West Iceland tends to a be a bit overlooked by those visiting Iceland. This means that when you ‘go west’ you often feel like you have vast swathes of it to yourself. West Iceland is home to incredible nature, including two amazing waterfalls called Barnahoss and Hraunfossar, Langjökull Glacier, from where you can go snowmobiling, glacier walking or visit the Ice Cave and finally, Deildartunguhver hotspring, the highest flow hotspring in Europe. If that wasn’t enough, West Iceland is also home to a small farm dedicated to keeping the Icelandic Goat species alive through the efforts of one very strong woman. There are less than 820 Icelandic goats in existence but the numbers are growing, thanks to Jóhanna Bergmann of Háafell Goat Farm, the cast and crew of Game of Thrones who initiated a crowdfunding campaign, and the thousands who donated! Make sure you visit and say hello to Jóhanna and her goats, they’re all very friendly.
, November 18th, 2014
By Robert Saldarini for Diversity Rules Magazine
As it appears in the November Issue
Okay, yes, we are all tired of the media hyping Ebola. Networks haven’t had such a field day since bedbugs. Yet, let’s talk about traveling health-safe during the holiday season; especially, since there are many immediate illness threats that can easily be avoided. Today, seasonal travel is much more than going ‘over the river and through the woods.’ AAA predicts that about 20 million people travel during the year-end holidays. So with all the time, money and resources spent, let’s enjoy our friends, events and family without needing to lie down after arrival.
Planes, trains, subways and buses as well as their respective airports, stations, and terminals are breeding grounds for germ and virus transmission. The media focuses on air travel because of recycled air and that you can’t easily move about or get off the jet. However, stuck on a NYC subway train hanging on the strap keeps you pretty boxed-in and transmission can occur quickly. So as an athlete puts on his or her gear to protect against the opposition, ready yourself to guard your health.
Suit-up with your under-armor. Do not fall for marketing hype. Your $6 is better donated to the HRC then spending it on products like Airborne. Stay close to the facts, e.g., Vitamin C helps increase your immune system and most nutritionists recommend taking a continuous supplement when a person does not eat vitamin C rich foods. The result you can expect is a faster and less symptomatic cold because C does not prevent colds. Zinc-based remedies such as Cold-eeze have the medical jury still sequestered pending a verdict. Yet, like vitamin C, a five-month zinc supplement may help reduce symptoms by boosting your immune system. Beware of herbs such as Echinacea because there is no oversight by the FDA. WebMD warns that some products have been found to contain lead and even arsenic. Regarding sanitary manufacturing, check to make sure any product you are considering is made in the USA. Importantly, speak with a trained nutritionist or your doctor before taking any supplement.
Get a flu shot. Many municipalities give flu shots to their residents cost-free. And remember, the shot itself releases only dead virus and your body needs about five or six weeks to be at a level to fight off live contamination. So, put the flu-shot on your to-do list as soon as possible. Nevertheless, the best defense is a healthy immune system, one that is gained by proper sleep and eating well.
In the cold weather, change the practice of taking off your gloves when you walk into a facility to removing them when you settle into your seat. Although, not impermeable, light-weight gloves, such as leather driving gloves, provide a second skin. Speaking of skin, the CDC equates washing your hands to the ‘do it yourself vaccine.’ Appallingly, research studies show nearly 50% of people in urban areas do not wash their hands after using a restroom. Nonetheless, throughout travel, washing your hands is easier said than done. While traveling, using an antibacterial wipe to clean you and surrounding touch-points (you don’t know if someone changed a baby on that tray-table) is a good defense. Select the best product not the cheapest. Some wipes use bleach or alcohol that strips natural oils from your skin where overuse overtime can make your hands look old. Also, inexpensive wipes may contain triclosan; which, according to the Mayo Clinic, can have serious side-effects.
During the holidays, people push themselves to events even when they are not feeling well; therefore, wash off the handshakes by excusing yourself after greetings and before meals. Your waistline will thank you for not adding calories from shared appetizers such as nachos and potato-chips and dip; especially, rumor has it that Uncle Albert is a double-dipper. And only let your significant other taste things from your personal plate.
Late November is the signature of autumn’s goodbye. Enjoy your time with special people without issues or tissues! Have a great thanksgiving holiday wherever your travel and purpose take you.
, November 17th, 2014
Los Angeles may be known for its car-driven culture, but for a more memorable vacation, we suggest ditching your wheels and exploring the city on foot. These diverse walking tours cover history, nature, food, and a few dearly departed celebrities.
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery was in disrepair for years, but now it’s a place for concerts, movies, and a tour of its famous and infamous denizens. The Cemetery of the Stars tour is a two-hour walk ($15) that’s more of a wonderful homage to film history than an obsession with the macabre. Guide Karie Bible’s enthusiasm is infectious, pointing out lipstick kisses on Rudolph Valentino’s crypt, the cenotaph of Toto (who is actually buried under the 101 freeway), and the rock and roll memorial statue for the late Johnny Ramone.
The Los Angeles Conservancy offers a variety of walking tours by highly-informed docents addressing the history and architecture of downtown LA. The two-and-a-half hour Art Deco tour is a must as LA sports some of the best examples of the style. No reservations are required, and the tour is offered every Saturday ($10 adults, $5 kids).
By Nicole Serratore – Full Story at Sherman’s Travel | Greater Los Angeles Gay Travel Resources
Image via Melting Pot Tours
, October 31st, 2014
The only bar dedicated to serving lesbians in San Francisco, the Lexington Club, announced that it is closing after 18 years. You may be shocked that the bar is closing and/or that there is only one lesbian bar in that gay metropolis. As a researcher of lesbian-queer spaces and economies, I am not surprised at all.
The bar’s sole, long-time owner, Lila Thirkield, shared the news on Facebook and cited the Mission District’s changing neighborhood demographics, increased rents, and the bar’s decline in sales as reasons for its demise. Women from around the world who’d visited the Lex noted their shock, outrage, and sadness at the event in blog posts and on all types of social media.
But how can anyone really be surprised? Sisters Restaurant & Nightclub in Philadelphia, T’s Bar & Restaurant in what was once the “Girl’s Town” area of Chicago, and the Egyptian Club in Portland, Oregon, all closed for similar reasons between 2010 and 2013. Rather than succumb to shock or a narrative that this is merely gentrification at work, it is time to recognize the difference that gender plays in the supposedly universal experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) spaces, and how gender shapes cities more broadly.
By Jen Jack Gieseking – Full Story at the Huffington Post | San Francisco Gay Travel Resources
, October 15th, 2014
I’ve been struggling to write this post for too long. But today, while sitting on a park bench in Cesenatico, Italy, the words finally came. You see, I’ve had a surprisingly momentous week. I don’t always talk about the personal things going on in my life here on the blog, though sometimes you’ll get glimpses on my public Facebook. I try to share when I can, but with so much of my life public, it’s also nice to have a bit of privacy. I love blogging and if you haven’t noticed by now, I usually don’t shy away from injecting my personality into my travel stories. This blog aims to be not just another useful travel resource, but also (hopefully) fun, interesting and unique.
Regardless, I don’t always put my emotions onto paper (or the keyboard, in this case). I think I’m usually quite a private person–perhaps surprising considering the public nature of this blog. But I’ve always struggled with sharing emotions. Not really out of a fear, but more likely this crazy idea I have that I’m sometimes a burden. In most instances, I can talk lots about myself. But at the same time, I’m definitely aware of what I’m doing. I love attention, yes, (I’m a blogger, after all), but I’m also quite capable of turning it off and just being.
This article was written by Adam Groffman, author of the internationally popular travel blog, Travels of Adam. Read more here: At the Seaside….
Emilia Romagna Gay Travel Resources
, October 12th, 2014
The mention of Bologna and food typically conjures images of spaghetti – Spaghetti Bolognese to be precise. A family favorite since the 1970s, and a staple of today’s student diet, it’s an adopted favorite of us Brits. But what about Spaghetti Bolognese in Bologna itself?
That’s something different.
There is no shortage of tratorrias serving up all manner of pasta treats in the city. Dishing up some of the best food from the region, it’s difficult to go wrong when dining out in Bologna. But Bologna also has a foodie secret.
A short bus or a 20-minute taxi ride from the city center takes you to an industrial estate where you’ll find ice cream heaven. Correction – we’re in Italy so it’s gelato heaven. Ice cream is a dirty term to the Italians. It’s ‘factory made’ and ‘heavy in fat’ compared to this artisan treat.
By Clark Turner – Full Story at Gay Star News | Emilia Romagna Gay Travel Resources
, September 12th, 2014
Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.
Secluded 1920’s Cottage In The Pocono Mountains: Rustic 1920’s cottage nestled deep in a Pocono Mountain hollow. The huge screened-in porch, deck, running brook and large fireplace in the living room add to the restful feeling of this vacation getaway. Available for rent weekends and weekly year-round. Two hours from NYC, Philadelphia. Skiing, swimming, golfing, boating, antiquing and hiking minutes away. Weekly rates $700/1-2, $800/3-4 people.
See the Frog Hollow Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here
Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the Poconos
, September 1st, 2014
A few weeks ago I took a last-minute weekend trip to Prague for their 4th annual gay pride, Prague Pride. The festival included a jam-packed schedule of events over a week, including film screenings, political debates, parties and a parade. I would argue that Prague has been a gay hotspot destination for a while already, but this was only their 4th annual pride celebration. And for being such a young endeavor, it seemed to be incredibly well organized with a full spectrum of events for every type of visitor. I really loved it.
Gay pride in Prague was special not just because it was a small (though not too small) celebration, but also because there was a community feeling behind the pride. With political organizers and volunteers from Central European LGBT rights organizations taking the stage at several events, the pride felt as much about celebrating gay pride as it did about making positive societal change. And in a part of Europe that still needs reforms, that’s as important as anything else.
Even in Prague, with its beautiful backdrops, history of pornography and relative liberal attitudes, gay rights still have a ways to go. This year’s 2014 Prague Pride was even met with neo-nazi protesters at one point, though there were fewer than 10 and they were all removed relatively peacefully by police. I was further along the parade route when it happened and neither myself nor any of my friends even heard about the scuffle until hours later.
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 the Czech Republic.
, August 21st, 2014
Periodically we’ll feature one of our tour operators here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.
Founded in 1973 and rated A+ by the BBB, Nature Expeditions International offers upscale cultural, wildife viewing and “soft” adventure tours to 40 countries on 6 continents. We customize creative, exciting and educational itineraries for independent travelers and for small pre-formed groups.
See the Nature Expeditions International Inc. Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here