Hagia Sophia: History, Legacy, Controversy

As the old song says, Istanbul was Constantinople. (It was also Byzantium, but our story begins a couple centuries after this first - and less famous - name change.) Few remnants remain in Turkey's largest city from this earlier period. There are ancient cisterns that helped sustain the city through numerous sieges, and some wall…

A Day in Bethlehem

Editor's note: it is impossible to capture the magnitude of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a huge book, let alone in an article about visiting Bethlehem. Some aspects of the conflict are necessary to explain as they affect the day-to-day experiences a traveler, like our Sam Spector, would have. We at The Royal Tour recognize that…

America: A Travel Advisory

The United States is the only home I've ever known, outside of a few months here and there in other locations. I was born here, grew up here, largely live here still, and though I'm also a German citizen as of last December, I still identify almost solely as American. Nearly two years ago exactly,…