THE TRAIN, as you say in Fathers Day 101 [June 19], is one way to travel from London to Greenwich. May I recommend another? I have found the ferry from the Westminster Pier to Greenwich much more enjoyable. There's no better way to see the sights of London than from a river view including the reconstructed Globe Theater, Tower Bridge and St. Paul's.
While it has been several years since I've taken this trip, on the occasions I have made this ride, old salts working for tips that worked the river provided commentary and local color on the points of interest along the ride.
As for the Greenwich observatory, there is no better history of the attempt to perfect the first chronometer. The observatory chronicles several of John Harrison's precision timepieces and the quest for precise longitude determination at sea. This is truly the underlying technology that drove early explorers and the subsequent British Empire.
George R. Hoffman
I WAS fascinated by the article "Cruising Siberia" [June 12]. However, the ending left me hanging. The author laments that he cannot continue on with the Krasnoyarsk for three more days to reach the port of Tiksi. He relates that he turns his back on the Lena River, but, if so, how did he get back to Novosibirsk? The story leads one to believe that he stopped in Yakutsk with no way to return. The ending of this story is lamentable because the author's journey is told in great detail and the narrative quality pulls in the reader. It's too bad that this attention to detail lapsed at the end of the story.
Pamela W. Roblyer
Author Alfred Kueppers responds:
Actually, there is another way to return to Novosibirsk from Yakutsk. You can fly from the Yakutsk airport to Novosibirsk on Siberia Airlines (www.s7.ru) for about $250 one way.
Best of 2 Beaches, Cont'd
IN YOUR RECENT article on Virginia Beach ["A Shore Town Reborn," June 5], Susan Harb recommended as a "best surprise" that readers participate in a hookah night at Croc's. She described the flavored tobacco products -- "strawberry, mint, licorice . . . bubblegum!" -- that are available.
At the American Legacy Foundation, we are disappointed and disturbed that The Washington Post would take the position of encouraging and promoting tobacco use. The paper has consistently provided factual information on the harmful effects of smoking and of secondhand smoke.
While hookahs are a different way of smoking than cigarettes, they do contain tobacco that is both addictive and deadly. More than 30 years ago, internal tobacco industry documents indicated that flavored tobacco would be a way to draw more young people into initiating smoking. Indeed, a range of flavored cigarettes are now on the market in the United States, while being banned in other countries.
Promoting flavored tobacco products is a supremely bad idea and a poor bet whenever and wherever it occurs.
Cheryl G. Healton
President and CEO
American Legacy Foundation
AS A frequent foreign and domestic traveler, I wanted to inform your readers of a travel service I recently discovered and have found to be extremely helpful when traveling to foreign countries. This service allows you to order foreign currency before you travel. Anytime anyone travels to foreign countries, there will always be a need for the local currency. And depending on the country, some businesses will not accept credit cards nor will they exchange U.S. dollars or travelers checks.
The company is International Currency Express (888-278-6628, www.foreignmoney.com). They offer competitive rates of exchange, an excellent mixture of denominations and no hidden fees, and I can pay by check or credit card. They have also been able to supply me with checks in foreign currencies for e-Bay purchases from abroad or similar expenses.
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