Q: We want to visit pottery workshops and factories in England's West Country. Could you provide information?
A: Leach Pottery, The Stennack, St. Ives, (01736) 796398, in Cornwall, is where the potter Bernard Leach started working in 1920 with his friend Shoji Hamada. Janet Leach, Leach's widow, carries on the tradition with Trevor Corser, who was Bernard's assistant. Leach Pottery is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Prices on items range from about $40 to $806, calculated at 62 pence to the dollar.
Bernard Leach's grandson John Leach has workshops south of the Somerset village of Muchelney. Prices start at $9 for an herb jar. Signed pots start at $55. Muchelney Pottery, Muchelney, Somerset TA10 0DW; (01458) 250324. The shop is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Elizabeth Aylmer works at Hatherleigh Pottery, in Devon, producing domestic and garden pots. The pots are stoneware )) with an incised pattern and a classical wood-ash glaze. A casserole dish costs about $56. Individually designed pots start at $80. Hatherleigh Pottery, Hatherleigh, Devon EX20 3JP (01837) 810624. Open Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday by arrangement.
The Cornwall Tourist Board, 59 Lemon St., Truro 2R1 2SY (01872) 74057, and the information department at the West Country Tourist Board, 60 St. David's Hill, Exeter EX4 4SY, (01392) 76351, can supply a crafts map of Cornwall along with leaflets on individual potteries throughout the West Country.
Are there train and ferry connections from Athens to Rome, avoiding former Yugoslavia?
A: Buses leave every half hour between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. from the bus terminal at 100 Kifissou St., Athens, for the port of Patras, from which the ferries depart. The three-hour bus trip costs about $13.30.
From Patras there are nearly 20 companies with ferries leaving for three Italian coastal cities: Brindisi, Bari and Ancona. Brindisi is served by nine companies operating to and from Patras. For example, Adriatica di Navigazione, in Patras, (061) 421 995, has a ferry that leaves Patras daily at 7 p.m., arriving in Brindisi at 9 a.m. After Sept. 20 the ferry runs only on alternate days. A deck chair costs about $60, figured at a rate of 1,575 lire to the dollar, while a cabin with bath costs about $105 a person. Fares in the low season are 20 percent less.
Anek Lines, (061) 226 053, crosses from Patras to Bari on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday from April 4 to Sept. 29. Ferries leave Patras at 9 p.m. and arrive in Bari at 4 p.m. the next day. Tickets cost between $52 and $205 in high season and between $44 and $161 in low season.
Superfast Ferries, in Patras, (061) 622 500, makes the Patras-Ancona run in 20 hours, six days a week during high season; tickets range from $62 to $246. Ferries leave at 4 p.m., arriving in Ancona at 11 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday; at 7 p.m., arriving at 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and at 10 p.m., arriving at 5 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.
Direct train connections from the three Italian cities to Rome are somewhat sparse. One direct train from Ancona departs at 5:50 p.m., arriving in Rome at 9:35 p.m. From Brindisi, one can take a train to Bari, about a 90-minute trip. From Bari there are a few trains that go directly to Rome. The most convenient, though it must be reserved in advance, is the Intercity train that leaves at 6:20 p.m. and arrives in Rome at 11:25 p.m. For information call the State Railways: (71) 43933 in Ancona; (80) 5216801 in Bari; and (831) 521975 in Brindisi.