Postcard from Gold Coast Pride, Australia

We made it Gold Coast! The inaugural Pride Week Festival, hosted by the Gold Coast Rainbow Community Queensland Inc Events has come to an end, but it’s really only the beginning. Months in the planning brought us a feast of festive functions to tempt all, from the most reluctant to the most intrepid members of our colourful local community, to come out and play. “It’s a team effort and you are part of our team.” was the message group organiser Vince Siciliani was anxious to spread throughout this week of frolicking fun.

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POSTCARD FROM AGNES WATER AND 1770

Carla from Get Away Garden Cafe on the outskirts of Agnes told us, “Only those prepared to get off the beaten track find Agnes Water and the Town of 1700”, which are located on the Capricornia Coast of central Queensland. Two tiny coastal hamlets featuring beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets and a good dose of laid back lifestyle are a short deviation from the main route north. We visited at the end of July which was just about perfect. The weather was around 23 degrees, there were few tourists and accommodation prices were surprisingly low.

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BABYLON, BANGKOK’S TOP SHELF GAY BATHHOUSE

What's the gayest thing to do in Bangkok? Go and spend a few hours at Babylon Sauna and Spa, Bangkok’s (perhaps the world’s) most luxurious gay sauna. We first visited Babylon some 20 years ago when it opened and it has been powering along ever since. It is certainly a favourite with westerners but also offers many opportunities to meet Thais and men from all over Asia. For a relaxing gay day out in Bangkok, or a short stay while transiting through this fabulous city, Babylon is a gem and it closes just in time to make it back to Silom Soi 4 for a few drinks to end the night with your new mates.

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END OF SEASON IN MILOS, GREECE

If you’ve ever heard of the famous Venus De Milo sculpture which resides in the Louvre in Paris then you probably know it’s home was originally the island of Milos, located in the south western corner of the Greek Cyclades. Our prior journeys to these spectacular islands had so far bypassed this exotic beauty but now was our chance to explore her shores in all their exquisite charm. From the moment we arrived in Adamas, the main harbour of the island, we were suitably impressed. The small, bustling marina filled with mega yachts, ferries and cruise boats was fringed with traditional Greek tavernas, sweet-scented bakeries, chatty cafes, souvenir sellers, car rentals and lively bars.

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SÈTE, A FRENCH OASIS ON THE MEDITERRANEAN COAST

We found a new romance in the south of France, right in the heart of the Languedoc Region. Our first impression of the port town of Sète, situated on the Mediterranean coast, was of a rather unremarkable seaside village. However, during our two week stay, Sète revealed its unspoilt charm and divulged its raw beauty, its casual, relaxed vibe and a deep sense of French culture. Now we repeat our liaison every year. Sète is slowly making the transition from its historical roots as a working port to a popular tourist destination. Trawler boats still fill the harbour, along with the raw, salty smell of fresh seafood, wet nets and the sad wail of supersized sea gulls. But during the summer months the tourist numbers swell and the town becomes the epicentre of festivities.

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IN BRUGES, BELGIUM

Bruges has been on our bucket list since seeing the 2008 crime thriller In Bruges in which Irish hunk Colin Farrell (Ray) and Brendan Gleeson (Ken) hid out in this gorgeous Belgian city. The sleepy canals, decorated with white swans and small stone bridges, are framed with colourful flowers, lending the cityscape an unexpected tranquility. Like Ken we fell in love with medieval Bruges. Its beauty and serenity are distinguished by its meandering canals, cobbled stone streets and ancient, intricately decorated buildings. Bruges can be overrun by tourists daily, so the earlier you arrive the better. On our short visit we spent about three hours wandering the streets of this compact but stunning city. Around every turn there was another amazing photograph to be captured.

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