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Letters to the Travel editor

Detroit and driving between countries.

November 20, 2011

How Detroit has changed

Thanks for the great article ["Psst! Did You Know?" by Andrew Bender, Nov. 13], and thanks for referring to us as "Michiganders" instead of "Michigainians." I grew up just outside Detroit in Bloomfield Hills and always loved the "'hoods" downtown. Yes, in the last several decades there were areas I avoided at night and one or two I avoided even during the day, but for the most part, I did and still love downtown Detroit.

Teri Springer

Richland, Mich.

I refer to Detroit as the city that used to be. It was a great place to grow up. We had a vibrant downtown, great parks and a sense of community. Then the '70s hit, and we had riots and the populace fled to the suburbs, then came the years of crooked politicians. Today you can't help but notice the relics of burned-out residences and overgrown weeds as you drive into what once was a great place to call home. It's a sad place.

Donna Harris Bassin

Westlake Village

Thanks for the nice story on Detroit. Next time stop by Cliff Bell's Jazz Club. It is the coolest venue for jazz in the D. I play there every Wednesday. A totally restored Art Deco jazz club.

R.J. Spangler

St. Clair Shores, Mich.

When driving over borders

Regarding Bill Robinson's complaint about guidebooks not describing Slovenia's requirements for foreigners driving in their country [Letters, Nov.6]: Don't blame just the guidebooks. Frankly, this sounds like a scam to me, and I wonder what the Slovenian tourist office has to say about it. Assuming this was a legitimate charge, I presume Robinson rented his car, in which case the rental company probably knew where he intended to drive. I think the rental company should have advised him of the requirements. My husband and I had a similar problem in France several years ago. We rented a car in Monaco for drop-off in Avignon. Neither the guidebooks I used nor the company we rented the car from mentioned that the main road between those two locations was a toll road. There was no sign when we entered the toll road. The tolls were not excessive, but we had no euro coins, only larger denomination bills. Fortunately, we found a toll booth staffed by a live person who was able to make change. You can be sure we never rented from that company again. Before I plan another foreign driving trip, I'll check with the Auto Club and the appropriate foreign tourist offices about the quirky requirements of the countries I plan to drive through.

Mary-Lynne Fisher

La Crescenta

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