Albania tour agency; inexpensive buffets in Bermuda; restaurants in London, and guide in Rome

This item appears on page 4 of the January 2012 issue.


We traveled in Albania with Albania Travelnet in November ’11. They have some suggested programs or you can arrange an itinerary to fit your interests.

Albania is a country where you can get thousands of years of history plus beautiful mountain scenery and miles of seacoast. The distances are short, so you can see many things in a week or 10 days. We found the accommodations to be very good, and the food was wonderful.

Our program was excellent and we can highly recommend Enea Kumi as a guide and/or driver. Our tour of 10 days cost €845 (near $1,130) per person without the available meal plan.

Albanians are hospitality-minded people and it was a joy to be there and in such good hands with Albania Travelnet, which delivered personal service.

Ardy & John Becklin, Milaca, MN


Stopping in Bermuda on a cruise, my husband and I found cost-effective lunch buffets at supermarkets. In St. George’s on Oct. 5, 2011, we ate at the Somers Supermarket (York St.) for $9.50 a pound. In Hamilton on Oct. 6, we found a very nice international buffet for $8.49 a pound at The Market Place (42 Church St.).

Serve-yourself Styrofoam or plastic containers were provided. We purchased drinks separately and took our lunches to local parks to eat. The food was very good and seemed quite popular with the locals.

As Internet access is quite expensive on cruise ships, we also were quite pleased to have found free WiFi at the Bermuda National Library (13 Queen St.) in Hamilton, a few blocks from the cruise ship and ferry docks.

Alesa Hughto, Schenectady, NY


During our stay in London, Aug. 30-Sept. 3, 2011, my husband, Thom, and I discovered the delightful St. Christopher’s Place, within walking distance of Hyde Park Speakers’ Corner.

There are three pedestrian-only lanes leading in, all lined with restaurants: Wigmore Street, Oxford Street and St. James’s Street. Nearby Tube station, Marble Arch.

We ate dinner there on four of our five nights in London, trying these three different restaurants, all good (prices given include tips):

Cocochan (38-40, St. James’s St.; phone +44 [0] 207 486 1000), serving Asian fusion. £27 (near $44) for two, with two drinks.

Auberge (6-8 St. Christopher’s Place; phone 0207 486 5557), where we had steak frites, grilled tuna steak Provencal, one wine and one beer for £32.15 ($52).

Sofra Restaurant (1 St. Christopher’s Place; phone +44 [0] 20 7224 4080), with mainly Turkish/Greek dishes but other choices as well, located right in the crossroads of St. Christopher’s. For two, £29 ($47) with one wine and one beer on the first night and £41 ($67) on the second night.

Margo Wilson, Scottsdale, AZ


For two afternoon walking tours in Rome, Oct. 11 and 13, 2011, my daughter and I had a wonderful private guide. Andrea Pollett (e-mail was recommended by my Italian teacher, who is from Rome.

Andrea has extraordinary depth and breadth of knowledge about Roman history, art, religion and politics and gives scholarly answers to any questions asked. As a supplement, he carries pictures that show Rome through the ages. His love of his work and the wonders of Rome are very apparent.

He met us at our hotel and walked with us to the Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva, the Sacred Area, the Church of the Gesù, the Forum and Column of Trajan, and the King Victor Emmanuel II Monument for the first tour. At each site, he provided details on the associated names, dates, facts and legends.

The second tour included the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, the Church of St. Louis of the French, Sant’Agostino, the Via dei Coronari and Sant’Angelo Bridge and ended at the basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican.

We contacted Andrea six weeks in advance, selecting sites because of their historical and architectural importance and to see major works of art by Bernini, Raphael and Caravaggio. We finalized the dates two weeks in advance by e-mail.

Andrea’s prices do not include food, drinks nor admittance tickets (where required). For one to six persons, he charges €50 (near $67) for one hour; €100, two hours; €150, half-day, or €250 for about seven hours.

Barbara Junge, Los Gatos, CA