Letters | January 2008
I just had the pleasure of reading the November issue from cover to cover. Often I find myself picking and choosing the articles that pertain directly to my current travel plans, but this issue was different. It was thought-provoking and captivating. I hope that you continue to return to endangered places like Greenland and Yemen to report back to those of us who may never have an opportunity to experience them. Out of sight should not equal out of mind. —Lori Hoepner, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Costa Rica’s Challenge
"The New Costa Rica" raises a crucial dilemma—how do we deter the proliferation of responsible tourism from evolving into destructive tourism?The relationship between nature and man is delicate, and too often business and government interests supplant those of local communities and nature. Judging by Julian Rubinstein’s observations, the dream of successfully balancing the two has yet to become a reality. —Barbara Best, Aurora, Ont.
Memories of Africa
After reading "Women at Work" [November], I was reminded of the safari trip I took with my husband several years ago. On our way to Kruger National Park we stopped for lunch at a spot called the Green Door Restaurant. Displays of beautiful handmade crafts such as tablecloths and pot holders caught my eye. The waitress told us that the owner of the restaurant teaches local Zulu women to paint and sew, and that they then sell their creations to make a living. I went home with a suitcase full of colorful works, and I still cherish the items I bought. —Wendy Oehninger, Fontana, Calif.
I came across the article "20 Trips to Change Your World" [November]. I was happy to see that Armenia had made the list. I’d been hoping to read something about my home country in your magazine. It is a hidden jewel, and we don’t hear much about it in the United States. There is a lot to see and experience—nature, ancient architecture, and a vibrant, welcoming culture. —Aneta Badalian, Burbank, Calif.
A Return to Athens
"Greek Revival" [October] reminded me of my trip to Athens in March 2005. Like writer Eleni N. Gage, my friend and I visited the Museum of Cycladic Art and treated ourselves to a meal at Alatsi. We also stumbled upon a number of Greek Independence Day events, celebrating the country’s uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1821. A highlight was the annual parade that honors the Greek military through the ages. March is a wonderful time to go: there are so many cultural happenings and so few tourists. —Victoria Zoellner, Sioux Falls, S. Dak.
Brighton Old and New
I have family living in Brighton, England, and have watched the town change over the years. Simon Doonan’s "Brighton Beach Memoir" [October] balances the town’s two sides: it shines a modern light on this often stereotyped area, and brings out the warmth of its comical history and reputation. —Juliet Rose, Sacramento, Calif.
I’ve just returned from a 15-day spiritual yoga journey to Tibet led by Tibetan-born guide Tenzin Bhagen, through his Washington, D.C., travel company, Tashi Delek Travel [202/492-0902, www.tashidelektravel.com]. The trip is simply extraordinary—it highlights Tibetan history and Buddhism—and gives travelers once- in-a-lifetime opportunities, such as a private visit with a Sera Monastery monk, or a picnic with the guide’s family at a summer palace in Lhasa. As Tenzin put it: "This is Tibet—it warms your heart." —Larry Pollock, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.