A big draw in Amsterdam

Anniversary celebration of Dutch master Rembrandt runs through next year

The Smart Traveler

July 09, 2006

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS // Rembrandt is getting better with age. Four hundred years after his birth, he's drawing more people than ever to his native country -- for everything from art exhibits to walking tours to a musical.

The 17th-century Dutch master painter was born July 15, 1606. The anniversary celebration began Dec. 15 and lasts into early next year.

FODOR'S 239 GREAT PLACES TO ESCAPE TO NATURE WITHOUT ROUGHING IT

Fodor's / $19.95

If you want to get back to basics without roughing it, then this thorough guide could be the cure for whatever ails you. It features not only family hideouts and laid-back adventures but also luxurious resorts and romantic retreats, from Alabama to Wyoming, Alberta to Saskatchewan. You will find within these pages detailed descriptions of ranches, lodges, spa retreats, plantations, farms and B&Bs -- all with the intent of making the everyday world seem oh-so-far away.

JUNE SAWYERS

PARKS

Hit the open road in Yosemite

The highest elevation route through the Sierra Nevada has reopened for the season -- Tioga Road, one of Yosemite National Park's most scenic drives. Tioga Road opened late last month between Crane Flat and Tioga Pass, at the eastern entrance of the park at 9,945 feet elevation. The road will give visitors another entrance option after a rock slide closed Highway 140, the central route into the park from the west side. Tioga Road is closed much of the year because of heavy snowfall and the threat of avalanches.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

GEAR & GADGETS

The ShaveMate is an all-in-one disposable plastic shaver with a slim, high-quality pivoting triple blade and shaving cream that pumps out of the cylindrical handle. The lanolin-enriched cream and a glide strip lubricated with vitamin E and aloe make for as smooth a shave as you are likely to find in a disposable razor. An on / off twist mechanism prevents the shaving cream from being dispensed accidentally. The handle / shaving cream holder provides a nice grip for shaving. The ShaveMate is available in a pink Diva model with pink shaving cream for women, or in the manly gray Titan model, which pumps out no-frills white shaving cream. ShaveMate is about $4. Information: 866-467-4283; shavemate.com.

JUDI DASH

ALERTS

Malaria reported in Bahamas

After a malaria outbreak last month on Great Exuma Island in the Bahamas, travelers are being advised to take precautions against the mosquito-borne threat. At least 16 people have tested positive for the potentially fatal disease since the first case was reported early last month, according to an update issued by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www. cdc.gov / travel, is temporarily recommending that travelers to Great Exuma take prophylactic chloroquine, an anti-malarial medication, as a preventative measure. Travelers are also advised to use mosquito repellents containing 30 percent to 50 percent DEET. Symptoms of malaria can include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and fatigue.

NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

ONLINE

Where the parties are

WantTravel.com, a division of Track Entertainment, a media and lifestyle company in New York, enables travelers to pair flight, hotel and cruise bookings with music, comedy and club events. It says it's aimed at 18-to-35-year-olds. Click on Clubs and Nightlife to link to its sister site, Clubplanet.com, to register for the guest list at clubs. Stuff, a men's lifestyle magazine, and Key2Travel, a luxury concierge service, recently teamed up to create Stuffviptravel.com. The site offers concert tickets, VIP entrance to nightclubs and vacations such as rafting and off-road trips.

NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

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