Travel writer Margaret Zellers has authored a new guide. Forty-five pages of facts on hiking/mountain climbing in Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, plus suggestions on sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, fishing, hang gliding, ballooning. Zellers' pocket guide provides tips on traveling in the Alps, appropriate clothing for your trip, summer skiing, climate, tourist office addresses. A handy booklet to have in your possession.
For a copy of "The Alps--A Sporting Life," send a post card to the Alpine Tourist Commission, Section 893, Box 1137, Radio City Station, New York 10101.
Although summer has barely arrived, Vermont is jumping the gun and planning for the fall foliage season. Jack and Betty Russell of Vermont Travel Information Service warn that it's imperative to book lodging early. Inns/B&Bs are being reserved far ahead of the foliage months. The Russells operate a free booking agency they refer to as a "one-call" operation. They'll make all your reservations. (The Russells work with 350 innkeepers throughout the state.) They'll also steer you to wineries, cheese-making farms, antique shops, secret fishing holes, riding stables.
Vermont Travel Information Service, Pond Village, Brookfield, Vt. 05036. Telephone (802) 276-3120.
Her Hawaiian friends call her Aunty Malia. She's a familiar figure in Honolulu, where she leads free tours of Waikiki Monday through Wednesday. The 90-minute stroll takes in historic landmarks, parks. Groups visit the beach site of Queen Kapiolani's old home, Waikiki's first hotel, the spot where Hawaii's Olympic swimming champion, Duke Kahanamoku, trained. A dozen stops in all. Tours begin at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. Reservations are necessary. Ring up the Hyatt at (808) 923-1234 and ask to be listed on Aunty Malia's free walking tour. (You'll pass dozens of inexpensive restaurants/cafes, so take along a notebook and jot down addresses.)
Faster journeys are in the works for passengers on British trains. The speediest ride (a 400-mile trip, London to Glasgow) is under five hours. A new service: trips approximately every half hour between London and Edinburgh (one of the fastest links in Britain). New trains are being added on the Manchester-London run. Other speedy trains will link London with Liverpool (home of the Beatles), Preston and North Wales. In addition, a new Pullman service is being introduced between London and South Wales.
Details by dialing BritRail Travel International in Los Angeles: (213) 624-8787.
B. L. of Pasadena asks for the name of a reasonable hotel near San Francisco's Union Square. Try the Cartwright, 524 Sutter St. Singles from $75, doubles from $82. This popular small hotel (114 rooms) is only a block off Union Square. Little touches make the Cartwright high on the priority list of budget travelers. Fresh flowers, turn-down service, terry-cloth robes, complimentary tea and cakes, chocolates at bedtime. Parking is close by. So are the Sutter and Powell Cable Car lines.
For reservations, call toll-free (800) 227-3844.
A Letter From Tahiti
David Parkin writes: "The ideal way to see Tahiti and her islands is by private yacht. I operate the Esprit, which becomes your hotel/restaurant. I'm an Englishman, and with my Tahitian wife Hinano will deliver you from Tahiti to Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora on a cruise designed to allow guests to experience the real Polynesia, anchoring each night in secluded lagoons, dining on Tahitian and French cuisine. Our boat is spacious and has been operating in Tahiti for more than six years, mainly for Americans."
The all-inclusive cost is $1,100 per person a week. Cheaper rates for longer charters. A minimum of two passengers, maximum of eight. Contact David Parkin, B.P. 111, Temae, Moorea, French Polynesia.
A new word translator is on the market. Available from Traveler's Checklist in Connecticut. It's designed as a pocket word finder that translates "from or to any of five languages." English, French, German, Spanish, Italian. Possesses an 8,000-word memory bank. Here's how it works: You type in your word, then press one of five color-coded keys and the instrument comes up with the translation. If you want to know the same word in another language, just push another button. Pocket-size, operates on four batteries. Comes with a one-year warranty. Not cheap. Sells for $79.95 plus $4 for shipping.
For details, write to Traveler's Checklist, 335 Cornwall Bridge Road, Sharon, Conn. 06069. Ask for their catalogue.
Tickets are selling rapidly for next year's Passion Play in Oberammergau, West Germany. Performances (held only once every 10 years) will take place May 21 to Sept. 28. The all-day spectacle begins at 9 a.m., ends at 5:30 p.m. A series of living tableaux depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments.