Best Countries for Travel Photography – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 14th, 2018

norway - travel photography - pixabay

Given the advancements in technology and low cost airfare, it’s never been a better time to travel to your dream destinations and capture the beauty of the world with your trusty camera.

Believe it or not, most smartphones now boast cameras that could go head to head with high-quality photography equipment released just a few short years ago.

You no longer need to lug around and wish losing bags upon bags of photography equipment because you can just carry it all in your pocket. But on that note, where are the best places for travel photography where you can capture picturesque landscapes?

Norway

With its fjords and mountainous landscapes, this Scandinavian country offers photogenic landscapes that could be mistaken for beautiful fantasy-scapes straight out of a medieval novel.

You can travel just a half hour outside of any major city in Norway and your eyes will be in for a feast of staggering peaks, quaint villages nestled in mountain valleys, wide expanses of ice and snow, and alpine forests.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Gay Melbourne – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 6th, 2018

Gay Melbourne

Located on the southern coast of Australia, where it’s the capital of the region of Victoria, Melbourne is a beautiful and adventurous city to visit. It’s known to those who have traveled there for a great many things, but the all-encompassing way to put it is that it’s simply a very fun city. It’s not all about sights or museums, pub-hopping or a national park – it’s simply a multi-faceted destination in one of the most fascinating places on Earth.

Still, it helps to have some specific motivation to go to a place, so here are a few particular reasons why you might want to visit Melbourne one day.

The Coffee Is World Class

Coffee might not seem like the most logical place to start, but this isn’t just any coffee. Back in 2014, Melbourne was actually voted the world’s best place for coffee, beating out more traditional hot spots like Rome and Vienna, not to mention some popular production places such as Colombia. As you might imagine, coffee that good isn’t just tucked away in a few little shops. Rather, it’s spawned a lovely café culture that exists throughout the city, such that one of the most charmed experiences you can have is simply finding a cheerful, trendy venue and sitting down for a hot mug.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Gay Melbourne Travel Resources

Oia, Santorini is Paradise on Earth – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , November 23rd, 2018

Oia, Santorini, Greece - Keep Calm and Wander

In Santorini, Oia is paradise on earth. That is – if your idea of paradise is filled with white-washed houses with blue domes, sitting on a cliff that traverses down to the blue waters of the Aegean Sea.

You have probably seen Santorini already, I’m sure. Its white-washed houses with a spectacular sunset in the background have graced in countless postcards, books, photography websites, calendars, blogs, posters, promotional materials, and romantic wedding albums.

The volcanic island’s capital is Fira, but the postcard-perfect place not to miss is Oia. It’s on the edge of the island but it’s accessible by buses.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Greece Gay Travel Resources

Oia is Paradise on Earth – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , November 23rd, 2018

In Santorini, Oia is paradise on earth. That is – if your idea of paradise is filled with white-washed houses with blue domes, sitting on a cliff that traverses down to the blue waters of the Aegean Sea.

You have probably seen Santorini already, I’m sure. Its white-washed houses with a spectacular sunset in the background have graced in countless postcards, books, photography websites, calendars, blogs, posters, promotional materials, and romantic wedding albums.

The volcanic island’s capital is Fira, but the postcard-perfect place not to miss is Oia. It’s on the edge of the island but it’s accessible by buses.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Greece Gay Travel Resources

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , November 11th, 2018

In 2014 (yes, I know, it’s been 4 years already), the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul was the world’s most-visited tourist attraction, according to Travel+Leisure. If you look at the Instagram hashtags of this marketplace, you’ll be dazzled by the colors of what this well-known tourist destination would offer to your four senses.

On the day I was there, the scene didn’t disappoint me. I was enamored not just by its history, sights, and colors but also how the Turkish vendors won’t bother you just by passing through their shops. Unlike other busy markeplaces I’ve been to in many countries (like China, Hongkong, Vietnam, and Thailand), the sellers at Grand Bazaar are not the pushy kinds. They’d leave you alone once you politely say, “I’m just window shopping.”

I was there in the early morning, so the crowd was still thin, and I felt like I was the only (or most) obvious tourist going around.

The Grand Bazaar is a 15th-century shopping mall that makes your shopping experience worthwhile. However, in the frenzy of buying all good things, do not forget to revere the character of the architecture and historical vibes sprouting from the walls.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Turkey Gay Travel Resources

 

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , October 8th, 2018

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul - Keep Calm and Wander

Aya Sofia or Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is another must-visit attraction that would blow your mind away. It served as a Byzantine Cathedral from 537-1204; a Roman Cathedral until 1261; a Greek Orthodox Cathedral through 1453; an Ottoman mosque until 1931; and then, it became a museum which we enjoy until today.

I gasped when I visited the church turned mosque turned museum. It’s a mixture of historical and architectural wonders. It’s a wonderful blend of Roman, Ottoman, Islamic and Byzantine architectures – and I couldn’t help myself but gazed at every details of the interior that stood the test of history and war times. The towering dome is, in itself, a beauty that I’ve never seen anywhere – lightened up by its innumerable windows filtering the daylight.

Hagia Sophia is just across the famed Blue Mosque in Sultahnamet area of Istanbul. You can’t skip one in favour of the other. These two are inseparable tourists destinations that you must see – once in your lifetime!

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Turkey Gay Travel Resources

 

Inside Istanbul’s Basilica Cistern – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , September 28th, 2018

Basilica Cistern

Featured in some Hollywood blockbusters, such as 1963 James Bond film “From Russia with Love”, Ron Howard’s adaption of Dan Brown’s “Inferno”, and the recent one Marvel’s “Black Widow”, the Basilica Cistern is the largest cavernous cisterns of Istanbul. It is called “basilica” because it lies underneath the location of a Roman basilica long lost in the pages of history. I could not fathom how a place so marvelousas this one was used as a dump in the Ottoman rule over Constantinople. But it relieves me to know that it was discovered by Petrus Gyllius—a French researcher—and it is now open to the public, for all of us to see what’s beneath Istanbul’s famed Sultanahmet Square. This underground Byzantine water reservoir is just one of the many subterranean structures across the city.

Where is it? It’s just few steps from Hagia Sophia. Just cross the street and find a tiny sign leading to Basilica Cistern.

1. A Forest of Columns

When you see 336 pillars towering at a height of 33ft and supporting a massive roof right in front of you, it is almost as if you’re seeing countless trees of a forest. These pillars were not built. Actually, they were salvaged from different places and were reused here.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Turkey Gay Travel Resources

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

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

Ten Things to Do in Venice – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , August 10th, 2018

Venice - Keep Calm and Wander

Lying on 117 small islands, Venice is an Italian haven for tourists, cradling 250,000 residents. I had the pleasure of visiting it last summer. Here’s my list.

1. San Marco Cathedral and Square

A perfect place to people-watch, San Marco square has three famous tourist sites, namely Doge’s Palace, San Marco Cathedral, and Torre dell’Orologio.

2. Doge Palace / Palazzo Ducale

Next to the San Marco Cathedral is a true masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the Doge Palace or the Palazzo Ducale has served as the seat of the Venetian government in the past. All the remains of that and the gothic past of the palace are all too mesmerizing.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Venice Gay Travel Resources