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The World’s 10 Most Adventurous Outdoor Staircases



Ready for a nice climb, and a spectacular view? Today’s world offers some very adventurous staircases, which accentuates unique architecture, design, and blends nicely with the environment.  During a climb, take a look around and get a better view of the culture, people, and geography of a country.  Spain’s ‘Stairs Above the Sea’ has a gigantic staircase on an island, which gives travelers a beautiful sight of blue sea, greenery, and a hermitage with an orange roof.  

Here is more about ‘Stairs Above the Sea,’ and and 9 more adventurous outdoor staircases:

1. Stairs Above the Sea, Spain

Gaztelugatxe. Source: Getty

Stairs Above the Sea is located at Gaztelugatze in Spain. A bridge connects this island to the mainland, allowing travelers to enjoy breathtaking views of the sea, across the steps that lead to areas on the edge of the water. After crossing the bridge, there are about 237 steps, and at the end of these steps is a church and a hermitage.

2. Awaji Hyakudanen, Japan

Awaji Hyakudanen. Source: Ellen’s Attic/Flickr

Awaji Hyakudanen, or the Stage of Dreams, is located in Awaji island in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. It is built on the side of a mountain and the buildings there include a conference center, a hotel and a memorial. There is also the ‘100 Stepped Garden’ which contains 100 flower beds in small square gardens. One can climb the steps and from there, view each flower bed.

3. Moses Bridge Stairs, Netherlands

Moses Bridge Stairs. Source: Interesting Engineering

Fort de Roovere is surrounded by a moat, but later on, a restoration program planned the construction of a bridge. Moses Bridge Stairs in the Netherlands lies above the water and travelers can walk across the bridge without getting their feet wet. At the end of the bridge is a historic fortress.

4. Schlossberg Stairs, Austria

Schlossberg Stairs. Source:

In Graz, the capital city of of the southern Austrian province of Styria, on the far end of Schlossbergplatz, travelers can find the Schlossberg Stairs. It contains 260 steps, and at the top of these stairs is a spectacular view of Graz, with its urban buildings, architecture, the town hill, shops, restaurants and contemporary art.

5. Potemkin Stairs, Ukraine

Potemkin Stairs. Source: Saskia Heijltjes via Flickr

These steps may look ordinary, but they are not. In the city of Odessa in Ukraine, the Potemkin Stairs has 192 steps and provides a good climb to the traveler. At the bottom of the steps, one can only see rows of steps ahead, but once he or she reaches the top, the steps cannot be seen. The Potemkin Stairs is considered to be a formal entrance to the city from the direction of the sea, and also gives access to the harbor below it.

6. Haiku Stairs, Hawaii, USA

Haiku Stairs. Source: Unreal Hawaii

The Haiku Stairs in Hawaii is also known as the ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ and is located in the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu. There is a trail which has a steel staircase of 4,000 steps. At the end of these steps the traveler has access to a high point of mountains with spectacular views. One traveler noted that it took three to four hours to go up the staircase, and one or two hours to climb down it. Note that currently the Haiku Stairs has limited access to the public, but a decision about its future will be made soon, and so it might be open to travelers again.

7. Heaven’s Gate Mountain, Zhangjiajie City, China

Heaven’s Gate Mountain. Source: Huangdan2060 via Wikimedia Commons

8 kilometers away from the city of Zhangjiajie, the Tianmen Mountain, which has a height of 1518.6 meters, has the world’s highest cave. The cave has a length of 60, a height of 131.5 and a width of 57 meters, which has given it the name ‘Heaven’s Gate.’ From the top of Tianmen, a staircase of 999 steps leads to the cave.

8. Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain, Duisburg, Germany

Tiger & Turtle – Magic Mountain – Eröffnungsveranstaltung der neuen Landmarke im Angerpark in Duisburg-Wanheim-Angerhausen

This might look like a rollercoaster ride, but it is actually a flight of stairs, which contains 249 steps in Duisburg, Germany. The highest stair rises 49 yards above sea level, and travelers can have a view of the river Rhine.

9. Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, Lamego, Portugal

Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. Source: Wikipedia

In the city of Lamego in Portugal, a major attraction is the granite staircase with 686 steps. During the walk one can choose to stop at nine different landings, and one of them has the images of the 18 kings of Israel. At the top of the staircase, see the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Our Lady of the Remedies).

10. The Cascading Universe, Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Dumfries, Scotland

The Cascading Universe. Source: Symmetry Magazine

In Dumfries, Scotland, this garden has linear path patterns and a cascading switchback of steps to highlight the story of the universe and its development over billions of years. It is open to the public once a year.


Originally posted 2017-09-28 16:10:06.

Hello, my name is Shipra and I am a writer who likes to explore travel, social justice and other issues. After college I began my journey is Australia where I worked for campaigns and sales, and then went on to travel in other places. Currently I live in New Jersey with my two dogs, Guster and Tip.


Tell It Like A Lesbian



My mother refuses to refer to my partner as anything other than a friend. We’ve been dating for three years and my mother still won’t acknowledge our relationship. Am I crazy for being angry about this and wanting to confront her? I feel insulted and it really upsets my partner. –Clarke

Dear Clarke, You’re not crazy for being upset at your mother. It sounds like you have every right to be angry, especially if after three years your mother can’t even acknowledge your relationship. If talking to her gently about it hasn’t worked after all this time, it may indeed be time to confront her more forcefully, as your partner’s feelings are also being hurt by this behavior. If you decide to confront her and her attitude remains unchanged, it may be time to cut ties. After all, your happiness is what matters most in this situation, regardless of whatever is causing such denial from your mother. You must put the health of you and your partner’s relationship first, and eventually, your mother may come to realize what she is losing because of her denial.


Dear Tell It, Do you have any suggestions for handling depression? I’ve been really struggling with loneliness and I have no energy for anything, even stuff I usually enjoy. I feel like I have no one to turn to. –Otto

Dear Otto, Depression often causes the loneliness and sense of isolation that you are feeling. It’s important that you recognize this as a symptom of your depression and do your best not to isolate yourself as a result. Because depression can take a lot of energy, remember that your brain and body need time to recover. And remember that focusing on self-care is not selfish. Depression is an illness just like the flu and other diseases and should be treated with the same care.

On bad days, make a warm drink that you enjoy, read your favorite book or watch a show or movie you love. Spend some time by yourself to recharge, and then contact a friend or family member to let them know what you’ve been feeling. Make a plan to spend time with them, even if it’s only for an hour or two, preferably away from your house. Getting outside and into a new environment is an excellent way of resetting your brain. While I wish I could tell you otherwise, depression doesn’t just go away. You will likely go through phases of good and bad, and it’s important to learn the symptoms that are specific to you. If you have suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to ask for help. The suicide hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. Hang in there, and remember that there are people who care.


Have questions for Tell It Like A Lesbian? Let me answer them! Submit your questions below (you don’t have to use your real name unless you want to), and see your question answered on our website!


Originally posted 2017-10-26 14:10:06.

Also published on Medium.

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In December, This Round-The-World Cruise Visits 35 Countries



Imagine being able to visit 66 ports in 35 countries over 141 days.  Such a trip has never been offered in the past, but now Viking Cruises, based in Los Angeles, is planning one.  

The Viking Sun will set sail on 15 December 2017. Furthermore, Cruise Critic has named Viking Cruises as one of the top 10 cruise lines for gay and lesbian travelers because it frequently partners with LGBT travel agencies and past travelers have reported good experiences.  In fact, the 2017 CRUIZIE Awards for LGBT Cruise Travel awarded Viking River Cruises the ‘Best River Cruise Line for LGBTQ Passengers.’  

So what is this journey going to look like?  Let’s have a look:  

Day 1: Depart From Miami


On 15 December 2017, the Viking Sun will leave Miami, the international city in Florida.  If you are embarking on this trip and are here in Miami, appreciate the barrier islands and Miami beach.  Here, find colorful buildings, surfside hotels and white sand.  If this sounds good, then spend a few days here, before making your way to the Viking Sun. 

Days 2 to 20: The Caribbean, Central America and Los Angeles

The Caribbean

On day 2, cruise the Caribbean Sea,  which covers an area of approximately 1,063,000 square miles. The deepest area in this sea is the Cayman Trench between Cuba and Jamaica.  Between day 3 and day 5, explore the city of Cienfuegos in Cuba, where a walking tour is offered.  This traveler explored gorgeous flamingoes, boat houses and more attractions.  

Between days 6 to 17, visit other countries lying in the Caribbean and South and Central America: Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Then briefly visit  Mexico and Los Angeles, before cruising the Pacific Ocean.   

Days 30 to 43: French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tonga and Fiji

Nuka Hiva, the largest of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia

French Polynesia, an overseas French possession, consists of more than 100 stunning islands, stretching across more than 2,000 kilometers. Start cruising the South Pacific and visit Taiohae, the main town of Nuka Hiva (pictured above) in French Polynesia.  You will also visit Tahiti and Bora Bora, known for its scuba diving.  

The 15 gorgeous islands that make up the Cook Islands could provide a hint of paradise.  Warm tropical waters, crystal clear waters and aquatic life are just a few of the treasures that can be found here. Then in Tonga, discover white beaches, coral reefs and tropical rainforest.  Continue this tropical holiday in Fiji, which also has beaches and coral reefs.  

Days 44 to 113: New Zealand, Australia and Asia

New Zealand

In New Zealand, go on an extensive tour that includes the Bay of Islands, an enclave of more than 140 islands with beaches and water activities. Find an abundance of wildlife, including penguins, dolphins, marlin, whales, and gannets.  There’s even a camping ground here.

Go on to cruise the Tasman Sea, and discover several attractions in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef, located in northeastern Australia, consists of golden beaches, thousands of reefs, and hundreds of Islands with dolphins, sharks, and colorful fish.     

Then cruise the Timor Sea and start exploring the culture and beauty of Asia. See Indonesia, and then go on to visit Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, China, Hong Kong , Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and India.  During this journey explore Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, which has beautiful islands topped with rainforests.  

Days 114 to 131: The Middle East, North Africa and the Central Mediterranean

Malta in the Central Mediterranean

Cruise across the Arabian Sea, and tour several countries in the Middle East and North Africa: Oman, Jordan, Egypt, and Tunisia. There is also a stop at Malta, located in the Central Mediterranean.  See wildflowers, plants, prehistoric sites, and walk to discover Malta’s natural beauty.  

Days 132 to 141: Europe

Murcia (Cartagena), Spain

See Portugal, England, and explore the beaches and hiking trails of Sardinia, the Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. In Spain, Murcia is a university city with beaches, water sports, wine, and historical sites.    

Want to explore these countries, and Interested in this cruise? Call Viking at 888-850-6260 or find out more here.

Originally posted 2017-10-26 14:08:07.

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Same-Sex Marriage in the US: A Decade of Change



On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court announced the decision to make same-sex marriage a right in all 50 states. People all over the country celebrated, pride flags were flown, and for the first time, the White House was lit with rainbow lights. The decision was a landmark victory for the gay-rights movement, but behind it all was decades of litigation, activism, and advocacy.

In 1996, a law called the Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It defined marriage as “the union of one man and one woman” in the United States constitution. Individual states were able to recognize same-sex unions, but on a federal level, the words wife, husband, and spouse, were reserved specifically for heterosexual couples. Same-sex couples were also denied social security survivor’s benefits and were unable to jointly file taxes. For almost a decade, the DOMA remained.

After 40 years of being together, Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer traveled to Toronto to get legally married in 2007. A year later, their union was officially recognized by their home state of New York . In 2009, Spyer passed away at the age of 77. She left her entire estate to her wife, Windsor. Because of DOMA, the federal government did not recognize their union as a marriage and Windsor was required to pay over $300,000 in taxes on her inheritance. Windsor decided to challenge this because she was legally married and should have therefore qualified for an unlimited tax deduction on the inherited estate. After approaching several gay-rights advocacy groups, she was repeatedly denied and was unable to find representation.

Finally, Roberta Kaplan of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP agreed to take on the case. In 2010, her case was filed and made its way through the circuits and in 2013 it had reached the United States Supreme Court. In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled in favor of Windsor and announced that DOMA had been unconstitutional. By the same margin, the Supreme Court would legalize same-sex marriage three years later.

In September of 2017, Windsor passed away at the age of 88. She left behind a legacy of activism and change, and hope. At her funeral, Hillary Rodham read a eulogy. “Because of her, people came out, marched in their first pride parade, married the love of their life. Thank you, Edie,” reported the New York Daily News.“Thank you for being a beacon of hope, for proving that love is more powerful than hate.”

Edith Windsor has helped to change the lives of thousands of LGBTQ couples and her legacy will continue to live on. Do you have a story of how legalizing same-sex marriage changed your life? Tell us in the comments!

Originally posted 2017-10-25 13:58:13.

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