Paris day offers a variety of trips, passes, cruises, tours and transportation options on its Web site. It also offers a few unusual day trips in Paris that you may want to try.

"A Day with a Photographer, or "A Paparazzi-in-Paris" at 78 euros (about $104) gives you two options: One lets you choose to have either a professional photographer guide you around Paris and help you take great photos; the other has fake paparazzi follow you around the city as if you were a star, taking photos and then presenting them to you.

Other programs include "Create Your Own Perfume," which allows you to come up with your own scent under the guidance of a perfume expert for 162 euros per person.

"Cooking Class with a Chef" costs 150 euros and includes a trip to a gourmet market and a meal cooked under the guidance of a chef. And for 62 euros, you can "Spend a Day in a Typical Boulangerie," in which you go to a French bakery and learn to make and bake baguettes and croissants.

For more ideas, go to and click on "Things to do in Paris."

Irish discountLooking for a royal tour of Ireland? has an eight-day self-drive tour called "Live Like a Lord" that includes a set itinerary plus seven nights’ bed-and-breakfast accommodations in castles along the way.

If you reserve and pay for the trip this month, you can save $300 (the price goes to $1,199 starting Feb. 1). The price is per person, double occupancy, and includes a car.

The tour starts and ends at Dublin Airport. Highlights include two days in Dublin and visits to the Belvedere House, Garden and Park; ruins of the sixth-century monastery, Clonmacnoise; Connemara National Park; Kylemore Abbey; the Cliffs of Moher; Dingle Peninsula; Rock of Cashel; and Kildare.

The castle accommodations are in Clontarf Castle of Dublin, Abbeyglen Castle in Clifden, Ballyseede Castle of Tralee and Kilkea Castle in Kildare.


Austrian B&BsIf you are going to Austria and prefer the more personal atmosphere of a bed and breakfast to a hotel, be sure to check out the Austrian Tourist board’s site, The board says B&Bs selected for the site must meet strict criteria, and it guarantees their quality and service.

Reservations are available for the provinces of Voralberg, Tirol, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Vienna, Burgerland, Styria and Carinthia. The site gives descriptions, photos, prices and contact information for the members.

Paris PullmanOrient ExpressTickets are sold out for this year’s Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day) "Gourmet Excursion" in the romantic atmosphere of Paris’ Pullman Orient Express, but its Web site is one to watch for future 2009 trips.

The train’s carriages have been renovated by Compagnie des Wagons Lits, creating exact replicas of the old ones that first ran in 1886. Gourmet meals based on past menus are served by staff wearing 1930s uniforms.

Past trips have included champagne tastings, gourmet meals, rides to an open-air opera at a château and murder mystery games.

Find details at .

Best BetsIRELAND: You don’t have to travel to the Gaeltacht — the Irish-speaking regions — to enjoy traditional Irish culture. Instead, head to Dublin’s trendy Temple Bar quarter now through Sunday for TradFest. The festival will feature well-known musicians, such as singer and fiddler Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh from the group Altan, singer and harpist Moya Brennen of Clannad, and piper Paddy Keenan of the Dubliners, as well as nightly acts in 15 of the area’s pubs on the Pub and Food Trail. Ceilidhs (traditional music and dance parties), craft shows, workshops, exhibitions and films also are on the list of activities. For more details on the festival and tickets, visit the site .

SWITZERLAND: Add gourmet eating to your skiing trip in St. Moritz next week as the town holds its annual Gourmet Festival Monday through Feb. 9. Chocoholics can visit the free "Chocolate Cult" and learn to create their own chocolate recipes with a professional chocolatier. Take a gourmet safari by bus or foot, taste a "molecular cocktail" or enjoy a gourmet meal at one of the partner hotels. Details at ; it has an English version.

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