Newstalk March 18th Armchair Travel
This week Travel Wednesday takes a very different look at the world. I’ve put together some ways that we can travel and see the world close by or from our armchairs.
There are a lot of people disappointed having to cancel holidays and trips to places they were looking forward to visiting around the world. I think it is important to take a look at China and the hope that numbers are dropping in new cases and see that this too shall pass. We aren’t always going to be isolated and quarantined and although it is very difficult to be optimistic at the moment but there are some things that we can do and we are quarantined in one of the most beautiful places on earth that has been top of many lists all over the world. So we are still able to go out and get exercise in the parks and beaches and harbours. It’s also spring now so bright until 6.30 maybe even 7 on a good day which helps life the spirit.
Travel on your doorstep
I live in Howth and can see Lambay Island from my window and every weekend thousands of tourists come out to walk the cliff. We even had Kate and Will out a couple of weeks ago and they were chatting to locals saying what a lovely place it is to live. I also go quite often to St Annes Park because I love the wildlife, the birds and the squirrels everywhere.
Social Distancing must be observed no matter where you walk in the country.
With our medical services over stretched already the key is to be careful and mindful of yourself, don’t go off on a hike of the Spinc in county Wicklow which is about 9km if you will be exhausted and need assistance but hill walking in Wicklow is exhilarating. The lakes at Glendalough are surely some of the most beautiful in the world if you get any sunshine at all. There are other spots that are a little gentler such as the Djouce 4.5km- There’s a great website called https://visitwicklow.ie/all-walks/# and I recommend going on it to see the suggested lengths and difficulty.
There are lovely walkways open up all around the country now and this is time to build up to doing more – start off with half an hour and getting fresh air is good for us when most are cooped up all day in the house. Beaches are great places to enjoy wildlife and go picking shells with little ones take them home and paint them. Take your time – it is precious time to take stock and enjoy around you – wear warm clothes layers. Portmarnock strand is a beautiful long beach and there are beaches in Killiney, Donabate to explore but please maintain social distancing at this time.
Why not try visit a new beach – be a tourist in your own county. Those in Cork, Kerry and Galway are spoiled with beautiful walks and the hidden heartlands have walkways and cycleways along the Shannon.https://www.irelandshiddenheartlands.discoverireland.ie/scenic-walking-trails/
Good time to become an amateur photographer too – if you get nice weather in the morning and if we get crisp clear mornings this will help.
What if you are quarantined and you can’t go out at all?
This is where the internet will help and this is an opportunity to experience some culture that you might have put off. Many Theatres and Galleries and museums around the world offer virtual tours of their rooms and exhibits.
Why not take a trip to New York for A Night at the opera. The Met Opera in New York is streaming some of its best loved operas this week https://www.metopera.org/
Staying in New York you can take a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In fact with google arts and culture you can take virtual tours of many museums. https://artsandculture.google.com/streetview/met
Galleries are open on line
Google have mapped out the interiors of some of the finest art museums and again you can reach them on this site – Take for example Botticelli’s Primavera – if you’d like to take a look at it on the walls of the Uffizi gallery you can go straight there using my link https://artsandculture.google.com/streetview/uffizi
But I can recommend if you want a good guide to some of the worlds very best paintings – go onto you tube and check out the khan academy they have made short five – to ten minute videos and they are free explaining art works…. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/
Most museums are accessible but I really love Van Gogh and his museum in Amsterdam is also worth a visit you will see a chronology of his life. https://artsandculture.google.com/streetview/van-gogh
This is a big year in Belgium for celebrating the work of Van Eyck as a new visitors centre will open in October in Ghent https://visit.gent.be/en/see-do/new-visitors-centre-st-bavos-cathedral
One of my favourite paintings is by Van Eyck and you can check it out with the Khan academy online too The Arnolifini Wedding Portrait hangs in the National Gallery in London and it’s a fascinating painting with lots of symbolism and imagery that tells a story. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/
If you would like some novel inspiration through the pages of the book look at my suggestions…