Report Cards

FIRST, FAST & FURIOUS ? The following is a sampling of reports received from ITN readers around the globe. ITN invites you to join our corps of reporters ? just drop a card in the mail while the travel impressions are fresh in your mind. To obtain your ITN Report Cards, send a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope to ITN Report Cards, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818. You will receive eight cards.

Readers who are computer savvy can click here to access access the online form. Pass along your hot travel tips!

On TURKEY, December ’05. . .

• Took the tour “Crossroads of Turkey” with Grand Circle Travel (Boston, MA; 800/221-2610), Nov. 26-Dec. 14 — $1,595.

We have been in Turkey many times. This time we had the best guide; his name is Nigaraksu.

We went to places not on the itinerary and had good hotels and fine food. A very good trip.

— Homer Somers, Wallingford, VT

On the UNITED KINGDOM, December ’05. . .

• On our trip to the U.K, October-December, we stayed in a beautifully restored, 18th-century stone farmhouse in Wye Valley. This B&B (Hardwicke, Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR3 5HA, U.K.; visit www. is located three miles from Hay-on-Wye, which is famous for its 38 bookshops and its annual literary festival.

Rooms are spacious and every detail is attended to, from tea and cake when we arrived on a very wet/blustery evening to an extremely comfortable bed. The hosts, John and Jane Neville, were most gracious and helpful and prepared a delightful full English breakfast.

We stayed an additional day, in part because it was such a lovely situation. The price was £25 (near $43) per person per night.

— Nylah Chilton, Citrus Heights, CA

On RUSSIA, September ’05. . .

• For our visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg, Sept. 20-27, we asked Alexi of Palladium Tours (61 Nab Chernoyrechki, 197342, St. Petersburg, Russia; e-mail to book all of our arrangements. He answered all of our questions promptly and did an exceptional job.

The trip for two of us, excluding airfare, cost $2,600, which was at least a third less than a regular tour would have been. This included cars and personal guides/drivers in both cities, hotels, overnight sleeper train tickets, tickets for cultural performances and admissions.

Our guides were Irina Vihogradreva in Moscow and Galina Kalova in St. Petersburg. The hotels were quite good — clean, comfortable and well located. We stayed in the renovated wing at Hotel Rossiya in Moscow and in a very new, quite good mini-hotel called Antares in St. Petersburg.

Alexi actually met us at the station in St. Petersburg and took us to the airport.

Palladium Tours does accept credit cards. We learned about this company from ITN readers and have no reservations recommending it as well as Alexi.

— Sally Lowen, Santa Fe, NM