Travelers' Intercom

We had been alternating cheap and luxurious hotels, $60 one night and $6 the next, during our September ’02 trip to Morocco, and now we were looking for a cheap place to stay between the Moroccan desert and the city of Fez. We had been told that Midelt was a nice town, and our guidebook reported that there was a family-run hotel in the middle of it, Hotel Atlas. As two women traveling alone, we were drawn to the idea of a family-run place. Also, the price was right: $6.

After the...


To sightsee Barcelona, I recommend the Bus Turistic. Run by the local transit authority, it is a 25-stop bus route featuring both a north and south loop. A multilingual tour guide is aboard each bus.

One- and 2-day tickets are available at €15 and €19 (near $17.50 and $22). They can be purchased at the Playa de Catalunya in the heart of the city. A 6-language guidebook is provided as well.

Facilitating planning a tour, brochures are available all over the place showing the...


The following will be of interest to art lovers, especially, since Rome’s Borghese packs one of the strongest punches of any museum in Europe.

I visited the Borghese Gallery (Piazzale del Museo Borghese, 5, 00197 Rome; phone 39-06-328-10) in April of 2003. Admission cost €8.50 (near $10).

Now, you are probably aware of how Italy falls on the process-oriented versus goal-oriented scale of societies; that is to say, you will find that Italians generally are not so concerned with...


We returned Oct. 16, ’03, from a month in Italy, where we had a car for 24 days. We found that if you’re planning to drive in Europe for 17 days or more, it generally pays to lease a car rather than to rent. We leased a brand-new mid-size Renault Laguna with air-conditioning and manual transmission for $1,337, everything included (all taxes; all insurance, including CDW, theft and liability; airport surcharges, etc.). There was nothing else to pay.

We booked through Renault at www....


I had the pleasure of attending a one-week Tuscan cooking course, Sept. 29-Oct. 5, ’02, given by the Aolmaia Country School, based in beautiful San Miniato, Italy. It offers courses in cooking and other Tuscan/Ligurian arts and subjects such as stained glass, mosaics, wine, the Italian language and Etruscan history, to name a few, at reasonable prices!

Based on one’s choice of course, prices range from €390 (near $447) a week, without lodging or meals, to €2,688 ($3,082) for six...


Our plan was to attend the Chelsea Garden Show on May 22, ’03, with the preceding week spent in and about London seeing all the sights. We were warmly welcomed everywhere — I really don’t think I have ever encountered friendlier people. The Brits really miss us, and London is a wonderful place to visit.

Our apartment in Mayfair turned out to be a real gem. Just off Shepherd Market, where there were dozens of quaint shops and restaurants on every corner, the Mayfayre House (22-28...


In contrast to the opinion expressed in the reader’s letter “Tivoli, a Tarnished Treat” (Sept. ’03, pg. 18), the Tivoli that I visited in Copenhagen in September ’03 was a highlight of my trip. So enchanting was the theme park that I just had to go two nights in a row because I didn’t get enough the first night.

There is a cosmopolitan theme that runs the gauntlet in this beautiful amusement park. It isn’t Disneyland, Six Flags Over Texas or Coney Island. The park has its own flavor...


I recommend the following two new travel books.

• For those of you who have been to Africa or plan to travel there, I would like to recommend Paul Theroux’s new book, “Dark Star Safari — Overland from Cairo to Capetown” (2003, Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0618134247 ­— 496 pp., $28). In his description of the gritty and chaotic conditions encountered on his overland journey, he reveals a side of Africa that is unlikely to be seen along the tourist trails.

He has this to say about...