Travelers' Intercom

Before my 11-day trip to Jordan and Lebanon in October 2018, I watched a few videos of people driving in Beirut. That's when I decided against renting a car in Lebanon.

After a little research and sending some emails, I engaged the services of Claude Shalhoub at Beirut Online Taxi (phone +96171659399, email or visit The determining factors were prompt email replies, sound reasoning of why their fare was appropriate, and the...


My companion, George, and I visited Puerto Vallarta again, Nov. 28-Dec. 16, 2018, and I wanted to offer an update on the Malecón (boardwalk) sculpture tour that I mentioned in my 2015 article, "Enjoying the Food, Art and Celebrations of Mexico's Puerto Vallarta" (Dec. '15, pg. 40).

Art is a big part of Puerto Vallarta's culture vibe, and the Tuesday 9:30 a.m. tour is still very much alive, but the owner of Galería Pacífico del Arte (Aldama 174, Centro; phone +52 322 222...

Rosenborg Castle is surrounded by the King’s Garden — Copenhagen. Photo by Diane Harrison

My parents and I traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, Sept. 11-17, 2018. Travel Consultant Emma Woodward of Goway Travel (Glendale, CA; 800/387-8850, arranged our flights, airport transfers, hotel and two day trips, leaving us with 3½ days to see the sites of Copenhagen on our own.

The Danish crown jewels at Rosenborg Castle were on our list of "must sees." When I accessed the Rosenborg Castle's website (, I discovered...

Westminster Abbey — London. Photo by Lynn Cooper

Ask travelers to London what their most memorable experience was and many would answer, "The tour of Westminster Abbey." So when my husband, Carl, and I saw that the International Wine & Food Society, or IWFS (London, England; phone +44 [0] 20 7827 5732 or fax 7827 5733, — of which my husband is a member of the Pasadena branch — had organized a tour around the 2018 IWFS Festival in London and it offered an opportunity to join a private, after-...


I cannot verify any of the following from another source (not even Google). My only evidence is what I observed during a May 2018 trip to Morocco and what our private guide told my wife, Paula, and me.

As in much of the world, parking in Morocco's towns and city centers is challenging. In response, Morocco has implemented a creative program in which local governments contract with private firms to place "parking keepers" on the streets. This benefits people needing to...

Buksnes Church in the village of Gravdal, a Lofoten Piano Festival concert site. Photos by Edna R.S. Alvarez

The archipelago of Lofoten is located north of the Arctic Circle, off the northwest coast of Norway. It is accessible by ferry, car or plane. . . but not without effort and a sense of adventure!

Every other July, while the midnight sun shines, a 7-day music festival, the Lofoten Piano Festival (, is held there. (In alternating years, a chamber music festival is held there, instead.)

At the incredible 2018 piano festival (July 9-15), which I...

Floral arrangement outside the <i>Westerdam</i>’s main dining room. Photos by Marsha Caplan

It was Oct. 12, 2017, and I was enjoying coffee on our cabin's veranda, watching the shoreline go by and thinking about my cruise adventure, which was coming to an end.

My husband, Michael, and I have been independent travelers for many years. Every two or three years, we would choose a country in which to spend five to seven weeks, then make advance reservations for a rental/buy-back car and for apartments in some locations, and off we'd go. Our last trip of that kind...


Over the years, I have traveled to more than 100 countries. In 2018, I decided to visit Bolivia and Lake Titicaca for the first time. I chose to go with Wilderness Travel (Berkeley, CA; 800/368-2794,

I had known of the company for years, but, not being a hiker, I had never used them. This was not a trek but a tour, "Bolivia!," Aug. 30-Sept. 12, 2018, and Wilderness Travel's was the most interesting one I found.

I paid $5,995 plus a...