48 hours in Faro
Well done for this description of my city, but, I'd like to suggest some new must-see places in Faro. For instance, we have Sardinha de Papel, a handicraft, design and second-hand shop on Rua Conselheiro Bivar, that also organises events and art exhibitions. I'd also recommend some new restaurants, such as A Venda or Portas de Sao Pedro, plus the many new hostels in the city centre that offer really cheap prices. Faro is growing fast.
Oradour: a tragedy frozen in time
I have been to this place with my parents when I was a teenager. The horror of the German occupation in this French village is still palpable. Both my grandfathers had to fight this occupation as twenty-somethings. One had to hide with some resistance members in a forest for four years to avoid being sent to Germany as a PoW. The other followed De Gaulle to Britain as he was part of the Free French army. My thoughts are with all those who courageously fought the Nazis to ensure that peace and democracy prevailed in Europe.
Drinks on a plane
I was interested to read Simon Calder's comments on the £10 "breakfast" offer, which includes full English plus a pint of lager, at Bristol airport. I travel regularly from Bristol and pass the bar on my way to the airport lounge. I use the airport lounge as a haven of quiet before boarding my flight but I am becoming increasingly alarmed by the number of passengers who use it to eat and drink excessively prior to their flights. All refreshments are free of charge and the charge for entry into the lounge is £18.99. This sum is considered well worth it by the groups who regularly congregate there to "fill up" at the start of their holiday.
If individuals behave badly at airports, on planes, or for that matter anywhere else, they should be punished for their misdemeanours. Judging by this article, they don't seem to be punished at all.
48 hours in Sofia
I used to do work there in the Noughties and it wasn't a place to visit. But I went back in 2012 and it has improved. It's a great-value place with plenty to see for a long weekend. The free walking tour is/was good. Even better is to jump on the coach for a two-hour drive to Plovdiv for a nice contrast. Great wine at bargain prices there, with good food.