During my Army service I was stationed in and fell in love with Turkey. After my discharge, I settled down to the hum-drum of daily working and raising a family. Left with the proverbial empty nest, I tried to talk the wife in visiting Turkey so I could share my memories and experiences with her. However she was reluctant “It is dangerous overseas. All those crazy people over there hate Americans.” I replied that she watched too much TV – they only put on bad news and that we have a lot of dissidents, crazies, criminals and murders here too. Quoting Mark Twain
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Then one of her co-workers told her about his annual vacations across the globe. He was able to afford them through booking them through gotoday.com. So she agreed to travel abroad – but not to Turkey. Instead we went to Prague in the Czech Republic in October 2008. Oct. to me is the best time to travel. Usually weather is neither to hot not too cold and rates are cheaper.
I created a monster – she fell in love with travel and discovering other ways of life. She became the one prodding me to travel abroad. So in subsequent years we vacationed in Italy, Turkey and China. Of all the places, she liked Turkey best. But no matter where we went she made friends with both locals and other travelers. In Rome, the local barista chased us for two blocks at 5:30 AM to give her a good bye hug.
Now we reminisce about the delicious ham in Prague, the Bread (ekmek) in Turkey and the Pizza in Rome and Chinese food in China, none of which were like our American versions. A sampling of sights from places we visited are in the photos. Please forgive me the photographer. I am an amateur at the whim of the weather, daylight and tour guides.
We enjoy tours which can be booked from home but are usually available though your hotel abroad. However, we always leave time for us to explore on our own. We like to get away from the touristic areas and get a feel for the real local culture. Note: Almost every tour will stop for a commercial visit to sell some local product(s).
- Prague – glassware & meats
- Rome – leather, furs & agricultural products
- Turkey – rugs, leather coats
- China – silk sheets & garments, jade, pearls, & tea of course
Travel Photo links:
Prague – 2008
Karlstjn Czech Republic – 2008
Rome – 2009
Florence – 2009
Istanbul Turkey – 2011
Bejing and the Great Wall – 2012
Shanghai – 2012
Zhouzhuang China – 2012
Barcelona – 2017