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Hit Spain’s heightsSpain’s highest peak, the 12,198-foot Teide, stands in an extinct crater of the world’s third-largest volcano in the Teide National Park on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. To protect the site’s environment, walkers are allowed to hike up to a certain point on its slopes. Those hearty enough to hike higher must first obtain a summit pass (free) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Many hikers make the climb to spend the night in the Altavista Refuge, about 10,750 feet up the slopes, then get up early and catch the memorable sunrise. At this altitude, the night sky also is breathtakingly clear and vast.

The refuge’s two buildings have three dormitories that house 60 hikers, an infirmary, storehouse, showers and kitchen. The cost is 20 euros per person. Hikers who spend the night at the refuge don’t have to apply for the permit to climb if they set out on the final ascent with an application confirming they spent the night in the refuge.

More details from the Tenerife Web site at www.webtenerife.com. Type "Altavista Refuge" in the site’s search engine.

ABBA museumIf you find yourself singing the words to the title song of the current film "Mama Mia," then perhaps you should schedule a visit to Stockholm next year. A museum dedicated to the group that made the song famous in the 1970s is scheduled to have its grand opening on June 4.

ABBA, with members Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, had their first number-one hit on the charts with "Waterloo" in the 1970s. This was quickly followed by "SOS" and then "Mama Mia," both of which made it to the number one position. The group continued its successful international career until 1982, when it decided to take a "break."

The museum will be at Stora Tullhuset at Stadsgården. Designed to be interactive on three floors, it will not only contain original ABBA items starting from the late ’60s, but will also invite you to participate in the story of ABBA, including a simulation of what it’s like to be with the group onstage.

Tents, stages for live entertainment, fireworks and parties all over the city are planned during the week of the grand opening. Tickets for the museum are already on sale. Adults pay 245 Swedish kroner (about $38) and children 15 years and younger pay 180 Swedish kroner (about $28). Get more details at www.abbamuseum.com, which also has information on a contest to win tickets to the museum.

Best BetsBelgium

The colorful tapestries of the famous 18th-century French Savonnerie carpet workshops are the inspiration for this year’s carpet of flowers in Brussels that will bloom on the Grand-Place through Aug. 17. The workshops created a style of floral and plant patterns with Christian symbols, such as the fleur-de-lis (the Holy Trinity), that made the woven carpets a favorite of French royalty. For a panoramic view of the floral version, made mostly of begonias, visitors can pay 3 euros to climb the Town Hall and take photos from its balcony from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Ten original French carpets featuring floral designs will be displayed in the hall’s public rooms. Find details at www.flowercarpet.be.

Brugge’s illuminated canals and Burg Square are the venue for the Festival of the Canals, which runs Friday, Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Aug. 22-23. From 9 p.m. to midnight at various points along the route, more than 400 musicians, singers and dancers will present performances illustrating the city’s history. While the scenes occur in succession without intermission, they are separate performances and you can watch them in any order. Tickets cost 15 euros for adults, free for children up to 12 years. Find more details at www.comitevoorinitiatief.be/activiteiten/2008/reiefeest/infoEN.html. There is an English version.

Germany

In 57 B.C., Julius Caesar conquered the territory along the Moselle River and established the city of Trier. Even today the Roman influence can be seen in the city with its classic rectangular layout and the remains of Roman architecture. Through the weekend, the city celebrates this heritage with its annual Brot & Spiel ("Bread and Games") festival, a historical re-enactment that includes a show of gladiator fights and other events in the amphitheater and in the remains of the Roman baths. Among the other events: re-enactments of tavern life, a Roman camp with fighting demonstrations, crafts market and period entertainment. At 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, the Roman legions start the day with a march through the city center from the Porta Nigra, the Roman gate, to the baths. Tickets for the gladiator show, called "Sword of Death — Water of Life," run from 12 to 20 euros for adults, 10 to 15 euros for children up to 13, and free for those younger than 5. The show is at 9:30 p.m. Friday, 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for the grounds of the baths (open from 11 a.m.) cost 6.50 euros for adults, 5. 50 euros for children. Details at www.brotundspiele2008.de.

— Jayne Traendly


Stripes in 7



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