Program 317: The Inca Trail; Ottoman Turkey; Medieval Castles in Wales

Release Date: 03-02-2013

On Air Description

Stones really can talk.  On the next Travel with Rick Steves, we'll hear how you can get close to the ancients along the Inca Trail in Peru, with tips for enjoying Cuzco and Machu Picchu.  We'll also look at the monuments and legacy of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey, and we'll see what medieval castles in Wales can still tell us about the past. 

Hear what the echoes of long-gone societies still have to say, on this week's Travel with Rick Steves.


  • Carolina Miranda, lead author of the Lonely Planet Peru guidebook
  • Lale Surmen Aran, proprietor of SRM Travel in Istanbul, and co-author of the Rick Steves Istanbul guidebook
  • Martin deLewandowicz, tour guide and medieval castle expert from Wales

Related Links


  • "I have visited Turkey previously but will be returning to Istanbul in a few weeks with my wife and ten-year-old daughter. Beyond the major museums and palaces, what do you suggest we see that will make the Ottoman experience come alive for a child?" (Eric in Algonquin, Illinois)
  • Visited Turkey with an interest in Iznik ceramic tiles. "Used in Mosques and palaces, it is a marvelous link to the Ottoman Empire. I'm a tile artist and during a visit to a Turkish friend in Istanbul my wife and I saw many beautiful tile installations." (George in Shaker Heights, Ohio)
  • Asks how Welsh castles were constructed. "Where did the raw building materials come from, and who were the architects?" (Jeff in Brunswick, Georgia)
  • "I have been to Harlech Castle three times (1967, 1995, 1998). Can you tell us some of the history around this castle? It interests me that the sea used to lap at the foot of the hill, and now appears to be half a mile away, across some fields. The build-up of sediment must have been enormous." (Thelma in Surrey, British Columbia)
  • Visited Conwy castle and the castle in Cardiff. "We really enjoyed Conwy. It was very unique and authentic. Great views of the bay and the city." (Jay in Yakima, Washington) 

Incidental Music

  • Otavalo Manta, "Otavalo Manta," Lo Mejor de la Music Folklorica / (import from Colombia)
  • Peru Negro, "Ruperta," Off the Beaten Track (collection) / Music Rough Guides
  • Lucila Campos, "Toro Mata," Afro-Peruvian Classics: The Soul of Black Peru (collection) / Luaka Bop
  • Los Incas, "Tema de Maimara," Native American Odyssey (collection) / Putumayo
  • Turk Muzigi Saz Eserleri, "Sultan - 1 Yegah," Darus-Sifa: The Ottoman Music / Kalan Muzik (Turkey)
  • * Fazil Say, " 'Allegro' from violin concerto '1001 Nights in the Harem,'" 1001 Nights in the Harem / Naïve
  • Turk Muzigi Saz Eserleri, "Mahur Saz Semai," Darus-Sifa: The Ottoman Music / Kalan Muzik (Turkey)
  • The Istanbul Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Timur Selçuk, "Nikriz Saz Semaisi," Istanbul Oda Orkestrasi / Imaj Muzik (Turkey)
  • Prague Symphony Orchestra, Emre Araci, cond., "'Münire Sultan' from 'Aria Nazionalli e Canto Populari Orientali' (C. G. Pasha)," Euro-Ottomania: 19th century European and Ottoman Orchestral Music / Brilliant Classics
  • Fahrettin Chimenli, "Yayla Tanbur Solo," Echoes of Anatolia: Music from Istanbul (collection) / Music of the Earth (field recording by Keiji Azami)
  • Brooklyn Funk Essentials, "Zuma Preserve," In the Buzz Bag / DoubleMoon (Turkey)
  • David Russell, "The Bucks of Oranmore," The Emerald Isles (collection) / Telarc
  • Astrud Gilberto, "Here's That Rainy Day (Koop Remix)," Verve Remixed, vol. 2 (collection) / Verve
  • * instrumental intro to The Temptations, "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," The Best of the Temptations, vol. 2: the 70s / Motown
  • Gwenno, "Tryweryn," Celtic Crossroads (collection) / Putumayo
  • Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Gavin Sutherland, conductor, "Suite navarraise III: Le vert gallant (Paul Lewis)," English String Miniatures, vol. 5 / Naxos
  • Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Gavin Sutherland, conductor, "Suite for Timothy: V-Allegro vivace (Pamela Harrison)," English String Miniatures, vol. 5 / Naxos
  • (Thomas L Thomas), Enid Simon, harp "Llwyn Onn (the Ask Grove)," The World of Wales in Song (collection) / Decca
  • Monty Python, "The Castle Argh," The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail / Arista
  • Edward Flower and Joel Brown, "The Death of Queen Jane," CBC Stereo Morning Sampler (collection) / Dorian
  • Tony ac Aloma, "Yr Hen Ysgol Yn Y Wlad," Goreuon Tony ac Aloma (Best of Tony and Aloma) / Sain (Wales)
  • Martha Clancy, "The Ash Grove," A Hundred Thousand Welcomes / Darach Records

Dated References

  • Starting at 13:37, Carolina says that Peru's 2-million-plus annual visitors all go to Machu Picchu, and that the government closes the trail in February each year to allow vegetation to re-establish itself during the rainy season. At 14:49, she recommends avoiding the trail in July or August, when it's the most crowded. She suggests visiting in September-October, or April, when the trail is less crowded and a more pleasant experience.
  • At 17:57, Rick asks about "new restrictions" for getting tickets to visit Machu Picchu. Carolina replies that since the site was added to the "Most Endangered List" of the World Monuments Fund, only 2500 people a day are allowed at the ruined site, and advance purchase tickets are required (from a travel agent or in Cuzco, for example).
  • In the close to segment A, at 18:43, Rick notes that the Ottoman Empire fell "just over 90 years ago."
  • At 26:50, Lale suggests seeing a performance of the Military Army Band in Istanbul's Military Museum, daily around 3pm. It requires a ticket to attend to performance, which can be included with museum admission.
  • Caller Jay says he and his wife visited castles in Wales "this summer" at 52:46.

Haiku Awards

Pgm 317 Haiku


Streets of Derry, stones

remember ancient dreams

and recent Troubles

— Kerry Dexter, Tallahassee, Florida


All around the world

Little children are the same:

Boys tease. Girls giggle.

— J. Bruce Payette, Islamorada, Florida


Edmonds Resident.

Brand new, but feel I'm at home.

I saw Rick today.

— Erin Sutter, Edmonds, Washington

Program Extras

Pgm 317 extra - Rick and Carolina Miranda discuss more details about hiking the 26-mile mountainous Inca Trail, to absorb more about the Inca Empire, and the need to acclimate to the 14,000 foot altitude when you first arrive in Cuzco. (runs 2:23)