Ten Years After

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Indy Lifestyle Online
A DECADE ago this weekend, a new strand slipped quietly into the travel section of The Independent (which, at the time, comprised just a couple of pages). It was unapologetically opinionated, prescribing a plan for getting the most out of two days in a city, and was given the title: "48 hours in...".

The first target was Istanbul (right), which in 1989 you could reach for an impressive pounds 109 return - including accommodation. The pound bought just 5,000 Turkish lire, compared with two-thirds of a million now. But the city was much the same as it is now: a glorious confusion of antiquity, humanity and vitality, where East meets West and goes out for a long, animated meal.

The "48 hours in ..." series has gradually become a mainstay of The Independent's travel section, expanding to cover nearly a full page and include a detailed map. It has also spawned all manner of imitators, starting with a Spanish travel magazine ("48 horas en...").

In this country, another national newspaper decided that it could not improve upon the format, nor the title; and, last month, some more sincere flattery came along: guess what a new magazine called Escape Routes has decided to christen its city break series. Yes, that's right - they went for "48 hours in ...".