Program 368: London Update; Village Turkey; Cruising into St. Petersburg

Release Date: 06-21-2014

On Air Description

You might say the British know how to have fun with urban development.

On this week's Travel with Rick Steves, we'll hear what nicknames they're giving the latest skyscrapers that are popping up in London. We'll get tips for exploring the lesser-known parts of Turkey, where the main attraction just might be you. And we'll hear what options cruise ship passengers have for seeing the impressive sights of Saint Petersburg in Russia.

Find out what's new in London, and get ready to explore rural Turkey and the cultural capital of Russia, on this week's Travel with Rick Steves. 


  • Gillian Chadwick, tour guide based in London  
  • Tom Hooper, tour guide based in London  
  • Roy Nicholls, British tour guide based in Dorset
  • Lale Surmen Aran, Turkish tour guide and proprietor of SRM Travel in Istanbul
  • Etelka Parine Berecz, tour guide based in Hungary
  • Cameron Hewitt, lead editor at Rick Steves' Europe and co-author of multiple Rick Steves guidebooks to Eastern Europe

Related Links


  • Caller reports he enjoyed visiting Istanbul and is considering travel to eastern Turkey to explore family heritage.  "I am Armenian, and my grandparents lived in Istanbul, Ankara and villages in eastern Turkey.   I would like to travel to the eastern part of Turkey and visit some of the villages my father's family was from. Is there any issue about my background?"  (Mike in Ann Arbor, Michigan)
  • "I'd like info on a one-day cooking class in a Turkish village."    (e-mail from Gloria in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania)
  • Asks for advice on whether it's wise to travel as a single woman alone in the small villages east of Ankara.  "I have read some advice that western Turkey is preferable in terms of safety.  Also, I read some cautions on a government site and wonder about traveling in Turkey with the war in Syria and tensions in the Middle East."  (Sally in Lavelle, Pennsylvania)
  • Caller has two days scheduled for St. Petersburg as part of a Baltic cruise. "What are your recommendations for getting the most out of our time there? The ship will offer tours, but are there better options?"   (Tom in Seattle)
  • Caller splurged for a private guide a few years ago when her cruise ship docked in the port near St. Petersburg.  "Would love to return to St. Petersburg to see more of the Hermitage and other sites on our own.  How would you recommend do-it-yourselfers like us get from the port to town and around town on their own?"   (Sally in Nokomis, Florida)
  • "Spent a semester in St. Petersburg in 1993, when it was newly opening up to Westerners.  Awesome experiences and memories -- so many more things to see and do in and near the city than a two day cruise ship allows."   (Celeste in Princeton, Indiana)

Incidental Music

  • Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Erich Kunzel, cond., "'Procession of the Sardar' from 'Caucasian Sketches' (Ippolitov-Ivanov)," Russian Nights / Telarc
  • Paul Smith, "My Favorite Things," The Sound of Music / Verve
  • Jack Gibbons, "A Foggy Day in London Town,"  Gershwin:  The Authentic Gershwin Box Set / ASV
  • Space, "Mad Dogs and Englishmen," Twentieth-Century Blues:  The Songs of Noel Coward  (collection)  / Kala-Ichiban Records
  • Excerpt from "Feed the Birds," Mary Poppins (soundtrack) / Disney-Buena Vista
  • * Percy Faith and his Orchestra, "Theme from 'A Summer Place,'" Pop Music:  The Golden Era 1951-1976 (collection) / Sony
  • Nihat Dogu, "Kemençe Solo," Echoes of Anatolia (collection) / Music of the Earth (field recording by Keiji Azami)
  • Misirli Ibrahim Efendi, "Acemasiran Saz Semai," Darus-Sifa: The Ottoman Music / Kalan (Turkey)
  • Vadat Gencturk, "Oud Solo," Echoes of Anatolia (collection) / Music of the Earth (field recording by Keiji Azami)
  • Hasan Cihat Orter, "Flirting Shadows," Re-Formation / Sony Music (Turkey)
  • Kenan Dogulu, "Bir Yanek Ver," Pop Turkish (collection) / Atoll Music (France)
  • Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Erich Kunzel, cond., "The Enchanted Lake (Liadov)," Russian Nights / Telarc
  • Luke Daniels, "Patsy Denning Set," The Celtic Heartbeat Collection, vol. 2 / Celtic Heartbeat
  • * Fazil Say, "'Summertime' Variations," 1001 Nights in the Harem / Naïve
  • Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra, "Midnight in Moscow," Balalaika Favorites / Decca
  • Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Erich Kunzel, cond., "The Music Box (Liadov)," Russian Nights / Telarc
  • Andreas Scholl, "Passava amor su arco esarmado," A Classical Odyssey - NARM Classical Sampler 2001 (collection) / NARM
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra, cond. by Sir Georg Solti, "'The Shrovetide Fair' from 'Petrushka' (Stravinsky)," Stravinsky:  Petrushka & Jeu de Cartes / London Records
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra, cond. by Fritz Reiner, "'Ballet - Pas de Deux' from 'Nutcracker,'" Out Classics (collection) /  BMG
  • London Philharmonic Orchestra, Thomas R. Forrester, cond., "'Lake by Moonlight' from 'The Swan Lake, op. 20' (Tchaikovsky)," The Kiss:  Music for Love and Passion  (collection) / Intercord

Dated References

  • Nicknames for London's "latest skyscrapers" are given in the billboard and starting at 10:00 in segment A.  Gillian adds at 10:43 that the newest office buildings are called "The Cheese Grater" and "The Walkie-Talkie."
  • Early in segment A the discussion centers on activities for the neighborhood where the 2012 Summer Olympics were held and development plans for the neighborhood.  
  • Lale cautions caller Sally from Pennsylvania at 33:15 that areas of Turkey east of Cappadocia are not advisable for a solo western woman traveler at this time.  Rick adds advice to avoid traveling close to the border of countries with major conflicts, but advises the problems in Syria should not pose a problem for travelers within Turkey.
  • At 35:24, Lale suggests visiting villages during religious and national holidays, when there is a festive atmosphere.
  • Cameron explains, starting at 41:40, that Russia requires advance arrangements for a Visa for each person to enter the country, which costs around US$250.   He also advises against drinking the tap water. 

Haiku Awards

Saint Petersburg June
Endless daylight glistens off
Endless golden domes
— Tracy Lynn,  Charlottesville, Virginia


Neon Tokyo rain
Blurs footage of their blind date –
Wave / kiss, flirt / debate.
— Chantale Reve, Jersey City, New Jersey


Tufts of creamy wool
Caught on splintery fence rails
Far from Irish looms
— Patricia Cassel, Waikoloa, Hawaii

Program Extras

More with Etelka - Hungarian tour guide Etelka Parine-Barecz shares memories of studying in Leningrad in the 1970s. She and Cameron Hewitt offer advice for navigating the crowds at the Hermitage, safeguarding your belongings, and enjoying one of Russia's favorite "ethnic" cuisines from the republic of Georgia. (runs 5:38)