Let's Go / Best Bets
By JAYNE TRAENDLY | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 5, 2008
Check out the sights of Wiesbaden, Germany, on a bike but save your energy by renting Movelo’s "Swiss Flyer" bicycle, which uses a small electric motor so you don’t have to pedal all the time.
Various routes are suggested, for example, a 14-mile trip starting at the city’s casino and going to various sites, such as the Russian Church on the Neroberg Mountain.
The bikes are available at several locations, including the Movelo Flyer Brand Store, Hotel Oranien, Ibis Hotel Wiesbaden, the Tourist Information Center and the parking garages of the Hessian State Theater and Rhein-Main-Hallen.
Rental cost is 18 euros per day. Participants must be 16 or older. Find details under "What’s New on Wiesbaden.de?" at http://english.wiesbaden.de
Under the Movelo home site, the company also offers two three-hour tours on the Swiss Flyers through Nov. 3 in the Berchtesgaden area. The first travels round trip from Berchtesgaden to Königssee, and the second from Berchtesgaden to Marktschellenberg. The cost is 24 euros for one person, 44 euros for two. It includes the tour with guide, rental bike and snack. Riders must be at least 16.
Details at "Urlaubstipps" under www.movelo.de (in German).
Scottish bird tours
It’s that time again in Scotland for puffins, razorbills and guillemots to settle down and breed. If you’re in Edinburgh, Scotland, sometime in the next month, you can see whole colonies of these birds on a three-hour nature cruise that leaves the city’s Hawes Pier and travels around the islands of the Forth. The trips are organized by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
The sailings on Maid of the Forth are scheduled for 9 a.m. Sundays on June 8, 15 and 29; on 9 a.m. Saturday, July 5; and at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays on June 25 and July 2.
The cost is 12 pounds (about $24) for adults, 6 pounds for children. Reservations are necessary. Find details at www.rspb.org.uk/brilliant/sites/firthofforth/index.asp
Run Britain’s Rat Race
You and your buddies may be fit enough to do PT and run the rat race at work, but are you fit enough to form a team and enter the Rat Race in Britain?
According to the Rat Race Urban Adventure Web site, the race through some of the country’s cities will "test your limits of fitness, nerves, teamwork and stamina" on a course you learn about only three hours before the race.
Official teams are composed of three people and must include both sexes. Teams of single-sex members, pairs or foursomes may also enter, but are not eligible for the grand prize.
Those who want a less strenuous race can tackle the Saturday evening, three-hour "Mean Streets" competition. From the starting point, participants are given a series of checkpoints throughout the city at which they collect points. The skill is not only in collecting the most points, but also in quickly navigating the streets to collect them.
Those who want to take the full challenge can add Sunday’s "Adventure" section, which includes running, biking, climbing buildings with ropes, kayaking and special activities, which include navigating through a dark tunnel and singing in front of a crowd, to collect points.
Races are open to anyone 16 and older and are scheduled in Bristol on June 14-15, Brighton on June 28, Edinburgh on July 19-20, Belfast on Aug. 9, Newcastle on Aug. 30 and London on Sept. 27-28. There is also a race planned for Galway, Ireland, on Sept. 6.
Entry fees range between 35 pounds (about $70) per person to 159 pounds per person, depending on which races you participate in and where you race. Visit www.ratraceadventure.com
Learn Italian cooking
Learn to cook the healthful Mediterranean way and enjoy the vacation area of Lake Garda in the Italian Alps in a course June 15-18 organized by Gourmet Italia. Highlights include three cooking courses from 9 a.m. to noon, Nordic walking lessons, use of the hotel’s Wellness Center and guided shopping and sightseeing.
The cost is $595 per person, double occupancy, and includes the course, three nights’ accommodations with all meals, recipe book. apron and guided tour (Nordic walking is extra).
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.gourmet-italia.com.
GERMANY: Don’t expect to drive down Wiesbaden’s Wilhelmstrasse Friday afternoon through Saturday, because it will be filled with the lively events of the annual Theatrium, more commonly known as the Wilhelmstrasse Fest. First organized to celebrate the finished renovation of the Hessian State Theater in 1977, the multicultural, high-end festival now celebrates its 31st year with outdoor food, drink, musical entertainment on five stages, street theater and 140 stands selling crafts and other items on the grounds in front of the casino.
The fair is open 3 p.m. to midnight daily. Wiesbaden’s Web site is http://english.wiesbaden.de
NETHERLANDS: For a traditional Dutch maritime event, head to The Hague’s seaside resort of Scheveningen for its annual Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen. Costumed participants, choirs, old Dutch children’s games and examples of traditional crafts create a period atmosphere, while rescue team demonstrations, culinary shows, bands, artists’ displays, sailing tours and fish samples bring visitors into the present.
The official program is at www.vlaggetjesdag.com
(in Dutch); information is also available on Scheveningen’s Web site, www.scheveningen.nl under Events and Exhibits.
— Jayne Traendly