Q: I will be in Paris this fall and would like to visit the store where Julia Child shopped for cookware when she lived in Paris. Can you tell me its name and address?
A: The venerable E. Dehillerin in the Les Halles area of Paris is the store you have in mind. Behind the counter, you'll notice a picture of shopper Julia Child.
With the look of a cluttered hardware store, you'll never confuse Dehillerin with the orderly cleanliness of a Williams & Sonoma. Cement floors and jammed merchandise are the backdrop for the masses of residents and tourists who wander the bins in search of all manner of cooking utensils.
The store, which has been in its current location since the late 19th century, is known for its copper. There are scores of copper pots and pans hanging from the pegboard walls. The professional-quality cookware comes with your choice of linings--stainless steel, nickel or tin. And prices are about half of what you'd pay in the United States for comparable pieces.
Dehillerin is at 18 Rue Coquilliere, telephone 011-331-42-36-53-13. The nearest metro stop is Les Halles. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Credit cards are accepted.
Q: My husband immigrated from Soviet Georgia in 1972 and has not visited since. We are investigating traveling to the Republic of Georgia for our 25th wedding anniversary. I do not want to fly on a Russian airline. I'm also concerned about security and accommodations. Is there any information you can give us to help plan this trip?
A: Georgia, a country rich in history and natural beauty, has incurred years of hardship and turmoil as a result of its border wars with the breakaway province of Abkhazia. Living standards, once among the highest of the former Soviet republics, have plummeted. The economy and the kind of support services that affect tourism are improving, but it's still rough going. If yo're adventurous and willing to put up with some inconveniences, make the trip.
There is no travel warning prohibiting a visit to Georgia. But the U.S. State Department recently issued a public announcement alerting Americans that a Chechen group may be planning to kidnap an American businessperson or other Western national somewhere in Georgia. For the latest information, contact the State Department at 202-647-5225, http://travel.state.gov. You're best off if staying in the capital city of Tbilisi, which has adequate hotels and other support services. Hotel choices include the very comfortable Sheraton Metechi Palace (1-800-325-3535); the Hotel Muza (011-995-32-933-265); the American-run Betsy's Guest House (011-995-32-983-551); and Villa Berika (011-995-32-933-562), which overlooks the city from the nearby hills.
You don't have to fly a Georgian or Russian airliner to get there. Fly British Airways between Washington and Tbilisi, connecting in London; the round-trip fare is about $1,300. The segment between London and Tbilisi is flown by British Mediterranean Airlines, which, as a British Airways franchise carrier, is required to adhere to the larger airline's safety standards.
Q: I have a parent who does not like to fly and is looking for a fast, inexpensive way to Europe (final destination Austria). The only thing I found was the QE2 to England, which takes six days and costs about $3,000 per person one way, followed by a 25- hour train ride. Is there another way?
A: I don't think you'll find anything faster than the six-day crossing offered by the QE2. For a single occupancy cabin, you will pay about $2,850, including port charges. That price also includes air fare home from London, but there is no credit for not taking the flight. If your parent travels with another person, the fare goes as low as $1,353 per person based on double occupancy and includes air fare back to North America.
There are freighters that take passengers on transatlantic journeys, but these trips are usually slow. A typical crossing takes about 10 days, although you can find ships that make it in eight. A good source for freighter travel is Freighter World Cruises (1-800-531-7774, www. freighterworld.com), a travel agency that represents 15 shipping lines. Among the transatlantic voyages it is currently advertising is an eight-day crossing between New York and Antwerp, Belgium, for about $826 per person on the MOL Europe. The trade-off is a slightly longer voyage on a freighter ship instead of a cruise line in exchange for a destination much closer to Austria and a cheaper price.
Another good source of information is Ford's Freighter Guide, published twice a year, which does a good job of listing passenger-carrying freighter line choices. To order, send a check for $15.95 to Ford's Travel Guides, 19448 Londelius St., Northridge, Calif. 91324.
We don't know whether to put this in the category of divine providence or, more likely, dumb coincidence, but Camp Rim Rock in Yellow Springs, W. Va., which we mentioned as offering a great girls' program, but, boo-hoo, no family camp (Travel Q&A, July 11), sent this letter a week later to camper families: "For years we've been told by Rim Rock parents that they want to be campers too. We've been listening to your requests and are pleased to offer your entire family the opportunity to experience the tradition of Rim Rock at our first family camp." The long weekend camp, Sept. 4-6, costs $100 per person. Information: 1-800-662-4650.
Julie Baum of Potomac and Marty Taylor of Washington both had more ideas on obtaining cheap fares home for students going to school in the West (Travel Q&A, July 18). Baum, who has one son at USC and another at Stanford, said she follows the air fares "religiously" on www.bestfares.com. Among her picks: United College Plus fares (www.collegeplus.com), which she described as costing "a bit more than the others, but also includes discount coupons"; AirTran's X-Fares for young adults; assorted credit card-airline partnership student deals, including those between American and Citibank (www.citibank.com/us/cards) and American Express and Continental (1-800-582-5823). Baum and Taylor are both partial to TWA's Youth Travel Pak (1-800-221-2000, www.twa. com), a pre-paid coupon book system good for anyone age 14 to 24; buy four coupons for $548 plus tax and get four one-way tickets to destinations in the continental United States, Toronto, and several Caribbean islands.