Let's continue this series on London after:
My Birthday in London
The Design Museum
Today, I make you discover one of the most beautiful stables still in activity and especially the magnificent carriages and coaches that the British royal family still largely uses during official ceremonies.
With the hoods that open or close, it was the favourite of Queen Victoria who liked the fresh air.
Irish State Coach
Purchased by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1853.
In 1876, a frieze is added to the top to honour the Empress of India.
Queen Alexandra's State Coach
Built in 1865 but converted with windows in 1893, it was used by Queen Alexandra until 1925.
Since then, it is often used to carry the royal crown.
It was used by Queen Elizabeth II for her wedding as her mother for hers, and many others ...
Scottish State Coach
A transparent roof that brings lots of light inside.
On the top is a model of the crown of Scotland.
Gold State Coach
Delivered in 1762 for King George III, this carriage is the most impressive of all.
7.3m long, 2.5m high and 3.9m wide.
It was obviously used for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Diamond Jubilee State Coach
Although it looks like the previous coaches, this one is perfectly modern and was created in Australia for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
It weighs nearly 3 tons and is equipped with 6 hydraulic stabilisers to avoid swaying.
However, craftsmanship is still very present with, for example, lamps handmade by Edinburgh crystal, or door handles encrusted with diamonds and sapphires.
A collection of various carriages is also open to the public, including a sleigh offered by Canada to Queen Victoria or a mini carriage for children.
Obviously, all this wouldn’t work without horses and all men associated with it.
Much less glamorous but nevertheless indispensable, the royal family also travels by car.
I too had a nice car for my Solo Wedding in Santorini, a black Mercedes ...
Have a good week!
Love & Coach,
Let’s continue with my adventures in London,
my previous articles:
My Birthday in London
Access to the permanent collection of this museum is free, only temporary exhibitions are not.
Today a new museum that will make you travel through time!!
But first we talk a lot about plastic waste these days, and many of us are aware of the importance of reducing it daily. I fly more often than I take the bus, this campaign presented by PriestmanGoode "Reduce, Reuse, Rethink" (Reduce, reuse, rethink) made me think.
Aircraft cabin waste accounted for 5.7 million tonnes in 2017, 33% was plastic. Only 17.3% are made of recyclable materials.
Designers are looking for solutions, whether in materials, or organisation ...
Inventions and fabrications endlessly.
Whether in the field of medicine, everyday life, architecture or fashion, a creativity that changes our lives ...
The syringe for example was invented at the end of the 19th century and its design has remained almost unchanged since then. We use no fewer than 35 billion a year.
Or the fitted kitchen created by a woman in 1926, Margarete Shütte-Lihotzky (Austrian) to make it practical and logical.
Objects that constantly evolve over time: phone, radio, television, computer, camera, calculator, the game consoles and so on.
As far as I am concerned, the Minitel – a French invention developed by the French Post Office before internet appeared - is what marked my childhood! And no, I won’t tell you my age hahaha!
For some it’ll bring back memories, and for the youngest, ask your parents or grandparents for more information!!
And which object are you most grateful for? Answer in the comments below!
I admit that the umbrella and the raincoat are convenient, especially in London!
If you want to discover more, a video at the end of the article.
Have a nice weekend!
Love & Design,
In my previous article, Once Upon a Time, I told you that I was in London for a while, so nothing more normal than sharing my adventures and discoveries here.
A very different world today but I obviously couldn’t miss this world-famous museum.
There are several around the world: Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Blackpool, Istanbul, Las Vegas, New York, Washington, Hollywood, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney and of course London, the first one!
It was initially opened in 1836 on Baker Street in London, and yes, the same street where lived Sherlock Holmes (Article Birthday in London), but was transferred on Marylebone Road, very close, in 1884.
But do you know that Madame Tussauds was ... French!!
Born in Strasbourg in 1761, she made her first figures (Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Benjamin Franklin) from 1777. Then in 1802, she left for England where she stayed and died in 1850, aged 88.
Queen Victoria, I talked at lot in my article Kensington Palace, was aware of the popularity of the museum, and had her wax figure as well ...
With the impressive number of visitors to this wax figures temple, believe me if I tell you that taking photos was an impossible mission, but I did my best to share a part of this incredible work.
You’ll undoubtedly recognise these celebrities.
Or these influential people:
But also characters, including Sherlock Holmes of course.
What would we do without Superheroes?
My favourite part of the museum.
Star Wars with a video at the end of the article on the realisation of the characters, don’t miss it!!
But also, a little ride to discover London's history in a London cab…
Many things to discover at Madame Tussauds; I couldn't unfortunately share everything with you. Feel free to visit its incredible museums.
Have a great week!
Love & Discovery,
Last year my story was going viral on the internet and in the press (see Page Media), yet it was far from being like a fairy tale, many of the elements were there, luxurious providers, a breathtaking place , a dream dress, princess shoes, but no groom ...
Once upon a time, a romantic woman, in love with the wrong man, who decided to abandon her three months before the wedding ceremony. Once upon a time, there was chaos. Once upon a time, this rage at the heart of deserving better, of knowing to be worthy. Once upon a time there was my solo wedding.
In September 2018, I discovered my first magazine cover in the UK, before a second, then a third in Australia.
Today, I choose to recap with you the articles of my Solo Wedding in Santorini (you can click on it to read or reread them):
My Solo Wedding
Why a blog?
My Solo Ceremony
First TV - Behind the scenes
Solo Wedding - Behind the Scenes
Wine in Santorini
2 Years Anniversary!
My Wedding Gown
I temporarily stay in London to finish the English translation of my book, a city full of surprise and energy, as I already told you:
Birthday in London
And if you follow me on Instagram, check my stories.
All that I’ve accomplished since my Solo Wedding make me terribly proud and happy: the freezing of my eggs, my blog, the media, my book ...
It encourages me to pursue my dreams and to invent new ones.
Not to mention all my travels, and a year ago I was going to Crete to write my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini (I am actively looking for an agent and a publisher).
I had wondered where I’d be in a year, I had no idea. I certainly wouldn’t have thought that I’d be in England.
Where will I be in a year and what will I do then? I don’t have a crystal ball, but I don’t intend to stop to confide in you and to inspire you ...
A new extract from my book
So, no basket of flowers on the horizon, to tell the truth, I never imagined an army of young children spreading flower petals in the aisle before my entry. It must be said that before this marriage, I had never really considered the question of a wedding ceremony. The only times it crossed my mind, I saw myself more in Las Vegas, with Elvis as a priest and the Blues Brothers as witnesses! We are very far from the flower girls!
Every day I meet new people to whom I tell my story, to whom I give a piece of me ...
So many beautiful testimonials from people who encourage me, even some who tell me how my story gave them the courage to change their lives.
I would like to thank here my readers who follow me with interest, here are the top 5 nationalities:
Greece, France, United States, United Kingdom, Australia.
75% of them are between 25 and 45 years old, and I count as many men as women (50%), the perfect parity!!
Always have the courage to keep in you this light, this spark of hope that creates the fireworks in your life!
See you next Saturday for a new article.
Have a nice week!
Love, once upon a time ...
For those who follow me on Instagram, you know I was back in London, so an article on one of their beautiful monuments.
Last year I went to the Palace of Versailles and shared with you its opulence and grandeur. This time this English residence is its opposite, no gilding profusion or extravagance, its royal occupants wanted it warm, big enough but not huge, and through the ages this palace has been improved.
This castle has been inhabited since 1689, it is now separated into two parts, one where the Princes William and Harry reside with their families, and the other open to the public.
A video of the Royal homes at the end of this article.
Queen Victoria (1819-1901) was born, raised and lived in this residence until her coronation in 1838.
But this is also where she met her beloved Albert (Prince Albert of Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha) whom she cherished all her life.
And for fans of romantic stories, I recommend the Victoria series with Jenna Coleman in the role of the queen.
Click At the age of 18 she became Queen, a heavy role for her frail shoulders and yet she was going to demonstrate to the world that she was destined to reign for a long time (63 years, 7 months and 2 days).
She then moved to Buckingham Palace and became the first sovereign to reside there.here to edit.
Royalty means jewels of course, it reminds me my Solo Wedding in Santorini. By the way, I hope you liked my last article Birds Paradise, magnificent exhibition of brooches.
The ones Victoria wore were second to none, including the 105,602 carats Koh-i Nor Diamond (displayed at the Tower of London), a symbol of British power in India, because we must not forget that Queen Victoria was also Empress of India.
In this respect, she had a real attachment to this country, from which she learned the language and the culture. She even befriended Abdul Karim, an Indian servant. Friendship that cinema has brought to the screen in the film Victoria and Abdul (with Dame Judith Olivia Dench).
The family was very important to Victoria, she shared her reign with her role as mother and grandmother. She will never recover from the death of her husband and mourned the rest of her life by adopting black as colour. She even kept the room in which he died and came often to reflect.
20,000 new laws under 24 different governments.
Her era saw the invention of the steam train, steamboat, bicycle, car, telegraph and telephone.
At her Diamond Jubilee, 3 million people came to see her.
Without a doubt a Queen that everybody will remember ...
It is hard to talk about Kensington Palace without thinking of Lady Di where she lived, even after her divorce until her tragic death in 1997.
A gallery is dedicated to the outfits created by David Sassoon, her favourite fashion designer.
You will notice on some sketches the annotations of the princess.
Next article next Saturday.
Have a good week!
Love & History,
Let's keep dreaming, after my article last week on Madagascar, today a topic that will delight lovers of art and beautiful things.
I mentioned this wonderful exhibition in my article My Birthday in Paris, here is today an article which is entirely devoted to it.
You know my taste for luxury and especially jewellery, my Solo Wedding in Santorini is the proof, either by my Wedding Dress or my Wedding Ring, so I couldn’t miss the opportunity to nourish my soul and my spirit.
Coming from two private collections and some of the Van Cleef & Arpels' heritage funds, "Paradis D'oiseaux" (Bird Paradise) is an exhibition celebrating the art of jeweller’s craft through bird brooches created between 1850 and 1960.
Everything begins with inspiration, with art for example and especially painting but also the work of naturalists, and documents of all kinds that awaken the creativity of the jeweller who first creates sketches ...
The majestic and exotic peacock is one of the most represented birds in the art, so it’s not surprising that we find it in this exhibition.
Exceptional materials to make these unique pieces: diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire, feather, shell, onyx, coral, enamel, turquoise, pearl, amethyst, topaz, aquamarine, garnet, gold, platinum ...
Birds of all kinds including the swan. And if you remember, I was wearing a tiara with two swans for my Solo Wedding in Santorini!
After the exhibition, I’ve visited the Ecole des Arts Joailliers (School of Jewelry Arts), supported by Van Cleef & Arpels, a sublime space with several workshops and salons to learn but also to discover the history of Van Cleef & Arpels.
This school is accessible to all, it doesn’t provide a qualification but makes the public discover (including children and teenagers) the art of jewellery with its 10 crafts: draftsman, model maker, gems expert, jeweller, foundry, setting, lapidary, engraver / sculptor and case.
I invite you to discover their courses for yourself or to offer, an original experience that will take you to the heart of one of the finest French craft: the haute-joaillerie.
For those who would like to learn more, at the end of this article a video about feathers and jewels.
No article next week because I have my new passport and I'll be travelling, I'm so happy!!
Follow me on Instagram @blogaboutl to know more ;)
Next article: 21st of September.
Good week to you all!
Love & Jewellery,
If you missed my article last week about my Solo Wedding in Santorini, find it here: My Wedding Gown.
The school holidays are coming to an end and already many of you are thinking about their next break!! Nothing more normal, so I thought that some travel photos could inspire you ...
After my articles on Paris and London, or Brussels, Athens and Madrid, which haven’t failed to demonstrate you that I’m a city dweller in search of culture and entertainment, the fact remains that I also adore the silence and the sea.
I’ve already mentioned this beautiful country of the Indian Ocean in my articles Favourite Animals and Sunset, but Madagascar is also a lush nature with incomparable beauty.
With an area of 587,000 km2 (226,642 sq. mi), it’s the 5th largest island in the world, after Australia, Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo.
Madagascar is one of my best trips, it was one of the countries I wanted to visit because of lemurs, I'm so happy to have also discovered its beautiful beaches.
And you know me enough now to know that my travels always goes with culinary adventure. Besides, I previously described the Menu of my Solo Wedding in Santorini, so yummy!!
In Madagascar, seafood obviously ...
Sometimes to discover a little paradise, it takes long hours in a 4-wheel drive on an unlikely track in the mountains, or a small boat in the mangrove, but it’s the traditional pirogue that I prefer to be even closer to the wild vegetation…
Madagascar is also people of great kindness, 26 million inhabitants belonging to 18 different ethnic groups (population equivalent to Australia for comparison).
To discover their daily life is learning their culture ...
The fauna of the island is rich in unusual animals, lemurs, but also zebus. The zebu is an essential domestic bovine in Malagasy life.
I'm waiting desperately for my passport to be renewed (and yes, passports have an expiry date, and you, do you know when it’s yours?) I can’t wait to go on a plane!!!
To travel is opening your mind to different cultures, to tolerance, to love.
A beautiful video below to fall in love with Madagascar...
Next article on: September 7th!
Have a good week!
Love & Travel,
I’ve talked a lot about my stay in Paris to celebrate my birthday (Read my Birthday in Paris), today it’s all about London!
Although I’ve visited this European capital several times - including during my hen’s night one month before my Solo Wedding in Santorini (for those who don’t know yet I married myself in 2017 after my fiancé broke off our engagement) - I’m always happy to come back again whether it’s by plane or Eurostar.
And as every time, the party lasts several days, so many things to tell you ...
Of course, my friends are indispensable in my life and even more during these moments so unique that I organise as much for them as for me.
However, I would like to say a big thank you to Milan, friend and manager of Elba Bar, who took good care of us. Being able to celebrate my birthday while admiring the city from this rooftop bar, which has a splendid view, and sipping delicious cocktails, will remain an unforgettable memory.
Having become addicted to pina coladas, this place became my lair in London.
To pursue in this friendly and festive mood, Circolo Popolare was the perfect Italian restaurant. Recently opened, its relaxed and magical atmosphere with all these little lights everywhere, matches perfectly with its authentic and refined cuisine.
I’ve done a lot of things in my life but I’m still surprised in many ways, and when the whole team of the restaurant comes to sing me Happy Birthday in Italian, I melt like mozzarella on a pizza ...
With these wonderful days, basking in the city's parks is pure delight, the Regent's Park for example.
This 166-hectare (410 acres) royal park is one of my favourites with its lake, numerous bridges, flowers and Primose Hill where you can relax and admire the city...
Or Hyde Park, a 142-hectare royal park opened to the public in 1637 joined with the 111-hectare Kensington Gardens.
Here you’ll find many statues, sculptures and monuments, including the Lady Di Memorial Fountain, a large oval granite fountain where families can come and wade. But also, the Albert Memorial in memory of Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, husband of Queen Victoria, measuring 47.5 metres high.
It’s also in this park where the Kensington Palace is, the current residence of Princes William and Harry (with their wives and children).
I’m glad that I’ve chosen the Park Grand Paddington Court Hotel to stay, a great location with a friendly staff and a good breakfast buffet. No doubt that I’ll stay there again next time.
Not far from there is Baker Street, does it remind you something? And yes, this was where lived the famous detective Sherlock Holmes in the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The Museum in his honour restored the house the way he lived with his objects of everyday life. A small townhouse with 3 levels, the first with Sherlock's room and his office, the second where Dr. Watson and his housekeeper Mrs. Hudson resided, and the last level staging the famous prisoners and cases of the detective.
Get ready for time travel!
It's already time for dinner and let’s continue in this nostalgic atmosphere by going to Covent Garden Market at Buns & Buns.
A souvenir from Picadilly Circus on the way is highly recommended (you'll notice that Chris Hemsworth is gazing at me hahaha).
I saved the best for last.
Although I’ve organised many adult only parties in the past, and especially for women, some will recognise themselves! I never had a show for me, it was time to fix that ...
I chose one of the most incredible shows of the moment to honour me: Magic Mike Live!
Inspired by the two movies Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL, which take place in the world of male striptease, Channing Tatum wanted to offer an alternative / suite to the movies by choosing to highlight the talents of each dancer (watch the following video). I must say that Channing is not part of the show.
This show for over 18 combines good music, a spectacular performance and a great sense of humour, reinforced by Adonis bodies, unicorns (it reminds me of my article Unicorns) and an unexpected staging. In addition to London, this show is also in Las Vegas and Berlin.
The temperature rises very quickly in the room, no way to be bored, and when it's over we want more (it reminds me of something hahaha).
However, that evening the show wasn’t complete, unfortunately half of the dancers were ill. "The show must go on" then makes perfectly sense!
I’d like to say a big congratulations to the team that night, the artists but also all the people behind, you have achieved an incredible performance!
We had free cocktails and free tickets as compensation, which is extremely generous and appreciable.
I’d also like to thank Emma, Customer Services Manager, for her kindness and outstanding professionalism.
I'm going back to London in a few weeks and I can’t wait to see the show in its original version!!
And what are you waiting for to take your tickets?? 😉
(The following video is for adults only)
London it's also Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, Riverbank and the London Eye (the Ferris wheel), Westminster ... And shopping on Oxford Street… I promise you’ll discover more in another article, until then, a video at the end of the article to make you discover or rediscover the main sights of London.
A reminder: no article next week, I give you more time to read during your vacation.
Next article: August 10, 2019!
Have a good summer and remember to stay hydrated!
Love & Water,
This is another year, time flies, not so long ago I was just a little girl looking for fun and discovery ... In fact, I haven’t changed!
Last year I happily celebrated my birthday in Santorini and talked about the stressful journey I had just experienced to freeze my eggs (Read again Article Gift of Science).
I am a July’s baby, so summer and the beach are necessarily my elements.
However, this year I chose two European capitals to blow my candles with dignity: Paris and London!
Why twice? And why not?? Who said that it was necessary to stick to a single party, I celebrate my birthday as many times as my friends wish to celebrate, and I have lots of amazing friends!!
So, for this new unforgettable evening, my friends have chosen a fancy place, beautiful and terribly romantic: the Bubble Bar with its terrace on the roof of the famous Moulin Rouge!
By the way, remember I already told you about it in my article Christmas in Paris.
Ambiance guaranteed, the perfect place to quench your thirst and dream in good company.
Well, the day after a party is usually painful, and in these conditions I need comfort and my favourite address is: Ytime Paris (55 rue des Archives in the Marais).
With its big teddy bear and Californian (or Australian) atmosphere, I take a bath of tenderness and light, and I revive myself with matcha latte and cookies.
We owe this beautiful place to Yazid Ichemrahen (Teddy's Dad), a talented pastry chef with an international reputation. And don’t be fooled by his handsome fashionable look, he’s a sensitive and fierce man.
Originally from Epernay in Marne (yes this is the region I talked about in my article Champagne), he grew up in foster care, experienced loneliness and violence, but it’s also at that time that he discovers his passion for pastry, a dream that led him to the light.
By the strength of his courage and determination, he worked with the greatest chefs and in 2014, he became World Champion of Frozen Desserts.
Since he’s a consultant, created his brand Ycone, and has just opened his second Ytime boutique in Paris (12 rue du Poteau in the 18th), and others to follow very quickly.
This concept store is his identity, passionate about surfing and escape. Cookies and brownies remind him of his childhood with his aunt and uncle. Ytime for the generation Y, his generation (he’s 27) and thus a healthy selection of salads, poke bowls, smoothies to consume on the spot or take away.
And because it's summer, take advantage of this beautiful sun to relax with a picnic on the banks of the Seine, happiness ...
The search for excellence always, fresh products, top quality, and no less than 200 tests to find the cookies to his liking.
He still has so many dreams in mind, he doesn’t wait for success, he runs after!
Thank you Yazid for this beautiful meeting, you are the perfect example that we must fight for our dreams, and you are a great source of inspiration for me and for so many others ... The best is yet to come for you, good luck!
When I'm in Paris, I like to walk around aimlessly and enjoy the magic and romantic atmosphere that only exists here.
There are always incredible exhibitions in Paris, and there are 3 at the moment that I liked a lot:
• Tutankhamun - The Pharaoh's Treasure, until September 15, 2019 at the Grande Halle de la Villette
• Helena Rubinstein - The Adventure of Beauty, until August 25, 2019 at MAHJ
• Maison Van Cleef & Arpels - Bird Paradise at the Ecole des Arts Joailliers
Don’t worry I’ll talk about it more in future articles ...
Tomorrow July 14 will be the French national day, and my article last year paid tribute to the firefighters and especially to the firewomen (Read Article Superwomen).
There will be many fireworks organised everywhere in France, and I love that, so I give you at the end of the article the Paris fireworks 2018.
No article next week, during the summer holidays, I publish only twice a month, but believe me I'm preparing a very exciting article with my birthday in London!
Next article: Saturday, July 27
Love & Freedom,
Although still very busy with my literary and artistic activities (Article Saturday), I really wanted to provide you an article this week.
Some go on holiday in a few days, others are still thinking about their destination, any occasion is good to get away and the subject of the day was then found.
Here we go again in Crete; I chose to show you Chania but the old city part to be able to admire its ancient vestiges and stroll in its paved streets with countless small shops and taverns.
Chania with 3 times less inhabitants than Heraklion, is the second largest city of Crete (about 55,000 inhabitants). Until 1971 it was the capital of the island.
Just like Heraklion or Rethymno, the city crossed the ages since Antiquity and the wars and invasions with: Minoan period, Byzantine period, then Venetian (the fortifications around the city date from this time), Turkish (construction of many mosques, fountains and public baths), and finally Ottoman.
Thus, we still find today the influence of all these cultures: the mosque of the Janissaries, the Venetian port with its lighthouse of the 15th century, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of 1860, the Roman catholic cathedral ... But the city also has several museums very interesting like the Archaeological Museum.
Boat trip in Souda Bay, a few kilometres from Chania to enjoy a pleasant sea and make a stop on Marathi Beach, the only beach on the north coast facing south, watch out for sunburn!
In April 1941, 25,000 soldiers, mostly New Zealanders and Australians, have been to Souda to fight against the Nazi occupation. The Allied military cemetery designed by architect Louis de Soissons is here to remind it us.
And now I am taking you to one of my favourite beaches, on the west coast of Crete: Elafonissi.
With its crystalline waters, white and pink sand, this beach is the perfect place to relax on a hot day ...
And it reminded me of the beautiful beaches of Australia (Article Brisbane).
At low tide you can even walk to the island of Elafonisi directly opposite.
Feel free to re-read the previous episodes:
Crete, Episode 1
Crete, Episode 2
Crete, Episode 3
No article next week, I'll be away to celebrate my birthday with lots of fun (July 1st), I'll tell you (almost) everything in my next article on July 13th!
Good week to all and happy holidays!!
Love & Sea,
Recently I show you pictures of my childhood, to know myself it’s imperative to know where I come from and to remember what has built me over the years. So, I continue this adventure with you today.
I grew up in the Alps, and although for many years now I live near the sea, I never get tired of seeing my beloved mountains again.
My daily routine then: ski, pastries and raclette!! Hahaha
Raclette is a specialty with melted cheese (we use a specific device that all French people have) served with boiled potatoes, cold cuts and gherkins.
Of course, with this type of diet I’ve never won a ski race, but I can already give me a fashion reward, definitely very stylish from all my 7 years of age...
There is a place where I spent a lot of time as a child and where I had my first foot bath: Annecy Lake (Haute-Savoie - France).
With its area of nearly 28km2 (approximately 15km long, 3km wide and 41m deep on average), Annecy Lake is the second largest lake in France of glacier origin after Bourget Lake in Savoy (45km2).
Around the lake or in the old town, strolling makes sense ...
One of the reasons why I’m back in France, it’s for the birthday of my young sister! Happy Birthday!!
The years pass but we remain the same cheeky monkeys always ready for giggles.
Conflans (Savoie - France) is another medieval city that I love, not far from where my mother was born and raised. Its fortifications protected the entry of the Tarentaise.
Tomorrow is Father's Day in France, so I wish a lovely day to my daddy!!
Have a good week!
Love & Family,
P.S.: the video is my sister’s favourite song!
With the articles about my Solo Wedding, as well as many Travel articles, I’ve already shared photos of sunsets, however, summer is coming in the northern hemisphere, and many of you are looking forward to the holidays. I thought that a little taste of adventure would be good.
I mentioned in my article Single that I travel alone, it doesn’t stop me from admiring sunsets with delicious cocktails and having fun!
Here a few just for you:
When music & dance accompany a beautiful sunset, I'm over the moon ...
I visited Thailand many times but today I chose the province of Krabi, in the south-west of Thailand, very popular with locals with its sandy beaches and sugarloaf mountains in the Andaman Sea. This province includes more than 80 small islands including Ko Lanta and Phi Phi. It also has many national parks with waterfalls and caves, ideal for walks, bird watching and climbing ... Its sunsets are among the most beautiful of my travels and it gives magical nights.
Hamilton Island (Australia)
When day and night are of equal beauty ...
Country I've already mentioned in my article Favourite Animals, and one of my most beautiful travels.
Finally, to be perfectly relaxed and feel already on vacation, a small video that will put you in the mood!
Love & Sunset,
I spend more time in the plane than in any other type of transport. I always have my head in the clouds and if you doubt it, check my Travel Articles.
It's simple, I like it so much that I had thought of becoming a pilot, until I went to Flight Experience Paris for a very special adventure.
This is a flight simulator on a Boeing 737, many pilots use it for training, but it’s also a great tool for stress management or for people who are afraid of the plane.
Almost every airport in the world is available, so you have an infinite choice of flights.
Everything seems very real, and if you look at the pictures, outside is fake! We flew in good weather and thunderstorms. Sensations guaranteed!
I wasn’t in charge of the controls, I accompanied my brother-in-law, however it was enough to realise that I prefer to be comfortably seated in the back sipping champagne hahaha.
There are 16 centres around the world, so don’t hesitate to try a Flight Experience.
But if there is one mode of transport that outweighs all the others, it's the helicopter. I was 6 years old the first time I had a ride, since, every time I can, I take the opportunity to satisfy my pleasure.
And today, I take you to a magical and timeless place, the Grand Canyon in the United States. It was one of my dreams to fly over by helicopter, and my wish was fulfilled in 2016. Just to talk about it, I have goose bumps, so magical ...
Embark with me to discover by the air, the splendour of this territory.
Grand Canyon National Park, founded in 1919, covers 4,927 km2 in the north of the state of Arizona in the United States.
The Grand Canyon, 277 miles (446 km) long, with an average depth of 4,265 feet (1,266m) and up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, offers a great spectacle with the Colorado River running below.
This is an incomparable geological richness, although the period of its appearance continues to be questioned, 17 million years old even up to 70 million years old (the dinosaurs’ era)! The mystery remains unsolved ...
I’m a fan of the U.S. and have had the opportunity to go there many times. I told you a lot about Christmas in New York.
This time, I was in Las Vegas, and of course a limo took me to my helicopter Sundance!
From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, we have time to enjoy the flight and the many sights: the Strip Boulevard, Hoover Dam, Fortification Hill, Lake Mead, the Grand Wash Cliffs.
You had a glimpse of Las Vegas. Don’t worry, an article is planned this year to satisfy your curiosity.
Not to mention that next year I'm celebrating a new decade, and some of my guests have asked for Las Vegas for my Birthday party. So, I added it to the long list of possible venues, and I’ll keep you posted...
Have a wonderful Easter everybody!
Love is in the air ...
My best friend was in Brussels last weekend, so I thought to talk about this beautiful city this week.
On the northern border with France, just an hour and a half by train from Paris, it’s a perfect getaway with these beautiful Spring days.
After Madrid, Athens and Paris, let's discover together this other European city.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium with nearly 180,000 inhabitants, but it’s also the headquarters of the European Union.
Rich in history dating back to the Roman period, this city has preserved many buildings and remains of all ages, giving it a nostalgic and timeless charm.
Walking around the different areas of the city, you’ll travel through time, discovering the countless artistic and architectural vestiges: the Brussels Stock Exchange, the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula, the Royal Conservatory, The Fountain of Minerva, the Palace of Justice, the Porte de Hal, the European Quarter, the Museums of the Far East ...
But also, the royal district with the Royal Palace of Brussels, the Brussels Park, the Mont des Arts, the Parliament, because as a reminder Belgium is a constitutional monarchy. And if you wish to see the residence of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, you’ll have to go to the Royal Castle of Laeken which is in the North of the city.
For a panoramic view, nothing better than the Atomium, built in 1958 with 102 metres high.
Brussels is also full of atypical museums such as the MOOF Museum, the Museum of Musical Instruments, and the Magritte Museum.
Many festivals are held all year, don’t hesitate to check in advance.
Just like Montreal, which I mentioned in a previous article (montreal-canada.html), Brussels is full of culinary specialities.
My favourites are:
Let's continue the visit not far from the Grand-Place of Brussels, with the most famous attraction: the Manneken-Pis.
Small bronze statue of 55.5 centimetres dating from 1619, and whose name means little man who pisses. It’s disguised throughout the year and it has no less than 1,000 different costumes (costumes that you can see at the Museum of the City of Brussels), so there is little chance that you see him dressed the same when you visit.
But it has its female equivalent too, Jeanneke-Pis much less famous and yet it is padlocked. This bronze statue of 55cm was created in 1985 and it's at Impasse de la Fidélité in Brussels.
And for those who wish to immerse themselves further, a video at the end of the article.
Have a good week!
Love & Chocolate,
Where were you a year ago?
Me, I was in Crete and I officially put online my blog (Article why-a-blog.html )!
I was visiting friends between two attempts to freeze my eggs in Madrid (Article gift-from-science.html).
If you had asked me where I will be in March 2019, I would have been unable to answer you, and I certainly wouldn’t have told you in Crete. Even though I spent a lot of time in Spain last year (Articles rainy-dayin-madrid.html & las-palmas-canaria.html), I never really left Crete because I keep coming back ...
So many things happened ever since. We can accomplish a lot in 12 months. Be proud of what you have undertaken and have confidence in the future, we’re going to continue to grow up together.
Where will I be in March 2020? No idea! Keep following my adventures to find out.
Meanwhile, the subject of this week was obvious: Crete for a new episode.
As a reminder I've already talked about Heraklion (crete-episode-1.html), Rethymno (crete-episode-2.html) and their surroundings.
I told you in the previous episode that I will talk about Greek mythology.
Long before the Gods of Olympus, Cronos and Rhea, both children of Ouranos (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth), ruled the Universe. They had five children: Hestia, Demeter, Hera (that I’ll talk more in a future article), Hades and Poseidon. All eaten by their father Cronos, because his parents said that one day, he would be dethroned by one of his children.
Then Zeus was born, but while Cronos was about to swallow him too, Rhea exchanged the child for a big stone wrapped in a blanket. Cronos didn’t notice and Rhea went to hide the child in an underground cave, safe from the world and his father, on the island of Crete.
Diktaean cave is located at 1,025 metres altitude, not far from Psychro above the Lasithi plateau.
We have to climb 800 metres of slope on a stony path to reach the entrance of the cave. All along, the view overlooking the Lasithi plateau is beautiful and soothing. And for those who prefer, donkeys are available for ascent.
Once at the top, you just have to go down the innumerable stairs that takes us to 800 metres deep with a small lake. Legend says that Zeus was bathing here ...
And as I was going to visit a mythical place, I wore my favourite t-shirt with the hope of seeing a unicorn!! (Article unicorns.html).
Then we go up all the stairs and we go down the hill ...
Zeus may have been hidden in another cave on the slopes of Mount Ida, still in Crete, but I haven't visited it yet.
Zeus became an adult and wanted to free his brothers and sisters. Stories diverge but Cronos regurgitated all his children as well as the stone.
After many battles, Zeus became the King of Gods.
So, you have to be patient in life, everything comes at the perfect timing…
It is said that wisdom comes with age, but just like a tree, one must first have roots well planted to grow, flourish and resist storms.
This brings us to the charming little village of Krasi, still close to the Lasithi plateau, another very symbolic place in Crete since a huge plane tree sits in the middle. This tree is said to be over 2,000 years old and would be the oldest tree in Crete. It was declared a monument of nature in 2011.
No wonder that in the past, many artists came for inspiration here. Notably, Nikos Kazantzakis, a famous Greek writer (1883-1957), whose famous novel Zorba the Greek was adapted to the cinema
Hope you enjoyed this article.
I take this opportunity to wish my friend Emanouela a very happy birthday!
Χρόνια πολλά! φιλάκια πολλά!
Have a good week!
Love & Patience,
And long live the carnival!!
I hope everyone had a good Mardi Gras and enjoyed the festivities of your city or the surrounding area.
I would like to share with you a carnival I enjoyed during my travels, Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria.
While last year my body struggled with European cold weather, after 10 years spent in tropical countries, I escaped to the Canary islands to warm up.
There, the carnival gives rise to several weeks of colourful festivities and music, including the parade of 'murgas' (in Spanish), carnival troupes composed of dancers and musicians. Atmosphere guaranteed!
I’ve watched the parade on the beach of Las Canteras in the heart of the city of Las Palmas.
Two kilometres of golden sand and pedestrian path sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Any reason is good to get there, whether to bask, surf or for a concert at the Auditorium.
Really there is worse as decor...
Las Palmas is the capital of Gran Canaria and has nearly 400,000 inhabitants.
The historic centre of Vegueta is absolutely charming, it takes us back in time, with its old buildings, museums and palm trees, hence the origin of its name because the city was built on the site of an ancient palm grove.
The surrounding area offers nice views and above all you can visit the coffee plantations, and you know my addiction for this delicious drink (Article coffee-addict.html)!
I hope you enjoyed this little getaway. It made me feel good…
And to keep the mood, and because I wish I’ll go to the carnival of Venice one day, watch below the opening video of the carnival of Venice 2019!
Have a great weekend!
Love & Dream,
One of my friends has just had laser vision correction, so it reminded me of memories, and I congratulate her!!
I travel for lots of reasons and you’ve already read a lot about it, especially with the article my-favourite-animals.html.
However, the reason why I’ve been to Montreal is very different. In the past 2 years, I’ve been dedicated to accomplishing personal goals. Too many things that I left unfinished for lack of time or motivation.
The laser eye surgery to get rid of my myopia was on my list and it was done in 2017.
Friends advised me to go to a well-known clinic, Lasik MD which is everywhere in Canada including Montreal. I had never been to Canada before, and I really wanted to discover this country. With cheaper rates than in Europe, the difference allowed me to pay a week's holiday there. I didn’t need more to make me cross an ocean...
From my first phone call for information, then to making appointments and tests, and finally to surgery, everything was perfect. The staff at Lasik MD Montreal was very friendly and professional, they almost made me forget that I was there for a laser procedure, especially when the surgeon hugged me after the surgery to tell me that everything had gone well.
An impeccable organisation thanks to a very accessible team, which allowed me to complete everything in four days! My preoperative consultation took place on Tuesday, the laser correction on Wednesday, a last check on Friday and on Saturday I could fly back to Europe. Hard to be more efficient.
I had already consulted before but like many people I was a bit afraid, and I kept postponing. I regret not having done it earlier, there was no fear to have, the operation only lasts a few minutes, and the world is so much more beautiful without eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Between us, I didn’t find the operation pleasant, let's be clear, it's a bit like going to the dentist, it doesn’t necessarily hurt but it's uncomfortable. The two hours that followed were painful for me, a burning sensation that prevented me from opening my eyes but that's it. I had no other inconvenience or complication. It’s definitely worth doing.
The next day, I saw life as I hadn’t seen it for 25 years, and I had already forgotten what I looked like with eyeglasses!
The icing on the cake was obviously to discover Montreal, a cosmopolitan city, vibrant and friendly, with a hundred festivals a year, many exhibitions and great museums ...
Remember, I already told you about this city for Jean-Paul Gaultier's exhibition (Article fashion-exhibitions.html) and Barbie Expo (Article barbie-exhibition.html).
I enjoyed my stay there, a cross between the United States and Europe, a mix of history and modernity, but where they speak both English and French. Montreal is part of the province of Quebec where French is the official language. It’s the second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris.
Last week I told you that you couldn’t die of thirst in Santorini (Article wine-in-santorini.html), actually in Montreal either, given the number of bars, pubs and clubs in the city. But above all, you can’t starve!
I highly recommend trying poutine, a typical Québécois specialty prepared with French fries, cheese curds and a brown gravy. This is the classic recipe, but many restaurants have created more, such as La Banquise which now serves about 30 different recipes ...
The smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s, an institution in Montreal, created in 1928. Expect to queue in the street before to get a table.
Don’t forget pancakes and maple syrup!! Some shops offer maple syrup tasting, take the opportunity to discover the different kinds.
And many more, bagels, crêpes…
After so much food, a walk is recommended, again the choice is not lacking, whether in the beautiful park of Mount Royal or along the St. Lawrence River.
This city was discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1535, a mountain he named Mont-Royal, that's where Montreal comes from. It is now Canadian second biggest city after Toronto, with more than 1.7 million people.
Here time stops, we relax, we breathe and we enjoy!
Montreal was a wonderful experience, as much as one from a personal and cultural point of view. This city is full of energy, no wonder it was voted the best student city in the world in 2017.
Shortly after, I took the plane to realise an even bigger dream, the freezing of my eggs in Madrid (Reread Article gift-from-science.html).
Now your turn to make your dreams come true...
Have a good week!
Love & Dream,
After talking about dinner (Article wedding-menu.html ) and champagne (Article champagne.html ) at my wedding, I want to tell the wines we had.
When we think of Santorini, we imagine the white facades and the blue-domed churches, the cliffs, the caldera, but what we forget is the vineyards. And yes, the island is full of them, nearly 1,500 hectares, and it’s one of the oldest vineyards in Europe, no wonder that its wine has become so famous.
The vines are shaped in a circle to form a sort of nest, called "kouloura", this method protects them from wind and sun. Two elements that are very present in Santorini.
For the place of my wedding, I had the choice between the chapel or the vineyard, completely by chance I chose the vineyard hahaha!
Venetsanos Winery in Megalochori. Located on the cliffs overlooking the caldera, and producing delicious wines, this was the perfect place for my solo wedding in Santorini.
White wine, red and rosé (unlimited) to satisfy my guests. Not to mention they were treated to a tour of the property and a tasting while I was doing my photos.
For my first wedding anniversary I opened the bottle that had been offered to me by Venetsanos, just to plunge me into the atmosphere again...
Certainly, a place that I recommend, for a visit, a tasting, shopping, photos and why not a wedding??
More information on their website: venetsanoswinery.com/
One of my favourite white wines is from Santorini, and that before I go to this enchanting island.
There are 3 grape varieties for white wine: assyrtiko, athiri and aidani. When assembled, we discover the Nykteri, a dry white wine to taste absolutely.
For red wines, count on mandilaria and mavrotragano.
Some houses also offer rosés, like Venetsanos.
But the island's most famous wine is Vinsanto, a sweet wine made from late harvests. Some may sometimes prefer the Mezzo, less sweet.
Feel free to visit Santo Wines, the Santorini Wine Cooperative, established in 1947 with 1,200 members. The view is also splendid and you can relax while enjoying a wide range of wines from the island.
And for those who want to know more, visit the Koutsogiannipoulos family Wine Museum in Vothonas. Eight metres deep and 300 metres long, this magnificent museum tells the story of viticulture in Santorini since 1660, as well as all the stages of its making. A wine tasting is also offered at the end of the visit.
Discover the vineyards of the island, you won’t be disappointed. Nothing is more extraordinary than enjoying good wine while admiring the incredible sunsets of Santorini.
One thing is certain, you cannot die of thirst in Santorini hahaha!
Have a lovely weekend!
Love & Wine,
Some of my friends made me dream (and warm) with their holiday pictures (Tahiti, Maldives, Cape Verde), so I thought that a bit of sunshine and scenery would be great!
Remember in the first article about Crete (crete-episode-1.html), I talked about the capital city Heraklion.
If Santorini is my beloved island because of my solo wedding (Articles www.blogaboutl.com/blog/category/solo-wedding), Crete also has a certain charm and today we are heading to my favourite city, further west, still on the north coast, to Rethymno.
Rethymno is the third largest city in Crete with more than 55,000 inhabitants.
It was built during the Minoan period and as Heraklion, this city has experienced a succession of cultures and civilizations (Byzantine, Roman, Venetian, Ottoman) as evidenced by some vestige.
It’s a charming city that I particularly like because it’s very pleasant to wander through the cobbled streets of the old town. There’s a sweet life here, a mixture of ancient city and seaside resort.
It’s a lively town with trendy shops, and for party goers, Rethymno is a student town so it provides an attractive nightlife with many bars and clubs.
The main attraction is undoubtedly the fortress, it’s still called by its Italian name the Fortezza because it was built by the Venetians in the 16th century, but the Ottomans seized it in 1646.
Thus the St. Catherine Chapel coexists with the mosque of Sultan Hibrahim, two monuments still preserved.
The view from 1307 metre length of ramparts also offers a breathtaking view of the sea and the city.
After so much stroll, beach is relaxing, and if Bali is the famous name of an Indonesian island, Crete also has a beach with this name.
It stretches between Heraklion and Rethymno and has four distinct beaches: Livadi, Vankotopos, Limani and Karavostasi.
A small video from the sky to enjoy this beautiful beach.
I hope you enjoyed this little Cretan getaway, there will be others this year, Crete is an island full of gems and next time we’ll talk about mythology!
Have a lovely weekend!
Love & Joy,
First article of the year and I can only be proud of last year and excited of the one to come.
Many things have happened in my life over the past two years, and I thank you for the support and love you bring to me every day.
2018 was the continuity of 2017 with the freezing of my eggs in Madrid (Article gift-from-science.html).
I was a finalist in a photo contest for the international art magazine 1340 (Link 1340art.com/), magazine that wants to display my photos since.
But also, a huge step in my life and my reconstruction, the creation of the blog that many of you follow now (Article why-a-blog.html), and some of my readers do not fail to remind me when I'm late in my publications! Thank you for your loyalty.
Incredible surprises came out of this, like my story that went viral in the international press, with icing on the cake, the cover of Closer UK and a TV interview on Alpha TV with Eleonora Meleti (Article 1st-tv-interview-behind-the-scenes.html).
Life is surprising, and the universe keeps showing us the way, but you have to know how to open your eyes and your heart, and that's what I’m learning to do day by day ...
Journalists don’t get tired of my story and another article in a British magazine is coming soon.
2019 should also see the publication of my book that I’m finishing writing. Another dream that I intend to achieve, and which I hope will definitely change my life. Some passages will be online soon!
Thank you to my friends for sharing some of the highlights of their lives in 2018.
Congratulations again to the happy parents: Chrisa & Kosta, Fay & Mike. Both couples have each a beautiful little girl.
But more babies coming in 2019, and many more celebrations!
One of the favourite moments of my year was certainly the wedding of my little sister in Champagne, a year after my solo wedding in Santorini (All articles here www.blogaboutl.com/blog/category/solo-wedding).
And also, the wedding of my friends in Paris, Christophe & Arthur (Article superwomen-3.html).
Not to mention all the beautiful people that I met and that led to new amazing friendships.
Many trips in 2018 and many articles to read or rediscover.
Around the world: Gran Canaria, Madrid (Article rainy-dayin-madrid.html), Athens (Article rainy-dayin-athens.html), Crete (Article crete-episode-1.html) with a new article to come, Santorini (Article santorini.html), Brussels.
In France: Annecy, Albertville, Grenoble, Lyon, Reims (Article champagne.html), Paris (Article disneyland-paris.html), Versailles (Article palace-of-versailles.html).
I wish lots of new adventures in 2019, and keep dreaming, it’s the first part of the journey!
I wish you all an excellent new year, rich of good surprises, beautiful people, iron constitution, love in gold and glittering joy!!
And Happy Epiphany!
Love & Joy,
P.S: for those who are in France, please keep me a piece of Epiphany cake 😉 or send me photos!
After my Christmas articles around the world, New York (christmas-in-new-york.html), Paris (christmas-in-paris.html) and Brisbane (christmas-in-brisbane.html), you understand how much I love this festive season.
Whether in the streets, shops or houses, Christmas magic is everywhere for our greatest joy, including in Reims (France).
But if there’s a place where you can really show off, it's at home! And the shops have understood that very well, because every year, we are tempted again and again to buy new ornaments even if our garage is already full of boxes.
And this year, I’ve bought a sheep for the crèche (hahaha).
From the famous Christmas tree to the dining table, including outside and every square millimetre of our interior, madness takes us and no question of leaving a single decoration not used in its box.
But finally, plates are stealing the show!
Every year, I become the Christmas tree fairy, how do you not know this fairy? Well, that's my tradition, you have the right to copy, I'm happy to share.
I like to believe that the tree is decorated with a thousand decorations, in a few seconds thanks to a magic wand, while the truth is, it takes two days minimum ...
You know it from now on, I’ve kept my childlike innocence, and I’m a fan of Frozen, which is very convenient to find ornaments.
Obviously, in Australia no real tree but Santa is still giving us presents.
Last year, I’ve also created a Santa’s Village with plushes.
When I start, it’s difficult to stop me and I admit that I love this period, because it lets my creativity express itself (a little too much sometimes hahaha).
From the fairy, I can quickly turn into a diva too, who said that the decorations were only for the Christmas tree?
Well this year, I think I'll be more in pyjamas, it's also good to relax, to eat chocolates and watch Christmas movies, well wrapped in my duvet.
Especially that sometimes, it happens that I take Christmas too seriously and I become too Christmassy! Hahaha
I don’t have a chocolate Advent calendar this year, so I’ve prepared a plate full of chocolates and stop people who already think that there are more than 25 chocolates! When we love we don’t count, and I have a lot of love for chocolate, and coffee too (Article to reread coffee-addict.html ).
Each family has its own traditions, some decorate their Christmas tree in November, others on Christmas Eve. Some trees are artificial, coloured or not, of all sizes. Sometimes presents are much bigger than the tree. Others don’t have a tree…
In Spain, a predominantly Catholic country, the crèche and its characters are taken very seriously, check the wall of a department store in the photos below.
Everyone builds their own world, pursues family traditions and invents new ones, even more with the arrival of new partners or newborns.
A tradition that I discovered in Australia and that I kept, Christmas crackers. They are part of the Christmas table decoration and are placed on the guests' plates.
We must crack the cracker with our table neighbour, the person who keeps the cracker, wins the prize that is inside. Obviously, the gift is a function of the price of the cracker, usually a trifle but it's funny.
Fortunately, only 3 days before to open the presents! I can’t wait for Santa to deliver me from my intolerable wait. I need to know among the 8760 wishes from my list (365 days per 24 hours, a gift per hour and day 😉), which one he has chosen!
As for the tree, everybody has its own rules, some families open the gifts on December 24, others on the 25th, and still others at any time.
This is the whole principle of Christmas, to share, to give, to receive and above all to express our love for each other.
Sometimes, however, we don’t really know what Santa Claus was thinking about, kitchen knives for Little Miss Trouble, fortunately no incident to regret that night.
And when we were very very nice during the year, we can have surprising presents under the tree ...
My favourite bar is in a festive mood too:
Thank you to all the people I love who sent me these beautiful pictures:
Santa Claus has asked me to help him this year, so no article next week, everyone will be too busy, see you next year!
And at the end of the article, two of my favourite singers who celebrate peace, freedom and love.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas 2018!
Love & Joy,
After New York (see Article christmas-in-new-york.html ) and Paris (see Article christmas-in-paris.html ), I had enough of snow and cold, so for this new article, I take you to the sun, and to a very special place, a country dear to my heart, Australia!
As you know, Australia is in the southern hemisphere, which means that it's summer in December.
Some say it's great, others that Christmas without snow isn’t really Christmas, for my part I loved every Christmas there and I have a merry memory about it, because far from our families and from our traditions (and snow), we learn to invent new customs and discover those of our adopted country. Nothing more exciting than novelty!
For 7 years, I’ve spent Christmas in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, and for nothing in the world I wouldn’t have missed this, because this city comes alive for the occasion and in summer, nothing more pleasant than hang out at night in the light of Christmas decorations and fireworks. It’s undeniable that I have kept my childlike innocence and I look forward to this time of the year that speaks to this part of me.
What I love:
• Picnic on the sand watching a Christmas movie on a giant screen, with children playing in the pool and the illuminated city in the background. Of course, I'm talking about open-air cinema at South Bank, Brisbane's artificial beach, where Christmas movies and cartoons are projected every night.
• Discovering the short-animated film projected on the magnificent facade of the Brisbane City Hall. The Christmas tale changes every year, and this year, it’s about a little girl who would like to live a white Christmas (it doesn’t snow in Brisbane). So, she goes to visit Santa Claus at the North Pole with her kangaroo friend, but soon she misses the warm weather and her swimming pool! I miss them too!!
• Having a wander through the beautiful enchanted garden of Roma Park, looking for Santa's fairies and elves. Absolutely magical! There is a long queue every year so it's better to be prepared, but it's a beautiful display.
• Admiring the fireworks every evening at 8pm from December 20th to 23rd. Brisbane is famous for its fireworks, including the Riverfire, held annually to close the September Brisbane Festival. But I must admit that Christmas fireworks is special and angelic with its own music and songs.
• Watching the Christmas Parade on Queen Street.
Everything I’ve mentioned is FREE, the Brisbane City Hall and its partners are happy to offer its residents and visitors these shows and entertainment for the festive season, so enjoy!
To know all about this season, visit these websites:
Christmas in Brisbane is mainly about friends and cooking! I’ve even had a Greek meal and I ate caviar for the first time!
But everything is turned upside down, we eat strawberries instead of clementines, we make barbecues instead of chimney fires, and we play bowls in shorts instead of going to the ice rink ... Very confusing at first but we accustom, and I admit it’s rather nice to wear summer dresses at Christmas.
Pavlova is the traditional Christmas dessert in Australia. It was created in 1920 in Australia or New Zealand when Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova toured these countries. It’s composed of a very crispy meringue outside and soft inside, covered with whipped cream and fruits. Perfect in hot and humid weather! However, mixing cultures is great, and some of my French girlfriends are very talented in yule logs!
If I remember these different Christmas, where have I been for my first Christmas? Noosa on the Sunshine Coast = beach. The second year? Coolangatta, Gold Coast = Beach ... Well, so many places here: the coasts, the islands, and of course the Great Barrier Reef.
And yes, the beach is part of the tradition in Australia. In general, families celebrate Christmas at the beach around a nice barbecue and watch Santa Claus surfing the waves. He has the right to relax after the crazy night he had!
You’ll notice how white the sand is, and it’s very fine too, like flour. However, there are certain places where swimming is strictly reserved for a certain population, these V.I.P.!
Don’t forget to send me a photo of your Christmas tree or to tell me about a tradition that is important to you: email@example.com
And thanks to those who have already done it.
Have a Merry Festive Season everyone!
And for those who want to see more about Brisbane, here's a beautiful video of the city:
I hope you’re feeling the Christmas spirit after my last article about New York (christmas-in-new-york.html). Today, I chose another truly magical city for Christmas: Paris. And you'll see, we'll go back in time, at the Belle Epoque ...
First, breakfast at the Café de Flore founded in 1887, a famous place to cross a few celebrities, and as it seems that I’m becoming one (Check page Media), it’s perfect.
I like to walk in Paris in winter, the air is fresh and invigorating, the light is peculiar on certain days, cold and bluish. And without the leaves on the trees, we see monuments and buildings differently ...
As a reminder, the Eiffel Tower was unveiled in 1889 during the World Fair in Paris. It consists of four pillars forming a square of 410 feet side, and it’s 1,063 feet high.
Unfortunately, no ice rink this year. Skating 187 feet above Paris was an unusual experience though!
However, we’ll be delighted with the almost 30,000 square foot of temporary ice rink (from December 16 to January 9) installed in the Grand Palais and titled for the occasion the Grand Palais des Glaces (The Great Ice Palace). For sure, a historic and magical place to slide...
However, to relax, nothing beats the beautiful Christmas shop windows.
Since 1909, Paris has automatons in its windows and every year, machinists and creators amaze us with great creativity and genius.
By the way I don’t forget to go shopping! And some stores, well, attract me more than others with their paintings of undressed Adonis.
A break from time to time, we are in the capital of world gastronomy!
In addition to admiring the illuminations, there are countless things to do in Paris at night, as in any major European city: restaurant (again, yes, I know!), theatre, concert, ballet ...
• The Moulin Rouge (Red Mill), so French! Created in 1889, the same year as the Eiffel Tower. Why a mill? There were about thirty on the hill Montmartre to grind grain, corn, plaster and stone.
• walk to Montmartre and admire the Sacré Cœur by night, this basilica was officially achieved in 1923.
• but also, the Bouglione Winter Circus, perfect for families, a 42-meter-diameter building inaugurated on December 11, 1852.
A little recap in a video:
Of course, I couldn’t conclude this article without talking about Disneyland Paris. The park lights up even more at this time of the year and Santa Claus doesn’t miss the opportunity to come. We have already visited together the park (To read or reread disneyland-paris.html) so in this article, I offer you a small video that puts us in the mood, we could almost smell Christmas by watching it.
And here for you, the song of the latest Disney movie, The Nutcracker and the 4 realms, so as not to lose our childlike innocence, and wait patiently before the arrival of Santa Claus.
Have a good week!
It's December 1st and Christmas is coming! I’m excited because I love this time of the year with its various traditions, all its lights and its performances. No matter the country or the city, there’s always something unique to discover.
All this month of December will be dedicated to this festival in different cities of the world.
Europe has already had its first snow and the city that we’re going to discover too!
I’ve been to New York several times and I love this city. But if there’s a time of year when this city is even more magical, it's Christmas time! And I was lucky to realise that dream last year.
Everything you see in movies or series is very real, New York is adorned with its best ornaments to delight everyone.
So, sit by the fire or wrap yourself in a warm blanket and follow me:
Whether in the stores, in the windows, in the street, in the Christmas markets, or in Central Park, magic is everywhere and takes you in its whirlwind of light, colours and enchantment.
The magnificent Rockefeller Center Christmas tree shines with 50,000 led lights, and this year it has a new very shiny Swarowski crystal star, made of 3 million crystals for 900 pounds.
The shops creatively compete every year to transport us to another world and they succeed very well:
But when it snows outside, and we start to get cold, better continue the adventure inside, it's just as magical, and it's a good excuse to shop at the same time!
I also like to take refuge in building’s lobbies, each entrance is decorated with care, don’t be afraid to venture, most of the time you’ll even find a coffee shop to relax, and you know my addiction for this drink (Article coffee-addict.html ).
The lobby decoration of the Empire State Building is my favourite, a mini museum on a few square meters.
The very famous 5th Avenue with its luxury boutiques decorated like nowhere else.
But if there’s an event not to be missed in this street, it’s the light show on the facade of the department store Saks. At the end of the article you will find the opening video 2018.
Central Park, with or without snow, is a unique place to wander and daydream, or in my case eat the famous cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery.
The reason why I really wanted to go to New York for the holidays, it's due to my passion for art and dance. I’ve always dreamed of seeing The Rockettes and their very famous Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Hall, with its 36 dancers lined up at the same time on stage. And in December 2017, my wish was fulfilled!
I took the opportunity to have a guided tour of the Radio City Hall, I’ve discovered its history, seen behind the scenes and met a Rockette.
The building was built in 1932 in the Art Deco style and it’s an integral part of the Rockefeller Center. And the show has been performed since then, which means for 86 years!
Even today, it’s the largest theatre in the world with a capacity of 6,000 people.
The Christmas tree chandelier at the entrance is in Swarovski crystal, 10,000 in total!!! It measures 35 ft tall and 17.5 ft wide, and weighs 3,000 lbs. I can assure you that it’s massively brilliant and impressive. Its installation takes 2 days.
Obviously after all this, I need a break, cocktail, cookie and burger, perfect combination!
Before concluding this article, I would like to request your participation. You have already decorated your Christmas tree or you’ll do it soon, so send me its picture at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will publish my favourite trees in the article of the 22nd of December!!
Wish you a lovely Christmas season everyone!!
The opening light show of the Saks 5th Avenue to enhance our Christmas spirit (from the 16th minute):
The summer holidays seem far behind us, so I thought it would be good to remember some good memories to brighten our autumn days.
Today we fly to Crete! Another island in the Aegean Sea, just in front of Santorini santorini.html. If Santorini is dear to my heart after my solo wedding , Crete has become my second home.my-solo-ceremony.html
Crete is the largest island in Greece with an area of 8,336 km2, with 1,046 km of coastline and more than 600,000 inhabitants. It's the 5th largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica.
Often cited in Greek Mythology, Crete is believed to have been inhabited for 130,000 years, and has experienced several great periods of development, associated with very different conquests and cultures: prehistoric period, Minoan era, Mycenaean civilisation (remember the mask of Agamemnon rainy-dayin-athens.html), Roman Empire, Byzantine, Venetian period then Ottoman, and finally attached to Greece in 1913.
Rich in this history, we find the traces of these civilisations in many parts of the island.
There is so much to say about Crete, so this article is the first in a series of a few episodes, in order not to miss anything of this beautiful destination. And to begin episode 1, the capital Heraklion and its surroundings.
Heraklion is the capital and largest city of Crete, with more than 140,000 inhabitants, making it the 5th largest city in Greece. Heraklion is also the largest seaport of the island and the main link to the mainland, not to mention the many ferries that serve Athens and the other islands of the Aegean Sea.
With the succession of civilisations, this city still has many vestiges, including a part of the ramparts, which offers a nice walk: Agios Minas Cathedral, Venetian Loggia, Church of Saint Titus, Morosini Fountain, Koules Fortress, the market, the Historical Museum of Crete ...
I also like its archaeological museum with the most beautiful collection of pottery I’ve ever seen, I keep visiting it, this museum is a jewel of the island, but I’ll devote a whole article to this subject very soon.
For those wishing to discover more about Heraklion, a video is available at the end of the article that will show you all the highlights of the city.
And like any adventurous day, a break is required! My favourite places: Crumb in the centre of Heraklion that reminds me of my Australian habits, matcha latte with coconut or almond milk, gluten free chocolate cake, but also Greek specialties like spinach pie...
Then, Spyridon, a few kilometres from Heraklion, at Kokkini Hani, paradise of dessert and ice cream, and my favourite place for waffles to accompany my coffee (last article coffee-addict.html), don’t count calories here hahaha!!
Next stop: Knossos!
The Palace of Knossos is the cradle of the Minoan civilisation, known as the oldest civilisation in Europe (circa 2700 to 1100 BC).
It covered nearly 5 hectares with the only main building of an area of 3 hectares.
It was composed of more than 1000 pieces, serving as both administrative and religious centre. This also included several areas dedicated to storage, especially for olive oil, wine, wool ...
The Palace was very modern with its equipment: natural ventilation system, bathrooms, toilets and running water.
There was also a theater that could accommodate 400 people.
It’s the largest archaeological site in Crete from the Bronze Age.
The site was discovered in 1878 by a Cretan antique dealer, then in 1900 Arthur Evans, a British archaeologist acquires it and begins a large excavation site.
The palace was rich in colours and frescoes, made of stones and uncooked bricks.
In addition, the Knossos Palace is associated with the legend of Minos King, where he lived and built the Minotaur’s maze according to Greek mythology.
To better imagine the size of this palace, a short 3D video for you, you will recognize some of the pictures seen previously:
And for those who prefer a relaxing day at the beach, there are nice spots even around Heraklion:
If it’s more convenient to rent a car to discover the island, I like to use public transport, it gives me plenty of time to admire the landscape. And that's what I see when I take the bus to go shopping:
A sunset is always special, no matter where, but Crete is truly inspiring! Have a good week!
P.S.: For those who want to discover more about Heraklion: