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Prices in Britain

September 24, 2000

We just returned from four weeks in England and Wales and agree with Mike McIntyre's assessment that it is "budget obliterating" ("Putting the Squeeze on a Frugal Budget in Britain," The Wander Year, Sept. 10).

We also experienced tiny rooms and bathrooms, horridly overpriced, mediocre meals and high fees for nearly every attraction. The cost was compounded because there were four of us: two parents and two teenagers who needed their own room and ate as much as adults. We rented a minivan that served us well, but it cost $70 to fill the tank.

We had a wonderful time traveling around and seeing friends (who fortunately housed us for part of the time). We knew in advance that prices would be high, but even so the cost of ordinary items was frequently jolting.

KATHIE SHELDEN

and STEVE TARZYNSKI

Santa Monica

*

As a Scottish visitor to California, I feel I must respond to McIntyre's less-than-generous assessment of the United Kingdom.

While I accept that my country may not be one of the cheapest, his comments should be put in context. London, for example, should be considered like any other major city in the developed world. On a recent visit to New York, I paid $100, compared with McIntyre's $84 in London, for a shabby hotel room in a less-than-safe part of town. Do I consider this cause for complaint? No, because $100 isn't much to pay when you are staying in Manhattan.

His comparison of a taxi fare in Edinburgh with that in Kuala Lumpur is equally unfair. How much does he think a taxi ride costs in San Francisco? About the same as in Scotland.

MARK RICKARDS

Glasgow, Scotland

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