"Long live Yak 42s and all who fly in them," proclaims the Rev Peter Burtwell of Salisbury. A fortnight ago I explained that Russian jets were to begin charter flights between Britain and the Mediterranean. Mr Burtwell puts a positive spin on this: "Thousands of families will be going through the dreary business of getting away on a package holiday, with boring Boeings or aseptic Airbuses. Then, standing there, something different - a Yak 42."

"Last year we went to Cyprus, and the most reasonable flight offered was on CSA via Prague. We flew to Prague by Boeing 737 and from there by Tupolev 154. The latter had more space, even if the furnishings were faded and some of the fittings didn't quite fit. Maybe it reminded me of some of the vicarages I've lived in."

Mr Burtwell suggests tour operators could make the flight part of the holiday excitement: "Instead of 'We reserve the right to change airlines or aircraft types', why not 'We use many different airlines and aircraft to add to the interest of your journey'? Oh, for more variety."

Television crews often pose as tourists when filming sensitive stories. So ubiquitous has the camcorder become that professionals routinely use video cameras in places where the real thing might attract the authorities.

Professional or not, watch where you point your lens in Spain. Alexander Dainty writes from Somerset: "Before catching the Madrid to Paris train, I wandered outside Chamartin station to take some photographs. Suddenly a member of the Guardia Civil appeared and ticked me off (uncivilly) in Spanish. I subsequently discovered it is forbidden to take photographs outside Spanish railway stations."

Last month I reported that plane-spotting is banned in Spain; now railways are camera-shy, too. What are they trying to hide?

Write your way to Australia

See our travel section next week for details of our student travel writing competition.

Comments