Monday, 22 June 2015

13 depressing reviews of Ireland’s most famous landmarks


IRELAND IS GENERALLY accepted by the international community to be a beautiful country full of history, the land of saints and scholars (and Guinness, of course).
But a few of those who have actually been to these shores want to debunk that myth.
Read on and discover the myriad and baffling ways our lovely landmarks have been found lacking.

1. The Burren: “A barren area.”

The_Burren,_ClareSource: Wikipedia
Leave it to the Irish to make this barren area a tourist attraction!
No, it’s the BURREN. Not the Barren, silly.

2. The Spire: “Related to the fight against drugs.”

Spire-of-DublinSource: Wikimedia
Walking in O’Connell Street this high needle I was really upset! Its meaning related to the fight against drugs, but it is beautiful… It’s frightening!
Beautiful but frightening. Ireland in a nutshell, really.

3. Molly Malone: “If that’s what you’re into.”

Dublin-Molly-MaloneSource: Wikimedia
This busty statue seems to be a place tourists go just to grope busty Molly and have their photo taken doing it.
Who’s groping our Molly? Reveal yourselves.

4. Giant’s Causeway: “A small mound of geometric rocks.”

Giant's_Causeway_(14)Source: Wikimedia
After seeing thousands of pictures of the Giant’s Causeway in magazines and on TV imagine my bemusement to see a very small mound of geometric rocks and to realise that “This is it”.
Natural phenomena are so boring, amirite?

5. Dublin Zoo: “Animals in captivity.”

DublinZooEntranceSource: Wikimedia
A nice place except they have animals in captivity.
Everything we thought we knew about zoos is wrong. Wrong!

6. The Hill of Tara: “Full of sheep poo.”

A lovely green field, full of sheep poo. Oh yeah, a wishing tree. I can hardly contain my excitement. The only plus to a visit here is coffee shop.
We’re just trying to give you the authentic Irish experience. Sheesh.

7. Aillwee Cave: “A handful of small stalactites.”

aillweecavesSource: Flickr/quelgar
Tour was 20 minutes, and you’d get more satisfaction from looking at the formations in your freezer.
*heads off to look in freezer*

8. Dublin Castle: “Nothing compared to Versailles castle in France.”

dublincastleSource: Wikimedia
The area you visit is very small and most of the old furnitureswere removed. This was nothing compared to places like versai [sic] castle in France
Funny, that.

9. St Patrick’s Cathedral: “A bell-ringing team of monkeys.”

DublinStPatricksCathedral_adjustedSource: Wikimedia
The bell-ringing team must surely be comprised of either monkeys or children for them to sound so terrible.
Dammit, they’re onto us.

10. Cahir Castle: “Depressing.”

Cahir_Castle,_Tipperary_County,_Ireland_(6961416840)_(2)Source: Wikimedia
So much of the history of this castle had to do with hardships and attacks on the castle. It was interesting, but I left feeling sort of depressed.
Ugh. Can’t you have like, happier history?

11. Cork City Gaol: “Dull and dark.”

The building is nice as well as the view outside the location. However, I found the place a bit dull and dark.
Again. Ireland. With your depressing castles and scary jails. What are you like?

12. Christchurch Cathedral: “A holy supermarket.”

Christ_Church_Cathedral_(Dublin)Source: Wikimedia
If you have to pay €6 to go into a church that has absolutely nothing (it’s more like a holy supermarket) how much would you have to pay to enter St Peter’s in Rome??!!
Well, you know what they say. Christchurch wasn’t built in a day.

13. Christchurch Cathedral (again): “Gave me the spiritual willies.”

(Ireland)_Dublin_Christ_Church_CathedralSource: Wikimedia
Gorgeous architecture like any old European cathedral, but it gave me the spiritual willies.
Did you hear that – willies! Guards. Burn this ancient cathedral to the ground.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Stop Being an Idiot Abroad

There has been a lot of media coverage in the past few days regarding Elanor Hawkins, a young Brit arrested for stripping on a sacred Malaysian mountain. I am angered by some of the comments I have seen coming from people in Britain. "Malaysia should be ashamed of themselves" from one commentator on yahoo, "How can a place be sacred" said another "Cameron should step in".

Even worse than these, one of those arrested a blogger by the name of Emil Kaminski, shows absolutely no remorse for this blatant disrespect. Elanor, to her credit, has acknowledged what she did is wrong and apologies. Kaminski still insists "it's just a mountain". Try doing that in St Peters Bascillica, you'll find the Malaysians are going easy comparatively. 

This is the kind of arrogance that many in western cultures (particularly in the UK and Ireland) have been guilty of for years. I'm referring to endless stories of anti social behavior, primarily in Spanish resorts. A recent comment thread on the Lad Bible regarding the drinking laws in Magaluf had many comments along the lines of "we can do what we want, we're bringing in money". Did you know, it is possible to have fun abroad without shaming your entire nation?

When will these people learn, when you are going to other countries, you have to respect their cultures. It may be "just a mountain" to you, but to local people it can be sacred. Just as a church is "just another building".

I can't begin to fathom what enjoyment people get from getting completely drunk and making a nuisance of themselves, or donning Hitler masks near a Jewish cemetery, or like above, stripping naked on a sacred site. What possible purpose could that serve? How are any of those things fun or enjoyable?

I write this post in the hope that some of these people will see sense, but I know that ignorance like this is not easily battled.

Thankfully, these are in the minority, but they are much louder than the rest of us and as such make us all look bad.

Friday, 5 June 2015

How to get cheap flights

First things first, this relates primarily to what we call "legacy carriers" British Airways, Virgin, American Airlines etc. Low cost airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet have a different pricing model.

Airlines have many different ways of setting prices on their tickets. It depends on the route, seat availability, how long you are staying etc. These rules change from time to time, and a lot of it is down to blind luck.

The trick is finding out what set of rules result in the cheapest tickets. It used to be the case that booking a return ticket was cheaper than a one-way, so people could just not show up to the return flight if they wanted a one-way or multi-city trip. It also used to be the case that waiting until the last minute resulted in cheaper flights, once you weren't too bothered about where you actually went. This is still true in certain cases if a travel agent or tour operator has bought airline seats in bulk and needs to get rid of their remaining stock.

A few years back, there was a lapse in the federal taxing system in the USA which resulted in the tax on airlines expiring and resulted in hundreds of passengers getting very cheap transatlantic flights, and there have been numerous instances of computer errors that resulted in cheaper flights.

But there are ways and means of getting consistently cheaper flights, taking advantage of the airlines own pricing rules.

I have come across this knowledge, to a certain degree, from working as a travel consultant, but for those who have not worked in the travel industry, there is a much better way to learn. There is a book available, written by Henry Rustkirk that will give you all this information, and more. I would recommend anyone to get it and read it, it could save you a massive amount on your next holiday! Check out the Guide Here.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Tel Aviv Loves all Genders

'Tel Aviv Loves all Genders'
Asia's Largest Gay Parade (12.6) Expected to Draw
Record 180,000 Participants from Israel and Around the World

This Year's Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade to focus on supporting the Transgender Community. 2014 Eurovision starConchita Wurst to arrive in Tel Aviv to participate. Events ?include parade along the city's world-famous beach, LGBT culture festival, film festival, conferences, ongoing chill-out beach and Tel Aviv's largest ever Gay Party (to host 7,000 party-goers at the City's football stadium).

The "Nonstop City's" 17th Annual Pride Festival will be taking place between June 7-12, with its highlight being the City's largest ever gay parade, with an expected all-time record 180,000 participants (2014 saw 130,000 participants in the parade) ? making it Asia's largest ever gay pride event. This year's events will focus on supporting the Transgender Community, a fact that made Eurovision Star Conchita Wurst (Austrian Winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest) decide to come to Tel Aviv to perform in the parade.

Tel Aviv has, in recent years, become one of the world's leading and most famous gay tourist destinations, thanks to its tolerant atmosphere, warm weather (300 days of sun a year), famous culinary scene and world-leading nightlife scene. ranked Tel Aviv as the "World's Best Gay Tourism Destination", Lonely Planet considers Tel Aviv one of the world's Top 10 hedonistic city breaks and CNN ranked the city as 'one of the 10 best gay honeymoon hotspots'. The estimated 30,000 international visitors to the parade are expected to spend 40% more than general tourists, staying an average of 3.5 nights in the city.

Yaniv Weizman, Member of Tel Aviv City Council (Portfolio of the Gay Community):
?"We are pleased to see the vision we have cultivated this year - pride events reflecting the diversity of the LGBT community, and bringing the transgender community to the forefront - become a reality. Tel Aviv celebrates all those who help make it, every day, the city that loves all genders."

Hila Oren, CEO of Tel Aviv Global:
"The Nonstop City is proud to host LGBT visitors from around the world for this year's Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade. In Tel Aviv, there is a place for everyone, regardless of gender, religion, lifestyle or sexual orientation. In Tel Aviv we celebrate our differences - and we believe that the people are what makes our city - whoever you are - there's a place for you in Tel Aviv."

For more information please refer to the website at: