Advice wellworth sharing
I so agree with Christopher Reynolds' advice ["Next Stop: Somewhere Else," June 24]. My two grown children have always said one of the best gifts I've given them is the love of travel. To initiate them, I told them their high school graduation presents would be trips abroad.
My son's was a month's backpacking in Europe on his own. He made friends at youth hostels and learned to make the most of his Eurail Pass, as well as to stay within his per diem budget.
My daughter and I spent two weeks with friends in London and Paris after her graduation. She got to practice her high school French, which later inspired her to minor in French in college and spend part of her junior year at the Sorbonne. After college she joined the Peace Corps, volunteering in a French-speaking African country. Those first experiences outside their own world inspired confidence and curiosity.
Whether here or abroad, travel is the best education there is.
I've been following Reynolds' articles and columns for many years. His June 24 article was his best ever.
I lead international trips for the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club. Although most of my participants are 55-plus, there were many gems in his article that apply not only to young travelers but also to all new travelers. I will share some of these with our participants in a Bali/Komodo dragons trip at a pre-trip meeting in August.
Thank you for enlightening us.
I just finished reading Reynolds' article, and I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. It's so true. Some of the best moments of my life are the silliest little things, but they happened abroad and have a starring role in my memory. My last epic adventure was in Ecuador, but that was 18 years ago and how I became a Lopez. Three kids later, my husband and I are ready get back on the road. You don't have to be young. We are planning to hike in the Canadian Rockies. Woo-hoo.
Thank you for Amanda Jones' article on the Greek Peloponnese ["Mythical," June 24]. All too often the only travel stories on Greece are about the islands. Greece is so much more than Santorini and Mykonos. The Peloponnese, the cradle of Western civilization, is a place travelers should be familiar with but are not.
I realize that space is short, but it would be nice to have included the rugged and unique area called Mani and the magnificent late Byzantine city of Mystras, just a stone's throw from legendary Sparta.
Nevertheless, as one who has traveled extensively in Greece I appreciate this piece greatly.
P.S. The "Greek" ice cream Jones ate in Nafplio was probably from the Italian gelateria off the main square. This shop is owned and operated by Italians; the ice cream tastes wonderful, but it is not "Greek."
I just got back from 10 days in Greece — a couple of days in Athens and then Mykonos and Santorini. I want readers to know that Greece is very safe. While posting on Facebook and other social media outlets, I was surprised by how many "Are you OK?" responses came my way. The people, especially on the islands, are friendly and eager to see more tourists.
Peeved at Princess
I read with great interest Catharine Hamm's article, "Unrefunded and Unhappy," regarding the problem with the Caribbean Princess [On the Spot, June 24].
My boyfriend and I just returned from a cruise on the same ship, but to the British Isles, Scotland and France. We boarded the ship on June 7, and were supposed to sail the next day. Well, you guessed it, an announcement was made that they were experiencing mechanical problems and the ship wouldn't sail until the second day.
They had to eliminate one of the ports because of this. They canceled Liverpool, which disappointed many of the 3,100 passengers. We found out from a few passengers that the same ship had had the same problem (the one you wrote about) on a Caribbean cruise. At least they credited everyone on the ship $75 to make up for the delay.
The second problem was our stop in Edinburgh, where the seas were too choppy to allow for the tenders to get into the city. So we missed out on another of the important ports. For this reason, we won't be cruising any time soon, especially on Princess. I know the latter problem was not Princess' fault, but it made for a disappointing and expensive trip.
I must have traveled on a different Greyhound system than Chris Erskine ["New Spin on an Old-Fashioned Ride," June 17]. It was the trip from hell, from Oceanside to Albany, N.Y.
We broke down outside of San Bernardino, and the driver was rude and belligerent when asked how long it would be before a new bus arrived (turned out to be more than three hours). Got to Las Vegas, but had already missed my connection to Denver. The clerks were rude, as well as the rent-a-cops. Got into St Louis, and we were delayed two hours. Word from "upstairs" was that we had to wait for a bus coming in from I don't know where. The heads in two of the legs were almost overflowing and stunk so bad that there was almost a rebellion on the bus. Finally got to Albany almost a day late — at 6 a.m., no less.
I could go on, but you get the picture. Wrote Greyhound and also emailed them; still no response after three weeks. I want my money back. Never again.