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Elephant ParadeNo, they aren’t hallucinations. There really are elephants in downtown Amsterdam.

Until the end of October, more than 100 of the painted artificial baby pachyderms will be in the city center to draw attention to the plight of the Asian elephant. In November, the individual members of this Elephant Parade will be auctioned off at Christy’s, where the funds will be donated to the Elephant Family foundation, the largest elephant charity in the world. Previous parades in Rotterdam and Antwerp raised 700,000 euros.

If you’d like to take an elephant home but can’t afford the life-size model, replicas ranging from 4 inches to 30 inches tall will also be on sale in the city center.

The Elephant Parade will visit London from May to July 2010. Find more details at

Halloween in TransylvaniaWhen someone asks where you were on Halloween 2009, you will be able to casually say "with Dracula in Transylvania" by signing up for RTT Travel’s Halloween Transylvania tour.

The trip, scheduled for Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, begins with a flight to the Romanian capital of Bucharest and a bus ride through Transylvania to Brasov, surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains. The next day you tour the city, established during Prince Vlad’s time, and then head to Bran Castle ("Dracula’s Castle"), where the prince, known as "the Impaler," established his headquarters.

This visit is followed by one to Sighisoara, where the prince was born. Here you tour the city, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe, and then go to Sibiu, another beautiful medieval city. Then it’s back to Bucharest for a tour of the city and a visit to the House of Parliament.

The cost is 839 euros for adults, 599 euros for children 7 to 11 years old staying in their parents’ room (the trip is not recommended for children under 7). The price includes round-trip flight between Frankfurt and Bucharest; one night each in Brasov, Sighisoara and Bucharest; three breakfasts; three dinners, including a rustic Halloween dinner and folklore show; entrance fees, taxes and airport transfers.

See additional details at

RTT is also planning trips to Egypt with a Nile cruise for Oct. 11-18, Nov. 22-29, Dec. 20-27 and Dec. 27-Jan. 3, and to Malta on Nov. 25-29.


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