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Sunday, January 9, 2005; Page P05

Bodie Beautiful

GARY ANTHES really captured the Bodie we visited last August ["Bodie: Is Anyone Home?," Jan. 2]. But he was too quick to dismiss Bridgeport as a base for visiting that ghost town. Besides being 10 miles closer than Lee Vining to Bodie, Bridgeport has its own "handful of modest accommodations."

We stayed at Cain House, a turn-of-the-century B&B that participates in Stash Tea's free nights program -- which we first learned about in The Post's Travel section. (Thanks, Flight Crew!) Breakfast there was both good and filling, and there are great Sierran views from the front porch. We had a nice dinner next door at Restaurant 1881, a AAA four-diamond-rated restaurant with a modern American menu. There's also good pizza at Virginia Creek Settlement about five miles south of town, and Casa Michaela is a friendly Mexican place about a mile away.

If Bridgeport has a significant drawback, it's that its two gas stations may have the most expensive gasoline in the Lower 48. Fill your tank in Lee Vining.

Jean Kelly

Art Stern


CNN Is Believing

LOVED JERRY Haines's piece on CNN International ["I'll Be CNN You . . . ," Dec. 26]. Having lived overseas for years, I much prefer it to American CNN. Who cares about Scott Peterson anyway! I would subcribe immediately to cable if I could get CNNI as part of the basic service; let's hope CNN persuades D.C.-area companies to carry it as a non-premium channel. Washington should be a match made in heaven for CNNI, don't you think?

Anne Simon

Falls Church

Cheap Buses, Cont'd

THANK YOU for the information about alternative bus lines [Coming and Going, Dec. 26]. However, you didn't comment that the two stops on Vamoose, etc., totally leave out (a) those who live close to Union Station, that is, Southwest, Southeast and Northeast D.C.; and (b) those who are making connections to other destinations, either by bus or train, at Union Station.

Also, why encourage them to play movies? I came back on a Greyhound that showed two movies -- three hours out of the total ride of four hours. This after the announcement that asked passengers to silence their cell phones and playing devices. At least on planes that show movies, the passenger has the option to not use the earphones. On the bus lines, the sound of the movies goes to all seats, there is no option of silence, so you can read. Also, several people wanted to sleep.

Coralie Farlee


YOU DIDN'T mention Philadelphia-based New Century Travel's D.C.-New York City bus service (www.2000coach.com). Some really good news, at least to me, is its relatively new D.C.-Philadelphia service, $15 one-way or $28 round trip, with typical runs of 2 1/2 hours (compare that with Greyhound's miserable three-hour-20-minute to six-hour runs from D.C. or Silver Spring to Philadelphia). I hope that demand will prompt it to offer more than the two trips each way currently running.

While neither New Century nor Greyhound can touch the convenience, speed and comfort of Amtrak, they are certainly more affordable. New Century tickets can be purchased online using a credit card.

New Century's D.C. location is at 513 H St. NW, with buses parked in an alley across from that address. In center-city Philadelphia, it has the former Peter Pan terminal, around the corner from the Greyhound terminal.

Alan Oslick

Silver Spring

N.H. Cog

IT IS simply not true that the Mount Washington cog railway will offer skiers "for the first time ever, anywhere on Earth" the opportunity to ride such a railway to the top of a ski slope" ["The Little N.H. Cog That Could . . . Ski," Dec. 19]. In Switzerland, such service has been available and used by thousands of skiers annually for many decades. You can ride up and ski down at Zermatt, on Mount Rigi (two different cog railway lines), and on Mount Pilatus, the steepest cog railway of them all.

Harvey Leifert


I GUESS the cog railway that went up the mountain at Wengen, Switzerland, at 3,500 feet, to Kleine Shidegg at 8,800 feet or, for the really intrepid, to 11,000 feet-plus at the Jungfraujoch, doesn't count. The cars have an outside bin where we skiers put our skis while we were transported up the mountain in the Bernese Oberland by a cog railroad. No automobiles are permitted in Wengen and you had to go there by the railroad from Lauterbrunnen.

The skiing was terrific. You could ski all morning on one trip up, and could even end up, if you so chose, in Grindenwald. This is skiing at its best, and there is nothing like it on this side of the Atlantic.

Henry S. Brooks


London Hotel Tip

JUST BACK from a stay at the London Elizabeth Hotel (4 Lancaster Terrace, Hyde Park, London, 800-721-5566, www.londonelizabethhotel.com), our favorite due to great staff, excellent ticket connections and location (walk to Paddington, across the street from the Lancaster Gate tube station, across the street from Kensington Gardens). It has a "one pound equals a dollar" promotion through March.

Tom Munsterman


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