A Day in Annecy – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 16th, 2018

Annecy - Keep Calm and Wander

For me, Annecy is once in a lifetime experience. Its darting canals through the village, meandering along some of the historical buildings in Europe, its food, and scenery, and most importantly, its settlement on the cleanest lake in Europe—Annecy—told me how different this city is.

The lake itself is surrounded by hills and mountains and it almost seemed to me as if they were peeking at their reflection in the tenuous hazed lake beneath.

It was around noon when I thought of treading the cobblestoned walkways lining the Annecy canals. Indeed, this is the reason they call it the “Venice of the Alps”. All those plaster houses with their baskets full of fresh flowers was a spectacle to remember.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Southeasetrn France Gay Travel Resources

Gay France: Romance on the Loire – Passport Magazine

Author: , March 16th, 2018

Gay Paris - Loire River

It’s the late afternoon, and my partner Jason and I are running in circles in the tower of Le Château d’Ussé. We’re desperately trying to see it all before our tour bus pulls away without us. Golden French light flashes through the slit embrasures making it feel like we’re inside a slide projector. Each window reveals glimpses of the Loire River Valley. Out one, we see still-blossoming fields of lavender blanket the ground and the wind blows the purple flora as if it’s the fur of an animal. I shout Jason’s name as he disappears around a corner. Another window frames a lazy creek alongside French manicured gardens.

Twisting and turning, I see Jason’s hand glide against the cool white bricks. Out another, a man is carrying a barrel of wine while his Briard companion follows him into the wine caves. At the end of the corridor, I find Jason leaning against a heavy wooden door.

Pushing him aside, I peer through the glass windows crisscrossed with wrought iron. Inside is a recreation of the famous Sleeping Beauty. Laying in a white dress on a four-post bed, Aurora sleeps under the witch’s spell. Green disco lights fill the room adding a bizarrely creepy effect. Like looking through sunglasses at the sun, the small window behind refracts a blinding light on the window. Looking over her, the prince moves in for that kiss to end the curse.

By Joseph Pedro – Full Story at Passport

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Queer Versailles: A Secret Sexy History – Gay Star News

Author: , March 8th, 2018

Versailles - Pixabay

From Marie Antoinette’s lesbian affairs to the Sun King’s gay brother, Versailles bristled with sexual intrigue while the grounds were a hotbed of raunchy encounters.

Homosexuality and lesbianism is woven into the history of the Palace of Versailles and into the lives of its most famous residents. The magnificent palace on the outskirts of Paris is a camp baroque masterpiece that defined elite tastes for a hundred years and still influences them today. But look a little closer, and you will see homosexual history hidden in plain sight in its art and artefacts.

The Falcon-Loving Founder, Louis XIII

Louis XIII became king of France at just nine years old. And from his teenage years he preferred the company of male courtiers to women. Charles d’Albert, the young Duke of Luyens, was his particular favorite. While it’s not certain the two had a sexual relationship, it is widely rumored. We do know they shared another passion – hunting. Among the titles Louis granted Charles was Grand Falconer of France. Caring for the king’s hunting birds was a great honor.

Luyens died of a fever while fighting Protestants in 1621. But the king kept hunting. And in 1624, that was to change the shape of a small village 20kms southwest of Paris – Versailles. Louis, then in his early 20s, decided to build his hunting lodge there.

By Tris Reid-Smith – Full Story at Gay Star News

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The Apollo Gallery at the Louvre – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 12th, 2018

The Apollo Gallery at the Louvre - Keep Calm and Wander

I have no doubt that Apollo Gallery is the most dazzling hall at Louvre Museum. Yes, if there’s one room at Louvre Museum that spells grandeur, it would be Galerie d’Apollon. This amazingly-decorated room is fit for a sun-god. From its walls to its ceiling Apollo Gallery shimmers in paintings, tapestries, jewels, gilded embellishments and statues. Its artistry is incredible and its craftsmanship is very detailed.

As soon as you enter, there’s that feeling that you’re in one of the royal rooms of time’s past. In fact, this was the first royal gallery for King Louis XIV. Though small in size, this hall became the prototype of the Hall of Mirror at the Palace of Versailles.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Paris Gay Travel Resources

The Sacre Coeur in Paris – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 5th, 2018

Sacre Coeur in Paris - Keep Calm and Wander

Before visiting, get to know these interesting facts about Sacre Coeur in Paris. It’s a minor Roman Catholic basilica that sits atop Montmarte, the city’s highest summit. You’ll see it from the top of Eiffel Tower or from Notre Dame Cathedral. Its domes look different from any Catholic churches you’ve seen before. If my memory serves me right, I’ve never seen anything like these.

Sacre Coeur, in English, is translated as the Sacred Heart which of course refer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Montmarte means the “Mount of the Martyr.”

The basilica was built in 1975 but its construction was completed in 1914. However, it was only sanctified when the World War 1 ended in 1919. Paul Abadie designed this imposing church overlooking the city of Paris.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Paris Gay Travel Resources

Inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 2nd, 2018

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris - Keep Calm and Wander

I didn’t see Quasimodo inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He is, of course – along with Esmeralda – fictional. But this Catholic cathedral seems to be tied to his name or the other way around. Thanks to Victor Hugo who made this church a setting of his well-known novel, “The Huncback of Notre Dame.” For literary fans, you can’t talk Notre Dame without mentioning the Romantic-Gothic affair of Quasimodo and Esmeralda.

The Queue. It’s looooong. So be prepared when it’s hot in the summer. Unless, of course, if you’re there as soon as it opens.

The Icons at the Entrance / West Gate. Notre Dame was built in the 12th century. It is one of the most revered Gothic churches in France. Before you step into the entrance door, look up and see the details of the sculptures above you. They’re pretty amazing Christian icons.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Paris Gay Travel Resources

Annecy: The Little Venice of France – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 31st, 2018

Annecy views - Keep Calm and Wander

Don’t miss the views of beautiful Annecy from the Chateau should you decide to visit it for a day from Lyon. Chateau de Annecy sits on the hill and towers above the city and Lake Annecy. After paying the entrance fee, walk all the way to the end of the castle and you’ll find a green backyard with a fort. From here, you’ll see the uninterrupted views of the charming little town.

Little Venice. Because of the presence of some canals, the town is said to be the “Little Venice of France.” Unlike Venice, this town is away from hordes of tourists that cramped the Italian water town. There are no canal tours here and no gondolas for honeymooners.

Boat Tour / Cruise. You can do a boat tour / cruise on Lake Annecy. There are few boat operators near the European Gardens, along the lake.

Enjoy the views.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Masterpieces of the Louvre – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 29th, 2018

Masterpieces of the Louvre - Keep Calm and Wander

The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum. It is renowned for Leonardo Da Vinci’s, Monalisa. If you only have limited time to spare inside, here are 10 masterpieces not to miss at Louvre Museum in Paris.

Ideally, this museum should not be seen in rush. There’s so much to see here and I’d say that spending a half day here would be great! If you’re really into arts, then spending a whole day here would be a day you won’t forget. The Louvre Museum is beyond Monalisa. There are certain rooms and galleries that have only few people – where you can be almost alone with the works of the master artists.

Tips in Visiting the Louvre Museum. I have three tips for you. First, buy the ticket online to avoid the line. Second, go early to avoid the crowd. Make it your very first thing to do in the morning. Third, get the audio guide to get the story / descriptions of each masterpiece – in your language of choice.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Paris Gay Travel Resources

Lyon’s Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 25th, 2018

Lyon's Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière - Keep Calm and Wander

If Rio de Janeiro has the statue of Christ the Redeemer looking after the city, Lyon has Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Yes, it’s not a statue with open arms but a basilica sitting on top of a mountain. You can’t miss it – and every local knows where it is. It may look far when you’re on the plains but it’s worth a visit – even if you’re not religious.

The Basilica’s Fame. When Black Death swept Europe in the 17th middle of century, Lyon was saved from it. The locals built this church to honour the Virgin Mary to whom they believe safeguarded the city from the deadly plague.

Day of Immaculate Conception. Every year, On December 8, the city has the “Festival of Lights.” This is the night when locals light a candle for the Virgin Mary who is also attributed for saving Lyon during the Prussian Invasion (1870) and the cholera epidemic (1832).

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Lyon Gay Travel Resources

Chateau de Versailles Gardens – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 24th, 2018

Palace-of-Versailles-Gardens-Chateau-France-10

The well-manicured gardens of Chateau de Versailles is so huge you need two to three hours to explore its entirety. Unless, of course, if you choose to ride on a golf cart around – for an additional fee. In fact, I never had the chance to explore half of it. I was there for four hours only, including the queue that took us more than an hour! The number of visitors to the palace was insane!

The Palace of Versailles. It is known to be the most opulent in all of France. King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette got married and lived here. When you go inside, such vast wealth and power is ubiquitous. Its fabulous rooms are decorated with stunning artistic beauty from floor to walls to ceiling. It’s magnificent! It’s grand!

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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