Five Quirky Museums in Europe

Folding Fan of the 1920s

When I travel to Europe, I am always on the look-out for museums or sites that are a bit out of the ordinary. I think that the following five quirky museums fill the bill: From Magic Ice to fans, to computers, these museums present a different slant on museum-going. The Magic Ice Museum - Istanbul Housed in Istanbul, no less, the Magic Ice Museum is one of the first permanent ice museums ... Read Full Article

5 Reasons to Try Turkish Wine While in Turkey

The vineyards

Need five reasons to drink Turkish wine on your next visit to Turkey? The country's wines are quickly growing in prominence worldwide, and it's no wonder why. First, the world's very first wines were likely made in the region. Second, Turkey ranks sixth in the world in total grape production. Third, the only countries that have more land dedicated to vineyards than Turkey are France, Italy, and ... Read Full Article

EuropeUpClose Travel Confessions

Eric Barrier and his Crocs

  Everyone has a quirky thing or two about how they like to travel and what they like to see. Some travelers gravitate to sites in which they have particular interest while avoiding destinations or sites that bore them or they just plain hate. And many travelers, if pressed, would admit to a little embarrassment regarding their own travel proclivities. We have asked a few of our writers to ... Read Full Article

A Day of Dining in Istanbul

Turkish pilaf

  Istanbul has a gourmet history that goes far beyond its famous beverages. Ottoman royalty demanded the best in their kitchens and devoted immense resources to developing a celebrated court cuisine. Istanbul was the hinge of the Spice Route, connecting caravans from Asia with European palates. Bridging the continents, Istanbul developed a cuisine that combines Mediterranean and Middle ... Read Full Article

Tea Time in a Cappadocia, Turkey Cave

Love Valley

  Cappadocia, Turkey, a land stolen from a mystic’s dream, is surrounded by a desert landscape with cone-shaped towers rising up between razor cut cliffs. Caves carved into these otherworldly rock formations have been inhabited since ancient times and, through an arrangement made by our hotel in Goreme, we were invited to share a glass of tea with one of these modern-day cave dwellers ... Read Full Article

Seeking out the Best in Turkish Pottery

Detail of an elaborately painted plate

  Some of the finest, most exquisite pottery in the world comes from the Cappadocia region of Turkey, where artisans have been crafting pots for millennia. Many potters and artists have studios open to visitors, and one of the best is Chez Galip near the village of Avanos. Galip Korukcu, considered one of the top  craftsmen in all of Turkey, looks a lot like Albert Einstein, with his beard ... Read Full Article

Seeking out Turkey’s Finest Carpets

yarns and dyes

Turkish carpets are highly valued worldwide for good reason; the skill it takes to create them has been perfected over thousands of years. On a recent trip to Turkey my husband John and I caught a glimpse of the incredible craftsmanship involved. With a small group we visited a carpet-making factory famed for their top-quality work, and  watched the process, almost from start to finish, of ... Read Full Article

Where to Stay in Turkey: Six Choice Hotels

lykialodge-kapadokya-nevsehir

  On a recent trip, John and I found six hotels in Turkey that we consider excellent choices. These are not the grand palaces an Ottoman sultan might have envied (though Istanbul has several of those); rather, they're comfortable, well maintained, hotels with great locations, good Turkish hospitality, and  individual style. And they are a lot more affordable than the palaces. Where to ... Read Full Article

My Big Greek/Turkish Cyprus Adventure

The beautiful harbour-front in Girne

The southeastern coast of Cyprus is stunning. Along its perfect, sandy coastline is where you’ll find the resort towns of Agia Napa, Larnaka and Limassol, which are renowned for their stunning beaches, fancy restaurants, luxurious hotels, and bustling nightlife. Tourists, mainly from Britain, flock there to party, swim and snorkel, and get a bit of sun. Unfortunately, all of that is about ... Read Full Article

Walking into Heaven: The Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia from the Outside

From the outside, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey looks like an impenetrable fortress. Thick, red-stained stucco walls stair step up in collections of annexes to a massive grey dome. Deep set windows dotting the surface are blackened by the shadows inside. Four flat pillars protruding over the narthex and apse resemble stoic guards keeping vigilant watch over the great 6th century Eastern ... Read Full Article