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The Independent Travel
20 May - 23 July

Norway

Sun worshippers should head for Tromso in Arctic Norway, the land of the Midnight Sun, where there will be perpetual sunlight - or twilight - throughout Midsummer. Catch the last sunset on 20 May.

22 - 31 May

South Africa

Take down your belt a notch or two and head for Cape Town's International Gourmet Festival. This, the third annual festival, features chefs from across the globe including our very own Jean Christophe Novelli, of Maison Novelli in London. These international culinary masters will be arriving at "Cape Gourmet" - Cape Town - by yacht to take over the city's hotels and provide drooling foodies with special gourmets menus every night throughout the festival.

23 May - 6 June

London

The Covent Garden Festival of Opera and Music has become one of Britain's premier music events, featuring over 100 performances "from grand opera to smoky cabaret". Venues around the city range from the sublime - the Opera House - to the ridiculous - a Mini Cooper car, officially the smallest opera house in the world. Up-and-coming young talent features alongside established stars, and some of the highlights this year are a new production of Die Fledermaus, and Bernstein & Cole Porter in the Broadway hall of fame. Details from the box office on 0171 420 0171.

23 May - 30 September

Portugal

The last World Exposition of the 20th century gets underway in Lisbon this week, with some 8.5 million people expected to descend on the forgotten capital of Europe. The theme for Expo'98, "The Oceans, a heritage of the future", harks back to Portugal's golden age, and comes on the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama's 1498 voyage of discovery to the Indies. It celebrates the role that the oceans have played in human life over the centuries, and the ways in which they might be used in the future. Along with nautical exhibitions, there is a large programme of arts events, and 155 international pavilions dedicated to introducing Expo' visitors to each country's culture. Tony Blair will be attending Britain's national day on 28 June.

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