The ‘Fantasy’ that is Portugal

The ‘Fantasy’ that is Portugal

This is just a quick thank you for the deliciously written tale “Fantasy Fix” by Alice Short [July 14], about the short trip to two of my favorite places close to my heart and hometown (Óbidos).

I just shared it on Facebook, trying to raise my U.K. mates’ awareness of my country’s potential to please them, although they crave only the Algarve sunny beaches.

Paulo Belo

Submitted by email


“Fantasy Fix” had little to do with travel in Portugal, as it focused primarily on breakfast, lunch and dinner. I consider it an insult to the country.

I travel extensively and have just returned from Portugal, where I was astonished by the beauty and rich history of this underappreciated part of the world.

The last thing Portugal needs is a shallow treatment of a country that offers a multitude of experiences, surprises and delights to discerning travelers, of which Short is not one.

Readers of the L.A. Times deserve an appropriate and enlightening article on Portugal, and I hope they will be able to get one soon.

Marta Vago

Santa Monica


I liked Catharine Hamm’s article “It’s About Time, Place for Rentals” [July 14] about rental cars because she resisted the easy way out — blaming the rental car companies — and actually explained their point of view.

And no, I do not work for, and have never worked for, a rental car company. There are plenty of things about rental car companies to complain about, but these aren’t them.

Ron Dean

Pacific Palisades


David Lamb’s piece [“A Bike Tour Is No Sweat,” July 14] was a great read. I didn’t miss a word of it, and the thrill of the river crossing was a highlight.

I am 68 and have been biking for more than 25 years. We have done similar trips through the years. Last year, we rode from Prague, Czech Republic, to Dresden, Germany, over six days. It was casual fun with a group of similar riders. Please keep on writing and riding.

Linda Hull

Agoura Hills


I read the letters [July 14] from outraged pet parents about the article that focused on high-end, pet-friendly hotels.

There’s a simple solution. AAA has “Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook” available for $18.95. It includes AAA-approved hotels and campgrounds, and a dozen or so articles related to traveling with a pet, including one on international travel (Canada and Mexico).

I’ve even used mine to help a group find a hotel where a pet-friendly reception could be staged after a fundraiser event. It’s well worth the money and useful for the average person.

Sandi Cain

Laguna Beach