Udon Thani’s Red Lotus Sea – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , November 16th, 2018

Red Lotus Sea - Once Upon a Journey

YES! Thailand still has hidden gems only a few (western) tourists know about. Talay Bua Daeng – or Red Lotus Sea – in Northeast Thailand is one of those gems and it’s definitely one for the bucket list. CNN named it one of the world strangest lakes in 2014 and well, it’s not a lake you see every day – for sure.

Imagine a lake with thousands of pink flowers, spreading as far as the eye can see!

Getting on the lake by boat is one of the most romantic experiences we’ve ever done. And Valentine’s is actually the perfect time to visit: the red lotuses only bloom a couple of months each year. But that makes the experience the more special. It is quite off the famous routes through Thailand though, but no worries: we will tell you everything you need to know about visiting this magical pink lake.

The season for the pink flowers to bloom is from December to the end of February, just after the rainy season. When you visit, make sure to go early in the morning. From sunrise to noon you can see the water lilies opened up: they open when they see the first morning light and close when the midday heat comes.

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Lesbian Edinburgh in 3 Days – Go Girlfriend

Author: , November 2nd, 2018

Lesbian Edinburgh - pixabay

Edinburgh (pronounced Edin-borough, not Edin-burrr), Scotland – the name for me conjures a mental image of a turbulent medieval history with stone fortresses, ancient battles and has it’s roots easily dating back to pre-Norse and Roman expansion. Kings, Queens and historic nobility have crowned Edinburgh as Scotland’s capital on the notable bay of the Firth of Forth and shops on the Royal Mile have made their mark evolving Edinburgh into a modern city rich in it’s arts, sciences, and cultural offerings.

The Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s tourist gem – the mile-long stretch of markets, shops and restaurants that tempt tourists as they explore grand Edinburgh Castle atop Castle Rock at one end and the Palace of Holyroodhouse aside majestic Arthurs Seat and the Salisbury Crags at the other end. To catch the flavor of what Scotland has to offer, Edinburgh is where you begin.

Since Scotland is such a wonderous country offering spectacular scenic vistas, vibrant castle-icious lochs and Scottish clans and their kilts, Edinburgh wraps all of these up to give you just a taste of what’s in store across it’s moory lands. Here’s Edinburgh in a 3-day weekend …

How to Explore Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in 3 days
Book your accommodations (or an Airbnb on the Royal Mile) and get set to see the highlights in 3 days.

Day 1 – Get acquainted with the Royal Mile

Hop On, Hop Off Bus (Edinburgh Tours) – you’ve arrived in Edinburgh, stepped on to the cobble-stoned Royal Mile (almost being hit by a passing bus if you’re touring on the Royal Mile from North America as you look the wrong way stepping off the curb!) and are overwhelmed with the options both right and left. Our recommendation is to head down to the Waverley Station bridge and get a ticket for one of Edinburgh’s Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours. For £15 (British Pounds) per adult you get a 24-hour pass and guided CitySightSeeing Tour of the Royal Mile’s highlights to get your bearings and determine what you want to include in your explorations. See something right away you want to explore, hop off at the next stop, explore and resume your CitySightSeeing Tour. If you’d like a broader view of greater Edinburgh, consider the Edinburgh Tour, the Majestic Tour or the 3 Bridges Tour.

By Stacy Rosien at Go Girlfriend – Day One

By Stacy Rosien at Go Girlfriend – Day Two

By Stacy Rosien at Go Girlfriend – Day Three

Edinburgh Gay Travel Resources

 

See the Grand Canyon in Two Days! – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , October 24th, 2018

Grand Canyon - Free Wheel Drive

The Grand Canyon is in Northern Arizona just north of Flagstaff. This park is massive and beautiful and it houses one of the most amazing wonders of the world. We only had two full days to spend at the park, so we packed in as much as we could. The weather was chilly with patches of rain, but we had a blast exploring the Grand Canyon National Park!

We stuck to the South Rim area, the most popular area. The South Rim has the hotels, large visitor center, and a shuttle system to help one get around. We asked around for hiking recommendations and the two trials that had a lot of feed back were The Bright Angle and South Kaibob Trails.With the weather being a little chilly and potential for rain we figured it was a good idea to have places to hang out inside. For it being our first time at the Grand Canyon the South Rim is a great place to start.

When driving North towards the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, you’ll spot Humphrey’s peak over Flagstaff. Arizona’s tallest peak. As we entered the Flagstaff area the barren landscape of shrubs and badlands turns to pine trees and snow.

We first arrived at the park late in the afternoon. This was a chance for us to find our way around, figure out our to do list, and get our first glimpse of the canyon.

By Laura Dierbeck – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Arizona Lesbian Travel Resources

 

Exploring the Baja Peninsula – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , October 21st, 2018

Baja, Mexico - Free Wheel Drive

Leaving Tucson we had a few days of easy driving ahead of us to reach Baja California. With no strict timetable, we were free to take in a couple roadside attractions. A gas station had some nice bathrooms and, of course, giant dinosaur sculptures. And you can rent a flying saucer retrieval truck. Who knew?

We decided to cross the Mexican border in Tecate over Tijuana because we heard it’s not as busy and it’s a much nicer city. The internet didn’t lie! Also, it’s home to the Tecate brewery which is a cornerstone of the city’s economy the same way Miller is for Milwaukee. Nothing makes us happier than driving through a beer town.

So we just ended up in Mexico. We took the “nothing to declare” line and it was too easy! Nobody even checked our car or searched us. We had to walk around the block to find the Instituto Nacional de Migración or INM so we could get our FMM or tourist Visas. A lot of people forget this step which can cause you some issues if they ask for it at a Military checkpoint. You’re better off driving in the line for declaring things so you can fill it out in your car. Our Spanish was terrible so we didn’t get any photos in the INM because we were so nervous. The INM officer helping us with our paperwork who was just as bad at English as we were at Spanish offered to sell us some hot sauce which we politely declined. You actually have to walk out of the INM office partway through the process to the banqometer booth so that you can pay for your visa (500 pesos each or about $24) and then bring back the receipt to show the INM officer which gets stapled Now off to drive the Baja Penninsula!

By Camrin La Fond – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Baja Sur Lesbian Travel Resources

 

Toronto Island – Go Girlfriend

Author: , October 19th, 2018

Toronto Island - Go Girlfriend

The multi-cultural megacity of Toronto, Ontario, Canada can boast a wooded, rural, non-hectic getaway gem just a short ferry ride into Lake Ontario – think New York City with it’s Central Park, but in Toronto, with beaches. While only 300 ft into Lake Ontario with no bridge link, the island’s charm and non-commercialism is a relaxing respite from Toronto’s high rises and city center just a short distance away.

Take a picnic, put on your bathing suit (or take it off at the one of a few of Canada’s official Clothing Optional beaches), rent a tandem bike or family quadracycle or stroll the miles of walking trails in the wooded greenery bird-watching, swimming in Lake Ontario, or exploring Centreville Theme Park. On a summer’s afternoon, there’s a full day of activities to keep yourself and your family busy!

Getting to the Toronto Islands by Ferry is the easy part (it’s a relaxing 15-minute ferry ride), getting into the downtown core to park may be the challenge. Public transit is best if you live in or near Toronto, but for those outside the city, there is ample parking available at the numerous lots (especially on weekends) near the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. Expect about $20 for the day’s parking.

By Stacy Rosien – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Toronto Gay Travel Resources

 

Historic St. Augustine – Go Girlfriend

Author: , October 8th, 2018

Aviles Street, Historic St. Augustine - pixabay

Celebrating nearly 500 years as the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United Sates, don’t be fooled by the age of this vibrant city. This abuela (grandmother) of american cities will surprise you with amazing restaurants, a vibrant city core, miles of beaches, a touch of sinfulness, and historic sites to explore that will turn back time.

As a getaway destination, there is more than a few days needed to experience the scope of St. Augustine’s richness. As a couple’s romantic destination, a girlfriend’s weekend retreat or a family beach vacation, a simple walk over the Bridge of Lions will tease excitement of what historic St. Augustine has to offer.

Where to Eat in St. Augustine

Good question? Would you like the old city or the more modern? Would you like seafood (fresh catches right from the ocean), farm to table freshness, or have a specific taste preference? I’m certain St. Augustine can satisfy it.

Catch 27 – deliciously delivering fresh seafood made from scratch with the freshest of locally sourced ingredients – what a treat! Try their cheese board as an appetiser with smoked blue cheese and drunken cherries, and any cocktail that features the distinctive St. Augustine gin.

By Stacy Rosien – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Northeastern Florida Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian New Orleans for Newbies – Go Girlfriend

Author: , October 5th, 2018

lesbian New Orleans - pixabay

Visiting lesbian New Orleans for the first time? Prioritize your agenda – lots of play, a good amount of eating and maybe a little sleep. From girlfriends exploring, bachelorette and bachelor parties, to couples wandering hand-in-hand looking for amour en Vieux Carre, the French Quarter is alive at all hours of the day or night.

Experienced Nola travelers pace themselves but it’s newbies get overwhelmed and enjoy some things a little too much (like Bourbon street after midnight) and completely miss the magic of other things (like beignets at Café du Monde). If you’re planning a trip to the Big Easy, pull up a chair and learn how to strategize your Nola travel time like a pro.

It’s no secret how Nawlins, also known as Mardi Gras City got its name – lavish celebrations, wee-hour partying and drunken rowdiness is just another day (or night) in this city. Bourbon Street captures more than its fair share of attention, but there’s so much more this city has to offer – historically, culturally and architecturally.

Whether you’re chasing bawdy carousing after dark or memorable moments with your lover, start your day with a beignet and chicory coffee at Café du Monde. The restaurant is always busy so we suggest using the to-go window and crossing the street to the quieter Jackson Square. From there, you’re ready to experience all the French Quarter has to offer…

By Julia Rosien – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Louisiana Gay Travel Resources

 

Hiking the Hudson Valley’s Gertrude’s Nose Trail – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , October 4th, 2018

Gertrude’s Nose Trail - Globetrotter Girls

Just a couple of days after returning to New York, I found myself at Grand Central Terminal, ticket in hand and ready to board a train to New Hamburg, a small town on the Hudson River in Upstate New York.

This wasn’t going to be a long trip, but even a couple of days away from the city are enough for me to recharge my batteries, and I was on a mission to clear my head with another great hike, after all the fantastic hikes I did in Tennessee last month.

The Lower Hudson Valley has enough hikes to keep me busy (and in shape!) for the next few years, but somehow I haven’t made it up there one single time since a long day hike last summer.

We consulted our hiking guide book to find a great day hike and finally settled on a trail inside the Minnewaska State Park preserve: the 7-mile Gertrude’s Nose Trail with a detour to Lake Minnewaska.

The hike started off fairly easy, on a gravel road, until we turned off the road onto a smaller trail. The entire morning we didn’t see a single other person, and the first sign that we weren’t the only ones in the woods were fresh bear tracks which made me slightly nervous. For the next couple of hours, we followed the path along the edge of steep cliffs, always overlooking the vast forest that was surrounding us. It never ceases to amaze me how close I am to so much untouched nature – just a couple of hours north of New York City.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Hidson River Valley Gay Travel Resources

 

Life & Art in Queer Vienna – Passport Magazine

Author: , October 1st, 2018

Vienna - Pixabay

If you plan on visiting Vienna in 2018, you’re in for a treat. This year, the city will be celebrating the lives and artistic creations of Klimt, Schiele, Moser, and Wagner. These virtuosos, who coincidentally all died in 1918, together help make Wien a mecca for fine arts that continues to this day.

As a destination for art lovers, the Belvedere Museum & Palace (www.belvedere.at) is a banquet. Walking through its galleries, one gets the feeling the ghost of Gustav Klimt is present. The museum was built in the 18th century for Prince Eugene of Savoy as a summer residence; the prince, who was gay, had numerous palaces built during his reign. This one is sprawling and majestic, the very definition of palatial. It comprises two imposing white buildings overlooking extensive formal gardens, a large pond, and elaborate statuary and fountains.

Featured here is Klimt’s most famous “The Kiss” and many other of his works. Also on display are paintings by other artists, hanging in galleries on a background of dark red wallpaper under the sparkle of Vienna’s ubiquitous crystal chandeliers. Kokoschka, Klimt’s friend and a member of his inner circle, is represented here, as is the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, his contemporary. There is also a comprehensive collection of the statues of the contorted faces created by the 18th-century artist Franz Xaver Messerschmidt.

Literally, days can be spent exploring the works in the upper and lower buildings. It’s also one of the only museums to allow visitors to photograph its masterpieces.

Find more of Klimt at the newer Leopold Museum (www.leopoldmuseum.org), which offers the largest collection of modern Austrian art; the Secession Building (www.secession.at) that features Klimit’s notable “Beethoven Frieze”; and at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (www.khm.at/en) where his frescoes are displayed. There are also images of his works on watches, dishes, pads, and pens everywhere you look.

By Marlene Fanta Shyer – Full Story at Passport Magazine

Austria Gay Travel Resources

Amsterdam Pride – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , September 28th, 2018

Roxanne & Maartje - Amsterdam Pride

There’s no time to rest, as the next Pride celebrations are already here! After a fantastic Pride weekend in Berlin, we fly back to Amsterdam. We rest and work for two days in Eemnes before the exciting new things are happening. Amsterdam Pride is a lot about partying but we also have some meetings coming up. Somehow, now that we are back in the Netherlands we get opportunities to connect with people we couldn’t connect anywhere else before (read: networking!).

The highlight of Amsterdam Pride is the canal parade on the first Saturday of August. This year will be the first time we will go on a boat of the parade. Normally we see all the boats passing by from the streets so it’s going to be a whole different experience this time. Thanks to our new Berlin-slash-gay-friend Haroon Ali we connect with some great people from Amsterdam Marketing and that’s how we get the opportunity to be on the NYC-Amsterdam boat. Why an NYC-Amsterdam boat? Next year, 2019, NYC will host World Pride. Something we are already insanely excited for. Mark June 2019 in your agenda: World Pride time! See you there?!

Amsterdam Pride is a lot different than most Prides worldwide. In Amsterdam, it started as a celebration of freedom and diversity instead of a demonstration. Prides elsewhere are usually inspired by the Stonewall riots, but in the Netherlands, that’s continued by Pink Saturday. In 1996 Amsterdam Pride started. The canal parade grew the past years till a parade of 80 boats and over 500.000 visitors! To make our boat even more special we learn a choreography. Together we will dance on the song Go West from the Pet Shop Boys, the entire boat ride.

By Roxanne & Maartje – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources