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Opera in Eastern Europe. A blend of tradition and modernity makes Eastern European cities ideal for operagoers. The itinerary of the Metropolitan Opera Guild's three-week Exotic Eastern European tour includes visits to older, untouched houses, such as East Germany's well-known Gewandhaus in Leipzig. In the newly restored houses of Prague and Budapest, tour members will hear such operas as Mozart's ``Cos`i fan tutte'' and Verdi's ``Simon Boccanegra.'' Also on the agenda is museum-going, dining, and gallery hopping. The tour appropriately ends in Vienna, ``the city of music,'' where Puccini's ``La Boh`eme'' and Smetana's ``The Bartered Bride'' will be seen. For information on this and other guild tours, write Shirley Bakal, director, Members Travel Program, Metropolitan Opera Guild, 1865 Broadway, New York, NY 10023, or call (212) 582-7500.Skip to next paragraph
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New Zealand's national parks centennial. New Zealand's 13 national and maritime parks will celebrate their 100th birthday during the 1987-88 season. The first national park was inspired in 1887 by the native Maori people, who donated their sacred volcano mountains to the government. Covering more than 13 percent of the country, the national parks preserve spectacular mountains, fjords, glaciers, and rain forests, as well as the world's second-highest waterfall. For information on the centennial, write to the New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Office, 630 Fifth Ave., Suite 530, New York, NY 10111, or call (212) 586-0600.
Executive limo service in London. Now there's a New York-style limousine service in London, complete with a telephone and a selection of daily newspapers. Geared to the corporate executive, Executive Link's fleet of graphite-colored Jaguars promises efficient transportation throughout the London area. Regular clients can pay with their Executive Link card, which can also be used for some limousines in New York City. For more information write Executive Link Ltd., 67 River Court, Kings Reach, London SE1 9PB.
Russian winter from a train window. Finnair has announced four winter trips by rail. The tours are scheduled from October through April and feature some of the Soviet Union's famous trains, like the Red Arrow from Leningrad to Moscow, which carried the news of the October Revolution in 1917. Tour lengths vary from the eight-day tour called ``The Russian Adventure'' to the 10-day ``Russian and Baltic Adventure'' to the 14-day ``Russian and East European Adventure'' and the 15-day ``Trans-Siberian Adventure.'' Prices range from $1,095 to $2,095, including air fare from the US. For more details see your travel agent or contact Finnair, 10 East 40th St., New York, NY 10016, or call (212) 689-9300 or 800-223-5700.
Tips for solo travelers. There's good news for mature people who travel alone. Grand Circle Travel, a company specializing in trips for travelers over 50, is scheduling special departure dates for solo travelers, cutting the single supplement cost on their extended vacations by 50 percent and sponsoring welcoming parties to introduce travelers to one another. Grand Circle offers 30 destinations in its extended vacation program at unusually reasonable rates. Destinations range from Mexico and Florida to Hong Kong and Tahiti. For more information on the tours, brochures, or a free booklet, ``Going Abroad: 101 Tips for Mature Travelers,'' call 800-221-2610 or write Grand Circle Corporation Headquarters, 347 Congress St., Suite 3A, Boston, MA 02210, or call (617) 437-7722.