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Next weekend — Jan. 12-14Linz, Austria: 41.66 pounds round tripFly Ryanair from London Stansted to Linz.

Hauptplatz 1, the Linz tourist office, should be your first stop in the city. It is in Linz that Mozart composed his Linz Symphony, and at the tourist office you can now request the brochure, “A Walk Through the Old Quarter,” a guide that highlights many of the city’s main attractions.

Across the square from the tourist office is the Rathaus (town hall). In the center of the square stands the Trinity Column, built in 1723 to mark the city’s deliverance from plague, fire and war.

From here, head west to Linzer Schloss; today this castle houses the Provincial Museum of Upper Austria. Exhibits include medieval art, works by great modern artists, and extensive handicrafts and folklore collections.

A little farther to the west and connected to Linzer Schloss by a covered passageway is St. Martin’s Church. The interior of this ancient church boasts frescoes, fine examples of baroque art and a 12th-century Gothic choir.

At the Abbey of St. Florian, you can visit the crypt of composer Anton Bruckner in the church where he was a young organist. The western exterior of the abbey is crowned with a trio of towers and the inner courtyard houses the Fountain of the Eagle. Visit the Imperial Apartments where Pope Pius VI and much royalty once stayed. Other areas of the abbey that can be explored include the abbey church, library and the Altdorfer Gallery.

Next month — Feb. 9-11Rotterdam, Netherlands: 79.11 pounds round tripFly from London Stansted to Rotterdam.

The culturally vibrant city of Rotterdam offers something for everyone.

Start with a visit to Europoort, the expansive port, the world’s biggest according to Rotterdam Tourism. Take in the sights as trains, trucks, barges and container ships hurry in and out of the harbor.

For fun, take the Pea Soup Tram, which, according to the city’s tourist Web Site, will take you along famous spots in Rotterdam, such as Het Schielandshuis, Kop van Zuid and the ancient Delfshaven en De Kuip. On the way, you can enjoy a typical Dutch bowl of pea soup, accompanied by live accordion music and special stories told by a guide.

One off-beat sight in Rotterdam is the kubus or cube homes designed by Piet Blom. The architect saw his design as a tree and the entire complex as a forest. Blom’s idea was to design a kind of village within a big city, a safe oasis where various functions could come to fruition. The KijkKubus is the fully furnished museum home in the Blaakse Bos. The interior was specially designed to give visitors an impression of how you can live in a cube home. Models, photo panels and screens offer additional information. For visiting hours and location, go to

Airfare prices include estimated taxes and are courtesy of the Web site Prices were verified as of Monday afternoon when Stars and Stripes UK went to press. Deals are not guaranteed to be available; restrictions may apply.


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