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China in the springExplore the mysteries of China from April 7 to 17 on an eight-day trip to the Orient sponsored by RTT Travel on Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

The tour visits famous and important sights in and around Beijing, including the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Lama and Confucius temples, the Great Wall and the panda bears. The trip takes a round-trip flight to Xi’an to see the Terra Cotta Warriors excavation and museum and city sites. There also is time for you to see the city on your own.

The cost is 1,614 euros per person, double occupancy, and includes flights from Frankfurt, visa, hotel, tours and several meals. Get details from RTT Travel by calling (+49) (0) 6371-46360. The Web site is

Baltics in summerTake advantage of 23 hours of light a day on a tour to the Baltics from June 17 to 25. The trip is organized by Meyer Travel and visits the countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The tour begins in Tallinn, Estonia, where you take a walking tour of the city with its cathedral and Old City, Gothic Town Hall, Dominican monastery, streets with gabled merchant houses, Rocca al Mara outdoor ethnographical village museum and Songfest Park.

Next, you travel by private bus to Riga, Latvia. There you take a walking tour in the Old Town to see its medieval streets, Hanseatic warehouses, Gothic and baroque churches and Art Nouveau architecture. You also see Rundale palace, one of the residences of the Grand Duke of Russia, before arriving in Vilnius, Lithuania. There you take a walking tour of the old city and in the afternoon travel to Trakai, a castle and former 13th-century capital on an island.

The cost is $1,675 per person, double occupancy, and includes round-trip airfare from Frankfurt, all breakfasts, eight nights’ accommodations, dinners per itinerary, land transportation by private motor coach, half-day sightseeing tours, tours of Rocca al Mare, Trakai, Rundale Palace and services of tour leader and guide.

A three-day add-on to Helsinki also is possible for $350, which includes three nights’ accommodation, city tour and Helsinki Pass.

For details, contact Michael Curley by telephone at (+49) (0) 6384-514-838 or by e-mail at; or Katie Meyer at (916) 786-3708 or by e-mail at The Web site is

See Rome in BerlinUntil the end of the year, you can enter the world of ancient imperial Rome at the Asisi Factory in Berlin. Project “Rome 312,” created by artist Yadegar Asisi and his staff, is a panoramic view of the city’s architecture and daily life — its streets, steps and squares, all which reach to the horizon. The organizers say it’s considered the largest panorama in the world.

The Asisi Factory is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends. Tickets cost 9 euros for adults, 6 euros for children. Details at (in German).

Best BetsENGLAND: Dream up your vacation Thursday through the weekend at “Destinations: The Holiday and Travel Show” at Earls Court in London. You can meet explorers, travel experts and writers in the Meet the Expert Theatre, listen to BBC correspondents and journalists tell of their adventures, enjoy an interactive, international entertainment zone and cruise through hundreds of travel company stalls advertising deals from Bremen to Washington, D.C. The show is open 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily Thursday through Sunday. Tickets cost 10 pounds (about $20) for adults; children 15 years and younger get in free. Details at

ITALY: Some claim the Viareggio Carnivale celebrations beat the show in Venice. You can form your own opinion Saturday in Viareggio when the first of the city’s five colorful parades marches by the sea promenades. This year’s parades mark “peace, love and solidarity” with multiple floats carrying costumed riders throwing confetti and papier-mâché puppets satirizing political figures and representing social issues. They’re accompanied by folklore bands and an international cast of performers. The parade begins at 3 p.m. Other parades are on Feb. 11, 18, 20 and 25. Details at www.viareggio.

SWITZERLAND: Catch racing thoroughbreds dashing on the snow Sunday at the first of the White Turf international horse races in St. Moritz. Categories include flat racing, trotting and Skijoring (in which skiers are pulled by their horses). Ticket prices range from 15 Swiss francs (about $12) for standing room to 50 Swiss francs for a seat in the stands. Details at

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