NORWAY'S NO-WASTE BUFFETS
I have always shared Joseph Ting's concerns regarding food waste around tourism, particularly at breakfast buffets, so I was pleased to see at many hotels in Norway, the sign, "Take what you want but eat what you take".
At an Oslo hotel which had the most amazing breakfast in terms of variety, amount and quality that I have ever seen, I asked the manager whether they had much waste. No waste, he said. After guests, all hotel staff had breakfast, followed by deliveries to homeless shelters. Any leftovers then go to landfill for conversion to biogas which powers Oslo's public transport.
We have much to learn from Scandinavia.
I regularly read the One&Only column and wonder how truly it reflects the city in question. Having read Manchester, England (Traveller, September 14), I am convinced of their accuracy and inside knowledge. I thought the selection of places to visit was a great spread of Manchester's heritage and personality and was particularly pleased you began with the People's History Museum and mentioned the Craft and Design Centre and the Alan Turing statue, all of them not on the beaten path but expanding the reputation beyond soccer. By the way, I am from Manchester and have supported United for years,
Thank you, Brian Johnston for your piece, "Highland Fling" (Traveller, August 31). It revived wonderful memories of my first visit to Malaysia in 1957, soon after Independence and during the Emergency. My mother and I were guests of a Chinese/Malaysian family and fortunate to experience local life. This included making part of a trip to Cameron Highlands in a convoy with armed vehicles fore and aft along a single lane stretch of the road that was often targeted by guerrillas. We stayed in The Olde Stokehouse hotel, which then was quite an elegant and comfortable place to stay.
EAST BRIGHTON, VIC
WALKING THE WALL
I read with interest Tim Richards' account of his experience at Hadrian's Wall (Traveller, September 7). The wall is truly awe-inspiring for the casual tourist and also dedicated walkers. My husband has walked the length of the wall and remembers the experience with joy and despair. The weather can be unkind and the muddy walking track treacherous. The wall is now no more than a metre tall because the stones were used by crofters for houses and by conquering Normans for their own fortifications and castles. I was an excavation volunteer at Vindolanda in 2012-13 and these experiences provided rare insight into life at a Roman fort.
MOUNT MARTHA, VIC
A LITTLE LESS
Life in rural Zimbabwe appears to be an endless battle in a landscape starved of nourishment. It's a place where subsistence farmers struggle and your local, natural assets such as stone blocks from rock strewn fields and firewood become saleable items for passing traffic.
Despite these adversities and others (petrol scarcity and regular 'brownouts'), the warmth of these villagers, their infectious smiles and generosity of spirit transcend the rigours of a daily grind in which they appear to make so much from so very little.
We need to observe and learn far more from them and their culture than they could from our overly consumerist, wasteful, resource-hungry existence. In the blinding glare of their destitution, we need to adopt a 'little less and a little better' approach towards becoming less self-entitled, more accountable global citizens.
Alternatively, you could take your highly prized hard currency to Zim and spend it wisely in their remote, wildlife reserves or fossicking in the eclectic roadside arts and crafts markets. As 'foreign aid' , it's more direct than most and a little less corruptible.
I am wondering whether it is possible for package deals to be advertised both as twin share and single offers?
Having recently received a brochure for ww.mydiscoveries.com.au which does exactly that, for each of its tours, (if available) at least it was good to know it was possible.
The bigger operators of these amazing twin share deals could possibly be selling themselves short by not including this market niche opportunity.
Or is it not really commercially worth it for them?
I tend to either skim travel stories but not so with Ben Groundwater's essay on train travel (Traveller, September 14). I read it avidly from start to finish and I might even read it again. Ben's advocacy for train travel was beautifully written and ignited memories of the regular steam train journeys I made as a boy between Lockerbie and Edinburgh when at boarding school. We boys would have our heads out the window most of the time invariably arriving home half covered in soot. But it was an exhilarating way to begin the holidays.
Thanks Ben, you've inspired me to start planning a train journey, perhaps in Vietnam or India.
Send us your travel-related opinions and experiences
Letters may be edited for space, legal or other reasons. Preference will be given to letters of 50-100 words or less. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and, importantly, include your name, address and phone number.
See more: Traveller Letters