The quaint rural town of Franschhoek is located on South Africa’s Western Cape, about 40 kilometres out of Cape Town. It is the centre of venerable, world-class wineries. With a backdrop of stark, blue, rocky mountain ranges Franschhoek was the starting point for our 3 day wine tasting tour. The town, although touristy, boasts fabulous restaurants, fine art galleries, outstanding shopping and is at the beginning of the famed Wine Tram journey, serving most of the 200 wineries, some dating back to the mid 1600s. The hop-on, hop-off Wine Tram was a fun and highly convenient way to see the wineries and tickets can be purchased in the Franschhoek town centre.
Royal Caribbean prides itself on being a gay friendly company and our 28 day cruise from Singapore to Barcelona on board Mariner of the Seas gave this celebrated company another opportunity to prove their claim. We also talked to staff and fellow gay guests to find out what they thought. With almost 3,500 passengers on board we weren't surprised to find quite a few gay cruisers. One fellow traveller recounted while he and his partner were embarking the ship in Dubai he had asked, “Honey have you brought me on a gay cruise?” From our point of view our cruise offered us a hassle free holiday.
Love it or loathe it, Bangkok is a huge, crowded, polluted city with some rather terrible traffic congestion problems. But on the positive side it's exciting, edgy and cosmopolitan, with wonderful tourist attractions, spectacular shopping plazas, a great gay scene and fabulous food. Obviously in a metropolis like Bangkok there are loads more places to try and we have only skimmed the surface here. New places are opening all the time and you’re never far from great food, a relaxing massage and every style of shopping. One thing remains a constant, the wonderful welcome and superb hospitality you will experience in this sometimes frantic but always friendly city of smiles.
‘Sawadee Ka’, welcome to Blue Elephant Restaurant Phuket. From the moment we arrived at this grand, one hundred and five year old, former Governor’s mansion we were extremely impressed. The exquisite Sino-Portuguese building is beautifully lit and set in spacious grounds. The fashionable Blue Bar is the entry point to the restaurant. This elegant space with a classic black and white tiled floor is lit in shades of blue with two elephant statues gracing either end of the bar. If you arrive early for dinner this is a the perfect place for a pre-dinner cocktail.
Magnetic Island, sometimes affectionately referred to as ‘Maggie Island’, is an eight kilometre ferry ride from Townsville in North Queensland, and is a paradise full of options. It’s an ideal, affordable, tropical Australian holiday spot with a World Heritage National Park, a bountiful array of beaches and stunning bays offering a relaxed island lifestyle. Geoffrey and Alma Bays at Arcadia, part of the Marine National Park Zone, are easily accessible and popular for swimming. However, our first choice of bays for exploring was Balding Bay known as a popular naturist spot for swimming and sunbathing.
It could have been Mykonos, Barcelona or Paris but a cruise to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, although not typical gay destinations, sounded quite exotic to us. The fact that we had never been to either place before made it an easy choice for our honeymoon adventure. Whether on your honeymoon or not, cruising to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands will present destinations that have a touch of the exotic, a hint of luxury and bucketloads of fun and relaxation, especially when you take your friends.