I hope you had a good Valentine's Day! After my declaration of love to chocolate (Article chocolate-sweetheart.html), here is another topic my heart enjoys.
I rarely choose my travel destinations at random, it may be for the beaches, the architecture, the history, all of this, but there is certainly a reason that has often been chosen, it’s my passion for animals.
My article this week is about those who fascinate me and who led me to cross the globe, to sit on beaches all night, to catch a monumental allergy, to swim with an injured knee, to push away my fears and to dream of more wonder!
Prepare to be captivated in this animal world tour:
Obviously, it’s quite easy to see them in captivity, many zoos and water parks take care of them. You can even see some at Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates.
Penguins are aquatic birds that can’t fly, and they live in the Southern Hemisphere.
But like all animal species, our greatest pleasure is to be able to admire them in their natural habitat, and for that Australia is the perfect place!
So, on Phillip Island, not far from Melbourne, you can see little penguins very close...
Turtle is often associated with longevity and wisdom, some can live up to 150 years!
It’s an animal easier to meet because it’s almost everywhere on the planet, and most of you I'm sure have already seen one.
They live in different types of habitat, which generally classify them in 3 categories: terrestrial (called tortoise in the U.K.), aquatic (called terrapin in the U.S.) or sea turtle.
My favourites are sea turtles, unfortunately many of them are threatened with extinction. I’ve been to two islands that help and have programs of protection: Heron Island in Australia and Crete in Greece which I have already spoken to you several times (read Article crete-episode-2.html).
Heron Island is located on the north-eastern part of Australia, on the Great Barrier Reef, making it an idyllic destination for sea and nature lovers. Here, you not only swim among rays and sharks, but it’s also the preferred place for Green sea turtles and Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta, its scientific name). I was lucky enough to go during the turtle nesting and hatching season, a unique and magical experience.
In Australia, you can observe lots of animals, which makes this country the most beautiful animal park in the world.
I feel that you’re very curious, don’t worry, an article on this wonderful country is scheduled for 2019.
For now, let's talk about lemurs. It’s a suborder to primates, hence great similarities with the monkeys. These small creatures, which number no less than 101 species, are for the most part unfortunately in danger of extinction, due to deforestation and poaching.
They are very sociable and therefore live in a group. Many of you have seen DreamWorks Studios' animated movie Madagascar, and without a doubt, they look and act like in the movie, it's so impressive. Just for your information, there are penguins in this movie too!
In my life, I rode a horse, a dromedary and an elephant. I swam with giant sea turtles, sea lions, sharks and rays. I saw polar bears, and I also met some Komodo dragons. I cuddled koalas and kangaroos and fed wild dolphins.
I still have 2 dreams to realise ... See pandas in Sichuan (China) and admire unicorns!! (Read Article unicorns.html). Which do you think I'll do first?!?
Don’t hesitate to choose your holidays according to the animals you like. Nothing more incredible than discovering them with your own eyes!
Have a good week!
Love & Joy,
Just a year ago I started my blog, with for Valentine's Day an article about my solo wedding in Santorini (read Article my-solo-wedding.html).
To celebrate this anniversary, a new magazine cover with a 2-page article in the February special issue Take a Break UK! (Check here Media).
So after talking to you a lot, in 2018, about my declaration of love to myself (Article life-changer.html), I then told you my longest love story with coffee (Reread coffee-addict.html), but I must admit that the true love of my life it's chocolate!
Not a day without eating chocolate. And at certain times of the year it even becomes my main meal hahaha.
I think I was born covered with chocolate. My mom worked for a chocolate maker when she was pregnant, so all these chocolate vapours must have influenced my metabolism!
But let’s talk about its origin:
The first traces of chocolate drinks date back to 1900 BC, the word chocolate comes from the word 'nahuati xoxolati' which means bitter water. Europeans will discover it in the 16th century thanks to Christopher Columbus.
Chocolate was considered as one of the first medicine and the first chocolate makers like Nestlé were chemists.
Chocolate as we know it today appeared at the end of the 19th century after the discovery of new techniques invented by Coenraad Van Houten, Henri Nestlé and Rudolphe Lindt. The major brands we know today were born at this time: Lindt (1845), Nestle (1866), Cadbury (1868), Hershey (1893).
Some figures for your general knowledge:
The annual world consumption of cocoa represents more than 4 million tons per year, ie 127 kilos per second!
Six multinationals, including Nestlé, Mars and Cadbury, account for 80% of the global chocolate market.
Europeans alone consume about 50% of the world's cocoa, 85% of which is imported from West Africa. Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are the biggest consumers (between 10 and 11kg per year per inhabitant). France arrives then with a little more than 7kg per year per inhabitant, then the USA with 6kg. And far behind, the Greeks consume about 2kg.
Brazil is the only country that produces and consumes chocolate.
Some 50 million people around the world depend on cocoa for their livelihoods.
But how do we make chocolate?
There are 3 varieties of chocolate: black, milk and white.
I love them all, it depends on my mood, the weather, my hormones, and there are so many choices that I don’t get tired of enjoying this wonderful pleasure wherever I go.
Besides, I visited the Valrhona factory in Tain l'Hermitage (France). The paradise of chocoholics since in addition to the museum / manufacturing that retrace all the steps, you can enjoy as much chocolate as you want! Be careful of indigestion, it requires some training ...
The greatest chocolate makers, pastry chefs and chefs around the world use Valrhona chocolate for their creations. And connoisseurs are not mistaken because even the owner of my favourite café in Crete, Crumb (Heraklion), uses chocolate Valrhona for the chocolate truffles!
My cousin recently reminded me how good chocolate is for health and she’s perfectly right!
It’s good for the heart:
It's good for the brain:
Chocolate is a great source of antioxidants which are 4 to 5 times more effective than in black tea, there are 2 to 3 times more than in green tea and 2 times more than in red wine .
As you know antioxidants can protect many types of cancer, they slow down the signs of aging, strengthen the skin's resistance to UV, increase good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce bad (LDL) (for butter cocoa only because palm oil gives the opposite effect).
I therefore recommend deliciously to offer chocolates for Valentine's Day! Think of all the people you love and especially yourself! You deserve it, spoil yourself!!
Happy Valentine's Day to all!
Love & Chocolate,