Tag Archives: Germany

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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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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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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Germany: Cologne Carnival Begins on 11/11/11

Always ready to toast with their local Kölsch beer, the people of Cologne, Germany, love a good party.  At no point, however,  is the city most alive than during Carnival.

Coined the “fifth season,” the festivities begin on the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  As the clock strikes 11:11 on 11/11/11, residents and visitors alike take to the streets to commence a celebration that continues through Ash Wednesday of the following year.  Though the Carnival spirit takes a brief pause to celebrate the winter holidays, the festivities climax with the official parade on Rose Monday, held next year on February 20, 2012.  Get ready:  it’s the party of the year, and you are invited.  With a guest list numbering over 12,000, the costumed Kölners throw Kamelle und Strüßcher (sweets and flowers) from floats and horses parading along a four-mile stretch.  Closing times for pubs are suspended, and the parties continue indoors and out at all hours of the day and night.

(Photo: J. Badura, Cologne/Festkomitee Kölner Karneval)

For more information on Carnival visit www.koelnerkarneval.de

To read my Cologne travel article visit www.travelsquire.com


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Buddy Bears in Berlin

United Buddy Bears in Berlin

Berlin once again invites you to come play with its bears.

What began as an art project for the streets of Berlin ten years ago, has evolved into a worldwide, touring celebration of tolerance and cultural diversity.  The United Buddy Bears are sculptures representing the various countries of the United Nations–each bear created by an artist from the country it showcases.  According to organizers, “this was the only way to ensure that the circle of United Buddy Bears become a reflection of the cultural diversity of our one world… Through varying representations of culture, history, people, landscapes, economic aspects, music and traditions, many areas of life are portrayed to make people curious about the individual countries.”

The Buddy Bears stand together hand in hand in a peaceful circle, promoting  understanding among different nations, cultures and religions. Each one is unique; each one is pretty damn cute.

Since its official premiere in 2002, the art installation has appeared in 22 exhibitions and toured all 5 inhabited continents.  Now they are back in Berlin, being presented on the Ku’damm, at the corner of Knesebeckstraße, through October 3.

Make friends with the Buddy Bears anytime; it’s free of charge.

(Photos courtesy of United Buddy Bears)

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Germany Takeaway: Eau de Cologne

What do you get when you cross a monk, a businessman and a miraculous liquid? In Cologne, Germany, you get the Ultimate Takeaway…

Read the article in Travel Squire’s “The Ultimate Takeaway” column by clicking on the picture below:

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Cologne, Germany: Religion & Revelry

Cologne is a city of contrasts.  Germany’s most catholic city is also one of its most progressive.  Founded along the Rhine River as a Roman settlement in 38 BC, Cologne has managed to stay relevant through more than 2,000 years of history, culture, and artistry.  Germany’s fourth largest city celebrates its distinct “Kölsch” culture by marching to the beat of its own drummer:  drinking its particular beer, speaking its unique dialect, and living its free-spirited lifestyle.  While honoring its rich past, Cologne is a city living in the present and looking toward the future.

Read the full article, published in Travel Squire, by clicking on the photo below:

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IQ in The New York Times: “Kiefer & Rembrandt”

On invitation from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the contemporary German artist Anselm Kiefer was given full reign to create a new work of art inspired by the museum’s most famous painting, Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch.” The result, titled “La Berceuse (for Van Gogh),” unveiled today and  on display in the museum’s Philips Wing through July 4, manages to pay homage to those two well-known Dutch masters, Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh.

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

Ivan Quintanilla in The New York Times

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IQ in The New York Times: Love in Wartime

Nazi soldiers marched through the streets, fearful citizens were forced into hiding, and targeted groups were shipped to distant camps. Yet in spite of overwhelming conflict, a generation continued to love. Through May 22, the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam explores the different forms of love to spring from the trenches, shelters and concentration camps of World War II, in the exhibition “Love in Wartime.”

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

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Gay Games-Cologne, Germany

On your marks, get set, GO! Gay Games 2010  kicked off in Cologne, Germany on Saturday, with an explosive Opening Ceremony featuring the parade of athletes from 66 participating countries, speeches by German political leaders and performances by pop divas Taylor Dayne and Agnes . The 9,500 participating athletes are competing in 34 different sports through August 7, and striving to fulfill the Gay Games principles of “Inclusion, Participation and Personal Best.” First held in 1982 in San Francisco, the Games were founded by American Olympic decathlete Dr. Tom Waddell under his idea that “doing one’s personal best should be the paramount goal in any athletic endeavor.”

Twenty-eight years later, Cologne is exceeding its best as the host city of the 8th international Games. Sited as “the gayest city in Germany after Berlin” by our parent publication, OutTraveler.com, Cologne is indeed an inclusive city, reveling in the celebration of sport and LGBT pride. It’s a big party and you’re invited: these Games are open to everyone regardless of sexual orientation or ability. It is not only a fantastic sight to see the 2,955 participants from Germany and 2,219 from the United Sates (the two most represented countries), but also extremely moving to behold the one proud athlete from countries such as Angola, Sri Lanka, and United Arab Emirates where homosexuality is criminalized. At the Gay Games Cologne, our entire community wins.

*This article was originally published in Out Traveler

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