Malta Miscellany


MB had previously travelled to Malta in November 1989 to watch the (Italia 1990) World Cup football qualifier game between Ireland and the home nation. Ireland needed to win to qualify and did so 0-2, compliments of two John Aldridge goals. Read More

Limerick


The city of Limerick lies on the Shannon & Abbey Rivers in Ireland’s south-west, 12 miles from HX, give or take. It dates from Viking days, circa 800 AD, although there were older settlements in the locality. The architecture is primarily Georgian, with many buildings built from red brick and containing impressive Georgian-style doorways. The population is approximately 100,000, making it the Nr 3 city in Ireland. Sport is huge; with hurling, soccer and rugby (in particular) to the fore.  Read More

Weekly Photo Challenge – Admiration


Admiration.

MB admires very much the unpaid volunteers from his home community who man the Lough Gur lake Heritage Centre. As well as giving of their daily time to look after the shop and interactive displays for visiting tourists, they also act as guides for those who wish to gain some knowledge of local monuments. Some of those same monuments date back over 6,000 years.

Check out www.loughgur.com for further info on MB’s home locality.

The Lough Gur Heritage Centre

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A local Guide with a group of visiting tourists at the Grange Stone Circle

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Trip Home – The End!


MB is well & truly done with the trip home photos after this one. Read More

That was the week that was


It’s the end of another Middle East week and the Friday/Saturday weekend looms large. Seems like it was only a day or two back when the week actually started. This last one just zipped along for sure. Maybe the older you get the quicker the weeks fly by. The end of your time gets closer and time speeds up it seems.  Maybe it’s something to do with Einstein and his waves. Einstein’s always coming up with stuff to explain stuff it seems. When he was alive at least. But back them nobody had a clue what he was on about. Just like now. E=MC2. Ya right.
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10 Random Shots – June 2015


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Lakes, tourists, Canadians


Introduction by MB
In recent weeks, MB has introduced you all some more to his Grange/HX homeland and to some of its scenery and characters. In a post of last week, he mentioned that his Mom operated a farm guesthouse during MB’s growing-up years and after, and that many friendships endure from those days to the present. One such friend is BC from Canada.

BC first visited Ireland in April 1976 and most recently in September 2015. She is a long-time follower of MBs HX blog and occasionally makes comment. During her recent September visit, MB had an idea to ask BC to take over his blog for one week, having a hunch that BC could write a good story. Even though she had never written much at all in her past she accepted the offer. How right MB was. Read More

1st Morning Home


Back in the Irish HX homeland. Went for an early morning wander:

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Connected


Connected.

An old two-carriage train connects the village of Chamonix in the French Alps to a hill station next to the Montenvers glacier. The thirty-minute train journey through the mountains is followed by a short cable car ride that connects the hill station to the glacier at the bottom of the glacial valley, almost. A walk on foot down some 450 steps completes the journey. For the unfit, the walk back up later on can be a struggle.

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Photo Story – 5 of 7


Istanbul is the most interesting city that MB has visited. Half the city lies in Europe and half in Asia. It has a wealth of history that rivals or betters most cities in the world and is a fascinating place to visit and wander about. Most visitors go to the old town to see the ancient walls of the city, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia Museum, the underground water cistern, or to take boat rides on the Bosphorus sea straights which divides the city into its two halves.

Taksim Square on the Asian side of the city is also a place of tourist pilgrimage for many visitors, partly due to the large scale street protests that took place there in recent years. There were many conflicting stories in the media at the time about what exactly the numerous groups who took part in the protests actually wanted. The protests started in the first instance as an attempt to stop the demolition of some trees in a park adjoining the square for the erection of an office block. Then they turned into anti-Government protests against various proposed laws. MB spoke to a young Turkish tour guide who took part in the protests during one of his visits to Istanbul who confirmed that many people had different agendas at the protests, but the one factor galvanising them all was a desire to stop the further Islamisation of Turkey.

Nowadays the Square’s majority occupants are the pigeons who swoop down in large numbers to eat the monkey nuts scattered by the tourists, who purchase the nuts from the street sellers. If you ever have to good luck to get to Istanbul, and get to wander around the square, take a walk down Istiklal Street (translates as ‘Independence Street’) which starts at the corner of the square just behind the monument, and which is the primary shopping street in the city. It’s about one mile long and has a great array of shops, food to die for, and many street entertainers.

MB gives you one of his shots of Istiklal Street to give a flavour:

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Off-Season


Off-Season.

The grandstand and hotel at Meydan horse racing track in Dubai is a hive of activity from November to March. Outside of that period the hotel still operates at a reasonable but reduced level of occupancy. On the track only maintenance works take place to keep all ship-shape for the following season.

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Goa – Why to Goa!


The ‘photo analysis’ post of a week or so back attracted some negative comment.  Read More

Museum Of Islamic Art (Inside) – Doha, Qatar


MB is presently in Doha. Read More

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance


Local sheep endure traffic, harsh weather and limited vegetation at the Vee mountain pass, Knockmaeldown Mountains, Ireland. But last week was all blue skies and sunshine. Read More