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Travel

Germany's Top Five

Bookworms, theatergoers, culture vultures and children-at-heart will find tailor-made fun on this week's list of "don't miss" activities.

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Books rule in Frankfurt this week

Schriftsteller Amos Oz

Bestselling Israeli author Amos Oz will read in Frankfurt

Meet your favorite authors in person in Frankfurt. The banking city on the river Main will once again become the focus of the world's publishing industry when the annual Frankfurt Book Fair kicks off on Thursday. The wheeling and dealing on the part of industry insiders in the first few days is closed to the public, but come the weekend, everyone is welcome. Poet Ko Un, arguably South Korea's most well-known living writer, will attend the fair, one of the many representatives from this year's guest country. Turkey's Orhan Pamuk will also be on hand to receive the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, which is awarded annually on the last day of the fair. World-renowned authors, including Israel's Amos Oz, Spain's Jorge Semprun and Sweden's Per Olov Enquist, are set to talk about or read from their works.

Freizeitpark Phantasialand Brühl

An illuminated street in Phantasialand near Cologne

Recapture that summer-fun feeling at Phantasialand, Germany's most popular theme park. The amusement park near Cologne closes out its season by plugging in millions of sparkling lights to illuminate the dusky evening hours during its Festival of Lights. This weekend and next, as darkness falls, over a million lights slowly transform the park's buildings, parklands and rides, from the Old Berlin Steam Carousel to the Winter Garden theatre, into a sea of illumination. The most breathtaking view is surely that from the Condor, which lifts riders 30 meters (100 feet) into the air, opening up views not only of the park, but of the whole Cologne-Bonn basin. Both rides and stage shows are not to be missed. Oct. 21 through 23; Oct. 28 through Nov. 1.

Monet und Camille - Frauenportraits im Impressionismus

A model dressed as Camille at the show's opening

Revel in impressionistic grace in Bremen. With loans from museums world wide, the city's art hall aims to dazzle visitors with "Monet and Camille -- Portraits of Women in Impressionism." The exhibition, which runs until Feb. 26, 2006, showcases 18 works by master French impressionist Claude Monet as well as 21 portraits by his contemporaries, including Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir und Edgar Degas. The show collects 95 works, including drawings from fashion magazines of the time and historical outfits. The exhibition was developed around Manet's 1866 full-length portrait "Camille" -- featuring the artist's favorite model -- which the Bremer Kunsthalle bought in 1906.

Berliner Festspiele

Haus der Berliner Festspiele, site of the spielzeiteuropa festival

Explore Europe from the stalls at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele theater in Berlin. Now for a second year, the avant-garde theater festival spielzeiteuropa offers "an experimental forum for discourse on Europe, using theater and dance as media," according to its organizers. Maybe so -- or maybe viewers can simply enjoy great theater and dance from around Europe and the world. For the next several months, twelve productions from near (France, Denmark, Great Britain) and far (Istanbul, Tokyo) will grace the boards at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. The title of this year's festival is "The body remembers… ;" the dual themes of body and memory shape the program. This year's highlighted nation: Turkey.

Nana

Niki de Saint Phalle's trademark: the Nana

Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely were one of the most prominent couples ever to appear on the art scene. They started their relationship and began to work together in the early 1960s, leaving their indelible trace on the history of contemporary art. For the first time, the Sprengel Museum Hannover, in cooperation with the Museum Tinguely in Basel and the Niki de Saint Phalle Charitable Art Foundation (San Diego), is presenting a comprehensive show devoted to collaborative works between these two remarkable artists. A selection of private and professional photographs, films, works on paper, models for sculptures and completed three-dimensional works will be on view, documenting their 30-year-long relationship. At the Sprengel Museum through Feb. 5, 2006.

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