Category Archives: Travel Photography

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.

 

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!

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

Green Flash at Sunset

green flash sunset

Have you ever seen a GREEN FLASH  at Sunset? 

I heard about this for the first time last year in a movie that mentioned it.

Green flashes and green rays are optical phenomena that sometimes occur right after sunset or right before sunrise. When the conditions are right, a green spot is visible above the upper rim of the disk of the sun. The green appearance usually lasts for no more than a second or two. Rarely, the green flash can resemble a green ray shooting up from the sunset (or sunrise) point. Green flashes occur because the atmosphere can cause the light from the sun to separate out into different colors. Green flashes are a group of phenomena which stem from slightly different causes, and therefore some types of green flashes are more common than others.

Green flashes are enhanced by mirage, which increase refraction. A green flash is more likely to be seen in stable, clear air, when more of the light from the setting sun reaches the observer without being scattered. One might expect to see a blue flash, since blue light is refracted most of all, and the blue component of the sun’s light is therefore the very last to disappear below the horizon, but the blue is preferentially scattered out of the line of sight, and the remaining light ends up appearing green.

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

PHIND Information to Landmarks

phind-gay-travel

Anyone who has ever explored a new city or even their hometown has come across something that they wanted to learn about.

Until now, they were limited in ways to access the information. Available today on iOS, PHIND is a new, easy and fun way to explore life by doing what comes natural to us, taking photos. PHIND gives users information on locations, attractions and landmarks with a one-button push. Combining the two words of photo and find, PHIND gives users a wealth of information in an easy-to-read tile layout about what they are currently looking at.

 

“The idea for PHIND came to me when I was in London admiring the Wellington Arch,” said PHIND Co-Founder & CEO Rishi Jhunjhnuwala. “At the time, I didn’t know what it was and I wanted to learn who created it and why it was there but had no way of knowing besides doing a generic text search and combing through the hundreds of results. With PHIND, all that is needed is a simple photo and anyone can access all of that information and more in seconds.”

PHIND has access to over 100 million photos of locations, attractions, landmarks, and places in its database. If a traveler uses PHIND to take a photo of the Santa Monica Pier, they would receive a vast amount of information on the Southern California landmark including restaurants, bars and attractions, to name a few, that are available nearby. PHIND also works on smaller landmarks like statues by providing information on the artist and the history of the piece. Complimenting its patent-pending visual search algorithm, PHIND narrows its search results down based on the user’s location. All of this is done in a matter of seconds.

 

Additionally, PHIND builds contextual bridges that aggregate information on locations from Foursquare, Yelp, and Wikipedia along with many of the other major content providers to present historical facts, photos, reviews, hours of operation, social media profiles and more. PHIND also easily connects users to Uber to help get them to any destination.

PHIND works across the United States and in key international cities all over the world. Future releases of PHIND will see Android compatibility, the ability to share locations on social media accounts, purchase tickets for attractions and more.

 

PHIND is available for download in the App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/phind/id898016251?mt=8. Users can sign-up for a PHIND account either by using their Facebook account or signing up for a native user ID. 

(ANDROID  IS  IN THE  WORKS!)

 

For more information, please visit http://www.phind.it, like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/phindapp and follow them on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/phindapp.

 

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

Will Bandra Ohm in India Ever get Built?

gay vtravel india

Who knows if this will ever get built!  But what a concept!

Virtually rising 140 meters in the air over Indian ground, the Bandra Ohm Residential Tower was supposedly designed for a location in Mumbai, India. James Law Cybertecture imagined a cluster of highly contemporary spaces inspired by the ripple effect. A rounded outline shapes a magnificent residential building resembling the Ohm (Ω) symbol. Fluid and dynamic spaces were designed to complete this highrise building – stunning undulating glass pools acting as balconies add drama to breathtaking city views. This comes to show that infinity pools can become part of luxury apartment design.

Bandra-Ohm-Tower-by-James-Law

I can not find any updates on this…..does anyone know?

Allegedly, it is  currently under construction in Mumbai, India…..

Going for Baroque: Rosary Chapel in Puebla’s church of Santo Domingo

rosary chapel pueblo

rosary chaple santo domingo

Santo-Domingo-Rosary-Chapel

OMG!

About 2 hours from Mexico City is The Rosary Chapel (Capilla del Rosario) is one of Mexico’s most famous chapels and is inside the Templo de Santo Domingo situated in the center of the city, at the intersection of 5 de Mayo and 4 Poniente. The Templo de Santo Domingo was built between 1571 and 1611 while the Chapel –  between 1650and 1690. The Chapel is a magnificent example of Mexican Baroque art.

Every inch of the walls, ceiling, pillars and portals is covered with tiles, gold leaf, sculptures and carving. The chapel was built by natives under the instruction of the Spaniards (reflected by many Spanish-style paintings on the walls). At the top of the altar, which is made of wood and gold leaf and surrounded by marble columns sits the Archangel Gabriel. Also famous is the heavenly orchestra of cherubim surrounded by a riot of arabesques.    Read More at Visit Mexico.
Rosary Chapel and Ceiling, Church of Santo Domingo, Puebla, Mexico

puebla-rosary-chapel-dome-holy-spirit-

The Savoys Beaufort Bar London

Beaufort-Bar-October-gay-halloween

The best thing about travel for me, is seeing new and beautiful buildings and design.

london gay travel The-Savoy-main2

If you’re seeking hardcore glamour, you’ll find Deco joy at The Savoy Hotel.

Since it’s major renovation you now have a choice of two shiny bars: American Bar and the Beaufort Bar.(pictured)

A £220 million project in 2012  made sure every corner of the hotel  was restored and refurbished.

Beaufort bar incorporates the hotel’s former cabaret stage (graced by the likes of George Gershwin and Carol Gibbons) as the centrepiece to a theatrical, art deco space, with sumptuous black velvet furnishings and £40,000 of gold leaf on the walls.

Romantic couples might like to opt for the Gilded Cage – two glasses literally served in a bird cage, and containing vodka, mandarin liqueur, yellow Chartreuse, fresh passion fruit and mango with pomegranate foam (£25 per couple) – while groups will be tempted by the four-person champagne punches with names like the Garden Party, Rhapsody in Blue and the Cat’s Meow, served in absinthe fountains and costing £40.
Strand, London WC2R 0EU
www.savoy.co.uk

See more images  on this blog.

london bars

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

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


Gay Travel Great Travel Photography

Why is it when I go on my big gay vacations – I never get to capture great photos like theses?

And HEIGHTS! Are you kidding me???  I do not have the stomach for those!

Please note – we did not take these photos. All photos are owned by their respective owners and I disclaim any ownership. No infringement or copyright is intended.

If you own a particular photo/s and would like it removed from this site, please contact me   raphaelsmp (at) gmail.com,    then I’ll remove it within 24-48 hours.

Monkey Orchids Dracula simia from Peru

This is the rare Monkey Orchid, found only in high elevations of Ecuador
and Peru, especially the Peruvian Cloud Forest.  The primate-esque flowers are formally known as Dracula simia.

The orchid was only named in 1978 by the botanist Luer but is in a
family containing over 120 species mostly found in Ecuador.  Up in the
cloud mountains the monkey orchid can flower at any time – it is not
season specific. It scent resembles that of a ripe orange.

The Monkey orchid (Orchis simia) is an orchid species of the Orchis genus.

It is known for its pungent odor, which some  say is similar to that of feces!  Nice right?!

Its scientific name is Dracula simia, the last part nodding towards
the fact that this remarkable orchid bears more than a passing resemblance
to a monkey’s face – although we won’t go as far as
to be species specific on this one.

 The Dracula (genus) part of its
name refers to the strange characteristic of the two long spurs of the
sepals, reminiscent of the fangs of a certain Transylvanian count of
film and fiction fame.


Albuquerque New Mexico Hot Air Balloon Festival Oct. 6-14, 2012

Is this an amazing feast for the eyes, or what?!

Since 1972, The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a yearly festival of hot air balloons that takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA during early October. The balloon fiesta is a nine day event, and has around 750 balloons. The event is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.

Buy the amazing and breathtaking book!  
The World Comes to Albuquerque

Awesome travel Photos from Gay Readers

An island AND a train??

Dubai, high above the clouds!

EMERALD lake sits inside in empty Volcano! New Zealand.

Gibraltar Airport – The main road heading towards the land border with Spain,  intersects
the airport runway, so consequently has to be closed every time a plane
lands or departs.

Peaceful. A mom and her babies in Michigan.

Thanks to Jerry for sending in these photos!


*All photos are owned by their respective owners and I disclaim any ownership. No infringement or copyright is intended.

If you own a particular photo/s and would like it removed from this site, please contact me   raphaelsmp (at) gmail.com,   with your proof of ownership then I’ll remove it within 24-48 hours.

Gay Travel to Amsterdam Holland and Keukenhof

Keukenhof – known as the Garden of Europe – is the one of the best places to view the abundance of spring flowers in the South Holland region of the Netherlands.

Amsterdam’s flower market – the Bloemenmarkt – reflects the country’s passion for cut flowers and plants.

Around seven million bulbs are planted each year in the park at Keukenhof, in an area of 32 hectares.

The Bloemenmarkt – set on the capital’s Singel canal and said to be the world’s only floating flower market – has a score of stalls where you can buy all sorts of plants, flowers, bulbs and seeds.

The mild climate of Holland, with its wet springs makes it an ideal place for bulb cultivation.

DID YOU KNOW???
Tulips originated in the east and were brought to Holland from the Ottoman Empire in the mid 1500s.

In springtime, the lowland area by the North Sea is carpeted with fields of gladioli, hyacinths, lilies, daffodils, crocuses… and, of course, tulips.

Keukenhof – literally ‘kitchen garden’ – is part of the hunting grounds of the ancient Teylingen estate.

This year, the theme for the Keukenhof exhibition is Germany: Land of Poets and Philosophers.

The patchwork quilt of colours in the Keukenhof park, just outside Lisse in South Holland, is a veritable feast for the eyes.

The bulbs of Keukenhof are re-planted each year according to the current trends and in collaboration with a number of gardening magazines.

The best way to appreciate the full glory of the Dutch spring is to hire a bike and cycle one of the tourist routes among the bulb fields.

GAY PRIDE in Amsterdam is happening August  1-7, 2012
Special pricing and packages  available NOW
Call DAVE  at  1-800-942-1280

*All photos are owned by their respective owners and I disclaim any ownership. No infringement or copyright is intended.

If you own a particular photo/s and would like it removed from this site, please contact me   raphaelsmp (at) gmail.com,   with your proof of ownership then I’ll remove it within 24-48 hours.


US Tourism is not Afraid to Welcome LGBT Travel

Watch the music video for “Land of Dreams,” the original song written by
Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal and performed by Rosanne Cash and guest
artists Los Lobos, Bebel Gilberto and TREME.

Encouraging travelers to
come and find your “Land of Dreams,” they are featured in the first ever
global tourism campaign for the United States.

For a couple seconds we see what appears to be a gay couple!  (about 1:16). I wish they would have done a little more than just that…but, it’s better then not being included at all.

WATCH  NOW!