Friends around the world

In the letter titled “Taxi Tours of Gibraltar” (Aug. ’07, pg. 16), a reader wrote about a cruise stop on which he and his wife wanted to go into town for shopping and then perhaps take a taxi tour. They weren’t interested in purchasing any of the ship’s shore excursions but couldn’t easily find a cab that would just take them into town.

On cruises of my favored line (Oceania Cruises), I have noticed that most passengers are unaware of online message boards geared to particular cruise lines or itineraries. In these days of the Internet, people are remiss in not just going online. I know that not everyone has a computer; I’m just suggesting that they should consider it.

When we were in Gibraltar the first time, in October ’99, we did the ship’s tour (with Renaissance Cruises, for the record). When we were there with Oceania in November ’05 I had made contact with a fellow message board member who lives there. He picked us up at the dock and we had a wonderful day with him and his wife.

We weren’t particularly interested in touring around because it was our second visit, so he picked us up and brought us to his home. We had tea and crumpets with them and then went out to do a very little tour, ending up for tea, coffee, beer or whatever at the main plaza in town. It was a lovely, relaxed visit.

Thanks to my Internet experiences, I have met many people throughout the world. We now have a close friend who lives near Aarhus, Denmark; she grew up in Copenhagen. We have visited her twice, she has visited us twice, and in May ’07 we traveled with her through some of the western national parks (from the Badlands to the Grand Canyon). I have visited another friend in Mallorca. A Brazilian friend has visited me in New York. These are just a few examples.

It is so much better to visit a foreign location with a friend, even if only for a day. And meeting people in person that you know only by e-mail is so much more fun. I’ve never been disappointed. As I said, I’ve visited them (I almost forgot to mention Pierre in Paris) and they have visited me.


Brooklyn, NY