EU Rainbow Rampage 2009 - Brighton to Budapest
US Rainbow Rampage 2009 - Seattle to San Francisco
Day 1 Brighton to Paris
Brighton rises from the glittering seafront to the protective South Downs , with Beachy Head to the east and Worthing Point to the west, basking in one of the sunniest climates in the country. Brighton is often described as "London-by-the Sea," but this moniker does not do it justice. Brighton is about freedom. There is the obvious freedom provided by the wealth of leisure and entertainment facilities - the interweaving streets are lined with original and atmospheric bars, clubs and restaurants, and during the summer the beach front attains a festival-like ambience on a daily basis.
However, if you take a closer look beyond the hedonistic pleasures that Brighton has to offer, an astonishing diversity, warmth and sense of community shines through. There is real freedom here through expression of individuality, tolerance of different ways of life, and an invigorating entrepreneurial spirit. Whatever your interest, be it sport, theatre, eating out, clubbing or just strolling down the promenade taking it all in, Brighton will not let you go away disappointed.
Day 2 Paris to Amsterdam
Once just a village that settled on the "Ile de la Cite" (City Island) on the confluence of the Seine's two branches, Paris has vastly expanded over the centuries, taking the surrounding villages under its wing and making them its own. Nowadays the City of Light - a name Paris earned during the age of the Enlightenment - is made up of several arrondissments or districts, numbered from 1 to 20 and logically ordered with the 1st in the centre and the others following on in a clockwise spiral. The differences are vast and varied between the districts, both in terms of the populations and attractions, which together make up the multifaceted city we know and love.
Day 3 Amsterdam to Hamburg
Amsterdam is one of the world's best hangouts, a canny blend of old and new: radical squatter art installations hang off 17th-century eaves; BMWs give way to bicycles; and triple-strength monk-made beer is drunk in gleaming, minimalist cafes.
The city seems to thrive on its mix and, despite hordes of tourists, still manages to feel quintessentially Dutch. The old crooked houses, the cobbled streets, the tree-lined canals and the generous parks all contribute to the atmosphere.
Day 4 Hamburg to Berlin
A harbour city located in the far north of Germany, Hamburg has been known for centuries as the "gateway to the world." One of Hamburg's most famous sons, novelist Wolfgang Borchert, lovingly described the city as "more than a heap of stones, roofs, windows, beds, roads, bridges and street lamps. It is more than factory chimneys and traffic jams -- more than the screeching of seagulls, squeaking of trams and thundering of the railway -- it is more than ships' horns, whirling cranes, curses and dance music -- oh, it is so much more!" Even writer Heinrich Heine, who did not always sing Hamburg's praises, returned again and again, just as many visitors do. Hamburg has an air about it: on the one hand, it is a busy and bustling metropolis; on the other, an elegant and cosy seaside idyll. Whatever your impression may be, you'll never get tired of Hamburg!
Day 5 Berlin to Prague
A city that defies simple definition, Berlin is many things to many people. For some it is Europe's political powerhouse, for others a hedonistic party paradise. Epitome of Cold War division yet epicentre of unification, capital of Germany yet the least "German" of all German cities, Berlin is sophisticated yet down-to-earth, a city of colourful courtyards and grey high-rises, of Teutonic efficiency and wacky haphazardness, of rigidity and tolerance, home to artists, bohemians and tens of thousands of gays and lesbians, but also to politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen.
Day 6 Prague to Vienna
The Czech Republic lies at the heart of Central Europe and at its centre is the beautiful and historic city of Prague. With a population of some 1.3 million residents, the city lies on either side of the Vltava River in the middle of Bohemia that is one of the three historic Czech territories; the others being Moravia and Silesia. The city has seven "Chapter Divisions" or districts.
Day 7 Vienna to budapest
The districts of Vienna have names, but are also numbered from 1 to 23. The city can be divided into four different parts. First, there is the center, the 1st District. Here, you will find the famous Ringstrasse , built by Emperor Franz Joseph I instead of medieval city walls. Districts numbered 3-9 lie between the "Ring" and the "Gurtel" (belt) boulevards, whilst the 1st and the 2nd Districts are separated by a small river, the Donaukanal. Beyond the Gurtel, south, west and north of the 1st District, you will find Districts 10 to 20 and the two districts on the opposite bank of the river Danube, dubbed by the Viennese the "Transdanubien." Lastly, District 23 is situated south of the city center.
With its multifarious and often embittered history, incredible architecture and rich cultural heritage, Hungary's capital deserves its reputation as the 'Paris of Central Europe'. It has a complex identity, somewhere between Western luxury and simple traditions.
The city straddles a gentle curve in the Danube. It has broad avenues, leafy parks and elaborate bathhouses. It also has a turn-of-the-century feel to it, for it was then - during the industrial boom and the capital's heyday - that most of the city
Day 1 Seattle to Crater Lake
Diversity and tradition fill the streets of Seattle, despite the city's relatively brief history. This medium-sized city is booming economically, growing and evolving at a rapid rate, with help from multinational corporations like Microsoft and Starbucks. For many who live here, however, the blue skies, abundant water and picturesque mountain ranges are what keep them firmly planted in this beautiful city.
Day 2 Crater Lake to South Lake Tahoe
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is a United States National Park located in Southern Oregon whose primary feature is Crater Lake. It was established on May 221902 as the fifth National Park in the U.S. The park encompasses Crater Lake's caldera, which rests in the remains of a destroyed volcano posthumously called Mount Mazama. It is the only National Park in Oregon.
The lake is 1,949 feet (594m) deep at its deepest point which makes it the deepest lake in the United States, second in North America, and according to Wikipedia's list of lakes by depth, the ninth deepest anywhere in the world. However, when comparing its average depth of 1148 feet (350 m) to the average depth of other deep lakes, Crater Lake becomes the deepest in the Western Hemisphere and the third deepest in the world. The impressive average depth of this volcanic lake is due to the nearly symmetrical 4000 foot (1220 m) deep caldera formed 7,700 years ago during the violent climactic eruptions and subsequent collapse of Mt. Mazama and the relatively moist climate that is typical of the crest of the Cascade Mountains.
Day 3 South Lake Tahoe to Yosemite
South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe is a city in El Dorado County, California, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The population was 23,609 at the 2000 census. The east end of the city, on the California-Nevada state line, is mainly geared towards tourism, with T-shirt shops, restaurants, hotels, and the Heavenly Ski Resort with the Nevada casinos just across the state line in Stateline, Nevada. The city extends about five miles west-southwest along highway 50, also known as Lake Tahoe Blvd. The western end of town is mainly residential, and clusters around "The Y", the X-shaped intersection of US Highway 50, state highway 89, and Lake Tahoe Boulevard after it loses its federal/state highway designation.
Day 4 Yosemite to Las Vegas
Yosemite National Park
Encompassing almost 750,000 acres and 1,169 square miles, 94 percent of Yosemite National Park is designated as wilderness area. Yet most visitors will find themselves in three relatively developed areas of the park: Yosemite Valley, Southern Yosemite, and Northern Yosemite.
Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Village The true center of the park is, in many ways, Yosemite Valley. This is where busloads of visitors gawk at the world-famous views of the massive granite monoliths carved from the valley walls. The valley is also home to Yosemite Village, where the bulk of Yosemite's services and facilities are found. Only seven square miles in total, the area receives up to 80 percent of the park's visitors.
The first stop for most visitors is Yosemite Village, nestled along both sides of the Merced River. Driving into the valley by car is acceptable, but once you are there, park staff encourages you to leave your car in the day parking lot (no charge) and hop the free shuttles. In fact, many roads in the east end of the valley banned private traffic to create a system of one-way roads for the shuttles and allow for extensive biking and walking trails.
Day 5 Las Vegas to Joshua Tree National Park
Gambling capital, vacation paradise or premier business destination; these are all definitions of the city that never sleeps. Reality takes a hike when you enter the world of glittering casinos with their 24-hour gambling excitement. The scarcity of clocks adds to the fantasy of those taking time off from the real world. As a family vacation destination, the city offers the ultimate in entertainment for all ages. As a business destination, Las Vegas wins hands down with the volume of facilities and services available for either large conventions or small business get-togethers. Multitudes of upscale eateries are at your fingertips for a business lunch or dinner and after-hours entertainment is plentiful and diverse. Whether you are planning to move here, attend a business meeting, skydive, get married or just relax and enjoy, you will find Las Vegas to be a city like no other in the world.
The first stop for most visitors is lasvegas Village, nestled along both sides of the Merced River. Driving into the valley by car is acceptable, but once you are there, park staff encourages you to leave your car in the day parking lot (no charge) and hop the free shuttles. In fact, many roads in the east end of the valley banned private traffic to create a system of one-way roads for the shuttles and allow for extensive biking and walking trails.
Day 6 Joshua Tree National Park to Los Angeles
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located in south-eastern California. Declared a U.S. National Park in 1994, it had previously been a U.S. National Monument since 1936. It includes 1,234 mi2 (3,196 km2) of land. A large part of the park is designated wilderness area; some 914 mi2 (2,367 km2).
Straddling the San Bernardino County/Riverside County border, the park includes parts of two deserts, each an ecosystem whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation. Below 3,000 feet (900 m), the Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park and features natural gardens of creosote bush, ocotillo, and cholla cactus. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park.
The higher, moister, and slightly cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), from which the park gets its name. In addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California's deserts. The dominant geologic features of this landscape are hills of bare rock, usually broken up into loose boulders. These hills are popular amongst rock climbing and scrambling enthusiasts. The flatland between these hills is sparsely forested with Joshua trees. Together with the boulder piles and Skull Rock, the trees make the landscape otherworldly.
Day 7 Los Angeles to San Francisco
Los Angeles is a bright and eclectic patchwork of neighborhoods and lifestyles. Made up of dozens of communities, there is no one unifying experience that sums up the life and the heartbeat of this city among cities. From the eternal sunshine and Hollywood glitz to the traffic and smog, this City of Angels will forever be many things to many people.
San Francisco has a special place in the hearts of gay and lesbian travelers.
It's not only because of the history of fighting for LGBT equality.
San Francisco is a place where world-class attractions, amazing restaurants, diverse neighborhoods and breathtaking views are around every gay-friendly corner.
Taking in some of the best roads in Europe and the US visiting several of the most famous cities and sites settings, Rainbow Rampage guarantees to provide a stimulating drive and an unforgettable journey. You will be driving your car across some of the most spectacular sights and scenery in Europe and the US. Along the way you will complete a few challenges, and enjoy notorious evening parties. A fabulous ending to this great event will be the Gay Pride Parade in Budapest and the famous LoveFest in San Francisco.
EU Rainbow Rampage
Brighton to Budapest
US Rainbow Rampage
Seattle to San Francisco
The European Rainbow Rampage will follow a route through:
The US Rainbow Rampage will follow a route through:
EU Route Map
Click for a larger view
US Route Map
Click for a larger view