Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chill with Ceauşescu?

You know a new year of law school is fast approaching when you start to think about the next summer.

Due to the brevity of post-secondary school years and the generous scheduling of PLTC courses, I find myself with four months of unscheduled freedom next summer. I believe the technical, economic term for this period is "frictional unemployment," but to myself and a majority of others with false illusions about their spending power, it's "prime travel time."

I've been lucky enough to visit Western Europe on several occasions, covering most of England, France and Spain. But I believe I'd be remiss if I didn't look North and East, to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe (specifically, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Romania). It's a region that I unfortunately know little about, save the descriptions I've gleaned from Henrik Ibsen and Bram Stoker. (Ok, Ok... IKEA and Blade II.)

Since this whole trip is still in a flight of fancy stage, I thought I'd see what travel books were available on the regions. There are a lot of these guide books that I avoid like the plague, as they are either so inexhaustible as to take all the mystery out of a region, or padded with too many stock photos to be of little use. I've had the best luck with the Rough Guide brand of book, something I swore by (and most importantly, not at) during my month in Spain.

I couldn't find their edition for Central Europe, assuming it exists, so while I was in the store I perused a random Romanian book. I'm not ashamed to admit that if I ever reached the country, Dracula's Castle would be on the itinerary. So I wasn't surprised to find inside this book, amongst the Top 10 Things to Do in Romania: "Creep in the footsteps of Dracula," (forgiving the absurd notion that he would leave footsteps, Dracula naturally being a glider.) I was even pointed to a handy link where you can plan a trip around ol' Vlad.

I was, however, a little more surprised to find in the Top 10 list, this perplexing suggestion, which I recall verbatim:

"Hang out with a shepherd."

That's precisely what the wolves want.

1 comment:

Oana said...

Let me know if you need travel tips on Romania! The Dracula thing is a bit overrated, but there's tonnes of other stuff worth seeing. Perhaps not shepherds, not too sure what that's all about.