1. Read about Xanadú and, while you are reading, picture this place in your mind (make a mental image of Xanadú). Do NOT stop to look up words in the dictionary.

Why do this?
     To learn to understand the main ideas of a text.
     To do further practice in DESCRIPTIVE writing (as seen in Activity two).


Xanadú is my ideal place to be. Nothing to do with my present-day hometown. Xanadú is basically a peaceful place, an island somewhere in the south with no historic ruins, no cathedral, no big towns. There are no shopping centres, no museums, no zoos and no hospitals.

It is a round small isolated place five hours from Madagascar by ship. When you get there, if you walk past the small fishing town at the harbour, you will see behind a line of slender palm trees, a unique whitish futuristic building. This is the only hotel in this almost deserted tiny island off the African coast.

Its is actually like a spa, which is a place to rest and relax: hot-water swimming-pools, healthy and nutritious local food, homeopathic medicine, fitotherapy and acupuncture are the treatments offered to help customers recover from the hustle and bustle of western civilisation.

The weather in Xanadú is at its best in spring and autumn. During the day, you can either enjoy the facilities at the spa, or alternatively take a ride on the path that surrounds the island along the coast shore or simply lie by the emerald-green sea with an interesting book at hand.

Once a week you are allowed to go fishing with native fishermen and, in the evenings, you can join the villagers when they meet round the fire to grill the fresh fish for a shared supper. Next morning you can watch the seabirds pecking the leftovers.

Diving is a breathtaking experience: the coral reefs, the jellyfish, the tropically coloured fish, the starfish in the blue sea, all these seem to take you into their own world when you swim under the water.

Xanadú is not the real name of this island. We don't want herds of tourists flooding the place so, if you discover the island in one of your trips, please… keep its name a secret.



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