DAMIEN SIMONIS, born and bred in Sydney, Australia, has had a little trouble settling down since he took a one-way flight to Cairo in 1989. In his baggage was a BA in modern languages from Melbourne University and seven years experience as a reporter and copy editor on some of Australia's leading dailies, including the Australian, The Age, and the West Australian. Since landing in the Egyptian capital, Damien has lived, studied, and worked all over Europe and the Middle East. In 1992 he started writing guidebooks and travel articles for publications in Australia, the UK, and North America, and he hasn't stopped since. His wanderings have taken him from Ukraine to the Sudan, from Syria to Morocco, from the Alps to the Straits of Gibraltar. On his two greatest passions, Spain and Italy, he has written extensively. He currently divides his time between London, Barcelona, and the road.