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    January 23, 2007

    Looking beyond London

    Posted by: Chris

    Ipanemabeach Readers of this blog are certainly more adventurous in their choice of overseas destinations that
    the readers of Out Traveler magazine.  The latter named London their top non-U.S. gay hotspot in the magazine's 2006 survey, topping Paris, the previous year's winner.

    Our own little survey yielded a tie at the No. 1 spot.  After staying in the lead the entire time, Rio De Janeiro was finally caught in the poll's closing hours by Barcelona.  I've already expounded at length about Rio's charms, and it has the extra draw of tres-gay New Years and Carnaval celebrations.  Barcelona is another fine choice — a beautiful city with a thriving gay scene, its own gay beach (Sitges, just a 30-minute train trip away) and even the freedom to marry!

    Another city with a celebrated gay Mardi Gras, Sydney, came in close behind our two leaders, tied with another Far East destination, Bangkok.  In addition to Mardi Gras, Sydney hosts the annual Sleaze Ball and a huge Gay Pride celebration.  Sydney is also a former Gay Games host city. 

    Montreal, which won the Gay Games bid for 2006 but then spurned the invitation to host a competitive,  and financially unsuccessful, OutGames, followed next, along with Berlin, well known as one of the world's top leather destinations.

    Trailing in the next pack were Amsterdam, which also hosted a Gay Games and draws its fair share of "sleaze/sex tourists."  Amsterdam has long fancied itself the "gay capital of the world," and the bashing my boyfriend and I took on Queen's Day '05 didn't help that reputation.  To my mind, however, the citizens and political leaders there responded with overwhelming kindness and support, in ways that wouldn't be matched by any other city on this list, including Rio.

    At the tail end of the pack were the two winners of Out Traveler's polls, Paris and London, as well as Cape Town, which from all I hear is an amazing gay tourist destination, but outside the geographic and pocketbook range of many.



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    1. Steve on Jan 23, 2007 7:00:48 PM:

      Just back from my 7th New Years in a row in Cape Town...stunning summer weather (sorry, but I heard it rained all week in Rio)...beautiful beaches with hot boys and hawkers selling their famous Grinadilla Lollies frozen on a stick...English as the first language...the most beautiful wine farms in the world...some of the most stunning scenery you'll ever see...and gay marriage!

    1. raj on Jan 24, 2007 2:09:03 PM:

      Steve | January 23, 2007 at 07:00 PM

      English as the first language

      Well, maybe. Just to let you know, a number of years ago, we were on a Rhine cruise. The people manning the boat were mainly Turkish. (We speak German, so we know what was going on). The people spoke perfectly unaccented English to us. They spoke, as far as we could tell, perfectly unaccented French, German, Italian, and, yes, Turkish, and maybe even Arabic (a different language) to other passengers.

      It is always a mistake to assume that English is a first language anywhere. Examples. If you are going to ask for thin nudels with meat balls ant tomato sauce, what are you going to ask for? If you are going to ask for meat and peppers in a spiced sauce, what are you going to ask for?

      The issue should be obvious. There is no such thing as English. My father in law, a relatively uneducated DP (Displaced Person) from the Ukaine could speak and write in five languages.

      "First language"? What does that mean?

    1. Sprachschulen Frankreich on Jul 29, 2009 7:45:51 AM:

      nice post, we can have more language learning here to write advanced . .

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