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

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 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

The Basilica de Maria degli Angeli del Martiri – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 7th, 2017

Basilica de Maria degli Angeli del Martiri - Keep Calm and Wander

While I was on my way to the Trevi Fountain, I stumbled on the Basilica de Maria degli Angeli del Martiri, in front of Piazza della Repubblica. I went inside because i was intrigued by its huge and ugly exterior.

But, if there’s one thing I learned from travelling, that would be: Don’t judge the building by its facade. Right? I only found out that this basilica was built by Michelangelo in 1562 when I overheard a tour guide telling his tourists about its history.

The basilica is built on top of the ancient Roman bath – the Bath of Diocletian. It was designed by one of great Italian masters, Michelangelo, who also designed the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. He’s also known as a sculptor who did Pieta and David.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Rome Gay Travel Resources

 

Inside the Vatican Museum – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 4th, 2017

Vatican Museum in Rome - Kep Calm and Wander

My jaw dropped inside the spectacular Vatican Museum. I can’t even find the exact words on how I felt while slowly going around. It is the best museum I’ve been to and every piece seems to be priceless. Even the minutest thing of all would cost more than my life!

I reckon that no visitors at the vatican Museum left unimpressed or shocked by its grandeur. It took me time to sink in that I was in the worlds greatest museum where art and religion is its main centrepiece.

Works of Great Artists. It seems like every Renaissance artist had left a masterpiece at Vatican Museum. Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s frescoes are a must-see. Don’t miss gazing at the works of Titian, Caravaggio, Bernini, Filippo Lippi, Giotto di Bondone, Bellini, and many more.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Rome Gay Travel Resources

No Romance at the Spanish Steps – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 1st, 2017

Spanish Steps - Keep Calm and Wander

First of all, I didn’t find romance at the Spanish Steps in Rome. Not even a wisp breath of ardour. And that’s because the place is infested with tourists, like me.

I can only imagine at night when lovers would smooch on the stairs and whisper promises only to be broken later. But surely, you’ve seen this place from the movie, “Roman Holiday” or that TV show, “Everybody Loves Raymond.” And oh, if you’re a Bob Dylan fan, you might have heard this place in his song, “When I Paint My Masterpiece.”

Why it’s called Spanish Steps? There used to be a Spanish Embassy in the area and at the bottom of the steps, you’ll find Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Plaza). Naturally its name is extended into the steps – thus, it became Spanish Steps.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Rome Gay Travel Resources