Summer Irish coursesAn bhuil Gaelige agat? Would you like to learn some Irish and more about the Irish culture while visiting Ireland? Then a summer course at Oideas Gael in Glencolmcille, County Donegal, might be the place to start.

The organization offers one-week Irish language courses ranging from beginner to more advanced levels. Classes are intensive morning and afternoon sessions focusing on building conversational Irish. In the evenings, recreational activities include dancing, poetry and guest lecturers.

Classes run through August and cost 200 euros per session.

The school also offers Irish cultural activities weeks. Subjects include hill walking in Donegal, environment and culture, marine painting, flute and whistle playing, Irish harp, archaeology, Donegal dances and bodhrán playing (three days at 60 and 90 euros).

The organization will help arrange lodging in self-catering homes, on campus, with a family or in a hotel or hostel. Find more at

Cambridge folk festivalLucinda Williams, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Los Lobos, Booker T, Paul Brady and The Saw Doctors are just a few of the headliners at this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival (re-named the Co-operative Cambridge Folk Festival), which runs July 30 to Aug. 2 in Cherry Hinton Hall and on Coldhams Common.

Tickets go on sale May 17. Full-festival tickets cost 104 pounds (about $150) for adults, 73 pounds for ages 14-15, and 29 pounds for ages 5-13 years; children younger than 5 get in free. A ticket for Saturday or Sunday only costs 46 pounds. Cambridge residents receive ticket discounts.

It’s recommended that you buy tickets early because they sell out quickly. For additional information and tickets, see

Summer football campMale football players ages 13 to 18 can gear themselves up for the next season at the international Touchdown Football Skills Camp scheduled for Aug. 15-18 in Rothenburg, Germany. The camp is organized by Scherer Tours.

The staff is made up of coaches who have worked at the high-school level. It is a non-contact camp with the training system based on technique and repetition to internalize movements. It includes warm-up and training stations and evening competitions.

The facilities include two football fields, practice fields, a 400-meter track, basketball courts and nearby swimming pool.

The cost is 195 euros per person and includes camp instruction, full board, sleeping accommodation in the school gym, training materials, medical supervision and camp jersey. Team rates are available.


Best BetsCZECH REPUBLIC: On May 4, 1945, Gen. George S. Patton ordered the 97th Infantry Division and the 16th Armored Division to move into West Bohemia. By May 6, they had reached Plzen and entered the city to the cheers of its inhabitants. To commemorate the Americans’ arrival, the city holds an annual Liberation Festival, this year running May 2-6. Events include historical Allies camps, modern Czech army camps, a Convoy of Liberty military vehicle exhibition, wreath-laying ceremonies and band performances. Drink stands will sell pilsner beer, which originated in Plzen. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, the exhibition vehicles parade through the city. Details are at

DENMARK: There’s nothing like a meeting of 200 to 300 winter-worn Vikings to create a lively marketplace atmosphere. This weekend, the Norse warriors congregate on Ribe’s market square, the oldest in Scandinavia, for a little 14th-century-style fun with daily competitive archery and horse and fighting shows starting at noon. The historical market is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find details at

ENGLAND: Do titles like "Mud Zombie" or "Cyborg She" appeal to your movie tastes? What about a "Star Trek" all-nighter ? Or a panel discussion on meeting an alien species and the necessary etiquette for "first contact"? If so, Sci-Fi-London is the festival for you. The program is filled with fantasy movie titles that include standard-length, short and documentary films, as well as sets of all-nighters. SFL Labs discuss the latest in the sci-fi business for interested viewers and aspiring filmmakers. Admission to films before 6 p.m. is 8 pounds (about $12) and after 6 p.m. is 12 pounds. Admission to the SFL Labs is 4 pounds. For program details and ticket reservations, go to

SCOTLAND: According to its Web site, Speyside, along the river Spey in northeastern Scotland, boasts more than half the country’s whisky distilleries, with the greatest concentration of malt whiskies. It attributes its success to its quality barley and pure spring water. Visitors can test its claims themselves Friday through May 10 at the 10th annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. There will be tastings, dinners, exhibitions, tours of distilleries, guided walks and entertainment at various towns. Find more on the Web at

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