Jan 23, 2015

A Beefcake Tour of France

After being surrounded with the best art in the world for a pitiably short number of days or weeks or months, no one will blame you for choosing more weeks in Paris over Dijon or Strasbourg. But if you need a break from the sensory overload, here's a week-long drive into the countryside.  Don't be surprised if you run into more artistic treasures.

And cute guys.

Day 1: From Paris, head west on A11 to Chartres (1 hour).  See the famous Cathedral, then go on to LeMans (1 1/2 hours) (stop to visit the famous Cathedral).

Stop at the Place des Jacobins, to see the Quinconces Park and the Cultural Center, and this monument to a nude Wilbur Wright.

Not a lot of gay life, but there are a few bars.

Day 2: West on the E50 for about two hours to Rennes. the heart of eastern Brittany (though only about 2% of the population speaks Breton).  See the Musee de Bretagne, and then stop at Parc du Thabor, which has some nice views, and some nude statues, including Faune a la Flute.

In the evening, try the Sauna California on the rue de Leon, but be careful: on some nights, it's mixed male-female.

Day 3:  I would spend a lot more time exploring Brittany and the Breton language, but if you're not a language buff, you might want to go south on the D775 and then east on the E50 to Tours (2 1/2 hours).  The most interesting sights are the Chateau de Tours, the Basilica de St. Martin, and the Botanical Gardens.  There are several gay bars within walking distance of the Basilica.

Day 4: It's an hour and a half drive to Bourges, and the Cathedral St. Etienne, and then another three hours on to Dijon.  You'll have just enough time to go to the Place Francois Rude, with this nude statue in its center, for dinner.  Then spend the evening at Le Bossuet Sauna, near the Cathedral.

Day 5:  Check out this beefy, nude male (hugging a nude female) on Beune Street, then drive two hours east on the A36 to Mulhouse, an old Rheinish city near the German border.

More after the break.

Jan 18, 2015

12 More Public Penises of Spain

Most visitors to Spain stick to the provinces south and east of Madrid.  The south has gypsies, oranges, and Moorish architecture.  The north has factories.

But there's a lot of attractions in the north.  Two distinct languages: Galician (close to Portuguese), and Basque, unique among the languages of the world.

Some of the world's best beaches.

Some of the world's best beefcake.

And a surprising amount of nudity in  male art.

1. Avila, about an hour's drive north of Madrid, is a beautiful walled city, famous for the Medieval mystic Teresa de Avila and for a naked limestone monster just outside the city wall.

2. Zamora, about an hour and a half north of Avila, on the Duero River, boasts more Romanesque-style churches than any other city in Spain.   Plus this modernist Homenaje a Leon Felipe, featureless except for his penis.

Everyone thinks he's a soccer star raising his hands in victory.  Actually, Leon Felipe was a poet.

3. Viriato isn't exactly nude, but he's buffed.  He was the leader of the Lusitanian people who fought off the invading Romans between 147 and 139 BC.

4. Pontevedra is in the northeast corner of Spain, about three hours from Zamora (the best way to get there is through Portugal).  It's the heart of Galicia. with lots of beefcake art, such as the Fiel Contraste, a bodybuilder holding a scale.

5. Oviedo, about four hours east on the Bay of Biscay, is the capital of Asturias.  It has a nice Archaeological Museum, the Boys-Sauna (don't worry, the clientele is all adult), and the Cathedral of San Salvador.  In the Plaza de Espana, across from the Cathedral, you can see this neoclassical boy and dolphin.

6. Plus the Monumento a la Concordia, in the Plaza del Carbayon, depicting three very muscular naked men and three naked women (not romantic couples).

More after the break.

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