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Sep 5, 2011, 2:13 a.m.

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Muscat, Oman

MUSCAT (Reuters) - The capital of the sultanate of Oman stands in stark contrast to the nearby glitzy trade and business hub of Dubai with no high-rise buildings to obscure the beauty of its Arabesque architecture, ancient fortifications and generous corniche. Muscat, where men wear spotless white robes, the traditional woven kuma hat and for festive occasions a khanjar (curved traditional dagger) in their belts, and women long abaya cloaks, has preserved much of its rich history and culture.

Vampire fans to sail off Alaska coast next year

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Hundreds of vampire enthusiasts will sail Alaska's fabled Inside Passage in a summer 2012 cruise tailored to their interests that combines gazing at glaciers with a late-night costume ball, organizers said on Thursday. The "Vamps at Sea" cruise is scheduled for late June, which is a time of near-constant daylight in the far north.

Soaring Swiss franc puts squeeze on German enclave

BUESINGEN, Germany (Reuters) - Since a 19th-century treaty established a German village wholly within Switzerland, the people of Buesingen have become accustomed to navigating between Berne and Berlin. Yet for the residents of this leafy village of 1,400 on the banks of the river Rhine, the record-strong Swiss franc is generating even more heat than the summer sun.

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