14 MARCH 1958, Page 20

SIR.—Mr. Arden's article (February 28) makes Rus- sian tourism seem

a vigorous business. I think it gives a wrong impression due to a mistranslation. When I was in Moscow for the Youth Festival last summer I took the chance of going to a tourist rally in the forests near Lake Seleger. When I got there I realised that when Russians talk about tourism they mean hiking. As I do not speak Russian I cannot tell why this mistake arises, but the remarks quoted about, e.g., physical fitness of tourists obviously make better sense when applied to hikers.

I can, however, testify to the fact that hiking is taken seriously. We had a marathon race, including swimming across a lake pushing a laden raft beside which army assault courses I have experienced seem like children's romps. Only a loudspeaker in the camp playing American 'pop' tunes (about three years out of date) suggested a more decadent but comfort- able way of life.—Yours faithfully,

Trinity College, Cambridge T. H. BEALE