If you're traveling to Spain, here's a bargain worth considering: an apartment near Madrid that rents for only $250 a week. Ideal for a family or couples traveling together. Three bedrooms, two baths, a living room, dining room, kitchen, TV. It's in Alcala de Henares. About 13 miles northeast of Madrid. Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus were among the town's most illustrious visitors. Tree-lined streets. Surrounded by mountains. For details and reservations write to Mrs. Asuncion Harper, P.O. Box 494, Munfordville, Ky. 42765. Telephone (502) 524-7014.
Los Angeles' newest club for singles (over age 45) is signing up members for a three-day cruise Jan. 15 aboard the Azure Seas. The ship will call at Catalina and Ensenada. Departs Friday evening, returns Monday morning. Still a few "shares" available at $294. The group calls itself "Just For Fun" and is offering the trip in conjunction with the Brunch Bunch, another singles club. For reservations contact Bob Kerr of Freighters & Cruises, 715 S. Normandie, Suite 802, Los Angeles 90005, telephone (213) 380-9720. Other details from Pearl Franklin at (213) 850-0760. Note: The Azure Seas is scheduled to arrive in Catalina on Saturday morning, sails at 3:30 p.m. for Ensenada where it will dock at 9 a.m. Sunday with departure that afternoon at 5:30. Arrives back in Los Angeles at 8 a.m. Monday.
A Letter From Belgium
Mrs. Christine Dewaele writes from Brugge, Belgium, about a charming old home with 18 guest rooms (private baths). Describes it as a "home away from home." We've seen pictures and it looks inviting. Old World touches with modern conveniences. Owner-run and in a quiet section of Brugge near the canals and market square. Guest rooms feature color TV, telephones, clock radios. The rate for two nights with breakfast is 2,400 Belgian francs (about $70 U.S.). For 3,800 francs the package includes a walking tour and dinner in addition to breakfast. Extra nights, 1,100 francs. Contact Pandhotel, Pandreitje 16, 8000 Brugge, Belgium, or see your travel agent. Other details from the Belgian National Tourist Office, 745 Fifth Ave., New York 10151.
A new hotel in Washington, D.C., has the welcome mat out for up to four persons sharing two-room suites at a reasonable $79 a night on weekends. The package includes complimentary breakfasts and a two-hour cocktail party each evening. This is hard to beat in pricey D.C. Contact Embassy Suites, 1250 22nd St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037. Besides complimentary breakfasts and drinks, the hotel has a no-tipping policy. Rooms feature refrigerators, two TV sets per unit, microwave ovens, coffee makers. After a day of sightseeing, guests return to a steam room, a sauna, swimming pool. The Embassy's 318 suites open on a tropical atrium. This is in D.C.'s West End between Georgetown and the White House.
Dan Griffin of Riverside sends along a note asking about Spur of the Moment Tours. Spur of the Moment is a clearinghouse for "last-minute unsold cruises." The company says it can save passengers up to 50% on trips. Works particularly well for retirees and others who can travel on short notice. This means a lead time of a month to six weeks on international cruises, two to three weeks on domestic sailings. Spur of the Moment deals with 20 cruise lines. So far this year they've booked accommodations for more than 10,000 passengers. A variety of transatlantic sailings are available for March/April when cruise ships will be repositioned at Atlantic/Mediterranean ports. For details call Spur of the Moment at (800) 223-2129 in California or (213) 839-2418. Spur of the Moment's hot line (information on upcoming sailings) is (213) 838-9329.
Space is already filling up for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. A reported 33,000 rooms are in the pool. Hotels, apartments, small inns, private homes. To trim costs you can book a room in a private home. Singles are priced at $25, doubles are going for $30. This includes a Western-style breakfast. (The Korea Travel Bureau is in charge of the program.) Guides will meet your flight in Seoul and accompany you to the guest house. For details on private home rentals and general information on the Olympics, write to the Korea National Tourism Corp., 510 West 6th St., Suite 323, Los Angeles 90014.
Big Apple Guide