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Some 500 street artists from 40 countries will entertain with music, theater, dance and circus acts Thursday through Saturday in Linz’s city center during the city’s annual Pflasterspektakel street festival.

The acts are organized into five “worlds” — Feuerwelt (fire), Traumwelt (dream), Rhythmuswelt (rhythm), Farbenwelt (color) and Spektakelwelt (spectacle). Special events include shows 9:30 to 11 p.m. and a Samba parade 9 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, plus a grand finale 10 p.m. to midnight Saturday. Entertainment starts at 2 p.m. daily and runs until midnight.

The organizers remind visitors that the artists aren’t paid and to bring change for the passed hats.

Find details at; there is an English-language version.


The largest Viking market in Scandinavia will be in full swing this weekend on Moesgaard Beach south of Aarhus. The event is held annually on the weekend closest to July 29, St. Olav’s Day, named for the patron saint of Norway. Its goal is to authentically re-create the atmosphere of Aarhus’ early market days with stalls selling Viking crafts, food and drink. Riders on Icelandic horses show their equestrian and fighting skills daily at noon and 3 p.m., and visitors can try their hand at archery and other historic Norse skills. The market is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Entry is free. Find the full program under “Activities” on the home page; there is an English version.


Experience thousands of years of history condensed into one weekend at the Festival of History, the largest re-enactment event in Europe. Held on the grounds of the 18th-century Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire, the event has scheduled 50 shows, including battle re-enactments that span the ages from ancient Rome to World War II, aerial displays, historic market and grand parade.

New this year are the re-enactment of King Henry V’s role in the battle at Agincourt in 1415, a Tudor fashion show, a lesson in beauty secrets from the past, and a jousting competition in honor of the 500th anniversary of King Henry VIII’s coronation.

The event is open 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Day tickets cost 18 pounds (about $30) for adults and 10 pounds for children; a weekend ticket costs 28.50 for adults, 23 pounds for children.

Family tickets are available and members of English Heritage receive discounts. See


Berlin has always had a special relationship with Americans. Even though the U.S. Army bases in Berlin have been closed since 1994, its citizens still hold a German-American Volksfest in the neighborhood of Dahlem, which was part of the American sector of the divided city during the Cold War.

This year the festival runs from Friday to Aug. 16 with the focus on the states of Oregon and Washington under the theme “A Pacific Wonderland.” A re-created Main Street in an “American village” will feature American food, entertainment and drinks. A hamburger-eating competition, a Biker Day, a U.S. Army in Berlin exhibition and fairgrounds with 100 rides are on the program.

The festival is open 2 to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 2 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is 2 euros. For more details, go to


Summer is carnival time in Rotterdam, and Caribbean colors will splash the city center Friday and Saturday for the annual Zomer Carnaval, which this year marks its 25th anniversary.

Friday’s Battle of the Drums at 7 p.m. sets the pace with a competition in which four brass bands with more than 100 percussionists and trumpeters will vie for the title of best band. At 1 p.m. Saturday, the 1½-mile-long parade makes its way through the city with costumed participants, floats and a Latin beat, followed by stage shows that finish up the night.

Go to for details; there is an English version.


Scottish clans are assembling this weekend for Highland games at “The Gathering,” held for the first time in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park.

Top Highland athletes will compete in traditional contests such as tossing the caber, tug-of-war, hammer throw and pole pushing. Pipe bands, Highland dancers and storytellers will create an authentic Gaelic atmosphere. Visitors can attend a workshop in Scottish country dancing, taste whisky and check out their Scottish heritage in the Clan Village, where 125 clans and family societies will be on hand.

One-day admission is 15 pounds (about $25) for adults, 10 pounds for children 4 to to 15; children ages 3 and younger enter free. Weekend tickets also are available. Details at

Let's goCanoe the Lahn River

A reader who took a canoe trip starting at Nassau on the Lahn river north of Wiesbaden, Germany, enjoyed it so much she wants to pass the site on to other readers. Several trips on the Lahn, a tributary of the Rhine, are organized by Kanucharter, a family-run company.

Through Oct. 31, weekday and weekend trips are available for adults and children. The four-hour day trip from Nassau (site of the Nassau Castle) to Nievern, for example, costs 14 euros per adult and 11 euros per child. It begins at 10 a.m. with instructions on canoeing the 9½-mile route, including a stop in Bad Ems and a map of the river. At the end of the trip, a car will return canoeists to Nassau.

Two-hour trips, two-day and group trips are also available. Details on the various programs are available on the Web site (in German).

Michelin your route

If you’ve Googled your driving route but want a second opinion (or even a first), try Just as other online map programs do, the site tells you your destination’s route, mileage, route options and overall time. The Michelin site, however, is graphically clearer and adds bits such as where speed cameras are located, toll booths and their prices and the estimated times between points on the route.

You can also ask for tourist sights, restaurants, hotels and other extra

Stripes in 7

around the web

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