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Portugal – Village of Obidos

| April 19th, 2015 | Comments Off

    Obidos is a hilltop village in central Portugal. The town is crowned with a  huge Moorish castle built in the Middle Ages.                           The town proper has approximately 3100 inhabitants many of whom live inside the thick stone walls.                   The Romans built aqueducts to most of their settlements and towns in Europe.                 Inside the walled village are many cafes, shops, restaurants; here is a bookstore with its weekly meeting of the local reading club.                 Just outside the city wall is an enormous multi-sided Church of Santa Maria that appears more like a fortress than a church.                 Inside the village there are numerous small

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Northern Spain: Barcelona to Veruela Monastery

| April 14th, 2015 | Comments Off
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Portugal – Sagres Town Photos

| April 13th, 2015 | Comments Off

Sagres was founded in the 15th century. Other than its coastal location for a fort and a lighthouse it was of little importance. It remained an independent municipality until 1834 with barely 400 inhabitants. Its most famous resident was Prince Henry the Navigator who started a nautical school that supported Portuguese commercial explorations around the world. Today it is a modest tourist destination with fine beaches and dramatic cliffs that drop vertically into the ocean.        

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Portugal – Sintra Town and Palaces

| April 13th, 2015 | Comments Off

Sintra is a fairyland town in the mountains and forests west of Lisbon. Here monarchs and wealthy people built extravagant castles and palaces in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today the whole area is a sprawling outdoor museum of lifestyles and architecture long past.  

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Portugal – Evora Town Photo Gallery

| April 12th, 2015 | Comments Off

Evora is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Here are remnants of very ancient civilizations of 7500 years ago as well as Roman temple ruins and Spanish 18th century churches.

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Gay Life in Modern Portugal

| April 9th, 2015 | Comments Off

A few days in Lisbon is enough to whet one’s appetite for more of this vibrant, stylish, culinary-dense, historic and trendy city. It’s also in the forefront of Gay Life in Europe.   By Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com March 2015 (most photos by GlobalGayz.com) Lisbon is alive with countless cafes serving up a thousand menus of pastries, espresso, sea food–indeed, any and every type of edible swimmer from squid to prawns, all fish, clams and lobsters. Along the noisy cobblestone streets run luxury sedans, sports cars, motorcycles, tourist-laden tuk-tuks, buses, trolley cars, long yellow city buses, and endless tourist vans and buses. Pedestrian-only streets are scattered across the city, up an down the seven hills. The enormous passenger and cargo port disgorges goods and visitors among the towering cathedrals, basilicas, parish churches, hilltop fortress, museums, charming local plazas and countless luxury hotels and small hostels with 10×10 rooms. The streets are

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Gay Life in Ukraine 2012-14

| October 16th, 2014 | Comments Off

Introduction There are many fronts in the universal struggle for gay rights and LGBT equality. Some of these fronts are violent, some are passive, some are out and proud and colorful while others are underground. All of them involve courage, stealth, strategic planning, public relations, political lobbying and greater or lesser amounts of money. In 2012 Ukraine the efforts for “Gay Life in Ukraine” are no less strained and courageous. Yet, despite Orthodox Catholic opposition, homophobic skinheads, political bigotry and a conservative society, the ‘International Forum of LGBT–Festival Kiev Pride2012′ (one of 19 LGBT groups that form the larger ‘Council of LGBT Organizations of Ukraine’)–tried to stage a Pride Parade and Festival in May 2012. It was cancelled by the authorities who feared violence. In was to be a test whether Ukraine was ready or not for the European Community with its tolerant human rights standards. It was not. For LGBT

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Gay Ukraine After the Revolution: Life is Dangerous

| August 2nd, 2014 | Comments Off

Activist Globa Bogdan, who had his hopes for Kiev Pride dashed this year, says the culture of machismo threatens LGBT Ukrainians.   By Thom Senzee July 09 2014 The Advocate (http://www.advocate.com/world/2014/07/09/kiev-activist-life-dangerous-lgbt-ukrainians) (Photo right: activist Globa Bogdan at Baltimore Pride 2013 ) For Bogdan Globa, founder and executive director of Tochka Opory|Fulcrum, an LGBT rights advocacy organization in Ukraine, the dream of celebrating LGBT Pride the way he saw it done in America seems farther away than ever following the cancellation of Kiev’s 2014 March for Equality last week. Yet this young gay activist remains determined and optimistic in a country he sees as intoxicated with machismo after having stood up to its behemoth neighbor to the north, Russia. However, that bravado is making it harder than ever to be an LGBT Ukrainian. Globa, whose organization includes a project similar in mission to PFLAG called TERGO, and his mother, Olena Globa,

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Gay Slovenia

| May 28th, 2014 | Comments Off

Intro: Slovenia, a former Yugoslavia republic, is a small pretty country of mountains, fertile pastures and picturesque villages. Old town Ljubljana looks storybook. History stretches back to Roman times. Having escaped the horrors of the 90’s Balkan wars for the most part, the citizens here have moved forward with modest prosperity. Homophobia exists of course but it has not been violent or virulently religious. Gay activists work busily and quietly to push for more complete partnership recognition and registration. Also see: Gay Slovenia News & Reports 2000 to present Gay Slovenia Photo Galleries By Richard Ammon Updated May 2014 Progress and Peace If you read the Slovenia News & Reports page on this site, you will see a progressive country that has allowed civil partnerships since 2006. More recently, the Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s law on inheritance and succession discriminates same-sex couples and required that it be made

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Best Gay Nude Beach in Ukraine: Simeiz Village

| October 17th, 2013 | Comments Off

Below is an article from the Ukrainian gay newspaper ‘Our World’ praising the attractions of this heavenly beautiful place. Introduction The fame of Simeiz (located on the Crimean peninsula, near the city of Yalta) as a gay resort goes as far back as to the 70s, when homosexuality was still criminally prosecuted and hundreds of Soviet gays were jailed each year. In part due to its remoteness from main tourist attractions of the Republic of Crimea haunted by happy heterosexual families, Simeiz used to be (and so remains) the most flamboyant gay beach of the former Soviet Union. In terms of infrastructure, it has not much to offer as compared to Sitges in Spain. Simeiz’s fame has spread rapidly around the world. Today in summer you can find here gays from Moscow and Kiev, USA and Holland, UK, France, Australia and Belgium. Gay Black Sea Area Simeiz is a spa

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Russian Gay Activist Speaks Out 2013

| October 2nd, 2013 | Comments Off

Gay City News October 2, 2013. By Doug Ireland Nikolai Baev, 38, (photo right)  is a veteran Russian gay activist born and raised in Moscow. He founded the first gay group in the city of Novosibirsk when he was a university student there, and is one of the original organizers of the efforts to stage the banned Moscow Gay Pride. Baev has been on the front lines of the most militant wing of the Russian gay movement’s work. As one of the handful of Russian queers brave enough to speak out in the media, Baev has again and again defied official repression. Nikolai Baev address his nation’s draconian new law, the value of boycotts, and the status of organizing Baev is the complainant in a lawsuit challenging a repressive, “no-promo-homo” law passed in 2006 in the city and region of Ryazan that came in response to the first Moscow Gay

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Belgium Gay Life and the Out Games 2013

| September 15th, 2013 | Comments Off

A remarkable double event in Antwerp as it hosted the OutGames 2013 and the affiliated Human Rights Conference themed ‘From Safe Harbor to Equality’.   By Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com September 2013 Being There There was nothing quite like it before or since. As I stepped off the streamline train from the Brussels airport into the high steel and glass arches of the Antwerp train station I was faced with a huge red canvas billboard: “Antwerp welcomes you to the World OutGames 2013“. (photo right) It was a familiar sign in a foreign place; familiar from the previous two Outgames (Montreal 2006; Copenhagen 2009). Now it was Belgium’s turn to sponsor one of the world’s biggest sporting events and an important gay human rights conference themed ‘From Safe Harbor to Equality’. Outside the station collecting in pairs and groups I watched ‘obviously’  gay folks heading across the busy square among an

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Antwerp, Belgium World OutGames Human Rights Conference

| August 10th, 2013 | Comments Off

August 4-7, 2013 Preceding the OutGames is an international Human Rights Conference that brings together hundreds of LGBT activists and human rights leaders to present papers, hold seminars and give speeches. At the end of the conference a declaration of rights is composed and published.      

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Antwerp, Belgium World OutGames Opening Ceremony

| August 10th, 2013 | Comments Off

August 2, 2013 The OutGames opening ceremony was modest compared to previous years. It was held outdoors in an open area next to the harbor. It was rather crowded as thousands of athletes from 25 countries assembled to hear the speeches and music.      

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Antwerp, Belgium World OutGames Swimming Competition

| August 10th, 2013 | Comments Off

The swimming competition took place over the course of a week. There were several dozen categories of races according to the stroke style (butterfly stroke, freestyle stroke, back stroke and breast stroke) and separated into male/female races. The result was a couple of hundred races that ranged from 50 meters long (one length of the pool) to 1500 meters (30 lengths, free style only). There were about 700 swimmers from 20 countries. In addition there were water polo competitions (won as usual by the Australians). Since I was a competitor in swimming I had no time to visit other sports. Sorry.  

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Belgium, Brussels City Walkabout

| August 10th, 2013 | Comments Off

Brussels is the capital and largest city of Belgium and the capital of the European Union (EU). The city has a population of 1.2 million and a metropolitan area with a population of over 1.8 million. Over the millennium it has a tumultuous history of invasion, revolts and conquests. In World War I Brussels was occupied but German troops did not cause much damage. In World War II the city was again occupied, and was spared major damage during its occupation by Germans before it was liberated by the British in 1945. Today all war damage has been repaired and it is a picturesque city with diverse of architecture, from baroque to gothic post modernist. But many architectural gems were demolished to make way for newer buildings with an eye to becoming the headquarters for the European Commission. French, Dutch and Flemish languages are heard around the city. Brussels is

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Belgium, Antwerp City Walkabout

| August 10th, 2013 | Comments Off

Antwerp is a city and municipality in Belgium with a population of about 510,600. The Antwerp metropolitan area is currently the second largest in Belgium. The city is located on the river Scheldt, which is linked to the North Sea by the Westerschelde estuary. The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest ports in the world, ranking third in Europe. During World War I, the Belgian Army were defeat at Liège and retreated to Antwerp. The Siege of Antwerp lasted for 11 days, but the city was taken after heavy fighting by the German Army, and the Belgians were forced to retreat westwards. Antwerp remained under German occupation until the Armistice in 1818. It was again occupied by Germany in May 1940 and liberated by the British in September 1944. In 2013 it hosted the international gay OutGames and Human Rights Conference.    

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Belgium, Brugge City

| August 10th, 2013 | Comments Off

Bruges (Dutch: Brugge) is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium in the northwest of the country. The city’s total population is 117,073 of which around 20,000 live in the city centre. The metropolitan area has a total of 255,844 inhabitants. Because of it numerous canals it is sometimes called ‘The Venice of the North’. Brugge has a significant economic importance thanks to its port. At one time, it was considered the “chief commercial city” of the world. It received its city charter on July 27, 1128. After 1965 the original medieval city experienced a renaissance. Restorations of residential and commercial structures, historic monuments, and churches generated a surge in tourism and economic activity in the ancient downtown area. Many of its medieval buildings are notable, including the Church of Our Lady, whose brick spire reaches 122.3 m (401.25 ft),

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Belgium, Ypres City

| August 10th, 2013 | Comments Off

The Ypres municipality comprises the city of Ypres and ten small villages, home to some 34,900 inhabitants. During World War I, Ypres was the centre of intense and sustained battles between German and Allied forces. Ypres is an ancient town, known to have been raided by the Romans in the first century BC. During the Middle Ages, Ypres was a prosperous Flemish city renowned for its linen trade with England (mentioned in the Canterbury Tales). The enormous Cloth Hall was built in the thirteenth century. Ypres occupied a strategic position during World War I because it stood in the path of Germany’s planned sweep across the rest of Belgium and into France from the north. Germany’s 1914 invasion of Belgium brought the British Empire into the war. The first use of poison gas was by the Germans on 22 April 1915. Of the battles, the largest, best-known, and most costly in human suffering was the

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Gay Russia 2010-13

| August 1st, 2013 | Comments Off

Introduction Gay Russia is a vast subject with a short modern history. Life is not easy for LGBT Russians and most prefer to remain in quiet safe closets. But three LGBT organizations are challenging the old traditions and attitudes. It is not easy or always safe but the challenge is great and their determination is strong. By Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com Updated 2013 Note: This is a long report covering gay life in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The major sections are: Finding the Scene–overview Gay History–from 1700’s to present Saint Petersburg–gay scene Activist Groups–three organizations Moscow–gay scene Finding the Scene It’s not easy for an outsider to get a proper take on the LGBT ‘scene’ in Russia. This vast country of eleven time zones stretches more than ten thousand kilometers—6300 miles—from Western Europe to far eastern Vladivostok. As the  world knows, the Russian Duma (parliament) fast-tracked an anti-gay propaganda law before

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Gay Greece–Crete

| July 22nd, 2013 | Comments Off

A Gay Traveller on Crete, Greece: Traveler and writer Tim Mitchel sent this first hand report from Greece’s largest Mediterranean island. By Tim Mitchell Special report to GlobalGayz.com June 2013 Say ‘Greece’ to most gay men and they will immediately say ‘Mykonos’, even if they haven’t been there. But of course Mykonos is not Greece any more than Greece consists only of Mykonos! Savvy gay travellers realised a long time ago that there are other islands to visit and many of them have discovered that Crete has more to offer than just the gay (often mixed) scene that you find on Mykonos. (Photo right: Heraklion city, capital of Crete) About Crete Best to start with a little more about Crete; the place, so diving straight in with a few statistics. Crete is the largest Greek island (and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean; map left), it’s a long narrow

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Northern Spain: Barcelona to Veruela Monastery

| April 23rd, 2013 | Comments Off

A drive across northern Spain from Barcelona to Bilbao passes through rolling green hills, ancient villages with southern views of the Pyrenees Mountains.  

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Is Barcelona the Best Gay City?

| April 15th, 2013 | Comments Off

A couple of weeks in the Mediterranean twin cities of Barcelona and Sitges is enough to see this destination as one of the prime LGBT places to visit or live. This journalist was easily convinced of the sites and insights for a good life here.   By Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com April 2013   Of course it’s impossible to say anything is the ‘best’ thing in this complex and multi-layered world but I will ignore that issue  and claim that the twin cities Barcelona and Sitges offer LGBT denizens of this partied-out and discriminated world one of the most desirable areas to live. This selection is based on several criteria of lifestyle measurements that include: 1 gay marriage 2 LGBT rights and protections 3 Pride visibility 4 city location and appearance 5 climate 6 LGBT district Let’s start with an opinion poll of which there are many; I picked this one

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Gay Life in Andorra, Europe

| March 28th, 2013 | Comments Off

Intro: An updated story about this remote and beautiful country of Andorra high in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. Yes, there are LGBT people here, as everywhere, but their numbers are few and there is no gay organization.   by Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com Updated March 2013   It’s hardly a secret that homosexual people are everywhere. GlobalGayz receives daily news and reports from around the world that proves our presence in every country as well as Antarctica where a healthy crop of lesbian-flavored scientists rotate in and out of that daunting continent. We also receive individual commentaries from unexpected places such as Sao Tome and Principe off the west coast of Africa where being gay means no more than being left-handed. Some time ago we received another report from another postage-size country, Andorra, high in the Pyrenees between Spain and France—a fortunate location between two pro-gay cultures. In

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Serbia, Belgrade Automobile Museum

| January 6th, 2013 | Comments Off

This privately owned museum on a small street not far from St Marks church displays about 40 old cars from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. Some are American, some British, some French and German. The Cadillac convertible was Tito’s touring car.  

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