Reconciling Texas

“Why are you going to Texas?” The question came at me from nearly every quarter when I announced my intention to spend a few days visiting the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Austin perhaps would be understandable. After all, Austin seems to be populated largely by liberal west coast expats. But Dallas? Dallas is “real” Texas. To…

Curacao and the Dutch Slave Trade

Let not woes of old enslave you anew.Nydia Ecury, Aruban-Dutch writer The quotation stands in stark contrast to its surroundings, inscribed on a wall in front of what was once a post meant to chain slaves for public whipping. Smiling docents are likewise a contradiction, escorting tourists through Willemstad’s Kura Hulanda Museum, a series of…

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…