Subject: Re: The kindness of strangers
Hi Lucy,

During my travels I have met a lot of nice local people, but Sicily is a really special place with a lot of warm people.

In many places everybody suggests you a help if he sees that you are lookung for that.

When I've been to Ragusa - a really wonderful hilly town of high barocco - I had to go from the upper part to the lower one. At some point I couldn't understand how to go. Then I'd seen two teenagers on bike (of course, without cask). I've asked them how can I pass. So, they have suggested me a lift. While one of them was waiting for his friend, another guy have brought me with his bike to the lower part. Than later he came back to take his friend there as well. I couldn't believe.

Such sorts of lifting I had in another places of Sicily as well.

While being in Syracuse, I've bought a painting on papyrus in some artist shop. I had no water and wanted to buy a bottle. I've asked the artist where could I do that. His answer was full 1.5 litre bottle of mineral water. I wanted to pay - but he didn't agree. Can you beleive that?!

Sicily is definitely one of the most special places in Europe!

Another one is Ireland, where people seeing you marching on the road stopping their cars and suggesting a lift, bus driver can helps you to save money (I had a ticket for 10 days by bus. I prefered to use it only when I had most expensive travels. Some day I had to use it also for a short travel. So, the driver had refused to make the hole!). Or someday I've been to Limerick (the city of Frank McCourt from "The Angela Ashes") in Pension Alexandra (or something like that). I've told to the owner that I leave at about 6.30 in the morning - so, I'll not eat the breakfast. So, next morning she woke up to prepare me the food.

I'll never forget the warm people from the Hosteria Mustapic in Ushuaia (tierra del Fuego, Argentina), the managr of hotel 7 del Febrero in Bariloche, Argentina who gave me a lot of good recommendations and was a mediator between some tourist agency, Alejandro from Viajes Danneman, Bariloche who had send my ticket to my hotel before my arrival and payment (this agency doesn't make bookings. I came to Bariloche at about 22.30 with Cruce de Los Lagos and wanted the trip for 7 lakes on the next morning - about 8.00). People for Pension La Paquita has helped me when I was waiting for my driver to helicopter(private tour). The driver actually was sleeping. So, they did calls to find the agency and the driver.

I remember the nice woman Rachel from the British Parliament. While looking for Banqueting Hall, I've asked her to help me to find that. She has told me that she has a better idea - she works in the Parliament and she can say that I'm her relative and she will make me a tour of the building without waiting in line. It was great. It was in 1999.

As you see, good people are everywhere.

Sincerely, Alex Elbert Jerusalem Israel