5 Interesting Facts about the Doge’s Palace in Venice – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , September 8th, 2018

Doge's Palace - Keep Calm and Wander

If anything that strikes our minds after hearing the name “Italy”, it is definitely Venice – a city where everything is shrouded in romance and intrigue. Doge’s Palace, in particular, is one of those places.

Here are some interesting facts about it.

1. It exhibits Gothic Architecture

The architectural exuberance of the palace is the first thing that meets the eyes of an onlooker. The building is purely gothic; however, there is a huge influence of the Venetian art; thus, making it Venetian Gothic style.

2. The “White House” in its heyday

This palace was the central government building at its peak time. “Doge of Venice” or the ruler used to live here with his family for his lifetime.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Venice Gay Travel Resources

Five Gay Travel Apps You Need Now – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , September 7th, 2018

Five Gay Travel Apps You Need Now - The Nomadic Boys

We rely more and more on our phones and tablets during our travels than ever before. So much so, each year we love to put together our favourite new app discoveries, such as our 9 favourite gay travel apps and our 5 awesome apps for gay travellers.

So in true Nomadic Boys tradition, here are our latest 5 new gay travel app discoveries. Note that although these are not necessarily brand new apps, nor are they gay specific, they are apps that we’ve recently stumbled on, absolutely love, and have completely embellished our travels in one way or other.

AccuWeather

What’s wrong with the iPhone weather app? It’s quite unreliable and doesn’t always find the local place you’re based. We’ve had this problem on numerous occasions, so we spent a lot of time searching for an alternative weather app.

The best we found is AccuWeather, which is comprehensive, user friendly, lists multiple places, and of course reliable. It also gives a detailed breakdown by hour and day.

Drone camera users like us will also appreciate the wind speed info given by AccuWeather so you know if it’s safe to fly.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Inside the Pisa Cathedral – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , September 7th, 2018

Pisa Cathedral - Keep Calm and Wander

The Pisa Cathedral marks the zenith of the architectural power of Pisa at the time of its creation by having bits from the Islamic, Byzantine, Lombard-Emilian, and classical architecture. Lying peacefully in the Piazza dei Miracoli (Miracle Square), it gleams in multi-colors, courtesy of the different types of marbles that it is adorned with, especially cosmatesque marble.

1. The marble facade

Unlike the exterior, the cathedral’s interior depicts much more decorations and ornamentations. The Romanesque façade of the cathedral is made of pastel-colored marble that is designed divinely by the students of Giambolongna.

While the three doors leading inside were constructed or cast after the deadly fire of 1595, an original door “The Door of San Ranieri” designed by Bonnano Pisano still stands and provides a way in from the southern transept.

2. Medieval and Renaissance art

The interior of the cathedral has a mixture of the Renaissance and Medieval architecture. This mixture has been a result of the fire of 1595. After the destruction of most of the Medieval parts of the cathedral, they were rebuilt in the Renaissance style as it was popular back then.

The surviving Medieval pieces include Tomb of Emperor Henry VII, originally sculpted by Tino di Camaino, and the pulpit by Giovanni Pisano, which has been recently placed in its original place after being found dismantled.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Pisa Gay Travel Resources

Small Towns Can Be Fun and Interesting – Traveling In Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , September 6th, 2018

Oakley, Kansas - small towns - Gay Travelers

Ever go to a town with a population of about 2,000 to have a fun and interesting time when you absolutely know no one? We did a couple of weeks ago and had a fabulous time and met some really, REALLY wonderful and interesting people. Oakley, Kansas is located on Interstate 70 in western Kansas, 350 miles west of Kansas City and 250 miles east of Denver.

We checked out the motels ahead of time and chose the Kansas Country Inn, www.kansascountryinn.com which turned out to be the best one in town. Amanda was the Manager and had a personality perfect for her job description. She was fun, funny, very professional and made everyone staying at the motel feel right at home. She was a ‘hands on’ manager who knows what is going on and is on top of everything. More motels around the country needs to hire more people like her and they would get a lot more business. We could not have asked for a better place to stay out in western Kansas. She directed us to the best places to see and dine. There were some oil rig workers staying at the motel and we had a great conversation on the history and workings on what they do which was extremely interesting. They are such hard workers. They deserve double the salaries that they receive.

Oakley, Kansas - small towns - Gay TravelersThe first afternoon, we toured the Fick Fossil Museum, www.discoveroakley.com/167/Fick-Fossil-Museum. Kansas was a very different place 80 million years ago and an inland sea stretched from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and Kansas was under water. In 1964 Ernest and Vi Fick began collecting fossils left by ancient sea creatures that inhabited this prehistoric sea. After collecting thousands of items, it was time to establish a museum. Any museum or town or anything is only as good as the staff or people involved. The receptionist, Donnette was a REAL JEWEL! She explained about the museum, the town and surrounding area. We enjoyed talking with everyone in Oakley but she was our favorite. We wish her well. She was ‘born FABULOUS’ and she is staying that way!

Oakley, Kansas - small towns - Gay TravelersOur next stop was the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center, www.buffalobilloakley.org/ which has a 2X life size Bronze statue of Buffalo Bill and a Buffalo. Like kissing the Blarney Stone one is supposed to kiss the Buffalo. They have a great Center adjoining the statue. We met a wonderful lady who works there, Alice and she was extremely interesting to talk with. She also gave us recommendations on where to go in the area and also where to dine.

Our first night we dined at the Buffalo Bill Bar and Grill downtown. The food was exceptional and our server Audra was very proficient and friendly.

Oakley, Kansas - small towns - Gay TravelersThe next day we drove 20 some miles south of town to visit The Chalk Pyramids and Monument Rocks,  www.kansastravel.org/monumentrocks.htm. Out here in the middle of nowhere are these absolutely wonderful rock creations which you can park your auto and walk all around. One has to go the Grand Canyon or someplace like that to see this type of a scenic vista. They do not go for miles and miles however it is certainly worth the trip to see these extra ordinary structures. Do be careful because this on private land (the owners are very nice to allow visitors drive on their property for free,) but there are dozens of cattle walking all around and they do leave ‘droppings’ NOT to step in! Be sure and check out the photos on their website.

Back to Oakley we had lunch at the Dairy King and had a delicious cheeseburger and chocolate milk shake. Our clerk, Leesa was a delight to talk with. She actually is a cousin to Amanda, the motel manager. Needless to say the cheeseburger and milk shake was made from scratch unlike at the fast food restaurants. Then off to Russell Springs, Kansas about 30 miles southwest. The population is 24, yes, 24! It was the original county seat of Logan Country until 1963 which it was moved to Oakley. The beautiful county court house is now the Butterfield Trail Museum, www.butterfieldtrailmuseum.org/. which is full of history as well as hundreds of artifacts and relics from the area. Debbie who was in charge of the Museum was great! She loves her town and it’s rich history. A ‘friend’ of hers, Kendal walked in from town like one block away and he was equally interesting to talk with about the town and it’s history. They were perfect together and we think that they should get married. Needless to say the town has no grocery stores or service stations or anything other than it’s residents. On cold winter nights one needs to stock up on groceries and beer/liquor from another town far away.

That night we dined THE BLUFF restaurant in Oakley which was highly recommended to us by several people. The food was excellent! Our server, Jessie was friendly and professional. The two guys in the kitchen (and owners) certainly knew what they were doing and our food was outstanding! Three more people we want to mention was John at the Meat Processing business across the street from the motel. They process all of their own meat. Large cities needs a place like this. Unfortunately we were running late when we left and didn’t have time to purchase some meat to bring home. They have a wonderful grocery store in Oakley. Heartland Foods, where everyone is super friendly, especially Jack and Matthew. If you are ever driving along I-70, take a couple of days and stay in Oakley. You will be glad that you did. You will also meet some of the friendliest people around. Thanks again to Amanda at the motel for being so fabulous! For more information about Oakley, Kansas, check www.discoveroakley.com/
Don and Ray

Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Visiting India After the Decriminalization of Gay Sex – Gay Star News

Author: , September 6th, 2018

India - pixabay

India made history by becoming the next country to decriminalize gay sex. The seventh largest state’s supreme court overturned Section 337 today (6 September 2018) after hearing petitions from lawyers representing LGBTI activists. The ban dates back to colonial times and outlawed sexual activities ‘outside the order of nature’. This included homosexual sex.

But its repeal is a landmark in civil rights for the LGBTI community in India. 1.35 billion people live in the country, making it the largest decriminalization in history. So to celebrate, let’s look at just how beautiful India is.

1 Yumthang Valley, Sikkim

Also known as the Valley of Flowers, this beautiful spot is filled with hot springs, yaks, and meadows, centered on a river and surrounded by the Himalayas.

2 Tea Gardens, Munnar

If you can’t think about starting your day without a cup of tea, then you need to visit these Tea Gardens. Rolling hills of green make it one of the most beautiful places to visit in India.

By Tom Capon – Full Story at Gay Star News

India Gay Travel Resources

Baptistery of Pisa – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , September 3rd, 2018

Baptistery of Pisa - Keep Calm and Wander

Located in the Piazza dei Miracoli (Miracle Square), on the west coast of Italy, the Baptistery of Pisa forms one of the four buildings. In fact, it comes second in the chronological order, neighboring the Duomo di Pisa, the cathedral, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

It is an ecclesiastical building, and throughout history, it has played a keen role in the religious scene in Pisa. This actually shows in the multiple architectural veils that it is draped in. The lower side has arches and pillars that hint towards the Romanesque style, but the upper levels show a stark Gothic style with pointed figures and closely spaced pillars.

The entrance to the edifice is covered with ornate pillars and reliefs, in which the upper one depicts the life of Saint John and the middle one shows Christ flanked by Saint John and Madonna and surrounded by several angels.

The Baptistery of Pisa – Where Galileo Was Baptized

This baptistery is famous for its architecture and also for the following things.

1. The Acoustics: Nicola Pisano and his son Giovanni Pisano have done an outstanding job by designing the interior that it facilitates reverberations or acoustics. Anyone standing below the edge of the dome can have his voice echoed. Every 30 minutes, one of the employees would sing loud to demonstrate the power of its acoustics.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Pisa Gay Travel Resources

The Caribbean ABC’s – Go Girlfriend

Author: , September 3rd, 2018

Aruba - pixabay

Three popular “A, B, C islands” make up the southern string of islands just off the north coast of Venezuela. As part of the Dutch Antilles, these Caribbean island gems are extensions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Drier than it’s northern Antilles rain-forested cousins, the A, B, C islands beauty is in it’s beaches, it’s mangroves and it’s consistent warm dry conditions. Being only about 12’ north of the equator, the sun can be very intense – but the offsetting trade winds keep a consistent breeze blowing to have movement of air (sometimes quite gusty in May and June) that helps the scorching heat. A secondary side benefit of the east-west trade winds is that it is kept out of the hurricane pathway that most often veers northward once it reaches the Gulf of Mexico – thus keeping the islands out of harms way.

As equal opportunity lovers of the humid rain forested Caribbean islands, GoGirlfriend also has a love on for the drier, warmer, windy A, B, C islands. There’s lots to do with rich snorkeling, diving, land-sailing and beachy adventures just not found in the other Caribbean islands.

Aruba “One Happy Island”

With more sunny days than any other island, and beaches fronting all sides, Aruba is big enough to offer some diverse activities, yet small enough to rent a scooter and explore it all. Most activities are centered on the leeward west coast with resorts and hotels abundant north and west of the capital Oranjestad, and the natural beauty of the Natural Bridge and Arikok National Park face the eastern windward side.

By Stacy Rosien – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Caribbean Gay Travel Resources

Surfside Hotel and Suites – Provincetown Gay Friendly Resort

Author: , August 31st, 2018

Surfside Hotel and Suites - Provincetown Gay Friendly Resort

Your vacation is our creation!

The Surfside Hotel & Suites is an oceanfront boutique property located in magnificent Provincetown, Massachusetts. We take pride in providing our guests with a relaxing friendly atmosphere, professional service, and gracious hospitality – a hotel experience worth remembering. Enjoy your vacation on Cape Cod Bay in our relaxing, casual atmosphere. The Surfside Hotel is the ideal vacation destination for lasting memories.

Experience why the Surfside Hotel & Suites has the most sought after view in Provincetown!

Rooms with a View . . . The Surfside Hotel has newly-renovated guestrooms and suites located on the waterfront, with spectacular views of Cape Cod Bay. Relax on our own private, sandy beach or poolside on our sun-splashed deck.

Waterfront Location . . . The Surfside Hotel & Suites is located in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the quiet East End of Provincetown. You’re far enough away from the hustle town, but close enough to walk to galleries, restaurants, shopping and area attractions. The hotel is located only minutes from the art district, popular eateries, hip nightclubs and wineries. Ride to the extensive bicycle trails along the Atlantic seashore.

See the Surfside Hotel and Suites Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

California Central Coast Road Trip – 2TravelDads

Author: , August 31st, 2018

What could be more perfect any time of year than a California Central Coast road trip? Nothing. Leaving the SoCal area out of Los Angeles and heading north up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), you’re bound to find beautiful, quirky, delicious, and captivating stops. A road trip up the California Central Coast fits nearly any budget and can last a few days or two weeks. There’s never a dull moment with or without kids, and we’ve done it both ways.

Looking back (and as we plan to do a Central Coast road trip again soon) I think next time we’ll eat more ice cream, spend some time hiking in Los Padres National Forest and schedule our trip around either Spring Barrel or Crush in the Fall.

We only just started to get into the amazing, diverse world of wine on the Central Coast and it could be the focus of its own trip. Was that too much much of a hint of what’s in store? Oops. Having said that, prepare yourself for fun with the family any time of year on a PCH road trip.

Planning your California Central Coast road trip

It’s so much fun to throw some bags and supplies in the car and hit the road, but when you’re talking about family travel to a popular destination, particularly in the summer months, you need to plan things out a bit more than this. Here’s how to plan your perfect California Central Coast road trip (or any similar trip for that matter).

Perfect California Road Trip Activities along the PCH

We always like to start our road trip planning with making a list of sights and activities we know both the kids and adults will love. When we’re talking about California we know that we can almost always mix beach time with hiking and even some family friendly wine tasting. The California Central Coast is perfect for all of those activities. Add in our love for history and we’ve got endless opportunities to enjoy a perfect road trip along the PCH together.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

California Central Coast Gay Travel Resources

Montreal’s Gay Village: The Hilights – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , August 31st, 2018

Montreal's Gay Village - The Nomadic Boys

Montreal is one of our favourite cities we’ve visited during our travels, especially during the summer months.

We came here during the Fierte Montreal gay pride and completely fell in love with the gay village. There are always many events going on Montreal not to mention many different foods to try.

One of our favourite gay travel bloggers, Barry from Toronto told us about his 5 favourite highlights from Montreal’s gay village following his recent visit during the gay pride:

Where to take the best selfies

I love La Graine Brûlée because it is super colourful and quirky. Check out the leopard printed seats, mini ferries wheel, graffiti covered cubby holes and small nooks that make it look like a play room with old Nintendo games. This unique cafe is located on the west side of the Montreal gay village right by the Berri-UQAM metro station. For me, this is THE place to take a selfie to kick off a great night out in the Montreal gay village.

I also love taking selfies by the rainbow crossings that mark the entrance of the gay village. Try to get the background ball installation in your picture, which is rainbow coloured during Pride.

Montreal also has some of the best street art murals, which are perfect backgrounds for your Instagram gallery.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Montreal Gay Travel Resources