On Wednesday the 15th November the LGBTIQ community held its breath until it was finally revealed that Australians had voted an overwhelming ‘YES’ for Marriage Equality. The eagerly awaited announcement came early in the day and after tears of relief and excitement, hugs with supporters and loved ones, the celebrations began across the country and, on the Gold Coast, it was no different.
It is easy to be a good tourist in Vienna. Buy a 48 hour City Big Bus ticket and explore Vienna with its extravagant and historic buildings and magnificent monuments. The ticket also gave us a walking tour, a night tour and, for a few extra euros, we purchased the Vienna City Card. This gave us discounts on entrance fees, restaurants and entertainment. It is impossible to see all the wonders Vienna has to offer in five days but here are some of the highlights we discovered during our stay.
Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, is a charming, vibrant city nestled on the Vltava River with buildings, like the original castle, dating back as far as the 9th century. Around the 14th century Emperor Charles IV made Prague the centre of the Roman Empire and fulfilled the vision of this place being, ‘a vast city, whose glory will touch the stars’. Although occupying a relatively small area, Prague requires a lot of walking. However, as we were told by a local, “you will soon find your favourite trams”.
On our way from Sydney to Athens we had a ten hour layover at Singapore's Changi International Airport. We could have headed straight for the shops, bars or restaurants in this ultra modern airport but this time we thought we would try the luxury of a six hour stay in the Aerotel Transit Hotel. It is located in Terminal 1 close to Gate D1 on the first floor.
Bath is one of England’s most beautiful and favourite cities and England’s only UNESCO World Heritage City. However, to clear up any doubts, this place might be beautiful but is certainly not a gay destination. Bristol 20 km up the road is the place to go for a lively gay scene. Several years ago Bath had a few gay venues but unfortunately most have now closed. The only gay place in Bath for a few drinks with like minded friends is Mandalyns not far from the Jane Austen Centre. The place is quite a popular LGBTI venue with good music, pleasant bar staff and is a welcome gay haven for both locals and visitors.
Our second day started with the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. The guards start marching towards the Palace at 11:00am but be there by 10:30am to secure a good viewing spot. Then we were off to the Royal Mews just around the corner from the Palace. The Mews houses mainly the Queen’s carriages and a few horses are also stabled there. The four ton Gold Carriage used only for coronations is a masterpiece. A late lunch of scrumptious fish and chips at Balls Brothers Wine Bar just down from the Mews was a perfect choice.