Murals on the Berlin Wall – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 14th, 2019

Berlin Wall - Keep Calm and Wander

The murals on the East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall is a fascinating display of past, present, and future. Though the wall is covered in vibrant colors and eye-catching art, they can’t hide the city’s history. It’s engraved on, within, and beyond that wall.

Today, the remnants of the infamous Berlin Wall still stands along the bank of the River Spree on the Kreuzberg side. It’s a reminder for everyone to see that Walls don’t work. 😉

In 1961, East Germany started constructing the Berlin Wall to get rid of the “fascist” from West Germany to enter the East. Anyone who would escape from the East would be shot dead. A total of 171 residents who tried to flee didn’t make it. The Wall was dismantled on November 9, 1989, when people from both sides of the Wall were allowed to walk/cross freely again in both territories. However, the reunification between the East and West Germany only happened officially on October 3, 1990.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Berlin Gay Travel Resources

 

Seeing Athens From Mt Lycabettus – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 9th, 2019

Mt Lycabettus - Keep Calm and Wander

The views of Athens from Mt Lycabettus is one thing that most tourists miss. That’s because when they visit The Parthenon on Acropolis, they’d also see Athens’ skyline from there. And for most of them, that’s enough.

But, if you had time to climb Mt Lycabettus, you should do it without hesitation. The view from up there at sunset is something that you would never forget too soon.

Seeing the Parthenon from the side Mt Lycabettus is another angle of seeing Athens’ panoramic skyline. And guess what, the mountain is even so much higher than Acropolis. You’ll be able to see the white-washed city dwellings creeping all the way to the Aegean Sea.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Greece Gay Travel Resources

 

Athens’ Acropolis Museum – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 7th, 2019

Acropolis Museum - Keep Calm and Wander

If I were you, visiting the Acropolis Museum in Athens should be your first business of the day. Then, climbing Acropolis to see the grandeur of The Parthenon is next. Yes, I know – you’d prefer to see the Parthenon first to avoid the crowd. Well, if you’re just going to take photos without the crowd in the background, then, that’s a smart thing to do.

But, if you want to fill in your brain with historical facts and visual feast on artifacts – visit the Acropolis Museum first. The displays on the last floor of the museum are shaped like the Parthenon. The set-up gives you a clear picture of what it was once like. You need to know that you can’t get close to The Parthenon in Acropolis because it is fenced and it is heavily guarded by workers in civilian clothes.

I would highly recommend that you go early to the museum. Have your breakfast at their outdoor patio on the top floor. They’ve got a fantastic view of The Parthenon. It feels good sipping your coffee or eating your pancakes while admiring the beauty of the Acropolis.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Greece Gay Travel Resources

 

The Parthenon – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 24th, 2019

The Parthenon - Keep Calm and Wander

I have seen the Parthenon in history books, TV documentaries and in gazillion postcards. I’ve also read about it in guidebooks and classical literature. Never have I ever thought that one day, I’ll be seeing it and standing on Acropolis where once the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology believed to have resided. No visitors in Athens would miss this enduring icon that withstood the weathering of time.

The Parthenon, however, isn’t mythical. It is a realm on its own merit. Nothing much has been left there to see but the archaeological ruins show a powerful civilization that spread its influence beyond lands and oceans.

The Parthenon is on the hills of Acropolis where Athens got its name. It had been said that the city was founded by a half-snake, half-human creature – Cecrops. In fact, the city’s first name was Cecropia, named after the legendary leader who turned the city into an important trading center.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Greece Gay Travel Resources

Romerburg: Frankfurt’s Most Colorful Square – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 21st, 2018

Romerberg - Keep Calm and Wander

Romerberg is the most colourful square in Frankfurt that you must not miss. If you do, then, you couldn’t say you’ve visited this modern German city with an old charm. Romerberg is literally translated as the “Roman Mountain” but you won’t be able to see even a hump in this square. Yes, there’s no mountain here nor it is surrounded by mountains. The name itself, however, suggests that this city was once, undoubtedly, ruled by the Romans.

The colorfully-decorated gabled half-timbered Gothic houses in Romerberg would never fail to hold your breath away.

These medieval house has been here since the 15th century – though many of them are reconstructed after World War 2.

If you look at the facades of these structures – their patterns, colors, symmetries, angles, symbols, and statues –  they compliment each other’s unique, individual beauty.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Germany Gay Travel Resources

 

Best Countries for Travel Photography – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 14th, 2018

norway - travel photography - pixabay

Given the advancements in technology and low cost airfare, it’s never been a better time to travel to your dream destinations and capture the beauty of the world with your trusty camera.

Believe it or not, most smartphones now boast cameras that could go head to head with high-quality photography equipment released just a few short years ago.

You no longer need to lug around and wish losing bags upon bags of photography equipment because you can just carry it all in your pocket. But on that note, where are the best places for travel photography where you can capture picturesque landscapes?

Norway

With its fjords and mountainous landscapes, this Scandinavian country offers photogenic landscapes that could be mistaken for beautiful fantasy-scapes straight out of a medieval novel.

You can travel just a half hour outside of any major city in Norway and your eyes will be in for a feast of staggering peaks, quaint villages nestled in mountain valleys, wide expanses of ice and snow, and alpine forests.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Oia, Santorini is Paradise on Earth – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , November 23rd, 2018

Oia, Santorini, Greece - Keep Calm and Wander

In Santorini, Oia is paradise on earth. That is – if your idea of paradise is filled with white-washed houses with blue domes, sitting on a cliff that traverses down to the blue waters of the Aegean Sea.

You have probably seen Santorini already, I’m sure. Its white-washed houses with a spectacular sunset in the background have graced in countless postcards, books, photography websites, calendars, blogs, posters, promotional materials, and romantic wedding albums.

The volcanic island’s capital is Fira, but the postcard-perfect place not to miss is Oia. It’s on the edge of the island but it’s accessible by buses.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Greece Gay Travel Resources

Oia is Paradise on Earth – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , November 23rd, 2018

In Santorini, Oia is paradise on earth. That is – if your idea of paradise is filled with white-washed houses with blue domes, sitting on a cliff that traverses down to the blue waters of the Aegean Sea.

You have probably seen Santorini already, I’m sure. Its white-washed houses with a spectacular sunset in the background have graced in countless postcards, books, photography websites, calendars, blogs, posters, promotional materials, and romantic wedding albums.

The volcanic island’s capital is Fira, but the postcard-perfect place not to miss is Oia. It’s on the edge of the island but it’s accessible by buses.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Greece Gay Travel Resources

Lost in Translation in Hangzhou – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , November 16th, 2018

Lost in Translation in Hangzhou

“Welcome to the back!” proclaimed an English sign at the front door of a small Chinese restaurant in Hangzhou, a city in China, known for its West Lake. It was here where Marco Polo once sailed, mesmerized by its stunning beauty and declared the place in ancient times as “the most beautiful place in the world.”

Six exhausted backpackers from four countries and I, who all met in a hostel, froze for a moment in silence, as if trying to decipher one of China’s ancient, decrepit signboard. We exchanged quick glances, hoping one had a clue to share. We were pretty sure we were standing at the entrance, not the back, of the restaurant. Almost in unison, we quickly realized what the sign meant was, “Welcome back.” It’s one of those rampant translations gone wrong in Chinglish, a blend of Chinese and English.

With hunger excruciatingly creeping into our stomachs, we gave up looking for another restaurant. We’d been walking all day and we were so hungry we could eat a barrel of dumplings sans chopsticks.

Two ladies behind the reception desk smiled when we came in. One disappeared quickly to call someone from the kitchen. When we were all seated, the other waitress came with a kettle of tea and a vacuum flask of hot water. She carefully poured the hot water and tea alternately with impeccable skill. When she was done, she said something in Chinese and our jaws dropped. We understood not a single word. She looked at each one of our tired faces, hoping a single one of us could make sense of what she just said. Meeting our uncomprehending looks, she smiled sheepishly and left embarrassed.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

China Gay Travel Resources

 

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , November 11th, 2018

In 2014 (yes, I know, it’s been 4 years already), the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul was the world’s most-visited tourist attraction, according to Travel+Leisure. If you look at the Instagram hashtags of this marketplace, you’ll be dazzled by the colors of what this well-known tourist destination would offer to your four senses.

On the day I was there, the scene didn’t disappoint me. I was enamored not just by its history, sights, and colors but also how the Turkish vendors won’t bother you just by passing through their shops. Unlike other busy markeplaces I’ve been to in many countries (like China, Hongkong, Vietnam, and Thailand), the sellers at Grand Bazaar are not the pushy kinds. They’d leave you alone once you politely say, “I’m just window shopping.”

I was there in the early morning, so the crowd was still thin, and I felt like I was the only (or most) obvious tourist going around.

The Grand Bazaar is a 15th-century shopping mall that makes your shopping experience worthwhile. However, in the frenzy of buying all good things, do not forget to revere the character of the architecture and historical vibes sprouting from the walls.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Turkey Gay Travel Resources