Set between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky mountains in Canada's west coast state of British Columbia, Vancouver has always been a stunning city simply by virtue of its location. But a municipal decision 20 years ago to make the downtown area more residential has paid huge dividends for tourists.
Sipping a cocktail in the lounge of the Esmerelda Rennaissance golf resort at the base of the Santa Rosa mountains in Indian Wells, everything seemed reassuringly calm. But when a glamorous girl in a tight red dress and a handsome man in tow beamed "I've won, I've won sixty thousand dollars," the tempo rose somewhat.
Most tourists can't get out of Malaga fast enough. They take a cheap flight to the airport, hire a car and head for the Costa Del Sol. Cruise passengers hop off at the port, many on to a waiting tour bus, to take them on to Grenada.
So here's the conundrum: a chance arises to grab a much needed mini-break but my husband and I have conflicting wish lists. My perfect tick-box break has to include stunning architecture, an abundance of history, perhaps a dash of Jewish culture, the rattle and hum of a vibrant city. He wants a sun lounger with back support, decent weather and a sea view.
On the small, secluded Eriska island on the west coast of Scotland north of Oban. It nestles on a rift valley created by cataclysmic upheavals that took place 600 million years ago. The island is virtually a nature reserve, with nature trails and seals, otters, badgers and roe deer all around.