I liked the On the Spot column about phones [“,” by Catharine Hamm, Sept. 3].
Readers should also be aware of several options: Google’s , as well as on my Verizon phone. When in airplane mode and on Wi-Fi, I can make calls to U.S. phone numbers and receive calls without a fee. I haven’t checked to see if other carriers offer the same thing.
The quality was better than Skype, but there is a limitation: You can’t call non-U.S. phone numbers.
I like the Line message app much more that . If someone is traveling to Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, etc., they will find Line much more useful.
In Thailand I think it is used by about 90% or more of the people. It’s more fun than WhatsApp and can make free video calls. It’s so easy to use I can use it.
Face to face with Big Ben
Regarding “,” by Mary Forgione, Sept. 10: On a trip to London in 1995 my husband and I climbed the bell tower in Big Ben and stood in the clock face as the chimes sounded at 11 a.m.
The O.J. Simpson trial was happening in Los Angeles. My husband had on a Lakers cap, and one of the security guards at Westminster Abbey asked if we were from Los Angeles. “Of course,” we said.
He proceeded to ask us if we would like to go on a tour of the tower and the clock. He was the watch tower guard and was leading a group of German tourists through the tower.
We agreed, not knowing that you had to climb the winding switchback staircase to get to the top. It was amazing and very rewarding when we reached the clock face. As the clock chimed we saw through the face the whole city of London.
We have been to London many times, but Big Ben holds a special place in our hearts.
Horse sense in the Sierra
A hiker wrote to complain about horses and mules in the Sierra [, “Horses, Hikers a Bad Mix in Sierra,” Sept. 3]. Without those animals many people would be denied the experience of camping in the back country.
Due to a severe back condition, I am unable to hike and carry a backpack. Thanks to the horses and packers, I was able to take many wonderful trips far into the Sierra wilderness. The letter writer needs to think about those of us he would deny back country wonders.