Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Holidays - Irish Times Article

Interview with the Irish Times travel supplement on holiday memories 27 March 2010

Lord Mayor of Dublin and Labour councillor for the North Inner City electoral area, Emer Costello, tells GENEVIEVE CARBERY about her holiday memories...

What’s your earliest holiday memory? I remember coming to Dublin with my mother when I was about four. It wasn’t quite a holiday, as my sisters – twin babies – were getting their tonsils out. We stayed with my aunt in Glasnevin, and it was a huge adventure. But for family holidays my father had an obsession with Bundoran, in Donegal, so we never went on holiday anywhere else except there.

What was your worst holiday? Shortly after I got married I was looking for a last-minute summer holiday. I rang an internet travel agent, looking for a special offer, and this lovely girl on the phone offered us a place in Cyprus. It sounded like a remarkable deal for two weeks in Ayia Napa, but alarm bells should have rung. It was a real party town for young people, where they are up all night and asleep all day. When I arrived I got sick and was in bed for a week. But after the antibiotics kicked in we hired a car and drove around Cyprus for our second week. It was wonderful. It’s a fabulous island, so full of history and archaeology.

What was your best holiday? It was kind of a working holiday, but the first time I went with an observer mission for elections in Cambodia was a remarkable experience. The election was really gruelling, and there was no infrastructure or electricity. We stayed in a Japanese army camp and also slept in the polling station for a few nights. After that Joe came over, and we travelled around Thailand. We spent a few days in Bangkok and went to Phuket and Chiang Mai. It was brilliant.

If budget or work were not a restriction, what would be your dream holiday? I’d love to travel east and see India and China, and then go somewhere like Bali and down to Australia.

If you had your pick, who would you bring on holiday with you? I’d have to bring Joe. We get on brilliantly on holidays.

What’s your favourite place in Ireland? The Giant’s Causeway and up around the Antrim coast. I love the sense of history and nature you feel on the Giant’s Causeway.

Your recommended holiday reading?
We are awful, but we always buy the latest political book in the airport. Last year it was The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. But I like to read short stories on the beach by authors such as Alice Munro, because you can read them in one sitting.

Where will you go to next?
My term of office is finished in June, so I could do with a holiday, but I’d rather take a break in Ireland to recharge my batteries than have a big holiday abroad. I’ll probably go somewhere I know, like Kenmare or Antrim.

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