Rick Steves' Europe / Travel & Leisure

The many layers of Istanbul

I first visited Istanbul in the 1970s. For thousands of years, Istanbul has marked the point where East meets West -- a crossroads of civilizations. Traces of the Roman capital remain in Istanbul.

Going Dutch ... in Holland's polder country

Today my long-time Dutch friends, Hans and Marjet, are driving me to polder country -- the vast fields reclaimed from the sea where cows graze, tiny canals function as fences, and only church spires and windmills interrupt the horizon.

Highlands magic

Years ago, I met a dear man on a deserted roadside in the Scottish Highlands. The Scottish Highlands are filled with magic and mystery. The area north of Glasgow offers a fun and easy dip into the Highlands.