Something to Declare: The Column That Saves You Money

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Indy Lifestyle Online
British bargain of the week

A free bus to the planes

Visitors to the splendid collection of aircraft at the Imperial War Museum's collection at Duxford airfield in Cambridgeshire can now get there free - at least from the nearby city of Cambridge.

For the rest of the summer, there will be four buses a day each way, picking up at the railway station and the Holiday Inn. Call 01223 835000 for times.

Euro bargain of the week

A free train from the planes

From the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, Keith Hill writes with a hot tip about the new train link between Milan and Malpensa airport. After a reader suggested in these pages a fortnight ago that the new line was less than perfect, Mr Hill begs to differ: "Cadorna is definitely not in the outer suburbs. It is known to the locals as Stazione Nord (only incidentally situated in Piazza Cadorna), and is the main commuter station of Milan serving the northern provinces. It is 100 yards from the Castello Sforzesco, part of the heart of old Milan. If you are going to stay in Milan, or proceed anywhere by long-distance bus, it is the best place to arrive."

Better still, for the next few months you do not need to pay for it - so long as you are flying on Alitalia. The news comes from one of the Italian airline's partners, KLM: "You will be able to travel absolutely free and what's more, if you only have hand luggage, you can even check in at Piazza Cardona station. A 98-seat carriage has been set aside for Alitalia passengers."

The new trains run from 7am to 8pm daily.

Currency of the week

The Jordanian dinar

The central bank in Amman is generous to the British traveller, at least in the information provided on notes. "Five dinars" is written crisply on one side of the note, together with a No 5. This is just as well, because the other side is inscribed entirely in Arabic, including the value - which, to visitors unfamiliar with Arabic numerals, makes it look like a zero-dinar note.

The dinar is far from valueless; it is one of the very few units of currency in the world that approaches the value of a pound sterling, and also one of the few currencies that has a half-unit note. (Anyone remember the 10-shilling note? Same idea.)

The five-dinar note also acts as a tourism promotion device, by showing a partial view of the Nabatean city of Petra - the magnificent assembly of classical architecture in the desert south of the capital.

Since 1995, when admission prices to the site increased four-fold to the equivalent of pounds 20, you will need no fewer than five 5D notes to get in.

Trouble spots

There's an awful lot of crime in Brazil

The Foreign Office has just issued the following warning to travellers:

There is a high crime rate in major cities, particularly in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Taxis and the metro are safer than buses or trams. In both cities, avoid the old central area after dark.

Do not resist muggers as they are normally armed. Always dress down and avoid wearing jewellery and expensive watches. Keep wallets and cameras concealed if you must carry them. Deposit valuables in hotel safes.

Credit card fraud is a problem. Avoid using cards if possible. Keep car doors locked and windows closed. Be particularly alert whilst waiting at traffic lights.

Drug trafficking is a growing problem, with severe penalties in Brazil.

Only carry items packed by yourself.

There have been several attacks, both armed and unarmed, on cargo ships arriving and unloading in a few Brazilian ports, especially Santos, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador.

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