Europe, our neighbour across the water, is frequently cut off by storms in the Channel. Unwilling to allow our neighbours to suffer from this isolation, we helped them dig a tunnel, but I'm still not convinced it was a good idea.

I have arranged the countries in alphabetical order, with no implications of value or worth. Austria is a beautiful country where every prospect pleases, but with the usual caveat. Belgium is small, crowded and interesting in a tragic kind of way. Croatia may be little-known but it is rapidly and deservedly becoming a popular holiday destination. There is more to the Czech Republic than the capital city of Prague. Finland may be full of dour Finns, but it is also the home of Santa Claus. Germany is - well, Germany, arguably the economic powerhouse for the rest of Europe, but crammed with history and fascination. Italy is heaven if you like pasta, hell if you don't. Norway is beautiful but horribly expensive.