It's not every day you get to look round a house which the Queen once wanted to live in. The 450-year-old Villa Parisio in Malta, though charming and interesting historically, is not grand, certainly not by royal standards. But the Queen, then a newly married Princess Elizabeth with a naval husband stationed on the island, apparently thought it would be just right for them.
I have come to expect certain things from Italy: pasta, pizza, gelato and fearless driving. But while residents of Val Gardena take the mountainous hairpin bends at toe-curling speeds, there is little else here that chimes with my flimsy stereotypes.
The humble pizza might not seem much of a yardstick by which to judge a ski resort, but those on offer at Havdalskroa somehow encapsulate the ski holiday experience in Norway - very different fromthe Alps.
Anyone who was sent on an Aish or Habonim holiday by their parents when they were children may have memories of what it was like to holiday with 60 or so others. In childhood it seems the most natural thing in the world to travel, eat, play and learn as a community. And perhaps come back somehow changed.
Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire
On the winding walk, discover bright yellow and red dogwoods and the polished bark of the Tibetan Cherry. The air is fragrant with flowering honeysuckle and look out for Himalayan Silver Grove with slender white trunks. Early in New Year there will be thousands of snowdrops.
I was floating in the Red Sea clad in snorkelling gear and then it happened: a dolphin swam up close, looked me straight in the eye for one full pregnant, almost spiritual, moment. In a blink the dolphin had slid away. Before I could smooth out my pleated senses, another swam beneath me turning over, showing off its white, smooth tummy. And so it continued.
I am in the mountains in the Pyrenees, it's the first time I've worn these walking boots and they're hurting. My previous pair disintegrated in the Dolomites a week ago, so I've not had time to break them in. These belonged to my deceased father, so I really am stepping into a dead man's shoes.
Images of Frida Kahlo, that nice Jewish girl in traditional Mexican dress who has become the most merchandised art icon in the world, tell you a lot about her native land. That Mexico, where the Catholic conquistadores and indigenous tribes who preceded them were immigrants themselves, is an inherently tolerant country whose Jews feel a deep sense of identity with their adopted country.