Amsterdam in the Morning – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 15th, 2018

Amsterdam in the Morning - Keep Calm and Wander

In my previous blog post, I talked about what Amsterdam looks like without the tourists. This is part 2 of the post – and a continuation of my morning stroll. You might not like waking up early in the morning but it’s worth it. You’ll see more of Amsterdam when there are no tourists around.

Though you won’t be able to see museums and art galleries, walking around the city in the morning is far more rewarding than doing it when tourists are everywhere. Don’t worry about getting lost – enjoy being lost. It’s a small city, so you’ll always find a way to get back where you started. You might be surprised what you can find in the city’s little corners.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Amsterdam Gay Travel Resources

Amsterdam Without the Tourists – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 8th, 2018

Amsterdam Without Tourists - Keep Calm and Wander

Here are photos of what Amsterdam looks like without the tourists.

It is estimated that there are around 17 million tourists that visit Amsterdam every year. For a tiny city, this number is already insane! Come in summer and you might think you’re in China due to the crowd – everywhere! Your photo will always have people in the background. Unless you’d walk away far from the centre. You can’t even enjoy a very nice, quiet meal in a restaurant. Bicycle? Forget it! Biking downtown is truly a nightmare for someone who doesn’t know the city’s shortcut corners.

Go Around in the Morning. Before tourists are awake, take a stroll along the city’s canals and squares. Though it’s quiet but you’ll appreciate the city’s layout without the crowd. The canals are serene and seem to have a personality of its own. At 7:00, the locals start to go out by riding their bikes to their offices. You’ll be hearing more bike bells anywhere you go and suddenly, you feel that you’re really in Amsterdam. By 9:00 a.m., the city starts to look a lot more like Disney again.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources

Masterpieces of the RijksMuseum in Amsterdam – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 6th, 2018

RijksMuseum Amsterdam - Keep Calm and Wander

When you’re in Netherlands, don’t skip in getting to know all the masterpieces inside Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Boy, until now, I can’t help but remember the goosebumps I had staring at the originals masterpieces of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and other Dutch masters.

How much time should I spend there? I was there two hours before is closed. That’s good enough time to explore the whole museum. But if you’re really an art enthusiast, then, you need a half day to scrutinize everything.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources

The Narrowest House in Amsterdam – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 3rd, 2018

Narrowest House in Amsterdam - Alain

This may not be the thinnest house in the world but this certainly is the narrowest house facade in the world. While I’ve seen some pretty small / thin houses on my walks along the canal, this one seems to be the narrowest. I didn’t find it on my own. I joined a free walking tour guided by a friend and he pointed this out as one of the world’s narrowest houses. Obviously, you can’t disagree by the looks of it.

This should not be confused as the “narrowest in the world” because that title is already claimed by the Keret House in Poland. However, this particular house in Amsterdam has the world’s narrowest house facade. It is much bigger inside.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources

Luxembourg’s Charming “The Grund” – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 2nd, 2018

The Grund Luxembourg - Keep Calm and Wander

The Grund is a charming part of Luxembourg City. According to census, there are less than 800 people living here and only 33% are Luxembourgers. The only thing I know before I came here was that Luxembourg is a haven for the ultra rich. So, maybe, some of them live here?

Where to See the Best View. The Grund skyline can be best viewed from Chemlin de la Corniche Promenade, aka, the Most Beautiful Balcony in Europe. I never had the chance to go down here because I couldn’t find the lift that goes down to the valley. So, I decided to explore other parts of the city.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Luxembourg’s Grand Ducal Palace – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 30th, 2017

Grand Ducal Palace - Luxembourg - Keep Calm and Wander

The Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg Has Got an impressive facade. Yes, I was impressed. I wasn’t even planning or looking for this place but when I passed it on my way to the museum, I had to sit down on an empty cafe across the street and admire it from my outdoor table. I can also assure you that I was also looking at the marching guards. Promise, I was just looking.

The Grand Ducal Palace is the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. In summer (from mid July to August), the palace is open for guided tours. Unfortunately for me, I was there in June, so the it’s the Duke’s loss for not able to meet me.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Luxembourg’s Most Beautiful Balcony – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 26th, 2017

Luxembourg

Chemin de la Corniche Promenade in Luxembourg is Europe’s Most Beautiful Balcony. Perhaps, it’s the world’s longest balcony, too! I walked the entire promenade that snakes through the top of ancient, historical forts.

Chemin de la Corniche. The promenade runs on top of the old ramparts built by the French and the Spaniards. Take your time walking slowly and admire the views below the valley and across the river. The small community you see below is the district of Grund with interesting houses.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

The Grand Place in Brussels at Midnight – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 21st, 2017

Grand Place in Brussels

I visited the Grand Place in Brussels at midnight and I was surprised to see a crowd of hedonists there. Boy, it’s a rendezvous of both locals and tourists who pretend to be locals. I’m not really sure about drinking in public places in Brussels but seems like it’s legal? I saw people sitting while drinking and smoking on the city’s main public square. So, I guess, it’s allowed? 🙂

Grand Place or Grote Markt? Both are correct. The former is French and the latter is Dutch. This is Brussels’s main square and if you ask any local using either of the name, they’ll surely know where it is.

What’s in / around Grand Place? This square is surrounded by Brussels’s guild houses and town hall. If you stand in the middle and turn 360 degrees, you’ll be awed at the magnificent buildings, mostly of Gothic style. There’s no doubt that this place is still a centre of political, social, cultural, and commercial life. In August (every two years), this square turns into a huge carpet of flowers. It is said that a million begonias are harvested and brought here – designed and set up in stunning patterns.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Brussels Gay Travel Resources

The Groeninge Museum in Bruges – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 18th, 2017

Groeninge Museum

At Groeninge Museum in Bruges, I’ve seen my very first Flemish paintings. That, if my memory serves me right. And these are not just your regular paintings. They’re the works of master Flemish painters, like Jan Provoost, Jan Van Eyck and Hieronymus Bosch. The museum also have some works from the Renaissance which I figured out before I read their detailed descriptions.

With our further ado, I’m presenting to you some of the art pieces you’ll see inside Groeningemuseum in Bruges.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Belgium Gay Travel Resources

The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 11th, 2017

Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Here are photos of my leisurely walk at the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. For most tourists, they directly go to the hill where they see the bird’s eye view of the ancient ruins of the city that brought us the legend of Remus and Romulus. Some tour companies won’t include this attraction because it’s vast – and it would take time to go around.

At first, I wasn’t really impressed of the ruins I saw – until I sat down and googled its history. After 20 minutes of reading online, I walked around the lower ground and appreciated its significance to the city’s history. I see those relics with a new eye.

This archaeological site was once the residence of aristocrats and emperors. By the look of it, you’ll see that this was the centre of political and social movements at its heydays. Legend has it that Remus and Romulus were found in a cave here by the she-wolf. Romulus is believed to be the founder of the city of Rome (now you know where the city’s name come from). Caligula, that lunatic of an emperor, was killed here on a tunnel under the palaces.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Rome Gay Travel Resources