Subject: hotel and restaurant recommendation in Paris
Hi Ziners. I'm feeling just a little guilty about enjoying this great resource without contributing.

With this in mind, I'd like to recommend a hotel and restaurant that we stayed in, in Paris, when we vacationed in France in mid September. We've stayed in the Republique district on past trips, and did again this time. Fittingly, the hotel is the 2 star Republique Hotel,on 31 rue Albert Thomas. I believe that they have a website.. We've also stayed at the Alhambra Hotel, in the same district, and found it to be just a bit more noisy, and perhaps slightly more *tired*. They are both reasonably priced for Paris.

I personally like this district because it seems so normal...few expensive shops...few immediate attractions for the tourist..a fine slice of life in the city.

The restaurant that we really enjoyed in this area was *Au trou Normand* on 9 rue Jean Pierre Timbaud. The food was thoroughly delicious bistro fare, the menu and wine list varied and reasonably priced, and the service attentive and very, very good natured.

Apparently the name of the restaurant refers to that lovely Normand liquor, calvados,(apple brandy). Au trou Normand translates to the Normand Hole.. when sufficient calvados is consumed, it's said to *burn through* even the heaviest of meals...allowing still more wonderful fare to be enjoyed, of course!

This establishment was certainly enjoyed by all...and incidentally, the calvados kept being poured for us even after we'd paid the bill!

One of the more interesting people that we struck up a conversation with that night claimed to be the backgammon champion of France, whose living was made in the playing of the game. He recommended that we visit the tiniest of towns in the Camargue, named Daussane, that we located on a detailed map of the South. It's rather near Marseille, but in 3100 km's of driving, we didn't make it there. Next time. It sounded charming. He described three restaurants that served whatever had just been taken from the sea.

Michel and I talked at length of the travels in our youth through Iran and Afghanistan; his love of Bali, and his military service spent teaching mathematics in Laos. I'd like to add that I speak French at a rudimentary level, and am constantly delighted by the patience and indulgence that I'm shown when I make the effort.

More will follow in perhaps a rather eposodic account of this latest trip..

Regards from London, On Alan