Saturday 16 December 2017

A postcard from: Aidan Power

MANY SNAPPY RETURNS: Aidan Power's travels around the world have introduced him to crocs
MANY SNAPPY RETURNS: Aidan Power's travels around the world have introduced him to crocs

‘I dream of going on a trip to space’

My most memorable holiday was...

with the Scouts when I was about 10. It was a camping trip to England, France and Switzerland and one of my first proper trips abroad. My parents were involved with the Scouts so I got to go along. I've vivid memories of camping, the smells, the weather and, of course, all the people. We went for two weeks and there was a lot of travelling, which we did by coach. The soundtrack of the trip was Neil Diamond and ever since every time I hear Neil Diamond I think of that holiday.

We took the ferry and then drove down through England, and stayed in Surrey. We then went on and visited Paris and on into Switzerland. We camped, climbed mountains, built fires and cooked out. It really was a great trip.

My favourite place in Ireland is...

Caragh Lake, a beautiful place, just outside Killorglin. A couple of years back, I rented a cottage there for a few days. It's the most serene, beautiful, remote place. You basically have the lake to yourself, which is huge. It helped because the weather was absolutely stunning while I was there.

It's also near a beach so you could go down and sunbathe everyday. There are some fabulous seafood restaurants around. I think we tried every one the week we stayed.

My childhood holiday memories are...

holidays in Kerry and going to the Rose of Tralee festival with my parents, brother and granddad. We stayed at Banna Beach and did a lot of the touristy things, like the Ring of Kerry. We'd go into Tralee at night, where there were always activities going on because of the festival. It really was the kind of holiday that everyone got something out of.

Are you a beach bum, culture vulture or an adrenaline junkie?

I could be all three and have probably been on each kind of holiday. I like doing a bit of everything — the whole beach thing I like, but get bored easily. Adrenaline-wise, I remember a trip to Florida for work a few years back. We swam with dolphins, did all the rollercoasters, and then went on and filmed in an alligator park. We got right up to the alligators, which I loved.

I've also surfed on Huntington Beach in LA, which was a big thing because I'm terrified of sharks. I haven't done a parachute jump yet, but want to do one.

My ideal travel companion would be...

Frank Sinatra. He's an allround blokes' bloke.

My worst travel experience was...

when I was flying back from Australia about two years ago. I was sitting on an aisle seat and dropped the lid of my water bottle on the floor. As I leaned down to pick it up the air steward came flying down the aisle and his knee banged me right on the side of the head. My neck made this big cracking sound. I leaned back but couldn't straighten my head, it was stuck sideways. I spent the rest of the flight like that. I was so exhausted, my mind was playing tricks and I was beginning to think my neck was broken. A couple of days after getting home I was still in pain, so I went to the hospital where the doctor told me I was just being a hypochondriac!

I was working during my trip to Australia. I did get to see some amazing sights, but didn't have the time to really experience it properly. I'd like to go back and do it with more time.

My favourite hotel is...

a very rock ’n’ roll hotel I stayed in once in LA called the Sunset Marquis. It has a recording studio and U2 and Bruce Springsteen have recorded in it. It's all very cool. I'd breakfast next to Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and I propped up the bar with the drummer from the Barenaked Ladies.

There's a small bar called the Whisky Bar, which is supposed to be very exclusive. I thought it would be wall-to-wall with the great-andgood of Hollywood, but there was really only lots of ‘actors' who were extras in a movie once. But the hotel itself was very cool and laid back.

Back home, I like Lough Rynn Castle for a relaxing weekend break.

My dream holiday would include...

a trip to space.

When I'm travelling I miss...

nothing. I've never been away that long to miss anything.

My best meal was...

in LA in a restaurant called the Mirabelle. I'd the most beautiful, juiciest steak I've ever eaten in my life. This was a few years back and I can still remember it. It was the great food, the people I was with and the atmosphere that made it so memorable.

The things I hate most about travelling are...

flight delays and airport queues. They drive me crackers. I've been travelling to London every weekend for the last five months, so when you travel that much you can get tired of things very quickly.

I get through a long flight by...

well, I've never been one that could sleep on flights. I hate that feeling of dozing off, then waking to find you've only closed you're eyes for three minutes and you have another nine hours to go. I've flown first class once, after being upgraded.

It was with Virgin Airlines from LA to London. I slept on that flight the whole way because your seat turns into a bed. So probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which I slept through!

Next I'm travelling to...

nowhere. I've been going back and forth to London so much I'll be glad not to have to go out to the airport. Before the summer I was hoping to go to South America for a month but that got reduced to three days on the Shannon. My next big holiday will probably not be until next summer.

Top three places I want to visit are...

South America is top of the list. I've worked in TV from quite a young age so have only ever gone on two-week holidays whereas my mates have travelled for six months or a year. I'd love to go travelling for a least a month. And South America would be a good place to go backpacking around. I'd also love to go to Cuba.

I've never been to Italy and I've always wanted to see Rome, Florence and Venice and stay in a villa in Tuscany and drink nice red wine. I've been to Singapore but was a bit disappointed — I found it was too Westernised. So I want to see more of Asia.

My advice when travelling is... use online check-in. And it always helps to know a few words of the local language.

Aidan Power presents Winning Streak Dream Ticket, alongside Kathryn Thomas, on RTE One every Saturday night.

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