With so many millionaires crammed into its 0.78 square miles, its awesome architecture, improbable number of spotlessly-lush parks and one of the smallest royals-to-commoners ratios in the world, you'd be forgiven for thinking Monaco is something dreamt up as a vehicle for a Grace Kelly film.
There is no more spectacular image than a parade of elephants on a mission to find a watering hole within a seemingly infinite landscape. Almost as impressive is the sight of giraffes around acacia trees reaching for the highest, freshest twigs and leaves to snack on.
Two hundred and twenty seven banks, countless skyscrapers and Europe’s third biggest airport. And it is the birthplace of Goethe, Anne Frank and Yiddishe sex therapist Ruth Westheimer. It is also the first German city to have a Jewish mayor.
Last year we reported that Israel’s Tourism Minister, Stas Misezhnikov, was keen to improve travel to Israel. He told us at November’s World Travel Market: “We need an extra 19,000 hotel rooms to increase competition and reduce room rates.” Mr Misezhnikov insisted: “There will be no more paying five-star prices for three-star hotels.”
On the way up, all I could see were the clouds.They were blurring the view of the peak, but as we edged closer the scene began to look a little spooky as the silhouette of the mountain-top restaurant, Tête de Solaise, began to emerge through the misty white.
THE road to Bovey Castle is narrow and winding, the approach marked by unimposing iron gates. It is far from an ostentatious entrance and one you could easily miss. This place is a closely guarded secret and they’d clearly like to keep it that way.
For a place with fewer than 200,000 inhabitants Geneva punches above its weight. It produced Jean Jacques Rousseau, whose philosophy inspired the French Revolution; it was the launch pad for the Reformation which changed the course of European history; the Geneva Convention was signed here and the World Jewish Congress was founded here in 1936.