Category Archives: Travel

An Irish goat in Morocco


I had been to North Africa before. The exact timing is hazy but I suspect it was in 2007 that a small group of us travelled to Egypt, and I ended up in a situation where an obstreperous camel pissed on my brand new designer trainers, beside the Pyramids. Egypt was spectacular but I still bear a grudge against that camel. It was time for my return to the continent. My destination – Morocco. Continue reading An Irish goat in Morocco

My Nova Scotia adventures

‘One of your finest seats please’, said I to the check-in lady at the Westjet desk in Dublin Airport.

‘I am sorry Mr. Murphy, but you have no visa to travel to Canada’, said she.

‘Oh, but I do,’ said I with a smug chuckle. I had applied for, and received my eTA (electronic travel authorisation) three days earlier.

It turned out however that I had entered the wrong passport number when applying. My eTA was invalid and therefore I was not allowed to board.

My heart sank. I had been warned about this. Continue reading My Nova Scotia adventures

A visa for Canada


While pondering on how to successfully poach an egg – while eating one – in the canteen at work in the Wastelands this morning, I started eavesdropping on the conversation beside me. A colleague was describing her son’s summer working holiday in Canada, and about how he has just started work in a distribution centre in Vancouver. How sweet, I thought, to be nineteen years old and traveling for the first time. I inquired whether or not he’d need a visa to work there. Unsurprisingly the answer was yes. Of course a visa is required to work on another continent. I mentioned my impending holiday to the Maritimes, and announced smugly that I wouldn’t need a visa. Continue reading A visa for Canada

Having a Bath


When I was invited to go to Bath I was excited. I had heard about this place – the reviews were positive. My knowledge of the city on the other hand was scant. I knew that it was built on hot springs and that the EU (otherwise known as the Roman Empire) had invaded and had built Roman baths there which lasted for centuries, until the Celts decided to ‘take back control’ and that ‘Brexit meant Brexit’ and kicked them out when the EU collapsed in the 5th century. That was it really. The links to Jane Austen (she lived there for four years between 1801 and 1804) and its proximity to Stonehenge were news to me. My sojourns to England tend to be to London or Brighton. This would be my first excursion to this part of the country. My travel companions were to be the members of a writing group that I am peripherally involved with. I have been to one of their meetings, but I’m friends with a regular attendee, so I decided to go. I wouldn’t encroach on their plans and would do my own thing, while availing of their company in the evening. It would be a more social style of travelling. Continue reading Having a Bath

A weekend up North


It was 10pm on Saturday night. I was festering on my sofa at home in Dublin, planning what to do for the remainder of the bank holiday weekend. A brainwave struck. I would take an early train to Belfast on Sunday morning; book an overnight stay at some flop house and travel back late on Monday evening. To confirm my intent I booked my train ticket and paid for an overnight stay. I also booked a day trip for Monday to see the Giant’s Causeway. Continue reading A weekend up North

Iceland adventures


I had no expectations of Reykjavik or Iceland. This is not a criticism – far from it. It’s just that I was in possession of very little knowledge about the country – save for its location on a map; a very vague knowledge of its settlement; the fact that it was volcanic; the name of its capital city; and that Bjork hails from this North Atlantic island. When WowAir did a last-minute flash promotion from Dublin to Reykjavik, I booked on a whim. Continue reading Iceland adventures