Higher baggage charges for Ryanair
Ryanair's hand-luggage weight restrictions are nonsense. I travelled with them recently and my bag was just less than half a kilo over the 10kg weight limit. I removed a pair of extremely light shoes (nowhere near 0.5kg) from the bag, put them in my coat pocket, and the Ryanair staff said I was good to go, even without re-weighing!
Once past the weigh-in point, I put the shoes back into the bag, in full view of the Ryanair staff, and they didn't bat an eyelid. That they only seem to enforce this at some airports and not others is also ridiculous.
I have no problem flying with only 10kg of luggage and I buy a Boots' sandwich deal before boarding. Problem solved.
Ryanair runs a basic bus service and does it well. It flies to a lot of places that people want to go to and other airlines do not land. If you read the T&Cs and follow them then there are no surprises or extra fees.
Michael O'Leary is a master at getting newspapers to give him free publicity about charges he will never levy – such as for toilets and for standing passengers. And The Independent has joined that club.
You mention that HSTs still run on the Great Western route, which they do – but, more importantly, they run from London to Inverness and Aberdeen on the East Coast line. If the Scottish government and Transport Scotland get their way, from 2014 anybody travelling from London to Dundee, Aberdeen or Inverness will have to change at Edinburgh. Stopping direct trains between such places and London would be a bad move for tourism and business.
Bavarian spa life
Just to avoid any misunderstanding: Therme Erding offers four different areas and only the saunas and pools of the Sauna Paradise are nude-only. The other three areas require regular bathing attire.
You refer to Lake Superior as being the world's largest body of fresh water. It is not. It has the largest surface area but Lake Baikal, in southern Siberia, has almost twice the capacity of Superior. The water is also very clear and drinkable in all but a couple of places.
My choice for a new natural wonder is the island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean, part of the Republic of Yemen. The name in Arabic means "Island of Bliss" and it is truly unique, with many endemic species of flora and fauna. It has been described as the most alien-looking place on Earth.
Euro 2012 travel prospects
Gdansk is not the only "genuine tourist town" of the eight cities hosting the Euro 2012 football championships.
I can't speak for the Ukrainian cities, but Warsaw has a ton to offer including a beautiful old town, amazing parks, entertainment, and anything else you'd expect in a large city.
Wroclaw is known as the "Polish Venice" and is very beautiful, offering a lot of sightseeing options.
Presumably there will be plenty of inexpensive camping facilities for the travelling fans of all countries. Not everyone is a journalist, you know.
Last word on Avios
We in Northern Ireland feel excluded from the new Avios scheme, which replaces Airmiles. Thankfully we took your advice and used most of our 12,000 Airmiles with the old rules.