Bergen, Norway on the Cheap

Author: , August 27th, 2014

Bergen, Norway

Ever since Bergen was the inspiration for the kingdom of Arendelle in the hit Disney film Frozen, this Norwegian town has been getting a lot of attention from travelers. But the city is more than a fairytale setting — although the vibrant colors on the historic buildings in Bryggen wharf may seem straight out of a storybook. Teeming with culture, nature, and adventure alike, some of Bergen’s other proud badges include Norway’s second largest city, the Gateway to the Fjords, and a European City of Culture. Here are five ways to experience the best of all that on a budget:

1. Sample regional specialties.

Stroll through the stalls at the outdoor Torget Fish Market, located right on the wharf, and try some of local favorites like fish cakes, smoked whale meat, salmon caviar, and reindeer. Vendors also grill up seafood dishes at reasonable prices, so grab a plate of something fishy for lunch and take a seat at the picnic tables with views over the old Bryggen wharf. For an inexpensive sit-down meal, Pygmalion is a cozy spot with brick-covered walls and organic fare located near the fish market.

2. Buy the Bergen Card.

Not only does this pass give you free access to many of the museums and attractions in town — such as the Bergen Aquarium, the Leprosy Museum, and contemporary art center Bergen Kunsthall — it also works on the light rail and bus. Other perks include discounts on the sightseeing train tour and the funicular up to Mount Floyen (free October through April, half-off otherwise). The 24-hour pass is NOK 200 ($33) for adults and NOK 75 ($12) for children; the 48-hour pass is NOK 260 ($42) for adults and NOK 100 ($16) for children. Consider this: The entrance fee for the Bergen Aquarium is NOK 250 alone, so if you wanted to visit even one of these attractions, the pass would be worth it.

By Lane Nieset – Full Story at Shermans Travel | Norway Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Tour Operator: PrideOne Travel and Cruises, Kansas City, Missouri

Author: , August 27th, 2014

PrideOne Travel and Cruises - Kansas CityPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

PrideOne Travel and Cruises is a gay owned and operated full service travel agency. in Kansas City, Missouri – we are both gay owned and operated and have long term relationships with gay travel suppliers including Atlantis Events, Olivia, Out Adventures, and RSVP Vacation. We even offer our own small group gay cruises.

See the PrideOne Travel and Cruises Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Missouri

Totnes, Rural UK Town, to Get Rainbow Crossing

Author: , August 27th, 2014

Totnes Crosswalk FundraisingThe rural Devon town of Totnes is to get its very own rainbow crossing, to celebrate next month’s Pride festival. The special rainbow crossings have become a popular part of recent Pride celebrations, with crossings unveiled in both Brighton and London earlier this year.

However, the planned temporary liquid chalk crossing – which will be unveiled in Totnes next to the Church Square on September 1 – will be a first for a rural community.

Totnes Pride said: “We have been inspired to create our own rainbow crossing by cities like London and Brighton who have created their own temporary rainbow crossings during the week of their pride events. “It will be the first of its kind for a rural town.”

By Nick Duffy – Full Story at Pink News | Devonshire Gay Travel Resources | Other Gay Travel Events

Annual Lee’s Mill Steamboat Meet: Sep 5 – 14

Author: , August 26th, 2014

Each September the town of Moultonborough, New Hampshire sponsors the largest and longest meet in the world for steam Steamboat Meetlaunches – Annual Lee’s Mill Steamboat Meet http://glynnhouse.com/events. It lasts for about ten days. On the second Sunday of the meet, the parade goes into Green’s Basin. Usually the rally showcases 55 to 60 operating steamboats with several steam models on display. On the first Sunday of the rally, a steamboat parade goes out into Moultonborough Bay.

The romantic Glynn House Inn – situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s spectacular lakes and mountains – offers guests an exceptional experience. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal on holiday too and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Venture away from the Inn and antiquing, art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, ‘tax free’ shopping and scenic drives along tranquil country roads. Visit the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Canal Park Inn, New York City, New York

Author: , August 26th, 2014

Canal Park Inn - New York CityPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Recommended by the Times of London: Landmarked 1826 Canal House sits on the border between TriBeCa and Soho, ideally situated for experiencing the best downtown NYC has to offer. Breakfast included each morning of your stay, served in our downstairs cafe.

See the Canal Park Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in New York City

From Rome to the Ligurian Sea Coast

Author: , August 26th, 2014

Wow! Time flies when you are having fun! I realize it has been several days since I wrote a post for this blog. Sorry, as I do want you sharing these experiences with me. However, we had sporadic Internet access, and we were busy, visiting with our good friends, Massimo and Magda Carli, in Viareggio.

Susan and I spent our last day in Rome, walking and walking some more. We managed to visit a few more churches, but the weather was very humid, so we were exhausted by the time we got back to our apartment Wednesday night. Susan had looked up, on the Internet, how many churches there are in Rome. Within the city itself are over 900 churches! We decided we could never possibly see them all! We did find one, right near Piazza Venezia, that looked interesting, so we went in.

The church was huge! It is called Santi XII Apostoli, first dedicated to the apostles St. James and St. Philip, who are supposed to be buried there. Later, the church was dedicated to all twelve apostles. The amazing thing to me is that the church was built in the 6th Century A.D. Think about that! 1500 years ago…it is still difficult for me to imagine how many years it must have taken to build a church like that, with the tools and materials that were available at that time, but it is still standing, and in good condition.

On Thursday we left Rome, and traveled up the coast to Viareggio, where we stayed for 4 days with our friends. I will show you on our map how we are traveling:

Italy Map

The little green line at the left of the map, along the sea coast is our journey from Rome to Viareggio. The red line above that is our trip up to Monterosso, the northernmost village of the Cinque Terre, where we are now.

While in Viareggio, we attended the opera. We went out to Torre de Lago, Puccini’s country home near Viareggio, to the Puccini Festival. There is a beautiful outdoor theater there, where every summer several of Puccini’s operas are produced, with grand professional singers and orchestra.

On Friday, Susan and I took the bus out to the Festival, only about a 20 minute ride. We had already purchased tickets for 2 performances, and Friday night was “La Boheme”. It is a very tragic story, as so many operas are. All was going well until sometime during the second act, a few rain drops fell. The performance was halted for a few minutes, then continued without incident, until the final act. Mimi is on her deathbed, singing her final duet with Rudolfo, who is holding her in his arms, and both are singing their hearts out.

Then the rain started again, not heavy, just a few sprinkles, but the workers came running onto the stage with a large sheet of plastic to cover the deathbed. Mimi and Rudolfo jumped up and run off stage, the bed was covered with the plastic, the musicians in the orchestra all ran for cover.

The performance was halted for about 20 minutes, until there was no more rain. Then the orchestra came back, the scene was repeated and Mimi got to do her final death scene. Somehow, the drama of that scene had been lost. Interesting, though.

We had planned to go to the beach on Saturday, as we had the entire day free. But it rained, so that was out. Magda brought a little boy over to visit, who is name Adonay. He and his mother are from Ethiopia. His mother had been the caretaker for Massimo’s mother. Now the lady is looking for another position as a caretaker. She had returned to Ethiopia for a vacation, and brought her son back with her.

He is a darling boy, 10 years old. He, like Susan and I, is struggling to learn Italian. We each bought him a little kids’ book on grammar and parole, and Magda and I are helping him in this picture. I think I learned as much as he did. It was a fun experience, Adonay already speaks Amharic, the native language of Ethiopia, plus Arabic, and he told me he also speaks English and American. Hmm. Now he is trying to learn Italian. He has not been to school in Italy yet, as he just came to Italy a few weeks ago. We wish him well.

Sunday, Massimo took us on a drive up to the town of Massacciocolo (forgive my spelling, but it is the name of the lake that is by Puccini’s country home.). On the eastern side of the lake is a town of that same name. In 1930, ruins of a Roman villa, dated back to the first century A.D. were found, and that area is still being excavated. A small museum was erected, so we visited there and were able to see some of the ruins. Those Romans were everywhere!

Later, Massimo, Magda, Susan and I went to the Puccini Festival again, this time to see “Madama Butterfly”. Before the performance, we had a light dinner at the festival grounds.

Yesterday we came up to Monterosso, to spend a few days in the sun, near the beach, in a lovely hotel. However, today it is raining, therefore, lots of free time to catch up on blogging, banking, reading.

We don’t have any control over the weather. Maybe it will clear up soon. If not, I might have to write another blog post to show some of the pictures I haven’t been able to send yet.

Keep traveling with me.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Liguria Gay Travel Resources

Sea Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

Author: , August 26th, 2014

Adam Groffman Sea Kayaking in ThailandIf you had told me last year that Phuket was amazing, I might’ve laughed at you. I first visited Thailand’s largest island back in 2011 but after just four hours on the island, I looked for any way out. The hotels seemed too touristic, the beach lacked that crystal blue water and the prices were far from cheap. Fast forward to this summer when I visited during a two-week holiday to Thailand, and bam! Phuket was awesome.

I enjoyed my brief stay on Phuket island on this trip for a few reasons, but the definite highlight was the day trip to Phang Nga Bay with John Gray Sea Canoes. We were a group of gay guys on tour with OUT Adventures and were lucky enough to take the day trip with Mr John Gray himself.

If you’re ever so lucky, you’re in for a real treat. The tour, which included a massive Thai food feast and plenty of beautiful scenery, came with stories of Emmy awards and the craziness of expat life in Thailand. The sea-kayaking (we went to three different spots) also came packaged between more cultural activities.

Authored by Adam Groffman. See the Full Story at Travels of Adam here.

See Adam’s full blog here.

Click here for gay travel resources in Thailand.

Gay Travel Marketing Comes to China

Author: , August 26th, 2014

Chinese Gay Ad

A cheerful promotional cartoon from a major Chinese travel agency shows two women sharing one hotel bed and two men tucked into another. “Take your gay best friend to visit Hong Kong,” it proclaims, offering $80 off travel packages.

The promotion, showing this week on the Shanghai website of the travel agency Spring Tour, isn’t slick or high-profile. But it’s noteworthy because there are few portrayals of gays and lesbians in ads in China, though tolerance is increasing.

“There have been very few brands that have reached out in China, and the first that do are going to gain a lot of, not just kudos, but also loyalty from this community,” said Steven Paul Bielinski, who founded Shanghai LGBT Professionals to foster dialogue and cooperation with businesses on issues related to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. “And that’s going to translate to a lot of business for these brands.”

By Angela Doland – Full Story at Ad Age | China Gay Travel Resources

Provincetown vs. Ogunquit

Author: , August 25th, 2014

Provincetown and OgunquitThe difference between Provincetown and Ogunquit is best seen in the people who frequent the seaside towns. In Ogunquit, I encountered Barbara, a crusty 80-something broad (in the best sense of the word) who is a fixture at a bar called The Front Porch . Bon mots dropped from her acidic tongue between quick sips of her martini. It was love at first insult.

In Provincetown, I bonded with a klatch of winsome men from Toronto. One was the winner of a Canadian reality show where contestants competed to be the next Halloween superstar (you can’t make this stuff up), another worked on a talk show for the Canadian version of Oprah Winfrey (yes, that’s a real thing). I’m not sure about the third, but he was nice to look at and smiled a lot, so it was fine that he was around.

These people helped define the towns as I split a week between Provincetown and Ogunquit. My initial, misguided plan was to pit the two hamlets against each other in some kind of rainbow-colored blitzkrieg. Both places are known for their longstanding embrace of “eccentrics” — that’s the polite term my great-grandmother once used to describe gay men and lesbians — and pretty much anyone else who flits in for a visit.

By Christopher Muther – Full Story at the Boston Globe | Provincetown Gay Travel Resources | Ogunquit Gay Travel Resources

Living the Gay Fantasy at Burning Man

Author: , August 25th, 2014

Burning ManLabor Day fast approaches, which means only one thing in San Francisco (and an ever expanding radius): Burning Man is nigh. August 25th-September 1st to be exact.

The annual festival of freedom, expression, drugs and sunburns is like Mecca to those who regularly attend, and among the 60,000 odd revelers are (unsurprisingly) tons of gays. Here are five gay themed groups who’ll put the camp in camping on the playa this year and where to find them. Also noted are some queer events to look out for and when they’ll be happening. You can say you’ll keep to a schedule this year, but why bother lying to yourself?

Comfort and Joy @ 7:30 and Frankincense

Comfort and Joy is a queer community center for Black Rock City, hosting dozens of daily educational workshops, a variety of colorful performances, extensive blacklight kinetic art installations & several regional camps (from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland and San Francisco) as part of the Comfort & Joy village.
Events and workshops including yoga, makeup and painting workshops, live theater, spoken word events, cabaret performances, and annual themed parties like Honey Soundsystem’s Friday night Honey Dusted party.

Full Story at Queerty | Nevada Gay Travel Resources