Open Jaw: Where readers write back
Motoring fines put tourists off return visits
Saturday 29 May 2010
Guide to Provence
The quirky Chemins de Fer de Provence from Nice to Digne is a marvellous way to get out of the heat of the coast and up into the hills. The trains today are rather more swish than when I first travelled on the line, when my train waited at the summit station to have cold water run over the engine through a hosepipe. And there's a steam train, which they did not have in 1970.
Cuban health treatment
We spent two weeks in Cuba in December. My husband needed medical treatment which was provided free of charge we weren't asked to show any insurance documents. I just hope that as Cuba modernises, which it obviously has to do, it doesn't forget what it already has and what many in the world just dream of free good health care and education.
'Fine time in Monaco'
I have a lot of sympathy for Richard Sharpe and his wife, who were fined by police in Monaco for inadvertently breaking a traffic rule. I stayed in Alghero, Sardinia, last June, hired a car and drove to many beautiful places on the island.
Apparently, while driving in Alghero, I took a wrong turn and drove in a prohibited area. Ten months later, I received a computer-generated letter, informing me of the alleged offence and asking me to pay 110.
One can't help feeling that the whole operation has been set up to try to extract as much money as possible from the hapless tourist. Like Richard, I enjoyed my holiday, and would recommend that people go there, but the letter I received in April has left me now with a different feeling.
As far as millionaires' playgrounds go, Alghero is clearly not far behind Monte Carlo.
A friend and I had the exact same thing happen to us in Monaco. We spent the weekend watching the Grand Prix and left to go to Nice. We came to a roundabout and, confused by the road signs, ended up going down a one-way street. The police immediately pounced and issued us with a 60 fine.
Wales by train
An issue not mentioned in your story on the Welsh Highland Railway into Porthmadog is the fact that Caernarfon was cut off from the national rail network around 1970. This town has fantastic potential as a tourist destination and base for exploring Snowdonia. Reconnecting it with the rail network would make public transport a more viable option for visitors.
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