Travelers' Intercom

Vilnius’ Gates of Dawn date back to the early 1500s. Photos by Stephen Addison

In the letter “Lux Express in the Baltics” (Dec. ’14, pg. 12), I extolled the virtues of Lux Express, which operated the buses that my wife, Paula Owens, and I took from Tallinn, Estonia, to Riga, Latvia, and then onward three days later to Vilnius, Lithuania, during a September 2014 Baltics trip.

At the end of that letter, I wrote, “In Vilnius we exited our bus at the city-center Panorama stop, which is much more conveniently located to the northern part of...


My wife and I flew from Seattle to Papua New Guinea (PNG) in September 2018 for a group tour. Along with offshore islands, PNG comprises the eastern half of New Guinea, the second-largest island in the world. (Greenland is the largest.)

Located just south of the equator and north of Australia, PNG is one of the most culturally diverse countries anywhere. Only 18% of its nearly 9 million people live in urban areas, and at least 850 indigenous languages are spoken there. The date of our...

Carole on the fantail of a ferry in the Wrangell Narrows — southeastern Alaska. Photo by Marv Feldman

ITN is temporarily accepting brief write-ups about the US. Information on independent travel, cultural and traditional sites and sources of handmade crafts plus little-known natural wonders are welcome. Avoid touting commercial theme parks, casinos or highly publicized touristy sites.

Email or write to Travelers’ Intercom USA, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818.


I’d like to present you with a...

Detail of a stucco frieze in El Mirador — northern Guatemala. Photos by Günther Eichhorn

The focus of my trip to Guatemala in November 2019 was remnants of the Maya.

Organized by Maya Travel (Antigua, Guatemala;,, my 10-day private tour cost $3,155 and included a guide. All food was included during a 5-day trek to El Mirador; otherwise, breakfast was included daily but not lunch or dinner.

Maya Travel was very responsive when I wanted to modify the itinerary, and everything worked out well. I visited three Mayan...


My husband, Alan, and I wanted to go to Romania and Bulgaria in April 2020, so in October 2019 we went onto and selected an Emerald Waterways ( river cruise from Bucharest to Budapest, planning an early arrival in Bucharest. We paid $11,970 for the two of us, purchasing our hotels and air separately.

We, being seniors, bought travel insurance, in this case with Generali Global Assistance (800/874-2442, through...

Boys at a roadside market — Madagascar. Photos by Michael De Rosa

Madagascar is a “must see” for world travelers and anyone interested in wildlife. My wife, Norma, and I fit both of those descriptions, and we spent two weeks there in August 2018.

I did all of the initial planning and booking of our 2-week trip. Norma and I selected an itinerary along the RN7, a main highway, that would increase our chances of seeing wildlife.

In making inquiries to accommodations, I got answers from some after a week or more, and others never...


While on a multicountry tour in 2014, our group was staying at a hotel in Budapest. It was a Sunday morning, and since my husband, Jerry Liedl, and I had some free time, our guide said we might want to visit St. Stephen’s Basilica.

She gave us directions, and the two of us set off, but after a few blocks, our way was barricaded for what we later discovered was a marathon run. We turned aside but confronted several other blocked streets. Finally, we saw in the distance a red dome...

One of the great culinary wonders of Portugal, the cinnamondusted pastel de nata (custard tart). Photos by Nita Swartz

It had been 20 years since we last visited Portugal, and we decided it was time to make a return trip to this delightful and friendly country.

We considered several companies that offered package tours, but none had an itinerary we liked. Then we saw an ad from Portugal Trails (Cascais, Portugal; phone +351 214 851 476, saying they arranged custom tours. The company had good service reviews, so we contacted them.

After we indicated places we were...