Paris strikes me as a lady of a city. Elegant and refined. Not gaudy and loud. Not overly showy or pushy. When I think of hotels in Paris I think of cozy, elegant rooms mixing heritage buildings and fine fixtures. Of hushed conversations and real tea drunk from china cups, not paper. On the border between the 8th and 9th arrondissements sits the newly opened Hotel de Seze, which embodies all of these qualities.
One of my aunt’s has called me Mona Lisa for many, many years so it was pretty special when I got to stand a few feet from the real deal this fall. It could also be why I find the bit of trivia I learned about her so interesting. She’s been called the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world. But why is the Mona Lisa famous in the first place?
A lot of people will claim that their favourite smell is freshly baked bread. Boutique hotels are starting to get on with having a unique fragrance in their lobbies. What do the two have to do with each other? At the Praktik Bakery Hotel in Barcelona they combine a scented lobby and the smell of fresh baked bread. Except this scent doesn’t come from a factory. It comes from the real live bakery in the lobby, producing bread and sweets all day, every day.
After rescheduling once, my next adventure is almost here. When WestJet announced that they were starting a direct route between St. John’s and Dublin, complete with a stupidly awesome seat sale, I booked a ticket first and planned later. So where will I be going?….
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Even though I just landed in South Korea I couldn’t pass up the chance to reminisce about my time in Dublin, Ireland in 2011. The only plan for every evening was to find a pub and hopefully some live music. Thankfully, both are about as easy to find in Ireland as sheep. Trust me, that’s easy. I couldn’t decide on just one photo since it seems like a good number of my favourite memories involved both beer and tunes. It was a special moment when I was invited up to play bodhran with the pub’s musicians. My knees were shaking and my mouth went dry but I think I got away with it without embarrassing myself. I learned how to pull a proper pint at the Guinness brewery. I’ve since put this skill to use in airport lounges. Doing shots of Jameson’s with my dad on…
My day trip to Mostar included a short stop in Počitelj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a small town on the Neretva River with a mix of medieval and Ottoman elements. Tour groups routinely make stops here so there were plenty of locals selling fruit and trinkets. These colourful wooden toys caught my eye while I wandered through the town. I wonder if anyone would take me seriously if I brought that giant teal pencil in to client meetings?
In honour of London Fashion Week, VisitBritain Shop has asked bloggers to put together their perfect London shopping trip. Being the aspiring fashionista that I am, a shopping trip to London would be heaven. On this magical trip I would put together a perfect outfit featuring British designers and shops: Burberry, Stella McCartney, Lulu Guinness, Harrods and more!
The night air was warm in Dubrovnik as I walked down the Stradun. The streetlights made the polished marble streets shine as if they were still wet from a washing. The cruisers had all gone for the day and the old town had quieted down. A brief respite from the hustle and bustle. It would all repeat the next day but for now it was quiet. One night in Dubrovnik listening to men sing folk songs to entertain themselves helped ease the jaded feeling about the town that had crept up on me. Sometimes you can find those little nuggets of authenticity that restore your faith in a destination where and when you least expect it…and it makes all the difference.
My dad and I were racing, well, anxiously puttering – I didn’t dare go above 65 km/hr – through the twisty, turny road over the Kerry Mountains in Ireland trying to get to Killarney before dark but as we crested a hill I had to stop and try to capture the setting sun streaming through the clouds. Between driving on the left, sheep grazing on the side of the road and this landscape I had one of those “Oh my God, I’m actually in Ireland!” moments.
War Photo Limited is an exhibition center of war and conflict photography in Dubrovnik’s Old Town that tries to lift any romantic veil from war and show how it really is. It’s an uncomfortable visit but it’s one that I think everyone who visits Dubrovnik should make. I challenge you to visit and leave unaffected. The more I travel, the more I realize that we’re all more alike than we are different.
2012 was another year full of travel. I visited five new countries and even circumnavigated the globe like a boss. I pushed my limits and had some incredible experiences. I worked on learning some new languages and tried lots of great new foods. I can’t wait to see what 2013 will have in store for me.
Yo quiero ‘Go with Oh’ a Barcelona! Barcelona has been on my travel radar for awhile now. Architecture, food, wine, beaches, art and gorgeous Spanish men – what more could a girl want from a vacation? Add in beaches and shopping and it’s like the city was tailor made for me.
Over the last 40 years, more than 3000 people have taken part in Linđo, the folklore ensemble based in Dubrovnik, Croatia. On my last night in town I attended a show at an outdoor theatre, where I got to see traditional dances and hear folk songs from various parts of the country. It was a real treat. The singers were a delight to the ear and the costumes were gorgeous to look at.
Ston, Croatia is a small Medieval town who’s history goes back to the 14th century. Today it is know for its walls, salt pans and oysters. I was unable to really experience any of these and what I did see of the town left me feeling a bit down. Have you been to Ston? Am I being too hard on it?
I heard these birds before I ever saw them. Sounds echos in a city of stone. I came across this scene while walking down the Stradun one day. You could pay some money and have your picture taken holding a brightly coloured bird – a busking scheme I’d seen before in a few places. I love how one of the parrots is stealing a treat while the man is distracted.
Food in Dubrovnik was disappointing. Nothing bad per se, but just rather mediocre. Maybe I was eating at the wrong restaurants. Maybe it’s all just geared towards the never ending stream of cruise ship passengers who prefer familiar foods. Restaurant Mimoza was like port in a storm of blandness. Reasonable prices and good, tasty simple food in a pleasant atmosphere. Get yourself out of Old Town and its crowds and check out Restaurant Mimoza next time you’re in Dubrovnik.
It wasn’t the gorgeous, reconstructed bridge that first caught my attention as my bus rolled into Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was the battle scarred buildings that looked like the fighting had only ended yesterday instead of nearly 20 years ago. Although Stari Most has been put back together like Humpty Dumpty never could and spans the Neretva again, the city itself is still divided.