Sunday, 26 April 2015

seine scenes - take 1

Paris' liquid heart

Notice that take 1? That's because it's very likely there will be more, much more from the Seine as this is my all time favourite out of all my all time favourites in Paris. Just so we're clear.

I never get tired of it. The colour of the river changes constantly, depending on the weather & the seasons, from dirty beige to dark blue, to grey to turquoise, to pink. It's where I want to be to watch the sun rise or set, the snow fall & the fog descend.

Maybe above all, the Seine captures the essence of Paris. It oozes charm & history and lets you marvel at one architectural masterpiece after another along its riverbanks but also all the little wonders that are characteristic of the city, from the tiny "bouquinistes" selling books & old postcards to the many bridges & houseboats. And most importantly, it's oh so quiet early in the morning, where you can almost have it all to yourself.

When spring & warmer days arrive, the banks of the Seine are the perfect spot to enjoy the sun. 

There are more than 30 bridges crossing the Seine in Paris only & these are just some of them. Below clockwise: Pont Bir-Hakeim, Pont de la Concorde, Passerelle Debilly & Pont Alexandre III.

And of course, Pont Neuf, the oldest & maybe most famous:

And when I say the Seine is just as stunning on a grey & foggy winter day, this is what I mean:

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Saturday, 18 April 2015

south sicily

No Sicily isn't Paris, but you might have noticed that I have a category named travel. I think it's about time I put something in it & what better place to begin with than the south of Sicily where we went last year around Easter. Maybe, just like me, you're starting to long for warmer days & making plans for the summer holidays. If you're looking for a place to go, I can't recommend this little haven enough.

It's a spectacular site, welcoming you with miles of wild coastlines & one of the most savory cuisines of Italy. It's also home to several beautiful small Baroque towns whereof many are UNESCO-listed. These are some of my favourites.

m o d i c a

Maybe the prettiest of them all with its gorgeous pastel colored houses & countless beautiful alleys & courtyard, Modica is also a lively town with lots of cafes, shops & restaurants.

If you're going, drop me an email. I have the perfect Airbnb spot for you (where the last three pictures were taken).

r a g u s a

Built on the top of a hill, Ragusa will take your breath away with its timeless beauty. It has no less than 18 buildings protected by UNESCO patronage. I could have walked for days through the streets of this city.

m a r z a m e m i

This is one of the loveliest little fishermen villages I've ever visited. Surrounded by colourful boats, pristine water & sand beaches, you will also find some good restaurants. While we were there, we were even lucky to witness a true Sicilian wedding on the main square of the village.

s c i c l i

With its scenic location & architectural heritage, Scicli - another of Sicily's UNESCO-listed Baroque towns - will win you over with its off-the-beaten-track feel to it & its authentic charm. I'm for certain not one to resist laundry hung out to dry in small cobble-paved streets... or mint-coloured Vespas.

s y r a c u s e

If you ever watched the movie "Malena" with Italian actress Monica Bellucci making all heads turn while walking down the street, you will recognise the centrally located square of this beautiful place. The 2700-year old city also has an impressive archaeological history.

n o t o

There are plenty of nice things to be said about Noto, but what drove us here is the fact that they are famous for making the best ice cream in this area. When you know how tough the competition is, you have to make time for a visit. And yes, it was exactly as good as it looks.

To get there, we landed at Catania airport & rented a car from there.

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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

spring in paris

Yes, more cherry blossoms - this time from Notre Dame de Paris

The line between cherry blossom enthusiasm & spam seems very thin & one I'm currently balancing on. What I've learned so far is to never say "last ones" here or on my Instagram account when you already fear you won't be able to control yourself. And clearly I can't. I see a cherry tree blooming, I have to take a picture. Lucky for you, you don't have to witness my silly smile or see me on the tip of my toes trying to smell them too.

I realised just how bad it was the other day, when I was looking for new Parisian spots for my cherry blossom hunt & Google actually suggested my blog. But, there's a cure for my disease. It's called soon, when the petals start to fall. Till then, here are a few pictures from last Sunday's stroll along the Seine & Notre Dame de Paris. Spring has arrived with summer temperatures & about every Parisian was outside soaking it up.

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