Why Europe is THE most interesting continent
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I love travelling to The Faroe Islands and to Cyprus. I've enjoyed trips to Gibraltar and the Arctic Circle of Finland. I've visited St Petersburg and Odessa, Malta and the Canaries. I even drove to 12 European countries in one day - setting a new world record. My verdict: Europe is simply the most varied and compact continent.
You can hurtle right across it in a car like I did or plod around little bits finding all sorts of treasures. There are sights everywhere.
There isn't really a boring bit of Europe... errr, unless you include all those industrial bits around the huge cities, or the flat bits in winter, or north west France, or the Costa del Sol, or the worst bits of Germany, or Magalluf. And what about Bulgaria? Okay, I don't think I can justify that 'no boring bits' tag. There's good and bad everywhere. But look at the map. There's no 1000-mile deserts or steppes or jungles in Europe. It's just concentrated variety.
Anyway, these travel articles and reviews include some of my favourites and some right shockers... if it's crap I'll say so. But to get back to where I started, Europe has all the mountains, beaches, cities, countryside, islands, history, wilderness, food, shopping, nightlife, culture and sheer enjoyment that any holiday could require. And if you live in Europe you're lucky - because it's all never far away...
Just as a random thing, here are ten places I love across Europe:
1. Isle de Batz, just off the north Brittany coast by Roscoff. Lots of beaches and cute cottages, no traffic, no British people...
2. Santorini. Okay, it's overwhelmed with tourism but looking out across the volcano crater full of sea from a picture postcard whitewashed Greek village is a awe-inspiring every time.
3. Stockholm. SImply my favourite city in Europe. I wish I was rich enough to enjoy it properly.
4. Driving along the Corniche in the South of France, ideally in an open top car, shades on, arm resting on the top of the door, good music, beautiful company and heading for a great restaurant.
5. The Italian Lakes. If pushed I'd say Como. but they've all got gorgeous bits. George Clooney has got good taste.
6. Driving through the Alps on a sunny day with no deadline looming. Mmmmm, just cruising from Switzerland to Austria in a decent car...
7. Terecitas Beach, Tenerife. Is this Europe? Well if it is this golden sand beach (imported from the Sahara by Franco) is one of the continent's best and it's far from the over-developed south coast.
8. Mdina, Malta - specifically the Xara Palace Hotel built into the ramparts. Can I come back one day please?
9. The public helicopter service in the Faroe Islands. Never mind eating blubber and stabbing baby whales, these are outrageously beautiful islands and the cheap chopper rides make the most of the scenery.
10. Lisbon at night. Everything from the mad sherry bars to the alternative art club scene. It's compact, old, sophisticated and friendly.
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