We have received a number of letters from your readers in response to a recent article which mentioned Interhostel as an affiliate of Elderhostel. Please note that there is no organizational connection between the two. Elderhostel offers educational programs both in the United States and overseas for people 60 years of age and older.
WILLIAM D. BERKELEY
Lee Soskin's vacation memories of Yosemite (Feb. 3) revived happy memories of similar vacations and access routes. I, too, was 8 years old on my first visit, in 1922. . . . I wish I could join Soskin in her optimism that Yosemite will be forever. The park service is working to reduce the urbanization and commercialization of Yosemite, and all of us who love the park will hopefully stand behind their efforts.
After reading the very interesting article Feb. 10 on Yellowstone National Park by Frank Riley, I was more determined than ever to visit that famous place. After checking around I found a great tour going there in May led by a popular retired professor of geography, Richard Logan. My friends who have traveled with him highly recommend this tour, and I thought that others might. It's offered by the L.A. Community Colleges at (213) 628-7788.
I loved reading Helen Keleman's story about Paris (Feb. 10). I, too, think of Paris as a friendly city. When I arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport I had $50 in French francs and knew I was going to take the Air France bus to Porte Maillot. The fare was 28 francs. A porter got me onto the bus, loaded my luggage and picked the 28-franc fare out of my hand. All our communication was in Spanish. When I tried to give him a 10-franc tip, he said no and took a 5-franc coin. I remembered him from a trip two years before.
This time when I arrived back at Charles de Gaulle from Porte Maillot, he got me off the bus, showed me to a seat, found me an International Herald Tribune to read while I waited for the check-in counter to open.
On the way home the plane was not crowded and Air France thoughtfully spaced passengers in every other seat. My row mate and I started talking before we left the ground. We talked all night and shared many private thoughts and ideas. Our arrival at LAX found us fast friends. We still see and talk to each other frequently. She's 23 and I'm in my late 50s.
Santa Barbara Dining
I enjoyed Sharon Dirlam's article on Santa Barbara restaurants Feb. 24. She was really up-to-date, including Oscar's. However, she neglected to mention Chase Bar and Grill. I recommend it to all my friends. You will enjoy the fettuccine and fish. Yum. On State Street.
In the Cruise Views column Feb. 17, I concur with Slater and Basch's recommendation that positioning cruises provide an excellent value. However, I suggest two precautions:
Avoid small ships with few public rooms. We chose a ship that had proved most satisfactory for us on cruises of 10 and 14 days. Although the positioning itinerary proved to be excellent, there were several periods of two or three days at sea when the lack of sufficient public rooms proved disconcerting when someone desired a few moments of quiet solitude or a change of scenery.
Select an itinerary when the staff and crew are departing from rather than returning to their home port. The staff and crew's primary thought and interest is about home, not the passengers.
With these two exceptions, however, we would encourage all to try a positioning cruise.
DON J. OWEN
Rolling Hills Estates