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Frankfurt’s Secret Sauce

By Linda Tancs

Frankfurt’s secret sauce (as the expression goes) is its green sauce. The German concoction is made of seven different kinds of herbs: borage, chervil, cress, parsley, salad burnet, sorrel and chives. Throw in some sour cream, yogurt, vinegar and oil, and the city’s culinary favorite is born. And, no, it was not invented by the mother of local son Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (although it might have been the renowned writer’s favorite hometown dish). Served cold over hard-boiled eggs and boiled potatoes, it’s the star of its own festival in May. Celebrated from May 11 to May 19 this year, the Green Sauce Festival takes place at Rossmarkt.

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France’s First Flower Show

By Linda Tancs

King Francis I of France called the Erdre the most beautiful river in the country. Imagine what he’d think of the fabulous display of flowers along its banks during the international flower exhibition, Comité des Floralies. France’s first flower show, the event takes place every five years in Nantes. Running from today through May 19, the popular exhibition convenes more than 200 flower and plant experts from around the world to create stunning displays at the expo center along the banks.

A Czech Icon

By Linda Tancs

Founded in the 9th century, Prague Castle is one of the most important cultural symbols in the Czech Republic. Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest ancient castle in the world, it comprises palaces and ecclesiastical buildings of various architectural styles as well as knockout views of the city from the Great South Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral. The castle’s season opening is on May 11, when you can visit for free. Be sure to see the falconry show in the castle gardens throughout the day.

Sea and Desert in Almería

By Linda Tancs

Spain’s Almería province rivals any beach destination, with long, sandy beaches stretching from Pulpí in the east to Adra in the west bathed by the warm waters of the Mediterranean. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the desert located north of the city of Almería (Tabernas), popularly cited as Europe’s only bona fide desert. A popular film location, the area is characterized by rugged badlands suitable for hiking. Go now before the temperatures climb.

Best Sunset in the Hudson Valley

By Linda Tancs

For many, the best sunset view in the Hudson Valley is the one from the fire tower at Ferncliff Forest in Rhinebeck, New York, a 200-acre, old-growth forest preserve. Standing high above the treetops at 80 feet, the tower provides visitors with an amazing sunset view over the Catskills and Hudson River. The tower is easily visible driving east across the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge. Follow the East Tower Trail in the forest for the most direct path to the structure. As with any climb, consider any physical limitations you may have before attempting it.

The Heart of the Thousand Islands

By Linda Tancs

Alexandria Bay, New York, is a tourist village located on the St. Lawrence River in the heart of the Thousand Islands, an archipelago straddling the border between the U.S. and Canada. Its centerpiece on town-owned Heart Island is Boldt Castle, a full-size, Rhineland-style castle built by hotelier George Boldt for his wife. Accessible via boat tours (from May to October), a shuttle from the island also runs to the Boldt family’s yacht house on nearby Wellesley Island, featuring some of the original fleet, including an 1892 steam yacht.

The Hills of Kampala

By Linda Tancs

Kampala is Uganda’s largest city and seat of the Buganda Kingdom dating to the 14th century. Like Rome, it was originally built on seven hills. Today, greater Kampala stands on at least 20 hills, all the better for panoramic views, like those from Uganda National Mosque. Some notable attractions are the Royal Mile (from the parliament building to Lubiri Palace), the Kasubi tombs (burial place of Buganda kings), the Independence Monument and Bahai Temple, the seat of the Bahai faith in Africa.

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