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Mushing lessonsOn Jan. 26 and 27, the Black Forest town of Todtmoos, Germany, conducts its international sled-dog races.

For those who would like to try their hand at driving a sled, the tourist board offers either a day of mushing for 190 euros or a two-day package for 425 euros, including an overnight stay. The offer is good for weekends in January starting Jan. 12 and 13 and in February until Feb. 16-17.

For more information or to sign up for the course, e-mail sternen-todtmoos@ or call (+49) (0) 7674-90520. More information on Todtmoos and its dog-sled programs are available on the city’s tourist board Web site, travel.htm(parts are in English).

Husky trekkingIf you’re in Britain, you don’t have to miss out on the mushing scene. Even though it’s not on snow, you can do the next best thing at the Meeting House Farm in Staintondale, North Yorkshire, by going husky trekking on the North York moors.

Pesky Husky provides instruction in trekking from September to May on a purpose-built circuit. Participants ride a two-wheeled scooter pulled by two or more of the farm’s huskies to experience the feeling of working with a team of dogs.

A fee of 15 pounds (about $31.50) buys one hour of instruction, safety equipment and supervised trekking. Those with their own husky can use the circuit and equipment starting at 20 pounds.

Nearby holiday cottages also are available. Details at; reservations by calling (+44) (0) 1723- 870521.

Finland’s snow castleForget those warm, exotic resort areas this winter. Why not experience the true cold of the season and spend your winter vacation at Lumi Linna (the Snow Castle) in Kemi, Finland?

Located on the northern coast of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Snow Castle is made entirely of snow and includes a hotel, restaurant and chapel.

Room temperatures are about 22 degrees Fahrenheit, including in the bedrooms, where guests sleep in comfortable arctic sleeping bags with thermal lining. There are 20 double rooms, three five-person rooms and a wedding suite.

Throughout the castle, artwork with sound and light effects covers the frozen walls.

The castle is open Jan. 27 to April 6. Entrance fees are 7 euros for adults, 3.50 euros for children 4 to 11 years old and free for children younger than 4. For an overnight stay, a single room costs 160 euros per night, a double room is 125 euros per person per night, a group room is 125 euros per person per night and the wedding suite goes for 300 euros per night. The price includes the room, breakfast and a taxi transfer to a local hotel for a morning shower and sauna.

The resort also offers a children’s entertainment program and opportunities for dog and reindeer sledge rides. Details at

‘Gone With the Wind’If you’re a fan of the movie based on the novel “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell, plan to get to London in April. That’s when a musical version of the story set against the backdrop of the Civil War is scheduled to hit the stage of the New London Theater. The musical is directed by Trevor Nunn, who along with designer John Napier, had a hand in creating “Cats” and “Les Misérables.” Find more details on the Web at

Best BetsENGLAND: Teams of runners will test their balancing skills Saturday at London’s Covent Garden during The Great Christmas Pudding Race, an annual charity run. At 11 a.m. the relay runners, carrying a tray with pudding, will run the obstacle course as they attempt to win the trophy. Teams pay a fee to enter, with proceeds going to Cancer Research U.K. Watching is free. See

Celestial beings will visit the Quarter neighborhood of York this weekend during the annual Festival of Angels, when there will be ice sculptures, street artists, music, food, drinks and shopping. The event runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, with a Parade of Angels on Sunday. See

NETHERLANDS: From Friday through Monday, the RAI Amsterdam fairgrounds host the annual Millionaire Fair, an exclusive and trendy lifestyle trade fair. Get a glimpse of the luxury lifestyle in sections devoted to cars, jewelry, travel, yachts, private jets and helicopters, fashion, property, resorts and finance. The gala opening is Thursday; fair hours are noon to 9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday. (Business attire is suggested on Monday.) Admission is 35 euros Friday through the weekend, and 75 euros Monday. Details at

— Jayne Traendly


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