Wednesday 30 January 2008
In an earlier posting I flippantly remarked that climate change would stop the grumbles of tourists about the Irish weather. Well maybe not. A report commissioned by the National Trust (An Taisc with money and teeth) predicts that rising sea levels caused by melting ice caps will submerge the Causeway by the end of this century. Already stormier weather has increased the rate of erosion of the basalt hexagonal columns and is destroying the spectactular clifftop paths. The report "Shifting sands" was prepared by environmentalists at Queen's University Belfast and University of Ulster.
The lang range forecast: sea level rise 85-100cm by 2100, more extreme storm surges and extreme wave events. Samuel Johnson in the 18th century said about the Causeway "worth seeing, yes: but not worth going to see." Well maybe you should before it's too late
Thursday 24 January 2008
I really am just about sick of ryanair. In todays rss feed from the guardian (over to the right there) i see that they're going to increase their baggage charges and their check in fees again. And you can forget about bringing the skis and golf clubs. I challenge anyone to find a 1 euro flight out of dublin now for less than 40 with bags and check in. I dont necessarily begruge them maintaining their profits and i do have to worry about my carbon footprint, i just wish all these charges appeared on page 1 as opposed to playing the game of thinking you've got a great bargain (0.01cent) and wondering how did i get here(56.47euros)? Still there's no one i admire more in irish business, find more entertaining and stop what i'm doing to listen to than Michael O'Leary.
Tuesday 22 January 2008
The 2008 Lonely Planet Guide to Ireland has just been released. As Oscar Wilde might say "there's only one thing worse that reading about yourself ..." but if you're from Waterford or Bundoran you might not like what the Planet has to say. However I'd have to agree with their description of Temple Bar - "crappy tourist shops... dreadful restaurants serving bland overpriced food....huge characterless bars...". And as for Belfast "...hip-hotels and hedonism party town" makes it sounds more like Barcelona and Buenos Aires. I was a teenager in Belfast in the late70s when it should have been twinned with Beirut. Caed mille failte or whatever they say....
Monday 21 January 2008
Last week Failte Ireland announced that a record 7.8m visited Ireland in 2007, a growth of 5% on the previous year and according to Gillian Bowler (chairman of Failte Ireland) figures that outperformed our main northern European competitors. All these visitors managed to spend 6.5billion euros - which probably wasn't difficult given the price of eating out in Ireland. What they seemed to like most about us is the unspoiled scenery, our friendliness and the sense of security. What they didn't like was the weather (climate change will soon change that) signposting (Dingle or An Daingean?) and the cost of eating and drinking (I'll drink to that). The full details are included in Failte Ireland's End of Year review . So should we all be loyal and support the industry and holiday at home or is the lure of a weak dollar too good a bargain to resist?.
Saturday 19 January 2008
The Daily telegraph
recently reported on the latest convenience food fad - the edible bowl. Butt Foods in Birmingham has started making bowls and plates out of dough. once you've eaten the soup, curry whatever you eat the bowl too. Great idea that would have gone done well at the Mad hatter's tea party in Alice in Wonderland. As a kid it was always the idea that you could eat the ice cream and then the cone that interested me most. Whatever next - edible hats