I ENJOYED your article about the French Christkindlmarkts in Strasbourg, Colmar and Kayserberg ["Old World Holiday," Nov. 28]. Those towns are wonderful any time.
I grew up in Munich before WWII and after, and the first Christkindlmarkt was in Nuremberg, Bavaria. We had one in Munich, but it was very small. After the war, it was placed at the Marienplatz, and it is absolutely wonderful. Lots of handicrafts and gluhwein (mulled wine), sausages and hot chestnuts.
The Christmas tree is enormous and everybody is happy. I just wanted you to know your article brought those memories back to me.
Eleonore H. Devore
AS A relocated suburban Detroiter, and having just returned from a Thanksgiving holiday spent in that fair city, I was delighted to see your profile of Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum ["In Michigan, a Tour de Ford," Nov. 28]. Please note that the museum has recently rebranded itself as merely "The Henry Ford" (no "museum").
Also, I would recommend that anyone who has never visited Detroit, or who hasn't been in the past five years, to visit the reemerging downtown Woodward Avenue, the Campus Martius (with a seasonal ice skating rink facing the gorgeous Compuware building), Comerica Park (with its regal concrete tigers) and any of the delightful art galleries in the New Center area, including my favorite, the Detroit Artists Market (313-832-8540, www.detroitartistsmarket.org).
THE TRAVEL section suggests that airline passengers use the Knee Defender to prevent passengers seated in front of them from reclining ["25 Ways to Make Your Next Flight Easier," Nov. 28].
In fact, several airlines -- including Northwest -- specifically have prohibited the use of this device.
While Travel purports to be offering advice on how to avoid travel hassles, this suggestion almost appears to be intended to encourage air rage. Have standards of civility declined so far that travelers cannot ask the passenger seated in front of them not to recline?
Jol A. Silversmith
I WAS surprised that the section on "Getting to the Airport/Parking" did not include taking the SuperShuttle as an option. It picks you up at home or hotel, comes when it says it will (if the driver is a few minutes late, he'll call you) and can be found at the airport arrival/bagggage claim area for the ride home. There's no need to wake up a friend or neighbor.
SuperShuttle can be contacted by dialing 800-BLUEVAN, or look online at www.supershuttle.com. I've used the service for trips to BWI and Reagan National.
The Simpsons, Cont'd
IN RESPONSE to reader Michael Hoyt, who wrote in about where Homer Simpson's home is located: I lived several decades in Shelbyville, Ill., and occasionally drove 70 miles in a northwesterly direction to Springfield, Ill. No mountain, not even a decent-size hill. One down and three to go.
Travel Q&A and You
AS ONE who grew up in Oakland, Calif., I'll add a few things to do for the family going there in March [Travel Q&A, Nov. 28].
If the trip includes a Friday morning, don't miss the open-air farmers market around Ninth Street, which is geared to Oakland's large Chinese population. You can go early and find a nearby cafe for breakfast.
Jack London Square at the foot of Broadway, Oakland's main street, has a ferry boat to San Francisco and frequent free craft markets on weekends.
A visit to the Oakland Museum is an excellent way to learn about the area's history, and the kids won't be bored. When you visit Children's Fairyland at Lake Merritt, be sure and walk over to the lake itself, where cranes and pelicans often join the ducks.
If the weather is good, the kids can walk along the beach on the neighboring island of Alameda, which connects to Oakland by a free tunnel and bridges. Alameda also has a Navy carrier, the USS Hornet, open to the public.
IN RESPONSE to the person asking about things to do in Salzburg, Austria, during the holiday season [Travel Q&A, Nov. 28], you should have recommended visiting the place of the first performance of "Silent Night." It is in the town of Oberndorf, about a half-hour drive from Salzburg or 20 minutes by train. (I highly recommend the train; check www.oebb.at/en.) The annual "Silent Night" celebration on Dec. 24 is a truly wonderful experience. For more information, see www.stillenacht.at/en.
Karin M. Krchnak
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