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Frankenstein and HalloweenWhat better place to celebrate Halloween than in the castle ruins of Burg Frankenstein in Eberstadt, Germany, from which author Mary Shelley is said to have taken the name for the creator of her famous monster.

Each year the castle near Darmstadt stages a giant Halloween festival, one started, according to a press release, when U.S. soldiers were told to take their rowdy Halloween celebration off the base. They asked if they could hold it at the castle, and the tradition has grown to include 10 days of scary fun.

Seventy-seven monsters and various stage shows will entertain visitors, who can join the party (but aren’t obligated to) by dressing up in costumes.

The event runs from either 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. to midnight Oct. 19-20, Oct. 26-27, Oct. 31 and Nov. 2-3. Admission is 18 euros on Friday nights and 20 euros on Saturdays and Halloween night. (Note that evening visitors must be 14 years or older.)

On Sundays, the festival is geared toward families from 3 to 7 p.m. and is recommended for children 7 and older. Tickets are 8 euros per person and free for children younger than 6.

Parking isn’t available at the castle. Visitors can take a shuttle bus, whose service begins an hour before and ends an hour after the festival. Buses run every 15 minutes, and the service is included in the price of the ticket. Authorized parking areas are in the Pfungstadt industrial area on B-246, just west of Autobahn 5’s Darmstadt/Pfungstadt exit.

Tickets can be bought at surrounding German city outlets, online (group discounts available) or at the festival site. Several area USOs also are offering trips to the festival.

The information hot line is (+49) (0) 6151-501953. More information is available at (+49) (0) 6151-5045931. The Web site is www.burg-frankenstein.de/halloween (in German with some English).

Palais des Nations toursThe Palais des Nations, the U.N.’s European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, is open for tours for those who want to learn more about what the United Nations does.

The tour includes a visit to the Salle des Pas Perdus, the 2,000-seat Assembly Hall, the Council Chamber and a film about the headquarters’ objectives.

The Palais is open 10 a.m. to noon and 2-4 p.m. daily through October, and 2-4 p.m. weekdays the rest of the year (except over the Christmas period). In July, morning opening hours resume.

Tickets cost 10 Swiss francs (about $8.50) for adults, 8 Swiss francs for children and are free for children younger than 6.

Find details under “Guided Tours” in the “Palais des Nations” section of the Web site www.unog.ch.

Send announcements of events or special discounts to Let’s Go via e-mail at travel@estripes.osd.mil.

Best BetsGERMANY: Catalan culture is the focus of this year’s International Frankfurt Book Fair, the publishing trade’s annual gathering at Frankfurt’s fairgrounds. The theme includes several European areas: the Spanish regions of Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands; Roussillon, France; and the town of Alghero on the Italian island of Sardinia. The fair begins Wednesday and is open to the public Oct. 13-14. Visitors can collect brochures advertising new publications while also checking out the latest in books from around the world — including large sections in English — some of which will be sold at the end of the fair. In addition to books, there will be posters, art, films, lectures, a reading tent, computer software and antiquarian books. More than 2,000 events are planned both at the fair and in the surrounding city. The fair’s hours are 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 14. Tickets cost 9.50 euros and include Rhein-Main area transportation. For details, go to www.frankfurt-book-fair.com.

FRANCE: Paris will be awake all night Saturday during the sixth Nuit Blanche festival, which runs 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. The festival will follow the Metro’s 14 line, with trains running every five minutes through five districts of the city. In each district, you’ll find museums, libraries, churches and other venues open, as well as street entertainment. Buses and the Metro are free as are more than 2,000 bicycles available for the event. A program is available at the Paris Tourist Information center as well as online at http://www.paris.fr/portail/nb2007/Portal.lut?page_id=7948. The site is in French, but you can click on a region for photos of what’s offered.

— Jayne Traendly

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