The Terezin Concentration Camp

Editor’s note: another soul searching piece for me from Sam, our traveling rabbi. Powerful, emotional, Sam captures the essence of a place I haven’t had the guts to visit. For more of his work here at The Royal Tour, click here to visit his index. On January 27, I wrote an article on visiting Auschwitz…

Experiencing Sinai

Editor's note: what a cool excursion Sam got to take from Israel. Along with visiting Petra in Jordan, I will add Sinai to my list of side-trips next time I'm in Israel - which will hopefully be soon. To read more of Sam's adventures, click here to visit his index. To say the least, I…

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…

The Temples of Siem Reap

In the year 802 CE, Khmer ruler Jayavarman II moved his Capitol and court to the new city of Angkor and declared himself to be a god-king. A few decades later, in 889, Yasovarman I ascended to the throne and undertook one of the most massive building projects of the pre-industrial world. Over the next…

Spectacular Serbia

Editor's note: getting off the beaten path can lead to some amazing experiences, like this trip to Serbia by writer Sam Spector. When I was in Belgrade ten years ago, I remember thinking that it was going to be a hot destination, but wasn't quite there yet. I'm glad to see it made it! For…

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…

Armenian Culture in Glendale, CA

The line at Zankou Chicken in Glendale, California, a northern suburb of Los Angeles, is out the door, even during Covid and social distancing. Taped Xs on the ground indicate where we should stand to keep away from other customers, especially important since we are all salivating. Zankou is known for their rotisserie chicken, served…