BELGIUM: Friday through the weekend, sample the beers of Belgium during Brussels’ annual Belgian Beer Weekend on its Grand’ Place. According to the organizer’s Web site, the country has the largest range of beers and labels in the world, so there are plenty of brews to keep you busy. Forty small to large breweries will open at 6 p.m. Friday and stay open until 10 p.m. At 1 p.m. Saturday, historical brewery carts and wagons parade through the city’s streets, reaching the city center at 2:30 p.m. (the beer stands are open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.). On Sunday, the stands are open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Find more details at www.weekenddelabiere.be.
DENMARK: After the stresses of World War I and an influenza pandemic, Copenhagen’s citizens were ready to enjoy the "modern" music, dress and technology of the 1920s. Following the philosophy of "form follows function," many buildings constructed during this period were designed according to the principles of functionalism, replacing the previous popular ornamental designs.
This Roaring Twenties excitement changed in the 1930s when economic stresses created unemployment and unrest and the threat of another war hung in the air. From Saturday to Sept. 21, Copenhagen revisits this time period during its Golden Days celebration, a historical festival held every two years that focuses on a different time period.
This year’s program of the city during the interwar years includes museum exhibitions; music, film and dance performances; and visits to architectural buildings and pubs where artists of the time hung out. Find more details at www.goldendays.dk.
FRANCE: Serious flea market lovers will want to head to Lille this weekend for its annual marathon flea market, considered the largest in Europe.
A tradition begun in the Middle Ages, it features 62 miles of stalls with 10,000 exhibitors and is open continuously from 2 p.m. Saturday until 11 p.m. Sunday.
To keep the energy flowing, musical and theatrical entertainment run from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on both days with semi-marathon races scheduled for Saturday morning. The local shops with bargain prices, garage sales and another Sunday market on the Place de la Nouvelle Aventure all add to the bustling atmosphere.
Find more etails at www.lilletourism.com/info-1-0-163-gb.html.
GERMANY: If you’ve never been to Venice’s carnivale, this Friday through the weekend is your opportunity to get a taste of this famous colorful event. Thanks go to Duke Carl Eugene of Ludwigsburg, who was so enchanted with the Italian city’s pre-Lent celebration that the city organized its own version in 1768. Today the tradition is held every two years in the center’s Baroque marketplace. A procession with 700 masked and costumed participants starts the fair at 6 p.m. on Friday with events ending at midnight. During the weekend, experience the Commedia dell’Arte with acrobatics, comedy, jugglers and fire swallowers; dancing on the main stage at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3:30 p.m. Sunday to music played by the Minsk Orchestra; costumed dance groups; street entertainment; and fireworks.
Tickets cost 9 euros for adults and are free for children 12 years and younger. Weekend hours are 2 p.m. to midnight on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Web site (in German) is www.venezianische-messe.de.
Aachen’s pedestrian zone around the cathedral and town hall will be transformed into a crafts market this weekend thanks to the organizers of the annual Europamarkt. Three hundred booths with 600 exhibitors will show their wares, with young designers showing off the newest trends on the crafts scene. The market is open Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Entry is free. The city Web site is www.aachen.de.
"The night is bright as the day" (Psalms 139:12) is the motto of Wiesbaden’s Die Nacht der Kirchen (Night of the Churches) Friday. Fifteen of the city’s Christian churches will open their doors at 6 p.m. with programs that include music, readings, theater, liturgies, gospel, tours and food. The program (in German) is at www.wiesbaden.de. Click on the blue "Nacht der Kirchen" in the bottom left corner.
Let's goHow about Turkey for Thanksgiving?
Spend your Thanksgiving holidays Nov. 26-30 in Izmir, Turkey, sightseeing and enjoying the luxury of the city’s five-star Hilton Hotel on a tour organized by Meyer Travel Group. An optional pre-trip to Istanbul also is available.
The Izmir program includes a visit to a carpet shop with lectures from an oriental carpet expert and visits to the ancient Konak shopping bazaar; the ancient Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, dating from the 4th century; House of the Virgin Mary; burial site of St. John; ancient Agora; and the new archaeological museum. There’s also plenty of free time for shopping.
The cost is $1,049 per person, double occupancy, and includes round-trip flight Frankfurt/Izmir, four nights’ accommodations, breakfasts, guided tours and airport transfers. If you prefer to reserve your own flight, the land-only cost is $575. Flights from other departure sites can be arranged.
The land-only price for the Istanbul trip Nov. 23 to 26 costs $500. It includes four nights’ accommodation in a four-star hotel, all breakfasts, a boat ride on the Bosphorus Strait and tours, including the Topkai Palace, 17th-century Blue Mosque, Egyptian bazaar, Sadberk Hanim Museum and ancient Roman Hippodrome.
For details, contact Katie Meyer in the States at telephone (916) 786-3708 or e-mail email@example.com. Or contact Michael Curley in Germany at telephone (+49) (0) 06384-514838 or e-mail Mkurlee@aol.com. The Web site is www.meyergrouptravel.com