Must-See London Landmarks – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , August 28th, 2017

London Landmarks - Big Ben

London is a cosmopolitan city that connects you to its past, present, and future. Look around, and you’ll find that the city is filled with amazing architectural wonders from the Georgian, Baroque, Gothic, Romanesque, art deco, Victorian, and contemporary eras. They blend beautifully into the city’s skyline, giving visitors the chance to explore a variety of eras. Let’s get to know some of the must-see London landmarks in one of my favorite cities.

Big Ben (Gothic Revival)

This is the most recognized landmark in London and the world’s most famous bell tower. It chimes every 15 minutes, and you can hear it all around the city within a 5-mile radius. In fact, in 2008, the tower was voted the most popular icon in the United Kingdom. You can’t climb up to the top, but you can visit Parliament Hall, which is attached to Big Ben. Westminster Abbey, another London icon, is also steps away from here.

Note: because of renovations, Big Ben will not be ringing on a regular basis for the next five years.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

London Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Catskill Mountain View House

Author: , January 14th, 2011

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

>Gay Friendly Catskill Mountain Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Catskill Mountain View House - Denver, New YorkOur beautiful Catskill Mountain vacation rental home is just two and a half hours from the George Washington Bridge, perfectly situated between Belleayre and Plattekill Mountain recreation areas (just 15 minutes from here).

We’re also just forty minutes away from Windham and Hunter Mountain ski areas. Catskill Mountain View House is in the town of Denver, close to Margaretville, Roxbury, Fleischmanns restaurants, groceries and shops.

There are many great things to do in the area, including skiing, hiking, biking, kayaking, antiquing, sight seeing and much more.

The Catskill Mountain View House is a great place to spend a romantic weekend, host a family retreat, or just get away from it all.

Our Catskills vacation rental home sits at the end of a dead end road, very quiet with no traffic. You’ll enjoy fantastic mountain views from our large front deck, and there’s a large field for play too. The trees along the back provides ample privacy on more than eight acres.

The Catskill Mountain View House has four spacious bedrooms, two baths and sleeps 8-10 people. For smaller parties, we also offer two bedroom/two bath rates.

See the Catskill Mountain View House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Postcards From An Italian Adventure – Florence This Week

Author: , August 2nd, 2010

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

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on an extended adventure in Italy. She has graciously agreed to let us republish her travel logs. Enjoy!

Florence, Italy

Wednesday, July 21st

Hi, everyone,

To say it has been hot in Florence is such an understatement, that I will not even say that. it has been miserable. Therefore, I have been doing things around town that will help me stay cool. I have not gone to the San Ambrogio Market lately, as it has been too hot to cook, even for me.

Florence ParkI decided to find as many parks as I could, that were within easy walking distance. The park near the Fortezza, is big, has walking paths around it, with a duck pond and fountain in the center. It is a lovely place to sit and read, enjoy the solitude. Of course, I have to kick the sleeping bums off the shadiest benches before I can relax… just kidding. But there does seem to be quite a few homeless people using the parks for their summer residence.

I ventured down another street one day, and sat in the shade in the park where families were there with their children. I do not know how the kids found the energy to swing, and go down the slides, but they did, and they were happy.

In another park, Piazza Independence, I noted the statues of two statesmen. Ricasoli’s name I knew, but l still need to research Peruzzi. As I am always trying to learn something new, when I returned from my walk, I researched Ricasoli a bit further. I have no idea of how good a politician he was, but he did become Prime Minister of Italy in the late 1800’s.

However, I was more impressed with the fact that it was his original recipe for Chianti wine, that set the standard for the League of Chianti, in 1872. In 1967, the government of Italy firmly established that vintners had to follow the Ricasoli recipe, in order to receive the coveted DOCG seal of approval for Chianti.

Of course, that has been altered somewhat now, as the Ricasoli recipe contained 70% Sangiovese wine, mixed with 15% Canaiolo wine, and 15% Malvasio or Trebbiano wine (which are white wines). Now the standard is 85% Sangiovese, with the other 15% red wine of vintner’s choice, and no white wine.
Are you impressed with this knowledge? And you thought I was just another pretty American tourist!! Ha!!

Old Fortress, LivornoLast Monday, I took a little day trip to Livorno, which is on the sea coast. The harbor had several gorgeous yachts in it, and I admired the old fortress, but as soon as I got two blocks away from the harbor, with the intention of doing more sight-seeing, the heat was just as bad as it was in Florence.

I did stroll through the Mercato Centrale, and their street market (Florence’s street markets are better). I found the area that they call New Venice, because of the canals there (no one can compete with Venice, when it comes to canals). Eventually, I found a place to have a late lunch, then called it a day, due to the heat. Back to Florence I came.

Monterosso, ItalyBut yesterday, I said, “Florence, I love you, but you are killing me!” I took the train to Monterosso, the uppermost town on the Cinque Terre, rented a chair with an umbrella, and was soon floating in the clear, clean, lovely Ligurian Sea. I had a lovely day there. Now that was truly a day of La Dolce Vita. I felt ever so much better when I returned to Florence.

In two days, I am leaving for Vienna, Austria, where I think it will be not only cooler, but projected rain for the 4 days I am staying there. From there I will go to Salzburg for two days. The Summer Music Festival is happening during the time I will be there, so I am excited about that. I will spend one night in Innsbruck, a place I have never been. From there I will go to Lake Lugano, Switzerland, for two nights. Frank and I and our fellow travelers had stayed in Lugano in 2001, and loved it, so I will be happy to be there again.

I will try to keep up the blog while I am traveling. This is truly the trip of a lifetime, and I know how fortunate I am to be able to do this. I will have great memories forever.

I miss all of you. Wish that some of you were here to enjoy this with me. Keep in touch, and let me know how you are doing.

Love to all,


Want to Follow Bella’s Adventure Directly? Check Out Dolly Travels

Click here for gay travel resources in Florence & Tuscany.