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Travel letters: L.A., Mystras and Slovenia

November 06, 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Hip and Historic," by Christopher Reynolds in the Oct. 30 paper. It made me want to get in my car and take a day trip to West Hollywood. I realized, however, that by the time I drove three hours to WeHo, I would have just enough time to eat at a couple of places (Canter's for sure) before having to head home. My plan is to make a few days of it around the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays. Thanks for the great article.

Elizabeth Osborne

Pismo Beach

Reynolds missed out on mentioning Andre's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria. Nestled in the Town and Country Shopping Center between Kmart and Whole Foods (at 3rd and Fairfax), Andre's has been providing great quality Italian food since 1963. Those of us who have enjoyed the food for years are even fans of Andre's on Facebook. If he can mention Canter's, Pink's and Messob Ethiopian, he certainly should not leave out Andre's.

Elliott Stern

Los Angeles

Quiet and cats

Regarding "Nobody's Home in These Old Towns" (Oct. 30): One of the best and most extensive deserted towns in the world is in Greece at Mystras near the ancient city of Sparta. This centuries-old late Byzantine city winds its way through hills with palaces, churches and modest homes lining the pathways through fields of wildflowers. The only inhabited place is a monastery with a few welcoming nuns and many cats.

Joyce Helfand

Arcadia

Slovenia drive

In September, I drove from Croatia into Slovenia for a two-day visit. As we crossed the border from Croatia, our passports were checked, and we were waved through. A few hundred yards past the border was a small building with signs written solely in the Serb language. It was a station for buying vignettes, or toll stickers, for travel on the highways. No one at the border told us to purchase one before continuing on our journey.

Upon returning to the border crossing two days later, we were waved out of the line of cars, and I was asked to show my passport. The border police immediately confiscated my passport. It turns out that I did not have the travel document showing in the windshield, indicating that I had purchased the vignette.

I was told that I would have to pay a fine of 150 euros (more than $200) before my passport would be returned to me. The travel pass would have cost 15 euros. I had no recourse.

I checked later with the American Embassy in Slovenia, and I was told that this occurs regularly, and there was nothing the embassy could do about it.

Guidebooks make little reference to the requirement of buying the vignette, but it should be posted in bold as a warning to travelers. Americans need to be aware of this.

Bill Robinson

San Clemente

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