Queer Austin: Texas’s Weirdest, Most Wonderful City – Gay Star News

Author: , April 23rd, 2018
Queer Austin

Photo: Courtesy Geoff Duncan of Visit Austin

Throngs of delicate, birdlike creatures swarm across a pink-blue sky. Audible gasps abound. Austin, Texas comes alive at night. The same, of course, can be said of its resident urban bat colony.

In spring and summer, on an almost daily basis, 1.5 million Mexican free-tailers soar from under Congress Avenue Bridge into the twilight sky. And you know what they say about nature putting on a show…

Across Lady Bird Lake, another nocturnal animal catches my eye. The Frost Bank Tower – which looks uncannily like a sitting owl – is catching fractions of dying light.

Between the sunset and Downtown Austin’s ultramodern cityscape, not to mention those bizarre winged creatures, I can’t help but think of the famous ‘keep Austin weird’ tagline; of how I never imagined ‘weird’ could mean, well, wonderful. But that’s Austin for you: full of wonderful surprises, from the sheer ubiquity of its live music to its world-class dining.

By Jamie Tabberer – Full Story at Gay Star News

Austin Gay Travel Resources

Five Things to do in Tangier

Author: , April 23rd, 2018

Kasbah - Tangier - Keep Calm and Wander

One day in summer, my feet brought me to the streets of Tangier – the city which has influenced the people on their taste in arts, culture, and cuisine from around the world. Tangier is a mix of everything – partly because of the invasions of the Spanish, Muslims, Portuguese, and English.

A great many artists always look for inspiration for their work – and Tangier has served to be just that for many notable personalities, including Paul Bowles, Henri Matisse, William S. Burroughs, Paulo Coelho, Keith Richards, Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams, painter Eugene Delacroix, and many others.

By visiting the city in summer, I understood what brings all the literary and artistic juice of the world here and I’d like to quote it in the words of William S. Burroughs,

“Tangier is on one of the few places in the world where, so long as you don’t proceed to robbery, violence, or some form of crude, antisocial behavior, you can do exactly what you want.”

I literally did what I could. Of course, I cannot talk about the “other things”, ahem, but I can tell you my 5 most favorite experiences there.

1. The Kasbah

I have to say that I really did enjoy my time wandering here. Believe it or not, I spent close to 5 hours, one foot in front of the other. I stopped twice in some old cafes and ordered something strange. While passing through the gate of Kasbah and stepping into the large courtyard and then into the Dar el-Makhzen palace of the 17th century, I could notice how every atom of the place could speak volume of what they have been through. The intricacies of the Moroccan artwork pleased my eyes which changed into ecstasy as I stepped into the Café Detroit which has served to be the rallying point of most of the writers mentioned above.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Morocco Gay Travel Resources

Belle Aire Mansion Guest House – Galena Gay Friendly Bed & Breakfast

Author: , April 21st, 2018

Belle Aire Mansion Guest House - Galena Gay Friendly Bed & Breakfast

The Belle Aire Mansion is a Pre-Civil War, Federal style home, located on 11 well-groomed acres, featuring a barn, windmill and many beautiful trees and flowers. For accommodations we have two suites and three rooms, all with private baths.

The guest rooms are warm and inviting, furnished in antiques and reproductions. All our rooms have Dish satellite TV and VCR’s and we have a large video tape library for our guests enjoyment.

Guests are welcome to gather at the kitchen table to talk, or use the parlor to read, relax, or share conversation with other guests. They may feel free to browse through our books and magazines, walk down a tamarack-lined driveway, or just sit on the porch and enjoy the day.

See the Belle Aire Mansion Guest House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

Yucatan Mayan Ruins Off The Beaten Path – 2TravelDads

Author: , April 21st, 2018

Yucatan Mayan Ruins at Coba - 2TravelDads

We love all things history and nature. And Mexico. Although we spend the most time in Baja California Sur there’s something truly unique and wonderful about the Yucatan Peninsula and the state of Quintana Roo. In addition to the pristine waters, wildlife and cenotes, the magical attraction of the Yucatan is the concentration of Mayan ruins, and visiting the Coba Ruins is really a special experience, but you need to know how to visit.

The Coba Ruins are by no means the most famous or most popular ruins on the Yucatan, but they are the most awesome to explore, especially the site called Nohoch Mul, the great pyramid. A visit to the Coba Ruins is a lesson in history, an incredible demonstration in nature, and an intense workout. Of the several sites I’ve visited for Mayan Ruins on the Yucatan, the Coba Ruins was, hands down, the best.

Most people visiting the Yucatan Peninsula arrive either via a flight into Cancun (CUN) or via a cruise ship. That’s how I first visited Quintana Roo, was via the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas. Exploring on my own afforded me much more time to break away from the tourist areas and led me to the best off the beaten path Mayan Ruins on the Yucatan: the Coba Ruins.

By Rob & Chris Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDadsOURCE

Yucatan Gay Travel Resources

Inside Westminster Abbey – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 21st, 2018

Westminster Abbey - Keep Calm and Wander

Take a look inside Westminster Abbey – a royal coronation venue, a religious site and a cemetery. This is the most viral religious structure in United Kingdom. Royals were crowned, wed and buried here, including poets, scientists, and rulers The Westminster Abbey was initially titled “Collegiate Church of Saint Peter”.

Westminster Abbey was a founded by Saint Benedict of Nursia. But in 1539, it was dissolved. It was then given the symbol of a cathedral between 1540 and 1556. Later, in 1560, the structure has now changed from cathedral, rather it holds the symbol of a Church of England called royal peculiar. Which now became a church responsible to the sovereign in a direct form.

The Westminster Abbey hold a lot of important information that makes it a center of attraction for most people around the world.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

London Gay Travel Resources

Gaslight Inn – Seattle Gay Inn

Author: , April 19th, 2018

Gaslight Inn - Seattle Gay Inn

In restoring Gaslight Inn, we have brought out the home’s original turn-of-the-century ambiance and warmth, while keeping in mind the additional conveniences and contemporary style needed by today’s travelers. The interior is appointed in exacting detail, with strikingly rich, dark colors, oak paneling, and an enormous entryway and staircase.

Gaslight Inn’s comfortable and unique rooms and suites are furnished with quality double or queen-sized beds, refrigerator and television. Many rooms feature private baths and some also have decks with fabulous views or fireplaces. The living room, with its large oak fireplace, is always an inviting room, as is the library.

Through the late spring and summer, we encourage you to relax and unwind at poolside with a glass of wine after a long, busy day. This private, in-ground, heated pool with several decks and interesting plant arrangements, is found at the back of the inn.

See the Gaslight Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

The Five Villages of the Cinque Terre – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 19th, 2018

Cinque Terre - Vernazza

The five fishing villages of the Cinque Terre are the jewels of the crown of Italian Riviera. For any person who has a knack for hiking atop iconic locations that offer an amalgam of views, visiting these jewels is a must. They still exhibit their unique and isolated authenticity just the way they did decades ago when these villages sheltered the Italian peasants and the fishermen.

It is this uniqueness, the unimaginable beauty along with a preserved historic vibe that brought me to these villages. But more than anything the breathtaking coastal or mountain trails had been calling out my name from the very moment I saw their pictures.

By the looks of these villages, one might think that they are essentially identical. However, it is only when you visit them that you get to know that each village has its own charm that would sweep you off your feet.

Starting from the easternmost village and ending on the westernmost, let me share how I found the places and which one owned my heart completely.

1. Riomaggiore

This one is the largest and the most scenic of all the villages. Its scenery begins to dance in full grandeur when the sun starts saying good-bye. The buildings are peculiar, that’s what I liked, and they descend down to the harbor almost as if they’d dive right into the water one by one. While this really gave me a completely new experience, what refreshed my weary nerves were the botanical garden and the bird sanctuary located atop the hill.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Liguria Gay Travel Resources

Gay Belize – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , April 19th, 2018

Caye Caulker - The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Belize. Not two words we have ever heard put together. As for every destination, we do a quick Google search to see what is available for the LGBTQIA community in that country. Whether this be nightlife, beaches, accommodation or events. However, when we googled ‘gay Belize’, very little came up at all.

We knew there was a community, statistically there must be. We even found a Gay Belize Pride Page on Facebook which has 59k followers. Who knows better about the LGBTQIA community in Belize than an LGBTQIA local? We were lucky enough to find someone willing to answer the questions we had about gay Belize and they provided a very insightful picture.

Read our interview below with Rob*, a 23-year-old local gay male from the Cayo region of Belize.

TGG: What is the stereotypical view on the LGBTQIA community in Belize?

Rob: ”The normal stereotypical view is that many straight men assume that gay guys are feminine. I’ve heard people talk about guys who are not “masculine” enough. Those who embrace femininity are “labelled” gay (it’s just jokes nothing as in physical abuses and stuff like that, although it’s something to not joke about because you can never know if the person is gay and is having a rough time).

Even myself, sometimes I see a guy wearing a pink shirt and I go “ooo interesting”. But that doesn’t mean he’s gay. There are also many gay guys who aren’t feminine. You wouldn’t consider them gay because they are giving you some butch realness, but they are. The same concept and ideologies can be seen with lesbians I would say.”

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Belize Travel Resources

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

 

Two Days in Cozumel – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , April 18th, 2018

Cozumel - The Globetrotter Guys

Our friends recommended Cozumel to us, and we are glad they did! Cozumel is a popular stop for cruise ships, and its easy to see why. The island is home to beautiful beaches, dramatic coastlines, adventure activities (including some of the best scuba diving) and some amazing places to eat. Best of all, if time is tight, you can get around the entire island in less than a day! We spent 2 days in Cozumel and here is what we think you should do to make the most of your time! (You can see our short video of all the action here).

Scuba Diving

Home to the start of the second largest coral reef in the world, the great Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Cozumel is a mecca for scuba diving.
It is well known that Cozumel has beautiful, bright coral, a diverse range of stunning marine life and crystal-clear waters. After our visit, we could not agree more.

Back in 2011 we completed our PADI Open Water qualification in Koa Tao. This meant we could do what is known as a fun dive (your equipment is set up and you just follow the dive master). We completed two dives during our stay and can definitely see why people make a special effort to come here instead of diving from Cancun or Playa del Carmen.

The water truly was crystal clear, you could see straight down to the bottom (about 22m) from the boat. We saw multiple loggerhead turtles, lionfish, beautifully coloured parrot fish, and most exciting of all, 3 eagle rays.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Yucatan Gay Travel Resources