Category Archives: Photo of The Week

Best Pools in the World

CHILE has some of the best pools in the world.

A pool by the ocean?

In 1997, Fernando Fischmann, Chairman and Founder, decided to develop a real estate tourism project: San Alfonso del Mar, in Algarrobo–a small town on Chile’s central coast. The waters of the Chilean coast are cold, inhospitable and dangerous (swimming is prohibited in the area), so it was difficult to imagine how a project could be successful and unique from ones that already existed.

(Photo above – The enormous man-made pool, set along the coastline, is larger than 20 Olympic-size pools and holds a whopping 66 million gallons of water, according to The Daily Mail. Crystal Lagoons, the creator of the pool, claims it’s six times bigger than its closest competitor, the Orthlieb Pool in Casablanca, Morocco.)

To solve this dilemma, Mr. Fischmann dreamed of creating a large lagoon with crystal clear waters that would provide visitors the chance to swim and enjoy water sports in a safe, clean environment and warm waters. He travelled the world in search of the technology to turn his dream into reality. However, the technology did not exist. The only available option was to construct a very large conventional swimming pool, but this was neither technically nor economically feasible given its high costs.

His solution would result in a worldwide patent (reg. #43534) and a new company called Crystal Lagoons Technology.

 

Can You Travel with Your Dog?

 

What is the Difference Between 
Emotional
Support Animals, Service Animals and Therapy Animals?
The main difference between emotional   support animals, service animals
and therapy animals have to do with training. With emotional support animals
(ESA), the dogs are there to bring comfort as well as companionship. The
animals do not have to get any specialized training and skills for this, except
perhaps basic obedience and social skills, in the case of dogs or cats. It’s
enough that the animal is there and its owner draws comfort from its presence. 
Emotional support animals are commonly  dogs, but there also individuals who take cats, horses, rabbits or turtles as
their emotional support animals. To some degree, emotional support animals are
still considered pets. But unlike pets, they serve another purpose as they are
relied upon by those with mental health issues (ie. Depression, PTSD, Anxiety, etc.). 

 

Emotional    Support Animals are extended some adjustments especially when dealing with
housing or airline rules. The “no pets policy” does not apply in this
case, but the person with an ESA has to have a letter
signed and written by a licensed mental health professional.
On the other hand, service animals have
been highly trained to master specific skills. These dogs have to perform tasks
for their handlers who are unable to do a variety of things because of a
physical or mental disability. 
For instance, someone who is blind will
need the help of a service dog in walking in public, so the dog should be
trained to guide and keep his handler safe. Someone who experiences seizures
will need a service dog who is trained to notice the triggers, as well as alert
people concerned in order to save the life of his handler. Because of their
vital role, service dogs can accompany their handlers wherever they need to be,
even in public facilities (ie. Restaurants, stores, work places, etc.). 
Therapy animals
are similar to service animals in that they are required to be trained to
perform certain tasks. The difference is that therapy dogs are also socially
trained and well-adjusted around people. Hence, you see therapy dogs in various
hospital facilities, rehab centers, schools and establishments or sites where
the primary concern is psychological or emotional healing. Therapy animals are
not entitled access to public places, airlines, or no pets housing situations.

 

 

Fallen Icarus in Sicily

fallen angel icarus sicily

While Sicily is not a gay mecca –  slowly,  more  gay clubs and businesses  have opened  in the last few years.   There is a great article  HERE.

I just love this statue  and archaeological site!

The Valley of Temples in Agrigento (Sicily) is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world and a perfect example of Greek architecture used in the colonies of the Magna Graecia.
The Valley includes the rests of different temples, all in Doric style and built during the most powerful period of Akragasthe ancient city that was praised by the Ancient Greek poet Pindar, as “the most beautiful city the mortals have ever built”
From 2011 onwards in front of the temple is the bronze statue of Icarus, made by the Polish artist Igor Mitoraj.
Lots  of  photos  HERE!

Dismaland Art Project in UK

dismaland park dystopian

Inside the walls of a derelict seaside swimming resort in Weston-super-Mare, UK, mysterious construction over the last month—including a dingy looking Disney-like castle and a gargantuan rainbow-colored pinwheel tangled in plastic—suggested something big was afoot. Suspicion and anticipation surrounding the unusual activity attributed to fabled artist and provocateur Banksy has reached a Willy Wonka-esque fervor. Well, if Banksy’s your bag, continue fervoring. If not, there’s more than a few reasons to continue reading.

The spectacle has since been revealed to be a pop-up art exhibition in the form of an apocalyptic theme park titled Dismaland (“The UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction”) that will be open to the public for five weeks.

dismaland park uk

Here’s some text from the event’s official brochure:

Are you looking for an alternative to the soulless sugar-coated banality of the average family day out? Or just somewhere cheaper. Then this is the place for you—a chaotic new world where you can escape from mindless escapism. Instead of a burger stall, we have a museum. In place of a gift shop we have a library, well, we have a gift shop as well.

Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus—a bemusement park. A theme park who’s big theme is: theme parks should have bigger themes…

This event contains adult themes, distressing imagery, extended use of strobe lighting, smoke effects and swearing. The following items are strictly prohibited: knives, spraycans, illegal drugs, and lawyers from the Walt Disney corporation.

 

dismaland theme park uk

A demented assortment of bizarre and beautiful artworks from no less than 58 global artists including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty, Bill Barminski, Caitlin Cherry, Polly Morgan, Josh Keyes, Mike Ross, David Shrigley, Bäst, and Espo. Banksy is also showing 10 artworks of his own.

Dismaland features a cavalcade of artists featured here on Colossal over the last few years including pieces by Escif, Maskull Lasserre, Kate McDowell, Paco Pomet, Dietrich Wegner, Michael Beitz, Brock Davis, Ronit Baranga, and others.

A program of 24 short films  will be shown on a massive outdoor cinema that will play on a loop day and night. Films include shorts by Santiago Grasso & Patricio Plaza, Kirsten Lepore, The Mercadantes, Ze Frank, Adrien M. & Claire B., Black Sheep Films, and Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.

Gay Travel Belize and El Secreto

romantic romance gay travel belize

Wedged between Mexico and Guatemala, the tiny and eclectic country of Belize has become one of the most popular eco tourism destinations in Central America. The weather is mild, the beaches are spectacular, the history is rich, and yes, it is a land of swaying palm trees, azure waters  and colorful sunsets.

This is an absolutely fascinating country and the only English and Spanish speaking nation immediately south of Mexico with which it shares a land border.

gay-travel-belize-central-america

I have some dear friends that have been going to Belize for over 20 years. In recent years Belize has been garnering major international buzz  and for sure there is no signs of it slowing down. With its amazing flora, fauna; breath taking natural resources; the quick accessibility to both a rain forest and a Caribbean beach complete with  palms and white sandy beaches are all reasons why people return to these shores year after year.

While the country is experiencing more tourists, and thus  more diversity in recent years, it’s still very much a conservative democracy. Public displays of affection of all kinds are generally discouraged. Some people will be shocked by gay PDA, so be discreet and mindful of the country’s attitudes. Just be respectful and enjoy the natural scenery; you’re sure to have a wonderful time.

Belize is a romantic and adventuresome destination where you can lounge in luxurious accommodations with a lover, or explore caves and go deep-sea diving with  friends. The  beautiful tranquility of the natural Belizean geographical features will leave you breathless though, so don’t let that small setback keep you from visiting this idyllic land!

gay-lgbt-belize

WHEN TO GO?   Anytime!  The average yearly temperature is 84° F (29°C), which means that it is pretty much near perfect all year round.

WHERE TO STAY?  There are more than 200 islands in Belize that are known as cayes (pronounced “keys”) that are easy accessible and can serve as ideal bases for fishing, snorkeling and diving. For me personally, I don’t care for the big international hotel chains – I prefer smaller, quaint and romantic places to stay.

el-secreto-beach-resort

El Secreto nestles 13 exclusive individual thatched roof villas with a smart combination of contemporary and traditional elements. This beautiful gay friendly, Boutique Resort sits on the Caribbean beaches of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

(Temptation Island was filmed nearby on Ambergris, 36 miles north of Belize City, and the caye is the country’s liveliest, with open-air bars and restaurants spilling into the white sand in the main town, San Pedro.)

belize-gay-travel-places-to-stay

Appointed with fine Belizean tropical woods, marble finished bathrooms with a tandem bathtub, outdoor private jacuzzi and shower patio. All the villas are equipped with a King size bed, a state of the art led lighting system, air conditioning, iPod dock station, LCD TV, mini bar, safe, hair dryer, Melita coffee maker, 400 thread Egyptian cotton Vivenda linens and Malin & Goetz amenities. They have made many  TOP 10 lists and won many awards for luxury experiences!

gay belize Lake Villa night

best-gay-belize

Enjoy a unique dining experience at El Secreto Restaurant. A romantic setting where you can “feel” the breeze and admire a beautiful ocean view. It doesn’t get much better than this!

GET PAMPERED with Spa services. Ikal meaning “spirit” in Maya, will reconnect you to the essence of life. A wonderful natural setting where you will indulge to a peaceful atmosphere enjoying Island rituals with the benefits of the sea, bamboo, tropical fruits, spices and aromatherapy.

 

award-winning--LGBT-places-belize

A member of Design Hotels.

Award Winning El Secreto.

LIKE them on Facebook!

Browse rooms and pricing today for your luxurious getaway!

GETTING  TO BELIZE  is outlined on this page.

 

 

 

 

Black Flamingo Seen Twice

black and pink flamingo

This black flamingo is one in several million—and perhaps, the only one in the world.

On April 8, it was spotted during a flamingo count along a salt lake at the Akrotiri environmental center on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. This same flamingo may have also been seen in Israel in 2014, when a 70-year-old man captured what could be the world’s “the one and only black flamingo” on camera, the photographer told the Monterey Herald.   Read more  @  Audubon

Beyond Puerto Vallarta – Riviera Nayarit

four seasons punta mita riviera nayarit

When you arrive at PVR airport, you head south through the  Marina Vallarta Hotel Zone to get to Puerto Vallarta. If you head north instead, that takes you to Riviera Nayarit which begins at  Nuevo Vallarta and continues north with 200 miles of coastal beauty framed by the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains that more and more LGBT travelers are now discovering.

A number of hotels in Riviera Nayarit have recently been accredited as “LGBT friendly,” including the top-end Four Seasons Punta Mita. (above).

mexcaltitan island riviera nayarit

From Punta Mita, a secluded beach oasis known for luxury resorts, to peaceful Mexcaltitán Island*, the birthplace of the Aztec civilization, Riviera Nayarit offers traditional and friendly seaside villages, lush jungles, colonial history and quiet beaches. With an array of gay-friendly hotels, bars, restaurants, spas, stores and tourist excursions, LGBT travelers can choose a vacation that best fits their style and mood. (*You’ve never seen anything like it. Mexcaltitán Island, located northwest of Santiago Ixcuintla, is quite literally a magical place.)

Riviera Nayarit is less touristy and more refined than Puerto Vallarta, but is an equally fabulous holiday paradise with a visible, relaxed gay community. There are numerous beachside towns to explore by car, waves to surf, and tantalizing food to eat.

Hotel_MarivalResidences_view

Gay-owned establishments include Billy Bob’s bar in the historic port of San Alas, whose surroundings are the prime bird watching spot of the northern hemisphere, and the Xaltemba restaurant gallery in the town of La Peñita. The “hippy chic” town of Sayulita with its eclectic mix of cultures and surfing attracts the LGBT market year round.

beaches riviera nayarit mexico

Ultimately it’s the area’s pristine beaches and wide-ranging activities – from whale watching to spa experiences – with its luxury properties and diverse coastal towns, which are the biggest draw. Many of Hollywood’s celebrities have been coming here, because it is less touristy and there many 5 star resorts. Riviera Nayarit’s luxurious accommodations, top restaurants and chefs, matchless nature, and growing number of attractions for cosmopolitan visitors have led Riviera Nayarit to be one of the new top tourist destinations in Mexico for members of the LGBT community.

Hotel_St. Regis_CascadePool

The region attracts and satisfies vacationers of all tastes and budgets with its wide range of accommodations including chic luxury resorts, eco-tourism boutique hotels and quaint B&B inns. Riviera Nayarit is recognized as a “Virtuoso Preferred Destination.” In 2015, Riviera Nayarit was recognized by Travel Weekly as “Mexico’s new holiday destination on the Pacific coast,” by Yahoo! Travel as “Mexico’s New Playground” and on Conde Nast Traveller UK 2015 Hot Destinations List.

It’s an ideal place for anyone looking to be close enough to the LGBT action without actually being in the thick of it, as Puerto Vallarta’s main LGBT scene is between a 30 to 45 minute drive away.

 

Contact Dave for all your LGBT travel needs worldwide:

dave@donovantravel.com
(401) 942-7700        1-800-942-1280

Singapore’s Changi International Airport RAIN Art

Kinetic Rain Singapore's Changi International Airport

WOW!

I have never been to this airport  – yet – a friend of mine just saw this!

 

World’s largest kinetic art sculpture unveiled at Changi Airport
SINGAPORE,  2012 — Passengers and airport visitors entering the Departure Check-in Hall at Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 (T1) can expect to stop in their tracks and be captivated by a new art installation. Kinetic Rain, as it is titled, takes pride of place at the terminal, enthralling visitors with its fluidity, distinctive shapes, elegant and refined movements and precision-perfect technology.

Kinetic Rain, installed as part of T1’s recent refurbishment, is the icon of the revamped Departure Check-in Hall. This specially commissioned sculpture, a first in an airport globally, comes as a pair, each installed several metres apart from each other and visible from many areas of the Departure Check-in Hall.

Kinetic Rain is made up of 1,216 bronze droplets that transform elegantly into multiple shapes, akin to poetry in motion. Carrying an aviation theme, the key element in every shape shows the movement of flight through slow, fluid movements. Some of the more recognisable shapes include an aeroplane, hot air balloon and a kite. One can also make out a dragon and a flock of birds amongst the 16 different programmed segments.

Each droplet is connected to motors installed in the ceiling of the Departure Check-in Hall. The motors contain a high precision rotary encoder which keeps track of the exact position of each droplet. A computer programme is used to control the movement of the droplets to form Kinetic Rain’s unique shapes and patterns. A video on the making-of Kinetic Rain can be viewed here.

Kinetic Rain was created over a span of 20 months. Artists, programmers and technologists were engaged to analyse the space available at T1 and conceptualise a masterpiece that would be representative of the new terminal. The refurbished T1 is aptly themed ‘Tropical City’ in keeping with Singapore’s garden city status and where rain, is very much a part of the tropical climate.

Mr Yeo Kia Thye, Senior Vice President for Airport Operations, Changi Airport Group, said, “When we decided to upgrade Terminal 1 in 2008, we were mindful that people have fond memories of the terminal including the old Mylar Cords, the circular curtain of water that straddled three stories of the building. We wanted an art sculpture, which we found in Kinetic Rain, that was able to add the signature touch linking back to T1’s illustrious past in a new and exciting way.

“With more than a thousand raindrops working together in harmony, Kinetic Rain also symbolises the thousands in the airport community who work together every day to provide our passengers and visitors with a positively surprising and memorable Changi Experience.”

An audio commentary and official video are also available for visitors who wish to know more about Kinetic Rain. All they have to do is scan the QR code present at the display boards at the T1 Departure Check-in Hall with their smartphones. For more information about the refurbished T1, please visit: www.changiairport.com/terminal1

About Changi Airport Group

Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) (www.changiairportgroup.com) was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Singapore Changi Airport followed on 1 July 2009. As the company managing Changi Airport, CAG undertakes key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services. Through its subsidiary Changi Airports International, the Group invests in and manages foreign airports to spread the success of Changi Airport internationally.

Changi Airport (www.changiairport.com) is the world’s most awarded airport having garnered more than 400 accolades since it opened in 1981. To serve passengers and visitors from the world over, there are 360 retail stores and 130 F&B outlets across the airport’s four terminals. Changi handled more than 46 million passenger movements in 2011, an annual record. Today, it serves some 100 airlines flying to over 220 cities in about 60 countries and territories worldwide. A flight takes off or lands at Changi roughly once every 100 seconds.

WATCH

Incredible Travel Experiences

sistine chapel gay travel

According to my Trip Advisor  account,  I have been to 51 cities in 9 countries. I was feeling kind of proud – until I read this article on LIFE HACK, 50 Incredible Travel Experiences to Have in Your Lifetime!

Seems  I have done  NONE OF THEM!

tigers nest gay travel

Most are in countries I have not seen yet – and some countries I really don’t care to visit.  Just because any of our travel experiences are not on this list – does not lessen  their  value.  So what I have not been to India. or Peru.

gay travel paris france

I HAVE been to Paris and sat at a sidewalk cafe and people watched;

I HAVE been to Budapest and seen the ornate bath houses;

I HAVE been to Prague and looked over the city of spires from the TV Tower;

I HAVE been to New York City and admired the Twin Towers before they fell;

I HAVE been to Hocking Hills  Ohio and walked inside the majestic caves and forest;

I HAVE been to the Grand Canyon….

An incredible travel experience can be anywhere – and different  for everyone…

What have been YOUR BEST travel experiences?

 

Gay Travel Around The World

25 must see cities in your lifetime!

From Paris to Prague –

From  San Francisco to New York –

gay travel asia gay travel best cities gay travel budapest hungary gay travel paris france

Shanghai  to Dubai!

Take a look at these breathtaking travel photos and see whats next on your list.

(NOTE – NOT ALL OF THESE  PLACES  ARE  GAY  FRIENDLY – BUT MOST ARE)

 

Book your next trip with the help of Dave at Donovan Travel!  1-800-942-1280

Gay Travel with Alain and his Rainbow Wig

  WHAT is the one thing you CAN NOT travel without?

For some
people  it me  be something as simple and small as an iPod. For others, they  might insist on bringing along their favorite pillow. I travel with my lucky underwear!!

But  for Alain, The Sojourner, he doesn’t go anywhere without his rainbow
wig.

What started off as a Halloween costume in 2006 has now become a global
movement, with Alain taking the wig to 11 countries and countless
cities.

He’s even started a photo collection of friends and strangers wearing the rainbow.

‘I pose with it in every country I’m going to. I did it in the Great Wall of China, in Angkor Wat in Cambodia, in front of the Statue of Liberty in New York and some other places.

‘Why am I doing this? It’s because travel is supposed to be fun. It’s not just about the exciting places you’re gonna land on, not only about the incredible people you’ll be meeting or the unscripted lessons you’ll learn – but also about how you make the best out of it!

‘As a couch-surfer, I’ve met hundreds of people and hosted some of them. And the good thing is, they’re ALL willing to wear the rainbow wig, without really thinking about my sexuality.

Follow him on Facebook or his blog!

Make the Most of your Gay Travel Photos

EVER GLANCED in exasperation at travel photographs wondering why yours taken of the same landmarks or subjects never turn out as stunning?

Great travel photographs share a few similarities even though their
subjects may be as different as a sweeping landscape or a brooding
portrait.

There are some great tips here.

I like photos that are thoughtful – and funny!  These are clever ways tourists used statues to create  a neat photo!

EVER GLANCED in exasperation at travel photographs wondering why yours taken of the same landmarks or subjects never turn out as stunning?

Great travel photographs share a few similarities even though their
subjects may be as different as a sweeping landscape or a brooding
portrait.

Read more at http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/the-a-b-c-d-e-of-travel-photography/#Jh0KA7LG6L9vzvcT.99

EVER GLANCED in exasperation at travel photographs wondering why yours taken of the same landmarks or subjects never turn out as stunning?

Great travel photographs share a few similarities even though their
subjects may be as different as a sweeping landscape or a brooding
portrait.

Read more at http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/the-a-b-c-d-e-of-travel-photography/#Jh0KA7LG6L9vzvcT.99

Gay Travel to Zakynthos Island Greece

How Beautiful is that water?

 

The island of Zakynthos, the beautiful green island in Greece, surrounded by the clear blue water of the the Ionian Sea.
Zakynthos (Zante), the third largest of the Ionian islands, lies on the
west of Greece, promising unforgettable holidays in its magical
landscapes, beaches and villages!

Over the past few years, Zakynthos has become quite popular among gay
visitors, even though there are still no exclusively gay and lesbian
bars or clubs. However, you will feel more than welcome in this
beautiful Greek island, almost everywhere you go! The famous gay nudist
beach of “Vrontonero”, just a few steps away from Dafni bay, is probably
the place where you ‘ll meet many gay people, both locals and visitors.

The island is surrounded by beautiful beaches, with the most popular of
them, “Navagio”, being one of the most photographed places of the world!
In Zakynthos you will enjoy excellent food, intense night life, amazing
landscapes and relaxing moments by the beach. 

Amazing Outdoor Dining Spots Around The World

I love outdoor dining! And when to travel to new places, it’s so exciting to dine on a rooftop or other spectacular setting. It’s Magical!
what about those truly magnificent destination spots that involve eating
on the side of a cliff or dining while suspended 180 ft. in the air? 

Gay Travel Safari…Gone Wrong

I used to think I wanted to go on a safari and see the wild, up close!
Now,  I am not so sure……

Great Travel Photos From Around the World

SO MANY beautiful places to see??  Whats your favorite?? Tell us!

I love that last photo! Swimming with the sharks!

#gaytravel

Beautiful Flower Gardens

THINK SPRING!

While I am in the freezing cold – I guess it’s warm south!

Beautiful Christmas Displays Around the World

It’s like flowers in spring or colorful foliage in fall: You know it’s Christmastime when everywhere you go, there are colored lights and fanciful decorations.

Some Christmas displays are modern updates of traditional shopping
district standbys: The evergreen inventiveness and humor of Macy’s
window displays, or Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Shoppers walk by
carrying gifts, kids are everywhere and holiday music ribbons the whole
scene. It’s like a warm Christmas bath: if holiday shopping has you worn
down early, a visit can help even the Grinchiest visitor find the
spirit. 
The area around Richmond, Va., has become a Christmas beacon over recent
decades, where cars and tour buses fill with families for hours-long
sightseeing trips. Winn Tours’ “Tacky Lights Tours” drives customers by
some of the area’s best-decorated homes, complete with personalized
Christmas music and a full bar–even eggnog. “We do over 100 of these
tours every season, each with a group of 40 or more people,” says Mark
Pounders, director of operations for Winn Tours. “There are all types:
large families who come together, church groups, office parties.”
See more at FORBES


From wacky residential displays to professional over-the-top spectacles, AOL Travel has rounded up the 10 Best Christmas Light Displays in the U.S. Unlike your kooky neighbor’s blow up Santa Claus, these Christmas light displays have been bringing visitors back year after year. Some are classy, others tacky — but each one sparkles with unmatched holiday cheer.

Here is the America’s Best Online list of the Best Christmas Light Shows in America. After the top ten light shows and festivals there is a
list of honorable mentions. Many are listed with the approximate dates
they are available for viewing but start and end dates change yearly.

HAPPY GAY HOLIDAYS!

SPONSORED BY….INNdulge Palm Springs

Naked Men in the Desert

Clothing is Forever Optional


BBC What A Wonderful World – Of Travel Images

A reader sent me this clip from the BBC-  I love amazing travel photography – and  I just want to travel the world! To see it all!
Sit back and enjoy these 2 wonderful minutes of travel  beauty!

Gay Travel to Singapore Amazing Rooftop Pool

Infinity pool 55  floors above ground opens in Singapore!  WOW!

While the water in the infinity pool
seems to end in a sheer drop, it actually spills into a catchment area
where it is pumped back into the main pool. At three times the length of
an Olympic pool and 650ft up, it is the largest outdoor pool in the
world at that height.

It features in the impressive,
boat-shaped ‘SkyPark’ perched atop the three towers that make up the
world’s most expensive hotel, the £4billion Marina Bay Sands
development in Singapore.

The hotel, which has 2,560 rooms costing from £350 a night, was officially opened yesterday with a concert by Diana Ross.

The
Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, estimated to have cost £2billion
when it opened in 2004, was previously the world’s most expensive hotel.

Read more: DAILY MAIL