Denmark can be characterised by its anthem, Der er et yndigt land (There is a lovely land). For while the country covers a landmass of only 16,562 square miles — 72,182 less than Great Britain — it is pure pastoral backdrop, a shifting image of sea and sand; flat and arable with few built-up metropolitan areas.
On our last visit to Cyprus, we could not escape the attention of the ubiquitous cats (brought to the island, so legend has it, by St Helen in the fourth century to combat the snakes). Whenever we ate al fresco, our fish would attract a bunch of scrawny mendicants, slaloming between our feet in search of an under-the-table offering.
From his lofty perch, Napoleon gazes across at what might have been. Back in 1804 more than 100,000 men of his grand army stood alongside him here at Boulogne-Sur-Mer poised to invade England. They even built the column in anticipation of victory.Fortunately, they got distracted by Austria and Russia in the east and abandoned the invasion.
Alone bell tolls from somewhere close by, not an unfamiliar sound when you’re in Italy, but at this moment it’s rather more poignant. I’m inside Ferrara’s ancient shul, still going strong in the heart of the former medieval ghetto, nearly 600 years after it was built.
On any other day it would have been difficult not to notice the charm of the black volcanic landscape and the contrasting low-rise white-washed towns of Lanzarote. But as I drove along hilly roads from Playa Blanca in the south through Arecife, the capital, and on to the hillside village of Nazaret in the north, I hardly noticed the chain of multi-hued mountains that snake from end to end.
Imagine you’re looking at a giant, powdery sand dune that’s over 100 feet high. Now imagine 20 miles of them. You might think you’re in the Sahara, but this is no desert. This is Stockton Beach in the Worimi National Park on Australia’s eastern coast, and these are some of the largest sand dunes in the world.