Travelers' Intercom

In reference to recent letters (Dec. ’03, pg. 78 & Feb. ’04, pg. 83), I thought the purpose of having an International Driving Permit was to present it in the case you had to deal with authorities in non-English-speaking countries. It serves as a multilanguage translation of your driver’s license, including what type of vehicles you are permitted to operate, i.e., car, motorcycle, etc.


The airport-to-Paris shuttle service PariShuttle (visit was mentioned previously by ITN readers (Feb. ’02, pgs. 74-75). For a trip in September ’03, I tried to call the service and learned that their toll-free number from the U.S. is no longer available. You must call their other numbers or contact them through their e-mail address: (I made alternative arrangements.)


Our family (husband, wife, 16-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter) visited France and Belgium for three weeks in June ’03. While in Paris, we arrived at the Sainte-Chapelle minutes before a free English-language tour was to begin. It was the luckiest day of our trip!

The guide, Vicki-Marie Petrick, was a native of Jacksonville, Florida, who has been living in Paris for 10 years. She has a Master’s in Medieval and Renaissance Art History from the Sorbonne and is currently pursuing a...


Four years ago we were introduced to the Auckland, New Zealand, area by an excellent and very knowledgeable tour guide, Don Cater of Southern Cross Tours (14 Rimu Rise, Albany, Auckland, New Zealand; phone/fax +64 9 415 8793, mobile phone +64 25 990450, e-mail or visit

We reported our find at the time in ITN (Aug. ’00, pg. 130) and have kept in touch with Don since then. In November ’03 we were happy to revisit New Zealand and found...


I paid a return visit to London’s Bloomsbury in November ’03.

Bloomsbury is that district in London that surrounds the British Museum and edges another district, Soho. Compared to Soho, Bloomsbury is sedate; however, in the years before and after the First World War, from 1900 to the eve of the Second World War, Bloomsbury’s artists, writers, critics and Bohemian ways rivaled those of Paris in the 1920s.

The area continues to delight me. I haven’t grown weary of the West End or...


We spent a month in Thailand, November-December ’03, traveling with a Thai woman who was very offended when, at the temples, monuments and ruins, tourists would jump up and stand behind statues of Buddha that were missing the heads in order to have comical pictures taken. The guards at the ruins spend a lot of time shooing people off the walls and statues.

We’ve seen this happen at many places we’ve traveled to in Asia and, to be fair, it isn’t just the Americans who do it.



In ITN’s book on Italy I came across InfoRoma, experts on Rome. It was such a wonderful find that I’m writing to recommend this resource to readers, myself.

Margaret Coffin of InfoRoma (Via Peltechian 42, 00173 Rome, Italy; phone/fax +39 06 72900141, e-mail or visit provides itineraries, maps, recommendations and in-depth site information to visitors to Rome. Thank goodness, because as a first-time traveler to this phenomenal city I was...


As part of a journey through east Central Europe in July ’03, a friend and I boarded a train in Warsaw headed for Moscow, about a 25-hour rail trip. Part of the route entailed traveling through the country of Belarus, thus a stop was made at Terespol, the border town between Belarus and Poland. Here, as part of routine passport inspections, guards boarded the train.

When one made it to our compartment, I handed him my passport and waited while he browsed the pages. I had been informed...