Home & Away with Robert Walshe Despite the bad press that online hotel review sites have received lately, the majority of people still visit and trust Trip advisor and other hotel review websites when it comes to planning their holiday. The results showed that 87% of people will still visit one of these websites to help them when choosing their accommodation. Meanwhile Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar has started daily flights to Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport. Joining the airline’s aggressively expanding route map, Kigali is the third destination launched by the carrier so far this year and latest to the African continent. Further expansion is planned across East Africa during 2012 with new services to Mombassa, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro. For passengers traveling on Qatar Airways, they will have convenient access from the airline’s expansive route network to Rwanda, via the airline’s strategically positioned Doha hub. Key feeder markets include India, Australia, China, the United States and United Kingdom.
Weekend Hotspot Ballealy Cottage, Co Antrim
The Irish Landmark Trust saves heritage buildings throughout the island of Ireland that are at risk of being lost through neglect or inappropriate use; conserving and restoring these buildings so they can be let as holiday homes. This allows these wonderful heritage buildings to be enjoyed by the present and future generations. Irish Landmark Trust has had great success to date launching its first Northern Ireland project in 1999 at Ballealy Cottage on the Shane’s Castle Estate
in Randalstown on the shores of Lough Neagh Co Antrim. The properties appearance surrounded by mature woodland was built for the estate deer keeper by architect Richard Morrison.Ballealy” I am told by property manager Corin Smith was built around a tiny central courtyard and is entered through an arched passageway. The outbuildings include a venison store built from local blackstone, elaborate trefoil bargeboards, stone chimneys and a fascinating roofscape. It is set beside a stream at the end of a long lane surviving virtually intact but in very poor repair until it was offered to the Rural Cottage Holidays scheme for the trust who completed the restoration using lime plaster internally, repairing bargeboards and windows, rebuilding the chimneys but mindful of retaining original features such as a coal-fired laundry which captures your imagination of times gone by. The inside restoration manages to mix 20th century conveniences well including central heating , a cooking range, fridges, en suite bedrooms & a washing machine. Tranquil though the area seems today, history surrounds you with the O Neil’s of Clanaboye living next door at Shane’s Castle and Randalstown once the scene of a bloody battle in the 1798 rebellion named after the 2nd Earl and 1st Marquis of Antrim, Randal MacDonnell. The original stronghold of Edenduffcarrick was built in the 16th century and changed ownership repeatedly until it was renamed after the new owner, Shane Mc Brian O’Neill. The families still resides within the castle and enjoy a prominent position in Northern
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Ireland society. It’s also important to mention Lough Neagh & its environs inhabited since prehistoric times and evidence of the past can be found in an array of ancient religious sites, medieval ruins and historic houses. There are numerous species of fish within Lough Neagh such as Roach, Bream, Perch, Pollan, Brown trout, Dollaghan trout (a species common to Lough Neagh), Salmon and Eels. The fish are a valuable resource and have been caught ever since man arrived on its shore; in fact early Christian monks used the Eel for food and extracted its oil for lamps. Local people have fished the Lough and made a living from fishing for generations. Six major rivers flow into the Lough while the Lower Bann provides the exit, carrying water from the north end of the Lough at Toome to the sea on the north coast of Northern Ireland. For those with an interest in this vibrant area a family or group of up to five friends can rent Ballealy Cottage for a three weekend at £340 or a shorter weekend (Fri-Sun/Sat-Mon) at £245. Remember by staying at an Irish Landmark Trust property you are helping to secure the future of these
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fascinating heritage buildings. You can help to support the work of the trust by purchasing a gift voucher which makes an ideal wedding, anniversary or birthday gift. Randalstown is reached by taking the M2 motorway from Belfast. Leave the motorway, just after it becomes the M22, at the junction signed for Randalstown. www.irishlandmark.com
Weekly Best Buy
If you want a relaxing holiday which combines walking, sightseeing and spirituality then taking a Camino Ways pilgrimage could be just for you. The Camino Primitivo, or Original Way, is the first pilgrimage to Santiago de
Compostela and to the remains of St. James. The route, which is split into 2 walking sections, one of 10 nights and one of six nights, is quiet and unspoilt. Sights along the route include the Walled City of Lugo, the Embalse de Salime, which is the largest Spanish damn, and of course, the Cathedral de Santiago. Another exciting site along the route is the Cathedral of San Salvador which is home to a Romanesque statue of Christ that dates back to 100 years prior to the Camino. While on this pilgrimage, you will take part in a religious programme which includes a pilgrims mass in the Cathedral of San-
tiago de Compostela. There is also an evening mass every night, at 8pm, in the villages and towns which includes special benedictions for the pilgrims. During the trek, you will stay in accommodation, on a half-board basis, which has been hand-picked by the Camino Ways team. Camino Ways, the walking and cycling holiday specialists are now offering this pilgrimage holiday from just €590pps. www.caminoways.com Robert Walshe is a freelance contributor / broadcaster and Travel Editor for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland. www.robertwalshe.com
Home and Away Extra Kempinski Hotels has announced its reentry into Latin America with the signing of a management contract for a new luxury resort in Colón Province, Panama. Kempinski now has an active pipeline in the Western Hemisphere, including projects in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Rio de Janeiro. The new property is in a prime location on the coast of the temperate waters of the Caribbean Sea, near the town of Portobelo on the Northern Isthmus of Panama. Situated in a natural reserve, surrounded by rainforest, approximately an hour drive from Panama airport the beachside re-
sort will feature 106 luxurious rooms and suites – all with ocean view. Furthermore 75 Kempinski Residences are planned from which 40 are directly located at the sea. The entire hotel complex will be built over several levels and connected by terraces. The heart of the resort is a plaza, where restaurants, boutiques and entertainment will be available. An extensive pool and spa area as well as watersport facilities will round up the offers. The beautiful beachside resort is scheduled to open in late 2015. www.kempinski.com .
with Kathleen Murray
Why does my dog not listen to me? Have you ever gone for a walk with your dog and found that, when you met another dog or a person, your dog wouldn’t listen to you. You might have said “No” or “Sit” or “Stop” or anything that came to mind but the dog went on pulling, or barking. A deaf dog is something that is noticed very early in life, so if your dog is not deaf then it is simply ignoring you. If a dog is ignoring you then it is either because it doesn’t know what you are asking of it (because you haven’t taught it) or it doesn’t respect you enough... you are not worth it. Dogs want to check out other dogs so if you ask your dog to
do something in the presence of another dog then it is a good test to see if it will listen to you and do what you say. Getting a dog to listen to you has nothing to do with commands. All too often I hear people saying “Sit” or “Stay” or “Come here” and the dog completely ignores them. Commands are not a remote control they are just commands. If the dog doesn’t want to do them then it won’t. Getting a dog to want to listen to you in the first place is where the magic lies. How is it done? How do you hold your dog’s attention? You can get your dog’s attention by making a high pitched
sound, by holding out a piece of food, by holding up it’s favourite toy etc. This should have been started when you first met your dog. Dogs are a big novelty when they first arrive in a new home. They are often indulged because people want to be liked by their dog. The dog may be running from one person to the next to be petted or for a treat and then the owner may call the dog away from the fun to see if it may want to go out to the toilet. That moment is the beginning of the process. If the dog comes that is good. If the dog does not come, and the owner lets them away with it, then
the dog now knows that it does not have to listen to it’s owner or pay attention to them. Start as you mean to go on. This person did not follow through and make the dog come to them. Getting a dog to come to you should not be done in a loud, frustrated or abusive way. You can make a dog come to you either by using a lead, using a treat, making a sound, squeezing a toy etc etc., to encourage it. The dog should be rewarded immediately when it comes. If the owner does not follow through and the moment is lost, then there is no use in trying to get the dog to walk quietly on a lead or stop jumping
on visitors (because the dog has been taught to ignore the owner and it will not take them seriously if they now try to do something else with it). You need to spend time, energy, effort and a lot of patience with your dog so that it will listen to you and respect you.. You need to teach it that when you speak (once) it means something. An adult should always supervise training and playing when children are involved. Respect needs to be taught
and the lesson is easy if you have trust in the teacher. You need to set the ground rules very early and stick to them, that way you and your dog will listen to each other ,and then life will be so much easier. Trust and respect are very important. It’s a two way thing and they are the basis for any good relationship. Keep things simple, firm and calm.