"CÉAD MÍLE FÁILTE" kit_mc's Profile

The story til now...

2008 trips included Bruxelles, Stockholm, Germany, French Pyrenees, Miami, Colombia, Lisbon and Madeira with Belgrade, Sofia, Istanbul yet to come.

Newest updates for other 2008 trips to Edinburgh,
Miami, Amsterdam,
Tartu, Isle of Man and Riga.

2007 included Llanberis , Caernarfon and Criccieth in North Wales, East Looe, and St Ives in Cornwall and Bodiam in East Sussex. My hometown pages are updated fairly frequently as nothing stands still in London.

In 2006 I managed time in Stockholm and a week in the Algarve in Portugal. Flying visits to Co. Dublin and ia week long trip to the Irish Midlands, mainly Clare, Tipperary and Offaly with my father & step-ma.

September 2006 entailed a trip to the Outer Hebrides, a place I'd always wanted to visit. There is something rather exotic about the Scottish Islands for a southerner such as myself: the Western Isles, Stornaway and the Isle of Skye. In November in a bid to beat the impending cold of a British winter I was off to northern Morocco visiting Fes, Asilah, Chefchaouen and Rabat.

2005 was an exhausting year, working, finishing my Masters but still getting a few trips away. I managed celebratory flying visits to see old friends in Montpellier and Helsinki, via Tampere and a day trip to Tallinn into the itinerary in the process. Earlier in the year I'd spent a month in Australia, time in Aarhus and Stockholm, plus a week in sunny Mallorca. Not so bad for such a busy lad.

- As an adopted Londoner, I tried to put my emotions of the events here in July 2005 into words in a London travellogue that day at: 7 July 2005 I know that what happened here pales into insignificance compared to other events of 2005, or even daily in some places, but such an act of hate on your doorstep can't go unmentioned. The irony for me was that it came only the day after I'd set up my London pages the day we were awarded the Olympics 2012, where I made the grudging acknowledgment that London had finally become home. And the next day's events, and London's response, reinforced that for me.

I'm always creating new pages, even if it's just a photo and some memories, - nothing worse than all those blanks down the travel list. I'm particularly fond of my Cricklewood page, a work in progress on the little known delights of suburban north west London...

Irish Blood, English Heart...

Well, I was born of a British mother and Irish father, hence the Morrisey reference in the title. Luckily a mixture of my mongrel roots and plain snobbery on my parents' part now means that few can tell by my accent quite what part of the UK I'm originally from (although a certain Swedish VT-er has kindly informed me that my accent is not quite as neutral as I seem to think, particularly after 5 pints of Stella!).

I arrived in London more by accident than by design after a year teaching English in Sweden. I used to say that I was in a love/hate relationship with London, but I've realised that these days I love the city much more than I can say I loathe it. It took a long time for me to feel like a Londoner, but I can happily say that I do. Of course, as a non-native, I'm sure I'll never get to truly 'know' the city, but then that is one of the cool things about living here. Catching the tube or walking past Trafalgar Square on the way to meet friends, still gives me a routine buzz.

Favourite places I've had the good fortune to visit have been Sydney and Melbourne, Stockholm (which I know quite well having lived there briefly), Barcelona (where I spent time at university struggling with anthropology in Castillian and Catalan), Sarajevo old town, a church in Ancona and the fab city of Las Vegas - so tacky and ghastly that you just have to love it really.

Inspiration

As I've been traipsing round the net looking for info and inspiration on forthcoming trips, I was also inspired to set up these pages and join the VT community. I see some great pages on VT and some rather dreary ones, so I do try and put an effort into the things I say, especially the tips - I kind of feel there is very little point in bothering with the tips business unless you actually have something different to say. Ooh, controversial aren't I?!

I tend to put pages up in spurts and then try to refine them over time, depending on how utterly bored/snowed under I am with work/study/my whirly gig of a social life of course.

Giving a bit back

I created my profile here in June 2003 while in the planning stages for a trip to Croatia and Bosnia and then neglected to put anything further on for about 12 months. I've become gradually more addicted to VT, especially in the era of the digital camera and ADSL at home. I've managed to get pages done for my most recent trips, and am planning on scanning my pre-digital pics. So keep checking back for updates. Some of the pages from trips longer back may never have more than a few pictures and a general summary as I'm not sure I could say anything worthwhile.

Jessica my dear, you have indeed created a monster!

Gay travel tips?

I'm always on the look out for trips which are just that little bit different. I don't really buy into the whole Ibiza / Gran Canaria type gay scene so I'm always keen to hear tales from others travelling less well trodden paths that might be more receptive to gay travellers.

NOTE: Where accommodation is recommended it means that we've not had any trouble staying there when it's been obvious we're two guys in the one bed. In fairness, this is going to be the case in most of the larger hotels.
Where something is particularly known as 'gay friendly' it will be noted in the text

Out and about?

I thought a little before referring to my sexuality on VT. Is it really relevant? Not many people seem to think so or perhaps it would be mentioned more often in the pages and tips on VT. However, trips I've made over the years as one half of a same gender couple have convinced me that it is worthwhile mentioning, particularly in a travel site, when it's easy to forget that not everywhere is as tolerant as I might wish. The cool feedback I've received has also been encouraging.

Take Dubai for example - Boyf and I made sure we booked a more expensive hotel with two double beds to ensure that we wouldn't have any trouble booking in - homosexual 'acts' are illegal there, although in practice, aside from staging a full scale Mardi Gras down the Creek, it tends to be ok for foreigners. This isn't often a thought that has to go through the minds of straight couples. In Sarajevo, a giggling receptionist phoned up to 'make sure' that one double duvet would be enough for both of us. Such touching concern.

In Bratislava New Year 2004, we booked into arguably the best hotel in Slovakia. Having paid a fair amount of cash extra to ensure a double bed, we were automatically assigned twin beds. There's often a moment of awkward, inner discomfort for gay couples when checking in and it gets kind of embarrassing and annoying to need to state, in almost each and every hotel you visit, that you'll be sleeping in the same bed, thank you very much. Do they just assume each time that we made a mistake in the booking?

And where to eat and drink? To want to know what places are gay friendly needn't be about hooking up, it's important to me to be able to show affection with my partner if I so wish. So the New Year in Bratislava posed a further problem. Did we go to a slightly naff bar and pay over the top prices for drinks where at least we could have a kiss at midnight, or stay in the main square and simply smile at each other when 2005 came around?

So come on guyz and girlz, put a few more of those gay-centric tips out there and give fellow gay travellers a bit more choice about where to dance with their other halves!!

How to avoid 'tourist traps' Lesson 1:

Er... well how about using some common sense? It amazes me, some of the comments people leave on VT, especially about some of the newer European Union member states.

What, you got ripped off in the mafia run strip joint? Really... And you were surprised at getting ripped off by a street money changer there are ATMs everywhere and it's not even legal in your own country? Hmm... You were shocked that you might get fined when you travelled on the Metro without a ticket even though a ticket costs just the equivalent of 50 US cents? Oh, yes, and I too am surprised that the shops and cafes in the most touristy areas are also the most expensive...

Please guys, try and be a little more discerning in your travels?! Do things legally, be sensible, make the effort to travel as much as possible on public transport rather than taxis and you might find you get ripped off a bit less.

Hard to please?

My pages are simply opinions about places and are obviously not the definitive word on anything. But I tend not to suffer fools gladly, to use the cliche, and am somewhat unforgiving when it comes to poor service in hotels and restaurants in particular. This is a throwback to my student days working in the service industry myself I guess, as well as living in a city renowned for rather poor quality service. So if I'm hacked off with a place, I'll say. At least on the positive side, if I love a place, I'll also always make a point of saying so!

With the exception of hotels and restaurants, where it's good to compare, I'm trying to avoid duplicating other people's tips. This means that I'm unlikely to put tips online for things where 199 people have already stated the bleeding obvious - 'Must visit Tower Bridge. It's a bridge. It goes over water'. Unless of course I have something extra that I REALLY want to say, in my own sweet opinionated way...

And I also try to avoid using the tip pages as mere photo albums... Ahem...

I'm a friendly soul really, so feel free to stop by and say hello! Happy travels!

  • Intro Updated Nov 30, 2008
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Comments (73)

  • Unique82's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Happy Birthday mate :)

  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    Happy Birthday Chris! Love the photos on your hp!

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo
    Apr 6, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    Congrats! You have your few minutes' fame on VT! You are our featured member today!

  • deebum25's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2009 at 4:23 PM

    Happy Birthday! Since it's 7 US time I'm sure you're out and about!

  • a2lopes's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    Happy birthday Chris and many happy returns of the day. Greetings from Lisbon

  • Daja123's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2009 at 9:40 PM

    Happy Birthday Chris! Wishing you a wonderful day! Cheers !(~_~)

  • Unique82's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2008 at 7:46 AM

    Hope you had a great Christmas, have an even better New Year :)

  • gordonilla's Profile Photo
    Apr 23, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    hi, great work!

  • roz.van's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2008 at 3:41 PM

    Hey Chris! Homepage is looking great! Life is grand I'm over in Donegal for Easter. Came up on the 17th, back tuesday. Irish Gaelic is tooo hard I know :) Hope you're having a great time. Roz :)

  • margaretvn's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2008 at 4:50 AM

    great homepage - I enjoyed it very much. Spending the afternoon reading pages when perhaps i should be working on pages but it is fun to learn about other members

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kit_mc

“And it hurts with every heartbeat...”

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Top 1,000 Travel Writer
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Real Name
Chris
Location
London, United Kingdom
Member Since
May 29, 2003

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