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  Travel and weekendtrips (45)


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In February this year, I went to Cuba for a sports development project. The last four days of my visit, I explored its mystical metropolis Havana: an unforgettable experience. One week prior to my departure, I got to know Cuban Manuel on Grindr, who lives in Barcelona, and had spent a few days in Amsterdam on a holiday.

Sep 2017       
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In September the Coming 7th edition of the European La Demence gay cruise offers you a unique itinerary from Lisbon to Madeira and the Canary islands, on board of the ship Monarch. With more then 2,000 queers on a ship, it's offering a mix of culture, relaxation and the best open air parties.

Dec 2016       
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After Malta, Greece, Israel and Italy in the past five years, the sixth edition of “The Cruise” will be completely Spanish.

Dec 2015       
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Argentina, the country of Máxima... Maybe just to get a taste of the background of the present queen of The Netherlands it might be interesting to visit this South American country, or at least its capital Buenos Aires, Máxima’s place of birth, during a holiday.

Feb 2015       
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Combine New York, Paris, and Rome, place it in South America, and you end up with: Buenos Aires. A metropolis that explodes in your face with color, smell and sound. With authentic neighborhoods and ultramodern districts, a harbor district and two airports. A city with cheap restaurants, clubs that are open all night, and endless shopping streets.

Feb 2015       
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The fourth edition of La Demence Cruise is about discovery, bringing the participants to some hidden treasures of the Mediterranean Sea, where large cruise ships cannot come. La Demence will sail with the same ship as last year: Zenith, a medium-sized cruise ship, currently undergoing renovations, that will be completed just in time for this adventure.

Dec 2013       
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Colognes biggest gay event, Sexy, is always good for a surprise. This time, Saturday March 23, Sexy is hosting the Grindr World Tour: after South America and a.o. Paris, Antwerp & Barcelona, Grind, the worlds’ most reknown dating site, sends many hot dancers and his sexy Star-DJ Erez Ben Ishay from Israel.

Mar 2013       
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Not too many European cities have such a rich gay history as the Austrian capital. Gay emperors, generals or composers of days gone by and all the gays and lesbians of today convert Vienna into a unique travel destination.

Dec 2012       
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Unfortunately gay tourists are not really welcome in Kenya. Gay sex is even illegal. A large majority of the population thinks gay and transgender people are disgusting. That’s the bad news. But after South Africa Kenya is the most popular holiday destination in Black Africa, because it is a phenomenal country. With friendly people, unparalleled landscapes and even something that feels like a gay nightlife. Although you have to be careful and discrete and know the right people.

Apr 2012       
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Minusio, where is that? Not in Italy but close to it, at the Lago Maggiore in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. What’s there to see? At the moment a very curious exhibition on two German speaking gay men (right? yes, I think so, even though they wouldn’t have liked the word), Elisàr von Kupffer (1872-1942) and Eduard von Mayer (1873-1960), who arrived there during the First World War and who had a very special construction built in the twenties and thirties: half temple, half villa, half exhibition space for Elisàr’s paintings.

Dec 2011       
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The impressive metropolis Paris is a non-stop international tourist magnet and judging by the enormous amount of gay nightlife establishments it’s obvious Paris has outstripped Amsterdam as a Gay Capital. Bienvenu à Paris, with a flourishing gay scene for the lovers of “La vie en rose...”

Outdoor tables and Parisians are connected like Siamese twins and looking at the bustle, during the week as well as in the weekend, one wonders whether the crisis has hit here at all. When things get a little too busy some gay bars screen off their outside area with red ropes.

Sep 2011       
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I admit, Granada is not the most obvious city to choose for your long saved-up for gay holiday. It’s, in Southern Andalusia, a typical example of a provincial town. That sounds a lot less swinging than Madrid and Barcelona, or party island Ibiza. But, like Maastricht in Holland is a great location for a few days’ visit, Grenada is too. And the gay facilities are decent.

Apr 2011       
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Think of Russia and gays and you’ll picture rainbow colored demonstrators being attacked by neo-Nazis with clubs perhaps. You’ll remember the images of police officers arresting not the bald-headed aggressors but the gays. You’ll think of Dutch singer Gordon and the Eurovision Song Contest, when the mayor of Moscow refused to issue a license for a gay demonstration and the singer didn’t join the protests because his safety could not be guaranteed.

Dec 2010       
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From July 31 to August 8, the greatest European gay & lesbian festival will come back to rock Barcelona by offering fifteen astonishing parties, plenty of daytime activities and, best of it all, the third edition of the – almost legendary - largest gay & lesbian day at a water park. It will be a full week of pure summer gay fun. Definitely, Circuit’s third edition is a real must that you don’t want to miss!

Jul 2010       
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From the fourth of January the travel restrictions to the US have been lifted. This means that you can travel to the country without any problems from the 7th of January.

The Aids Fonds and the HIV Vereniging advise you to bring along a phone number just in case problems occur. Contact Immigration Equality via +1.212.714.2904. Or via email amorris@immigrationequality.org. They have said to offer assistance when necessary.

Mar 2010       
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Manchester doesn’t immediately conjure up images of a flourishing gay community and nightlife. We usually go to London or Barcelona for that. Why is it that so few people are aware of the fact that Manchester has a rich gay history, a gay-friendly local government and a very extensive gay scene? You will most definitely not be “the only gay in the village” in Manchester.

Sep 2009       
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Naples reminds us of the Spanish cities of Madrid and Valencia. Especially the architecture and lifestyle of the third biggest city of Italy is as impressive. Naples is the busy and lively historic capital of the Campania region with narrow and steep alleyways contrasting grand boulevards like Corso Umberto I. It’s up to you to decide whether the saying “Vedi Napoli e poi muori” (See Naples then die) is still valid...

Feb 2009       
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From this autumn travelers to the US will have to fill out a form via internet, three days prior to their departure. Until now Dutch people - as well as most other EU citizens - didn’t need a visa for the States; they only needed to fill out a green customs’ form on the plane. From now on the United States’ government wants to know in advance who’s flying in. If you fail to submit your form three days in advance, you risk being denied entrance at the airport of your destination.

Sep 2008       
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If you want to travel far for little money, go for the dollar. New York is getting cheaper and cheaper to shop in but also a holiday in the Caribbean will set you back less than ever. It’s already quite normal to hop over to New York for a shopping weekend. The weakening dollar makes holidaying in the States very attractive. A trip to Aruba, Barbados, Mexico or Venezuela has also become very affordable. Most of these states have linked their currency to the dollar. The Antillean guilder has dipped with the dollar in spite of its Dutch name.

Mar 2008       
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According to Greek mythology Heracles (Hercules) founded the city of Seville when he visited the seven nymphs. Of course he fell in love with it, because the home of the Spanish flamenco goes straight to your heart. That’s how beautiful it is. It looks like an open-air museum with all its cathedrals, parks and museums displaying centuries old cultures.

Feb 2008       
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The report from La Demence mentions the fact that the trip back especially can be quite a downer after a night of partying. But there are good solutions to that problem. Turn a night of dancing into a nice trip of two to three days. No rushing around but a laid back stroll through town and after the party within half an hour in a comfortable hotel room with or without a newfound lover. Parties ought to be relaxing, not hard work. So let’s look at the possibilities of Brussels. Brussels has about a million inhabitants so there ought to be quite a few gays, lesbians and bisexuals around.

Nov 2007       
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A city that graces both sides of a legendary river, crossed by a succession of regal bridges. At night, the lights on the monuments and bridges gleam in the dark like jewels. Grand, tree-lined boulevards and neoclassical buildings from the 19th century. Neighborhoods with winding, narrow, cobblestone streets from medieval times. Antique-filled flea markets, fascinating book stores, inviting cafés with strong coffee and sweet confections, museums and concerts to delight the eye and ear. Budapest offers the sophisticated traveler the familiarity of European culture with a tantalizingly distinctive Hungarian flavor.

Oct 2007       
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ITALIAN GAY HISTORY

Cave paintings from the Val Camonica region of Italy depict sex between men dating back over eight thousand years. And - we can say - since then, Italy has always been a perfect spot for gay tourists from all over the world. In ancient times, Homosexual relationships were common among Roman citizens, particularly between masters and slaves or teachers and pupils, just like in Greek culture. Then, in the Renaissance, some very important gay people have drawn public attention on the homosexual behaviour: we can remember Michelangelo Buonarroti, Leonardo da Vinci, Pontormo, Caravaggio, and other immortal artists who were definitely in love with other men.

Sep 2007       
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With Amtrak from Chicago to San Francisco is probably the best train trip in the United States. You travel through the country of the Amish community, through the endless farmlands of the Midwest, along powerful rivers like the Colorado, through deep canyons and straight across the impressive Rocky Mountains, which is the absolute highlight of the trip. The world famous train “California Zephyr” is taking you from Chicago to San Francisco.

Jul 2007       
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After my visit to Bodrum and Antalya, about which I reported in the previous issue of Gay News, it was time to travel onwards to Istanbul with its rich history. Istanbul has twelve million inhabitants and is truly a city that never sleeps; live goes on twenty-four hours a day. Istanbul is a large city with many lively neighborhoods. A good map and the use of taxis or public transport are essential. The restaurants have no fixed closing times and there are plenty of outside tables to have a drink or a bite to eat.

Oct 2006       
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After a visit to the non-profit foundation Magic, which had organized an afternoon debate, which was supposed to take place at café Sappho but had to move to a Turkish community center, I had become curious about gay Turkey. By coincidence I had the opportunity to visit Turkey myself, together with a group of gay journalists from Denmark, Great Britain and indeed also Russia. To explore Turkey accompanied of course by representatives of tourist agencies and gay guides.

Sep 2006       
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With a history that goes back more than 800 years, Copenhagen is a modern metropolis without the skyscrapers or other towering buildings. The old center is a medieval jewel with proud buildings and churches. Not too large or too small, so everything can easily be seen by foot. No graffiti or dirty streets, but Danish order and cleanliness. And the 1.5 million inhabitants are very relaxed about existing gay/straight differences...

Mar 2006       
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Now that China slowly but surely wants to manifest itself within the Western nations, gays and lesbians can’t be excluded of course. The first real gay guidebook to China was published in 2005. 156 pages filled with bars, clubs, saunas, restaurants, hotels, cruising areas etc. Utopia created this gay guide not just for gay men but also reserved space for lesbians.

Mar 2006       
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I went on a trip to Phuket to see and experience for myself what the situation is like one year after the Tsunami, but first I spent a couple of days in Bangkok. This city, with its temples and beautiful people, is of course a big city with lots of cars and motorcycles, eight-track highways and lots of pollution. A lot of people walk around with face masks against the exhaust fumes.

Feb 2006       
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As a regular reader of Gay News I had promised the editors a travel story about my trip to Krakow, Poland. A 39-year-old man, independant contractor with a broad knowledge of the sex industry - as much with men as with women - my interest in Poland came about through a Polish work-colleague, Piotre. The image of Poland that I had before my journey was from TV but Piotre’s stories made me reconsider. Via the Internet I booked a flight and hotel. As I don’t enjoy flying I only travel with the larger, more reliable airlines, in this case Lufthansa.

Oct 2005       
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As flying away on holiday becomes cheaper we’re travelling more often and further beyond our borders. And last minute bookings are also attractive. As planes must always be fully booked often the last seats go for a song. The advantages are all ours. Or so it seems, but what we rarely contemplate are the necessary vaccinations we need against sicknesses we’re unfamiliar with here in Holland but are, in distant tropical lands, life threatening. Many a man returns from vacation to find himself at his doctor with a variety of symptoms that could’ve easily been avoided had he taken the time to be vaccinated against sicknesses prevalent in other lands.

Jul 2005       
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This year Malta entered the European Union. Situated at an important strategic position Malta was a British colony since 1814. From 1947 the country was allowed its own government and in 1964 Malta became truly independent. However, the last English institutions didn’t leave until 1979. Leaving English as the nation’s second language together with Maltese. Malta lies at approximately 93 kilometers South of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea and has 400,000 inhabitants.

Feb 2005       
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If South-Africa is the world’s ‘Rainbow Nation’, than Cape Town has to be its ‘Reigning Queen’!

Just a while ago I had my eye on a very pleasant gesture from the airline company Lufthansa. In an advertising campaign of Lufthansa two attractive looking men were shown at the Table Mountain, at first individually and finally together. We, gays are also doing well in advertising! Rousing my interest - I really had to get myself to South Africa - the only remaining question was: where?

Jan 2005       
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After the wettest August our small country ever went through, I called it a day. I wanted some more sunshine, beautiful men and culture. That’s the reason why I decided to visit the World Wide Web, to find myself a sunny destination for the last weeks of September. After a bit of browsing the choice was easily made: a city trip in Spain.

Dec 2004       
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Recently a colleague of mine asked me how it’s possible that I’m always awarding big A’s in this column. He has frequently other experiences in culinary Amsterdam. One of the main reasons I gave him, is my optimistic vision which is above average. Every half empty glass is eventually also half full! Of course I’m making use of my well informed sources. In addition I have improved my taste buds strongly during the last twenty years. And last but not least, once a month I grant my readers a culinary tip not only to read but also to visit. But believe me, if we ever eat somewhere having negative experiences, I will not hesitate to dip my crown pen into vinegar.

Nov 2004       
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Since the dollar has become this cheap, a trip to California is for many at a top position on their wish list. To do something completely differently instead of the worn out holidays to France, Spain or, even worse, Ibiza. California, also known as "the Golden State", is about twelve hours flying from Amsterdam. There’s no bothering about connecting flight, because there are nonstop flights to San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. How and what kind of booking you make, is for you to decide.

Oct 2004       
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KPN (the Dutch phone company) has wrecked many shareholders financially. The so-called customer friendly company KPN unfortunately has found out more ways to earn dirty cash: by the ignorant holidaymaker. We're not sure how foreign companies work, but the following might also apply to them and therefore we've translated this look at the world of telephone capitalism.

Jun 2004       
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In a recently published report the US-based Human Rights Watch said the Egyptian government is continuing to routinely arrest and torture men suspected of homosexual activities. The report In a Time of Torture: The Assault on Justice in Egypt's Crackdown on Homosexual Conduct documents the increasing repression suffered by Egyptians and foreign residents.

Jun 2004       
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When you mention “London” everybody immediately starts to shout: “Too expensive! All the gay places are miles away from each other.” That used to be truth, but looking at the current prices in Amsterdam’s bars; considering the cheap flights (if you book in advance); and after a weekend around Vauxhall Station, I concluded: London exceeds one’s expectations and it’s still alive!

Apr 2004       
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“Egypt, a gift from the Nile” was the way the Greek classic historian Herodotus described the mysterious land of Pharaohs and pyramids. The Nile was and still is the lifeline of Egypt. It can bring prosperity or famine. The yearly flood covers the land with fruitful Nile-silt. The Nile also destined the life of the ancient Egyptians; they studied and analysed the river.

Mar 2004       
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For some time now our attentive readers must have noticed the weekend special offers, advertised by ?t Bölke. So what do we get for fifty-five euros? It seems to be a very attractive offer! In our November issue one of our columnists said it attention beautifully: ?In Enschede, they have a different way of dealing and a more positive view. Cooperation is the opinion over there...?

Jan 2004       
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Been in Sitges? Done New York? Bored of gay sex holidays? Then you might wanna try a vacation at the Maldive Islands, a tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives constist of some two thousand islands, spread across 100.000 square kilometres. Only thirty-three of these islands are bigger than one square kilometre. Two hundred islands are inhabited and seventy have been trasformed into holiday resorts.

Jan 2004       
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Gay News visited The Only Turkish Gay Only Hotel: Ada Livadi in Alanya. Departure from Schiphol Airport 19:15 hrs, arrival at Alanya Airport 22:30 hrs (23:30 Turkish clock). Distance from Airport to Alanya: 123 kilometres.

Dec 2003       
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A real Berliner you won’t find on the Ku-damm. A Parisian rarely will have lunch on the Champs Elysees. And a real Amsterdammer will rarely roam the many little streets environs the Leidseplein. But rules are for changing, so on a sultry August night I direct my steps to the Leidsekruisstraat # 14. Since 1969 you can spend the night here, in Hotel Orfeo.

Oct 2003       
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For Dutch gays who’ve had it with once again Gran Canaria or Ibiza, a visit to the exciting Brazilian town Salvador might offer new and stimulating vistas. Salvador, capital of Bahia, in Northeast Brazil at the Atlantic coast. With its tropical sea climate, the mercury on the coldest day of the last 300 years indicated 21 C. In summer, December - February, temperatures can rise to some 35 C. But the seawinds bring in an ever welcome cooling breeze. For centuries Salvador was the transfer harbour of the Brazilian slave trade. These days the city calls itself proudly the black city of Brazil.

Jun 2003       
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