Travel 48 Hours: Global Agenda

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The Independent Culture
County Wicklow

The practice of opening up private architectural and horticultural institutions to allow the general public a peek at hidden treasures seems to be a growing trend, and the numbers these events attract point to its sound-mindedness. A particularly attractive framework is the Garden Festival, now in its 10th year. Five of Ireland's finest Heritage Gardens lie in this region - tellingly referred to as the Garden of Ireland - including Powerscourt in Enniskerry, Russborough in Blessington and Killruddery in Bray; other treats include the Shekina Sculpture Garden in the Glenmalure valley, with its modern art forms set among ponds, shrub beds and undulating lawns. The festival also features cookery courses and guided tours.

Heritage properties and gardens in , Ireland (00 353 404 66058) Fri to 11 July, Irpounds 2-Irpounds 3.50


Louis C Tiffany began his career as a painter but became increasingly fascinated by interior design, focusing on the creative possibilities of glass. His technical advancements in this field yielded some of the most beautiful glassware of the last century. This exhibition, in honour of the 150th anniversary of his birth, features 200 examples of his work, including stained-glass windows, lamps, ceramics and jewellery.

Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Steintorplatz (00 49 4042 854 2732) to 13 June, closed Mon, DM14


Most visitors believe Chicago's nickname, the Windy City, had its origins in the biting mid-Western winds that whip through its high-rise architectural masterpieces, but it in fact stems from the hot air said to emanate from garrulous public figures. This week some humour-tinted carbon dioxide will be thrown into the mix when the annual Comedy Festival pulls in performers and punters from around the world. Venues include the Apollo Theater, Map Room, Subterranean and the Village Theater, the latter hosting screenings of such comedy cult films as Harold and Maude, Army of Darkness, Strange Brew and the new film GO. The Festival Kickoff and All Star Wrap Up take place at Zanies, also the location for the intriguingly named Murderer's Row Standup. With more than 40 shows in four nights, there should be something to tickle everyone's funny bone.

Various venues, Chicago, Illinois, USA (Ticketmaster: 00 1 312 559 1212, or visit the festival website: www.comedy, Wed to 16 May, $7- $20


If satellite TV screenings of Windy Miller's antics in Camberwick Green aren't enough, satisfy your curiosity about sail-driven corn-crushers on Holland's National Windmill Day. View their inner workings, then buy a bag of flour.

Throughout Holland today, free. Call 00 31 20 623 8703 for more information