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Guidebook: Templars' Tale in France

January 13, 2002

Getting there: Air France and AirLib fly nonstop from LAX to Paris; connecting service is on American, Delta, United, Continental, US Airways, British Airways, KLM and Lufthansa. AirLib and British Airways currently have sale fares of $299 and $455 respectively (purchase by Jan. 31). Other restricted round-trip fares begin at $646.

Telephones: To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (international dialing code), 33 (country code for France) and the local number.

Tours: I traveled with Plantagenet Tours, which is offering a "Templars and Cathedrals Tour to Medieval France" from May 27 to June 10; 85 The Grove, Moordown, Bournemouth BH9 2TY, England; tel./fax 011-44-1202-521-895, Cost is $3,375 per person, double occupancy; single supplement $420.

Where to stay: Aux Armes de Champagne in L'Epine offers views of the cathedral; 51460 Place de la Basilique; 3-2669-

3030, fax 3-2669-3026, www.aux -armes-de Rooms $81-$135.

In Provins is a converted farmhouse, La Ferme du Chatel, 5 Rue de la Chapelle-

St. Jean; 1-6400-1073, fax 1-6400-1099,

/private/Fhebergement.htm. Doubles from $41.

In Vezelay, the Hotel de la Poste et du Lion d'Or overlooks the historic vineyards of Burgundy. Place du Champ de Foire; 3-8633-

2123, fax 3-8632-3092. Doubles $59-$73.

In Pont de l'Arche, the Hotel de la Tour is a good launching point for Gisors and Rouen, and it overlooks the site where several Templars were burned. 41 Quai Foch; 2-3523-0099, fax 2-3523-4622. Doubles from $47.

In Paris' Marais district, the Hotel de la Bretonnerie has a medieval flavor. 22 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie; 1-4887-7763, fax 1-4277-

2678, www.bretonnerie

.com. Doubles from $97.

Where to eat: In L'Epine, Aux Armes de Champagne is outstanding. Entrees from $25.

In Provins, La Boudiniere des Marais provides traditional French meals. 17 Rue Hugues-le-Grand; 1-6067-

6489. Entrees from $10.

L'Esperance in St.-Pere-sous-Vezelay is renowned for its modern French cuisine; 3-8633-3910, fax 3-8633-2615. Entrees $44-$85.

In Paris, try Auberge Nicolas Flamel, 51 Rue Montmorency; 1-4271-7778. Entrees from $30.

For more information: French Government Tourist Office, 9454 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 715, Beverly Hills, CA 90212-2967; (310) 271-6665 or (410) 286-8310 (France-

on-Call hotline), fax (310) 276-2835, www.france

Glen Craney

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