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European Union Hosts “Take the Metro to Europe” this Saturday

The gilded doors of more than two dozen European embassies will open to the public this weekend in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the European Union. The open house – scheduled from 10:00am until 4:00pm this Saturday, May 12 – is being billed by EU member states as “Take the Metro to Europe” and promises free cuisine, music and “friendship.” We’re all about friendship, but Brightest Young Things is going for the free food and beer.

The bulk of embassies participating in the open house can be visited on foot from Dupont Circle. For outlying embassies in Northwest, the European Union will be running free shuttle buses that leave on the half hour from the South entrance of the Dupont Circle Metro stop (a map of participating embassies can be found here).

Highlights include:

* A mock Viennese coffeehouse at the Austrian embassy.
* Lunch at the Italian Embassy (no cost listed)
* Lunch at the French Embassy ($20, reservation required)
* Pastries with the Portuguese
* Bulgarian delicacies (yes, read that twice)
* Irish, um, food.
* The chance to sneak around the personal residences of the Danish and Dutch Ambassadors (12pm until 2pm)
* Dessert with Denmark accompanied by free chocolate and a play area with Legos.
* More chocolate from Finland, along with glacial water.

The Swedish Embassy, so far, is only promising poetry and several exhibits on water. However, the uber-Ikea architecture of its new headquarters at the House of Sweden on the Georgetown waterfront will draw fans of modern architecture. Several other embassies are touting themselves as must-stops for architecture fans, including Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Italy. Additionally, the embassies of Italy and Denmark are both located on tiny Whitehaven Street, where Secret Service agents outnumber residents. Both embassies overlook the home of former President and Senator Clinton.

Due to security measures, the European Union is discouraging the use of backpacks, so young Americans should save their own knapsacks for actually backpacking through Germany, rather than Georgetown. Also, the only European Union members not participating in the open house are Latvia, Lithuania, Spain and the United Kingdom. Any hankering for tapas or bangers-and-mash should be placed on hold.

For more information, see individual embassy websites or http://www.europe-in-dc.com

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