Throne and Away

When it comes to cult TV I’m often late to the party. Sometimes I don’t even show up. And as such, I’ve never watched Game of Thrones. But apparently, it’s filmed in Dubrovnik, and that’s where I’m off to. At 4am.

Early starts are always filled with trepidation, especially when you’re relying on public transport. It’s a fine calculation between getting to the airport ridiculously early – just on case -or being realistic about queuing times for check in and security. Although that’s far from an exact science at East Midlands Airport. Whenever we feature stories about EMA on the radio, queues at security – in both directions – are always a big talking point.

As usual, the place is chaos. People still having no clue as to the difference between a Bag Drop Off point and a full check in desk.

“Brian, do we need these to get on?”

(Blank, exasperated look) “Do we need WHAT to get on?”

“Do we need THESE?” (Frantic waving of home printed documents)

“Er – I don’t know. Maybe this lass can help us…”

Which would be all well and good, if Brian and Mrs Brian weren’t blocking the entrance to the check in queue.

Almost exactly the same scenario is acted out airside. This time, they’re dawdling in Boots.

“So, if we buy these sandwiches, can we take them on the plane?”

“Er – I don’t know. Maybe this lass can help us…”

The airport recently underwent an “upgrade” to its food offering. This meant replacing a perfectly good self service outfit with a Frankie and Bennie’s. There are more than a dozen free tables, yet only one member of staff struggling to cope with a long queue. Table service is all very well if you’re not in a hurry.

Yet I still have an affection for East Midlands. This was the place where I first got the travel bug, on a propellor driven plane in 1978, going to Dublin with my dad. This was a major event in my family : my older siblings had to cope with at least three trains and a sickly ferry to visit our Irish relatives. And who could hold a grudge against a local airline that used to run this kind of advertising?


Anyway, back to Dobrovnik. Described by Lord Byron as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, this is a corner of Eastern Europe that’s relatively new to me. It’s a historic times to be travelling here too. Earlier this year, Croatia joined the European Union, though the local currency – the Kuna – is still the preferred tender.

I’ve also heard and seen good things about the place. Every photo is bathed in sunshine. And this is the kind of forecast I can live with.


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