Let's Go/Best Bets
Although it doesn’t take place until July, tickets for the Knights Tournament in Germany’s Kaltenberg castle are already on sale.
The popular spectacle, which usually sells out early, will be held July 9-11, 16-18 and 23-25 at the castle about 30 miles north of Munich.
The tournament, which involves professional stunt men and horses, is considered one of the top medieval events in the world. Its choreographer is Mario Luraschi, who has worked in 400 movies and is well known on the horse and stunt scene. Many of the trained horses have appeared in major films, and some have their own filmographies.
In addition to the fights, a medieval market with more than 100 stands for artisans and food vendors will be set up on the castle grounds. They will be joined by about 1,000 costumed medieval entertainers, such as storytellers, jesters, dancers and musicians.
Special activities are planned for children, including a children’s tournament (no parental help allowed).
Daytime and evening shows are scheduled. Admission to the market and supporting acts begins about three to four hours before the chosen tournament performance.
Tickets for standing room cost 19.90 euros per person. Tickets for seating range from 27.60 to 55.10 euros, depending on the section. Ages 6 to 15 years old receive a 10-euro discount on Sundays and a 5-euro discount on all other days; children younger than 6 are free. The price includes access to the entire grounds.
For more details, and videos of previous shows, go to www.ritterturnier.de/en.
Tucan Travel — which has received British Travel Awards for the last two years, the last one for best "Small Tour Operator of the Year" — is offering discounts on some of its trips when booked during the month of April.
The company specializes in adventure trips worldwide at budget prices in a variety of travel styles. Its itineraries are aimed at putting travelers in touch with the local people, and trips can be arranged for any length of time.
Trips are classified under Discovery Tours (private vehicles and comfort hotels), Adventure Tours (various transports and hotels), Overland Expeditions (including camping), Budget Expeditions (for ages 18 to 35), Independent Travel (personalized itineraries) and Expedition Cruises (polar, glacier, river and wildlife voyages). Until April 30, all Overland Expeditions in 2010 are discounted by 15 percent and Expedition Cruises are discounted up to 20 percent.
For more details, see www.tucan travel.com.
Sail in Croatia
Croatia Travel Agency offers several classes that let customers combine trying their hand at sailing and exploring a resort area of Croatia.
One option is the seven-day beginners course, teaching basic sailing skills such as handling ropes and deck equipment, navigating, shortening sails, steering and avoiding collisions. Two variations run on various dates through October, each starting in different locations of the Adriatic Sea.
The first seven-day class costs 320 euros and includes lessons, accommodation and meals. The second six-day class costs 510 euros and includes the above plus sailing school textbook, rental of sailing suit, marina fees and fuel.
The seven-day advanced courses (360 and 510 euros) teach all the skills needed to sail alone. Those who complete the advanced course are eligible to participate in the three-to-four-day regatta course Oct. 4-11 and then join in one of the several scheduled regattas.
Other trips beyond the beginners course include a gourmand course (572 euros on April 24-30 and Sept. 4-10), which includes eating traditional seafood specialties; the challenging Trans-Adriatic Course (714 euros on May 22-28 and Sept. 23-29); or the two-week trip from Croatia to Malta (366 euros on Oct. 2-15).
The company also offers other services in Croatia, such as yacht cruises, accommodation and car rentals. For details, go to www.croatiatravel.com.
Best betsBELGIUM: Luc Besson ("Nikita" and "The Transporter"), Tobe Hooper ("The Texas Chainsaw Massacre") and Dee Wallace ("E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" and "Cujo") are only a few of the directors, actors and other guests attending this year’s Brussels Fantastic Film Festival, which runs through April 20 at Tours & Taxis. In addition to screenings of the newest international films in the genre, the event includes an international body-painting contest, Japanimation Day, sci-fi, fantasy and manga market, Zombie Parade, make-up demonstrations and question-and-answer sessions with the experts. A Vampire’s Ball on April 17 highlights the social events. For details, go to www.bifff.org; there is an English-language version.
GERMANY: See Frankfurt in a different light during Luminale, the biennial festival for lighting in its many uses, held in conjunction with the Light+Building trade show through April 16. International architects, designers, town planners and artists have created more than 200 installations around the city. Their innovative and experimental playing with light and shadows alters the city’s museums, galleries, business buildings and parks. A special events program also takes place throughout the city. For details on these and on the locations of the installations, go to luminapolis.com.
NETHERLANDS: "Seduction" is once again the theme of this year’s Museum Weekend event, during which more than 500 of the country’s museums will be admitting visitors free or at discounts. Many sites also hold special events. Participants will be flying a Museum Weekend flag with blue and red letters against a white backdrop. For details, go to the official Web site, www.museum weekend.nl.