Q. I am planning a trip to France and would like to know how I
can get a list of B&Bs in that country.
A. Part of the charm and challenge of driving around France is
finding places to stay each night, but they are not B&Bs, which
don't exist there under that name. B&B-style places are called
pensions or auberges. These are small, reasonably priced hotels or
boarding houses, mostly family-owned, which usually provide meals.
There also are many small restaurant/bars with a few tourist
rooms attached. Some have private baths, many don't. Breakfast may
or may not be included.
There are a few motels in France, including a fast-growing
chain called Campanile. They are much like American motels with
extra-small rooms. Prices are about $38 for a double.
The French Government Tourist Office has a list of hundreds of
approved hotels, from highest-rated four-star-deluxe to little
one-star auberges. But you can always just stop at a little place
that looks interesting and clean.
Small-town and rural pensions and auberges or no-name "hotels"
often expect guests to buy dinner there. It may be the only
restaurant in town anyway.
The tourist office also has a directory of Logis de France,
more than 4,000 government-selected small one- and two-star hotels
throughout France. The Logis I have stayed in were charming and
To get these listings and a packet of other information about
France, phone France on Call at (900) 990-0040. It also will
prepare a customized routing for you through the areas you want to
visit. Operators answer specific questions and send detailed
information about the provinces you'll be visiting.
Or you can try the "Europe Lodging Guide," published by the
American Automobile Association and sold in bookstores here. It is
researched and written by the AA, the British counterpart of our
AAA, and is helpful although it doesn't list specific prices. It is
written for the thrifty Brits, so many low-cost places are included.
Q. Do you have any information pertaining to the location of
Nickelodeon studios in Florida?
A. Nickelodeon shows are staged at Universal Studios, the
combination theme park and working studio in Orlando. Summer is the
busiest time for Nickelodeon, which tapes 15 to 20 different shows
and pilots, according to a spokesman. Tickets are free, doled out
on a first-come basis, but you must first buy admission tickets to
Firm schedules are set only a few weeks in advance, so anyone
who wants to be there on taping days should phone the Nickelodeon
studios at (407) 363-8500 in advance of a visit.
This summer, Universal has finally opened its Jaws ride, a
scary four-minute encounter by boat with a lifelike great white
shark, presumably free of the glitches that plagued it earlier.
Q. I will be in Madrid and would like to take an
architectural tour of Barcelona as well. Is there a bus service
between the two cities, and is there a tour in Barcelona that would
include Gaudi's works?
A. Buses run by the Enatcar company leave Madrid for Barcelona
every day at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 10 p.m., 11 p.m. and
midnight. The trip starts at the Estacion Sur de Autobuses, 17
Calle Canarias, near the Atocha railroad station, and takes eight
hours for all runs except the one at midnight, which takes seven
From 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. the trip costs about $21 one-way, $42
round trip. The midnight run costs $27, $38 round trip. For
round-trip passengers, buses leave Barcelona for Madrid every day
from Avenida Paralelo at the same times as those from Madrid to
Barcelona. Enatcar can be reached in Madrid at 527-9927.
Once in Barcelona the first stop should be the Barcelona
Tourism Board, 35 Passeig de Gracia, 215-4477. The board publishes
a free pamphlet listing the addresses of 10 major works by Gaudi. …