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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Islands 2008

I LOVED reading about Montserrat ["Three Simple Words: Hot Hot Hot," March 2]. I spent the first 12 years of my life visiting the island for two weeks each April. My family owns a condo in the exclusion zone while our other home, which we sold 16 years ago, is perfectly happy sitting up near Woodlands Bay.

I will be returning to Montserrat for my honeymoon this August. I'm 26, and it's been 14 years. Although the volcano has decimated half the island, I'm truly excited to be going back to Montserrat. I've heard that the volcano has turned the island into a diving mecca.

Montserrat is such a great place, and I hope it stays a secret forever. Hopefully it'll get back to its previous pace of tourism but shy away from the tourism circus that is Antigua.

Andrew Salottolo, Denver

I READ John Deiner's wonderful article. I was fortunate enough to have visited the island back in the mid-1980s when I took my wife there for treatment for her multiple sclerosis. The treatment facility was a converted resort that sat very close to the Soufriere Hills Volcano. Montserrat was truly special.

Bill Harris, Pittsburgh

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed K.C. Summers's article on Virgin Gorda ["Why Did the Tourists Cross the Channel?," March 2] -- not the usual stuff travel writers like to put in with lots of errors, like they picked up in an out-of-date travel book.

Brian MacDonald, Toronto

Eurostar Station

I READ the article on London's new St. Pancras Station with amusement [What's New, March 2]. My wife and I took the Paris-London Eurostar in January. The building is indeed airy and pleasant, but I would suggest a few areas for improvement.

Arriving with luggage, as most travelers do, I was surprised to see only small elevators that took only one passenger and a full cart down from the platform. Then my wife and I followed the signs for taxis . . . to a locked door. We exited at a promising gate and found the taxis were around the other side of the building.

Then my wife tried to recoup her one-pound coin from the luggage cart by chaining to the other carts by the taxi stand. Surprise! They were a different type of cart and didn't fit ours. Two types of luggage carts at one European rail station? Maybe the powers that be should study their priorities: The last thing anyone needs is a stupid champagne bar in a railroad station.

Peter Henley, Silver Spring

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