Gay Oslo, Norway

Author: , November 25th, 2015

Oslo-Opera-House - Passport

I’ve always loved Oslo. How can you not, with its romantic setting right on Oslofjord, its sweet people, and its fascinating seafaring history? Now, however, it’s developing an overlay of chic, an urban buzz that’s exciting to see. It’s not quite at major metropolis status yet (it is, after all, just over half a million people), but the moderni- ty that’s set in is gratifying for an Oslophile. It’s always been pleasant. Now it’s hip and pleasant. What could be better?

When you arrive at the airport, the best option for getting into the city is Flytorget. This high-speed train gets you to the central railway station in half the time and is much cheaper than a cab, which can push $100. Flytor- get trains are comfy, fast, run all the time, and whisk you into the city seamlessly. Take a taxi to your hotel from the Central Station (Oslo S) if you want, but let Flytorget get you into town.

With Oslo’s great public transport (metro, trams, and buses), it’s a breeze to get around, even though most of it is very walkable. Definitely invest in an Oslo Pass, which provides free entrance to most museums and unlimit- ed rides on public transport. Best of all: you don’t have to deal with buying transport tickets, just hop on, since you’re covered by your pass. You can even download the pass onto your phone before you leave, and you’ll prob- ably end up saving money, depending on how many museums you visit. Even if you don’t, the convenience alone is worth the price.

By Rich Rubin – Full Story at Passport

Norway Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Woodstock Design Waterfront House, Saugerties, New York

Author: , November 25th, 2015

Woodstock Design Waterfront House

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

This newly remodeled, private waterfront cottage is just three minutes from the center of Saugerties, New York. We’re also just fifteen minutes from Woodstock. Enjoy the best of both towns: specialty shops and boutiques, delectable food, farmers markets, live music and glorious scenery.

See the Woodstock Design Waterfront House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the Catskills

Gay Berlin Nightlife

Author: , November 24th, 2015

Adam Groffman

With its reputation for socially permissive, non-stop nightlife and a perpetually burgeoning arts and culture scene (often compared with New York in the 1970s), gay Berlin remains one of the world’s top destinations for LGBTQ travellers. The city’s gay history includes a period from 1919 to 1933 when it was home to the pioneering Institute for the Science of Sexuality, whose works were destroyed during the Nazi book burnings.

Poignant reminders of the past surround Berlin, including the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, on the edge of the Tiergarten – a concrete cube where a video shows gay and lesbian couples in various embraces. In Nollendorfplatz, small memorials commemorate the neighbourhood’s many firsts in gay history, including the world’s first gay demonstration, which took place in 1922.

Expats, such as the influential English novelist Christopher Isherwood, immortalised the free-spirited culture of cabaret-era Berlin in books and music. Schoeneberg, where Isherwood and other gay icons lived, remains a hotspot for fetish clubs and famous events such as Folsom Europe.

By Adam Groffman – Full Story at the Guardian

Germany Gay Travel Resources

22 Reasons We Love Gay Paris

Author: , November 24th, 2015
Gay Paris, France

Photo Credit – Marco Munda

As museums and galleries reopen in Paris after the atrocious terrorist attacks, we’ve been reflecting on what makes the French capital so special. After all, France is the most visited country in the world, with 83.7 million people stopping by in 2014 – and many of them heading straight for the city.

From its charming architecture and its instantly recognizable monuments to its epic cultural centers and buzzing fashion scene – the city’s cultural legacy is unmistakable, and its influence on music, film and literature tremendous. What elsewhere would constitute a tourist trap makes for an unmissable sight in Paris.

Here, we count down just 22 reasons why the City of Light is, quite simply, amazing.

1 The Louvre

This renowned museum is 223 years old; the iconic Louvre Pyramid, pictured above, was designed by Chinese American architect I.M. Pei in 1989. Home to iconic creations such as the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, some 9 million people visited in 2014, making it the most visited museum in the world.

By Jamie Tabberer – Full Story at Gay Star News

Paris Gay Travel Resources

Keep Calm and Wander – Qasr Al Saneh, A Nabatean Architectural Wonder

Author: , November 24th, 2015

Alain Qasr-Al-Saneh-Madain-Saneh-6

When visiting Madain Saleh (in Saudi Arabia’s Tabuk Province), Qasr Al Saneh would be a good place to start to learn about the Nabatean architecture which are richly obvious in the carved tombs you’ll see everywhere around the area.

If you’ve been to Petra in Jordan, the architectural wonder you’ll find in Madain Saleh isn’t that different from Jordan’s most photographed tourist attraction. They’re actually similar from top to bottom. Only that, Petra is more stunning than these ones here in Madain Saleh.

Do not expect too much to see here if you’re not into history or archaeology. Or if you’re not into taking a selfie in caves that used to be tombs. No more human skulls and bones there but some are certainly creepy.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Chateau de La Celle-Guenand, La Celle-Guenand, France

Author: , November 24th, 2015

Chateau de La Celle-Guenand

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Chateau de La Celle-Guenand is a historic place, nestled in a medieval French village and surrounded by some of the Loire Valley’s most famous tourist activities. It’s the special place we call home. To some, we’re known as a tranquil spot to escape the hustle and bustle of life. To others, the perfect base to seek out all that is on offer in the region

See the Chateau de La Celle-Guenand Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Central France

Purple Roofs LGBT Travel Round-Up – November 23rd

Author: , November 23rd, 2015

In addition to our regular travel articles, we’re starting a regular travel round-up, for those stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. Enjoy!

Hyatt Recognized by Human Rights Campaign as ‘Best Place to Work’ for LGBT People (Hospitality Net)
Hyatt Hotels CorporatioN announced that since 2005, Hyatt has earned 100 percent on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality, administered annually by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC).
full story

Southwest Airlines Achieves Perfect Score On 2016 Human Rights Campaign Index (PR Newswire)
Southwest Airlines announced that it has received a rating of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index, which earns us the distinction of being a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality”.
full story

American Airlines Celebrates 14 Years With Flawless HRC Score (Voice Chronicle)
By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
full story

Photos: Buenos Aires Gay Pride 2015 (The Advocate)
Celebrants at Buenos Aires Pride festival and parade earlier this month had plenty of fun while also getting political. Argentina has had marriage equality since 2010, but the nation cries out for progress in other areas — for instance, there are no comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for transgender people.
full story

Buenos Aires Pride

Get Your European Gay Ski Week 2016 Deets Here (Gay Star News)
Better get your skates (or skis) on – next year’s European Gay Ski Week is just four months away.
full story

Photos: Pride Grows in Hong Kong (The Advocate)
Thousands attended the Gay Pride celebration in Hong Kong earlier this month — a record turnout — and reveled in the theme of “Love Is Love.” While the mood was mostly jubilant, some complained that Hong Kong is lagging behind other Asian cities, specifically Taipei, when it comes to LGBT equal rights. Still, many agreed that Hong Kong is slowly embracing such rights, with the hope that marriage equality and antidiscrimination bills are on their way.
full story

Hong Kong Pride

Caribbean Beaches Guide – Doctor’s Cave Beach, Jamaica (Go Girlfriend)
Since 1932 flip-flop wearing sun seekers have replaced both the doctor and the cave that once defined Doctor’s Cave Beach. Make conversation with the locals – inquire about the doctors who believed in the water’s healing powers and the hurricane-destroyed cave that was the only point of access. – See more at:
full story

La Chine: Provincial Chinese Cuisine With Touch of French Finesse (Carlos Melia)
What a remarkable dinning experience at ‪La Chine‬ ‪Chinese ‎Restaurant‬ at the iconic Waldorf Astoria New York. We were there celebrating their first week opened. Provincial Chinese menu with the finesse and hint of French influence.
full story

Carlos Melia

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Yosemite Lake House, Groveland, California

Author: , November 23rd, 2015

Yosemite Lake House

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

This lakefront home has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a large game room with over 1500 feet of deck on two levels. It sleeps 8 adults and features completely remodeled bathrooms and kitchen. There is a paddle boat for guest usage, Wi-Fi, and cable. The game room downstairs includes an arcade dart game (no quarters needed), Xbox 360, Wii, and a guest computer. There are so many places to gather in this house! Two of the bedrooms have their own doors that open onto the decks. There is also full laundry, a wine refrigerator, and a dishwasher. For your outdoor cooking pleasure, there is a propane BBQ on the upstairs deck. Stop by the meat market in town on the way in and pick up some amazing grass-fed beef to BBQ.

See the Yosemite Lake House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

Carlos Melia – A Day in Yangon, Myanmar

Author: , November 22nd, 2015

Carlos Melia - Myanmar

It was time to give my warm Mingalaba ” Good Morning ” to Yangon, and off I went, escorted by the expert team of the Belmond Governor’s Residence, on a full day experience tour of Yangon. I will let mainly the images do the talking, and pinpoint some tips and must see/do while in there.

Carlos Melia - MyanmarMy stay consisted of two nights, and I felt it was the perfect amount of time to enjoy the destinations and see all that needed to be seen. Hope you enjoy my day exploring the vibrant and contrasting Yangon (also known as Rangoon), former capital of Myanmar (Burma) and the the country’s largest city with a population of over five million.

I wish to dedicate this, and all my Myanmar post, to Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi. And congratulate her on her massive win on the latest elections. I happened to be in Myanmar, weeks before the election took place. Such a pivotal moment in the life of Burmese people and a new era to come. A true example that convictions ethics, values and character cannot be undermined and dreams cannot be crushed by power.

It was a hard decision, to leave Belmond Governor’s Residence, a blissful mirage of tranquility, but have to be done. It was my time to take the streets of Yangon and see what this was all about. There was one thing I know about Yangon, well actually more than that.

But one thing I truly wanted to see, and it was the Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most famous pagodas in the world and it is certainly the main attraction of Yangon. I mean you can’t help its omnipresence. Locally known as Shwedagon Zedi Daw The, it sits atop of a hill and is 99 meters high. It can be seen from most places of Yangon day and night as the golden roof illuminates the city.

First stop of our tour, not by coincidence, was the Secretariat Building. The Ministers’ Building, formerly The Secretariat is occupied an entire city block.. It was the home and administrative seat of British Burma and built in the late 1800s. The structure is more than 120 years old. It was where General Aung San and 6 cabinet ministers were assassinated on 19 July 1947. The building is currently on the Yangon City Heritage List and completely abandoned.

From there on, we left our luxury bus, and mingled with the flow of the locals, to stroll and explore the streets of Yangon. Men wearing casual and formal Longyi, Tanaka white faced women, and a busy pulse surrounded by the highest number of colonial period buildings in Southeast Asia. This is Downtown Yangon.

Carlos Melia - MyanmarAfter a full morning exploring Downtown Yangon, it was time to sample the local cuisine. So we came to Rangoon Tea House. Ragoon Tea House proposes a taste of local Myanmar – including my new favorite Mohinga – in a very comfortable clean environment. Read the Full post here …” Lunching like a local Dinning like a King in Yangon…”

After a succulent local lunch, was need to take a long, long, long walk. First stop was POMELO ( where I’ve got this lovely parasol). Where local art, helps those in need. The lovely selection of contemporary handicrafts produced by projects supporting disadvantaged groups in Myanmar.

Of course, me being ME, I could not resist stopping by the Strand Hotel, located right in Downtown. A total different experience to Belmond Governor’s Residence, but yet another great example of Yangon’s luxury hospitality. Excellent example of the Yangon’s past, Century-old building with magnificent architecture. One of the most iconic 5 star hotels in Yangon. Built in 1901, it remains as awe inspiring as it was in the early 20th Century.

Our next stop, was my least favorite, since I felt it was sort of a tourist trap. But perhaps, I have spent too much time in Asia, and particularly in South East Asia, and I have grown to appreciate this type of markets, when they are more local and real. Bogyoke Aung San Market, also known as Scott Market.

Carlos Melia - MyanmarBack on track to interesting things, was our next stop and last before my most awaited sunset visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, the Chauk That Gyi Pagoda and the Reclining Buddha. The most well-known Buddhist temple in Bahan Township, Yangon. It houses one of the most revered reclining Buddha images in the country, of 66 metres (217 ft) long. Buddha image is wearing a golden robe; the right arm of the Buddha is supporting the back of the head. The Reclining Buddha image is decorated with very expressive colors, white face, red lips, blue eye shadow, golden robe and red finger nails.

Around the Chauk Htat Gyi Buddha image is a number of shrines, one for each of the eight days of the week in Asian astrology (Wednesday is split in two days). Local people pray to the shrine belonging to the day of their birth.

And yes ladies and gentleman. The time had come to finally see the main reason of excitement, of my visit to Yangon. Finally after years of wait, I was right there at the impressive and gorgeous Shwedagon Pagoda. One of the most famous pagodas in the world – and believed to be one of the oldest – and it is certainly the main attraction of Yangon, Myanmar’s capital city. But you will have to wait for my next post to see in detail, my awaited visit during sunset, with a lovely surprise prepared for us by the team of Belmond. Hope you’ve enjoyed my day exploring the vibrant and contrasting city of Yangon.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog

Myanmar Gay Travel Resources

Keep Calm and Wander – Qasr Al Bint, Saudi Arabia

Author: , November 22nd, 2015

Alain - Qasr-Al-Bint

The Qasr Al Bint is a group of tombs dedicated to the women of ancient times. It is translated as the “Palace of the Daughter or Maiden.” It has, too, the largest tomb facade in the entire Madain Saleh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One interesting tomb here is the one occupied and built by two sisters. It has two floors! The older sister had the upper level and the younger had the lower level. It is insane to think that these two women were literally digging and carving their own tombs while they’re still alive. Oh dear, that sounds very creepy to me! The Nabatean people believed in life after death–which explains why they’d prepare for their tombs while still alive.

For some people, this life after death belief makes sense, right? Ok, maybe, long time ago, it did make sense. Nowadays, it’s kinda weird for me. How can one live his life to the fullest while thinking about death and his life after that? You live to die? That’s kinda sad to me.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander