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Letters | September 2012

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Photo: Mikkel Vang

Hidden Treasure

“Secret Slovenia” [July] is a great article about a stunning but often overlooked part of Europe. I worry that, in five years’ time, the country will be overrun with travelers—I hope at least some of the more remote parts will remain just as they are now. —travelandleisure.com member travel_pb

I would consider a trip to Slovenia, but the prominent mention of smoking is a huge turnoff. Few things are worse than spoiling a terrific meal with the smell and taste of cigarettes. Even the French have banned smoking in restaurants! —travelandleisure.com member gdadtraveling

Making Memories

My heart was full when I read the last paragraph of Bruno Maddox’s “I Was a Las Vegas Concierge...” [June]. Being a concierge myself, I understand that the memories people make on vacation are something they hold on to for the rest of their lives. Thank you, Mr. Maddox, for understanding what we do. —travelandleisure.com member Tatianahantig

To the Point

The Hotel Loyalty Programs section in “Hotel Handbook” [June] claims that Hilton Worldwide’s HHonor’s Double Dip benefit allows members to earn both hotel points and miles on their “chosen airline” in exchange for room nights at a Hilton Worldwide property. It’s important to note that this applies only to 39 Hilton partner airlines—I am a Hilton Honors Diamond member and my chosen airline, Southwest, is no longer offered. Readers may mistakenly believe that they have more options than they actually do. —Karen Brown, via e-mail

Reader’s Find: Sweden Underground

While visiting the Stockholm Palace last spring—with its immense rooms, rich mahogany, and wall-size tapestries—I ventured down to the Tre Kronor Museum (Slottskajen, Old Town) in its basement and got a glimpse of Sweden’s early history. The current palace sits over the ruins of Tre Kronor, a castle built in the 13th century around a Viking citadel. A devastating fire destroyed it in 1697, but many artifacts and parts of its 16-foot-thick defense wall still remain. The deep vaults branch off like a labyrinth into the treasury, which protects the royal jewels (including Erik XIV’s crown and Gustav Vasa’s sword of state). The castle was named for the three crowns that topped its central tower, which have become the national symbol of Sweden. —Frida Olsson Waterbury, Conn.

Sounding Off: Trophies from the Road

Readers of Reggie Nadleson’s “Our Souvenirs, Ourselves” [July] were prompted to tell T+L about their own travel mementos. The responses proved that, often, a good story is as important as the souvenir itself. A surprising number of objects had dramatic backstories. One reader had a close call with the authorities in Novgorod, Russia, after purchasing fur hats from a black-market vendor. Another traveler’s collection included: a fish- (or shark-) ravaged fishing lure from a sailing trip in the Gulf of Mexico; a farmer’s machete from the banks of the Amazon river; and a spear, purchased from a Samburu warrior in Kenya, that had once been used to kill a lion. Natural finds were also popular, and ranged from the valuable (jade) to mere inspiration (sea glass from Mykonos, Greece; a hand-size rock from the stream where David killed Goliath).

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