Q: Do you know of companies that run tours of the wine regions of France?.
A: World Wine Tours, 69-71 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6PE, England, telephone (0865) 310 344 (the country code for England is 44; when dialing from the United States drop the zero before the area code), offers six such itineraries in France, each led by a wine expert.
There are separate tours to Alsace, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Gascony, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. The five-day Alsace tour, beginning June 26 and Aug. 29 in Basel, costs $1,320 a person based on two sharing a room, and includes lodging, meals, visits to wineries and wine tastings. The Rhone Valley tour, seven days, departs May 3 and Oct. 18 and is $2,100 a person in double occupancy from Lyon.
France in Your Glass, 814 35th Avenue, Seattle, Wash. 98122, (800) 578-0903, fax (206) 325-4324, offers a tour of Paris and Bordeaux, in conjunction with Air France, that leaves the United States April 17 and spends eight nights in France.
The cost is $2,444 a person from New York (the price varies by city of departure), including air fare, hotels, train to and from Bordeaux, daily breakfast, five lunches and dinners with wine and visits to wineries and wine tastings. The company has tours from Paris to Bordeaux in early May, to Burgundy in late May and in September, to the Rhone Valley and Provence in June and October and to Champagne and Alsace in September. These trips cost between $3,195 and $3,995 a person in double occupancy. The company will also arrange escorted wine tours for individuals or groups.
Q: Is there a way to visit the legendary site of Robin Hood's death and burial, called Kirklees Priory in Yorkshire?
A: Kirklees Priory is on a private estate closed to the public. On the site is a stone slab surrounded by iron railings, said to be the place where Robin Hood is buried.
The only way to visit the site is to join a walk organized by local volunteers that passes through the estate by permission of the owner. There will be two such walks this summer, July 4, starting at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The walks are organized by the local Countryside Unit, which aims to promote the countryside as a recreational resource.
Each walk allows a total of 30 participants, so reservations should be made through the Information Officer, Tunnel End Canal and Countryside Center, Waters Road, Marsden, West Yorkshire HD7 NQ; (484) 846062. Inquiries can also be made at the local tourist information center in Huddersfield at (484) 430808. The cost is about $2.75.
Most of the sites connected with Robin Hood are in and around Nottingham, about 65 miles to the south of Kirklees Priory. The Nottingham tourist office publishes a brochure highlighting the Robin Hood-related attractions in the area. Contact the Tourism Section, Trent Bridge House, Fox Road, West Bridgeford, Nottingham NG2 6BJ; (602) 774215.
Q: Please provide information regarding bus travel from Buenos Aires to Santiago.
A: Two companies provide bus service from Buenos Aires to Santiago, a trip of 22 to 24 hours. Both lines' buses leave from Retiro Bus Station, in the center of the city on Plaza Retiro, where the train station is as well. The fare for each is about $60, and each uses buses equipped with bathrooms and video movies. The Argentina portion of the trip, 730 miles to the west, takes in the flat pampas surrounding Buenos Aires, passes through the foothills of the Andes and climbs into the mountains. Among the 15 tunnels the route includes is the 2.8-mile Tunnel of Christ the Redeemer, which crosses into Chile 108 miles from Santiago.
One of the companies is Transportes Automotores Cuyo (commonly called TAC), 313-3627, which has one bus a day. Buses leave at 5 p.m. every day except Wednesday and Sunday, when they leave at 4 p.m. The fare includes dinner, breakfast and lunch, served on the bus. The line's ticket windows are at Counters 7 and 8 in the Retiro station.
The other company, Chevalier, 313-3264, has service Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 2:50 p.m. The fare also includes dinner and breakfast, served at restaurants along the route. The line's ticket window is at Counter 20 in the station.
Q: My wife and I plan to spend a couple of weeks in New England. I have been unable to find guidebooks that list antique shops. Do you know of any?
A: The 1992-1993 edition of "Sloane's Green Guide to Antiquing in New England" is a 544-page book that lists about 2,500 antique dealers, auctioneers and antiquarian booksellers in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The book includes four suggested antiquing tours: in Maine, in Vermont and New Hampshire, in eastern Massachusetts, and in Connecticut and western Massachusetts. It also contains times and locations of weekly flea markets, fine and decorative arts collections in the region and profiles of periodicals that cover the New England antiques trade. The index lists shops in 94 categories like painted furniture, mirrors and wicker. Entries for shops include driving directions.
The book, edited by Susan P. Sloan, is available from the Antique Press, 9 Brimmer Street, Boston, Mass. 02108, (617) 723-3001, fax (617) 248-0185. The cost is $15.95, plus $3 for shipping and handling.