Surprising Switzerland


“Why the bloody hell do they build these monstrosities?” the cross English woman shouted at her terrified little husband. “Why? It’s just so bloody awful!”

She was glaring at a sparkling new adventure playground in the final stages of construction high up the side of a Swiss mountain.

The husband nodded sadly and watched his wife pull her hat down over her ears, stretch her waistband high up under her bosom and storm off to start the bloody nature walk she had bloody come here for.

Meanwhile the five of us, absentmindedly wiping her spittle from our faces, were spellbound.

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The truth about travelling with kids


Every now and then travellers are rewarded with a moment of sublime timing.

Ours came at the end of a lovely day exploring The Camargue wildlife reserve, spotting flamingoes, wild horses, beavers and thousands of water birds. We were planning to top off the day with a late afternoon ice cream at a sleepy seaside village nearby.

But Saintes Maries de la Mer was not asleep.

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Perils of the home straight


Nerves of steel are required to drive this road every day

Whoever dares to question French courageousness needs to drive on my road.

Countless fearless Aixois commuters do it every day of the week. Twice. At speed.

The road is as wide as a catwalk model’s ankle.

Steep ditches line each side of it.

Huge trucks travel at ferocious speeds on it.

Tractors and trailers, graders and even horses and carts can be seen on it.

Yet the only one who is terrified is me – leaning pointlessly toward to the centre of the car where it feels a tiny bit safer.

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