I AM LONGING TO SEE CROATIA AND HAVE BEEN ADVISED A BOAT IS THE BEST AS THE COASTLINE AND ISLANDS ARE BEAUTIFUL. HOW LONG WOULD YOU SUGGEST? TYPE OF BOAT? COMPANIES? I HAVE ABOUT TWO WEEKS.
S. STERN, BONDI BEACH
It is very beautiful, and the rest of the world knows it, but that's no reason not to go.
It's the Dalmatian Islands that shine brightest.
While the names of Vis, Korcula, Hvar, Brac and Pag might not glide off the tongue with the same sugar-coated sibilance as Positano or St Tropez, this slice of sea-washed heaven deserves its subtitle, "the Riviera of the Adriatic".
I'd say seven to 10 days feels about right, and you can either do an organised cruise, in which case you'll sleep on board the vessel and sail from one island to another, or catch ferries between the islands and stay in small hotels and guesthouses.
Most cruises depart from Trogir, a gorgeous little town just north of Split. Boats are mostly a modern-day version of the traditional two-masted sailing vessels of this region. Prices vary and you pretty much get what you pay for, however you'll spend most of your time outdoors and there's no real reason to go for luxury.
Sail Croatia Adventures (see sail-croatia.com) has a number of cruise options.
Sydney-based UTracks (see utracks.com) offers an eight-day bike and boat trip from Trogir, which gives you the option of exploring some countryside as well as the coastline.
WE ARE AN OVER-70s COUPLE TRAVELLING TO EUROPE IN SEPTEMBER. WHEN WE BOARD OUR RETURN FLIGHT IN PARIS BACK TO AUSTRALIA, VIA KUALA LUMPUR, OUR PASSPORTS WILL BE VALID FOR 5½ MONTHS. ALTHOUGH WE ARE ONLY IN TRANSIT IN KL, MALAYSIA AIRLINES REFERRED ME TO THE EMBASSY, STATING THAT BOARDING MAY BE REFUSED. WE WILL HAVE NO FURTHER USE FOR OUR PASSPORTS SO THE $400 TO $500 COST TO RENEW SEEMS A TOTAL WASTE.
J. MILLER, SYDNEY
You might well have a problem. Although you are only in transit at KL, there might be reasons why you would have to abandon your onward flight to Australia and seek permission to enter Malaysia, for example if there was a medical situation that required hospital treatment. Since Malaysia requires anyone seeking to enter the country to have a passport or other travel document valid for more than six months from the date of entry, your passport would not pass muster. The check-in staff at Paris would therefore be well within their rights to deny boarding. Although it seems an unnecessary expense, if you don't renew your passports before you go you're taking a big chance, and an extended stay in Paris to organise new passports will cost a lot more than the price of renewing before you go.
I'M PLANNING A TRIP TO SEE AND PHOTOGRAPH THE AUTUMN FOLIAGE IN CANADA AND NEW ENGLAND, BUT I'M STUCK ON THE NEW ENGLAND PART. I WILL BE TRAVELLING ON MY OWN AND WHILE I HAVE DRIVEN ON THE "WRONG" SIDE OF THE ROAD IN THE PAST, THAT WAS A LONG TIME AGO. I'M QUITE HAPPY TO TAKE BUSES OR TRAINS OR JOIN A GROUP FOR PART OF THE TRIP.
V. CONROY, MORDIALLOC
Just about anywhere in the New England region delivers the autumn blush in all its glory, but some places more so than others. You want white timber churches with pointy spires, covered bridges and red barns surrounded by spotty cows set against rolling hills splotched with colour, so head for Vermont and the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts.
Take a tour, this is an experience to be shared. Also, New England's back country is moose central. When you're behind the wheel and enraptured, the last thing you want is 400 kilograms of moose antler-first through your windscreen. Finally, the so-called leaf-peeping season is short, and accommodation is scarce, and booked well in advance. If you join a tour, finding a place to stay is one headache you won't have. Try Cosmos Tours (cosmos.com) or Escorted Fall Foliage Tours (escortedfallfoliagetours.com).
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The question was: "Any hot tips for atmospheric accommodation in Paris at a reasonable price?"
K. Woodman writes, "Last May, I stayed at the Hotel Saint Merry, which was very atmospheric, in the former presbytery of the Saint-Merry Church. It was also extremely well located in the Marais, literally just behind the Centre Pompidou."
R. Joyce suggests booking through Special Apartments. "We stayed in a typical Parisian apartment in the Montorgueil area, within easy walking distance of many main attractions."
"For price, comfort, location and atmosphere, you can't beat St Christopher's Inn," writes N. Gove. "Close to Gare du Nord, excellent restaurant and bar, with special discounts, helpful staff and clean and comfortable."
D. Power writes, "We love to stay at the Hotel Quai Voltaire in Saint-Germain. It is a 300-plus-year-old building directly opposite the Seine and the Louvre, and the view from your little French balcony is magnificent."
"Hotel Valadon Colors is a great hotel at a reasonable price, great location with lots of reasonable-priced restaurants and only a 10-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower," writes C. Macdonald.
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