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Paris exhibitions

Two Paris museums are featuring displays on well-known foreigners who lived in the city.

The Carnavalet, the Paris History Museum, is showing the exhibit “Benjamin Franklin — An American in Paris, 1776- 1785” through March 15. Franklin was sent on a diplomatic mission during these years to secure France’s support for the American Revolution. While there, the versatile intellectual and inventor influenced the French Revolution with his ideas. The exhibition features 340 exhibits of paintings, sculptures, objects and documents.

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (except Mondays and holidays). Its Web site is

Marie Antoinette, to whom the statement “Let them eat cake” has been attributed (although it is questionable that she ever said it), is the subject of an exhibition at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais March 15 to June 16. Some 300 works from around Europe will offer a look into the personality of the Austrian-born queen consort of Louis XVI. She was regarded as a patron of the arts, a spendthrift and a counter-revolutionary.

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily except Tuesdays and until 10 p.m. on Wednesdays. Its Web site is

Edinburgh meal deal

Through Feb. 29, the city of Edinburgh is offering good deals on lunches and dinners through its Dine Around Edinburgh 2008 celebration. Thirty restaurants will offer fixed-price meals at 15 pounds (about $30). For a listing of restaurants, go to and click on Dine Around Edinburgh 2008.

Metz flea markets

A new year brings a new round of flea market dates for Foire Internationale de Metz in Metz Grigy, France.

The markets, which run from 6 a.m. to noon, will be held Jan. 12, Feb. 2 and 16, March 29, April 12 and 26, May 17, June 7 and 21, July 5, Aug. 4 and 26, Oct. 11 and 25, Nov. 8 and Dec. 20.

A spring flea market on March 2 and its Christmas flea market on Dec. 7 are open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. A summer market Aug. 21-23 is open late into the night.

The official Web site is www.fim-metz. com/Site-web-puces/dream (in French). At our last check, the site still listed the 2007 dates.

Send info about your tours, events, discounts or Web sites to

Best BetsENGLAND: London’s Russian population celebrates its Russian Winter Festival Sunday in Trafalgar Square. The free event marks the Russian “Old New Year,” calculated by the czarist calendar used before 1917. Set in a snowy “winter wonderland” are stalls demonstrating Russian craftmaking and selling crafts, souvenirs and food and drink, plus performances by traditional Russian entertainers. Find details at

There is a packed program for this year’s London Boat Show, which starts Friday and runs until Jan. 20 at the ExCel Exhibition Centre. Among the highlights are a show of hundreds of boats, from multimillion-pound cruisers to inflatable rafts; classes on boating skills and advice for new owners; boat restoration demonstrations; visits to The Marina, which will feature more than 50 boats; tours of the HMS Exeter, a Royal Navy destroyer; races in the Marina, plus water sports and ocean race simulators. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 11-16, 18 and 19; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 17; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 20. Tickets are 15 pounds (about $30.50) for adults (5 pounds after 4 p.m.) and free for those 15 and younger. Advance tickets also available. Details at

SCOTLAND: Altan, Tom Paxton, Andy Irvine, Paul Brady, Phil Coulter, Capercaillie, Cherish the Ladies and Liam Clancy are only some of the headliners at this year’s Celtic Connections festival, Jan. 16 to Feb. 3 in Glasgow. The festival celebrates all things Celtic with workshops in instruments such as tin whistles, fiddles, bodhrans and spoons; classes in step dancing and singing; traditional ceilidhs; and concerts. Check out the complete program with dates and venues at

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