Chelsea Flower ShowThe Web site for the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital in London calls it the “ultimate event in the gardening year.” You can find out for yourself, but you will have to act quickly.

The show, which features the latest in garden trends, products, award-winning designs and floral and garden displays, runs May 20-24. But the public can attend only May 22-24, and only if they have purchased a ticket in advance.

The tickets, which organizers say sell out quickly, cost 41 pounds for a full day. A ticket good for 3:30-8 p.m. costs 23 pounds, and one for 5:30-8 p.m. costs 18 pounds. Details at chelsea. Berlin Air Show With USO

From May 27 to June 1, the largest aeronautical show in the world takes place at Berlin’s Schönefeld Airport. The Berlin Air Show features more than 1,000 exhibitors showing the latest in technological and aerospace developments as well as static, air and sales displays of aircraft in categories ranging from historic aircraft to helicopters, special mission and military combat and training aircraft to business and corporate aircraft, passenger and transport aircraft to training, utility and sport aircraft, gliders and sailplanes. The show is open to the public 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekend. Tickets cost 17 euros.

The Rhein Main Area USO has organized a trip to the show on May 31. The cost is $129 for adults and $109 for children. For details, call DSN 337-6249; or e-mail or The air show’s Web site is

B&B Web siteIf you’re looking for bed-and-breakfast accommodations, you might find what you need at

The site lists accommodations in 13 countries, but the bulk are in Britain and Ireland. Many offer special value and last-minute prices. The Old Cable Historic House in Kerry, for example, has prices ranging from 30 euros to 42 euros, depending on the season. It also offers a two-night-plus-dinner Skellig Rock Photography Break to allow you to explore Skellig Michael, a sixth-century monastic settlement with a natural setting that includes puffins, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars. The cost for this package is 89 euros January to May and 99 euros October to December; subject to availability July and August.

The B&B site also offers holiday home and car rentals.

Paris design tourSample the world of Paris design on a tour mentioned on the Paris Web site.

Design à Paris is a guided shopping tour that visits the city’s interior decoration and design stores, galleries and designer showrooms. You can buy items or just get ideas for your own home. Some boutiques offer discount prices.

The tours are in French and English and last 2½ to three hours. They run Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2-5 p.m. The cost is 30 euros per person.

Call Nicole Barre at (+33) (0) 1-74-30- 16-75 or (+33) (0) 6-88-73- 44-22; or e-mail The Web site is (in French).

Best BetsENGLAND: The 2008 Olympic Torch is traveling some 85,000 miles across five continents from where it was lit in Olympia, Greece, to its final destination in China. Along the way it will pass through 22 major cities, including London on Sunday. The torch will arrive at Wembley Stadium, from which a relay team of 80 torchbearers will run it through Notting Hill, Marble Arch, Oxford Street, Trafalgar Square, South Bank and East London before ending at North Greenwich. There it will light the Olympic Cauldron in the Arena. To celebrate the occasion, the city is inviting spectators to line the streets to cheer on the runners and to enjoy entertainment provided by the 10 city boroughs through which it passes. Details at

GERMANY: Shopping on Sunday is nothing new for Americans. But in Germany, a Verkaufsoffener Sonntag is an event. On this “shopping Sunday” in Mainz, Americans can join their German neighbors for a German-American Friendship Festival from 1-6 p.m. on the city’s marketplace. In addition to local stores opening, other events include music by the U.S. Army Europe Soldiers’ Chorus, cheerleaders, Harley-Davidson displays, rock and pop music and dancing. Mainz’s Web site is

NETHERLANDS: Alkmaar has had a weighing house for cheese since 1365. By 1916, a recorded 300 tons of cheese were sold every market day on a city square called the Waagplein. Since 1939, the city has been the only place to keep up this tradition, which this year starts Friday and runs on Fridays until Sept. 5. The process begins when the cheese is removed from delivery trucks and loaded into barrows. At 10 a.m., four teams of seven men, each from the cheese carriers guild, wheel the cheese to a large scale to be weighed. During this time, inspectors check its quality and traders bargain on the prices, giving a traditional hnadjeklap (“handclap”) when an agreement has been reached. Alkmaar’s Web site is

SPAIN: One of the country’s major folklore events starts Monday at midnight in Seville. The Fiera de Abril (April Fair) opens in the Real de la Feria opposite the Maria Luisa park with the lighting of thousands of lanterns. Until April 13, the site remains a colorful scene of traditional horse-and-carriage parades, women in flamenco costumes, sherry and tapas parties in thousands of tents and carnival rides. More details at the city’s Web site,

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