Plunk, an email lands in my in box, free flights, courtesy of a generous friend. I really quite fancied a little taste of reckless spoiling somewhere different, so I indulged myself in fantasy window shopping, surfing the net, checking out cheap flights to must go places. The list is long it starts with Tallinn, Krakow, Dubrovnik, Istanbul.
There have been a few city adventures, thanks to rock bottom prices. Prague hit every button, a dose of fairyland in the middle of a humdrum London week, I was smitten by its’ otherworldliness. We had the full Eastern European student experience in our scuzzy hotel complete with bed bugs, the compensation being that it was an untouched turn of the 19th century building with the delights of amazing crazy Jugenstyl tiles. If you looked very carefully you could still see how they fitted into what had once been a very grand exotic décor.
Dublin, another destination, forever on my wish list, gave me all the things I hoped for and lots more. In my quest to get the most out of the trip I wanted to taste my friends best experiences, their personal musings on the city were inspiring. I now share innumerable best places with them, the Harry Potter scale of Trinity Library, Avoca Café, wonderful Georgian squares and terraces, the juxtaposition of the seediness with the elegance of the city.
Researching a trip gives as much pleasure as the going, but there just wasn’t the space for that lingering pleasure and uncharacteristically I didn’t follow up the flights. I’m sure someone did. It got me thinking, a couple of flights for a friends birthday present, to a destination of my choosing might just be the gift to set them off on a journey into the unexpected.