Untourists of the Week: Rebecca and Eric Houghton

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Tell us a little bit about your most recent Untour.

We combined two fascinating destinations into a marvelous, once-in-a-life time adventure. We began with two weeks in the old-section of Istanbul (as the first-ever Istanbul UnTourists) and concluded with a week in a wonderful apartment in Venice.

What made you choose these particular destinations?
A dozen years ago, while on a cruise, we had briefly visited Istanbul. I was captivated by its exotic mix of Asian and European cultures, its millennium-old history, the beauty of its location on the Bosporus, and its fabulous architecture. Ever since, I had wanted to return and explore in depth. Likewise, we once visited Venice for 36 hours, and had always wanted to return and properly explore it.

What is your favorite Untours memory?

Eric: Crossing the beautiful Bosporus by ferry. On the European side were the hills of old Istanbul studded with gorgeous domes and minarets (such as Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Mosque of Süleyman the Magnificent) and on the Asian side Üsküdar with its classic Maiden Tower. Between the two, the blue waters of the Bosporus with many ships and boats.   
Rebecca: The spectacle of thousands of gorgeous tulips in full bloom.

How is taking an Untour different from other ways of traveling?

In Istanbul, we lived on a small (non-touristy) street and shopped with the locals. We had the freedom to explore what we were interested in, when we wanted. No tight schedules, no rushing from one hotel or bus to another. We were able to experience Istanbul at our pace and on our terms.

If you could describe an Untour in just 3 words, what would they be?

Freedom. Local. Satisfying.

The Untour apartments they chose

2013

Elena, in Venice

2013

Altin 13, in Istanbul


 
2009 Frans Hals in Holland

 

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