Ten Things to Do in Bahrain – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 18th, 2018

Bahrain - Keep Calm and Wander

Riches are the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when most people think of the Arab world. However, I’d like to add here that besides all of its oil reserves, luxury hotels, glittering gold, and everything expensive, I found Bahrain rich in culture, too. Wandering through the following 8 locations like the intrepid tourist that I am, I could sense the wisps of Arabian culture and the evolution of Bahrain to be just as fresh as anyone would think.

Let’s get down to the list of my top 10 things to do in Bahrain, shall we?

1. Say hi to the history at the Bahrain National Museum

Hitting on its cultural fabric, I first managed to visit a museum. Not just any museum, but the most popular and diverse museum of all the museums in Bahrain. Its postmodern building had much in store for me and I was literally dazzled by the type of landscaping that’s been done here. My favorite sights from the museum are the archeological relics from Dilmun Civilization and the temporary exhibits on tales.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

A Day in Gay Geneva – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 13th, 2018

Gay Geneva - Keep Calm and Wander

Geneva is one of those cities that seldom agree to the norms of metropolises around the world. As they are always bustling with activities and have a chaotic lifestyle, Geneva, in contrast to them, is calm, collected, and professional. In the morning you’d see working men and women hurrying down the streets to get to their offices while in the evening you’d experience an unusual quite that transitions into the night.

This is what I experienced in a day in gay Geneva. Yes, a day! But the same day taught me that I was slightly wrong about the place. Beneath the skin of all that calmness, there lay a bustling cosmopolitan city with wild music, vintage exhibits, and captivating artisans. I was there during the weekend when they had a music festival! Lucky me!

Following are the places that led me to this discovery.

1. The Old Town

Probably what gave me an insight into the way Geneva has evolved was the Old Town lying peacefully on the hill near Cathedrale Saint-Pierre. As I treaded around the Place du Bourg de Four, I saw the architectural exuberance of the town with its indigenous boutiques like Septieme Etage, La Muse and Jill Wolf Jewels, its restaurants and cafes that give you a chance to watch people (I did that over my cup of coffee at La Clemence), and the ruins just around the corner of the cathedral.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Switzerland Gay Travel Resources

The Duomo in Milan – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 4th, 2018

The Duomo in Milan - Keep Calm and Wander

In Milan, all roads lead to the Duomo – a gigantic cathedral that is as old as the Roman empire itself. Any visitor who does not visit this place hasn’t been to Milan.

Why, oh why? …because I have seen this place and I must say that I was shaken to my core when I saw how delicate the finesse of architectural art is combined with the size of the building. It is, after all, the largest church in Italy and the third largest in the world, covering 109,641 sq. ft. area.

1. See all the 3,400 statues

Combining both the inner and the outer statues of the cathedral, they make up to 3,400 statues, 700 figures, and 135 gargoyles. All of these inclusions make the building the most decorated one on the planet!

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Milan’s Top Attractions – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 3rd, 2018

Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle - Milan - Keep Calm and Wander

Milan had been a cultural and political hub of the Roman Empire in the past. Today, it still holds immense importance in terms of attracting tourists from around the world to its bustling modern-day shopping malls, old gothic cathedrals, Byzantine mosaics, and historical citadels.

Milan was my last Italian city before taking off a train to Geneva, Switzerland. After reaching Milan and visiting these 7 distinct tourist attractions mentioned below, I was dazzled by the mix of Milanese or Roman culture – the architecture influenced by it, and the modern Italian vibes mingled and entwined in all of them.

1. Milan Duomo and the Piazza del Duomo

Standing in the main city square and looking at the gothic cathedral of Milan that took centuries to build was indeed enchanting in its own way. I was suddenly surrounded by two of the most revered attractions of Milan as I turned my head towards the left and saw the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Walking inside the Duomo was easy. And when I got in, my eyes stood wide at the spectacle ahead. I absorbed the art and the ambiance slowly and after being done with silently praising the inner workings of the intricacy of the place, I took an elevator to the top roof.

The spires looked gothic from the Piazza, but as I wandered right beside them, they revealed their true grandeur. I was honored by the presence of Madonnina sitting atop the highest spire and looking down at the moving human race below.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Mausoleo di Galla Placidia in Ravenna – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 30th, 2018

Mausoleo di Galla Placidia in Ravenna - Keep Calm and Wander

I am an admirer of ancient art. And when I glance back at the time I spent in Mausoleo di Galla Placidia or the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, I feel that my thirst for the arts, especially the mosaic art, had been partly quenched.

To describe this small mesmerizing place, I’d go with what UNESCO has said about it: “It is the earliest and best preserved of all mosaic monuments, and at the same time one of the most artistically perfect.”

1. It is still unknown what the building was built for

Surprisingly enough, by the looks of it, one would think that it is a chapel. The Byzantine mosaics dotted on the ceiling, the walls, and the floor say much about it pertaining to its role as a chapel. However, till date, no one quite knows what it was built for. I asked one of the men there about its story and he said that this building was built by Honorius’ sister Galla Placidia. Honorius was the Roman ruler at that time. Just like me, ahem, Galla Placidia also loved arts and crafts and, reportedly, she poured all of her love in creating the captivating mosaics lining the walls of this place. But more than her love for the arts, it seems that she built it as a mausoleum for her and her family.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Ravenna Gay Travel Resources

Inside Sforza Castle – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 27th, 2018

Sforza Castle Milan - Keep Calm and Wander

Any fortress or castle in the world carries a piece of history that has passed by and eroded, yet evolved its fabric culturally, architecturally, and religiously. The Sforza Castle in Milan, Italy is no different and this is what I found out after visiting it. Milan, generally, is a welcoming city with its Italian vibes. However, it is this castle that brings about its true nature both historic and present.

Before going on stating what you can do in the castle, let us take a dive in the pool of history. I know I hate it, too, but for the sake of understanding this place better, let’s spare some moments.

A Short History

Sforza Castle or Sforcesca castle has seen many eras of complex invasions, sieges, and renovations. Built in the 1450s by Francesco Sforza, it is one of the few remnants of the 14th-century citadels. However, before it was a castle or a residential quarter of the notable rulers, it had been a Visconti fortress with impeccable defense systems – walls and towers that are so high and mighty. It was on the ruins of this fortress that Sforza built the Sforza Castle.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Five Things to do in Tangier

Author: , April 23rd, 2018

Kasbah - Tangier - Keep Calm and Wander

One day in summer, my feet brought me to the streets of Tangier – the city which has influenced the people on their taste in arts, culture, and cuisine from around the world. Tangier is a mix of everything – partly because of the invasions of the Spanish, Muslims, Portuguese, and English.

A great many artists always look for inspiration for their work – and Tangier has served to be just that for many notable personalities, including Paul Bowles, Henri Matisse, William S. Burroughs, Paulo Coelho, Keith Richards, Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams, painter Eugene Delacroix, and many others.

By visiting the city in summer, I understood what brings all the literary and artistic juice of the world here and I’d like to quote it in the words of William S. Burroughs,

“Tangier is on one of the few places in the world where, so long as you don’t proceed to robbery, violence, or some form of crude, antisocial behavior, you can do exactly what you want.”

I literally did what I could. Of course, I cannot talk about the “other things”, ahem, but I can tell you my 5 most favorite experiences there.

1. The Kasbah

I have to say that I really did enjoy my time wandering here. Believe it or not, I spent close to 5 hours, one foot in front of the other. I stopped twice in some old cafes and ordered something strange. While passing through the gate of Kasbah and stepping into the large courtyard and then into the Dar el-Makhzen palace of the 17th century, I could notice how every atom of the place could speak volume of what they have been through. The intricacies of the Moroccan artwork pleased my eyes which changed into ecstasy as I stepped into the Café Detroit which has served to be the rallying point of most of the writers mentioned above.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

Inside Westminster Abbey – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 21st, 2018

Westminster Abbey - Keep Calm and Wander

Take a look inside Westminster Abbey – a royal coronation venue, a religious site and a cemetery. This is the most viral religious structure in United Kingdom. Royals were crowned, wed and buried here, including poets, scientists, and rulers The Westminster Abbey was initially titled “Collegiate Church of Saint Peter”.

Westminster Abbey was a founded by Saint Benedict of Nursia. But in 1539, it was dissolved. It was then given the symbol of a cathedral between 1540 and 1556. Later, in 1560, the structure has now changed from cathedral, rather it holds the symbol of a Church of England called royal peculiar. Which now became a church responsible to the sovereign in a direct form.

The Westminster Abbey hold a lot of important information that makes it a center of attraction for most people around the world.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

London Gay Travel Resources

The Five Villages of the Cinque Terre – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 19th, 2018

Cinque Terre - Vernazza

The five fishing villages of the Cinque Terre are the jewels of the crown of Italian Riviera. For any person who has a knack for hiking atop iconic locations that offer an amalgam of views, visiting these jewels is a must. They still exhibit their unique and isolated authenticity just the way they did decades ago when these villages sheltered the Italian peasants and the fishermen.

It is this uniqueness, the unimaginable beauty along with a preserved historic vibe that brought me to these villages. But more than anything the breathtaking coastal or mountain trails had been calling out my name from the very moment I saw their pictures.

By the looks of these villages, one might think that they are essentially identical. However, it is only when you visit them that you get to know that each village has its own charm that would sweep you off your feet.

Starting from the easternmost village and ending on the westernmost, let me share how I found the places and which one owned my heart completely.

1. Riomaggiore

This one is the largest and the most scenic of all the villages. Its scenery begins to dance in full grandeur when the sun starts saying good-bye. The buildings are peculiar, that’s what I liked, and they descend down to the harbor almost as if they’d dive right into the water one by one. While this really gave me a completely new experience, what refreshed my weary nerves were the botanical garden and the bird sanctuary located atop the hill.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Liguria Gay Travel Resources

Mesmerizing Meknes – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 16th, 2018

Meknes - Keep Calm and Wander

Meknes is an ancient place in Morocco that most tourists would pass by, in favour of the nearby Fez. Most tourists who go here are day trippers from Fez. They combine their day trip to Meknes with Moulay Idriss and Volubilis, an ancient Roman city. And that’s exactly what I did. I joined a 4-person tour organized by my hostel in Fez. Meknes was our last stop of the day – and we explored the city for 4 hours!

Why Meknes?

a. It is by far cheaper than the neighboring Fez

b. I loved the serenity and less-frenetic ambiance of the city

Related Post: The Roman Ruins of Volubilis

Related Post: Moulay Idriss is the Birthplace of Islam in Morocco

1. Bab al-Mansour

Bab in Arabic means “gate”. I must say, I hadn’t seen a gate so colossal and grand like this one. I have a feeling that it could be the largest gate in the whole of the continent. No, I’m not over-exaggerating, it is! In fact, experts deem this gate as one of the few gigantic structures that have survived in North Africa.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources