Bathing Like a Sultan – Overcoming Inhibitions in a Traditional Turkish Bath

A hamam, or Turkish bath is a unique experience to Turkey. I wanted to try it on my first visit to Istanbul, but to do so, I would have to set aside my inhibitions about being seen naked by strangers. Could I do that?

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Sleeping With the Sultan – Behind the Walls of Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace Harem

Paris has the Palace of Versailles. Vienna has the Hofburg Palace. London has Buckingham Palace. In Istanbul, it is Topkapi Palace that was the opulent home to the Sultan rulers of the Ottoman Empire and their female entourage for almost 400 years.

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Istanbul’s Hagia Irene – A Step Back in Time

To step through the door into Hagia Irene in Istanbul is to step through a time portal back to fourth century Constantinople. Before the more famous Hagia Sofia was built, Hagia Irene served as the main church for the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Hagia Irene also served as a model for the construction of the Hagia Sofia next door.

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Visiting the Historic Mosques in Istanbul

Not all of the mosques in Istanbul are open to non Muslim visitors. But fortunately, the most beautiful ones in and around the historic core of the Sultanahmet area can be visited by tourists during the non prayer times of the day.

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PhotoPOSTcard: Experience the Atmospheric Basilica Cistern in Istanbul

There is no doubt that the city of Istanbul is steeped in thousands of years of history – history that can still be touched today. Sitting beneath modern city streets that are teeming with pedestrian, automobile and tram traffic, a walk through the underground space of the Basilica Cistern is an opportunity to physically experience a world that existed 1500 years ago.

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Washington DC Monuments – Where are the Women?

Washington DC is well known for its many beautiful monuments and memorials dedicated to the great leaders that helped shape this country. There are architectural wonders designed to honor George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, among others. But what about the women?  With a little bit of effort, and a lot of walking, you can find the Washington DC women’s monuments and statues dedicated to a few of the many ladies that helped shape our nation.

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The Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park – A Continuing Classroom for Peace

As a teenager, I learned about the devastating effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. As an adult many years later, I visited the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park, and encountered present day Japanese teenagers learning their history in this living classroom for peace.

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Finding Unexpected Art and History in Fraser, Colorado

I like finding interesting art as I travel. Imagine my surprise upon finding a small sculpture and history park behind the Holiday Inn Express where we were passing through in Fraser, Colorado. 

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Camping Like a Vanderbilt – The Illusion of Roughing It

The Great Camps in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York were the wilderness playgrounds for the wealthy and elite of the Gilded Age in the late 19th century. One such camp, Camp Sagamore, has been preserved and restored and the serene and secluded wilderness setting can be experienced much like its Vanderbilt owners did over a century ago. Continue reading “Camping Like a Vanderbilt – The Illusion of Roughing It”

Unplugging in Stehekin – a North Cascades National Park Adventure

A six hour plane flight, a three hour car ride, and 2.5 hours on an express boat – that’s what it took to get away from it all in Stehekin, one of the most isolated communities in the North Cascades area of Washington state.  Continue reading “Unplugging in Stehekin – a North Cascades National Park Adventure”