From Alpine tunnels to the Zambian border, seeing the world by train brings adventure, intriguing company – and a deep sense of contentment
The Danes are considered to be among the happiest people in the world. But they can be clannish – and demographic change has unsettled many
With a declining Catholic church, a gay premier and a politically astute citizenry, Ireland has come of age. But on the border old wounds are reopening.
In the Netherlands, the bicycle is king and planners have built new towns out of the sea. But in this strong and stable society, immigrants are under pressure and fissures are beginning to appear.
I have a dual relationship with Hay – I have sometimes been a performer, and have known the angst and the pleasure, but I'm also a local.
For Jews, the city was once the heart of darkness. Now, it is full of young Israelis and Arabs. Could this be a recipe for peace, not war?
Once part of a great empire, Hungary has become used to standing alone. But as the prime minister prepares for re-election, his corrupt and puffed up regime is spreading fear and anxiety.
Business is booming in the tiny former British colony. But stories of corruption and assassination are filling the newspapers, and it may be headed for the EU’s naughty step.
The youngest member of the EU, Croatia is popular with tourists. But it is still defined by the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, and its young people are leaving.
Slovenia is a small country on the sunny side of the Alps, once part of communist Yugoslavia. The streets are clean, crime is low and education good. But birth rates are falling and people are not as cheerful as one might expect.