Open Jaw: Where readers write back
Saturday 29 June 2013
Interesting to read your piece on crossing Paris in a hurry. Oddly enough, I did this on Friday, having forgotten that the Basel trains now leave from Paris Gare de Lyon instead of Gare de l'Est. Arriving at Gare du Nord two minutes late, the RER suburban train ran bang on time and took exactly the promised seven minutes. I still had to get my tickets from the machine and catch the train to Basel with five minutes to spare.
If you really want to have lunch in one of Lyon's famous bouchons, you have to catch the easyJet flight from Gatwick (depart 8.15am, arrival 11am). I can vouch for the efficiency of this route.
Travelling from Cambodia by train I would call the overland trip an amazing once-in-a-lifetime adventure, not tedious (that would be the flight). But people do need to realise that it's an adventure requiring a little bit of project management, not a simple A-to-B transport option where you can somehow stroll up to Phnom Penh station and ask for a single to St Pancras.
Mark Smith ("The Man in Seat 61, seat61.com)
easyJet turns away passenger with valid passport
So the staff at the check-in counter make a mistake? These things happen occasionally. But if the passenger queries the mistake then surely the check-in staff should have a supervisor or manager who they could contact to double check?
"Unfortunately, easyJet made an error in Mr Rickard's case and so would like to apologise for his being unable to travel. We will be contacting the passenger directly to remedy the situation." What are they going to do, pay for the missed wedding to be rerun?
I had an enforced overnight stop last January in Geneva due to the crew being "out of hours". I was fully compensated by easyJet despite the compensation exceeding the cost of the flight. Under the circumstances (which were chaotic), easyJet handled the situation well – all credit to them.
Boris bikes get a Manhattan transfer
The writer says: "Perhaps the biggest issue for the occasional rider is the lack of helmets". I wonder if the writer would have been prepared to share communal helmets, buy a helmet at the start of every journey, or walk around all day with a helmet just in case she wanted to rent a bike. None of these options is very attractive. The truth is that helmets and bike-share schemes don't mix. Real safety comes from dedicated bike infrastructure – or learning how to ride assertively in busy-yet-calm city streets.
Swimming holidays Great article. It really captured the feeling [of swimming Croatia's coast]. I know, because I've done it. It was an ideal July afternoon, with calm, warm waters. The scent of lavender and rosemary, mixed with lemon trees. I swam out between the mainland and Hvar island and could not believe how little the people looked on the shore.
Some time ago, with a group of mates on holiday, we challenged ourselves to swim every beach on the Northern Beaches in Sydney – in one day. It was a hoot. Mini bus, dry towels, a fun attitude and off we went. We basically parked, ran down to the beach, caught some waves, ran back to the van and on to the next beach.
Mountain goats miraculously survive avalanche in the Alps
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