Best Bets for the weekend of June 11-13
ENGLAND: More than 200 private gardens in London will open to the public Saturday and Sunday during the annual Open Garden Squares Weekend. Walk, cycle or take a special bus to the sites, which include historical gardens, roof gardens, gardens with wildlife and cemetery gardens. There also are several garden walks and two cycling trips. Weekend tickets cost 9 pounds (about $13) for adults and are free for children younger than 12. They’re available from the Britain and London Visitor Centre, Capital Garden Centres and selected gardens. For more information, go to www.opensquares.org .
GERMANY: Happy birthday, Munich! This weekend, the capital of Bavaria holds its annual Stadtgründungsfest, a party to celebrate its founding by Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa on June 14, 1158. At sites from the Marienplatz to Odeonplatz and from the Rindermarkt to Max-Joseph-Platz, there will be theater, dance and music; a crafts market; a historical bus ride; family events; and plenty of food and drink. For details in English, see www.muenchen.de/Rathaus/tourist_office/veranst/gruendfest/204036/850_years_munich.html.
SWITZERLAND: The annual herding of cows to the higher Alpine pastures is a time-honored tradition. Although the job of caring for them there requires 14-hour days for four months with daily pay between 70 and 150 Swiss francs (about $60 to $130), the life appeals to many, including city dwellers. To celebrate the inalpe (French for the trip to the pastures), villages hold festivals during which they decorate the cows’ horns with flowers, hold cow fights and provide entertainment. On Saturday, the village of Grimenz holds such a celebration starting at 10 a.m. For a list of other inalpe events, go to www.myswitzerland.com/en/event_calendar and type inalpe in the search box.