Let’s Go / Best Bets
24-hour museumThis is the weather for museums and galleries. If you can’t make it to one of England’s, just go to www.24hourmuseum.org.uk. The site has links to exhibitions both on- and offline, news, city heritage links (a look at the museums and galleries in various cities) and trails. There’s also a section for children.
Potsdam’s BiosphäreVisitors can warm up in the Biosphäre tropical gardens in Potsdam, Germany. You enter into temperatures of 71 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 percent humidity, where more than 20,000 plants and trees (some 43 feet tall) live. This season’s special attraction is “In the Valley of the Geckos.” The Biosphäre is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends. Admission is 9.50 euros for adults and 6.50 for children 5 to 15. The Web site is www.biosphaere.net (in German).
Travel health Web siteIf you’ll be traveling to exotic places, check out www.travmed.com.
The site was created in 1989 by Dr. Stuart Rose, director of the International Travel Clinic at Noble Hospital in Westfield, Mass., and a member of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the International Society of Travel Medicine.
Today’s Web site offers a variety of information and products, as well as Rose’s “International Travel Health Guide.” A section on destinations gives entry information, embassy and hospital contacts and health advisories for six major areas of the world. Another section gives contact details for international health clinics. A third gives general travel information.
The travel shop offers a variety of items such as insect-bite prevention medicines and clothing, water purifiers, first-aid kits, travel accessories and electronic devices.
Cycling Belgium’s waterwaysAlthough he moved to the United States in 2001, Dan Gamber is still updating his Belgium cycling Web site at www.gamber.net/cyclebel.
According to Gamber, when he arrived in Belgium in 1977, he found no reliable guides to or maps of the waterway network, which is about 1,200 miles long and mostly car-free. He then decided to write his own comprehensive guide with logical extensions into France and the Netherlands.
His route descriptions are from personal observations, including detailed directions and sights. He divides long rivers and canals into sections between canal junctions or major bridges with distances ranging from two to 90 miles.
He keeps the site up to date with contributions from current riders in a “What’s New” link.
Left-handers onlineAre you left-handed and fed up with living in a right-handed world? If so, go to www.anythingleft-handed.com.
The original store is at 57 Brewer Street in Soho, London, where it began selling the newest in left-handed gadgets. It has now expanded into an international business online and even prices its products in dollars for Americans. Products include such travel-friendly items as left-handed watches, golf gear, corkscrews, wallets and notepads.
E-mail special deals and items of interest to travelers to Let’s Go at email@example.com.
Best BetsENGLAND: If you plan to attend London’s New Year’s Day parade, be sure to wave to the cameras — the popular event is being broadcast to the States again this year. Starting at noon in Parliament Square, a colorful procession of marching bands — many of them from America — floats, gigantic helium-filled balloons and other entertainment will march along a 2.2-mile route: Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Pall Mall, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus and ending at Berkeley Street at about 3 p.m. This is one event you’ll want to get to early. Find details at www.londonparade.co.uk.
FRANCE: Not to be outdone, Paris celebrates New Year’s with a parade festival. On Dec. 29, the Salle de Fetes at the Mairie de Montmartre holds a New Year’s concert. On New Year’s Eve, the Grande Parade de Chantilly takes to the streets of Chantilly at about 2:30 p.m. with marching bands, cheerleaders, floats, balloons and other entertainers. On New Year’s Day, they gather again for a parade at the Trocadero and another rousing round of international marching bands and entertainment. The Paris tourist board Web site is www.parisinfo.com.
— Jayne Traendly