Kutna Hora, Czech Republic – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 20th, 2019

Sedlec Ossuary - Kotna Hora - Prague - Czech Republic

Kutna Hora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its ancient architecture, mining history, gothic cathedrals such as the Ossuary, and its fair share in making the Czech Republic what it is today.

Here are the things you can do there.

1. Sedlec Ossuary

Known better as “The Bone Church”, this might be the most bizarre structure you see in the city. It remains a structure housing the remains of more than 40,000 people. Some say its a legend, others agree to it. Its most striking feature is a chandelier made of every bone a human has.

Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Czech Republic Gay Travel Resources

 

Bratislava Castle – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 18th, 2019

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle sits on the hill overlooking the Old Town and Danube River. This extraordinarily large rectangular building was once a ruin after a brutal fire burnt it down in 1811. According to history, the Celts were the first inhabitants in this area. Though it looks plain, palace facade has some fragments of Rennaissance and Gothic elements of style.

Unfortunately for me, the castle was closed on the day I visited there – so I have no idea what it looks like inside. However, the gardens and the shades around the palace is a cool refuge from the summer heat.

In the 18th century, the most revered ruler of that time, Maria Theresa lived here. She had a huge family, but all of them took care of this place like no one else.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

European Gay Hostels – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , July 18th, 2019

European Gay Hostels

Climbing into bed at 4 AM. That wouldn’t be like us…

Yet with the disco remixes of all our beloved gay anthems still echoing in our heads, we know we deserve a rest after a long day of exploring the city. We can still hear the laughter of patrons who are leaving the long line of bars and clubs which populate the gay village, and relish in the thought that although we’re miles from home, we still feel surrounded by our big gay happy family! This is the feeling of being in a gay hostel, regardless of where we are…

When interrailing around Europe, we found European Gay Hostels a great place to connect with fellow LGBTQ backpackers who have since turned into lifelong friends. We love the cool vibe in them, that exciting traveller atmosphere you don’t quite get in hotels. We’ve put together our 5 favourite gay hostels in Europe based on our experience backpacking across the continent.

Gay travel in Europe

As a rule, Europe is super gay-friendly! We’ve never had a problem booking a double bed in a room, particularly in North and West Europe, which has most of the gay-friendly countries in the world. However, the more East you head, the less queer-friendly it becomes, although there are some pockets of fabulousness in East Europe.

If you are travelling around the Balkans or around East Europe, we definitely advise calling/emailing ahead to check they’re ok to host gay travellers just to be on the safe side, particularly in the rural areas. If, however, you’re heading to places like Berlin, Madrid, Cologne, Brighton etc, we can assure you, you’re not going to have any problems!

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Europe Gay Travel Resources

 

Gay Bratislava, Slovakia – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 13th, 2019

Gay Bratislava

Here are 10 things to do in Bratislava that are worthwhile your time. Two full days and a night were enough for me to explore Slovak Republic’s capital city before hopping on a train in the evening to my next destination. However, it is possible to visit the city in one day, because most of the ones listed here are walking distance from each other in the Old Town.

I was in Bratislava in early June last year and it was not even crowded. The Old Town at noon was quiet and there were only a few tourists. It was a welcome relief for me after visiting big cities, like Frankfurt, Cologne, Berlin, Vienna, and Prague.

1. Bratislava Castle

Situated atop the Old Town, the Bratislava Castle is an important mid-16th-century building. You can have spectacular views of the Petrzalka and the UFO Bridge not to mention the honor of attending one of the exhibitions.

Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Gay Friendly Eastern Europe – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , July 13th, 2019

Gay Friendly Eastern Europe - The Nomadic Boys

Europe has some of the most gay-friendly countries in the world with extremely progressive LGBTQ rights. However, these are largely confined to the North and West. The further East you head on the continent, the less gay-friendly it becomes.

East Europe is notorious for lagging behind the rest of the continent when it comes to LGBTQ rights. Thankfully, when most of them started joining the EU from 2004 onwards, membership requirements forced them to adopt more progressive LGBTQ laws, especially with regards to recognising civil unions for same-sex couples and introducing anti-discrimination legislation.

This is not to say that East Europe is completely void of any fabulousness! During our many trips as a gay couple around the region, we discovered several places that have a more liberal outlook, a thriving LGBTQ community and a vibrant gay scene. Based on our first-hand experiences, we’ve put together what we think are the 5 most gay-friendly cities – gay friendly Eastern Europe.

Disclosure: this was written as part of a paid collaboration with Moon Travel Guides.

What is East Europe?

A quick note about this. Whilst we appreciate that some countries fall into the “Central” rather than “East” Europe grey area, others would argue they are “Baltic” instead, or “Balkan”, there is no clear definition of which countries are strictly defined as “East Europe”.

We’ve therefore taken the UN breakdown of what is East Europe and included the countries that the travel industry also regards as being part of “East Europe”.

Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Friendly Eastern Europe Travel Resources

Be a Tourist in Athens – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 11th, 2019

Be a Tourist in Athens - Keep Calm and Wander

Here is a list of touristy things to do in Athens. In its evolution, the ancient city has not let go of its ancient character despite the trials of time. So, if you want to be a tourist in Athens, pick some or a few of these places for your two or three days itinerary in the ancient city.

1. The Parthenon / Acropolis

This should be your first stop. Standing on the hill of Acropolis, the Parthenon before your eyes is surreal. You’ll see ancient Greek architecture standing on this sacred hill for about 2,500 years. It is actually a collection of buildings, where you’ll explore Parthenon (dedicated to goddess Athena) known for its best Doric columns.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Greece Gay Travel Resources

 

The Roussanou Monastery – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 8th, 2019

The Roussanou Monastery - Keep Calm and Wander

Roussanou Monastery sits on a low rock pillar – compared to the other monasteries in Meteora. It is very much accessible to public transport and there is not much climbing involved, but a few steps. The monastery itself is connected via a small bridge and is managed by nuns who are collecting the entrance fee themselves. Yes, it is now a convent for women – since 1988.

There are two rules that visitors need to remember when going inside the monastery. First, you have to cover your legs (aka, wear long skirts). The nuns at the entrance can loan you a plain cloth to wrap around your waist. This also applies to men. Second, photography is not allowed. However, no one is really watching inside, and if you want to take one or two (using your phone), be discreet – like me. 😀

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Greece Gay Travel Resources

 

Exploring the Dutch Tulip Fields in a VW Bus – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , July 8th, 2019

Exploring the Tulip Fields in a VW Bus - Once Upon a JourneyM

Can you believe we never visited the tulip fields in the Netherlands?! As a Dutchie, that’s pretty weird since the tulip fields are becoming increasingly popular every year, especially because of Instagram. We decide to go on a little trip in style: with an old VW bus named Miss Peach. Miss Peach can be rented from Oldtimer huren for a fun day trip or for a special event: a wedding for example! Talking about weddings, during our little trip to the tulip fields we do a special shoot with some gorgeous dresses…

Tulips are for old people?!

When we were younger our moms and grandmas visited the tulip fields. So in our minds, it was something old people did (equals boring). Instagram has definitely changed our minds, because wow, these fields are far from boring: colours everywhere! Last year we were sad to miss tulip season so we promised each other 2019 would be the year. And we’re sharing the fun: my sister Denise joins us on our day trip. Denise is a beautician so she can help us look extra pretty. Usually, we never wear any make-up, but this is a special occasion…

Hit the Road with a Volkswagen Bus!

We pick-up Miss Peach in Nieuwegein at the garage. Before we hit the road I need to get the hang of driving an oldtimer. VW buses are old and therefore drive very differently than modern cars. Luckily it doesn’t take too long before I can enjoy riding this beautiful bus. So funny to see so many people looking at you while driving such a beauty!

By Maartje and Roxanne – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources

 

These Meteora Monasteries Seem to Hover In the Air

Author: , June 24th, 2019

Meteora monasteries

These Meteora monasteries are hovering in the air. On our way to see these monasteries, our jaws dropped as we passed by the towering rock formations. They are amazing geological formations that will never fail to make you wonder how they came into existence.

While these are marvels of nature, the monasteries on top of these rock pillars are themselves, marvels of human ingenuity. I declare that these natural and human-made wonders are one of the attractions that you have to see, to believe.

Who Built these Monasteries?

Meteora’s first Christian monks set up their monastic life here back in the 14th century. They constructed monasteries on top of these gigantic rock cliffs that must have been very difficult to climb. But, I guess, that was the point of putting these monasteries up there – to get away from worldly temptations and possessions.

And by looking at them, I have no doubt that the monks succeeded in their mission to practice their faith without much distractions from the outside world. They would do everything to live in unreachable places just to experience (or, maybe see?) God in their lifetime.

By Alain, Keep Calm and Wander

Greece Gay Travel Resources

 

Fira Santorini at Night – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 22nd, 2019

Fira Santorini at Night - Keep Calm and Wander

Fira Santorini at night is truly mesmerizing. When the sun goes down and the lights are on, the island is something you can only see in movies. It will leave yourself breathless, constantly sighing at the beauty that never seems to fade.

Fira is the capital town of Santorini. The white-washed houses you see on postcards are either from here or from Oia. Both towns are expensive, but Oia seems to be more expensive when it comes to hotels/accommodation. However, if I had the money to splurge, I’d prefer to stay in Oia where I’ll have my own infinity pool.

Going Around Santorini

It is easy to get around Santorini. The island has convenient buses from one place to another but it takes around 10-15 minutes to wait at peak hours. Fare starts at 2.50 euros for one way only. Be aware that buses start and end in Fira. This means that if you want to continue your journey to another place, you’ve got pay another fare again.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Santorini Gay Travel Resources