Travel: Funny tales

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The Independent Travel
STACKS of offerings for 'Wish you weren't here . . . ?' pour in from readers. The world of travel offers plenty of funny stuff: funny peculiar as well as funny, ha ha.

In the former category is a wonderfully surreal postcard of Paris collected by Alan Lord of Macclesfield (below).

Dr D G Jones of Mere in Cheshire sends in a curious note from a Voyages Jules Verne mail-out. Beneath a picture of a poster showing a Thirties liner towering over an Orient Express-style engine and an ancient flying boat, a paragraph cautions: 'The paintings and illustrations in this brochure are used primarily to evoke a theme and therefore do not necessarily constitute sights that can currently be seen or methods of transport that may be used.' Er, well, you don't say . . . .

This week's winner, Sylvia Crookes of Basildon, Essex, tells of a fortnight last September spent in the forests of northern Finland in a timeshare resort of log cabins.

'The Finnish excursion organiser asked my friend if she was planning to sign up for a day-trip shooting rabbits. A lover of furry friends, she declined indignantly. The next evening we were somewhat perplexed to see a coach return to the resort, full of drenched but happy people who had spent a long day on the river . . . shooting the rapids]'

If you have a funny story or a hilariously disastrous travel experience to relate, the best story we use each week will win one of the publisher John Murray's excellent Literary Companions (the series covers Paris, Venice, India, Egypt, Florence or London) - alternatively you can select The Independent Good Holiday Guide or my new Family France guide. Your tale should be brief - not more than 200 words - and can be about anything to do with travel. Please write to: Frank Barrett ('Wish you weren't here . . . ?'), The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB and say which book you would like if you are one of our winners.

(Photograph omitted)

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