Aside from being the birthplace of Western civilisation and hosting a horde of magnificent cities, the countries around the Mediterranean possess an increasingly rare quality; respite. Even in the bustling cities there is an other worldly sense that no one really takes things seriously. Taxi drivers honk their horns at the traffic but they're not doing it out of spite, they just know it's what they're supposed to do and not doing so would be silly. As you travel towards the coast this semi-serious way of life fades away entirely. So long as there is food in your belly and good company nearby nothing in the world can disturb the Mediterranean summer.