Friday, May 31, 2019

A few simple tips that can save lots ot travel hassles

Travel is eye-opening and life-altering but it is also hard work
Be savvy and save hassles  (Courtesy: Pixabay)
CHARLOTTE, NC — Everybody loves lists, and one of the most popular for travelers is quality, practical tips for making your way through the pitfalls of globetrotting.

Not all tips suit the needs of every traveler, but those that work best are clever and can be used with minimal inconvenience. Here are some more suggestions we have discovered at Communities Digital News:

Lots of Uses for Wet Wipes:  A few small packets of individual antibacterial wipes can be invaluable.  They’re convenient when you have no running water available or for cleaning small cuts.  Not only that, the alcohol from the wipes helps stop the itching when you rub them on insect bites.

Pack smart, pack light
(Photo: Public Domain)
Pack Your Carry-on Strategically:  Sometimes it's impossible to avoid checking luggage, and on international flights checking your bags can save added hassles.  Airlines have become increasingly stricter about the size and weight of carry-ons.  When you pack, put any important stuff in a plastic bag and place it in the front pocket of your carry-on.  When you get to the gate, if you must check your bag, you can simply pull out the smaller plastic bag and board.

Old stickers make great
lint removers
(Photo: Public Domain)

 Luggage Stickers are Great Lint Removers:  If your lint brush is packed, or if you don’t have one handy, just remove the clutter created by your old luggage stickers and use the gummy side to take the lint right off your clothes.

Recycle Hotel Freebies:  Once those tiny bottles you bring home from the hotel are empty, refill them with your favorite brand of shampoo, hair conditioner and shower gel  instead of buying travel-size containers at the drug-store.  Toss them, along with your other small items, into a medium-sized Ziploc bag and you’re ready to go.  The clear plastic also lets you find things quickly and easily.

Pack Dirty Clothes in Hotel Laundry Bags:  Hotels that offer dry-cleaning or laundry services usually provide guests with plastic drawstring bags for their dirty clothes that you can use to haul your laundry home.  Just fill the bag, put it on the bed, and sit on it.  Your body weight will force the air out of the bag and then you can tie it closed with the drawstring.

Use Your Shoes to Get Through Airport Security More Quickly:  To speed up the X-ray process, empty the contents of your pockets into your shoes and place them on the conveyor belt.  At the other end, you can just pick up your shoes and move on to a less congested area to put everything back in place and slip on your shoes.

Save magazine perfume ads to freshen up your room
(Courtesy: Pixabay)
Save Perfume Ads for Your Next Cruise:  Those smelly magazine inserts may be annoying at home, but they can really come in handy at sea.  Use them to freshen up the air in your stateroom bathroom or them in the closet or dresser drawers.

Save Your Old Prescription Glasses:  Whenever you get a new pair of eyeglasses, relegate the old ones to your luggage, along with an inexpensive repair kit from the drugstore.  If something happens while you’re away from home, you may be able to make the repairs yourself.  If they’re beyond hope, at least you'll have a backup pair to get you through the rest of the trip.

Put Freebie Key Chains to Good Use:  Why not take those seemingly useless key chains that are used as advertising gimmicks and attach them to the ends of your luggage zippers.  This makes it easier to work the zippers and, as a bonus, helps identify your luggage on airport carousels.

Sounds silly but make sure your documents are in order
(Courtesy: Pixabay)
 Keep Your Passport Current:  It sounds logical statement, however many people do not know that if your passport expires in less than six months you MAY be denied access into another country.  Always make sure your passport has more than six months remaining from the return date of any trip.  It can save you more headaches than a bottle of aspirin.

A little planning can make a huge difference in a travel experience
(Photo: Public Domain)

Fraud Protection:  If a credit card(s) is stolen or lost, call the three national credit reporting organizations and the Social Security fraud line number immediately to place a fraud alert on your name.  The alert means that any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they must contact you by phone to authorize new credit.  Following are the contact numbers:

       Equifax --                                      1 800 525 6285
       Experian --                                    1 888 397 3742
       Trans Union --                              1 800 680 7289
       Social Sec Admin Fraud) --          1 800 269 0271

Traveling without hassles is hard work. The more you can do to simplify the process, the more enjoyable your experience will be.

Friday, May 24, 2019

The Schilthorn celebrates 50 years of James Bond in Switzerland

James Bond foiled Blofeld at the Schilthorn 50 years ago...
(Photo: Taylor)

BERNESE OBERLAND, SWITZERLAND — James Bond is known for his travels to many of the world's most exotic destinations. This year marks the 50th anniversary of 007's efforts to foil arch-enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the Swiss Alps in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).

It was George Lazenby's first and only appearance as the British superhero, but it was the second of three visits Bond made to Switzerland over the history of the movie franchise.

The first came in Goldfinger (1964) when Sean Connery as Bond used a GPS to track down Tilly Masterson through the Furka Pass. More than two decades later, Pierce Brosnan bungee jumped from the Verzasca Dam in the Ticino (the Italian speaking region of the country) in the opening sequence of Goldeneye.

It was Lazenby, however who spent the most cinematic frames in the Alpine nation and, in the process, he made the Schilthorn peak one of the best day trips a traveler can take in the country.

Staubbach Falls in the 
Lauterbrunnen Valley is stunning
(Photo: chensiyuan -- Permission 
granted to copy, distribute and/or
 modify this document under the 
terms of the GNU Free 
Documentation License)
The Schilthorn rises just under 10,000 feet above the Lauternbrunnen Valley which is a spectacular stretch of real estate featuring over 70 waterfalls. Nestled in the Bernese Alps, the Schilthorn lies above the village of Mürren, where cable cars lead to the summit and the Piz Gloria restaurant offers a majestic panoramic view of the mountain peaks TitlisJungfrauMönch and the Eiger.

To reach the Schilthorn from the valley floor, you can take a series of four cable cars to the top. During the process, be sure to marvel at the precision timing of the system which allows minimal waiting to accomplish the various segments.

From Birg, the final leg to the summit, the airway was the most technically challenging cable car construction in history.

The Piz Gloria Restaurant takes about 50 minutes to make a complete revolution (Courtesy:

Begin in Interlaken by taking the Bernese Oberland Bahn (BOB) to the village of Lauterbrunnen about 25-minutes down the line. Go early, especially during high season, because trains can be crowded as the day progresses.  Also, an early start promises more sightseeing time during the journey.

Upon arriving in Lauterbrunnen, cross the street and catch the cable car before changing to a miniature train which skims along the mountain ledge toward Murren. 

Sunrise at the Schilthorn
(Courtesy: Pixabay)
It’s not uncommon to slow or stop along the way for a stray cow or sheep to make its way across the tracks. 

At an altitude of nearly 5,500 feet, Murren is not accessible to the public by road.  Stroll through town to reach the next portion of the adventure.  The walk is relatively level, and there are plenty of places en route to rest and have something to eat or drink.

At the opposite end of the village, arrive at the cable airway to Birg, the Schilthorn and the Piz Gloria.

Murren in winter  (Courtesy:
Piz Gloria, the panoramic, 360-degree revolving restaurant at the crest of the Schilthorn which takes roughly 50 minutes to complete a full rotation, was used as a set in the 1969 James Bond adventure. 

When weather conditions are good, there's no better top-of-the-world sensation than the span of mountaintops that chisel the sky around the Schilthorn. The number “007” on the windows pays tribute to the British secret agent.

To enjoy the Schilthorn trip to the fullest, take a different route for the return.  Descend to Murren where another cable car floats gracefully over a dramatic cliff to the village of Stechelberg.  When scattered, low hanging clouds hover through the Lauterbrunnen Valley, the sensation is almost like  riding down from heaven.

The Lauterbrunnen Valley is filled with waterfalls and rock precipices that plunge into the earth  
As the car appears to plunge over the precipice of the last leg of the aerial journey, look to the left to witness the stunning view of Staubbach Fall, one of the highest cascades in Europe with an unbroken fall of between 800 and 900 feet. This is perpendicular scenery at its finest where mountains adjoin mountains with rocky walls that dive into the valley below.

Everywhere you look in the Lauterbrunnen Valley is a postcard

Flowing through the village of Lauterbrunnen is the Weisse Lütschine which typically overflows its banks once each year. Melting snow from high in the mountains provides the source of the water which eventually becomes another popular site to visit, the Trummelbach Falls located just 1.9 miles from Lauterbrunnen village.

Arguably, the Swiss Travel System is the best transportation network in the world, and going to the Schilthorn may just be the best day trip you can do with a Swiss Travel Pass.

Not only does the outing to the Schilthorn highlight the versatility of the Swiss Travel System by incorporating several means of transportation, it is also included for travelers using the rail pass. 

Swiss serenity
(Courtesy: Pixabay)
From Stechelberg, postal bus service, also included in the rail pass, takes you back to Lauterbrunnen.  Just follow the rainbows.

The BOB train awaits in Lauterbrunnen for the return trip to Interlaken.  As the afternoon yields to a glowing sun caressing the mountaintops, travelers staying in Interlaken, or someplace nearby, may choose to complete the adventure with a cruise around the Lake of Brienz.

Visitors from Bern can opt for a different boat along the Lake of Thun from the village of Spiez.  Go to the rear of the ship and watch the sun set over the now distant mountains you traversed just a short time earlier.

The day trip to the Schilthorn uses a variety of forms of transportation  (Photo: Taylor)

Another great bonus Swiss Travel Pass holders receive is free admission to over 500 museums throughout the country.

George Lazenby may have only been a "one and done" James Bond, but five decades ago, he played a big part of making the Schilthorn one of the top attractions in Switzerland.
The Swiss Travel System is truly a “moving” experience

Friday, May 17, 2019

If you're going to hit a moose, don't swerve & other travel tips

When driving in a national park or protected area be extra careful when you encounter wildlife  (Courtesy: Pixabay)

CHARLOTTE, NC — For some reason, many travelers, even veterans, have a tendency to check their brains just before going through security at the airport.

That said, savvy travelers do suffer far fewer hassles, which usually result in significantly more rewarding travel experiences simply by using common sense and a little preparation.

Here are some travel tips beginning with some basics and ending with a few odd twists that can save considerable discomfort.

Make copies of important documents and put them in a separate place -- especially your passport  (Courtesy: Pixabay)

Back up critical documents: It only takes a few minutes to copy important travel documents such as your passport, plane tickets, hotel information etc., but it may save hours of frustration later on. Place those papers in a separate accessible place so if something gets lost or stolen, you can expedite the recovery process.

Pack one complete outfit in your carry-on: It's always best to travel lightly, but if you do check luggage, pack one complete outfit in your carry-on bag. This way if your luggage gets lost or delayed you have a back-up. Don't worry so much about lost toiletries. After all, they brush their teeth and comb their hair in other countries too.

Learn the language: You don't have to be fluent but if you learn some basic phrases like "Please," "Thank you," "Excuse me" and "Where's the bathroom" you'll be ahead of the game and the locals will appreciate the effort.

Take a business card from the hotel when you go out: It may sound silly but even if you know the name and address of your hotel, chances are you will not pronounce it the way a local does. If you take a card from the hotel when you leave, you can show it to a cab driver or shopkeeper who can then assist you with your return.

Travel insurance may be an added expense but it is amazingly worth it if you need it (Courtesy: Pixabay)

Purchase travel insurance: Insurance can be expensive and is not typically included in a travel budget. On the other hand, if and when you need it, it will be well worth the added cost. There are many options so spend a little time and get the policy that suits your travel plans the best.

Be courteous to gate agents, they can be your best friend -- otherwise look out (Courtesy:
Be nice to gate agents: We've all seen the horror shows at airports on the news when weather or other malfunctions cause delays. Keep in mind that the first people you will likely encounter in such an event is a gate agent who is dealing with hundreds of equally frustrated passengers. It may be hard to do, but gate agents wield a lot of power and the nicer you are to them, the better chance you will have at getting an expedited solution to your problem.

Rental Cars: Renting from a company that has their office a short distance away could be a big money saver from those that have airport facilities. It is probably best to make a reservation on-line in advance so you can negotiate the best price, especially if you are traveling during a period when demand is high.

ATMs may be the greatest convenience and money saver for travelers in the last 25 years  (Courtesy: Pixabay)
Airport currency exchanges: ATMs are one of the greatest travel innovations of the 20th century. Get a credit card that has no transaction fees and always take your cash in local currency. ATMs are everywhere and you can use them at odd hours when banks are closed. Never exchange money at your hotel unless it is absolutely necessary.

Be a local: Good travel is not always sightseeing and grand restaurants. Go to supermarkets and shop where locals go if you want to immerse yourself in a destination. It may not sound exciting at first, but you may be surprised at what you will learn and the people you will meet.

If you think peppers and spicy food can surprise you on the ground, imagine what can happen at 34,000 feet
 (Courtesy: Pixabsy)
Never eat chili peppers for breakfast: Enough said.

Put your favorite wine in a water bottle to avoid the outrageous onboard prices: First of all, airplane wine is not very good. Secondly, now that airlines are charging for food, bringing your own wine is an easy thing to do and it will taste better.

For those who hate conversing with the total stranger in the next seat: Carry a sign that says, “I’m not being rude, I’m deaf.” Words to the wise.

If you have tendency to be gassy, don’t eat cabbage or drink weissen beer before flying:  You know who you are, and you can trust me on this!

Getting rid of hawkers and hustlers:  These people know how to sell you anything, in any language.  Just speak gibberish as a response.  Shrug your arms and say something like "pooka dwab jerka flig ." They will leave you alone quicker than if you say "go away!"

Sounds silly and it is hard to do, but stay straight if you hit a large could save your life  (Courtesy: Pixabay)

And finally, If you're going to hit a moose, don’t swerve: Silly as it may sound, folks in the wide open spaces out west will tell you that if a huge animal such as a moose, elk or even a buffalo crosses your path, just keep driving. If you swerve you will likely do more damage, and it's less dangerous to stay straight, even though your natural instinct is to get out of the way.

As with most opinions, travel tips are in abundance, but now and then some top notch suggestions arise. The less experienced you are at the art of travel, the more small bits of useful information you acquire can turn an everyday itinerary into the adventure of a lifetime.

Friday, May 10, 2019

A tale of two wars and two powerful memorials

Grave marker at the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy honoring Theodore Roosevelt, Jr who landed at Utah Beach on D-Day  (Photo: Taylor)

BELGIUM & FRANCE —.For travelers to the sites of the two World Wars, there are  countless memorials, cemeteries and museums which serve to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives to preserve our freedoms.

Two of the most powerful memorials, one from each of the World Wars, are solemn expressions that we should visit to remind us of the horrors and insanity of the conflicts of mankind.

The Brooding Soldier at St. Julien Memorial Park in Belgium where Germany used gas for the first time in war in 2015

The first is the St. Julien Memorial in the northeast sector of the Ypres Salient in Belgium. (A salient is a battlefield feature projecting into enemy territory that is surrounded on several sides by enemy forces.)

The memorial is a small park situated in the village of Saint-Julien, Langemark, Belgium. It commemorates the Canadian First Division's participation in the Second Battle of Ypres and is noteworthy because it marks the first time poison gas was used in wartime.

Plaque denoting use of gas
warfare in 1915
(Photo: Nancy W Beach --
Creative Commons Attribution
Share Alike
4.0 International license)
As with so many things that capture our imagination, the "Brooding Soldier" sculpture by Frederick Chapman Clemsha is sobering, haunting, powerful and, yet uplifting in its simplicity. The 36-foot monument was the result of a design competition by the Canadian Battlefield Monument Commission in 1920. Today, it serves as the focal point of the memorial park.

On April 22, 1915 the German army advanced with 168 tons of chlorine gas contained in nearly 6,000 cylinders buried in their trenches north of Ypres. Canadian troops who had been at the scene only a few days to protect the lines southwest of St. Julien became the victims of the first poison gas attack on the Western Front.

A north wind carried the initial gas attack to the north and west of Canadian lines and into the trenches of French colonial troops. After witnessing the early casualties, the French abandoned their trenches creating an 8,000 yard gap in the Allied line.

The Brooding Soldier is a powerful reminder of the horrors and destruction of war (Photo:  LB Marshall --  Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0 International license)

Fortunately, the drifting gas also affected German infantry positions. Without reinforcements, the Germans were unable to exploit the break, allowing Canadian and French forces to hastily regroup their defenses.

While holding the line for two days, 6,035 Canadian soldiers were casualties, representing one man in every three who went into battle. Approximately 2,000 of those 6,000 troops  perished in the fighting.

Poppies are the symbol of'
Flanders  (Photo: Taylor)
In tribute, the Canadian Memorial is an example of landscape architecture at its finest.

Visible for miles around, "The Brooding Soldier" column rises from a circular flagstone terrace. It is sculpted at the top to form the bowed head and shoulders of a Canadian soldier whose hands are resting on the butt of his down-turned rifle in the "arms reversed" position.

Entrance to Brooding Soldier
Memorial  (Photo: (Zeisterre --
Creative Commons Attribution
Share Alike 3 Unported license)
This traditional pose is used as gesture of mourning and respect for the fallen performed at funerals and services of remembrance in Canada.

 Surrounding the column and central terrace are gardens of tall cedars trimmed in the shape of artillery shells with low cut cedars representing shell explosions.

To the right of the memorial, other low cut foliage symbolizes the encroachment of the drifting gas.

The Brooding Canadian Memorial is both somber and poignant (Courtesy:
Some of the soil nourishing the gardens was brought from various locations across Canada to represent the spectrum of Canadian men who fought shoulder to shoulder on the battlefields of 1915.

The memorial at Saint Julien was unveiled on July 8, 1923.

Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves at the
Normandy American Cemetery  (Photo: Taylor)
Nearly three decades later, following the Second World War, Donald Harcourt De Lue was commissioned to create seven works for a memorial to the fallen soldiers of D-Day located on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.

The most famous work is the celebrated spiritual centerpiece sculpture of the Normandy American Cemetery, "The Spirit of American Youth Rising From the Waves."

View of Omaha Beach from
the overlook (Photo: Taylor)
Where the "Brooding Soldier" of Canada peers down in reflection, the 22-foot high nude bronze figure of an American youth is depicted with arms outstretched, looking to the sky. His legs and feet are curved back while his arched body appears to be rising from the waves below.

Cast in Milan by the Battaglia Foundry, the pedestal of the statue on the floor in bronze bears the inscription: 


 Omaha Beach is the beach for the seaside villages of Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer and Colleville-sur-Mer. Beautiful as they are, do not expect to see sunbathers or swimmers on the landing beaches of Normandy for they are hallowed ground for which the French have paid total respect for 75-years as thanks for their liberation from tyranny.

The markers face
in the direction of
the United States
(Photo: Taylor)
To the right of the 9,387 crosses, Stars of David and the statue is an overlook with a view down and across the bluffs to the massive expanse of beach terrain the troops had to negotiate on D-Day.

Standing at the promontory, it is nearly unfathomable to comprehend the bravery of the young men who fought and died there. It is unimaginable to ponder how they managed to succeed against such overwhelming odds.

This is the tribute that De Lue so masterfully captures in his bronze memorial at the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach.
Omaha Beach as it appeared on D-Day  (Photo: Public Domain) 

Travelers to Europe should experience many of these sites during their journeys in order to to appreciate the full measure and magnitude of the sacrifices made by so many; the Anne Frank House, Dachau and Auschwitz, the World War I trenches, Flanders Fields and the Normandy American Cemetery to mention a few.

And while you're at it, you will quickly discover it is impossible to view the "Brooding Soldier" and the "Spirit of American Youth" without shedding a tear and quietly saying "Thank you."

Friday, May 3, 2019

Traveling in the footsteps of St Paul

The Apostle Paul preached at Perge before traveling on to modern day Antalya (Photo: Saffron Blaze -- licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

ANTALYA, TURKEY — When you say "Riviera" most people immediately think of France or Italy. Stunningly beautiful and famous as they may be, the Turquoise Coast of Turkey may surpass them both, or, at the very least, be a definite rival.

There's a reason the 700 mile shoreline of Turkey along the Aegean and Mediterranean is known as the Turquoise Coast.

Turkey's Riviera is appropriately called the "Turquoise Coast"
(Photo: Pixabay)

 As if the Aegean and Mediterranean aren't big enough clues, add snow capped mountains and archaeological ruins dating as far back as 400 B.C. to the magnificent sun-drenched beaches and you have a recipe that is difficult to beat.

Alexander the Great fought battles there. St. Paul the Apostle and his companion St. Barnabas traveled this route on their first missionary journey to Antioch. It was there that John Mark left Paul to return to Jerusalem and, upon his return, Paul preached at Perge.

The region is filled with legends,
myths and history
 (Photo: Public Domain)
The region is known as the home of scholars, saints, warriors and kings and is even known as a site for many well-known myths.

One such legend is that Mark Antony is said to have chosen the region as the most beautiful wedding gift for Cleopatra.

Herodotus, often referred to as the "father of history," was born in Bodrum while St. Nicholas, who later became the basis of the Santa Claus legend, was born in Patara, a small town along the coast.

The Turkish Riviera is a treasure trove of modern day resorts and ancient antiquities. In fact, there are actually more Greek ruins in Turkey today than there are in Greece.

Among the archaeological points of interest are two wonders of the Ancient World: the ruins of the Mausoleum of Maussollos in Halicarnassus; and the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.

To fully appreciate the region, here is a sampling of some of the villages and towns along the coast and, given it's the Easter season we'll just call it "In the Footsteps of Paul."

Antalya's harbor is beguiling as a Turquoise Coast gateway
(Photo: Dat doris -- licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license)
ANTALYA: Located on Turkey's southwest coast bordered by the Taurus Mountains, Antalya is the capital of Antalya Province and the largest Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast.

The city that is now Antalya was settled about 200 B.C. and founded toughly 50 years later by King Attalus II of Pergamon from whom its name derives.

Today, Antalya is Turkey's biggest international sea resort on the Turkish Riviera.

Raphael -- "St Paul 
Preaching in Athens" (1515)  
(Photo: Public Domain)
As recorded in the book of "Acts of the Apostles, Paul of Tarsus and Barnabas visited Antalya during their early missionary travels: "Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, and from there they sailed to Antioch."

Hidirlik Tower  is among the picturesque charrns of Antalya (Photo: licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)
Thanks in large part to tourism, beginning in the 1970s, Antalya grew rapidly from its quaint pastoral "fishing village" image to one of Turkey's most important metropolitan areas.

In 2015, the city was host for the 2015 G-20 summit and the EXPO 2016, but for travelers, Antalya is a place where you can lay on the beach in the morning and snow ski in the afternoon as well as being the gateway to centuries of some of man's oldest historical landmarks.

Ruins in Side,Turkey -- there are are more Greek ruins in Turkey today than there are in Greece 
(Photo:  Pixabay)
SIDE: Moving about 60 miles down the southern Mediterranean coast is the modern resort town of Side (pronoumced SEE-day).

The ruins of the ancient city of Side are among the best-known classical sites in Turkey. Coins are of particular interest because they bore the image of Athena, the patroness of the city, from the 10th century B.C.

Of particular interest, Alexander the Great occupied Side without a struggle in 333 B.C. Leaving but a single garrison behind to occupy Side, the occupation resulted in the people of the city adopting the Hellenistic culture, which flourished from the 4th to the 1st century B.C.

During the 3rd century B.C., Side was at the height of its prosperity, establishing itself as a slave-trading center in the Mediterranean while also using its large commercial shipping fleet to engage in acts of piracy.

There many theaters in the
Side's ruins are among the most notable in Asia Minor covering a large promontory in which a wall and a moat separate it from the mainland. Among the ruins, its massive theater complex, the largest in Pamphylia, is built much like a Roman theater that relies on arches to support the sheer verticals.

Alexander the Great captured much of the region during his reign  
(Photo: Public Domain) 
ASPENDOS: Aspendos was an ancient city in Pamphylia, Asia Minor, located about 25 miles east of the modern day Antalya.

Aspendos was also a victim of Alexander the Great when he captured the city in 333 B.C.

The magnificent amphitheater in Aspendos  
(Photo: Pixabay)
Though Aspendos did not historically play a significant role as a political force, it is known for having the best-preserved theatre of antiquity. Built in 155 A.D. by the Greek architect Zenon, a native of the city, its 315 ft diameter provided seating for 12,000.

The rich legacy in the performing arts continues today with the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival, an annual season of theatrical productions in the spring and early summer.

Ancient ruins in Perge where Paul once preached 
(Photo: Pixabay)

PERGE: Slightly over 9 miles from east Antalya lies a vast site of ancient ruins including an acropolis dating back to the Bronze Age. Perge (pronounced PER-gay) is also an important ecclesiastical site because according to Acts 14:25 of the New Testament, the Apostle Paul preached there before traveling on to Attaleia (modern day Antalya).

Since 1946, Perge has been a major tourist attraction thanks to countless archaeological excavations and discoveries. Among the relics that have been uncovered are some of the best preserved Greek mosaics in the world.

Philosopher &
mathematician Apollonius
(Photo: George Groutas --
licensed under the Creative
Commons Attribution
Generic 2.0 license)
Historically, Perge's most celebrated ancient citizen, the mathematician Apollonius (c.262 BC – c.190 BC), wrote a series of books describing a family of curves known as conic sections, comprising the circle, ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola.

One final note for traveler's venturing along this magnificent route, you will likely encounter some roadside "flea markets" en route. Be sure to visit at least one for some incredible local arts and crafts that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

There are "rivieras" and there are "Rivieras." Be sure not to miss Turkey's Turquoise Coast. It's guaranteed you not to disappoint.