WHEN I discovered The Post was doing a review of Punta Cana, I was excited because I will be making my first visit there soon. But the tone of John Deiner's article ["Punta Cana: All Is Revealed," Oct. 24] was condescending and U.S.-centric. If one is going to a foreign country to visit, should it not have non-English speaking inhabitants? He couldn't mingle with guests who weren't North American? Obviously, Deiner has no sense of adventure. Sounds to me that the perfect place for him to review would be Orlando--everyone speaks English, all food is recognizable and they even have manatees!
Shirley J. Flottum
THANK YOU for your understanding and warm story about Barcelona ["Divine Madness," Oct. 17]. We lived there for several years. It is a wonderful city and the Catalans are special people, artistic and creative. You have caught that special touch that many writers and tourist groups miss completely.
WE VISITED Barcelona in May, using Spanair's fantastic deal of $369 for two nights; we extended it to six nights for about $600 each. We walked down the Rambla every day and found some great restaurants. I have always been fascinated with Gaudi and toured all his sites.
One thing happened that almost ruined our trip. We'd read about the pickpockets, so I practically sewed my pants pockets shut. Didn't work. On the Rambla, a couple of girls grabbed me and pushed me around. I checked my wallet--gone. I grabbed both of them by the wrist and shouted. They dropped my wallet. They tried the same thing three days later, but I saw them coming and shouted again. No other sign of trouble.
YOUR one-dimensional, "one size fits all" rhetoric regarding cruise passengers who visited La Rambla needs some retooling. The description of "waddling thousands like livestock wearing T-shirts and fanny packs" does not represent those with whom I traveled. Watch your cynical put-downs.
Great Falls, Va.
AFTER LIVING in Barcelona for four months, I feel that Craig Stoltz's article gives an unfair impression of the city. The thing that made me most angry were his statements about the Barri Xines. I have walked in that area alone and with friends during the day and night and have never felt threatened.
I do not believe that Stoltz ever spoke to a resident of Barcelona either; otherwise he might have known better than to think that there isn't a drive for Catalan independence. It's true that the Catalans have equal freedom now that Franco is gone, but there is still a movement for independence.
CONCERNING Travel Tip 117 ["Tape That!," Oct. 17], there is another side to this. My son's eighth-grade class (about 120 students) just returned from a one-week trip to New York City. Before they left, the trip coordinator told parents they would not be taping the students' doors in the night. Their hotel was in Times Square, and the chaperons did not want to advertise which rooms had teenagers staying in them.
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