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Home & Away with Robert Walshe BLUE Insurances and the direct brand, which is one of the islands suppliers of direct travel insurance, is advising customers to take out additional Flight Cancellation cover in view of the continuing travel disruptions due to the Volcanic Ash. This unique additional cover which does not exclude an Act of God provides cover for additional travel and accommodation expenses necessarily incurred if the Airline which you are booked to travel with cancels your flight after check-in and no alternative is offered after 24hrs. In the current situation with the ongoing uncertainty of travel arrangements, customers are seeking additional cover where possible to cover them in the event of flight cancellations or disruptions to their future travel plans. www.

Holiday Hotspot Jerusalem in the Judean Hills provides visitors with a breathtaking and spiritual experience never to be forgotten. The section of the city where many of the holy sites for all three faiths are located is called “Old City which is separated into four different neighbourhoods. These are the Christian Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, and the Muslim Quarter. The Old City can be accessed through seven of the eight gates of the ancient walls. An array of merchandise can be purchased from the lively Arab souk (open-air market) and meandering through the narrow corridors and pavements provides a feast of smells and sensations. This section of the Old City is home to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is built over the site where Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and resurrected. Most people arrive here after walking down the Via Dolorosa, the route Jesus followed as he carried his cross. The church, built in the Byzantine era, is a focal point for Christians. The Dome of the Rock is one of Jerusalem’s famous symbols. The Mosque was built in the 7th century on the site of the destroyed Jewish Temple. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful examples of


Muslim architecture. The Western Wall in the Old City is the section of the supporting wall of the Temple Mount which has remained intact since the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple. It became a centre of mourning over this destruction becoming known in European languages as the “Wailing Wall”. One does not have to be Jewish to be Jerusalem ■ The Arab Souq Bazaar granted entrance here, but guests need to be respectful of those visiting the wall to pray. Nearby at the City of ■ Mount of Olivers Jerusalem David lies an archaeok logical park that tells the rants and story of the establishment of Jerusalem and the B a ’ h a z e r history of the Jews during Biblical and River ■ Damascu s Gate at Je times One of the most fascinating are two exrusalem O ld City parts of the City of David is the tun- periences nel of Shiloh - a 533-meter-long that stand tunnel that was carved during the out for me period of King Hezkiyahu. The tun- Jerusalem hotels range from 5 nel extends from the city to the well star luxury to pilgrim guest houses days to include at Shiloh. Brave visitors can walk – with enough choices to fit any trav- flights from regional departure through the tunnel which is partially elling style or budget. The Crowne points throughout Ireland and the filled with water, and come out at Plaza while located at the entrance UK. . www. the pools of the well but remember to the city is only a half an hour drive to bring a flashlight! Other places of from the international airport howWeekly Best Buy interest are the Mount of Olives, the ever be mindful that it’s a taxi ride to Kidron Valley, the Garden Tomb, the all the old city attractions. Steeped Sicily is the largest Mediterranean Garden of Gethsemane (this is out- in history for the world’s three main side of Jerusalem’s walls), the Room religions, visitors to Jerusalem at- Island and with its geographical poof the Last Supper, and Skull Hill, or test to its uniqueness an ambience sition halfway between Europe and Golgotha. The Dead Sea Scrolls are for me that sets it aside from every Africa, the result is a rather unique ancient manuscripts that were dis- other city on earth. Superstar Holi- blend of cultures that promises to covered between 1947 and 1956 in days is an Israel holiday specialist entice the discerning traveller. Suneleven caves near Khirbet Qumran, and wholly owned subsidiary of EL way Travel offers 4 resorts in Sicily on the north-western shores of the AL Israel Airlines. Their most popu- at Taormina, Taormina Mazzaro, Dead Sea. The Shrine of the Book at lar tour is the Discover Israel Tour Giardini Naxos and Letojanni. Offers Israel Museum in Jerusalem is home – which encompasses the most include 2* Carmen Apartments Self to several of the scrolls and is one popular historical, archaeological, catering from €599 4* Ariston Hotel B&B from €859, of the cities must see attractions. cultural and coastal sites in Israel. Israeli food is fusion cuisine at its The tour can be tailored to individ- 3* Villa Daphne Hotel Half Board, finest. If you’re expecting traditional ual requirements, with a choice of from €929, 4* Monte Tauro Hotel Jewish foods when you come to durations – 7, 10 or 14 nights. EL AL B&B from €1129, 5* Mazzaro Sea Israel, you’re in for a surprise as I Israel Airlines operate 11 flights from Palace Hotel B&B from €1829 All soon discovered. Jerusalem has an Heathrow or 6 from London Luton the above prices are based on 2 extremely wide variety of restau- Airport and can tailor-make holi- adults sharing.

Pet’s Corner...

Home and Away Extra Royal Caribbean International’s new mega ship Allure of the Seas will be staging the musical Chicago when it enters service at the end of the year. The ship’s version of the production will be “slightly condensed” to fit an approximate run time of 90 minutes. Chicago: The Musical will be staged in the ship’s 1,380-seat Amber Theatre when it enters service in December. The 5,400-passenger sister ship to Oasis of the Seas will run alternate seven-night Western Caribbean and Eastern Caribbean itineraries from its home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Oasis of the Seas is also staging hit musical Hairspray on board. Meanwhile MSC Cruises has acquired the rights from IMG Media to broadcast the 2010 FIFA World Cup games aboard the 11 vessels of its fleet. The games will be broadcast in the public areas and selected bars. Ships with sports bars will be specially branded for the games. The Explorers Ranulph Fiennes and Tim Severin are the keynote speakers at this year’s Immrama travel-writing festival, in Lismore, Co Waterford, next month. Now in its eighth year, the festival will also premiere a documentary on Lismore’s own Dervla Murphy, Ireland’s most successful travel writer. Robert Walshe is a freelance contributor / broadcaster and is guest travel writer for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland

with Kathleen Murray

with Kathleen Murray: Animal Behavioural Therapist

Thinking about getting a cat? AT some stage in their lives people think about getting a cat. The reasons are many, sometimes a child wants a kitten, or memories of a cat in our childhood sparks the thought or someone offers us a kitten. There are, of course, people who would never get a cat because they hate cats or are afraid of them but they are the minority. Having a cat nowadays is very different from having a cat years ago. Years ago cats had kittens and homes were found for them or they just ran around with the other cats and nobody batted and eyelid. Right now in our county the cat

population has gotten out of all control. Homes are not as easily found and the need to neuter cats is very high on the priority list. Bringing home a kitten or an adult cat is a big responsibility. Cats and kittens are very easily toilet trained and make very good pets. They are easy to look after because they love routines and show up at the same time for feeding every day if they get used to a certain lifestyle. You can get them to return home every night at about 9pm so that you can take them indoors and not have every dog in your neighbourhood

barking all night, or to save your cat from being blinded by headlights and killed on the road. Cats eat anywhere so if your cat doesn’t come back at the normal feeding time then someone else is feeding it also. Cats like to wander so if you live in a built up area your cat will be visiting the neighbours... and the neighbours may not appreciate that. Cats tend to go in bathroom or bedroom windows and make themselves comfortable on a bed or sofa. Cats like to nap and they always look for a quiet place, usually somewhere soft and warm.

Anyone that has a new baby, or a young infant sleeping needs to make sure that the door and window to their room is closed so that a cat can’t venture into the room and curl up on top of their chest. Cats like lying on chests because of the heartbeat, warmth and breathing. It is very relaxing and soothing for a cat, not good though for a baby that can’t get the weight of the cat off it’s chest while it is sleeping. Cats can be vaccinated and wormed to keep them healthy. Cat poo needs to be lifted and disposed of in a proper way especially

where children are playing, and if you are pregnant then wear rubber gloves. If you have a dog also then keep the cat litter tray clean... as the dog will if you don’t. You can also have your cat micro chipped, so that if it goes missing and is found by someone else, then your name and address will show up on the scanner. In the interest of neigh-

bourly goodwill it would be good to have no more than two cats (both neutered) so that neighbours are not pulling their hair out in frustration and complaining about a load of cats going to the toilet in their garden or going in their windows. Think about the people around you when you get an animal. Your neighbours will appreciate it.

Home and Away  
Home and Away  

Weekly Travel Column