Across Continents

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Between continents

I’d found a small cafe just off the main square, a chance for a quiet coffee and an opportunity to study the various pamphlets and brochures I picked up from the tourist information office. They’d given me a much better map than the one I had. For one thing it wasn’t hand drawn, and showed the locations of all the consulates. Which would be very handy.

Ordinarily, I tended to avoid the tourist traps, all too often frequented by those wishing to help you part with generous sums of money, be that inflated prices or simple scams. Besides, museums, cathedrals, mosques and the like all begin to blur after a while. But this place was a bit different. A few years ago I’d devoured Jan Morris’ definitive trilogy on the rise and fall of the British Empire, so I knew a little of the history of the place and wanted to learn more. And it appeared safe. Very safe. The police didn’t seem to carry truncheons, never mind firearms.

Whilst it felt as if I was between continents in my temporary island home, politically and geographically this was firmly Europe. But it felt good nevertheless. And rather apt as an intermission from travelling across continents. I’d flown in the previous day, to be met by Simone who, together with her mother and sisters, ran a small hostel. It had been the family home, and still retained a great sense of homeliness. You felt more like a house guest than a hosteller.

The last dregs of coffee downed, it was time to make a few purchases in preparation for my time here. I’d already found a pair of trainers for about £10 – they only had to last a month or so – but feared the socks I’d need would cost me more. Decided to steer clear of Marks and Spencers, choosing instead British Home Stores in the hope of a bargain. About £8. Then some cheap towels from the market stall. £5. Job done.

[The author will reveal his location tomorrow. But, until then, please feel free to contact him with your suggestions, just for fun of course! By way of further hints, it’s not the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Georgia, the UK or Australia… or Cyprus, north or south]

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