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Category: Europe: Southeastern

Cruising on the Bosporus

Cruising on the Bosphorus

On my last evening in Istanbul, I went for a sunset cruise on the Bosphorus. Most of my photography is done in a walkabout way, so I wanted an opportunity to remain seated while still enjoying eye-catching perspectives. There are plenty of options for such a cruise on offer in…

Chasing World Heritage: #169, part 1 (Bursa)

Chasing World Heritage: #169, part 1 (Bursa)

Before the Ottomans captured Constantinople in 1453 and made the newly renamed Istanbul their capital, the seat of the Ottoman Empire for over a century was in Bursa, where a succession of sultans developed the city around several commercial and religious focal points. Here is the perspective from my hotel…

Iznik, Turkey

Íznik, Türkiye

I doubt that any of my readers have heard of Íznik before, let alone included it on their real or potential itineraries around Türkiye. When people think about Turkish destinations beyond Istanbul, what comes to mind is Cappadocia, the Turquoise Coast, or maybe Safranbolu or Pamukkale. Hardly ever anything in…

Istanbul: Briefly on the Asian side

Istanbul: Briefly on the Asian side

When you cross Bosporus to go to the Anatolian part of Istanbul, you leave behind most of the tourist crowds and most of the city’s iconic sights. This side is primarily the living quarters of ordinary residents, quieter and of significantly lower profile than the European side. A few defined…

Istanbul: Beyoğlu and Beşiktaş

Istanbul: Beyoğlu and Beşiktaş

When in Istanbul last October, I stayed in Beyoğlu. Historically known as Pera (which means “beyond” in Greek), this was a predominantly Christian area surrounding the coastal town of Galata that faced Constantinople across the Golden Horn. It has become the entertainment and nightlife focal point of Istanbul in modern…

Instanbul: More from Fatih

Instanbul: Fatih beyond Sultanahmet

The Golden Horn – the estuary of the Bosporus – divides the European side of Istanbul into what is historically known as “the old city” and “the new city”. The former is officially called “Fatih” and extends beyond the Sultanahmet area that we explored before. This set looks at a…

Istanbul: Sultanahmet, Topkapi, Cistern

Istanbul: Sultanahmet, Topkapi, Cistern

As my very first – and very short – trip to Istanbul perfectly illustrated, you can claim reasonable familiarity with the main sights of Istanbul by spending just a few hours in or around the Sultanahmet area. There is a high concentration of prime points of interest in Sultanahmet, which…

A place in my memory: Naxos

A place in my memory: Naxos

We fell in love with Naxos from the first moment that we set foot on the island. It maintains the right balance of being lively without being overrun, even at the height of the summer holiday season. It is big enough and varied enough to offer a multitude of diversions.…

Istanbul (WHS #139)

Istanbul (WHS #139)

My journey to Israel started with a layover in Istanbul. I’ve never been to the Turkish capital and decided to use the opportunity of a connecting flight to plug that gap on my travel résumé, if only a little. A 9-hour interval from the arrival of the incoming flight to…

Elafiti islands

Elafiti islands

On our last day of the Croatian itinerary, we rented a boat for a tour of Elafiti islands, off the Adriatic coast north of Dubrovnik. We opted for a traditional Dalmatian boat, which afforded a private day-long arrangement at reasonable cost. The downside of that was the low speed at…

Dubrovnik (WHS #135)

Dubrovnik (WHS #135)

The second part of our Croatian itinerary had Dubrovnik as the base. Similarly to Split, we gave ourselves only one full day for exploration of Dubrovnik proper but returned every evening for a meal and a stroll, so managed to acquire a certain level of familiarity with the town. Objectively,…

Chasing World Heritage: #134 (Stecci)

Chasing World Heritage: #134 (Stecci)

My latest travel itineraries have been unapologetically influenced by the desire to visit as many World Heritage sites as I come near. In the instances of Portugal or the Dalmatian Coast, that aligned reasonably well with the notion of a typical first-time tour since the most popular and interesting destinations…

Chasing World Heritage: #133 (Mostar)

Chasing World Heritage: #133 (Mostar)

In a not widely known quirk of geography, a tiny sliver of the Dalmatian Coast belongs to Bosnia and Herzegovina, making it impossible to travel by land between Split and Dubrovnik without entering and then quickly exiting Bosnian territory. The border checks are comparatively relaxed on this stretch, never creating…

Krka National Park

Krka National Park

Krka National Park was not in our original plans. Just like the vast majority of first-time visitors to Croatia, we instead planned on visiting the much more famous Plitvice National Park (even bought tickets online in advance). The latter, however, is two-and-a-half-hour drive away from Split, where we made our…

Chasing World Heritage: #132 (Trogir)

Chasing World Heritage: #132 (Trogir)

The historic center of Trogir sits on a tiny island – roughly 500 meters long and 250 meters wide – that has been continuously inhabited for over 2,000 years. Since the early 13th century AD, the town was gradually rebuilt and embellished with examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque…

Zadar

Zadar

While in Croatia, we technically only explored sights on the Dalmatian Coast. This historic region today encompasses counties with seats in Split, Dubrovnik, Šibenik, and Zadar, all of which featured on our itinerary. The latter is the northernmost of great Dalmatian towns. Wait a second!, says an attentive follower of…