Rail travel throughout Wales for less than pounds 9 per day is offered by the Freedom of Wales Flexipass. From tomorrow you can travel anywhere on the network, in any eight days in a fortnight, for a total of pounds 69 (railcard- holders pounds 45.55). The pass also covers the "missing link" in the principality's rail system, allowing free travel on the narrow-gauge Ffestiniog Railway between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Porthmadog. Phone 01766 512340.
The new Portsmouth-Cherbourg fast ferry opens up additional day-trip possibilities to northern France. This weekend is extremely busy, but later on there should be availability at pounds 12 per person and pounds 15 per car (P&O, 0990 980980).
Seven years ago there were no direct flights between Britain and Cuba; now you can choose from three services on Cubana (0171-734 1165) to Havana from Gatwick, plus one from Manchester. Tuesday's departure goes via the island of Cayo Largo, perhaps the most accessible desert island you can reach from Britain.
"Jacques Chirac took President Yeltsin to Chez Yvonne at 10 rue Sanglier, a venue famous for its patronne, Alsatian specialities and traditional French cooking at surprisingly reasonable cost" - Margaret Campbell recommends this restaurant in Strasbourg, in her pounds 250-guide to the city in next Wednesday's Independent Eye. A possible adjunct for those not fluent in French could be the French Menu Reader by Maggie Plunkett (Stanway Publications, pounds 4.99, call 01386 854864). It differentiates between alsacienne ("a dish mainly with ham, sausage and sauerkraut") and alsatian ("light dry white wine"). The author concedes "Since there are 250 ways to cook a fillet of sole, I hope you appreciate that no work of this size can ever be complete."
The same book also has an English-French section, so if you are looking for boissons sans alcool you can ask for shandy (panache) or soda water (l'eau au siphon).
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