Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Some Summer Plans

I’ve booked a couple of trips for my upcoming summer holiday. (First, though, keep in mind that, over here, school lasts until nearly the end of July.) I’ll be spending a week in Dubrovnik. Three points if you know where that is. Five points if you can find it on a map. But, failing that, read on.

Dubrovnik is on the southern coast of Croatia, near the edges of Bosnia and Montenegro. Croatia is located on the Adriatic Sea across from Italy.

The question I keep getting asked is ‘Why?’ Let’s see…it’s supposed to be very nice, I’ve never been there before, it’s got some very historic things, and the war is over.

‘Gee, that’s nice,’ you say, ‘but how about the other trip?’

Right! Thanks for asking. I’m also spending a week in Belfast.

(I’ll pause to let that sink in…)

(Another pause while you think, ‘Wait, isn’t that in Northern Ireland?’)

(Still more pausing while you remember that thing you read in Saturday’s paper about the Catholics and Protestants and the marching season and the police turning the water cannon on a thousand rioting Catholics.)

(Or maybe that was just MY newspaper…)

But, yes. Belfast. Why? Who knows? I found a very cheap round-trip flight. I found a very cheap hostel. (And now I’m starting to realize why…) It’s a place I’ve been interested in, probably because I’m having such trouble understanding the whole Catholic/Protestant fighting thing.

But just in case you think my summer will be nothing but dodging Protestant marchers and rioting Catholics or looking at what’s left of the war-torn regions of southern Croatia, I’m also taking a nice first-class train trip to Bath (or Bristol – we have a choice) and I’m going to the UK Harry Potter Conference.

And I’ll probably get a sunburn.


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