TELL EM THEY'RE DREAMIN'
I recently travelled long-haul economy, two sectors in an Airbus A330 and two in the much vaunted Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
What a contrast. The A330, with eight across seating felt as spacious as economy class can be, with decent leg room and seat width. The B787 (with nine seats across) was a more of a nightmare than a dream.
Space was so tight that making even the slightest move encroached on the personal space of one's neighbour. The cabins of the two aircraft are almost the same width.
So is the B787's lower cost per seat mile really due to the innovative use of new technology, or more crudely to simply squeezing more hapless passengers into the same space?
Richard Griffiths, Allambie Heights, NSW
LETTER OF THE WEEK: WINTERS OF OUR CONTENT
Reading your cover story, "The Cold 100", (Traveller, June 2) got me thinking of all the advantages of travelling in winter and the colder months of the year, namely the lack of of other tourists and the sheer beauty of many cities seen under snow cover.
Think Moscow and St Petersburg under two metres of snow and the thrill of seeing Red Square with snow falling. Beautiful Tallin, the capital of Estonia, a complete fairytale town blanketed in snow in winter and with charming local cafes to warm the cockles of your heart.
The almost deserted national parks of California, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. With their clear daytime blue skies and great hiking trails these parks are joy to walk in the cooler weather. Closer to home, there could be no greater experience than to visit the scenic Blue Mountains of NSW in winter, undertake a strenuous hike revelling in nature, then enjoying a post-hike warming drink in front of an open fire.
Just rug up and go.
Vicki Copping, Oatley, NSW
I can't agree with Sally Pope (Traveller, June 9) regarding TripAdvisor. I live a nomadic existence for six months of each year and TripAdvisor is my constant companion, helping me make the right hotel and restaurant selections.
It is only fair that I contribute in return. I write up every hotel or restaurant encounter to help those who follow my own stay or visit. If a hotel asks for my review it doesn't make it any less valuable, and if a bad review helps them provide better service then that's a bonus.
There is one hidden feature, under your profile you can see every review you've written, sorted by city, so if you struggle to recall the name of that great little restaurant in Barcelona it's right there.
Please keep up your honest reviews.
Peter Guides, Five Dock, NSW
MITE IS RIGHT
I am all for eating the cuisine of the countries I travel to (Traveller letters, June 9), but there are many places, especially in Asia, where for me, breakfast is not all that enticing. I'll stick with my Vegemite, thanks very much.
Peter Miniutti, Ashbury, NSW
Having just returned from a trip to Europe, which included Moscow, I would like to share an experience, which both surprised and delighted me. Travelling on the Moscow Metro, I was astonished when a middle-aged lady offered me her seat.
This has never, ever, happened to me before, in any city, anywhere. I am 82, male, but am in possession of most of my marbles. This was not an isolated incident, either, as some of the other members of the tour group were also offered seats at other times, by people of all ages.
To think our perceptions of Muscovites are that they are dour and never smile. To me, at least, they were pleasant, friendly and helpful, contrary to what a lot of the press here in Australia led me to believe.
Innes Hutchison, Highton, VIC
The Vietnamese visa is not a scam (Traveller letters, June 2). You can apply for a visa to the Vietnamese embassy and get your visa in a few days. The costs are clearly laid out and transparent.
The problems experienced by your reader are due to ignorance. Had she looked up a site with advice given by recent travellers, and there are a number of these, she would have been given the correct information.
Smart Traveller, the government's website, is full of outdated and incorrect information. The information about travel in my country, Laos, is at least five years out of date.
Ronald Lel, Ban Nonsavahn, Vientiane, Laos
THAT'S THE SHOT
As a frequent traveller to Vienna, I would like to add to the useful collection of "extremely niche museums" mentioned in your Three Minute Guide to the city (Traveller, June 2)
One of the most fascinating is the Museum of Military History, (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum). Permanent exhibitions include the bullet-riddled car in which Archduke Ferdinand was riding when he was assassinated, sparking World War I. The archduke's uniform showing bullet holes and the still-bloodstained sofa on which he died are also on view.
Janette Smart, Wollongong, NSW
Due to the fact you're not allowed to take irons on riverboats or ships we've used the available steward services but experienced a couple of problems such as late return of clothes so on board functions were missed, and secondly my wife's dress was damaged without recourse.
So we took advice from one of your Traveller writers and purchased a Sunbeam Steamer, as often unpacking our clothes are creased and need ironing. This was a great success and for the last five years we have travelled with it in our suitcase.
However, in December, 2017 we booked a P&O cruise and I had my suitcase impounded because ship security said it contained an iron. They confiscated the steamer, despite the fact it had been allowed on a cruise the year before.
When my comments to that effect were disregarded I was advised to fill in a complaint form at reception. This was done but no reply received to date.
Keron Harris, Lane Cove , NSW
In reference to Simon Moriaty comments about the umbrella at security situation at Adelaide Airport (Traveller letters, June 2), Brisbane's international airport used to do the same. Apparently they were concerned about items concealed inside the umbrella though I'm not aware of why they no longer do this.
Does it really matter why they do this? After all, the security people are "just doing their job". I find the security thing tiresome too, being a regular traveller, but apparently it's for our own good.
Perhaps you should make inquiries further up the food chain if you're unhappy with the treatment. In their defence, I'd find the prospect of continual questions whilst doing my safety-focused job rather tiresome as well.
Julie-Anne Reid, North Nowra, NSW
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