Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Love affair

Was a bit naughty again today and come home with these...it will now be my 5th purchase from H&M and i think i need a break...but there's still so much to get!!

It will be a sad day when i have to come back to Australia and these babies wont be available anymore...H&M especially has really taken my heart and i will have an entire wardrobe full of it by the time i come home...$15 dresses, whats not to love

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Barcelona, you played me well

Hedonism, beaches, bars and booze...i'm not even sure if that's enough adjectives to appropriately summarise the city that took a week from my life...and what an amzing week.

From my travels a few years ago, i remember loving the excitement and the vibe of Barca
and trying to convice Jonno that he would love it too was hard...but once you arrive it is hard not to get sucked into it all.

From the bustling La Rambla, full of street performers, pickpockets and awe-struck tourists, to the jam packed beaches of Barceloneta and the bars of the Gothic area, there is ALWAYS something to do.
One of my favourite places was the giant food market, located on La Rambla which sold the freshest and cheapest fruit and veg, as well as a multitude of meats, cheeses and sweets all displayed in technicolour brilliance.

The other major drawcard of the city are the amazing works of Antoni Gaudi whos gothic works of La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell and beautiful and spellbounding.

We also happened to be there for what is known as the biggest party of the year, La revetlla de Sant Joan- the festival of Saint John the Baptist- in which the entire city heads to the beach, setting off firecracker and fireworks the whole way there.
Due to my phobia of loud noises this night was the most frightening experience of my life!

It's taken me a couple of days to recover here in Nice, but it was all worth it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Serenic Sevilla

I thought that finding a town in Spain to rival San Sebastian was going to be near impossible, but Sevilla comes very close...if even on an even par

Everything about this town, from its history to the architecture to their attitudes is amazing (and very Spanish) and you couldnt feel anything but relaxed and happy here...

We've been quite cynical about the walking tours offered by the various hostels but im very glad we took up the one offered by the Oasis hostel (our first of 2 hostels for Sevilla)..
Our host was Whil, an Aussie living in Seville and his knowledge of the history and inner workings of the town made the 3 hours fly by...
We also met him later that night for a drink and some tapas with some crazy locals!

I went in very naive of the history of Spain, in particular the Spanish inquisition, and was amazed and facinated as I always am about the lengths that humans will go to for a bit of power...
If you are also interested, it's worth going to the inquisition museum which was built on the ruins of the castle used for the trails...

Theres also many other things to tickle the tastebuds here- incredible parks, the cathedral and giralda, the river, many many tapas bars and good nightlife

Hostel wise, Oasis was great- it had a pool, modern facilities, good atmosphere and great location
8.5 out of 10
The Garden Hostel was also a great place to stay (doesnt seem you can go too wrong in Sevilla)- also had great facilities (but no pool which would be essential in summer) and had an atmosphere more for relaxing...which isnt a hard thing to do here...8 out of 10!

(How much is that doggy in the bell tower?)

Fes and Chefchaouen

It's taken me a while to be bothered to write anything on Fes and Chefchaouen in Morocco as both Jonno and I left with a rather bitter taste in our mouths...
After 2 weeks of getting hasseld, husseld and abused we are very happy to be back on European shores...not that I'm not completely happy we went there as it would have been something I would have wanted to do for ever...

Our last two cities were rather enjoyable, especially Chefchaouen which had a much more relaxed attitude (except for the rather annoying hash dealers)...the architecture aswell was amazing, a photo opportunity at every turn!

The blues and whites of the buildings, set into the Rif Mountains was almost dream-like, and we found many more options for food and drink here...
The bus ride to Tangier, however, was unlike one we've had before...in what seemed like a 1970s school bus, I was surprised it didn't fall apart everytime we went over a ditch (which was rather frequent!)

Our hostel was nice, with a double room meaning we could get much more sleep
8 out of 10

(our beautiful friend from the Fes medina)

Fes definitely felt like another Moroccan city- an extremely hilly medina with salesmen hounding you at every turn, abusing you for not buying or looking...

I was also thankful that we decided to stay in a hostel in the new town of Fes away from the lunacy of the medina..plus it was only a cheap, short taxi ride to the town
One day in the medina was definitely enough and i had my worst haggling skills out when buying 2 rings- one a moonstone silver piece and another a turqouise and silver number...

I may or may not have misplaced my turquoise one already....hence the lack of pictures (will post moonstone ones soon)
Looks like ill be looking for a new one in Turkey!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

fashion purchase inspiration

Love shopping in new cities, seeing whats on offer!
Here's some current inspiration...


images from Shakuhatchi S/S'11

New LBD & hats
Sara from Harper and Harley blogspot

Check Pants
(image from www.thegrandsocial.com)

Arabella Ramsay

Thursday, June 17, 2010

stars in sevilla

Ran into a couple of our friends in Sevilla today...one Mr Tom Cruise

And miss Cameron Diaz...located due to the immense screaming from on looking fans
Apparently here promoting their upcoming movie...sure knew how to burn up these ancient streets!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Marrakech Round 2

Marrakech the second time around deserves a mention...purely for the hostel we stayed at! Dreading our return to the sweat box that was Riad Rouge we cancelled and booked into the Equity Point hostel on recommendation- man I wish we had stayed here all along!

Though more expensive the hostel (which looked more like a hotel) had a pool- accommodation just paid for itself! Funnily enough we also ran into friends from back home, small world! Besides the painfully slow check in, this hostel ticked all the boxes- clean, beautiful, GREAT facilities, great breakfast and good location.

9 out of 10

Poor Jonno was lucky enough to get dragged through all the jewellery souks once again, and without luck I have my fingers crossed for Fes...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Escapism in Essaouira

(the port)

Escaping the heat and oppression of Marrakech for the seaside town of Essaouira was a blessing and could not have come sooner. Again living up to our name, we caught the bus conveniently located nowhere near the medina and proceeded to guess our way to the hostel in the towns winding backstreets.

Thankfully Essaouira is a much more chilled out and relaxed town; there’s nowhere near as much harassment, there’s a nice ocean breeze (though not quite conducive to getting a tan with quite intense winds), and you’re much less likely not to get totally ripped off in the souks.

After much aimless searching, I have also managed to find a ring design I love...of course it’s the most expensive style you can get isn’t it...i’m yet to buy anything yet, though should have been more prepared to haggle for 2 I really liked as I haven’t seen ones as good since...

If anyone decides to make their way to Essaouira you must stay at Hostel Essaouira. The staff is fantastic (thanks Adeal) and more than willing to get you food, surfboards or whatever you desire.

I did however mistakenly make the assumption again that a local could help you get the cheapest price for goods (as once tested in Bali), but again found they were just helping their friend get a sale! Jonno assures me that he’ll get me the price I want in Marrakesh or Fes.

(Jonnos boyfriend cooking us dinner)

But besides that, the hostel has great facilities- rooftop terrace where Adeal cooked us dinner, free internet and a big screen tv for relaxing time. We were also again upgraded, this time to the private room, after Adeal took a shining to Jonno :)

(hostel lounge)

9 out of 10- not really the hostels fault but there were 2 creepy guys there- a Belgian intent in making us all listen to his music and an old Mexican guy who tried to get a little too friendly with girls...