Gay Travel Warning: Brunei

Author: , April 19th, 2014

Brunei - Apple MapsBrunei has a new law that mandates stoning to death of anyone who has gay sex in the country. Now a boycott has been called against hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

Passport reports:

Last February, activists called for a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel in LA due to the hotel’s ownership by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, the leader of a country where homosexuality is illegal. Recently, the situation in Brunei has become even more dire, with a UN-condemned (and Sultan-sponsored) law that would make gay sex punishable by stoning to death. According to a report by FrontiersLA.com, Gay activist Cleve Jones and others are asking the public to boycott any of the hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, including the entire Dorchester Collection which is under his control.

So if you are gay, or know anyone who is, cross Brunei off your travel list.

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Eating Out: Old San Juan’s Verde Mesa Restaurant

Author: , April 19th, 2014

Verde Mesa Restaurant - Old San Juan, Puerto Rico - Carlos MeliaWithout a doubt, the best dinner I had during my last visit to Puerto Rico and Old San Juan, invited by La Terrasa de San Juan Hotel. Space, location, atmosphere, food and drinks were just perfect, in balance and compliment to Old San Juan. Located on Calle Tetuan #107, perched on the wall of the Old San Juan, along the Paseo De La Princesa.

Verde Mesa is a fish and vegetarian restaurant, featuring great dishes including traditional Puerto Rican ones, which will even captivate the meat lovers.

My choices for the night were: (drink) Rum Green Infusion with refreshing basil, lemon, cucumber, and little of brown sugar – USD 10. (appetizer) Boquerones – USD 14 (main course) CousCous Nicoise with fresh seared market tuna steak with a special vinaigrette, resting on top of couscous infused with honey marinated greek olives and cumin marinated mango. Served in a platter with sauteed asparagus and fresh tomato salad with goat cheese – USD 26 (dessert) Vegetarian Curry Custard.

My only comment and recommendation to this restaurant, would be to lower the lights for dinner to create more intimate and private environment, allowing the many lights having from the ceiling to create a magical atmosphere, maybe along with some candelabras.

By Carlos Melia – Carlos Melia Blog | Puerto Rico Gay Travel Resources

Win Passes to Outfest Los Angeles

Author: , April 19th, 2014

Outfest Los Angeles

photo via Outfest LA

If attending a 10-day festival packed with films, discussions, and parties sounds like a good start to your July, then go ahead and enter this contest.

Five questions, an email, and your address is all it takes. It’s so simple, we think even Dorothy and Morgan from RKOBH could handle it. Hashtag: What are you waiting for?

Answer the five questions about LGBT history correctly and you’ll be entered to win two VIP All-Access Festival and Opening Night Gala passes, a three-night stay at the Hilton Checkers Hotel, two “Day in LA” Bike Tours by Bikes & Hikes LA, and two 72-hour Hop-On, Hop-Off Passes from Starline Tours. Tally that up Rich Kids-style and you end up with an $1,800 value. Did we mention we’re giving away four of these packages?

The contest ends on 6/16, and the film festival runs from July 10th-20th.

By Tyler Neasloney – Passport | Los Angeles Gay Travel Resources | Other Gay Travel Events

Looking for Fjord Norway

Author: , April 19th, 2014

Norway - Google Maps

from Google Maps

My bare feet are trying to solidly cling to a cold wooden dock. The snowcapped-mountain wind whips through the fjord as if the mountains are collectively sighing, and the gale hits my pale skin turning it cheek-pinched pink. I clutch the hand of my friend, Laura, creating such pressure it’s as if we’re gripping a knuckleball. Moody dark skies serve as the backdrop to floating ghost-like clouds that shield the mountaintops as their shadows dance against the uneven terrain. “We can do this,” Laura utters. A circus-crowd gasp is heard from a group of onlookers. “Ready?” I ask looking out at the foreboding scene as we take a step toward the ice-cold water. Another collective gasp gives us that extra push off the dock.

Like taking a terrible tumble, time slows down: I see the sun burst through layers of cloud coverage and light up the choppy waters that begin to glisten like a tear. And then, I hit the water and a sharp, needle-like cold shoots through my body faster than panic. Underwater quiet is quickly interrupted by above-water fighting for breath. It’s as if I’ve stepped into a million too cold showers. “Ahhh,” we yell as tourists snap photos from their balconies at the Hotel Ullensvang in Lofthus.

After moments of prickly numbness, a beautiful calm overcomes us both. It’s no longer panic, it’s no longer fear, it’s no longer just a silly I-bet-you-can’t-jump-in-the-water dare; it’s a connection and a sense of belonging. The wind gusts bob the waves that gently rock my warming body, and I admire the soft clouds that hug the mountains blanket their rough edges. We dove in and became part of the Hardangerfjord, part of Lofthus, and part of Norway. Like the creation myth, we’re every bit as much a part of the world as the world is a part of us.

Authored By Joseph pedro – See the Full Story at Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in Norway.

Berlin’s Modernist Architecture

Author: , April 19th, 2014

Berlin's Modernist Architecture - Adam GroffmanIf you remember…one of my goals before turning 30 is to explore more of my own (adopted) hometown. So the other weekend I hopped on the u-bahn and made me way to Neukoelln to do some urban exploring. At the Parchimer Allee u-bahn station, there’s a small sign signaling the exit toward the Hufeisensiedlung (Horseshoe Estate — named after its horseshoe layout of buildings). This massive housing estate in southern Berlin was built in the 1920s by modernist architect Bruno Taut and was named part of a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008 celebrating Berlin’s six modernist housing estates.

The housing estate is notable for its modernist architecture (hence it’s UNESCO World Heritage designation) of which it’s one of the first places employing modern thinking in architecture. Following WWI, Berlin had a serious housing shortage and needed nearly 100,000 apartments built to accommodate newly unemployed soldiers and others who flocked to the liberal city of Berlin.

During that period, city planner Martin Wagner enlisted Bruno Taut to design the Hufeisensiedlung in an undeveloped area of Neukoelln (not far from the Schloss Britz). Whether because there was an immediate need to get the housing estates built, because of Martin Wagner’s foresight or because of the newly formed Social Democratic Weimar Republic, Taut was given quite a bit of flexibility in the design and construction of the new housing estate. Today Taut is considered a forerunner of Bauhaus architecture and it’s easy to see in this Berlin modernist housing estate why.

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 Germany.

Long Beach Pride to Welcome Tens of Thousands in Mid May

Author: , April 19th, 2014

Long Beach Gay PrideOver the past several years, the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Celebration has become one of the premiere Pride events nationwide now attracting over 80,000 participants over two days. The Festival Celebration includes seven large dance areas including a main stage which has featured musical artists such as Grammy Award Winner Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Maya, India.Arie., and Village People.

Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride, Inc. (LBLGP, Inc.) was established in October 1983 and produced the first annual Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Festival & Parade in June of 1984. The Board Directors felt that, with such a large gay & lesbian population, there was a need to increase awareness and to promote PRIDE and a greater sense of self-worth within the community.

Additionally, the Board felt it important to facilitate greater cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between the lesbian & gay community and the community of Long Beach.

Authored By Kelly Riker – See the Full Story at Seasons of Pride

Click here for gay travel resources in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

Find this and hundreds of other gay travel events here.

Frosty Fruits – Gay Skiing Down Under

Author: , April 19th, 2014

Frosty Fruits - Victoria, AustraliaFOR Daniel Lehrer, the annual Frosty Fruits Ski Trip is all about one thing: having an enjoyable time. “It’s a fun, relaxed vibe,” the Melbourne resident said. “It’s a nice way to have a relaxing trip and meet like-minded people while skiing.”

Daniel has skied extensively elsewhere in Australia and overseas, including gay ski events such as the one in Aspen, Colorado — but there there was one thing about Frosty Fruits that made it different. “Aspen gets about 5000 people attending but we don’t have that number in Australia,” he said. “I think Frosty Fruits is different because it’s a boutique event, it’s intimate. It’s not just a huge gaggle of gay guys judging each other, it’s a friendly event with everyone just having a good time.”

Now in its sixth year, Frosty Fruits has fast become Australia’s premium gay and lesbian ski week held at Hotham Alpine Resort in the Victorian Alps over six days. Organised by Points of Difference Events, events producer Adam Bold said Mt Hotham had some of Australia’s best natural snowfalls and stunning on-mountain accommodation — and some of the most hospitable, LGBTI-friendly staff around.

See the Full Story at the Star Observer

Click here for gay travel resources in Victoria.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: SeaBreeze Vacation Rentals, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Author: , April 18th, 2014

SeaBreeze - St. Croix, USVIPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Right on the Best Beach on St Croix: This vacation condo is on one the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Wake up to the beautiful blue water and watch the post card sunsets from your private spacious balcony. Enjoy a walk on the beach, treasure hunting or relax with your favorite beverage and a book on the gorgeous sandy beach just steps away from your door.

See the SeaBreeze Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the US Virgin Islands

Lesbian Travel: Australia’s Blue Mountains

Author: , April 18th, 2014

Australia Gay TravelA treehouse with a spa? 90 minutes from Sydney? Think craftsman-built treesort in the Blue Mountains.

If you seek a private escape where you can relax and enjoy the easy pace of this World Heritage wilderness, then try these alternative accommodation called Wollemi Wilderness Love Cabins. Situated on a stunning 600 acres of pristine bushland, six wilderness cabins are available for rent, including an exotic Tee Pee studio.

So tell me more

Wollemi’s eco cabins are premium self-contained accommodation for couples, families, creative workshops and corporate groups. The retreat encompasses two properties near the northern Blue Mountains communities of Bilpin and Mt. Tomah. In addition to the TeePee, there are traditional timber slab cabins and deluxe sandstone and timber bush houses. All of the dwellings are architectually unique and utilise eco-friendly waste management systems.

See the Full Story at Rainbow Tourism

Click here for gay travel resources in the Blue Mountains.

My Berlin Story – How I Became an Ex-Pat

Author: , April 18th, 2014

Adam Groffman in BerlinRecently I rediscovered my love for Berlin. If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll have seen about a gazillion photos of springtime (Fruehling) in Berlin. In today’s blog entry though, I want to share my story as a Berlin expat…

I came to Berlin in the summer of 2011 while on my trip around the world. I’d been traveling for about a year at this point. After spending a month in Vietnam and with my bank account dwindling, my tax refund from my previous year of employment showed up. It was with that last little splurge of cash that I booked my plane ticket from Hanoi to Berlin. And it was that money which I used to fund my short-lived Eurotrip. Because while my original plans included a summer traveling around Europe, after spending one week in Berlin, I knew that this was the place for me.

Berlin is my home now. I love returning here after a trip. And while you’re reading my blog about my various trips around Europe (and further abroad, on occasion), know this: the vast majority of the time I’m really just here in Berlin. Living my day-to-day life and doing all those oh-so-Berlin things which have come to define me. The city might not always reciprocate its love, but Berlin is mine. My home. My love.

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 Germany.