Across South America
Really the comments on Paraguay were totally wrong. Asunción is not paralysed. It is a booming city with a nice mixture of old and modern. Not to mention the beautiful trees all over the city, excellent hotels – Sheraton, Ibis and many others – first-class restaurants and very friendly people. Bumpy ride from Ciudad del Este to Asunció*? It is paved all the way. And to finish off, British banks had nothing to do with the Triple Alliance War.
Maybe I was walking around with rose-tinted spectacles but the Pacific Ocean did not look grey. It looked blue. An enticing blue, especially further up north on the shores of Ecuador. Furthermore I spent £3,000 (from leaving the front door of my house and back) on a 12-week trip to South America. And that was without watching the pennies as I'm hardly another twenty-something graduate; so £3,498 sounds criminal.
The other side of Portugal
There is a lot to see behind the coast – towns and villages with a fantastic Roman and Moorish heritage. The Algarve, like the rest of Portugal, is still very much a well-kept secret.
What puts me off Ryanair and their ilk are the airports they use, typically miles away from the cities they "serve". Take "Düsseldorf (Weeze)" as a typically egregious example – it's 40 miles from Düsseldorf!
Hating Ryanair is just snobbery -– they provide safe, reliable air travel at affordable prices, and have done more for access to air travel than almost anyone else.
48 hours in Moscow
The visa application process for Russia hardly qualifies as any sort of welcoming gesture. Stay in the eurozone and have a much better time and save yourselves the humiliation and bother of applying for a Russian visa!
Thank you Philip Norman for bringing me back for a moment to one of the most beautiful and magical places in my country Bulgaria. If you like nature (still untouched) and want interesting experiences this is the place to go. Don't miss the Jagodina Cave, one of the most beautiful caves that I've ever seen. It's close to the Devil's Throat Cave [mentioned in the article].
Toni, Perth, Australia