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The Independent Travel
Reach Bratislava?

In the absence of direct flights from Britain, you could fly to Vienna airport (see page 10) and take the 80-minute direct bus ride to the Slovak capital. Or you could board a Eurolines bus (01582 404511) at Victoria Coach Station and arrive in Bratislava 24 hours later, for pounds 115 return. But you have to change buses at Vienna.

Call France a month from today? Use the new regional codes that are being added to the existing eight-digit numbers: 01-05 inclusive. From Britain, you dial 00 33 + regional code (without the initial zero) + the existing number. From France, drop the old 19 and use 00 as the international access code.

Spend six days in Scotland for the price of four?

Take up the InterScot offer that the Scottish Tourist Board is selling at its London office (0171-930 6885). Travelling from London on the sleeper service on, say, a Thursday night, you can spend Friday through to Monday travelling anywhere you wish in Scotland before returning over night and arriving in London on Tuesday morning. You pay pounds 99 for the four-day ticket, plus pounds 54 for sleeper services.

To meet "Mr Lonely Planet"?

Tony Wheeler, the man whose book Across Asia on the Cheap set the trend for budget-travel guidebooks, reaches 50 in December. To mark his half- century, the founder of Lonely Planet Publications will be telling tales of life on the road at several bookshops next month. Tickets are free but bookings are necessary. Dates and venues are: 21 October, Waterstone's Leeds; 22 October, Blackwell's Sheffield; 23 October, Stanford's London.

Prepare for the winter ski season in Staffordshire? Make for the SnowDome in Tamworth, but not before you've read Stephen Wood's first column of the season in the travel pages of the Independent this Saturday.

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