Travelers' Intercom

Combining spectacular scenery with historic sites, "Classic Germany" is a 15-day tour offered by Odysseys Unlimited (Newton, MA; 888/370-6765,

For the tour (including single supplement), insurance and airfare (Miami-Frankfurt and Berlin-Miami), the cost came to $7,016. I left Miami on July 12, 2017, and returned July 26.

Our tour took in the Rhine, the Black Forest and the Bavarian Alps. In my mind is a collage of sights.

I remember...


I loved all three of the countries that a friend and her daughter and I visited in June 2018: Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania.

For Bulgaria, we got connected with a fantastic guide, Martin Semerdjiev (phone +359 883372115, I had contacted a guide in Bulgaria whom I learned about through ITN, Patrick Peneff, but he was booked, so he sent me Martin's name.

For $300 for all three of us, we used Martin's services for two days. We paid him when we got to...

Abdellah (center front, in hat and vest) in Meknes' Sunday market. Photo by Stephen Addison

If you are planning to visit Morocco and are interested in visiting synagogues, cemeteries and other sites important to the history and heritage of Judaism there, consider choosing Abdellah El Harras (phone +212 666 946 043, as your guide*.

In May 2018, my wife, Paula Owens, and I took a customized tour of Morocco arranged through Marrakesh Voyage (Livingston Manor, NY; 212/925-6151,, and Abdellah was assigned to be our guide...

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...