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Great Comeback Cities For Travel

Great Comeback Cities For Travel Aug 1st, 2013 at 11:03AM: Flickr, Michigan Municipal League Recently, the former automotive boomtown of Detroit made history by filing for bankruptcy, making it an easy butt of jokes on Twitter and in the news. However, Motown has also been making strides to become America's great comeback city, with artists and entrepreneurs lured by cheap rents, and innovative projects happening all over town (disclosure: I'm a big fan...

Video: Spinning Gold In Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

May 29th, 2013 at 1:00PM: Earlier this year in Istanbul, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a man who spins gold thread at the Grand Bazaar. His noisy workshop is tucked into a courtyard off one of the bazaar's main "streets," past a few jewelry kiosks and before a reasonably clean but squat-style toilet. Huge fan belts crisscross the room and antique machines creak and spin spools of thread in metallic and bright...

Apply Online For A Turkish Visa

Apply Online For A Turkish Visa May 24th, 2013 at 1:00PM: Meg Nesterov If you've visited Istanbul or any of the country of Turkey in the past, you had to stand in line to buy a tourist visa sticker (in cash only, payable in USD or Euro) before getting in a longer line to get through border control and out of the airport. If you forgot to buy the Turkish visa first, you'd have to get out of line and hope that a nice person would let you cut back in once...

Airline Flight Mix-Up Sends Couple To The Wrong Continent

Airline Flight Mix-Up Sends Couple To The Wrong Continent May 18th, 2013 at 2:00PM: Deanster1983, Flickr Imagine hopping on a plane to go on vacation in Africa, taking a nap and waking up to find yourself in Bangladesh. That's exactly what happened to one couple after an airline mixed up their flight bookings and flew them 7,000 miles away from their intended destination. Sandy Valdivieso and her Husband Triet Vo had wanted to fly from LA to the African city of Dakar, Senegal,...

Turkey Offers Moustache Transplant Surgery Vacation Packages

Turkey Offers Moustache Transplant Surgery Vacation Packages May 9th, 2013 at 9:00AM: We've all heard of medical tourism in which travelers head abroad to get liposuction or a nose job and then recuperate on the beach – but have you ever heard of a mustache transplant vacation? Cosmetic surgeons in Turkey have been performing hair transplants on balding men for years; however, it seems there's now growing demand from men with bald upper lips. Men from Asia, Europe and...

A Cast-Iron Church In Istanbul

A Cast-Iron Church In Istanbul Apr 22nd, 2013 at 10:00AM: This church on the shoreline of Istanbul looks ornate yet pretty normal – that is until you go up and take a closer look. The Bulgarian St. Stephen Church isn't made of stone but rather of cast iron. It's a rare survival of a 19th-century craze in prefab cast-iron churches. Also known as the Bulgarian Iron Church, its parts were cast in Vienna in 1871 and shipped down the Danube in a...

Ani, The Ghost City

Ani, The Ghost City Apr 20th, 2013 at 10:00AM: Ask someone to name tourist draws in Turkey and you'll get the obvious: Istanbul, Cappadocia, Galipoli, maybe the beaches of Antalya. Some more familiar with the country might offer up the bizarre calcium cascades of Pamukkale, or the monstrous gods' heads sculptures on Mount Nemrut. Nobody ever mentions Ani, a city that for a brief period 1,000 years ago was one of the cultural and commercial...

Ultimate Dinner Parties At Sea, Just $1000 To Attend

Ultimate Dinner Parties At Sea, Just $1000 To Attend Apr 7th, 2013 at 3:00PM: Have a conversation about cruise ships and the topic of dining options usually comes up. It's just a popular topic that cruise lines invest a lot of time and resources in, striving to provide exactly what their passengers desire. Now, more than ever, cruise lines are doing just that, often tapping well-known culinary experts to bring their shore-side influence aboard the ships. Crystal...

5 Destinations For Excellent Coffee Culture

5 Destinations For Excellent Coffee Culture Mar 27th, 2013 at 11:00AM: Cafes are often a travelers hub, not just because you can kill your jetlag with a cup of espresso, but because they are inevitably the place where you go to sit and do some people watching and, while you're at it, take a moment to get immersed in the local coffee culture. If you're a coffee drinker, finding the best cup in town is often an adventure in and of itself, sometimes leading to a...

Not Constantinople: 9 Misconceptions About Istanbul, Turkey

Not Constantinople: 9 Misconceptions About Istanbul, Turkey Mar 7th, 2013 at 11:00AM: The country of Turkey has been getting a lot of bad press this year, due to the tragic disappearance and murder of American Sarai Sierra in Istanbul, and the suicide bombing at the U.S. Consulate in Turkish capital city Ankara, which was quickly linked to a Marxist group protesting the Turkish position on the war in Syria (a Turkish security guard was killed, no Americans were harmed). Both...

­­Waiting In The Pythion Of Time

­­Waiting In The Pythion Of Time Jan 30th, 2013 at 12:00PM: ­­ One of my prime New Year's resolutions for this year is to put together an anthology of selected pieces from my own writing career. With 30 years of narrative stories and reflective essays to sift through, I figure there must be enough material for at least a very slim volume. As part of this process – or perhaps just as a very clever way of procrastinating the hard work of...

VIDEO: Turkish Tannenbaum

Dec 19th, 2012 at 1:00PM: "On Tane Baum in Istanbul" from Manzara Istanbul on Vimeo. Want to feel some holiday warm and fuzzies? Take a few minutes to enjoy this Turkish video from Manzara Istanbul, a vacation apartment rental agency in Turkey's most popular city. The agency is run by a German Turk, who coordinated his entire staff to sing a not-exactly-stellar but very sweet version of the Christmas carol "O...

A Visit To Macy's Santaland

A Visit To Macy's Santaland Dec 16th, 2012 at 10:00AM: This week, in between a visit to the Brazilian consulate to apply for tourism visas, and working on the Gadling family travel gift guide, I decided to make a trip to the North Pole. Or rather, the one on 34th Street, where the most famous department store Santa resides at Macy's Santaland. Visions of David Sedaris dancing in my head, I decided if we were going to do this, I might as well do it...

Photo Of The Day: Woman Feeding The Pigeons

Photo Of The Day: Woman Feeding The Pigeons Dec 4th, 2012 at 6:30PM: Some travel moments just beg to be captured on film. Take this photo of a Turkish woman on the steps of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. She sits calmly in a sea of pigeons, looking off to a point beyond the photo's boundaries. Her bright blue headscarf stands out against the faded backdrop. Her expression is pensive, and somewhat enigmatic. Who is this woman? What is she thinking? Why is she...

Photo Of The Day: Man Who Could Walk Through Walls

Photo Of The Day: Man Who Could Walk Through Walls Aug 23rd, 2012 at 6:00PM: You know you've found a popular tourist attraction when you see a statue with a shiny spot. From Ireland's Blarney Stone to Istanbul's "weeping" column in Hagia Sophia, visitors love any place that has brought luck to others. Today's Photo of the Day, by Flickr user Kumukulanui, is from Paris' Montmartre, and of Jean Marais' sculpture "The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls." Based on a short...

10 Colorful Cities From Around The World

10 Colorful Cities From Around The World Aug 6th, 2012 at 11:00AM: When many people think of cities, they picture concrete, skyscrapers, road work and steel. The truth is, however, there are many cities around the world with a more vibrant and colorful atmosphere. In fact, some of these places are so creative and beautiful, they are a work of art in themselves. Deep blue structures reside next to loud pink and sunflower yellow houses, as hot orange and rich...

Photo Of The Day: Istanbul Balcony

Photo Of The Day: Istanbul Balcony Aug 2nd, 2012 at 6:00PM: I'm getting ready to pack up and leave Istanbul tomorrow, after over two years and one baby, so you'll have to indulge me in a bit of preemptive nostalgia. Amidst the photos of Hagia Sophia and kebab vendors in the Gadling photo pool of Istanbul images, I was surprised to see this photo by Flickr user BrettDresseur, of a view almost identical to my own a few doors down on Vali Konagi Avenue....

Think Globally, Eat Locally At Culinary Backstreets

Think Globally, Eat Locally At Culinary Backstreets Jul 28th, 2012 at 11:00AM: Budget-savvy and food-loving visitors to Istanbul have found an excellent resource in Istanbul Eats for several years, and now can find more authentic and off-the-beaten-path tips in Athens, Barcelona, and Shanghai, with Mexico City on the way. Culinary Backstreets was launched this week as an extension of IstanbulEats.com, a blog reviewing Turkey's best street food, hole-in-the-wall restaurants...

Knocked Up Abroad: Lessons Learned From Traveling With A Baby

Knocked Up Abroad: Lessons Learned From Traveling With A Baby Jul 12th, 2012 at 11:00AM: Long before I became a mother, people told me that the first six months is the easiest time to travel with a baby – before they walk, talk or require children's activities. Others told me to travel as much as possible before you have children, as it's too difficult to go places for the first few years. I can confirm that you don't have to turn in your passport when you have a baby, as my...

Airline Fees: You Get What You Pay For Or Weapons In Travel Class Warfare?

Airline Fees: You Get What You Pay For Or Weapons In Travel Class Warfare? Jun 29th, 2012 at 1:00PM: Last month, the media was abuzz over increased airline fees for pre-assigned seating, with many concerned that it would especially affect families who want to sit together for no additional cost. Even New York Senator Chuck Schumer got involved, asking airlines to waive fees for families traveling with children. Rather than look for victims or call airlines "anti-family," however, look at the...

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