Let’s be honest. No trip is ever completely hassle free. No matter how beautiful, exotic, or intoxicating a new place can be, we tend to pack our petty squabbles and short fuses along with the shoes and underwear(too much of the former too little of the latter). There’s always room for our bad behavior no matter what the weight limits or numbers of bags allowed. I’m not proud to admit that I’ve been miserable and inflicted misery, in this case Anton my long suffering mate, in some of the most beautiful spots on the planet.READ MORE >
One of the oldest most satisfying traditions from the Ottoman Empire and even further back is the Hamam. Historically the Hamam is the traditional Islamist or Turkish bath which derives itself from its precursors, the Greek and Roman baths. Originally, they were for men only but now admit women separately or on separate days. These ritual baths are the ultimate in cleansing, scrubbing and massaging the body and all performed by adult male attendants. READ MORE >
The Grand Bazaar is the largest covered bazaar in the world. With about 4 thousand shops selling everything from gold, precious jewels, antiques, fabrics and carpets, to spices, tea merchants, faux designer merchandise and Viagra, this place has it all and every merchant is approaching you to come into their shop to buy. READ MORE >
Istanbul is a city in 2 halves divided by water and facing Asia gleaming on the opposite bank of the Bosphorous sea. The old and the new city are joined by bridges; the Gallata Bridge, the Ataturk and the Metro bridge which carries people and trams. There are also tons of ferries that carry people and cars to and from the Asia side with an enormous bridge a ruby necklace joining the last of the “West” and the entrance to the “East”.READ MORE >
Gregg St.Onge, my friend and the author of our personal travelogue, suggested a few hotels in the new and old parts of the city and we chose the Georges Hotel, a chic boutique hotel near the Galata Tower in the heart of Coolsvile.
The fact that the streets were only wide enough for one car at a time and at angles up and down best suited for a sure footed cat, of which the city is teeming; feral cats that are like domesticated ones only they live everywhere in the city except inside people’s homes. READ MORE >
My arrival in Istanbul went exactly contrary to what I preached in an earlier post as I prepared my trip. With my Wallpaper City Guide in hand and a comprehensive list of tips from my old friend Gregg St. Onge, who’d lived in the mysterious city and stating categorically that it is his favorite in all the world, I barely took the time to really read it or do any research on line before landing at Atatürk Airport.READ MORE >
Forgive me for skipping over the last 5 days in Paris. I’ll share them shortly as they were EPIC, but for the sake of time and time lost, here are some moments in Palma. Getting here yesterday, from cold and enchanted Paris was a bit of a shock. Think tropical weather, Palm trees everywhere and a medieval city complete with castles and a walled old city within. Last night we strolled through winding cobble stoned streets with galleries, shops and enticing tapas bars and restaurants every other step. I had no idea the charm of the place would be so instantly infectious,think plague, but in a really good way.
Anton prepared the nicest breakfast on the balcony of our sweet apartment on the top of an old house situated directly in Plaza de Cort. It looks over the square and out to the mountains and a beautiful castle in the distance. The Cathedral is directly across the Plaza from here. Cafe con leche and warm croissants will fuel the beginning of our day. Here are a few visual moments. More soon !
I would be remiss if I just slipped out of Germany without so much as a Danke Schön. The first week there was great, filled with a roller coaster ride of warm family time together and a little life reaffirming, life threatening drama. Anton’s family, which has become my family too, are so great, so warm and enjoyable. It’s very nice to feel instantly at home and accepted even on the other side of the pond. But you see I’ve been a ‘member ‘ of the Bronner clan for over 30 years , so it sort of makes sense.READ MORE >
Now that an early grave has been temporarily put on hold. Now that I’ve sufficiently been punished for some of my sins: sloth, envy, vanity, greed, lust, wrath, gluttony, hubris, a bad attitude at times and other sins I’ve yet to commit, maybe just a little GRATIFICATION is in order…READ MORE >
Vacations can be stressful. So much pressure and expectations of having that ‘very good time’ can take the fun right out of it. Planning is necessary but ultimately you need to put everything on hold at some point and just enjoy the fact you’re alive. READ MORE >