LUXE A FORTUNE
While in Paris recently, my husband and I visited the Luxembourg Gardens. It was a lovely warm day and lots of people were enjoying being there.
We decided to get a baguette for lunch from the cafe, but to our horror, when my husband went to pay, he discovered he had lost his wallet. Our immediate thought was perhaps he had been the victim of a pickpocket.
We decided to retrace our steps around the Gardens to see if he had dropped it somewhere. We didn't find it, and so returned to our hotel to report the cards missing. That done, the cards were cancelled.
Then, to our surprise, in the early evening, the hotel receptionist rang to tell us someone from the gardens had rung to say the wallet had been found with all the cash and cards still in it. Such a good news story of the honesty of Parisians needs to be told. One must not always assume the worst. Apparently we were not alone. The Gardens security people had another wallet yet to be claimed!
Beth Powell, San Souci, NSW
Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
Putting the final paperwork in for an upcoming 10-day adventure to Iran, we noticed a new charge for mandatory health insurance. This one is paid on arrival and is for mandatory travel insurance (no matter if you have already purchased travel insurance at home).
On enquiring with our visa company, we were told that as of April 2018, the Iranian government changed its visa policy to make the purchase of government-issued travel insurance mandatory upon entering Iran, regardless of previous purchases of insurance.
We have been informed that the cost is about $25 per person and must be purchased upon arrival in Iran. It's something else to consider when travelling to Iran.
Matthew Edwards, Ballarat East, VIC
LETTER OF THE WEEK: SIMPLY GORGES
We're just back from a 10-day cruise on the Yangtze River from Shanghai to Chonqing, travelling more than 2200 kilometres upstream. We have previously cruised from Amsterdam to Budapest – one of the great river journeys – and are of the opinion that the Yangtze, though different, is also a great river journey.
The constant activity and traffic on the river never failed to amaze and just sitting in the sunshine on our balcony, watching the great scenery and activity along the river, was a never-ending joy.
While China is developing great road and rail infrastructure, the Yangtze is the true highway north, with thousands of bridges criss-crossing the river and tens of thousands of working boats to marvel at.
The Three Gorges Dam project, one of the largest in the world, controls flood levels on the river. Spending more than four hours in its five-stage loch system, which rises more than 100 metres, was a great highlight. The loch system is just one part of this amazing dam project, which saw the relocation of more than 1.5 million people who were rehoused in new towns as many old villages and farms were drowned under the higher river levels.
A side trip into one of the three gorges was a repeat of a trip we did in 2002 (pre dam). On this trip, the water level, though not at its highest, was 148 metres. In 2002 our boats had to be dragged over some sections as the water then was only about two metres deep.
China is a fascinating place to visit and the Yangtze is truly a great river journey.
Ron and Joy Parker, Mount Warrigal, NSW
On a recent trip to Canada and the US I had the misfortune to trip and fall as I boarded the Rocky Mountaineer tourist train. As a result I spent the morning in the Kamloops hospital in British Columbia, and we needed alternative transport to our destination.
I have nothing but praise for the way the train company assisted us and the staff at the hospital treated me, but the purpose of my letter is to endorse the travel insurance provided by my husband's credit card. The claim was processed efficiently and the customer service was excellent. Our reimbursement was received within two weeks of our claim being lodged. Thank you QBE and Visa.
Maureen Cooney, Murrumbeena, VIC
I recently hiked South Australia's Arkaba Walk, a four-day private hike in the Flinders Ranges with luxury touches, which was highly recommended by a friend. The whole package went above and beyond my expectations.
The highlights, of course, were the spectacular Flinders Ranges, its flora and fauna, but also the attention to detail by Wild Bush Luxury, the operators of the walk.
These included a hot-water bottle in your swag at night, a little piece of salt bush leaf as a welcome on my camp pillow, the sunrise cup of tea delivered to our camp platform, and the most attentive guide and her ground crew assistant. Will my next hike even come close to this experience?
Sarah Guthrie, Willaura, VIC