Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Cafe Paris – Calle España (Plaza, on corner); 011-591-4-450-3561; for coffee.
Residencial Familiar – 554 Sucre; 011-591-4-422-7988; hostal; in old colonial building with rooms placed around courtyard with fountain; $9 night, with private bathroom.
Cafe Paris – Calle España (Plaza, on corner); 011-591-4-450-3561.
Chicharronería Doña Amanda – (out near bus station); hole-in-wall, with dozens families gathered around tables under white tent, chomping on huge pork chunks cooked in pots over wood-burning stove; wash down with pitchers of either chicha (alcoholic) or mogonchinchi (nonalcoholic drink made from dehydrated peaches, clove and cinnamon).
Doña Pola – 275 Avenida America Norte (at Avenida Gualberto Villarroel); 011-591-4-428-1015; criollo.
Sights & Sites
Cathedral – Plaza 14th de Septiembre; 16th Century.
Mercado Cancha Calatayud – sprawls across wide area along Avenida Aroma and south toward former railway station.
Plaza – Plaza 14th de Septiembre; city center.

Hotel Santa Ana – 611 Avenida 25th de Mayo; 011-591-3-855-3900; comfortable and affordable; private bathrooms, hot water, and ceiling fans.
Los Cocos – Avenida Alto de la Alianza; huge bife de chorizo steak and bottle of Huari beer runs $8.50.

Sights & Sites
Salar De Uyuni (Salar de Tunupa) – Uyuni;; world’s largest salt flats; 50-70% world’s lithium reserves; major pink flamingo breeding ground; hotels in area constructed almost entirely (walls, roof & furniture) built with salt blocks; worth special trip.

Hostal República – 1455 Calle Comercio (at Bueno; 011-591-2-220-2742 or 011-591-2-220-3448;; private room with comfy bed in 1898 colonial mansion can be had for $15; though backpacker favorite, rooms easily comfortable enough for suitcase crowd; if you pay extra, can have private bathroom; courtyards that rooms face great place to warm up in daytime sun after chilly night.
Sights & Sites
Tiwanaku – on road to Desaguadero (about 2 hours west of La Paz); monumental remains of pre-Columbian civilization.

SUCRE (includes Yotala)
Sky Hacienda – Mosoj Llajta (Quebrada Cochis, Yotala); 011-591-4-643-0045;; luxury boutique hotel situated near Sucre in Bolivian Andes; friendly hosts, delicious food & unparalleled mountain views; only 2 sumptuous rooms.
Sights & Sites
Parque Cretácico (Cal Orcko) – ;; unclear why wall, called Cal Orcko, went undiscovered for so long; filled with more than 5K tracks made about 68M years ago (Cretaceous period’s 2nd half); so many tracks — placed in such strange patterns — that some scientists refer to area as ”dinosaur dance floor”; so far, 6 different types of dinosaur identified; 1 special track measures 347m is longest dinosaur trackway ever discovered & made by baby Tyrannosaurus rex nicknamed “Johnny Walker” by local researchers; 8 other limestone walls with dinosaurs tracks found in region.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


(does not include Istanbul or Turkish Riviera)

Academic Arrangements Abroad – 1040 Avenue of Americas (between 39th & 40th Streets); 212-302-3104;; discover coastal Turkey, narrated by academics.
Heritage Tours Private Travel – 121 West 27 Street, Suite 1201; 212-206-8400 or 800-378-4555;; operated by Joel Zack; can arrange tours throughout country; can focus on Jewish heritage.

Bars & Nightclubs
Kitchenette – 22 Filistin Sokak; 011-90-0312-447-6748;; garden and terrace have clubby, well-heeled feel; nice courtyard as well as upstairs lounge.

Sheraton Ankara – Noktali Sokak (Kavaklidere); 011-90-0312-457-6000;

Balikcikoy – 3 Kirlangic Sokak; 011-90-0312-4280-04748;; popular seafood restaurant; lovely terrace dining.
Rafine – 35 Iran Caddesi; 011-90-0312-465-0505;; older crowd; beautifully arranged flowers and gentle jazz soundtrack; salads and light dishes.
Trilye – Resit Galip Caddesi, 11 Hafta Sokak; 011-90-0312-447-1200;; Ankara institution; seafood specialities.

Bookish – 17 Filistin Sokak; 011-90-0312-447-4734;; English-language books and foreign language magazines.

(historical region in Central Anatolia,
largely in Nevşehir, Kayseri, Kırşehir, Aksaray & Niğde Provinces)
Tour Companies
Alan Turizm – Yunak Mahallesi 6 (Urgup, Nevsehir); 011-90-0384-341-4325;; minibus tours with hiking and walking; ask for Halil and/or Brigitte Elalan.
Argeus Tourism & Travel – Istiklal Caddesi 7 (Urgup, Nevsehir); 011-90-0384-341-4688;; offers full-day tours for 2 (and longer).

Chez Galip – Firin Sokak 24; 011-90-0384-511-4240;; tours.

Beikaya Potter Studio – Yukari Mahallesi; 011-90-0384-511-3464;; ceramics.
Chez Galip – Yeni Mahallesi Jan Zakari Caddesi; 011-90-0384-511-5758 or 011-90-384-511-4240;; ceramics.

Sights & Sites
Underground City – 10km south of Kaymaklı;; has large, cavernous rooms arrayed on seven levels. When you get all the way to the bottom, look up the ventilation shaft to see just how far down you are – claustrophobics, beware!.

Anatolian Houses Hotel – Gaferli Mahallesi; 011-90-0384-271-2463;; 19 suite complex above Goreme, featuring rooms, some built into “fairy chimneys,” with sunken tubs and Anatolian antiques.
Cappadocia Cave Suites – Gafferli Mahallesi Unlu Sokak 19; 011-90-0384-271-2800;; boutique-ish.

A’laturca Restaurant – Goreme center; 011-90-0384-271-2882;; classic Anatolian food in antique-decorated setting; setting better than food.

Gul Konaklari – Sumer Caddesi 1; 011-90-0384-353-5486;; boutique hotel in pair of restored, Greek mansions.

Gul Konaklari – Sumer Caddesi 1; 011-90-0384-353-5486;; outstanding traditional food in two dining rooms, Atina and Selanik.

Sights & Sites
Fairy Chimney Rocks – Uchisar-Ürgüp-Avanos triangle valleys (between Urgup & Sahinefendi, around Cat (Nevsehir), in Sogani valley (Kayseri) & Selime (Aksaray);; interesting rock formations formed as result of tufa layer erosion.

Hezen Cave Hotel – Esentepe Mahallesi Tahir Bey Sokak 87; 011-90-0384-343-3005;; modern boutique hotel in cave; beautiful and romantic.

Elai Restaurant – Eski Goreme Caddesi; 011-90-0384-219-3181; elairerestaurant; smart modern Ottoman and Turkish cuisine.

Esbelli Evi – Esbelli Sokak 8; 011-90-0384-341-3395;; stylish boutique with cave suites and terraces overlooking valleys; includes breakfast.
Sacred House – Karahandere Mahhallesi Barbaros Hayrettin Sokak 25; 011-90-0384-341-7102;; among most highly regarded accommodations.
Serinn House – Esbelli Sokak 36; 011-90-0384-341-6076;; 5-room boutique with cave and stone suites that offer wi-fi.

Somine Restaurant – Cumhuriyet Meydani 9; 011-90-0384-341-8442;; excellent flatbread pizzas (pide) and casseroles.

Galeri Yunak – Yunak Mahallesi; 011-90-0384-341-4325;; among region’s most respected weaving galleries.

Sights & Sites
Hierapolis-Pamukkale – Pamukkale (3 trains run each day from Izmir to Denizli & overnight train leaves daily from Istanbul (Hydaerpasa Station) at 5:35pm, arriving in Denizli about 9-10am next morning); 011-90-0258-272-2077;; naturally terraced thermal springs dating as far back as 2nd Century BCE; formed by calcite in water, hot springs look like stunning white clouds; ruins impressive, too.

Renaissance Polat Erzurum Hotel – Palandoken (Kayak Yolu Uzeri); 011-90-0442-232-0010;

Rustempasa Kervansaray Hotel – 57 Iki Kapili Han Caddesi; 011-90-0284-212-6191;;; historic building (Rustem Pasha Caravansery) designed by 16th Century architect and engineer Sinan.

Sights & Sites
Selimiye Camii Kulliye – Babademirtas (Mimar Sinan) Street; 011-90-0284-225-1120;; UNESCO World Heritage Site; designed by Sinan.

Dedeman Konya Hotel – Isparta Beysehir Yolu (Selcuklu); 011-90-0332-221-6600;; luxury, 18 floor hotel with fitness center.
Hotel Rumi – 5 Aziziye Mh. Durakfakih Sokak; 011-90-0332-353-1121;; midnight blue walls surround central tower.

Kosk Konya Mutfagi – 66 Menguc Caddesi; 011-90-0332-352-8547;; outdoor seating in trellised rose garden; known for baby okra soup.
Sifa Lokantasi – 29 Mevlana Caddesi (main boulevard); 011-90-0332-352-0519; town’s most popular lunch spot.

Tarihi Mahkeme Hamami – Mevlana Caddesi; 011-90-0332-353-0093; fully operating bath since 15th Century.

Surum – 2 Yeni Sille Caddesi (Selçuklu); 011-90-0332-257-0700;; exquisite 1926 chocolate shop.

Sights & Sites
Mevlana Museum – Karatay, Selimiye Camii Park (Mevlana Alani); 011-90-0332-351-1215; Rumi Shrine; turquoise-tiled, cylindrical tower.
Shams ud-Din Shrine – off Hukumet Meydani Square; in lovely, unmarked mosque.
Tile Museum – Alaeddin Meydani; 011-90-0332-351-1914; in 11th Century structure.

Akadlar Café Aile – Teker Mahallesi, 51 Sokak 5; 011-90-0482-213-4741; atmospheric, friendly spot on lower level of beautifully restored house.
Zinciriye Otel – Medrese Mahallesi 243, Sokak 13; 011-90-0482-212-4866;; elegant rooms in restored mansion.

Sights & Sites
Mardin Muzesi – Cumhuriyet Cadde; small but well-curated collection (archaeology and ethnology), along with contemporary artworks.
Sakip Sabanci Mardin Kent Muzesi Dilet Sabanci Sanat Galeresi – 1 Cadde Cumhuriyet Alani Merkez; 011-90-0482-212-9396; city history and culture display; gallery downstairs displays contemporary art.

Sehrazade – 397a Hukumet Caddesi; for grilled hamsi (sardines).

Sights & Sites
Zeugma Mosaic Museum – Istasyon Caddesi; 011-90-0342-324-8809;; tremendous collection of Roman mosaics.

Sights & Sites
Antakya Archaeological Museum – Cumhuriyet Meydani, Gunduz Caddesi 1; 011-90-0326-214-6167;; collections spread through 7 rooms and 2 halls, arranged according to where artifacts found; among most famous mosaics is “Megalopsychia Hunt Mosaic,” large mosaic pavement dating from 450-75 CE, discovered in Yakto village near Daphne, especially celebrated for its border, which depicts major landmarks and daily activities in ancient Antioch and Daphne; lovely garden with Roman period sarcophagi, building stones, water jars, and other objects, as well as mosaic from Church of Seleucia Pieria.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Gainesville (includes Micanopy)
Sights & Sites
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens – 4700 SW 58th Drive (entrance on SW Archer Road (State Road 24), 1 mile west of I-75 (exit #384)); 352-372-4981;; 62 acre botanical garden operated by North Florida Botanical Society since 1978; contain Florida’s largest public bamboo gardens and Southeast’s largest herb garden; includes following major collections: arboretum; azalea/camellias; bamboo; butterfly garden; crinum, cycads, and ferns; hummingbird garden; palm hammock; rock and rose garden.
Morningside Nature Center – 3540 East University Avenue; 352-334-2170;; 278-acre nature center; 7 natural communities, including hydric flatwoods, depression marshes, and longleaf pine savannahs; 7 miles hiking trails.
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park – 100 Savannah Boulevard (Micanopy); 352-466-3397;; 21K acre savannah; prairie became Seminole tribe (Alachua band) stronghold under Chief Ahaya (“Cowkeeper”) in 18th Century; named for Cowkeeper’s eldest surviving son, Payne; over 270 bird species, as well as American Alligators and small herds Florida Cracker horses and Florida Cracker cattle, 1st herded by Seminole; Plains Bison reintroduced to park from Oklahoma in mid-1970s as part of park service goal of restoring Florida’s natural resources to pre-European settler conditions (they roamed this area until early 19th Century); now, when bison sightings occur, usually along Cone’s Dike trail; 50' observation tower near visitor center provides panoramic view; 8 different trails; Great Florida Birding Trail gateway; Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail runs through Paynes Prairie.
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art – SW 34th Street (at Hull Road, at University of Florida, southwest campus); 352-392-9826;; among largest university art museums in American southeast; more than 6.2K works in permanent collection; make sure to visit David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing.

Alligator Alley
Sights & Sites
Everglades Wildlife Management Area – I-75 (Mile Marker 36); 954-746-1789;; observation platform and wildlife exhibits.

Sights & Sites
Big Cypress National Preserve – 33100 Tamiami Trail East; 230-695-1201;; birdwatching and swamp-walk; visitor center.

Sights & Sites
Big Cypress Indian Reservation – 1 West Boundary Road; 863-983-0054 or 800-949-6101;
Clewiston Museum – 109 Central Avenue; 863-983-2870;; highlights local area, including cattle industry, fishing, fossils, hurricanes, industry, native Americans, and sugar.
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum – 34725 West Boundary Road (Big Cypress Seminole Reservation); 863-902-1113;; Seminole tribal artifacts and history.

Sights & Sites
Withlacoochee State Forest – 15003 Broad Street; 352-754-6896;; World Wildlife Fund declares as among “10 Coolest Places in North America“; numerous outdoor recreational opportunities; hiking trails in Croom Tract; all weather trails wind through central Florida’s longleaf pine and scrub oak hills, live oak thickets and hardwood hammocks, past creek bottoms and cypress ponds.

HIGHLANDS COUNTY (includes Fort Basinger & Lorida)
Sights & Sites
Hickory Hammock Management Area – US Highway 98 (between Fort Basinger & Lorida); 863-648-3200 or 800-250-4200;; hiking; bear, caracara, and feral hog.

Sights & Sites
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park – 33104 Northwest 192nd Avenue; 863-462-5360;; biking and hiking.
Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail – SR 78 (3 miles southwest US Highway 441); 305-451-3005;; birdwatching; hiking.

Sights & Sites
Florida Southern College (Frank Lloyd Wright — Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center) – 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive; 863-680-4111; and/or; in 1938, FSC President, Dr. Ludd M. Spivey, approached FLW re transforming 100-acre, lakeside orange grove into modern campus; resulting FLW architecture collection at FSC is called “Child of Sun”; name came from Wright’s idea of removing pre-existing “uninspired” buildings & replacing them with campus that would, according to Wright, “grow out of ground & into light, child of sun”; FLW works include: (1) Annie Pfeiffer Chapel (1st completed FLW building, begun 1938, dedicated 1941, French-door balconies restored in 2007); (2) Buckner Building [originally E.T. Roux Library], begun 1942, completed 1946; (3) Ordway Building [originally Industrial Arts Building], begun 1950, completed 1952; (4) Danforth Chapel (begun 1954, completed 1955); (5) Polk County Science Building [commonly known as Polk Science], begun 1952, completed 1958); (6) Watson Fine Building (administration building, begun 1946, completed 1949); (7) Water Dome (partially completed 1949, fully completed & restored in 2007 to Wright’s original plans); (8) 3 Seminars or L. A. Raulerson Building (currently Business Office, begun 1940, completed 1942 & renovated into 1 office building in 1958); (9) Esplanades (various completion times, currently undergoing restoration around campus); & (10) Sharp Family Tourism & Education Center (also known as Usonian House, visitor center & exhibition space constructed according to Wright’s 1939 designs for faculty housing).