Traveller Letters: Give credit to the airlines that kept flying, not to Qantas

GRATITUDE FOR ALTITUDE

Can somebody please explain why Qantas is getting media kudos for announcing it may resume international travel routes in December? I would have thought the real credit goes to the over 30 international airlines that continued to fly to Australia during the pandemic, keeping us connected to the world and providing a way for Australians to return home. With Qantas' share of taxpayer-funded aviation aid during the pandemic at over $1 billion, the least we could expect from it would be to fly some planes somewhere.

Simon Benedict, Kensington, VIC

LETTER OF THE WEEK

WAKE-UP CALL

Don't get me wrong: we love overseas travel. But, at the same time, we're long-time climate change worriers (that's not a typo, but we're among those - and I fear we are legion - who worry about climate change without making serious personal sacrifices). The pandemic pressed the pause button on overseas travel and has got us thinking seriously about how - while hurting humanity - it has been a blessing for the planet. So now, our travel money has been funnelled into an electric car, solar panels and a powerwall and we are virtually off the grid, at home and away. And due to our local travels over the years, we can see that while overseas destinations have become overwhelmed with tourists, there are hundreds of local sites and sights that are craving visitors.

Anne Ring, Coogee, NSW

LET THERE BE ROCK

Here we were having a quiet wine on a balmy afternoon in the town square of the small port of Trapani in Sicily. Music was being piped very pleasantly throughout the square. And then what came blasting out? AC/DC with You Shook Me All Night Long. We felt most nostalgic hearing a favourite so far from home and in such a surprising location. We were in the late stages of an extensive European holiday - river cruise from Avignon, extended stays in hilltop villages in Italy, first visit to Athens, then a Seabourn cruise taking in ports in Greece, Malta and Italy, including a fabulous walking tour of Napoli tasting local foods. Wonderful memories from 2019.

Maggie Grounds, Vermont South, VIC

EDITOR'S NOTE We'd love to hear your own stories about blasts from Australia's musical past and present while holidaying abroad (Traveller was in a taxi from Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport, en route to the city centre last year when Tones and I's worldwide hit, Dance Monkey, blared from the cab's radio).

SILENT WITNESS

I really enjoyed Michael Turtle's cover story (Traveller, August 31) describing numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites. In March 2020, my wife and I visited what could be described as the world's quietest UNESCO site. The Skogskyrkogården (Woodland Cemetery) in Gamla Enskede, Stockholm, is the last resting place of Greta Garbo and a host of other Scandinavian luminaries. The cemetery was designed by architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz and is set in a beautiful conifer forest among rolling hills with places for reflection and remembrance. Even the on-site crematorium holds some attraction. It is well worth a (no cost) visit for a lesson on local history and Scandinavian architecture.

Les Lambert, Wangaratta, VIC

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VILLA THRILLER

South Australia's Kangaroo Island is a knockout with its Sea Dragon Lodge and Villas falling into the same category. We stayed in one of the villas earlier this year and they are truly fabulous with kangaroos and a myriad of birds are frequent visitors. The vistas from the balcony of the ocean and mainland are unforgettable. But I would like to point out Sea Dragon is located more than 20 kilometres from Penneshaw village, the closest shops, and 17 of those kilometres are on a dirt road. My advice is take everything you need because supplies are a long drive from your accommodation.

Helen Watson, Mortdale, NSW

FLOATING AN IDEA

With the relaxing (hopefully) of restrictive measures forecast by the NSW Premier to reward fully vaccinated people to attend bars and restaurants, should this not also apply to cruise ships, which are, after all, floating versions of the land variety? If this gives the impression of self-interest, you had better believe it as I miss my cruising. One can also bet that cruise lines will impose strict provisions for passengers boarding. What is good for one is good for another.

Trevor Denham, West Pennant Hills, NSW

TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE

So here's the buzz and I'll try not to drone on, however, I was drawn to Lee Tulloch's column (Traveller, August 21) on culinary nectar like a proverbial bee to a honeypot. On our first, and now perhaps last, trip to Canada in 2015 we stayed at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Hotel where our Scenic tour allocated us a room that looked out across the lower level where a number of beehives were part of the hotel's herb garden. Originally four beehives were installed in 2013 and now the bees. with some 14 hives, pollinate the flowers in the garden and produce wildflower honey. I guess it gives new meaning to the term "sweet dreams",

Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW

BYE BYE BYRON

I am sad to see that as a long-time traveller to Byron Bay in NSW, that the vaccination rate is still low. I read the local rag, The Echo, known for its environmental perspective, online this week, but was disappointed to see there doesn't seem to be a community push for opening up to the fully-vaccinated. Byron, I'm sad to say goodbye for now as I wouldn't feel safe visiting until more are vaccinated.

Stefanie Proudford, Ulladulla, NSW.

DEAL ME IN

TripADeal deserves great praise. Last year we paid for a one week tour of China for an October 2020 date. It obviously was cancelled. TripADeal gave us a full credit to be used within 12 months. The credit could be used by us or others, such as a family member, and could be added to in value. My son used it to book a trip to Uluru in August this year. It also had to be cancelled. TripADeal has again offered a full credit. Each credit was supplied by them without us seeking it.

Ross Hartmann, Allambie Heights, NSW

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