Europe Traveler's event picks for Dec. 14-16
By KAREN BRADBURY | Stars and Stripes | Published: December 11, 2018
Rise & Fall
Location: Ahornbahn Cable Car Base Terminal, Mayrhofen, Austria
Date: Dec. 15 (begins at 1 p.m.)
Top athletes from Austria and abroad push themselves to the limits in the disciplines of ski touring, mountain biking, paragliding and skiing/snowboarding in this grueling race. Each athlete plays his own part in a battle against the clock and opposing teams. The first athlete must race up a downhill run, the second flies a paraglider, the third races a mountain bike uphill, and the fourth skis down to the finish line. Some 80 teams in all compete for glory and prize money. Later on, live bands and DJ sets heat up the evening.
Location: PVA Expo Praha, Beranovych 667, 199 00 Praha 9, Letnany-Prague 18, Czech Republic
Date: Dec. 14 (8 p.m.-6 a.m. next day)
If electronic dance music is your thing, this is your kind of event. A vast hall capable of accommodating thousands is the venue for this dance marathon. This year’s crop of artists includes Tiesto, Tchami, CID, D.O.D., John Culter, Kaaze, Moksi, Olly James, Sophie Francis and others.
Admission: tickets cost 1390 CZK (about $61) when purchased online.
Winter Solstice Celebrations at Stonehenge
Location: Stonehenge, Amesbury, Salisbury SP4 7DE, England
Date: Dec. 22
Stonehenge is an ancient prehistoric site that has served as a place of worship and celebration for untold years and is considered sacred by many. Important times to visit are the longest and shortest days of the year, when the stones frame perfectly the midwinter sunset and the midsummer sunrise. The site's manager, English Heritage, welcomes visitors to celebrate the winter solstice by granting access to the Stonehenge monument at first light. Limited car parking opens at 6 a.m., and at 7:45 a.m. the monument field opens. The actual sunrise occurs just after 8 a.m.
Admission: Free; 5 pounds parking charge per vehicle applies. The event website warns it can take up to half an hour to walk from the parking area to the monument, and cars will be turned away once the car parks reach capacity.
Viktorianischer Weihnachtsmarkt/ Victorian Christmas Market
Location: Saarburg, Germany
Dates: Dec. 15-16 (2 p.m.-9 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.)
On the third weekend of Advent, an old bell foundry serves as the scenic backdrop for a Christmas market set in the era of Charles Dickens. The smell of punch and roasted chestnuts fills the air as Victorian-era stalls offer traditional and handmade goods. The sound of Christmas carols and sight of beautifully dressed re-enactors makes the transportation to another era in time complete.
Torino Comics Xmas Comics and Games
Location: Lingotto Fiere, Turin, Italy
Dates: Dec. 15-16 (9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.)
Games, cosplay, comics, games and video shooting are just some of the topics unpacked at this mini comic-con that serves as a holiday preview of its big sister event scheduled for the spring.
Admission: adult entry costs 10 euros when ticket is purchased on line; ages 7-12 pay 8 euros, and those 6 and under enter free.
International Motor Show
Location: Luxexpo, Agora North, Porche North, Congress & Conference space, Luxembourg
Dates: Dec. 14-16 (1 p.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 14; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 15; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 16)
The spotlight shines bright on all motorized things on wheels, from sports cars to motorbikes, exceptional models, competition cars and collectors’ automobiles.
Admission: adult tickets cost 17 euros, ages 8-17 years pay 14 euros, and those age 8 and under enter free.
Kaarsjesavond/ Candle Night
Location: Gouda, Netherlands
Date: Dec. 14
As twilight fades and darkness sets in, all electric lights are turned off and the evening is illuminated by candles placed in windows facing the pretty square. Choirs sing Christmas carols as the listeners eagerly join in, and in the churches, the sound of classical music rings out.
Location: Deventer, Netherlands
Dates: Dec. 15-16 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.)
The 19th-century world of Charles Dickens comes alive as some 950 characters from his famed novels, from Scrooge to Oliver Twist, wander the streets of the old town. Vagabonds beg, thieves steal, wealthy gentlemen strut, and carol singers go door to door. Entering the festival is only possible via the Keizerstraat.
Admission: Entry is free, but the wait to get in can be long, sometimes more than an hour.