The romantic setting of Saint Lucia
My namesake Saint Lucia - she's known as "the Helen of the West Indies", such was the ferocity with which Britain and France fought over her in the nineteenth century - welcomed me with dazzling sunshine and a blast of tropical warmth.
No modern airbridge leading to sterile corridors through another homogenous airport. With the Caribbean you're transported the instant that aircraft door opens and you blink in the sunlight at the top of the steps - like some creature emerging from hibernation in the less benevolent climate of the UK. This being the rainy season, I wasn't surprised that sun had made way for rain by the time I'd settled back into the comforting air-conditioned car whisking me to me resort but, as is usually the case in these islands, 15 minutes later the sun had returned.
However you choose to do it, seeing Saint Lucia is a "must" during your holiday. Whether you go solo and hire a car or allow a driver/guide to take the strain there's so much more to this island than the archetypal Caribbean beach getaway. Diverse manmade attractions utilizing natural resources, such as a rainforest zipwire, have sprung up in recent years - and they're definitely worth a go - but for me the highlights are what nature herself created, namely the twin Pitons. These forested peaks soar high to the heavens and yet, incongruously in many respects, hug the south-western shore of the island, creating a dramatic contrast with the white sandy shores and sparkling Caribbean Sea far below.
With views like these the romantic within anyone would be awakened, so with many of the island's most luxurious hotels designed with intimacy and privacy in mind, it's really no wonder that Saint Lucia is near the top of many wedding and honeymoon wish lists.
There's surely nowhere better to spend time with the one you love.