My Travels: Ryan Tubridy
He's staying put at RTE, but Desert Island Discs, a new Dublin coach tour and the Trans-Sib are all on the departures board for Tubs.
Where have you just been?
I’ve just launched the new Dublin Cityscape Sightseeing Tours.
I took a preview last Sunday, and I liked the fact that you had somebody at the top of the bus who was from the city, and their stories were pertinent to where they were from. It was authentic.
As you were driving through the Liberties, for example, you heard that this was where Brenda Fricker was from, and that she went on to win an Oscar for My Left Foot… it brought the city to life in a way that another coach might not have.
I’m very passionate about history – anybody who makes history boring shouldn’t be doing the job. But this had an individuality that separated it from the pack.
What’s your favourite city?
Close to home, I adore Galway (above).
It is the warmest city - and I mean that emotionally - you could ever go into. I’m a fan of Guinness, and love a pint in Murphy’s or Tigh Neachtain’s. I get a nice welcome there, I always feel at home… so city-wise, Galway is a no-brainer every time.
Internationally, I have developed an absolute love, admiration and fondness for New York.
It’s a peculiar one. I’m not very well travelled, but I’ve been to New York many times. It’s the anonymity of this big city where everyone’s talking at you - I love the individual nature of it, the fact that you can end up in a barstool in the East Village sipping a bottle of beer and fall into company with God knows who from God knows where…
It’s a city that brings out the brightest and best in me, anyway. I always come home with a buzz in my head.
Dressing for the plane: style or comfort?
I wear my comfort gear, which for me is jeans and a jumper. I wouldn’t wear a suit, and no, I wouldn’t wear a tracksuit! The holiday starts when you get to the hotel or apartment really – I’m not a mad one for starting it at 9.30am in the bar at the airport.
What destination exceeded your expectations?
Washington is a great city for a weekend – I wouldn’t spend any more than three days there, but with kids it’s a winner. It is a museum fest, it’s the West Wing come to life and it’s not far from New York.
What destination didn’t?
I went to Cannes (above) once. I bought an idea – specifically, the 1920s - and I got reality, and I’m more of an ideas man.
When you get France right, you’re in business. And for me getting France right is rustic, middle-of-nowhere stuff, with a village with a boulangerie and a patisserie and that sense of Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour! as Belle says in Beauty and the Beast.
That exists and it’s lovely and it’s still there… it’s like heading into Rosmuc for the afternoon in terms of the Irish experience. So until I become a Russian oligarch, I’ll leave the Cote d’Azur alone!
What's on your travel playlist?
I always listen to classical music when the plane is finding its level and settling after taking off. If I’m bored of reading or watching something, then I’ll listen to something like Desert Island Discs. I love interviews – I’ll download podcasts and listen on airplane mode, these gorgeous interviews that make me very chilled and relaxed. It’s very English - so I don’t have a vested interest! I’m not sitting there going – ‘I wouldn’t ask that!’ - competing with the poor person doing the interview!
What’s your next trip?
I haven’t a trip planned, but I have a dream.
I’ve always wanted to go to Russia. I’ve done the Orient Express and I enjoyed it – it was a little unnerving because the toilet was down the end of the cabin and it all got a bit Agatha Christie on me - but I would love to go on the Trans-Siberian railway (above).
That’s definitely one for the bucket list.