Bolzano and the Dolomites – Dolly Travels

Author: , April 18th, 2018

Bolzano and the Dolomites

Today I want to tell you about Bolzano, in northern Italy. If you are traveling by train up to Bolzano from Bologna or other points south, you will notice a distinct change in the terrain, the look of the villages along the way, as well as the language of the people who live in this area.

Bolzano and the DolomitesAs the train travels further north, the terrain changes, becoming more rugged. Tiny villages are tucked into crevasses between giant mountains. Fields of hay are grown on the more flat areas, then there are apple orchards and vineyards. Some of the best white wine in Italy comes from this area.

This northern part of Italy once belonged to Austria. Most of the citizens here speak German, not Italian. The churches look more like the ones in Austria; in school, the children are taught in the German language. When there is a festival and the citizens dress for that, their costumes are Austrian in design; dirndls for the women, lederhosen for the men. The food, also, is different. The restaurants serve schnitzels, sausages, more potato dishes. While this food is delicious, it is not Italian food, as we know it.

Bolzano and the DolomitesA typical meal in Bolzano and the Dolomites: a ham hock, sauerkraut and a potato dumpling, with stone ground mustard to go with it. Beer is the preferred beverage, and in Bolzano, we found two very good breweries, both with restaurants.

From Bolzano, there is a cable car that takes passengers up to Oberbozen, as you saw in the earlier photo. That area is another very unique place to hike or ride mountain bikes. On one of my trips, some young men took their bikes on the cable car up to Oberbozen, then rode the trails down to Bolzano. There are trails for hiking or biking.

Bolzano and the DolomitesThe earth pyramids. These are unusual rock formations, found in the Oberbozen area. The rocks are unique. I don’t know if there are any of these anywhere else but in this region. Notice the rocks sitting on top of some of the peaks.

Hiking down to see these was a challenge for me, but if I had taken hiking poles, the trek would have been much easier. Hiking up was even more of a challenge.

Bolzano is home of the South Tirol Museum of Archeology, where the main attraction is a preserved body of a man that was found in some glacier ice high up on a mountain near the Austrian-Italian border. After extensive research, it has been determined that the man is over 5,300 years old. The museum is well done, with exhibits on three levels.

Of course, Bolzano, to me, is the jumping-off point for a stay in the Dolomites. I usually stay two nights in Bolzano, for it is an interesting town to me. But from there, I take a bus for a one-hour, exciting trip through winding mountain roads to Castelrotto, in the Trentino-Alto Adige region. I will post just a few pictures here, for the Dolomites will be another blog post or two.

Bolzano and the DolomitesOf course, there were bicycles. The trails are great for biking. I don’t know where that tractor came from, or where he was going.

That is a rare sight. Usually, there are just other hikers or bikers.

So I will say “Goodbye” for now. I will write more about Italy next week.

You can be sure that sometime, before the first of June, I will write about the Dolomites, for there is my “Happy Place”.

Ciao for now,
Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Bolzano Gay Travel Resources

 

Women Taking Over Provincetown for Single Women’s Weekend

Author: , April 14th, 2018

Single Women's Weekend - The Advocate

The advocate has 68 photos of women taking over Provincetown for the Single Women’s Weekend. 🙂

See them all here.

Highlands Inn – Bethlehem, New Hampshire Lesbian Owned Resort

Author: , April 13th, 2018

Highlands Inn - Bethlehem, New Hampshire Lesbian Owned Resort

Welcome to Bethlehem, New Hampshire’s Highlands Inn, a women-only resort on a hundred private wooded acres in the White Mountains.

With large common areas, including a cozy living room with a cheery fireplace, and fresh flowers throughout, our lesbian owned and run Inn will remind you of a Victorian country home.

New Hampshire now recognizes full marriage equality, making The Highlands Inn the perfect place to celebrate your wedding day with your partner. Our White Mountains resort is one of the few inns or resorts dedicated to serving the lesbian community – and since our first commitment ceremony in 1985, hundreds of couples have held civil union and commitment ceremonies at the Inn. We have more than twenty five years of experience and dedication to marriage equality, making us uniquely prepared to help women achieve their dreams of marriage.

Our New Hampshire women’s B&B includes three buildings: the Main Inn with 13 rooms, the Farmhouse with 5 rooms and a full country kitchen, and the rustic Cottage. The innkeeper, Grace, bought and completely renovated the buildings and grounds in 1983. The Highlands Inn has operated continuously as a lesbian resort since then.

The Highlands Inn has long been recognized as one of the finest women’s inns in the country. PlanetOut chose The Highlands Inn as “one of the most romantic lesbian destinations on the planet.” The Inn has also received Pink Choice awards every year since 2007.

See the Highlands Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

New Hampshire Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Cinque Terre – Dolly Travels

Author: , April 13th, 2018

Cinque Terre - Dolly

Today I want to continue writing about places in Italy that I will visit on my next trip, which is coming up pretty soon. Cinque Terre is one area that we will visit, and we will stay there for a few days.

Cinque Terre is unique, in that the area is comprised of 5 villages that hug the Ligurian Coast. These villages are isolated from the main body of Italy by rugged mountains at their back and the sea in front of them. For centuries, the primary commerce of this area has been fishing and that continues. Now there are also vineyards planted on the steep terraces. Lemon trees grow wherever they can gain a foothold.

Cinque Terre - Dolly

That little red line on the western edge of Italy denotes the location of Le Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre - Dolly

The villages, as viewed from the sea, look like colorful toy buildings that have been super-glued to the mountainsides. Corniglia, the middle village of the five, sits on a steep mountain. It is the only one of the villages that does not have direct access to the sea.

To get to the Cinque Terre, one takes a train to La Spezia, then change trains to a regional one that will stop at each of the small stations. The trip from La Spezia to Riomaggiore, the first of the little towns, takes about 4 minutes. The next stop, Manarola, is another 2 to 3 minutes, then Corniglia station is another few minutes; likewise, Vernazza then the last of the villages, Monterosso, takes 3 minutes from Vernazza. So, you can see, if you travel by train, the villages are very close to each other. However, many tourists come to the area to hike the trails that connect these towns.

There are two main trail systems here: the “Short Trail”, the one most familiar to hikers, follows the coastline for most of the hike; although the trail is usually high above the sea, the hiker has a scenic view from start to finish.

The second trail, the “High Trail”, runs above the towns, but the view from that high up is fantastic. That trail is longer, but as of this moment, that trail is open, while the Short Trail is only open from Vernazza to Monterosso, and possibly Vernazza to Corniglia. That depends on the weather and landslide conditions. The Short Trail has had sections closed since 2012, due to landslides, with no time frame in sight for getting them open again. That is sad, for those trails were such a remarkable adventure, and could be done from start to finish in a few hours.

In the past, for centuries, the only way to go from one village to another was by the trails, which were steep and not well-maintained. Therefore, when a tunnel was carved through the mountain that connected Riomaggiore and Manarola, the villagers could then visit with each other. More importantly, to some, the young people could form friendships and romances with young people from the other village. The path through the tunnel became known as the Via dell’ Amore, the “Road of Love”.

Cinque Terre - Dolly

This is the famous metal sculpture within the tunnel of the Via dell’ Amore. Note the padlocks on the railings. Supposedly, lovers would put the lock on the railing, then throw the key into the sea. That meant their love would last as long as the padlocks stayed on the railing. However, I noted that some of the locks were combination-type locks. What does that mean?

This part of the trail is now in a section that is closed, due to landslides. I hope it will soon be repaired and open again.

Cinque Terre - Dolly

Monterosso has the best beach area of all the villages. I love to come here, rent a chair and an umbrella for the day, and just hang out at the beach. The water is clear, and warm enough to enjoy a swim.

This area, Le Cinque Terre, is one of the most popular areas of Italy for tourists to visit. It has become quite crowded during the summer season, but I still like to be there. As I usually stay a few days, I find places to go that are quiet, when the main piazze are filled.

The older area of Monterosso is one place that I have found that is more peaceful.

I hope you have enjoyed my little travelogue about Cinque Terre. Put this area on you Bucket List to visit when you go to Italy.

Ciao for now,
Dolly

By Dolly – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Liguria Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian Travel: Kentucky Houseboating – Go Girlfriend

Author: , April 9th, 2018

Kentucky Houseboating - Go Girlfriend

Kentucky may not be the first destination that springs to mind when considering a getaway for you and your gal pals, and we wouldn’t blame you. Kentucky isn’t exactly a shopping mecca … But trust us when we tell you that Kentucky has a sweet something you and girlfriends will happily trade for the shopping, fine dining and shows. Your own private boat (the size of a yacht) complete with bar, hot tubs and ample room for partying.

Vegas, New York and Chicago, while sinfully delish, can’t always hold a candle to truly getting away – which is what you’ll do on the Cumberland River. Imagine a houseboat with 6 private bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and dining room, rooftop hot tub, central heat and air…Sounds sweet, right?

Safe Harbor Rentals operates from Burnside Marina and offers a variety of houseboats ranging from 64 to 80 feet long. Yes, you get to drive the boat and yes, you get to take it as far up the river as you like.

Before you panic, these boats are amazingly easy to operate – if I can do it, anyone can.

By Julia Rosien – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Kentucky Gay Travel Resources

The Lodge at Butte La Rose – Louisiana Lesbian Owned B&B

Author: , April 7th, 2018

Lodge at Butte La Rose

The Lodge at Butte La Rose is a venue in the tradition of the South Louisiana “camp”. Conveniently located 5 miles south of I-10 and nestled in the community of Butte La Rose, the only community in the Atchafalaya Basin. The Basin is the largest wetland in the United States. The Lodge is your home base to launch your exploration of the Atchafalaya and the Acadiana region.

We here at The Lodge want your stay in the Basin to be memorable and relaxing. There are so many things to do and see here at The Lodge, or just sit on the screened in porch, read a book, and enjoy a glass of wine. You can also go sight seeing, shopping, hiking, kayaking, or nature hunting. We can accommodate up to 16 people so bring all your friends or family and pass a good time in the bayou! Make sure you ask Ms Gerri to tell you a Boudreaux and Thibodeaux joke. She’s got a million of them!!

See the Lodge at Butte La Rose Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Louisiana Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Lesbian Travel: The Weekend Quickie

Author: , March 26th, 2018

Weekend Quickie - Lesbian Travel

When you’re a kid, playtime is as important as naptime and meals – you couldn’t live without it! Sadly, most adults think we can’t live without our smart phones and the world they connect us to… North Americans (on average) have access to 10 vacation days per year while Europeans can tap into 4-6 weeks of away time … what a difference. Even more shocking – North Americans skimp on their time away while Europeans take what’s given to them and then some. And why not?

Recently, an acquaintance of mine bragged that she and her husband have never taken a vacation together. They`ve been married 12 years (with 2 kids) and have never indulged in a dirty weekend getaway – just the two of them. Even their family vacations incorporate work time because they’re both entrepreneurs and neither wants to miss an opportunity. She told me she’s happy and their businesses are thriving but the tiredness around her eyes revealed a much different story.

When did NOT taking a vacation become a badge of honor? When did we forget that routine without playtime is the death of desire?

By AUTHOR – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Casitas LazDivaz – Costa Rica Lesbian Bed & Breakfast

Author: , March 23rd, 2018

Casitas LazDivaz - Costa Rica Lesbian Bed & Breakfast

Playa Samara is a four-kilometer stretch of gorgeous beach on the Pacific coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, a National Geographic-designated Blue Zone, one of five areas in the world where people live longer, healthier, and happier lives than anywhere else on this planet.

Welcome to Casitas LazDivaz B&C, and experience the Rainbow Zone!

Enter our adults-only oasis through our whimsical driftwood gate, under the billowing rainbow flag, and find yourself in a serene tropical garden, where we celebrate diversity, welcoming guests from all walks of life.

Shaded by a full canopy of mature, indigenous trees teeming with wildlife, Casitas LazDivaz is a secluded compound of three cozy, private stand-alone cabins, outside of busy Samara Center, yet still within a five-minute beach stroll to the restaurants, shops, and entertainment in the lively Costa Rican village. Upon arrival, we will give you our annotated map to lead you to the activities and restaurants that we recommend

LazDivaz was conceived, designed, and lovingly built at the turn of the century by a couple of lesbian dreamers–an architect from Munich and a graphic designer from Boston. The European-standard construction is complemented by distinct, hand-crafted furniture and fixtures throughout.

Your comfort is our priority: the queen-size bed has an orthopedic mattress and high-count cotton sheets; ceiling fans supplement the ventilation in the breezy, open-air design; and the strong shower rains unlimited hot water.

Two casitas, Marlene Dietrich and Farinelli, each have a small refrigerator. WiFi is available throughout the premises.

Casita Tina Turner has a kitchen, with fridge, stove, microwave, toaster oven, blender, and all necessary utensils. Tina is larger than the other two, and is the most private, with an elevated porch that overlooks the garden.

Each morning we serve rich, steamy, high-altitude Costa Rican coffee, and offer fresh squeezed orange juice to get your day off to a healthful start.

On the beach just beyond the gate, under the shade of coconut palms, we hang colorful hammocks, an enticement to while away the hours reading, floating in a reverie, sharing a double hammock with your love, or just chilling to the music of the waves as they lull away your cares. Some call that state of static bliss “nirvana.” We call it “Samara Syndrome.”

Protected from strong currents by a barrier reef, Playa Samara is one of the safest swimming beaches in Costa Rica. The gentle waves are perfect for beginning surfers, the wide strand excellent for running, and the hills above prime hiking spots. The protected wildlife refuge on Isla Chora, just a few hundred meters from shore, is accessible by ocean kayak.

At twilight, we gather on our rustic driftwood bench, sipping libations and communing with the dazzling spectacle of light and color that unfolds as sunset fades into night, after which we sometimes light a fire pit to extend both our time on the beach, and the sense of community that often evolves among our guests.

See the Casitas LazDivaz Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Costa Rica Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Lesbian Cleveland – Go Girlfriend

Author: , March 19th, 2018

Lesbian Cleveland - pixabay

There’s a world-class city in Ohio on the southern shores of Lake Erie that blend the best of local hospitality, with some world-class facilities that allow some great weekend getaway possibilities. It’s no surprise with Cleveland’s uber-famous Rock & Roll Hall of fame that the music scene will be a vibrant bonanza! With a great music scene goes great drink and great food – perfect pairings for a night on the town.

Balancing the toe-tapping musical excitement are the quieter time activities for some conversation and simple relaxation – a picnic, the beaches, a spa, or an activity together. Our earlier post looked at some of the hotspots in Cleveland – Where to Eat, Sleep and Play. Pairing these together will open a world of weekend getaway possibilities.

The Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland’s greatest venue for catching some of the best up-and-coming indie rockers is the Beachland Ballroom’s specialty. Located in the artsy Waterloo Arts district, the space was once a Croatian Liberty Home, a social center for the large Slavic community in the area. While the space has remained largely the same with original design elements, signage and images from the 1950’s, the venue has become one of Cleveland’s most diverse live music venues with numerous shows throughout the week.

By Stacy Rosien – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Ohio Lesbian Travel Resources

San Gimignano – Dolly Travels

Author: , March 12th, 2018

San Gimignano - Dolly Travels

Good morning, everyone,

Today I am thinking of San Gimignano. This is one of the hill towns of Tuscany. True to its designation, there are hardly any flat places in this town.

To get there, one would take a bus from Florence, change buses in Poggibonsi. You might have to wait about a half hour for the next bus, but you will have time for a cappuccino at the little cafe in the bus/train station. That is about an hour and a half trip, and a pleasant one. San Gimignano is probably the most accessible of all the hill towns, so it is a busy place. I have never taken the train to Poggibonsi, as I would still have to take the bus up the hill to San Gimignano. My bus ticket gets me all the way to San Gimignano.

Once you get to San Gimignano and get off the bus, you walk through a stone archway, up an old stone street, until you come to the main piazza.

As you walk through town, don’t expect any flat ground, for there isn’t any…well, in front of the restaurants where the tables are set up, that is pretty flat. But most of the time, you will be either walking uphill or downhill. The picture above is deceiving, for it really is going uphill.

This is a city of towers. There are 14 towers still standing, surviving from the 13th century. Tourists can now climb one of the towers. I tried it once, and had to turn back, as the staircase was built of see-through steel grating, and as the stairs spiraled up and up and up, it scared the heck out of me to look down the way I had traveled, and I could see the stone floor so far below me.

You can see the people on the tower on the right. If you don’t have a fear of heights, like I do, this is a marvelous experience, to be able to look over the countryside, and if the weather is absolutely clear, you can see all the way to Florence, for that city is only 25 miles away, as the crow flies, I do believe.

San Gimignano is busy, as I said, for many tourists are there in the daytime. I would love to stay overnight there one of these trips, and see how it feels in the evening and I would enjoy the quiet of the nighttime up there.

When I am in San Gimignano, I find places like this. I don’t feel the need to shop, unless it is at a shop where I can buy the salami that is made from the cinghiale, the wild boars that roam in the countryside nearby. That is one cold cut that I really enjoy.

However, for the most part, I wander through the cobblestone streets, through the tunnels, up the hills, and find neat little staircases.

At the main piazza, appropriately named Piazza dell Cisterna, there is the old well. This used to be the gathering spot for the locals, for most people had to come there to draw their water. It still seems to be the gathering spot for tourists, as it makes a perfect Meeting Point. Everyone should know where the well is.

There are many good restaurants and cafes in San Gimignano. There are gelato shops as well, and as I mentioned before, shops that sell the salami and cheeses. This town is also noted for its very good white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano. The red wine from this area is not so tasty; if you are a red wine drinker, order a Chianti from the other side of Tuscany, the area between Florence and Siena.

San Gimignano - Dolly Travels

Some of the salami with different cheeses and grissini, the little thin bread sticks. So yummy.

I hope I have given you a glimpse of San Gimignano; enough of a glimpse that you will want to go see this town for yourself. Despite this being such a touristy town, it still retains the old world feel, and if you venture through town, go up to the Rocco, a view point that has you looking south over the countryside, then go down away from the center, you will probably feel as I do, that this is a perfect hill town.

I will leave you now with this little slice of Italy. Arrivederci, until next time, when I will tell you about some other place that I love and will visit again in June.

Ciao for now,
Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Tuscany Gay Travel Resources