Travelers' Intercom

Edna R.S. Alvarez in front of one of the stones at Avebury.

While visiting Oxfordshire, England, in August 2018, I had the opportunity to visit Avebury, the largest henge monument in Britain. This amazing Neolithic site is located in Wiltshire County (and not far from the worth-a-stop market village of Marlborough).

Just a 36-minute drive from Stonehenge, this henge — a huge, circular bank and inner ditch — is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its own right. It contains a stone circle and two more stone circles inside that....

Awaiting the opera “Carmen” at the Verona Arena. Photo by Irina Stroup

Enjoying opera at the Verona Arena was first on our list when my sister and I decided to visit Verona, Italy, in summer 2018.

The Arena is a Roman amphitheater built in the first century AD, about 50 years before the Colosseum was built in Rome. It's elliptically shaped, with concentric galleries, and, counting the chairs on the field and the stadium seating facing the stage, it seats about 30,000 people.

Since 1913, the Arena has been used for concerts and opera...


After traveling between Venice and Bolzano in 2017, I wrote about the difficulties I experienced boarding a couple of trains. Specifically, the door to my coach did not open once, and later we were directed to wait for the train at the wrong place (Jan. '18, pg. 47).

In researching my 2018 trip to Italy, I found that the bus on that route took 4 hours, 40 minutes and received poor reviews (sometimes the bus never arrived!), so I went to the other extreme and, for the first time,...


Being the frugal person I am, I opted not to pay $145 for a tour of Kangaroo Island's wildlife park — off the coast of South Australia — to see some kangaroos in February 2017.

Fortunately, the gray-haired volunteer at the visitors' center told me that if I hiked up to Baudin Conservation Park, I might find wallabies and kangaroos sleeping under trees.

The hike was along the beach for the first half hour, then it turned into wild bush country with millions...


I am a volunteer advocate for author Chris Elliott's travel help forums, a service of the nonprofit organization Elliott Advocacy (, and I have learned more in the last three years than I ever could have imagined.

I have never worked for an airline or hotel and have no connections to any of them whatsoever, but I travel often and have come to understand pretty much how things are today, especially with flying. I find the whole process...


I expected that the transfer from Cˇeský Krumlov, Czechia, to Innsbruck, Austria, on July 31, 2018, would be a challenge for my sister and me. A search online provided several options, including buses and trains. Our choice was to take a RegioJet bus from Cˇeský Krumlov to Cˇeské Budeˇjovice, a FlixBus to Linz, Austria (the FlixBus tickets purchased online from home), and then a train to Innsbruck.

I worried about buses arriving on time, being out of order, etc., but they didn't...

People shopping for food in Meknes' medina a few days before the start of Ramadan. Photo by Stephen Addison

Only after my wife, Paula, and I booked our May 2018 Moroccan trip did I discover that most of our trip would occur during the holy month of Ramadan.

The timing of Ramadan varies each year, since the Islamic Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar. In 2018, Ramadan ran from May 16 to June 14 (it will be 10 days earlier in 2019); we were in Morocco May 12-21. The schedule for Ramadan can be a day earlier in the US.

During Ramadan, almost all Muslims are expected to fast from before...


After taking the "Cities of Light" cruise-tour from Prague to Paris with Viking River Cruises, on Oct. 16, 2017, I flew from Paris to Montreal, continuing home to Los Angeles. Viking had arranged my flights, routing me on Air Canada (888/247-2262,, which I had not flown before.

On the flight out of Paris, I found the plane comfortable (I had an aisle seat two rows behind business class), and the meal, with wine, was adequate.

An hour after eating...