Janis Cooke Newman traveled 8,175 miles to get to Adelaide, Australia, yet she made no mention of the greatest reason to travel that far [“The Hunt for Authenticity,” Aug. 12]. I can accept, perhaps, that the food is better than in Sydney and Melbourne, but I cannot accept the complete absence in her delightful report of the most significant reason to travel so far: The Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. These two prime-time destinations for Shiraz [Syrah] wine are but a 60-minute drive or tour from Adelaide. She missed the ultimate joy of visiting wineries where the tastings are gratis, tours are personal [you and your guests] and the wine is the world’s finest.

Bob Canning

Playa Vista

Unexpected help from a TSA worker


On a recent international flight I misplaced my folding glasses after going through the security and baggage X-ray. Rechecking with the inspectors and the tubs in the area of my inspection revealed nothing.

The crew at Transportation Security Administration control said they could not take a name or flight information and to call the next day; we would be in Europe. I gave up and headed for our departure gate.

Ten minutes later one of the TSA inspectors I had queried walked up with my glasses. She did not know my name or gate but walked the length of the concourse to find me by chance. What a pleasant surprise.

Art Friedman


Studio City

Flat-out scammed in Barcelona

My wife and I were recently mugged in Barcelona, although it could be any city.

When entering Barcelona from France in a German rental car, we pulled up to a stop sign on the main street. A man on a nice moped pulled up and pointed at our rear tire. My wife rolled down the window and he yelled and pointed, “Flat tire.” I looked for a place to stop. He pulled out in front and pointed to a small street across the intersection. I followed across, he waved and left. Indeed, the tire was flat.


I started to change the tire, and when I crawled under the car to place the jack, another confederate removed our carry-ons and wallet from within the console and left on a moped. I didn’t even know it happened until we were ready to leave. It was very professionally done. They stuck an ice pick in my tire at the stop sign. The damage was about $4,500 before insurance.

We loved Barcelona and will go back, poorer but wiser.

John L. Sundahl

Woodland Hills