet serv-ice under the direction of Italian food designerPaolo Baricella. Bakers will bake at a bakerycorner, and there will even be a Children's Cor-ner. The whole MSC fleet will have the newbuffet by mid-summer.REGENT South America, Asia, theSouth Pacific, Europe, the Caribbean, andAlaska will figure in Regent Seven Seas' 2013- 2014 Winter Collection of cruises. 97 percentof Regent's cabins include balconiesSILVERSEA has announced its worldcruise for Jan 2014. It will travel for 113 daysfrom LA to Barcelona aboard the 382-passen-ger Silver Whisper. The ship will visit 54 portsin 29 countries with 12 overnight stays.SILVERSEA’s 296-passenger SilverCloud has re-entered service following a majorrenovation completed in Italy.

Big ships are backBig ships are back. Royal

Caribbean Cruises has strucka deal with STX France in

Saint-Nazaire to add a third Oasisclass ship to its fleet which couldenter service in 2016.The line, which already operates

the two largest cruise liners on theseas, Oasis of the Seas and Allure ofthe Seas, said during their Q3 investorconference call in October that theywere close to ordering a third OasisClass vessel. On St Stephen’s Daythey confirmed that order with STXFrance, based in St Nazaire. STX Fin-land (formerlyAker) in Turku, whichbuilt Royal Caribbean’s first twoOasis-class vessels, was unable to se-cure the finance to build a third shipof this size.It is the clearest signal yet of re-

newed optimism in the sector. “TheOasis of the Seas and Allure of theSeas have fundamentally transformedthe cruise experience for our guests,”said Richard Fain, chairman and CEOof Royal Caribbean. “These ships

have consistently generated outstand-ing guest satisfaction ratings and con-tinue to produce superior financialresults. We are thrilled to be adding asister to this extraordinary class ofvessels at a compelling price. Beingback building in France just adds tothe pleasure.”Just four giant cruise ships are due

for delivery next year, the lowest totalsince the 2008. They will include thestylish Norwegian Breakaway, jointthird largest ship on the seas with itssister Epic.This will be surpassed in late 2014

by two 4,100 passenger Project Sun-shine ships from Royal Caribbeanwhich to be delivered six monthsapart, the second largest class of pas-senger ships behind Royal CaribbeanInternational’s existing two giants,the 5,400 passenger Oasis andAllure.Norwegian Cruise Line will launch

Project Breakaway Plus in 2015 to re-claim third place after the two Oasisclass ships.Eight large ships were delivered in

2007, four in 2008, eight in 2009, six

in 2010, six in 2011 and seven in2012.Despite the Costa Concordia disas-

ter and resulting temporary fall inbookings, the number of internationalcruise customers is expected to riseagain this year. Carnival Cruise Line,which already has a fleet of 25, re-cently ordered a 4,000-capacity ship,while Holland America has commis-sioned a 2,660-passenger vessel.Costa’s largest ship ever, due in

2014, will be a variation of CarnivalCruise Line’s Dream class cruiseship.The 2013 order book:

n MSC Preziosa – 3,502 passengersn Norwegian Breakaway – 4,028passengersn AIDAstella – 2,192 passengersn Europa 2 – 516 passengersn Avalon Artistry II – 164 passen-gersn Scenic Jewel – 169 passengersn Royal Princess – 3,600 passen-gersn Le Soleal – 264 passengers

The 5,400 passenger Allure and Oasis of the Seas are the biggest ships on the ocean

Third ship in biggest in the world class to be built


One good reason for increasein cruise holidays, amidst therecession, be that the cost of

a cruise holiday is one that you canbudget for in advance, as full board,entertainments and many activitiesare always included in the upfrontprice.The trend in new ships is to make

them burst with attractions and oper-ate with a high capacity.Of the six new ships due to be

launched in 2013, three are biggies:MSC Preziosa, to be "christened" bySophia Loren in March, has a capac-ity of 3,500; the 4,000-passengerNorwegian Breakaway launches inMay; and Royal Princess sets sail in

June with room for 3,600.Two new "boutique" ships are

among the 2013 launches.The great luxury offered by

Hapag-Lloyd's Europa 2 is that ofspace. By no means small, with ton-nage of 139,500, the all-suite, all-bal-cony ship is for a maximum of only516 passengers.Family friendly, and with short

itineraries aimed at time-poor profes-sionals, all cruises will be conductedin German and English.Le Soléal, which carries up to 264

passengers, is a new "soft expedi-tion" ship marrying a sleek silhouetteand chic French decor with an ice-strengthened hull to sail Arctic andAntarctic waters.

It will be launched in Venice on 1July and will specialise in visitingplaces large ships can't reach.The 2,200-passenger AIDAstella

will launch in March, but like the restof the AIDA fleet is for German-speaking passengers.Its home port will be Hamburg for

cruises of northern Europe until Sep-tember when the ship will relocate tothe Canary Islands for the winter.According to the Passenger Ship-

ping Association, nearly $5bn wasspent on six major new ship launcheslast year, with $3.2bn invested in sixmore new ships setting sail in 2013.There's also about $4.2bn due to bespent on a further six ships in 2014.

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Even the biggest ofbig ships have aquiet place. Just

hours into our cruise onthe Dubai based Bril-liance of the Seas wefound the quietest part ofthe ship: a helicopter padat the front of the ship onDeck 5. It is not lit andyou have to stumblethrough the dark to getthere to marvel at theswish of the ship, 11knots into the waves.At night time as the

ship sails through thebalmy air you can look upand see constellations(modern light pollutionmeans we can only dostars, if even that). Thereare patches of whiteevery so often that weglide through. You canhear fish splash in thedark. We saw dolphinslast night and prayed theyshould not crash into thecruising steel.“It takes some skill to

hit a sleeping whale but ithas been known to hap-pen” Paul the second of-ficer told us during thebridge visit.Our giant ship is grace-

ful on the water. As wepass through the sun isstreaming down on thewater around us whichlaps us like an Aran Is-land currach.The coast of Iran is on

one side, the UAE on theother. The narrowness ofthe strait (think Antrimand Scotland) makes onethink about the region.No wonder the Persiansconquered so much soquickly when they onlyhad to take a runningjump to reach Arabia.Land routes count for solittle to those who makestheir lives at sea. The seasare the highways if todayas they were of ancienttimes.

On one day wewere buzzed byan Iranian plane

that flew about thirty feetover the top deck. Thesecond officer, Paul, toldus about coming throughthe Gulf of Aden. Youwould pass a fishing boat

with 35 dodgy lookingcharacters standing ondeck not doing any fish-ing. That’s how you knewthey were pirates, he said.So is it safe? Brilliance

of the Seas is too high inthe water for any piratesto board. Cruise shipspassing through the moredifficult zones usuallyhire former soldiersworking for private secu-rity companies, and toldall passengers not to goon deck during the night.My daughter Síofra,

who accompanied me onthe trip, has a theoryabout it. She says thatthey would surely be ableto tell if they were piratesfrom the Jolly Roger onthe flagpole, the prepon-derance of parrots andpeg legs, and the ban-danas. And the captainwill have a broad tri-corne. And the oooh-arrs.And if they call you ascallywag they are DEFI-NITELY pirates.

Eating. Cruise pas-sengers do lots ofit. If you so desire,

you can eat from 5am to2 am in the collectedrestaurants. The buffetplates are always over-loaded. We go for sec-onds then thirds then tothe ice cream /frozen yo-ghurt machine that goesBRRRRRRRR. We justcall it the machine thatgoes BRRRRRRRR. Inthe evening we go for theearly seating at 6 :30 andare show to the same win-dow table for two wherewe chat and eat. There isan 800 calorie vitalitymenus but we keep post-poning it for anothernight.According to the fact

sheet we consume 18,450fresh eggs and 31,345pounds of chicken a weekon this cruise, 18,000 bot-tles of liquor and 12,500cans of beer. They usuallysell 65 barrels of beer ona twelve day cruise in Eu-rope, they sell 95 barrelson the seven day cruise

from Dubai. They had tobring extra beer fromEgypt when they startedthe programme.

The shore excur-sions are anotherfamous ritual. No

doubt little has changedsince the time of the Per-sians.All of the passengers

gather by the quayside,thrown together by cir-cumstance, and areboarded on a bus with aguide who speaks imper-fect English, and off to goto see the signature at-tractions of a city in themost overcrowded cir-cumstances possible,overcrowded because acouple of dozencoachloads of othertourists from cruise shipshave all landed there to-

gether.“This is a corruption

free country, very gentlepeople, no crime” Khanour guide the first day inOman told us. He trans-lated a slogan on themountain on our wayback to the ship, “Welove our country.” Yup,sounds authentic all right.Everywhere we travelledthey told us about themagnanimous sultan andwhat he had done for thepeople.Coach after coach then

piles into the carpet shopwhere the guides or thetour company are likelygetting a generousbounty.Cruise passengers are

always over charged. Theshore excursions are amonth’s wages for alocal, $99 for a “moun-tain safari” that turned

into little more than a glo-rified spin through thepebbly hills in a 4x4.There no falcons, no rareArabian Leopard, noteven an Egyptian vulture.

There are intriguingdark blue bespeck-led patches hither

and thither on the wateras we trundle through thesea.We are an odd family,

2069 guests from 61countries (60 didn’t showup) in a giant floatingconurbation melting potthe size of New Ross.There are bars and

restaurants on five of the13 decks, and staff run-ning behind us to collectevery dish. The staffcome from everywherebut so do the guests, 79from Russia, 34 fromChina, 35 fromAustralia,37 from Ukraine, 42 fromSpain, 101 from SAfrica,191 from Benelux, 187from Germany, 140 fromScandinavia but mainlythe USA (286) and Eng-land (549) with 24 fromIreland.The crew count is the

reverse, a barometer ofthe developing world,867 of them, 208 from thePhilippines, 121 fromIndia, 46 from Indonesiaand all the way down toNicaragua, Turkey,Ukraine and UK with 30-35 each, with two fromIreland.With all these national-

ities, there are not asmany chance conversa-tions as you would think.There are a lot of couples,a small number of fami-lies, and a lot of elderlypeople and a few dozenyounger kids here, play-ing in the water park ondeck.

All cruise shipscome from thesame template,

more or less decided bythe previous generation

The pool area on Brilliant of the Seas

n Dubai cruising onboard Brilliance of the Seas has been on sale to consumersfrom €459.n Brilliance of the Seas is offering seven day itineraries from Dubai this winter.n Serenade of the Seas will replace Brilliance of the Seas for Dubai itineraries in2013.

The Gulf courseEoghan Corry cruises from Dubai with RCCL


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All cruise shipscome from thesame template,

more or less decided bythe previous generation ofAmericans for Ameri-cans, but now some after-thought is being shown tothe rest of the world.The essentials are:

n a big crimson-uphol-stered theatre at the frontover two floors,n a big crimson-uphol-stered dining room at theback over two floors,n a long casino in be-tween on one level (Dis-ney is the only cruiseship not to have acasino)n a shopping precinctbetween them on anotherlevel, usually the deckabove the casino.The deck, where ship

meets fresh air after 11storeys in midsized shipsand 16 decks in some ofthe bigger beasts, willhave:n a spa and an indoorpool at the front,n an open air pool andpoolside bars in midshipdeck with an upper deckarea for beach beds,n a big informal buffetrestaurant at the back.Once you have been on

one, you will know yourway around them all.

On top of that is anactivity area (per-haps a rock

climbing wall, a pitchand putt, and a soccercourt) on the roof/deck.The decks in between

shopping/casino and thepools have corridors ofcabins that go on for ever.Big ships offer fewer in-side cabins and more bal-conies. The premiumbrands now offer bal-conies with 90pc of theircabins.Cabins, no matter what

the view, tend to be small

and confined.There is no escaping

this fact although mostlines now call them state-rooms for image reasons.They are standard designas well, but NorwegianEpic had a neat departurewhen they built their cab-ins/ staterooms with acurve, in the form of awave.Each ship has a well

kept secret cabin or two,one on a turn that can bebought for the same priceas the one next door but itoffers a little extra space.Knowing these secrets isthe key to success as atravel agent.

Hotel managerMarcus Zillmanbrought Travel

Extra behind the scenesof the operation on the2,500-passenger Bril-liance of the Seas re-cently.Cruise lines discovered

long ago that a well fedpassenger is a happy pas-sengers, and the result isthat people eat 20pc morewhen they are on a cruiseship.But there is a pattern

here. Zillman says: “theover indulgence starts inthe first three days andthen tapers off and themeal sizes are reduced inall the restaurants.”The food is prepared

centrally for the first sit-ting, then the second sit-ting, the buffet(Windjammer in RCCLships), speciality restau-rants (although somehave their own kitchen,such as the Portofino onRCCL ships) and at 8pmthe night shift starts andbread is baked for themorning.

They serve 14,000meals a day, andthe makings of

1,000 full meals arepulped and sent into thesea (the only thing theyare allowed to dump).The ship speed when

they dump must be sixknots, as they roll alongthe pulped food is shotinto the sea, and there arefish who apparently knowwhen this is happeningand gather for the feed.Depending on ingredi-

ents, they prepare onemeal in the largest vol-ume, the chef’s recom-mendation.About 50pc ofpeople take the chef’srecommendation.The dessert hierarchy

is soufflé, cheesecake andthen crème bruleé. “Wewreck our heads trying tothink up new desserts,”Zillman says. “But peoplejust want the stuffmomma used to make.”Burgers and pizzas are

brought in for school hol-idays, when the ship firstmoved to Europe they ranout of lamb shank.

All the food isbrought from theUSA in container

ships and frozen meat,fish, and vegetables arethen loaded on to thecruise ship, 18 pallets ofthem, meat, veg and fishcome in sequence so thatthey can be moved inorder and to make sure allthe meat does not arriveat the same time.The beer is calculated

carefully, 65 barrels for a12 day cruise in Europe.Serving the meals is a

mini miracle, performeddaily. Each waiter dealswith ten guests in one sit-ting and 22 in another.Then they alternate.“We have 1,100 chairs

in the main dining room,”Zillman says. “1,000 peo-ple all arrive looking tobe served in a 15 minuteperiod. Unlike a banquetyou get a choice of threesoups and three starters,ten main courses andseven desserts.”And then, three hours

later, the miracle all hap-pens again.


of Americans for Ameri-cans, but now some after-thought is being shown tothe rest of the world, a bigcrimson-upholstered the-atre at the front over twofloors, a big crimson-up-holstered dining room atthe back over two floors,a long casino in betweenon one level, a shoppingprecinct between them onanother level.The deck, where ship

meets fresh air after 11storeys in our case but 16in some of the biggerbeasts, will always have aspa and an indoor pool atthe front, then an open airpool and poolside bars onthe midship deck with anupper deck area for beachbeds, and finally a big in-formal buffet restaurant atthe back.On top of that is an ac-

tivity areas (in our caserock climbing wall, pitchand putt, and a soccercourt) on the roof/deck.

The decks in betweenshopping/casino and thepools have corridors ofcabins that go on for ever.They serve 14,000

meals a day, and 1,000full meals are dumped,pulped and sent into thesea (the only thing they

are allowed to dump) afew hundred miles fromthe Horn ofAfrica, wherepeople are starving.The ship speed when

they dump must be sixknots, as they roll alongthe pulped food is shotinto the sea, and there are

fish who apparently knowwhen this is happeningand gather for the feed.ALL the food is

brought from the USA incontainer ships andfrozen meat, fish, andvegetables are thenloaded on to the cruise

ship at the start of theseven day sailing fromDubai.“We have an Irish

mammy for a lift.” Síofrasaid. If you press the upbutton when you want togo down it won’t let yougo down. “You shouldhave thought of that be-fore you pressed the upbutton.”

What is specialabout this partof the world is

the ubiquitous call toprayer.There is no escaping it.

Five times each day amosque will give the sig-nal and explode intofoghorn-like intensity, ex-ultations to heaven.Another echoes it, then

another and the sound isstrangely soothing, spiri-tual and reflective. TwoEnglish Muslim girlswore their abayas per-

fectly on the way of theship, red with a flower onthe side of her head in onecase, respectful and mak-ing a statement at thesame time.Síofra brought a scarf

and promptly forgot tobring it the day we wentto see the Grand Mosquein Muscat so I had to buyher a full gear for ten dol-lars. I told our driver onone of the excursionsabout the Christian call toprayer, originally three,now two Angelus ding-dong bells, they make it afull call to prayer inEthiopia still. I will neverforget my surprise thefirst time I heard it onMount Entoto, and thedawning on me that theIslamic tradition is prob-ably borrowed fromChristianity and nowpatented by them. Thesongs too make me feel athome, the melismatictone of a sean-nós singer.

Brilliance of the Seas


Marcus Zillman in the kitchen of Brilliancewhere 14,000 meals a day are prepared

Behind the scenes

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FOYNESA new maritime museumshowcasing the Shannon Estuary from Limer-ick City to the mouth of the estuary will openin the port village of Foynes in MarchLIMERICK King John’s Castle visitorattractionis to open this year after a €5.7m re-developmentFÁILTE Ireland reports that domestictrips are holding up in the firgures for 2012,there were 9m trips by Irish people in Irelandbut the Irish are spending less, a total of€100m less in 2012. Shaun Quinn of FáilteIreland said the challenge for hotels is generat-ing enough margin to reinvest in their propertySHANNON development says that2012 visitor figures were up 3.5pc, banquetswere up 2pc and day visitors up 3.7pc. Tourismrevenues increased by 3.5pc2,562 events were registered for the Gath-ering by mid-January, 800 more than at the of-ficial launch last month. Fáilte Ireland saidthey were confident they would hit their targetof 325,000 extra visitors for the Gathering.SPIKE ISLAND A report by ScottTallon Walker suggests that turning Spike Is-land into a tourist resort would cost €40mDIASPORA Research by the Amárachcompany suggest that 60pc of USA diapsoraconsiderting visiting Ireland in 2013COTTAGES A portfolio of 450 cot-tages in Ireland aee being launched this year bycottages4youIRELAND finished seventh in Fly.com;sannual New Year Travel Resolutions Surveytaken in America behind number one sihed forsdestination Italy Australia (2), N Zealand (3),France (4), England (5), US (6) with Spain (8),Fiji (9) & S Africa (10)TALL SHIP Sheffield Haslam Univer-sities’ report for Dublin City Council detem-rined that the Tall Ships festival was worth€30m for Dublin. A tosal of 1.25m attended,27pc rest of Ire and 12pc overseas.PORTMAGEE has been announcedas the first ever winner of Fáilte Ireland’s Na-tional Tourism Towns AwardITIC Eamon McKeon CEO of the IrishTourism Industry Confederation said he wouldbe disappointed if we don’t get double digitgrowth from NAmerica next year because ofthe proposed 20pc increase in seats. ITIC’s Re-view shows 6.5m visitors in 2012, Britaindown 4pc, US & Europe both up 2pc, emerg-ing markets up 4pc. British market fell from5.0m in 2006 to 3.6m in 2011. Holiday tripsare down from 1.8m to 1.0m average spend pervisit (all types) down from £294 to £269, de-spite an increase in stay from 4.8 nights to 5.4.FÁILTE Ireland reports that there were12,000 more employed in the tourism industryin 2012, withthe figure rising to 185,000. FáilteIreland traditionally have a broader definitionof the tourism than the CSO, who confine theirfigures to the hospitality and restaurant sector.

Market scareThe arrival of new tourism fig-

ures is always the prelude for apast. The Central Statistics Of-

fice figures for three of the last fourmonths in 2012 will make cheerfulreading for some.Trips to Ireland were up 3.9pc,

with North America up 19.7pc. ButBritain was down 3pc.And in the sta-tistical zone in which Irish tourism istrapped, that 3pc is very very badnews.Ireland’s dilemma is that, in the

good times when marketing budgetswere fat, we were lazy.We went for adependency culture, instead of takingthe alternative, trying to escape ouraddiction to four key markets,Britain, the US, France and Germany.Even spending time and energy

building up the German market,which should have been an obviousthing to do, would have saved usfrom the dilemma in which we noware stuck. British figures are collaps-ing, not because we are doing any-thing inherently wrong, but becausethe British economy is going downthe sinkhole.At the end of the year 2011, the last

complete year for which we have fig-ures, we had attracted 7.29m touriststo the island, (+4%), 3.6m fromBritain (+0pc), 968,000 from NorthAmerica (+6%), and 2.3m from

Mainland Europe (+9pc). The num-bers from our third and fourth biggestmarkets, France (407,000, up from356,000 in 2010) and Germany432,000 (up from 399,000 in 2010)are only a fraction of what the Britishmarket was supplying. It s a long wayback to Italy, then Spain, Scandi-navia,Our total visitors from other areas

were 395,0000 (+14pc), nearly halfof them from Australia and NewZealand, , numbers that our crazy visaarrangements will prevent growing,not to mention our total inability tograsp the subtle requirements of theRussian, Brazilian, Mexican, Indianand Chinese inbound markets.The figures are not bad. Twenty

years ago the target was 2m visitorsand it took a long time to reach it. Wecould still be trying were it not forRyanair. A look at our peer groupshows how impressive the figuresare, Norway attracted 2.7m visitors in2011, Finland 3.8m, Sweden 4.9mEven Portugal got just 7.4m andCyprus 2.4m. Faraway Australia, forall its size and stunning scenery, getsjust 5.8m tourists and New Zealand2.6m.Market share is the real indicator of

our worth in these trying times. In2011 we actually increased marketshare in Britain, to around 8pc in

2011, and still lost numbers. Theproblem is in 2012 that market shareappears to be slipping, acceleratingthe slide in numbers in a shrinkingmarket. While Irish people are enthu-siastic travellers, our annual tripsabroad exceeding our population bya factor of almost two, the Brits arenot, taking fewer trips than their an-nual population annually.Which makes our failure to engage

with Germany an even greatertragedy. Can you imagine if we had8pc of the German market, instead ofless than half a percent?It would mean an annual influx of

5m German speaking tourists flood-ing our hotels, B&Bs and guest-houses, dispersing wisely into thecountry side, much further than theend lounge of Temple Bar which isthe limit of many of the existingtourists form our biggest inboundmarket.They would be hiking our moun-

tains and cycling our cycling trails, ifsuch a thing existed, even Mayo’sGreenways spills unsuspecting cy-clists into the paths of dangerous traf-fic on windy country roads.To paraphrase a certain former fe-

male Tánaiste, in tourism terms itwould be much, much wiser to havestayed closer to Berlin than Boston.

The Gathering New Year’s eve festival has already been hailed as a success in worldwide media coverage

British inbound market set to shrink further in 2013


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Visitor attractions on highKildare Village

shopping centreis the biggest vis-

itor attraction on the is-land, although it is notincluded in the officialstatistics for tourist andvisitor attractions.Over 2.2m people

passed through the shop-ping village in 2012,Sales increased 255pc on2012, with the Chineseand Russian marketsshowing the biggestgains, and tax free salestripled year on year.While some countries in-clude shopping attrac-tions in their list of majorvisitor facilities, it is notthe norm in Europe.Guinness Storehouse

was the top visitor againattraction in 2012, as hasbeen the case in eight of

the nine years since theyfirst took number onespot from Dublin Zoo.The Storehouse and the

Zoo both reported recordvisits, while the fourbranches of the NationalMuseum of Ireland, whocollectively have1,071,093, reported theirsecond best year everthanks to a fall of 8pceach in Collins Barracksand Turlough park. TheKildare St branch, theAr-chaeology museum, oncethe most visited facility inthe capital, had its bestever year.Success story of 2012

has been the Titanic Cen-tre in Belfast, originallyprojected at 400,000 visi-tors, it reached 650,000and generated media cov-erage beyond expecta-

tions. the new Giants

Causeway Visitor Centrein Antrim has also been asuccess, with a similarnumber.Tayto Park in Ash-

bourne is the other new-comer to the top ten. Itsaw 450,000 visitors passthrough its gates in 2012,a number it expects to riseto 550,000 in 2013.An 8pc increase helped

the Cliffs of Moher(873,988 up from809,474) jump ahead ofthe National AquaticCentre (813,987, 1pcdown from 825,049).The Science Gallery in

Trinity College enters thetop twenty for the firsttime, its visitor numbersof 300,500 are 25pc upfrom 242,189 continuingthe major gains of recentyears. Science Galleryhas attracted more than

1m visitors to its exhibi-tions, ranging in themefrom contagion to the fu-ture of fashion, since itopened in Dublin in Feb-ruary 2008.Connemara National

Park’s figure of 167,464was down from 202,543.Despite a decline in

zoo in visits worldwideand a debate about theethics of animals in cap-tivity, the zoo has in-creased its numbers by80pc over the pastdecade, “Irish peoplehave enormous loyalty toDublin zoo, I have neverencountered anything like

it. It is part of everyone’slife, everyone’s child-hood.” Leo Oosterweghelof the Zoo says. Most ofthe visitors to the zoo arelocal visitors. Fota’s visi-tor numbers were376,696 down from390,124..

Paul Carthy of the Guiness Storehouse: celebrating first place again in 2012

Titanic and Tayto join the big league

1 Guinness Storehouse 1,087,2092 Dublin Zoo 1,030,0003 Cliffs of Moher 873,9884 National Aquatic Centre 813,9875 National Gallery 660,4866 Giant’s Causeway Centre 650,000*7 Titanic Centre 650,0008 Book of Kells 524,1199 Botanic Gardens Glasnevin 506,51710 Tayto Park Ashbourne 450,00011 Nat Museum Kildare St 409,27512 Fota Park Cork 390,12413 St Patrick’s Cathedral 362,00014 IMMAKilmainham 362,00015 Oxford I Reserve Antrim 330,00016 Blarney Castle 325,00017 Farmleigh 315,46418 Science Gallery 300,50019 Nat Museum Collins Bks 271,30920 Kilmainham Gaol Dublin 294,09521 Waterford Crystal Centre 290,00022 Natural History Museum 290,92723 Bunratty Castle 275,98624 Belfast Zoo 275,49425 Carrick-a-rede, Antrim 258,00026 W5 Odyssey, Belfast 251,35727 Holy Cross Abbey Tipp 250,00028 Brú Na Bóinne Meath 207,87229 Jameson Distillery Dublin 208,76730 Chester Beatty Lib Dublin 247,729

31 Rock of Cashel Tipperary 204,27032 Powerscourt Wicklow 207,44633 Kilkenny Castle 206,27734 Connemara Nat Park 167,46435 Ulster Folk Musm, Cultra 190,58036 Kylemore Abbey Galway 180,00037 National Library 172,16338 Christ Church Cath Dublin 155,94438 Atlantic Edge, Moher 166,01739 Belvedere House W’meath 164,21141 Ulster American folk park 152,71742 Aquadome Tralee 142,30143 Nat Wax Museum 141,96044 Dublin Castle 141,84945 Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin135,00746 Clonmacnoise Offaly 134,03447 Dublinia Dublin 134,08948 Glenveagh Nat park 117,00049 Airfield, Dundrum 113,93050 National Stud Kildare 112,47051 Dún Aonghasa Inis Mor 109,36152 JF Kennedy Arb New Ross 105,65153 Skerries Mill 109,03354 Phoenix Pk Vis Centre 121,48755 Jameson Midleton 100,00056 Nat Sealife Ctre Wicklow 100,00057 Ailwee Cave Clare 100,00058 Nat Museum Castlebar 99,68259 Imaginocity 93,27560 Nicholas Mosse, Kilkenny 92,000


Guinness D Zoo2001 485,939 601,0002002 640,720 607,0002003 738,000 772,3222004 764,118 731,7052005 780,851 746,2912006 858,504 754,2082007 948,577 900,0052008 1,038,910 932,0002009 1,019,166 898,4692010 930,000 963,0532011 1,025,677 1,001,0832012 1,087,209 1,030,000


Five project have been identifiedto headline the development ofIrish tourism over the next twelve

months.The five signature projubects which

wil be the focus of Irish tourism activityover the next year wil be:n The Dubline, mnedieval discoverytrail between TCD and Kilmainhamthat follows the east-west alignmentof the ancient city, through Dame St,Cork Hill, Castle St, High St, Corn-market, Thomas St, James’s St, BowLane West, Bow Bridge, KilmainhamLane and Inchicore Road.n Medieval Mile’ in Kilkenny, fromthe Craft Yard to St Mary’s Cathedral,

which will become an exhibitionspace. The new Butler Gallery for con-temporary art is being developed atEvans Home, and High Street wil beupgraded.n Viking Triangle in Waterford, pastReginald’s Tower, Christ ChurchCathedral, Bishop’s Palace (Museumof Treasures) the medieval FranciscanFriary and City HallnWild Atlantic Way, set to be Ire-land’s first long-distance touring route,stretching along the Atlantic coastfrom Donegal to West Cork.n GreenwayPhase2, the accclaimedcycle path from Connemara toOughterard.

FAMOUS FIVE FOR 2013The Titanic centre was the surprise of 2012

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Each of the ninelegendary Glensof Antrim has its

own personality. Thehaunts of championhurlers and carefreesheep, they spring to lifewhen the sun is low,gashing inland from thenorth eastern headlands,all sheer limestone, gran-ite and basalt rising fromthe splashy surf.The empty and beauti-

ful Glendun is the mostsplendid of them all. Turnback inland from picturepostcard Cushendun anddrive under the railwayviaduct on a little leafy,round the bend and mind-the-sheep road, red-pas-ture and rivulet-runnystunning.The landscape changes

suddenly, foxglovehedges and honeysucklegiving way to green val-leys. giving way in turn toblack brown moors andviews to the hills beyond,shadowy and purple.Each of the nine is

worth a small journeycross crossing the hills:Glentassie has a beautifuldrive from Ballycastle toArmoy of the RoundTower, Glenshesk is thesedgy Glen, Glencorp,Glenaan of the rushlights, Glenballyeamonn,Glenariff and Glencoy.

Adrian Morrowbrings me aroundthe garden centre

in the greenest of thenine, Glenarm, the Glenof the waterfalls with itsneat village of narrowstreets, and famous forestand gardens.People pay a fiver to

see it, the leading horti-

cultural garden in thenorth, with a famous 300-year-old hedge and themost famous home grownfigs in Ireland.It even bred its own po-

tato, the Dunluce spud. Itwas thought to be extinctbut a couple of years agothey found a French en-thusiast who had pre-served the strain. TheFrenchman very kindlyallowed them to takesome seedlings back toGlenarm and, a fewmonths later, they gath-ered expectantly to tuckinto the fruit ofAntrim in-genuity all those genera-

tions ago.It tasted like soap. “We

thanked the Frenchmanvery nicely for his kind-ness,” says Adrian.“And then we forgot

about it.”

Linzi Simpsonhosted us on a tourof the classical

Mussendun temple of theDownhill estate, built byFrederick Hervey the fa-mously amorous Bishopof Derry.The coastal view under

wide skies over Downhillbeach and Cúil Dabhchastrand over to Inishowen

was breathtaking, allalong a blustery the walkwith the ruined greathouse in the distance tothe graceful circular tem-ple perched on a head-land. It looks like a fortwhen view from the sea.The wind gets high

here. You were able torun a coach and fouraround the temple in for-mer years, nowadays thecoast has crept back to itsgraceful walls and thefoundations have had tobe reinforced to guaran-tee another few decades.In one storm the statue

of the bishop’s brother's

head got blown away andwas never found.The day ends with fab-

ulous Guinness onionsoup, peppered fillet andsticky toffee pudding atthe Bushmills Inn,washed down by MontesVal de Casablanc, whichof course was a preludefor the climax of theevening, the dram ofBushmills.

If you are thinking of akitchen floor tourguide in Dunluce

Castle, Hazel Porter, says,“use basalt flags. They

last about 400 years.”The McDonnell family

once owned 350,000acres stretching fromLarne to Donegal. Theymoved to Glenarm afterthe disastrous cliff col-lapse in Dunluce Castlewhen their lunch disap-peared in to the surf oneSunday.We are indeed standing

on amazingly hard wear-ing stuff, the bit of thekitchen that didn’t fallinto the sink. Great views,great location, pity aboutthe disappearing dinner.“Was it apple crumble”

asks one of the party...

Dunluce: dinner lost but much gained

Down the rushy glensEoghan Corry rambles through the storied glens of Antrim


SaffronAntrim a hotbed ofcreationism? How canthis have happened?

For all the fuss it has, erm,created, you would expect thecreationist exhibit at the Giant’sCauseway centre to be bigger.When they installed it has

put made the new centre fa-mous throughout the twilightzone of the internet.Tour guide Gavin Lapworth

defies me to find to offending

exhibit. It is not even a story-board, just a 55-second, equiv-ocal audio voiced over by ayoung male actor.You wonder why it the panel

was needed at all, because thewhole debate was summarisedneatly in a child-friendly fash-ion in the previous screen.Building a visitor centre on

such a large scale on a fragilesite was controversial in itsown right without any creation-ist input.

Róisín Heneghan’s visitorcentre works, a first impressionimpact on the eye that noamount of photographs or filmfootage cannot match, with itspoetic black basalty hard edges.It works because it looks as

accidental as the landscape.The construction materials wasquarried in Kilrea from thesame lava flow, sent to Con-nells in Killeel and came backto be fitted into place.

In the centre there is a topo-graphical map of the scale ofthe formations, not just themost famous locations of thewishing chair, Grand causeway,Giant’s boot and the amphithe-atre further down the coast.The Centre has excellent sto-

ryboards representing some ofthe local characters, includingJohn McKay, the tram boy,whose grandson posed for thephotograph.

“A lot of the exhibition isabout people,” Gavin Lapworthsays, “because it is just a pile ofstones after all.”The comfortable Causeway

Hotel has rooms that bring youwithin feet of the cliff walks,When you waken you can hopout your balcony door, scale thefence and look down on thesurf where the Spaniards losttheir mojo, or at least theirGirona.

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1STS is adding a 4th product to their port-folio this month, Boutique Journeys by Bren-dan Vacations, an all new collection ofpremium itineraries open to a maximum of 24guests (typical guided tours book up to 50guests) with more than 35 itineraries to 30emerging destinations such as South Africa,China, Thailand, Vietnam and South America.Each tour works on a guaranteed departurebasis. Sharon Jordan says that Boutique Jour-ney brochures will be with agents in the com-ing weeks. “1STS Rewards will reward agentsnot only for all bookings they make with ourfour brands but will also reward agents whoare quoting our product to customers.”TRAVEL CENTRES conferencewill be held at the Killashee House hotel inNaas, on November 8-9, the weekend immedi-ately after WTM (Nov 4-5). Entertainment willbe by the RPJ band, fronted by Rick Parfitt Jr(son of Rick Parfitt of Status Quo).WORLDCHOICE has recruitedtwo new members, O’Driscoll Travel in Mac-room and Phoenix Travel in Greystones. bring-ing membership to 57 (12 in the six counties).Other agents who have joined in recent monthsare East West Travel in Roscommon and Daw-son Travel in Cork. Contact Garry Zancanaroon 085 112 4197 or [email protected] have launched a newonline group booking engine which linksagents to 1m global group co-ordinators andtheir 40,000 hotel supplier partners. The sys-tem sends proposals to these co-ordinators whoprocess the requests to hotel sales contacts inthe requested destination. Bookabed says ratescan be as low as 70pc off normal room rates.WINNERS of the draw for ITAA standsat Holiday World Show Jan 25-27 2013 areArrow Tours, Cill Dara Travel, Rory McDyerTravel, Strand Travel, The Travel Broker andTour America.TRAVEL CENTRES latest re-cruit is 1Stop Travel Shop in Galway, ownedand managed by Colm McDonagh, bringingmembership to 68.VENUE for the 2013 ITAA conferencewill be announced at the Travel Etxra Travelwriter awards on Janaury 25th.WORLDCHOICE 2013 conferencewill be held on November 30th, venue to beannounced in the near future.FALCON unique products have seen a53pc increase year on year, Irish managerHelen Caron says. Sales of all inclusive holi-days are up by 34pc. Leila McCabe neeGiglione, formerly Panorama, is joining FalconHolidays as agency sales manager.THE ITAA have received confirmationof skillnets funding for 2013. It means that theextensive training programmes organised bythe Association can be continued.ENDA Corneille has left Aer Lingus after26 years and has now set up his own company,EC Gen Consulting.


Plastic problemsIrish Travel Agents have been

meeting with regulators thismonth to tackle a €200m hole in

the industry - double bonding fortravel agents.The issue of credit card bonding

was on the agenda for a series ofmeetings between the Travel AgentsAssociation and the Commission ofAviation regulation. CAR agreed towrite to the credit card cmpaniespointing out that their money is cov-ered under to the 82 bond at to dessitfrom demanding a separate bond.Credit card companies do not

recognise the bonding system and be-cause 38pc of travel business is trans-acted through credit cards, it meansthat more than €200m worth of travelbusiness is double bonded each year.This leads to extra stress on busi-

nesses, The Irish TravelAgentsAsso-ciation CEO Pat Dawson says,because cash is tied up in the bondunnecessarily, and because of theknock-on costs associated with theaccountancy and software pro-grammes.Before the most recent recruitment

drive, which has led to some of Ire-land’s biggest agencies rejoining the

ITAA, the reported turnover of ITAAmembers was the €1.1bn with an ex-pected growth of 10pc in 2012.Credit card payments are also more

likely to be honoured when an airlinecollapses. The Association is stillpursing the issue the issue of IATAcompensation.A year after the collapse of Malév,

agents are no nearer getting compen-sation payments from IATA.Pat Dawson says “that this is in

contrast with the speed with whichIATAhas moved against travel agentsin the past.”

Over €200m of travel bookings in Ireland are tied up in a complex double bonding arrangement

Agents pay double bond for 38pc credit card sales

IATA has stepped up itsdebate with the majordistribution aggregators

with the publication of anindependent study identify-ing major trends that aretransforming the travel dis-tribution landscape.The Future of Airline

Distribution – A LookAhead to 2017 was con-ducted by HenryHarteveldt, co-founder ofAtmosphere ResearchGroup.“What airlines don’t

want are distribution chan-nels that present all airlinesas equally substitutablecommodities. Airlineswant, and expect, their dis-tribution partners to offerpassengers helpful contex-tual information to makewell-informed purchase de-

cisions, reducing the num-ber of reservations madebased primarily or exclu-sively on price.”Harteveldt said “airlines

have morphed into retail-ers. true merchants of theskies. As merchants, air-lines need systems that canhelp them not just distrib-ute their flights, but mer-chandise their products andvalue across the channelsthat make sense, online andoffline, direct and indirect,at sensible costs.”

According to the study:n Travel is the singlelargest e-commerce cate-gory, led by airline ticketsales. “In the US, it’s esti-mated that business andleisure travellers willspend $85.7bn online forairline in 2012.”n The typical travel shop-per visits 22 websites in“multiple shopping ses-sions” before booking atrip but “travellers relyingsolely on third party web-sites would not receive all

the information needed tomake a fully informedpurchase decision.”n Passengers are morelikely than the generalpopulation to own smart-phones and tablet devices,with substantial growthexpected due to these de-vices’ growing capabili-ties. Passengers showstrong interest in usingmobile devices to plan andbook flights, illustratingtheir comfort with thesedevices.n By 2017, Harteveldt ex-pects 50pc of online directbookings will be made onmobile devices, with evenmore ancillary purchasesmade through mobile,given the devices’ porta-bility and ease of use.


GLOBAL VILLAGE Inside the Travel Business

Consultant Henry Harteveldt and Tony Tyler of IATA

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The 2013 Irish Travel IndustryAwards will be presented on Jan-uary 24th, but plans for the 2014

Irish Travel IndustryAwards are alreadyunderway.The Mansion House is set to remain

the venue with the pre-dinner drinkssponsored by Ons Stop Travel Shop, at anew venue. At a function for the spon-sors in the Residence on Stephen’sGreen, ITAApresident Clare Dunne and

CEO Pat Dawson told guests, includingtwo new sponsors, of their ambitions.The Association has a new charity,

Zest for Kids, chosen because of theirassociation with Katie Taylor. Everyyear the ITAA sends €5,000 to thebenevolent fund. ITAA President ClareDunne (pictured) told the sponsors: “wewill do every thing we can to help yourbusiness, increased business for you isincreased business for us.”

Brittany Ferries celebrates 40years in business this year, andthe 35th year of its operation

from Cork to Roscoff.Since it was set up by three farmers,

led by the charismatic Alexis Gourven-nec, on New Year’s Day 1973, when afreight ship, Kerisnel, with lorriesloaded with artichokes and cauliflowersthe company that has grown over thepast 40 years to five routes between theUK and France, three routes between the

UK and Spain, plus one from France toIreland. Brittany Ferries’ flagship, PontAven, at 41,700 tonnes, is almost twentytimes the size of Kerisnel which hadvery little by way of creature comforts.Each of Pont Aven’s 650 cabins is air-conditioned and has en-suite facilities.Some even have balconies.Picture shows the Brittany Ferries

Irish manager Hugh Bruton and Londonbased CEO David Longden carrying acelebratory cake.

Bookabed celebrated the new yearwith a launch to UK and NIagents and a new cross channel

website,bookabed.co.uk.Former Funway Holidays Interna-

tional head of sales Darren Hall has beenappointed as head of sales in England.Managing director Karl Tyrrell said it

was always the intention to expand thebed bank across channel."For the past twelve months we have

been redeveloping our online trade-onlybooking engine in readiness to launch tothe UK trade. We are in the final stagesof XML integration with all leadingpartners to maximise distribution reach."Bookabed is planning to expand intoAustralia and the US this year.Our picture shows Lee Osborne,

Fiona Farrelly and Karl Tyrrell accept-ing their prize at the Irish Travel Indus-try awards last year.

Aredeveloped website, e-ticket-ing, and new holiday destina-tions in Iceland, Burma and

Mexico are among the new year devel-opments for Travel Department, for-merly The Travel Department.Changes include a new logo, new

website with a cleaner layout, improvedsearch functions and landing pages,eCRM (online customer relations man-agement) and updated social media

channels, supported by an on and off-line media campaign.The company also operates out of

UK, Canada and the USA and has alsojust launched its new identity and web-site in the UK.Tim Williamson, CEO says the new

website (www.traveldepartment.ie) isdesigned to ensure that online elementsare in keeping with the philosophy of of-fering a friendly, personal service.

Sunway has launched an increasedprogramme for 2013 with flightsfrom Dublin, Cork, Shannon,

Knock and Kerry airports to 16 coun-tries around Europe offering a choiceover 50 resorts and 500 hotels to Irishholidaymakers, including new destina-tion Corfu with flights from Dublinstarting on June 9.Choices start from €349 for a 7 night

holiday including flights, self cateringaccommodation, free 20kg baggage al-

lowance, resort representative serviceand all taxes. Sunway also offersWorld-wide, USA& Canada,Winter Sun, Lap-land, Club Med, Sunsail, Neilson,Escorted Tours, Adventure Holidays,Cruise & River Cruise.Picture shows Sunway founder Jim

Furlong, who co-founded the companyin 1965, CEO Tanya Airey andDomingo Monteagudo from PrincesaYaiza Hotel in Lanzarote at the Sunwaylunch for trade and media.

The 20pc increase in air capacityto NewYork city (see page 62) isgood news for John Donohue and

his team at NYC & Company.Our picture shows a group of agents

on a NYC & Company fam trip to NewYork. with the twin themes of shopping(They stayed at the Hilton Millennium,located right beside Century 21) and theBorough of Queens: Fiona Egan ofGogan Travel, Jolanta Myskow of BCD

Travel, Gail Dalgarno of Carlson Wag-onlit, Tracy McLoughlin of Tour Amer-ica, Teresa Murphy of Delta Air Lines,John Donohue of NYC & Co, SharonBoles of Travel Broker, Regina Curranof Tullys Travel, Sylvia Smith ofNeenan Travel and Martina Gallagher ofAmerican Express. The trip included aCircle Line cruise and a look at valuehotel options in Long Island City justacross East River from midtown.


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IAG had its best every year for rev-enue in Ireland in 2012, Simon Dalytold a thank you dinner for the Trade

in the Westbury Hotel in Dublin.BA brought agents from Belfast,

Cork, Dublin and Limerick together tocelebrate an exciting year of expansion.BA transfers through Heathrow air-

port continue to hit record numbers de-spite the arrival of serious competitionon transfer routes form the Middle East

airlines. Passenger numbers for the first10 months of 2012 between Dublin andHeathrow are up 25,220 over 2011.Simon also confirmed that BA will

operate eight flights daily out of Dublinairport during the summer of 2013,something that was not automatic be-cause of the pressure on slots created bythe terms of its takeover of BMI lastyear. “Dublin is the ideal use of many ofslots with the quick turnover time.”

Ireland’s largest outbound tour oper-ator Falcon Holidays promised a sur-prise or two as they celebrate their

25th anniversary in IrelandThe business was started in Novem-

ber 1988 by Freddy O’Neill andGabrielle Malone as an offshoot of Fal-con’s English operation, and is nowowned by TUI Thomson.They launched the 2013 programme

highlighting with a high profile TV cam-

paign featuring the Sensatori product inSharm El Sheikh. For Irish holiday mak-ers, a new charter service to Tenerife andthe Gran Santa Ponsa Pirates Village,which is not available on any other bedbanks, is proving popular.Our picture shows the Falcon Holi-

days team at Chapter One restaurant,January 10 2012, Niamh Kenny, Char-lotte Brenner, Carol Ann O'Neill, HelenCaron and Leila McCabe nee Giglione.

If 2011 was the year that Etihadmoved from seven to ten flights aweek, 2012 was the week when dou-

ble daily was confirmed on the arrivalsboard, despite the arrival of a competitorto the Middle East.Due to aircraft availability double

daily will not be happening before 2016which is a peculiarly long time away ininternational aviation but in the mean-time we are likely to see significant ca-

pacity increases on Dublin-Abu Dhabi.“It shows is that we are here for the

long term,” DaveWalsh, the new Irelandmanager for Etihad told his invited tradeguests from all parts of the country at afunction in Pichet restaurant in Dublin.The airline confirmed that the route is

the 10th most profitable on its schedule.Etihad expects to carry its one millionthpassenger on Dublin-Abu Dhabi route inthe first half of next year.

United Airlines’ Yvonne Mul-doon, the Doyle Collectionhotel group, Destination DC’s

Alicia Malone, and Bikethesites’Cather-ine Pear manage to get some of Ireland’sfinest (and flabbiest) travel writers andbroadcasters pedalling through theWashington Mall.United’s service commenced in May

and was profitable after the first month.It operates on a 757-200 with 16 flat bedbusiness class seats and 45 economy

plus seats on the 169-seater aircraft.Pictured form left are Gerry Benson

of Travelbiz, Brian Farrell of the SundayWorld, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra,Padraig McKiernan of the Sunday Inde-pendent, Yvonne Muldoon of UnitedAirlines, Philip Nolan of the Mail onSunday, Michael Flood of Irish TravelTrade News, Alicia Malone of Destina-tion DC, and Fionn Davenport of New-stalk 106 FM, Andrew Lynch of theEvening Herald was also on the trip.

Trazoo’s triumph in the Travel,Tourism & Hospitality Award atthe Eircom Spider Awards 2012

is testimony to the zeal and determina-tion of Cooraclare born brothers Joe andPádraig Neylon.Unlike other flash sale sites, visitors

to Trazoo just fill out a simple enquiryform with information of where they'dlike to go, and Trazoo allows hotels andhostels to bid for that booking. Users log

back in and can book and confirmwhichever one suits the best. A ValueAdded section allows hotels and hostelsto offer or promote additional serviceslike airport collections, night-club entryor meals. These offers are only visible toTrazoo users and may not available any-where else.The pictures from the awards shows

Joe Neylon, presenter Des Bishop,Niamh O'Riordan and Pádraig Neylon.

Vroom with a view, you mightcall it. One of the most excitingdevelopments in the Irish travel

scene has been the nurturing of motor-cycle tourism and motorcycle rental oniconic road journeys such as Route 66by Maynooth based tour operator CelticHorizons. Motorcycle rental was intro-duced just 20 years ago in the USA.Biking is one of founder David

Brazil’s passions. In particular charity

groups such as Crumlin and TempleStreet Hospitals have participated ingroup travel motorcycle holidays inpartnership with Eagle Rider Tours.Here Tryphavana Cross from Las

Vegas tourism is pictured speaking at thelaunch of the 2013 Celtic Horizons andEagle Rider programme at ThunderRoad restaurant in Temple Bar, includ-ing an eight day “Las Vegas NationalParks” self-drive itinerary


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Brendan Breen of the Travel Department, Dave

Walsh of Etihad and Colman Burke of Club

Travel at the Etihad Christmas function

Volker Lorenz of Amadeus and Sharon Jordan ofOne Stop Travel Shop at the Irish Travel AwardsLaunch

Karen Keogh and Graham Aldren of British Air-

ways with Rhona McCann from FCM at the

British Airways function for the trade

Cormac Walsh of Joe Walsh Tours, Murat Balandiof Turkish Airlines and John Cassidy of CassidyTravel at the Star Alliance Christmas functionErica Archer and Suzanne Furlong at the Sun-way travel trade event

Valerie Metcalfe of FCM and Des Abbott of DesAbbott Travel at the Etihad Christmas function inPichet restaurant

Jeanette Taylor from Sunway, Helena Kilduff and

Ciara Masterson from Skytours at the Sunway

travel trade lunch

Charlotte Brenner and Dave O'Connor at teh Fal-con Hlolidays media fucntion in Belfast.

Alan Clarke, NITB CEO, Stormont Tourism Minis-

ter Arlene Foster and Martin McCrossan from

Derry City Tours at the NITB showcase n

Dublin’s Mansion House.

DonnaKenny of Classic Resorts presentsAnneDon-nelly of Kellers with her prize at theWorldchoice cruiseand long haul workshop, withGarry Zancarano on left

Philip Airey and Richard Cullen at the Sunwaytravel trade lunch in Peploe’s

Margaret Shannon from Emirates accepts theaward from Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Irelandand Ruairi Kavanagh, Editor, InBusiness Magazine

Marian Benton of Map Travel with Tanya Aireyand Deirdre Sweeny of Sunway at the British Air-ways function for the trade

Mary Denton and Anita Kelly from Sunway at the

Sunway travel trade event

Claire Farmer, Sarah Jane Walsh, Martin Pen-rose and Catherine Murray on the Topflightworldwide fam trip to the Maldives

Lisa Whelan of CWT and Tony Collins of Topflightat the Etihad Christmas function in Pichet

MEETING PLACE Out and about with the Travel Trade

Jimmy Lennox of World Travel Centre and JohnCassidy of Cassidy travel at the Etihad Christ-mas function

Simon Daly of British Airways, Joanne Boyd of

American Airlines and Brian Thompson of Iberia

at the British Airways function for the trade,

Westbury Hotel

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Page 77: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

Des Abbott, Alan Benson and Pat Dawson at the

British Airways function for the trade


Jackie Herssans of SHGI and Karen Maloney of

Etihad at the Etihad Christmas function in Pichet


Tom Kiernan of Ask Susan and Aidan Coghlan ofWorld Travel Centre at the Etihad Christmasfunction in Pichet restaurant

Sally Lee, Geraldine Hayes, Carol Glynn andTara Hynes of British Airways at the British Air-ways function for the trade,John Grehan amd Chris Merriman at the Topfli-ight Christmas function.

Jim Furlong and Tanya Airey at the Sunwaytravel trade lunch in Peploe’s December 5 2012

Darach Culligan and Brian Fulton at the Sunway

pre-Christmas travel trade lunch in Peploe’s

Gráinne Nolan, Cassidy Travel Blanchardstown.Gráinne is pictured being presented with herprize of a Shopping Trip for 2 to Manchester byRory Creagh, Agency Sales, Celtic HorizionTours

Paddy Baird of Killester Travel and Darach Culli-

gan of Darach Culligan Travel at the British Air-

ways function for the trade

Tom Donoghue of Strand Travel and MichaelCaslin of 747 Travel at the Etihad Christmasfunction in Pichet restaurant

Jimmy Lennox, Yvonne Lennox of World TravelCentre and Alan Neenan of Breakaway at theBritish Airways function for the trade

John Spollen of John Cassidy Travel and ClareDunne, President o fthe ITAA, at the British Air-ways function for the trade

Eric Severson of eagle Rider, Ciara Corcoran,

Tryphavana Cross and David Brazil of Celtic

Horizons at Celtic’s Thunder Road promotion

Christine Scully, Donna Holohan, Denise Quinnand Ann Mullins on the Topflight worldwide famtrip to the Maldives.

Colette Desmond of Manning Travel receives her

prize from Rebecca Kelly of MSC with Garry

Zancarano of Worldchoice

Jean Quigley of the ITAA and Sinead O’Reilly ofTravelport at the launch of the Irish Travel Indus-try awards.

David Hyeems of Trailfinders, Mary McKenna ofTour America and Colman Burke of Club Travelat the British Airways function for the trade

MEETING PLACE Out and about with the Travel Trade

Helen Caron of Falcon and Dave Walsh of Etihadlaunch of the Irish Travel Industry awards.

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Page 78: Travel Extra Holiday World edition


Busman’s holiday: Helen CaronEvery month we ask a leadingtravel professional to write abouttheir personal holiday experi-ence. This month: Helen Caron,Ireland Manager of Falcon Holi-days, who celebrate their 25thanniversary in Ireland this year.

There is something very specialabout Majorca that draws meback time and time again!

Arriving in Palma, I never fail to bemesmerised by the stunning Gothiccathedral that dominates the bay morethan any of the mega cruise ships thatcall on a daily basis.And I’m not alone in loving the Is-

land, Catherine Zeta Jones, MichaelDouglas, Claudia Schiffer and BorisBecker can all be seen here on a regularbasis.On my last visit, we dined on tapas in

one of the many great restaurants inPalma’s old town. The dulcet tones of

the woman at the next table were hugelyfamiliar to us, we thought we recognisedher face but it was only when her com-panion asked,When will I see you again? that we re-

alised we were sitting next to the ‘leg-endary’ Three Degrees Sheila

Fergusson!The time before that, the Spanish foot-

baller Javi Martinez sat at the next table– now he is easy on the eye but it tookmy football mad Mother to point himout to her daughters!I got married in Majorca! The stun-

ning Villa Italia in Port d’Andraxtx hasamazing views of the harbour, sea andthe Tramuntana mountains.My ceremony was carefully planned

on the terrace as the sunset, so you canimagine how gutted I was to wake up onthe big day to one of the worst stormsMajorca had experienced in years.The rain lashed down all day and no

amount of Cava could dull the realitythat there was no plan B! But, the Islandhas never let me down!The rain stopped, the sun came out

and we had just enough time for theAn-glican vicar of Palma to pronounce ushusband and wife!Every time I go back to Majorca I dis-

cover something new but I have somefavourite haunts…Tapas in the old town of Palma is a

must, as is people watching in the chicPuerto Portals, Sunday lunch in CalaConills and cocktails in the amazingAbaco bar…ignore the price and enjoythe experience!The Soller railway which takes you

from Palma through the mountains andtunnels of the Serra de Tramuntana tothe charming town of Soller is a greattrip, as is a visit to Valdemossa whereChopin lived and worked.Writing about Majorca today on a

cold, wet January morning brings backsome great memories. I can see blueskies, warm sunshine and feel the greatwelcome of the Majorcan peopleI feel the need of a quick fix and that’s

another thing that is great about the Is-land, it’s perfect for a weekend getawayas well as your main summer holiday!

Tapas in the old town of Palma is a must. Right: Soller bay


This year more airlines aregoing out of their way to tryto sell us more comfortable

seats.The reason is clear. Fares are

down and fuel prices are up, soanything extra they can squeeze outof us is good news.Business class prices have

plunged since the recessions hitcorporate budgets. Premium econ-omy is the way to go for trans-At-lantic airlines, selling a few inchesmore legroom for a hundred euro.

That sounds great, if you knowwhat you are getting. But the prob-lem with premium economy andeven business class, is it means dif-ferent things to different airlines.Sometimes it means differentthings on the same airline, on a dif-ferent aircraft.Aer Lingus are up front on their

Malaga flight. They will chargeextra for premier class legroomwhen they use their trans-AtlanticA330 on the route, without premierclass service.

With some of the older craftbusiness class does not even haveseat back video, whereas it is thenorm in economy class in moremodern craft.With a convergence towards

three broad types of economy classfare, is there a case that an agency,such as IATA, should work towardssome level of standardisation oftypes, or at least naming conven-tions, to reduce public and cus-tomer confusion?


Available to Travel Agents or onlineFeb 11 2013

AWARDSISSUEWho wonwhat in the2012 travelIndustryawardsSPRINGTRENDS


Page 078 window seat r 11/01/2013 15:38 Page 1

Page 79: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

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Page 80: Travel Extra Holiday World edition

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