Is Greece the word?
In our untroubled corner of the Peloponnese the sun, sea and sand are as glorious as ever and the Greeks as kind and hospitable as they have always been. However, with tourist numbers down they are struggling to make a living with increased taxes and other austerity measures. If you love Greece and its people, support them by supporting their tourist industry – you will receive the same welcome as ever.
My wife and I have just returned from a couple of weeks' holiday in Crete. We experienced none of the difficulties with ATMs or credit cards that the press has been warning us about. We found no service stations that had run short of fuel. Of course, all this could change quite rapidly. If it were to do so, it could well be in part due to the doom-laden forecasts – and sometimes actual mis-statements of fact – within certain sections of the press.
Had a great holiday in Kefalonia in May this year with my family and hope to visit again very soon, just take small denomination euros with you!
Simon Calder, who ended up hitching a ride by JCB, should try thumbing with an Irish Tricolour next time. It worked wonders for me back in 1968 when a friend and I got a lift from Salzburg all the way to Vienna ... in a Merc!
Feasting in Wester Ross
I have travelled extensively around this area of Scotland and concur with all your writer says. The fish'n'chip shop next to the Seaforth in Ullapool serves the nicest fish I've tasted in Scotland; they have a "Jumbo" fish on the menu which is massive.
Applecross is prettier than is suggested in the article. The hotel is not the only reason to visit; Applecross Walled Gardesn also serves wonderful seafood for lunch and dinner, excellent baking for morning coffee, and afternoon tea in very attractive surroundings.
Charming story. Liked the "unnervingly desolate beaches" and the comparison of salmon skin to gold leaf.
Estepona is nothing like Torremolinos, Fuengirola or Mijas. It has fewer apartment blocks and high-rise hotels than Marbella which is a lively, noisy party town. In summer, it is patronised chiefly by families from Seville or Madrid. It is charming, quiet and not that crowded, even in the Spanish holiday month of August.
You only need to drive an hour from the coast to the Sierra de las Nieves near Ronda for traditional villages, local food and unspoilt scenery. I live there and would not leave for the world.
Similar to your experience with easyJet switching terminals at Gatwick: my parents flew with Air France to Santiago in Chile to visit my uncle. They were told they would be landing at one terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport and transfer to another to connect to their onward flight – but they were actually deposited in the same terminal. They went to the other terminal and then back again, nearly missing their connection.
I would recommend a different type of survival experience in Slovenia: canyoning! We just came back from a weekend in Bovec which was simply amazing.
Ukraine's host cities
Thank God that Euro 2012 is not being staged in the city of Odessa – we're always pleased to meet people from around the world here, but not aggressive football fans.