Sunday, January 27, 2008

Seeking information

Dean might be going on a business trip to Durham, England, and I was wondering if anyone knows anything about the town that he should keep in mind. Is it safe? Is it in one of Bishop Nazir-Ali's "no-go" zones? I recall that it has a famous cathedral that would be worth visiting, but I worry about a stranger just accidentally wandering into dangerous situations.

You know, this would NEVER have occurred to me even 5 years ago. Then, the response would be "A trip to England? Wow!" Now, the whole idea of travelling to Europe is like travelling to the Middle East. I'd feel safer if Dean were going back to India.


Blogger Priscilla said...

Do you know Virtual Tourist? It is a great site to really get to know the places you want to go. Written by people who either live there, or have visited. Really good site.

1:42 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Thanks! I've never heard of Virtual Tourist, I'll look it up.

3:21 pm  
Anonymous The Welsh Jacobite said...

Two things:

1. If Bishop Nazir-Ali's zones exist, Durham certainly isn't one (neither is it within one, nor is there one within it). (Save for those who are allergic to Bishop Tom Wright's theology ....)

2. What Bishop Nazir-Ali was referring to was in any case something subtler than an area where a stranger would find himself in a dangerous situation. He described areas where non-Muslim would find it uncomfortable/difficult to live and work and from which they would eventually be forced out. I leave aside the question of whether such areas do exist, but even if you accept the bishop's analysis as 100% true, it does not imply that as an (accidental) visitor to such an area you would have anything to worry about.

(Of course in any country there are dubious areas of an "ordinary" kind, but having passed through many such during a lifetime living in Britain I've never felt unsafe in amy of them, let alone suffered any harm.)

4:04 pm  
Anonymous ellie m said...

I think the worst areas are supposed to be in Birmingham, but I haven't heard of any rioting or violent behaviour in the UK such as we've seen in France. If you're concerned you could always go to the Canadian government website and see if there are travel advisories for the UK. But I haven't heard of any.

7:53 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

I looked it up on Virtual Tourist, and Durham looks like a pretty safe place. The problems are largely what you'd expect from a college town - drunk students leaving bars late at night - so I don't think Dean will have much to worry about. He says, anyway, that the schedule for this conference looks so packed, he might not have much time to leave the college anyway!

8:29 am  

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