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Letters | June 2010

Looking Back on Bodrum

Peter Jon Lindberg’s “Touring Turkey’s Bodrum Peninsula” was most interesting to me, but the glamorous beach resort he describes is not the Bodrum I remember: I arrived there on a sailboat while traveling with a friend from Alexandria, Egypt, to Piraeus, Greece. We hitched a ride with a student who spoke English and he took us to the top of a hill overlooking Bodrum where the pavement ended. Then, it was just a tiny fishing village. —Carl Bryant, Mercer Island, Wash.

Affordable Villa Rentals?

Is your “Best Villa Rental Agencies” for real? The perfect place in Tuscany for a mere $20,000 a week! Or perhaps a stay in Sicily for $50,850? How about including some more affordable options? —Sandra Mai, Jordan, Ontario

Editor’s Note: “Best Villa Rental Agencies” provided options for every budget (from $780 a week and up). While we did highlight many truly outstanding rentals, the companies listed also offer more affordable ones on their websites.

London Bound

I enjoyed “Literary Guide to London;” however, I don’t understand how you could not include Hatchards, the city’s oldest surviving bookshop. It was founded in 1797 and holds three royal warrants. Hatchards is an institution, and one of my favorite places. —Christine Nelson, Las Vegas, Nev.

Verlyn Klinkenborg missed my favorite bookshop in London: Heywood Hill, in Mayfair. British writer Nancy Mitford worked there from 1942 to 1945 and effectively ran it when Heywood Hill was called up for war service. The two were great friends and corresponded regularly; some of their letters were even published in The Bookshop at 10 Curzon Street, a terrific read. —Tillie Page Laird, Washington Depot, Conn.

Writer’s Response: Any reader who’s been to London will be able to add many favorite bookstores to those I mentioned. That’s the beauty of London for the book shopper—so much variety, so much specialization.

Hot Topic: Highway Robbery

Mark Orwoll’s World’s Strangest Traffic Laws resonated with our readers and users at TravelandLeisure.com. Here, your feedback—and tips.

To Pay or Not to Pay?

Before heading to Italy last year, I was warned about the possibility of returning home to find a ticket in the mail. I was a very cautious driver, but I recently noticed a $35 charge from the car-rental company—for providing my info to the police! Ten months later I haven’t received a ticket, but I understand that the clock is still ticking. If I do get fined, what would happen if I didn’t pay? In any case, I’m leery of ever driving in Italy again. —Karen Collum, Petaluma, Calif.

Mark Orwoll Replies: There are a few possibilities: the fine might be doubled and handed over to a collection agency; the rental company might pay it—and then bill you; or it might eventually be forgotten. Best of luck, and let’s hope this practice is abandoned in the future.

Congested in the U.K.

Last spring I rented a car in Edinburgh, to be dropped off in Manchester after a week in London, where it remained parked—so I was surprised to get a $145 fine from the city for “congest.” There wasn’t any contact information to dispute the charge—only an invoice from the rental company, which never warned me that you have to buy a special permit to drive into central London. —Murray Walker, via E-Mail

Camera Tip

Best investment: a Garmin Nüvi 255W GPS ($180) for Europe, which has a map of traffic camera locations everywhere but Germany (where they’re outlawed) and alerts you when you’re approaching them. —Mark E. Haas, Houston, Tex.

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