I too hope that the disruptive posts will be deleted and that others will make thoughtful contributions to the discussion. This is certainly a well-traveled and well-read group, so there should be a lot of interesting impressions out there. (-:
(Even if the reports I've heard of Topkapi and Hagia Sofia were mostly disappointed -- possibly colored by Turkish toilet facilities, or the lack thereof.)
I haven't actually been anywhere much for a year or more, so for other armchair travelers or economic staycationers, I'd like to recommend a good book:
Rick Steves, Travel As a Political Act
(Nation Books, 2009)
The author is a guy whom many US TV viewers will recognize as the mild-mannered host of a popular series on public television (PBS) about European travel. How to see the high points of Germany in one week out of a 19-inch suitcase. (Sprichwort: Romantische Straße. But he does also mention spas, without bathing suits, and for him that's an ethical/political angle. (-; )
Based solely on his European travel programs, I would never have dreamed that he had a social conscience. But his show on Iran was surprisingly insightful, and this book is also a really pleasant surprise. It includes not only useful information about less-popular travel destinations, but also ethical reflection, like a little mini-essay on liberalization of drug policy, and a good, solid introduction to liberation theology. (Here's a thought: Let's put that
in every hotel room instead of the Gideon Bible.)
Unfortunately, Mr. Steves's website doesn't seem particularly well organized (I didn't even find a link on the homepage to this book). But for anyone interested in learning more, some of these links should be useful.http://www.ricksteves.com/about/pressroom/tap...http://www.ricksteves.com/politicalact/http://www.travelasapoliticalact.com/http://www.ricksteves.com/about/pressroom/act...
One other thought: I hope the travel season isn't
actually ending for everyone. For those not constrained by school schedules, there are really a lot nicer months to travel than July and August.