Category Archives: Europe

Germany: Lock Your Love in Cologne

Open your heart to me, baby
I hold the lock and you hold the key
Open your heart to me, darlin’
I’ll give you love if you, you turn the key

This Valentine’s Day, let Cologne hold the lock and the Rhine hold the key.

Join the Köln tradition by engraving both your names on a padlock and locking your love along the pedestrian pathway of the Hohenzollernbrücke Bridge.  Then throw the key in the Rhine River.

In addition to connecting east and west Cologne, the Hohenzollernbrücke also symbolically links thousands of lovers.

(To learn more about Cologne, Germany… read my article on Travel Squire or listen to my radio segment on Proud FM)

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Let’s Get Visual: East London

The Traveling IQ vault is packed with travel photos that have never seen the light of day. They’re lonely and want to say hello.

Here’s a little photo tour of East London, from my November 2011 visit.

East London has undergone a dramatic change over the last decade. The once isolated area beyond the Tower of London, is now home to trendy shops, cafes, art galleries and open-air markets.

During my visit last year, I explored the area with my trusted “insider” Urban Gentry guide and stayed for the grand opening of the Aloft London Excel Hotel–all as the city was prepping to host the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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Let’s Get Visual: Valencia, Spain

The Traveling IQ vault is packed with travel photos that have never seen the light of day.  They’re lonely and want to say hello.

Here’s a little photo tour of Valencia, Spain, from my summer 2011 visit.

Spain’s third largest city beautifully blends the old and the new.  On a short walk you can easily encounter 2,000 years of history and architecture.

To learn a bit more, read my article in the Washington Post or listen to the radio interview on Portland’s KPAM.

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IQ on Proud FM: Cologne, Germany

Cologne, Germany

Ivan Quintanilla is the featured travel expert on Toronto’s Proud FM Radio “Your Morning With Richard & Chris.”

Click on the link below to hear IQ and the boys talk about gay travel to Cologne, Germany:

Ivan Quintanilla on Proud FM-Cologne  (6 min.)

To learn more about Germany’s fourth largest city, and one of the its most popular gay destinations, read the IQ articles published on Travel Squire and Out Traveler.

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The Week in Travel (7/20/12)

The world of travel moves fast!   Let’s keep up–together.   This week, Traveling IQ curates recent travel stories on London, which you may have heard is hosting a sporting event of some kind, starting July 27.

London 2012

*Fasten your seat belt, it’s going to be a taxing night.  One enterprising London cabbie has transformed his black cab into a hotel for one, with a “memory foam” mattress, pillow, duvet, bedside lamp and a Paddington teddy bear.  Available during the Olympics for £50 (about $78) a night. (via CNN)

*The London Olympics will travel to you.  For the first time fans will have live access to every event–at least every event with a camera on the scene–by streaming to their computers or mobile devices.  Here’s a guide to the joys and complications.  (via Consumer Search)

*London is busy on its slowest day.  With as many as 5.5 million day-trippers and 450,000 visitors expected for the Games, plan to cozy up with strangers and follow these tips for navigating  public transportation.  (via LA Times)

*Enjoy the stylish life with advice toward the shops, restaurants, hotels and sights that will fit you to a T. (via NY Times T Magazine)

*Coming to London for the Olympics but don’t want to stay in the city? Commute from villages and rural retreats, most within an hour by train, and skip the inflated prices and crazed city fever.  (via The Guardian)

*Take IQ’s suggestion and steer your own sightseeing course with Urban Gentry’s personalized tours of London’s art, fashion, design, food or architecture scenes. (via Traveling IQ)

*Celebrate the Olympic spirit and London’s new craft beer renaissance over a tasty pint. (via NY Times)

*And check out some of IQ’s recent articles on the Aloft London Excel Hotel, London cabbies, and the Soho neighborhood.

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

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Amsterdam’s Milkshake Festival

Amsterdam’s Milkshake is bringing all the boys and girls to the Westerpark yard on Sunday, July 22.

Under the tag line, “For boys who love girls who love girls who love boys who love boys…” the inaugural Milkshake Festival will present five stages, featuring music, dancing, performance art, and an all-out celebration of Amsterdam’s liberal character.

As stated on their website, the outdoor festival will promote a strict “Free Love & Tolerance” policy, inviting everyone to be themselves:  “Life is a party thanks to the great diversity of skin colors, religions, sexual preferences and male and female forms… Thick, thin, small, large, gay, straight, trans, travo, black or white: people are the salt of the earth and this is what we celebrate!”

So check your attitude at the gate, and take a big gulp of Amsterdam’s thick, frothy, all-welcoming blend.  Confused?  Don’t worry, they can teach you, but they’ll have to charge… an entrance fee of 32.50 euros (about $40).

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A Lisbon Beach Day

…he’s waiting just outside of Lisbon

With summer temperatures rising, visitors to Lisbon are finding it a little easier to enjoy a day on the beach. Though accessible by public transportation, planning the journey—especially for a tourist—can be daunting. Relax. Forget the bus to the train to the tram to the… With prices starting at 35 euros (about $43), your personal, gay tour guide from Lisbon Beach will pick you up at your hotel in a private car, drive you to the beach of your choice (from family-friendly to “We-are-family” friendly), and pick you up when you’re done. He can also coordinate a picnic, beach umbrellas and help you sort through the nightlife options available later.

The most popular gay beach, known as Beach 19 or Praia 19, sits on the Costa da Caparica, about a 30-minute drive out of the city center, and a world away from the bustling capital.  Part of a nature reserve, the area contains an expansive, sandy beach  along the ocean and more remote sand dunes sometimes used to cruise for new acquaintances.   As it is a nudist beach, your suit is optional.

Should you choose to make a fashionable impression, the new men’s boutique UP! town Lisboa has you covered. Opened this Spring in the trendy Bairro Alto neighborhood,  life/business partners Jacob and Bruno have turned an old bookstore into a shopping destination. With a combination of local, European and American brands such as ES Collection, Havana & Co., Ganesh and Ajaxx63, UP! town Lisboa carries  sexy bathing suits and stylish casual wear for fashion-minded gentlemen.

So enjoy all the sights, culture and history of Portugal’s capital… and then enjoy a beautiful beach break from it all.

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IQ on Proud FM: Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Ivan Quintanilla is the featured travel expert on Toronto’s Proud FM Radio “Your Morning With Richard & Chris.”

Click on the link below to hear Ivan and the boys talk about gay travel to Lisbon, Portugal:

Ivan on Proud FM-Lisbon-Portugal

*Learn more about Lisbon on the city’s tourism website at  VisitLisboa.com
*Stay up-to-date on the gay scene by visiting  LisbonBeach.com

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IQ in The New York Times: Soviet Architecture in Berlin

Eager to distance themselves from their imperialist past and embody the new ideals of the Soviet state, the architects of Communist Russia created avant-garde structures with a social purpose.  Through July 9, the exhibition “Building the Revolution:  Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935” at the Martin-Gropius-Bau  in Berlin combines vintage photographs, period artwork and current images to explore the Constructivist movement that rose out of the Russian Revolution.

Read IQ’s full article in The New York Times, by clicking on the picture below:

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Gay Rugby Rumbles in Manchester

Photograph by Jess A. Bunshaft

More than 1,000 pairs of thick, meaty, man legs from around the world will be tackling, sweating and piling on each other for three days when Manchester, England hosts the Bingham Cup, the world championship of gay and inclusive rugby teams.

The Bingham Cup is a biennial event awarded by the International Gay Rugby Association and Board, and named after September 11 hero and gay rugby player, Mark Bingham, who died on United Airlines Flight 93.

From June 1 to 3, Manchester will host more than 30 rugby teams from 15 countries competing to topple the current champions, New York’s Gotham Knights, who defeated the previously twice-crowned Sydney Convicts at the 2010 tournament in Minneapolis.

It is particularly poignant that Gotham Knights was founded by Scott Glaessgen and Mark Bingham, who prior to his untimely death was a part-time New York City resident and business owner.  A personal note from Alice Hoagland, Mark’s mom, posted on the Facebook page of the Manchester Bingham Cup states: “You know, the Bingham Cup really is a special event for me. The fact you chose to name the tournament in Mark’s memory makes me very proud. What touches me most, though, is the spirit that it evokes and an idea which was close to Mark’s heart – that anyone, regardless of who they are, can grab a ball and a jersey and run onto a rugby pitch.”

Alice will be attending the 6th Bingham Cup in Manchester, as she has every Bingham Cup since the first tournament was held in San Francisco in 2002.

For more information about the tournament visit BinghamCup.com

For more information about the host city check out VisitManchester.com and its LGBT-specific section.

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