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UK weekly edition, Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Next month — Aug. 23-27Hannover, Germany: 84.06 pounds round trip

Fly Air Berlin from London Stansted to Hannover.

Exploration of Hannover should start at the rathaus or town hall which features a striking dome tower. A few steps down the road is the Kestner Museum of applied art, which houses art treasures including Greek, Roman, Etruscan and medieval arts and crafts. The art collections from Egypt and exhibits from the history of design should not be missed, according to the Hannover city sights guide.

Another museum of interest is the Lower Saxony State Museum with four main sections: European fine arts, natural history, ancient history and ethnology. Two of the museum’s most popular attractions include a large dinosaur model and an aquarium.

For fans of 20th-century art, Sprengel Museum in the city offers a large collection of prints by Marc Chagall and Lyonel Feininger as well as popular expressionists’ works. Destination Germany recommends a visit to the museum’s section devoted to the works of artist Niki de Saint Phalle, an honorary citizen of Hannover.

For fresh air, visit the Eilenriede city forest, a 1,600-acre woodland in the middle of the city. The forest offers open areas for sunbathing and games, children’s play areas and cafes.

On the edge of the woodland is the Eriebnis-Zoo Hannover featuring four thrilling animal worlds. The zoo is home to a collection of more than 2,600 animals and has taken a motto of, “People can only love what they know; they can only protect what they love.”

In three months — Oct. 18-24Innsbruck, Austria: 114.22 pounds round trip

Fly Germanwings and TUIfly.com from London Stansted to Innsbruck.

Start at the Triumphal Arch on the south end of Maria-Theresien-Strasse, the main street through the city. This street lined with many 17th- and 18th-century houses is also a main shopping district.

At the opposite end of the street is St. Anna’s Column, a popular location for photo opportunities. This monument, a statue of the Virgin Mary standing on a crescent moon atop a Corinthian column, is located in front of the town hall.

Adjacent to the town hall is the city tower, formerly a prison cell; visitors can now visit it for panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains.

The Innsbruck tourist information Web site (www.innsbruck-tourism.at/) recommends seeing the city’s main tourist attraction, the Goldenes Dachi or Golden Roof. This three-story balcony is adorned with Gothic oriels (bay windows) that are topped with 2,657 gold-plated tiles. For the story behind the painted balcony, visit the museum Maximilianeum in the building adjoining the Golden Roof.

Another stop on the agenda might be the Cathedral of St. James. Although this church was heavily damaged during World War II, its lavish baroque interior makes it worth a visit. Items of interest include a monument honoring Archduke Maximilian III.

Step into a world of fantasy and awe with a visit to the Swarovski Kristallwelten or Crystal World. Inside this man-made hill, visitors will be able to tour the seven connected chambers filled with crystal and fine cut stones. Visit the crystal dome for a chance to see what it is like to be inside a giant crystal or spend time finding the perfect crystal souvenir from the shop.

During the winter, Innsbruck is an ideal place for skiing with several ski resorts in the city and many more in the surrounding area.

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


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