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Keeping Kosher In Muslim Istanbul

Keeping Kosher In Muslim Istanbul Jun 20th, 2012 at 12:00PM: Before I lived in Turkey, I thought roasted chestnuts just existed in old Christmas carols. In Istanbul, they are sold on many street corners, priced by the gram and varying in quality. They have also been a major form of sustenance for several of my houseguests. My friend with a gluten allergy bought a bag of them nightly, saying they were the closest food to bread she could still eat. They...

Collect And Share Travel Experiences With AFAR

Collect And Share Travel Experiences With AFAR Jun 14th, 2012 at 3:00PM: Pinterest became the hottest social network this year, with millions using the site to collect and search for recipes, design ideas and inspirational quotes. Many travelers have used Pinterest for planning and sharing trips, tips and destinations (you can find Gadling here). Now Afar.com, the website and community behind AFAR magazine, has introduced a new feature to curate travel experiences,...

VIDEO: Vintage Turkish Taxis

May 15th, 2012 at 6:00PM: Millions of people get around Istanbul each day via dolmuş, a shared taxi. Similar to the colectivo of Latin America or the dollar vans of New York City, a dolmuş is generally a mini-bus or van that follows a fixed route for a fixed price. At the beginning of the route, the bus waits until it is full of passengers (dolmuş means stuffed in Turkish) before departing. You hand your money...

Video Of The Day: Time Brushing Istanbul

May 3rd, 2012 at 7:00PM: Recently a Turkish friend asked my daughter Vera's middle name. It's Alcazar, my grandmother's maiden name from Trinidad, and more commonly known as a Moorish Spanish word for fortified palace. I was surprised to hear the response, "Oh, like the cinema?" It turns out there is an Alkazar movie theater just a few miles away from us on Istanbul's busy Istiklal Caddesi. Opened in the 1920s with...

Photo Of The Day: Turkish Tulips

Photo Of The Day: Turkish Tulips Apr 19th, 2012 at 6:00PM: April showers bring May flowers, as the saying goes. We're getting plenty of rain this month in Turkey, but we've had flowers. April is the big month for tulips in Istanbul, and you can see them planted all over town as 11.5 million were planted for this year's season. I took today's photo at Emirgan Park, one of the prime viewing spots of the Istanbul Tulip Festival. There are over 100...

Fact vs. Fiction: The Bazaars of Istanbul, Turkey

Fact vs. Fiction: The Bazaars of Istanbul, Turkey Apr 10th, 2012 at 10:00AM: Shopping in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul will overload your senses. Colors, shapes, smells and sounds approach you from every direction in what can only be described as immersion in consumption. The bad news, however, is that the touts are waiting for you. Cast a wayward glance at any nice rug and someone will chase you down the hall trying to strike a deal. The result is an experience that's...

Photo of the Day: another Internet cat photo

Photo of the Day: another Internet cat photo Mar 15th, 2012 at 7:00PM: If you spend much time searching the Internet, you'll find millions of photos of cats. People spend hours browsing sites like ICanHasCheezburger? and CuteOverload to find funny or adorable images of animals. You might say that cat photos (okay, probably porn too) are the backbone of the Internet. Animals are a favorite photo subject of travelers as well, whether we're marveling at the...

Culinary Cab Confessions: New York City edition

Culinary Cab Confessions: New York City edition Jan 30th, 2012 at 9:00AM: Ali found me lingering on the corner of Christopher St. and Seventh Ave. S. in the West Village. Before I recently moved out of the neighborhood I'd spent eight years hailing cabs in this very spot. But no ride was probably ever as unusual (or short) as this one. He laughed when he heard my request. That I wanted him to take me to lunch; to take me the place where he goes. I reminded him...

More Istanbul shopping and dining secrets from Daily Secret

More Istanbul shopping and dining secrets from Daily Secret Jan 14th, 2012 at 2:00PM: Last week, Gadling included Istanbul in our picks for 2012 luxury travel, and introduced you to Daily Secret, a web-based "guide service" offering insider intel to 12 cities, including Istanbul. We got so many more great Istanbul secrets from editor Laura Wells (many with special discounts and exclusive access), we're posting them for Gadling readers to add to their itineraries. Happy shopping...

Photo of the Day: Smoked Turkish cheese

Photo of the Day: Smoked Turkish cheese Jan 5th, 2012 at 6:00PM: It used to be a common expression to say that someone "smoked like a Turk," and I can confirm after living in Istanbul for nearly two years, Turks still love their smoking. Even after the indoor smoking ban of 2009, cigarettes and nargile (water pipes) are very common here. This portrait by Flickr user MichaelAV captures two of the Turks' other loves: çay (see the tiny tea glass on the...

Belarus internet ban targets foreign websites

Belarus internet ban targets foreign websites Jan 5th, 2012 at 10:30AM: A new internet ban in the former Soviet country Belarus will make the usage or browsing of many foreign websites illegal and punishable by a fine of up to $125. The Library of Congress reports that all Belarusian companies and entrepreneurs will be required to use only locally-hosted websites for conducting business, sales, or exchanging emails. Additionally, e-commerce websites without a local...

Luxury Vacation Guide 2012: Istanbul

Luxury Vacation Guide 2012: Istanbul Jan 4th, 2012 at 10:00AM: Travel like a modern sultan with design-conscious hotels, bespoke shopping, and high-end dining at the crossroads of two continents: Istanbul, Turkey. In 2010, Istanbul made headlines in every travel magazine and newspaper as it was home to one of the European Capitals of Culture. The influx of cash and visitors meant dozens of new hotels, art galleries, museums, and world-class...

Mutlu Yillar (Happy Holidays) from Turkey

Mutlu Yillar (Happy Holidays) from Turkey Dec 25th, 2011 at 3:00PM: Christmas Day has arrived, and here in Istanbul, it's just another Sunday but you could be fooled by all the festive decorations. Much of the city is festooned with colorful lights and ornamented trees, but with a Turkish twist. Most of the population is Muslim, while unlike in more conservative countries, many families will roast turkeys, decorate trees, and exchange gifts on New Year's Eve....

10 reasons to travel to Ljubljana

10 reasons to travel to Ljubljana Dec 13th, 2011 at 9:00AM: When I found cheap airfare from Istanbul to Ljubljana, I didn't find many other travelers who'd been there or even say for sure which country it's in. The tiny of country of Slovenia is slightly smaller than New Jersey and its capital city isn't known for much other than being difficult to spell and pronounce (say "lyoob-lyAH-nah"). After spending a few days there last month, I quickly fell...

Early Christian art on display at the Onassis Cultural Center, NYC

Early Christian art on display at the Onassis Cultural Center, NYC Dec 8th, 2011 at 2:00PM: It's often called the Dark Ages, a time when barbarian hordes overran Rome and that great civilization's art, culture, and learning disappeared. A time when there were no great achievements. It's a misnomer. Rome did not fall in the fifth century with the usurpation of the last emperor in Rome in 476. To the east, at the new capital of Constantinople, modern Istanbul, the Eastern Roman...

Knocked up abroad: international travel with a baby

Knocked up abroad: international travel with a baby Nov 15th, 2011 at 10:30AM: This is the third in Knocked Up Abroad's guide to traveling with a baby. Before you go, see tips on planning travel and flying with a baby. So you've decided to travel abroad with your new family addition, well done! You've chosen the best baby-friendly destination, packed light, and even survived the long flight. Now that you're on the ground, possibly recovering from jet lag and hopefully...

Knocked up abroad: flying with a baby

Knocked up abroad: flying with a baby Oct 31st, 2011 at 10:00AM: This is the second in the Knocked Up Abroad series on travel with a baby. Read more here about planning a trip with baby, from choosing a baby-friendly destination to booking an apartment rental. Before traveling with my baby for the first time, I was very nervous and apprehensive. Not about the baby, but about the other passengers. I've flown many times and know full well of The Look that...

Photo of the Day - Barcelona jamon

Photo of the Day - Barcelona jamon Oct 27th, 2011 at 6:00PM: The humble ham and cheese sandwich is a basic staple of the travel diet. In nearly every country I've traveled to, I can count on finding a cheap and tasty toasted ham and cheese at a snack bar or cafe while exploring a new city. With a nice glass of local wine or a cold beer, this simple sandwich can be sublime. The Spanish, however, have made ham an art form, noted by this display in Barcelona...

Knocked up abroad: planning travel with a baby

Knocked up abroad: planning travel with a baby Oct 25th, 2011 at 9:00AM: Let's get this out of the way: you can travel with a baby. Many new parents feel that once they have a child, their travel days are over, but many parents will tell you that the first six months are the easiest time to travel with a baby. Is it easy? Not exactly, but with enough planning and the right attitude, it's not as hard as you might think. Is it selfish? Probably, but so is most travel....

Knocked up abroad: applying for a baby's passport

Knocked up abroad: applying for a baby's passport Oct 24th, 2011 at 9:00AM: As my new baby girl was born in a foreign country, getting a passport was a necessity for her to even return home to America. Though Vera was born in Turkey, she's an American citizen by virtue of her parents' citizenship and entitled to a US passport. For Americans born outside the country, the US consulate issues a Report of Birth Abroad that acts as an official birth certificate and proof of US...

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