Different sounds of music will rock the Alps this spring

Do both music and snow sports rate as a few of your favorite things? If so, you might be tempted by a flurry of Alpine slope-side activity this spring.  From April 5-14, Mayrhofen, Austria, organizes Snowbombing, a festival offering a range of acts appealing to fans of electronic music. This year’s headliners include Dizzee Rascal, Example, DJ Shadow, Groove Armada and The Vaccines. Activities away from the stage include a rave in an igloo and a fancy-dress street party. Snowbombing is sold as an accommodation-and-entertainment package, which means when you purchase your accommodation, the event wristband is included in the price.

Zermatt, Switzerland, hosts its Unplugged festival April 17-21. Lauryn Hill performs on April 19; tickets were still available as of this writing. The beauty of this festival is that many performances of lesser-known acts are absolutely free --- discover 12 new acts in 29 concerts under the banner of New Talents.  For something truly special, book yourself a spot at one of three Sunnegga Sessions, held at 7,506 feet above sea level. Enjoy an aperitif, a standing buffet that includes wine, dessert and coffee, and at least 45 minutes of acoustic music in an intimate setting. Artists include Anna Aaron, James Vincent McMorrow, and James Walsh. The ticket price of 149 Swiss francs also includes your ride up and down the mountain on the Sunnegga express funicular. Don’t be late to the lift, as there’s no other way to reach the venue!

Germany's top 100 attractions

If someone were to ask you what your favorite place in all of Germany was, how would you reply?

As a matter of fact, someone is asking you. The German National Tourist Board, to be precise. From now through March 15, visit germany.travel and share your thoughts in a survey on Germany’s most striking and memorable places. The survey’s results will be used to help the board compile a list of Germany's top 100 attractions.

Unusual happenings in March

I strive to keep abreast of what's happening throughout the European countries Stripes readers call home. Many of the events I read about strike me as different, but not without charm. Here are some taking place over the next couple of weeks that I would hope to one day see or experience.

On March 9 in Rome, pious, or just cautious, drivers can have their automobiles blessed during the Festa di Santa Francesca Romana. According to Time Out Rome, Santa Francesca Romana was named the patron saint of vehicles due to her gift of dislocation, or the ability to be in several places at once. The blessing is offered at the Monastero Oblate di Santa Francesca Romana, via Teatro di Marcello 32 and 40.

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