Subject: Re: Back from France, Paris hotel and getting around
Sandy: We really loved our very central Marais location. We did explore many other areas but since we did not have other neighborhoods to return to late in the evening I can only speak about ours which offered us all we needed: walking distance to many restaurants and shops, lots of little markets for fresh fruit (yummy fresh figs every day!) and snacks, as well as the Pompidou, the Picasso and Place de Vosage nearby.

Some highlights (many of which are food related) from all over Paris (in no particular order). We enjoyed the food markets at both Bon March╚ and Gallery Lafayette. We were among the many (Parisian) shoppers picking up groceries and wonderfully prepared foods for take out or sitting at small tables there. We are mostly vegetarian but enjoy fish so our dinners included a small fun cafe Gallerie 88 at Hotel de Ville on the quai; a more formal seafood meal at Bistro du Dome (ask me about those grilled sardines!); L'Hangar (on an tiny dead- end street right next to the doll museum in the Marais, and at L'Enoteca for some good Italian wine and food (excellent tomato and mozzarella salad). We also enjoyed Caf╚ du Marche (lunch) on Rue Cler, a few Crepe stands and some Bertillion ice cream.

And I will never forget our afternoon tea and desserts at Mariage Freres (in the Marais).

Other highlights included: picnic at Luxembourg Gardens --the fun of all the activity there ˝ kids sailing their boats, lovers walking hand in hand, people sitting and taking up the sun, men planing cards, men playing chess, viewing an interesting art exhibit, watching those cute little carriages go by.

A walk on the avenue des plants - raised walkway (railroad bed, viaduct?) that has been planted and made for walking (and lovers) when we were somewhere in and around Bastille.

Half day at Giverny; .rather crowded that morning. Seemed to be thinning out when were were leaving around noon, but glad we made the trip. A good experience using trains, waiting for local bus ˝ the driver had to be phoned at home and eventually showed up! We made friends with fellow travelers that day, later sharing taxis and train home.

It was 1st Sunday of the month free entry and we were able to get into Musee D'Orsay with only 15 minute wait with the early crowd there for opening hour. Then after purchasing a lovely handpainted silk scarf (Eiffel tower artfully worked in) at a small shop on the way, we saw the Rodin. Another day we saw the Picasso Museum. Each morning we saw a huge line up for the Pompidou, but it turned out the line was for the new Biblioteque (library) as we learned from some weary folks at next table at breakfast who had stood on line for an hour or so, got in and wondered where is the artwork! I decided to check things out and went around to the Plaza, walked in and found no line to go up to the art museum. Wonderful experiences at all of these museums.

Of course there is walking and walking. Through the Marais, on to the Bastille. Around the Opera and Madeleine church, Ile St. Louis, Notre Dame (quick stop in). On the left bank, through the Latin Quarter, onto the Champs Elysse, etc. Perhaps not all in that order but somewhere over the 4 days we managed to see or be in it all.

Thanks for letting me go on an on, Maddy