Happy 2010... go to the land where you grow younger

Irish Daily Mail - - Travel - BY JIM MURTY

EV­ERY­ONE has a Queen of Sheba in their life. And mine was lay­ing down the law as she got more and more frustrated whizzing around the ho­tels near Dublin Air­port try­ing to get me to a func­tion at the Clay­ton.

We had been up at Cas­tle Les­lie in Glaslough for af­ter­noon tea on the sec­ond part of a Mon­aghan odyssey which but for my dis­orgina­tion should have been a oneparter. I’ll tell you more in the com­ing weeks.

As ever the idomitable Mrs M got me there in time... for New Year.

Ethiopia wel­comed in 2010 in good style and we learned more about Enku­tatash, the sec­u­lar and re­li­gious cel­e­bra­tion mean­ing ‘gift of jew­els’ which goes back to the time of the Queen of Sheba who show­ered King Solomon with spices and jew­els. My Queen of Sheba de­mands the same treat­ment.

2010, I hear you ask? Well, Ethiopia uses the Cop­tic cal­en­dar which con­sists of 13 months so is seven years be­hind us, and which also means that you be­come seven years younger in one night!

We prob­a­bly all have cer­tain per­cep­tions of Ethiopia but this thriv­ing beau­ti­ful ver­dant coun­try has only been se­lected by Lonely Planet and Rough Guide as a must­see des­ti­na­tion.

For lovers of his­tory and cul­ture there is much to savour and Ethiopia has nine UNESCO world her­itage site.

Ethiopian Air­lines ser­vices this vast coun­try with flights di­rect from Dublin (7hrs 50min there and 8hrs 15mins re­turn). Snaps found a week’s hol­i­day stay­ing in the Em­pire Ad­dis In­ter­na­tional Hot ho­tel in cap­i­tal Ad­dis Ababa for €930 on the sam­ple dates of Oc­to­ber 6-13. Visit www.ethiopi­anhol­i­days.com

Of course, the in­domitable Mrs M didn’t miss out that day, hav­ing savoured the won­der­ful del­i­ca­cies Cas­tle Les­lie has to of­fer. Af­ter­noon tea is €25pp. If you want a glass of cham­pagne that’s €18 each.

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