Subject: Re: Re: France trip...Paris, Provence, LYON
Hi Ellie,

In Lyon, I have also stayed at the Hotel des Artistes, 11/99, and found it to be fine. I believe it was 500 Fr./night for a double. No fancy dining room but a nice breakfast. The location was great, couple of blocks from the confluence of the Rhone and Saone Rivers, and the market on Saturday right on the river was neat. There is lots to see and do there. I don't remember the names of restaurants very well, but Lyon is considered a food capital, much like Paris. One very memorable one, where we were hosted by a Lyon resident, is 'l'anticipation' the address is 7 rue Chavanne (lyon 1er arrondissement) and the phone number: 04 78 30 91 92. Not elite but marvelous food. Again, I was there in '99, but I recommended it to my niece, who went there last summer, and they liked it so well they went a second time. You would need reservations.

In Annecy, we stayed at the Alabroges, which is not new and modern but was quite nice. We loved Annecy. It is touristy, as most French cities are, but has retained so much of its charm we felt three days was hardly enough. From there, it is an easy day trip to Chamonix and Mont Blanc.

In the Burgundy area, I heartily recommend a visit to Gevrey-Chambertain. We stayed at the Hotel Les Grand Crus, like a country inn, three stories, stone, very charming. We felt like houseguests. The breakfast was lovely, including freshly baked croissants. In November, '99, we paid 488 Fr, including everything, for a double -- large room, two beds, very nice bath, large than many in France. It is set in the midst of the Cote de Nuits vineyards and, at the top of the hill, is an old chateau that goes back I believe to the 9th century. The lady who lives there (or did at that time) gave tours for 20 Francs. It was well worth it. It had been a monastery and then had a series of other lives and for years was closed. She has her own wine label which was quite respectable, and she is quite a character. The winding staircase is carved from one piece of stone, quite an interesting place. This is off the N-74 between Beaune and Dijon -- worth a stop.

Another place I loved was Vezelay, another rather plain little hilltop town, but there is a really wonderful restaurant and B&B in nearby St. Pere, about 2 mi., owned by Chef Marc Meneau. Lunch took three hours and was not inexpensive but worth every penny. I was glad we were staying there overnight so that I had only to waddle to our room to recuperate.

You are going to have lots of advice. Have a wonderful trip. I'll be there in early June.

Bon voyage,

Lou Matthews (TX)