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German beer fairs

In the mood to sample some beer? Why not attend one of Germany’s beer fairs, where you have the pick of more than 1,000 beers from 75 countries? In addition to the brew, you can pick up beer souvenirs — mugs, T-shirts, mats and more.

This year’s fairs include:

June 14-16: Frankfurt, in its pedestrian zone.June 29 to July 1: Leipzig, near the Völkerschlachtdenkmal.July 6-8: Viersen-Dülken, in the pedestrian zone.July 20-22: Mainz, in the city-center Ernst-Ludwig-Platz.July 27-29: Bonn, in the Freizeitpark Rheinaue.Aug. 3-8: Düsseldorf-Benrath, in the pedestrian zone.Aug. 10-13: Leverkusen-Opladen, on the Schusterinsel.Aug. 24-26: Cologne, in the city-center Neumarkt.Aug. 31 to Sept. 2: Karlsruhe, in the central Schlossplatz.The Web site for the fairs is www. bierboerse.com (in German).

Taxi by cell phone

If you want to order a taxi by cell phone in Germany (perhaps after a beer fair), dial 22118.

This number works throughout the country and can be called from all mobile networks for 69 cents a minute.

Dining in London

In London and don’t know where to eat? Tired of the high prices? Check out www. londoneats.com and www.london-eating. co.uk before you wander the streets.

Both sites let you find restaurants that offer the kind of cuisine you’re craving and their locations. They also have reader reviews so you can find out what others think of them.

For those who want to try a place and save some money, both also promote special deals. London Eating, for example, has links for restaurants offering meals at 15 pounds and less, 50 percent off, two for one deals, free drinks and lunch discounts.

Other topics include “Romantic,” “Quick Bite” and “Child Friendly.”

Euro hostels

Britain has some of the highest prices for accommodations in Europe. So those who don’t mind hostel accommodations might be interested in trying one of the Euro Hostels in Glasgow or Edinburgh, Scotland, or Newcastle, England.

In Euro Hostel Edinburgh, for example, you can have a single or twin room in a shared apartment with lounge, equipped kitchen and bathroom. The hostel is open June 8 to Aug. 2 and costs 19.95 pounds (about $40) per person.

In Euro Hostel Glasgow, you can have a single or twin room or dorm room sleeping 14 people. Prices start at 12.95 pounds per night.

Euro Hostel Newcastle has single and twin rooms for 17.95 euros per person per night and private apartments for three to seven people for the same price per person.

Breakfast is included at all hostels. Details at www.euro-hostels.co.uk.

Best BetsENGLAND: If you enjoy throwing back a few pints of English beer, head to Jesus Green in Cambridge May 21- 26 for the annual beer festival. Breweries supplying suds are from the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and Ireland. The festival is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-10:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. On Saturday (Family Day), it’s open 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Admission is 2.50 pounds (about $5) after 5 p.m. See www.cambridgebeerfestival.com.

ITALY: It’s been more than 1,000 years since Venice’s doge and government officials sailed to San Nicolo am Lido, where the leader cast his ring into the waters from the ship Bucinforo to symbolize the city’s eternal domination over the sea. The city still celebrates this “wedding rite” with the Sensa festival, which takes place Sunday. At approximately 9:45 a.m., regattas of richly decorated boats re-enact the historical procession, sailing to San Nicolo where again the ceremony will take place.

NETHERLANDS: The world’s largest Eurasian festival, and the country’s fourth most popular fair runs through May 28 in The Hague. Pesar Malam Besar is a lively event celebrating the Netherlands’ rich Indonesian culture, a result of mid-’60s migrations from the Dutch East Indies. Located on the Malieveld in the city center, the festival area is covered by marquees under which five stages and stalls offer a program of culinary demonstrations, dancing, lectures, workshops, food and market goods. For details, go to www.pasarmalambesar.nl. The Hague’s Web site is www.denhaag.com.

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