"The whole world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only one page.” St Thomas Aquina
And as we can’t travel anymore, I’ll continue to show you virtually the wonders of our world.
I realised that I regularly talk about the sea and the ocean, but not that much about the desert which nevertheless occupies nearly 20% of our beautiful planet.
Certainly, I’ve already told you about Las Vegas which is located in the middle of the Nevada desert, but this doesn’t count.
I'm not going to lie to you, the reason that brought me to visit this desert, well it's a spa!
You know it's one of my passions after reading my article Spas Around the World.
And I'm not talking about a mirage, but a magnificent establishment nestled in the sand.
Today I’m taking you somewhere where the word impossible doesn’t exist, in the desert of Dubai ...
When it comes to Dubai, you think of luxury, and for sure the 5-star Al Maha resort and spa is no exception.
In the heart of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, just 45 minutes from the city, this is the perfect place to regain your energy in contact with nature, and to forget the hustle and bustle of the city.
Lounges filled with traditional furniture and local antiques immediately transport you to another world.
Relaxing here is nothing difficult especially when you see a gazelle by the pool.
And when you have lunch with a view of the desert, it’s a truly unique and magical experience.
Without forgetting that the 42 suites of this luxury hotel are hidden in the dunes and the vegetation, notice the small white tents…
Another reason why I’ve been there is for the animals.
I admit none of them is mentioned in My Favourite Animals, but yet I’ve always wanted to see oryxes, gazelles and antelopes in the wild.
Follow me, a guide takes us in a 4x4 to visit the reserve ...
Thanks to conservation efforts since 2004, the reserve now has more than 70 plant species, 140 bird species and 44 mammal and reptile species.
It has received numerous awards for the protection of nature and local wildlife.
All the activities and excursions organised within the reserve respect its ecosystem.
With its 225 km2, representing 5% of the emirate of Dubai, it’s the largest area protected by the government of the United Arab Emirates.
I’m delighted to have discovered this reserve of Dubai, totally magical and unreal, with its dunes as far as the eye can see, drawn by the wind, a soothing and timeless silence.
And sometimes a landscape that reminds me of Mars (reread In the Air 2) ...
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. It’s a wonderful memory for me.
And don’t worry an article about Dubai is coming very soon ...
Have a wonderful week!
Love & Joy,
As I said in my article last week Greenwich Meridian, many of us are confined again.
Besides, I’d very much like to use time travel if it existed, to be able to relive some of my trips, and why not even redo My Solo Wedding in Santorini!!
At that time in 2018, I was in Crete writing my first book, an extraordinary and very emotional journey, I was realising a childhood dream while healing my love wounds.
I've shared a lot about this beautiful Greek island:
Then, in 2019, I was in London, I was working on the English version of my Book, and I took the opportunity to show you around this city that I particularly love:
No idea where I’ll be in 2021, but who knows today with the uncertainty around us.
Nevertheless, I posted a video on my social media last week, to keep our physical and mental health!
When the news broke of a new lockdown, many of you confided in me, expressing your worry and anxiety.
The idea is that moving your body with music is a great benefit to your health (body and mind), so I ask everyone to choose a song every day and to dance on it, anytime during the day.
It’s simple, easy and I promise it makes you smile every time!!
And on my Instagram, every day I remind people to dance, those who wish can even make a little video, tag me and I'll repost it.
Many people have embraced this idea and are spreading it around them in addition to practicing it, which makes me extremely proud and happy.
Happiness comes from small things and I keep telling you it on this blog:
And in my videos:
All videos: here
However, this time and unlike the first Quarantine, I intend to continue to follow my Healthy Routine!
If you need to occupy yourself, don't hesitate to sign up for the free webinars of the School of Jewelry Arts (Van Cleef & Arpels), I've already mentioned this school in my article Bird Paradise.
These live talks (in French & English) hosted by specialists and teachers from the School are extremely interesting and last only an hour and a half.
Coming up :
New York Architecture & Art Deco Jewelry - November 18 & 19, 2020
Flora in Jewelry Arts - November 24 & 25, 2020
From the Gulf to France, the Forgotten History of Pearl Merchants- December 9 & 10, 2020
Register online for details: Link.
Have a lovely week everyone and don't forget to dance!!
Love & Joy,
You know how much I love travelling, just re-read all my travel articles, especially the latest one about Palm Cove in Australia.
We also experienced Time Travel together in one of my previous articles, and that’s what we’re going to do again today.
Several countries have changed the clocks and I thought that travelling back in the past to understand time and space was welcome.
So I'm taking you to the Royal Observatory of Greenwich near London!
GMT, does that mean anything to you? Greenwich Mean Time, and yes, the mean solar time at the Greenwich Meridian has long been used as a world standard for time, based on Earth's rotation.
And if you remember my article Pantheon in Paris, there was a huge clock on the floor that operated with the movement of the Earth.
But you wonder why Greenwich in England?
This is quite arbitrary, because while latitude is measured by the equator and separates north from south, longitude, on the other hand, has no benchmark to separate west and east.
In the 19th century, many countries used their own meridian based on their national observatories.
However, in 1884, at a conference in Washington DC (USA), Greenwich was recognised as the Prime Meridian (O° of longitude) as an international standard, because the majority of shipping companies and the American rail system were already using the British system.
In addition, they took the opportunity to adopt a world time based on this same meridian.
Thus, the Greenwich Meridian, which crosses the Observatory, was the world's benchmark measurement of time and space. However, France didn’t adopt it until 1911, preferring to use the Paris meridian of course.
However, since 1972, GMT has been replaced by UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), a more precise calculation method. That’s the reason why you sometimes see Paris UTC + 1 or Los Angeles UTC-8.
The Greenwich meridian or prime meridian crosses England, France, Spain, Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ghana and the Antarctic.
You’ll observe in the photos, the names of the cities, their longitude in degrees and a letter (W for west and E for east), and of course Greenwich is on both sides of the line.
Here I am, I stand above the Meridian of Time and Space, between West and East!
In the observatory you can admire the telescope invented and used by George Biddell Airy (7th Royal Astronomer), to calculate the prime meridian.
You’ll notice the system to open the roof ...
But how did it all start?
Located in east London not far from the Thames Barrier, which I described to you in my article Technical Feat, the Royal Observatory was established in 1675 by Charles II of England.
At that time, the sailors and their precious cargo encountered a major problem, they knew how to calculate their north-south position (latitude) but had no way of knowing their longitude (west-east).
Many were lost at sea and perished.
John Flamsteed was the first Astronomer Royal, responsible for improving star maps to aid mariners.
Royal astronomers over time have thus created more precise tools and methods using various instruments, some invented at their request, several are on display at the observatory including a telescope from the Victorian era (1893), which is still in use today!
Moreover, the red ball on the roof of the house (installed in 1833), goes up shortly before 1 p.m. (in summer, noon in winter) and at the exact time falls, this allowed the boats which were on the Thames to reset their instruments before going to sea.
I’m speaking in the present tense because the ball is still used today.
Another major discovery was the invention of the marine timekeeper for boats. It was essential to consider the rolling, the temperature changes and the salt which rusted the pieces. After 45 years of work and research, and 4 versions of the clock, John Harrison invented the H4 in 1760 and revolutionised watchmaking.
The measurement of time was an essential discovery, the observatory has a large collection of sundials, clocks and watches.
It’s interesting to see this evolution until the wristwatches that we know today, these were initially created for ladies, men preferring the pocket watch, however during the WW1, they lost them in the trenches and decided to strap it to their wrists… Today the wristwatch is adopted by everyone.
The bronze planetarium was installed in 2007 on the property which makes this place a place full of enrichment and discovery.
The Observatory and the Greenwich Park where the building is, offer incredible panoramic views over Greenwich and the City of London.
The splendid building that extends below was a royal residence including the Royal Navy Hospital, now it’s the National Maritime Museum.
A very pleasant and relaxing environment, inspiring to daydream and new inventions ...
I admit, this article was a lot of reading, but as we are confined again, I figured this would pass the time for you.
Don't hesitate to re-read the articles about my Solo Wedding in Santorini if you’re looking for a bit of hope and courage.
You can also review my articles on London, and then, at the end of the article, a video on the best attractions in the city!
Have a fantastic week everyone!
Love & Science,
Happy Halloween everyone!!
We must admit that this year we don’t really need to scare ourselves, Covid 19 is largely taking care of it.
In addition, many cities and countries around the world don’t allow house tours to celebrate Halloween properly, such as in France where we are confined again since yesterday!
But don't let that prevent you from eating sweets or watching horror movies, or even disguising yourself while keeping your slippers on ...
You can also read my previous Halloween articles:
Or re-read my article from last week Respect with excerpts from my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini.
In short, as I repeat on this blog and in my videos, there are always many ways to smile and to be happy, you just have to be creative and keep an open mind, moreover, I put one of my videos below:
I lived in Australia for 7 years, I can tell you that nature makes you shiver every day, and if you ever find yourself lacking in thrills you can always go to the beach!
And today, I'm going to tell you about one of my favourite spots, Palm Cove.
Located on the east coast, in the north Queensland, not far from Cairns, this adorable little town of 2,000 inhabitants owes its name "Palm Cove" from the row of trees along its white sandy beach.
I love palm trees; it reminds me of my article Las Palmas on Gran Canaria Island.
Dreamy beaches ...
You don't understand why it’s scary, yet I've covered it before in:
And yes! Among jellyfishes, crocodiles and hydrocution, you must choose hahaha.
Don't worry, you can swim in the large nets set up by lifeguards.
It’s strange the first time, but you quickly forget about the net and feel perfectly safe.
And on unsupervised beaches, there are bottles of vinegar available, for your information it's to relieve jellyfish burns, not to season your salad!
In addition, Palm Cove is very popular with anglers looking for mackerels, giant trevallies and sharks ...
Along the beach there’s a lovely promenade with shops, restaurants and cafés, which makes it a very pleasant place to wander and relax.
For those who don't like the ocean & its inhabitants, they can always choose a nice residence to stay in, like mine which had several beautiful swimming pools.
In addition, Palm Cove is located near the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, 2 natural sites not to be missed if you visit Australia.
Have a great week!
Love & Thrill,
Back to France this week, I hope you enjoyed our getaway last week with Rainy Day in London.
In Honeymoon 2 I told you about all the amazing things I did during my stay in Paris and I started to give you details of my visits:
Today the Eiffel Tower, admittedly this is not the first time I mention our pretty iron lady:
But this time I take you to the top for the sunset!
1st floor at 190 ft high ...
2nd floor at 380 ft ...
The first elevator reaches the first 2 floors, then you must take a very small elevator to reach the last level.
The ascent only takes a minute and a half, but you quickly gain height, reaching 905 ft high!
We thus arrive on a sheltered and fully glazed floor, then a metal staircase brings us to the external platform located at 915 ft and protected only by wire mesh.
The view is breathtaking, Paris below us, luminous and majestic ...
And for those who know this city, have fun spotting the Sacré-Cœur, the Pantheon, the Montparnasse Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame de Paris, the Grand Palais, etc.
Gustave Eiffel its creator had installed an office on this floor, it’s certain that with such a view, one can’t lack inspiration ...
As a reminder, it was built in 2 years and inaugurated in 1889 for the World Fair.
It is 1,063 ft high, the base of its pillars forms a 410 ft square and its metal frame weighs 7,300 tons.
It’s served by 5 elevators, already present in 1889, a real technical feat for the time, and 2 of them are still in use today. If you want to know more about how they work, click on the link below:
A magnificent park has been built under the tower with a few ponds, which makes it even more romantic and peaceful.
With the restrictions related to Covid, you must take your tickets online on a specific day and time, so there’s no longer a line, a huge advantage.
And here is the sun setting ...
The night ends up enveloping us, the Eiffel Tower shines with a thousand lights and nourishes us with its gentle and quiet strength ...
Paris is truly magical and captivating, I keep discovering it on each of my visits.
Read previous articles:
By the way for those who love jewellery and gems, I strongly recommend that you register for the Diamond, Art and Science seminar: link.
It's organised by the Ecole des Arts Joailliers with the support of Van Cleef & Arpels.
October 14, & 15 free and online.
I've been making my dreams come true since my Solo Wedding in Santorini, and I feel so proud and fulfilled every time I realise one. Just pure happiness.
Try! It’s really worth it ...
Have a great week!!
Love & Joy,
After a rainy week secluded in my cave as I like to call my sanctuary where I write and work, inevitably I started to think of London!
First, because last year at this time I was living there, second, for those who follow me on Instagram, I’ve widely shared my stories about the rainy days in London.
In fact, I also talked about it in one of my videos, I put it at the end of the article.
I needed the perfect outfit to be able to go out there and my favourite store: Burberry on Regent Street. The building is period, built in 1820 for the Prince Regent (hence Regent Street), later King George IV.
I've discovered this place in 2017, during my hen's trip, one month before my Solo Wedding in Santorini.
The building was completely restored by the brand and its then Creative Director, Christopher Bailey. It took 2 years of renovation before it opened in 2012, this is the brand's largest store with 44,000 sq. ft of space, no less than 8 elevators and 26 stairs! This magnificent boutique is worth a visit on its own, especially if you like architecture.
Well, I admit the welcome is so charming and personalised that I took up residence lol, and depending on the time of day, I am offered a coffee, a tea or champagne… One tip from me, leave before emptying your entire bank account, everything is so beautiful here ...
Well covered up, I’m not afraid to explore the city on foot, even in the greyness there’s a lot to discover in the streets of London ...
Just in time for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace!
Another very touristy place, the Tower of London. The place is already quite austere in normal times (medieval style dictates), but on a rainy day we can perfectly imagine Anne Boleyn locked in the dungeon several weeks before her execution… You know, the 2nd wife of King Henry VIII; accused of adultery and high treason, she was beheaded.
Fortunately, at the Tower of London, there are also the crown jewels to admire (unfortunately photos prohibited), and then we understand better why Anne loved being queen so much ...
By the way, thanks to The Tudors series, I don't think I’d have remembered British history so much without watching Henry Cavill in panthoses, it was surely a good practice for him before Superman!
And the animal statues are there to remind us that in the past this fortress housed a menagerie (on the other hand the crow is real).
Nothing better than to take refuge in the many museums of the city for shelter like the British Museum my favourite, you can also go to see a musical or a ballet: reread Happy New Year 2020.
All these visits make me hungry: scones or cupcakes, so hard to choose (Read Article I love December).
But it’s already 6 p.m., dinner time here, if we opted for a specialty:
It was a good day, for those who really don't like the rain, there’s always the option to watch it fall and the squirrels pass by, or to wait for spring to return to go back to the magnificent parks and gardens of the city, like in my Article my Birthday in London.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Love & Joy,
Autumn is here, the rain and the cold with it, I’m back in Europe for 3 years since my Solo Wedding in Santorini, and I still have a lot of trouble getting used to the seasons here. I loved to be in flip-flops and wearing a summer dress most of the year ...
In Australia, however, it’s spring!
Although I had a fantastic month in Paris for my Honeymoon 2, I admit that I miss the Pacific Ocean, so this week I take you with me to Australia, to discover a wild island full of treasures ...
North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) called Straddie by locals, is an island located in Queensland, not far from Brisbane.
The only way to get there is by boat or ferry.
This island is 38km (23.6mi) long, 11 (6.8mil) wide, with 2,000 inhabitants for 275 km2 (106 sq mi).
This little haven of peace offers an exotic getaway and a great way to reconnect with nature. Moreover, only one hotel for the whole island, camping is privileged.
Only the north of the island is inhabited, the south is totally wild and I find it very interesting to visit it by catamaran.
Otherwise, nothing better than a 4x4 to get around the island and the beaches, of course you need a special licence, which is valid for one year. Be careful with the tides, however.
Nature is truly incredible here, no matter the point of view, the forests, the endless white sand beaches, & BBQ on the beach, my favourite!
All beaches are magical, and sunbathing from beach to beach is my favourite sport 😊
But beware some places can be populated by jellyfishes and sharks, below a sign that we often see in Australia ...
I’ve already discussed this in my previous articles:
If you're afraid of the ocean, you can always go swimming in the many lakes of Straddie:
the two main ones are Blue Lake and Brown Lake, its name is due to the colour of the waters, which comes from the tannin of the surrounding plants. In fact, depending on the light, the water is even red!
It’s very surprising and very funny to bathe in it, especially as it’d have beneficial properties for the skin.
Another activity that I love, spotting koalas in the trees, it's not always easy to see them (check the photo below to demonstrate your talent), and I admit that sometimes I feel a bit like a voyeur lol but they’re so cute!!
This is a great opportunity to observe nature, all the animals and birds we find on this beautiful island, and it’s even better when we have a chance to see turtles, dolphins or whales!
Straddie has some great vantage points and the Gorge Walk (little path along the cliffs) is really perfect.
In addition, walking is excellent for your health ...
And when you see this type of sign, totally normal for Australians but completely unbelievable for us Europeans!
I love Australia ...
Travelling to the other side of the planet is not for now as far as I'm concerned, but I’ll take comfort in reading again my article Spas around the world and applying my own advice from the Happy Summer video ( at the end of the article).
Have a great week everyone!
Love & Joy,
I couldn't wait any longer to unveil this wonderful palace to you, because in fact I was so amazed that I absolutely wanted to share this discovery.
And for those who have visited it before, I hope you will enjoy seeing it again from all angles.
You are familiar with my interest in architecture and art, just remember some of my previous articles:
As I told you in my last article Honeymoon 2, visiting the Garnier Opera house was one of my dreams.
I’ve already visited magnificent opera houses such as Sydney, Madrid, or the Royal Opera House in London, which I told you about in my article Happy New Year 2020, but the Palais Garnier opens the doors to Parisian splendour and French elegance ...
Have you deciphered the words hidden on the ceiling medallion (photo above)?
“JEAN LOUIS CHARLES GARNIER ARCHITECT 1861-1875”.
And yes, he’s the one who gave his name to this building.
It was completed in 1875 following a competition organised by Napoleon III, after the old opera house Le Peletier was destroyed in a fire.
Garnier Palace is one of the emblematic monuments of Paris.
After passing the Rotonde des abonnés and the Bassin de la Pythie, let us be enchanted by the grandiose and luxurious atmosphere of the Grand staircase.
With a little imagination, we can easily imagine ourselves in a ceremonial outfit, we’re transported to the 19th century ...
An eclectic architecture that combines modern techniques and classic decoration. The whole structure, frames and beams are in metal, which is camouflaged with a lot of stucco, plaster, stone, paintings, gilding, onyx, copper, and marble! No less than 3 different marbles for this majestic staircase.
So many corridors, we don't always know where they lead to, but we gladly wander, and we often stop to admire the little details ...
Meeting with the other spectators before the performance, in the Avant-foyer, enhanced with multiple ceramics and gilded chandeliers.
Then, we finally find our loge, and we discover the auditorium located in the very heart of the palace.
Admittedly, this is no longer the original ceiling painted by Lenepveu, Napoleon III's favourite painter, but a creation by Marc Chagall designed in 1964 at the request of André Malraux, Minister of Cultural Affairs at the time. It represents the history of the arts of opera and dance.
The first painting, however, is safely stored underneath.
The chandelier is 16 feet high with a diameter of 13ft and weighs 6.5 tons. It reminds me of the magnificent chandelier in the Radio City Hall in New York.
An impressive room 102 feet wide, 105 ft deep and 66ft high to accommodate nearly 2,000 seats.
We cannot remain indifferent to such a creation ...
But this is the intermission, let's stop for a few moments to say hello to our friends in the splendid Grand foyer and its adjoining salons, it feels like being in Versailles, surrounded by gold and mirrors ...
Let's get my glass of champagne in the Rotonde du Glacier before the show restarts, does anyone want something else: coffee, orangeade, pastries?
It's hard to imagine that above this magnificent painted ceiling hides a dance studio, and yet...
Let's finish with the palace library and museum, 600,000 preserved documents, scores, photos, sketches, letters and no less than 100,000 books. But also 8,500 objects including paintings, set models and stage jewels...
From inside to out, Charles Garnier meticulously designed and planned everything.
He chose all the craftsmen himself: painters, mosaicists, and sculptors. An eclectic and very rich decoration for an opulent but nevertheless elegant result.
If you use the multimedia guide for the visit, he'll explain himself all the mysteries of his work.
This interactive tablet is really complete, you sometimes seem weird pointing your tablet at the ceiling, but it's definitely worth a look.
You'll thus discover certain places that are not accessible to the public, such as the dance studio above the Rotonde du Glacier, the Foyer de la Danse which is behind the stage, or the costume room where the tutus are stored !
I didn’t buy anything at the gift shop even though several dancers wanted to be adopted ... So cute!
Next time I’ll go to see the magnificent Paris Opera Ballet, there’s no doubt I’ll feel the presence of the architect all around me!
“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others. " Salvador Dali
Love & Joy,
As I told you in the previous episode Honeymoon in Santorini, I chose to spend some time in Paris this year, after my birthday.
Alone, or with my friends, I had decided to make some of my dreams come true, you know how much this is part of my personality, read again:
A special year for me, my 40th birthday, which I couldn’t celebrate as I imagined it & my 3 years of marriage. And yes, My solo wedding in Santorini was in 2017 ...
So, what a better idea than to spend a second Honeymoon in the most romantic city in the world.
A magnificent gift to myself that will remain etched in my memory.
Although I often go to Paris, I never get tired of this city, there’s so much to discover here.
You’ve already followed me in my articles:
I must admit that even in July, I had never seen Paris so deserted, that's what encouraged me to stay and visit places normally crowded with tourists ...
I'm a dreamer, and what I love most of all is creating new dreams over and over again. This is probably what drives me to achieve them.
I don't just make a wish list and leave it in a drawer, they're in my head all the time, and I was going to dust off one that had been waiting for over 20 years ...
The last time I visited this famous museum, I stood in line for hours, and I couldn't get a photo with the star of the place. So, it was my dream to be able to come back and this time I really immortalised the moment!
Of course I’m talking about the Louvre, but in addition to having had my photo alone with Mona Lisa, I was able to admire from all sides the Venus de Milo, to take photos of the painting "Liberty leading the people" by Eugene Delacroix, or "the Raft of the Medusa" by Théodore Géricault.
Strolling all day in this sumptuous building with sometimes no one in the same room, was a huge privilege.
Let's continue with one of the most visited attractions in France, after the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles.
I’ve visited it several times in my life, I talked about it in my article Christmas in Paris, but I had never been able to go to the top, to the 3rd level.
Obviously, for my Honeymoon 2, I couldn't say no to myself, and even more extraordinary to be there for the sunset, this wonderful dream came true with exaltation.
Imagine I was the only Asian!! I'm not even sure this ever happened in story’s Eiffel Tower…
You know my passion for dance and ballet, remember in my article Happy New Year 2020, I wondered which company I was going to see this year.
Well, in the meantime, I went to visit a place that has been on my list for a very, very long time: the Garnier Palace.
Again, only a few visitors, I was able to admire this beautiful construction from all angles and be inspired by its luxury and prestige.
To tell the truth the building and its history are simply fascinating, and I’m very happy to have made this dream come true, especially as the architect Charles Garnier himself played the guide ...
There are always great exhibitions in Paris, and this one was on my list:
L'Exhibition[niste] by Christian Louboutin, the famous shoemaker that I’m not presenting anymore, I’ve already talked about him with my wedding shoes, in Shoes Forever.
This incredible exhibition takes place until January 3, 2021 at the Palais de la Porte Dorée in Paris, it tells the story and the journey of Christian Louboutin, obviously with countless pairs of shoes on display.
I encourage you to visit it if you like art and shoes.
Don't worry, I’ll come back in detail on this incredible exhibition and the magnificent monuments mentioned above.
You can review my previous articles in the meantime:
Obviously, you are now used to my culinary escapades, especially if you follow my Stories on Instagram, so yes, I also took the opportunity to treat myself during my stay.
No pastry like in Christmas in Paris, I try to follow my Healthy Routine, but that didn't stop me from going to Ladurée for a very elegant avocado toast.
Okay, I sometimes fell for a few desserts ... But it's so good!!
Add a coffee on the terrace, a drink on the quays, and you get the perfect cocktail for a second honeymoon full of wonderful memories…
I was going to forget, Paris by night is just as exceptional and enchanting ...
I still have so much to tell you about this beautiful city, stay tuned ...
Next Article September 12!
Love & Joy,
This is something journalists asked me, if I’ve had a honeymoon.
This is common practice after a wedding, so the question was legitimate even for my Solo Wedding in Santorini.
To tell the truth I hadn't thought about it and so hadn't planned anything, however, I stayed in Santorini for several months after the wedding, so I admitted it was my honeymoon. And frankly I couldn't have asked for better.
Especially since the strict definition is:
the 29 days following the wedding, the lunar month, hence the "moon"; “honey” because apparently this is the sweetest moment for a couple ...
The term was used already in the 16th century, however the practice spreads in the 19th century in Europe.
Honeymoon refers also to the vacation taken by newlyweds.
So, Santorini was my honeymoon for sure.
“Go where you feel the most alive.” Unknown author
"I spent time discovering, taking pictures, eating and sleeping"
Discovering enchanting places, hidden locations, beaches, sunsets ...
Pictures that you discover on the blog and on my social media, photos that have been finalists in art competitions on several occasions ...
Eating, I never forget to photograph all the good things I taste.
Sleeping including naps at the beach, nothing more relaxing than the sound of the waves as background music.
Drinking too lol but responsibly as much as possible (well I try hahaha).
Another question asked during my TV interview with Eleonora Meleti (reread article), if it hadn't been too hard to be alone.
I'm used to doing things and travelling on my own for a long time, so it wasn't new or difficult for me.
I've already talked about it in my article Single.
In addition, I befriended several people upon my arrival, and they introduced me to other friends, I was never alone. The Greeks are incredibly generous and welcoming. I feel so connected to them that I feel at home everywhere in Greece…
That’s the reason why I couldn’t write my book anywhere else but in this adopted country.
And as that wasn’t enough, I treated myself to a second honeymoon this year, to celebrate my 3 years of marriage but also my 40!
Article coming soon ...
The song that ended my wedding ceremony at the end of this article.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Love & Joy,
Back in Paris in July to celebrate my birthday, what you certainly haven't missed if you follow me on Instagram.
It reminded me of last year (Article My Bday in Paris), then made me think back to 2018 and 2017, I take you with me on a little trip through time and space!
The year of my rebirth, the new me, I was already happy and fulfilled before, but certainly not as much connected to myself as I am since my Solo Wedding in Santorini.
My birthdays are always memorable, I’m surrounded by amazing people, I hadn’t celebrated my birthday in France for more than 10 years, and my sister surprised me this time.
We were going for a weekend somewhere, that's all I knew, it was a surprise ...
Departure from Reims station (France).
For an unknown destination because I wasn't allowed to look at the signs and I had headphones on my ears ...
I might as well tell you that everything was possible in my head, and I was leaning towards Holland or Ireland.
It was finally my favourite city, Paris, and I don't say that because I'm French, it's unique and romantic, the atmosphere is magical and inspiring in all weathers. But it wasn’t yet my surprise ...
Direction the Parisian metro, exit "Bercy" then with my amazed eyes I discover: Celine Dion concert!
Returned to my magical island I missed terribly after 6 months of absence. And my heart filled with joy as the ferry approaches Santorini’s cliffs.
My friend Emanouela oversees the festivities, I’ll be staying at Ampelonas Hotel again, the one of my Solo Wedding.
Black sand beach, drinks with friends and restaurants, I don’t have time to be bored during my short stay, as for my birthday, it’ll remain etched in my memory.
Breakfast prepared by my friend, overlooking the caldera, dinner with girls at my favourite restaurant, Rosemary at Pyrgos. Greek specialties of course as for my Wedding Menu.
For this unique occasion, I’m wearing an incredible dress by designer Adolfo Dominguez, a dress that I bought myself a few weeks before in Madrid, after the freezing of my eggs.
Then a bar with a DJ, surrounded by my many Greek friends, to dance and blow out my candles. Please note the cake is very special, it's my wedding cake!
Finally, I couldn't end the night without going dancing in the Greek club of the island, where each time I find myself being the only foreigner, which amuses me a lot and makes me feel half Greek ...
I've told you a lot about it last year:
Other friends, and even more madness: unusual places like the bar on the roof of the Moulin Rouge or the famous Magic Mike Live London show.
And obviously walks, restaurants and lots of cocktails, always in excellent company!
I never stop being ecstatic and rejoicing in front of so many new things and discoveries, the world is fascinating ...
To tell the truth, since it was my 40th birthday (reread my special article), I was planning to celebrate it with decadence in Cuba, with a hundred guests invited, luckily my intuition made me give up this fiesta in 2019, long before the Covid appears, I warmly thank my guardian angel!
Everything was organised at the last minute, according to desires / ideas and available people.
So, I started the party the night before, in Reims, with girlfriends, in a secret bar run by a friend, contact me here if you want to know the address 😉
A very nice place on the roof of a hotel, with a breathtaking view of the city and especially the Cathedral!
You know that I love Rooftop bars, I made you discover a few already: Paris, London, Athens ...
Then at midnight, I was officially celebrating my birthday with candles, champagne and macaroons, accompanied by one of my Wedding songs: The Best by Tina Turner (video at the end of the article).
A few days later, I walked through the gates of an indomitable Gallic village, Parc Asterix!
I like celebrating my birthday in a Theme Park, I’ve done it in the past, especially in Australia, and anyway you know how much I love that:
And finally, Paris with my best friends. Bistro and bar on the terrace in the purest Parisian tradition ...
And now I’ve finally decided to extend my stay in Paris to make other dreams come true, a 2nd honeymoon, 3 years after my Solo Wedding in Santorini.
I’ll tell you everything in detail, I promise!
All of my birthdays are unforgettable, and I make more of my dreams come true each time, not to mention I create new ones right away.
Stay tuned to find out how I'll celebrate it next year ...
And thank you to everyone who participated and wished me my birthday this year, lots of bisous!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Next Post: August 15.
Love & Joy,
We’ve just celebrated Bastille Day, National Day in France, unfortunately this year with the Covid restrictions, the fireworks of the Eiffel Tower took place but without spectators.
You can celebrate anyway watching the replay at the end of the article, or by reading again my article from last year:
My Bday in Paris
Or the one from 2018:
And yes, again in Paris in July to celebrate my birthday among other things.
I’m very grateful to be in Paris, some people dream of it all their life as in the film The Extraordinary journey of the Fakir, mentioned in my article Summary (in which besides I reminded you of my articles on incredible constructions.)
The atmosphere of this magical city inspired my last video:
However, on this very special day for the French, I wanted to tell you about a monument that honours our patriotism, and all the people who have contributed to it: The Pantheon in Paris.
But before that, it was a Christian basilica, built in 507 by King Clovis. It became the Church of Sainte-Geneviève, named after the patron saint of Paris, because she had protected the city and its inhabitants from the barbarians with Attila at its head.
A large mural depicts the life of Saint Geneviève, as well as her apotheosis under the dome. These are the oldest paintings dating from the First Empire.
In 1755, Louis XV commissioned Jacques-Germain Soufflot to build a prestigious basilica in honour of Sainte-Geneviève, to whom the King credits his recovery from a serious illness.
The architecture is Greek and Gothic, the dome is inspired by Saint Paul's Cathedral in London and the Invalides in Paris, the monumental peristyle is inspired by the Pantheon of Agrippa in Rome.
Soufflot wanted to compete with Saint-Pierre de Rome, he died before the end, his building was completed in 1790 by his collaborator Rondelet.
At its centre, there’s also the Foucault pendulum invented in 1851, in order to prove the rotation of Earth.
Finally, in 1791, the basilica was converted into the National Pantheon, however it changed twice into a religious building during the 19th century.
From 1874, paintings were added to the monument recounting the key moments of the Christian and monarchical origins of France, Clovis, Joan of Arc, Saint-Louis, Charlemagne are notably represented.
Obviously, we can’t miss the masterful representation of the French Revolution "The National Convention" embodying Marianne surrounded by soldiers and revolutionary deputies.
The original text of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen as well as the Constitution of the 5th Republic can be found in the Pantheon.
There are also many statues and inscriptions to pay homage to various personalities.
I can’t speak of the Pantheon without mentioning the crypt of course, many illustrious personalities who contributed to the glory of this country are buried there: Voltaire, Rousseau, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, Louis Braille, Jean Monnet, Pierre & Marie Curie, Simone Veil to name a few ...
We emerge humble and moved by this beautiful monument, not to mention that we remember a part of the history of France.
A visit that I highly recommend if you’ve never been before.
Follow me on Instagram (@blogaboutl) to see more of my adventures!
Next Post: Saturday August 1st.
Love & Freedom,
It was my sister’s birthday this week and we celebrated it wearing Disney princess dresses & watching Frozen 2, fun is not just for kids!
It’s sometimes good to go back to childhood to let our imagination wander and express itself freely. Dreaming is good for your health ...
Besides, I should have mentioned this in my article last week Healthy Routine, because it’s certainly part of my daily life.
Re-read my previous articles:
So, this animated film gave me inspiration for this week’s article.
The 4 elements: Air, Fire, Earth and Water come from a Greek hypothesis dating from the 5th Century BC according to which everything in our world would be composed of one or more of these 4 elements.
This then extended to cosmology, describing the cosmos as coming from these 4 elements.
In addition to Ancient Greece, many other cultures believed in a similar principle: Persia, Babylon, Japan, India and China.
It was during the 12th century, during the Crusades, that the Occident discovered this belief.
Modern physics demonstrated that this theory was inaccurate, by discovering the presence of many complex atoms.
Nevertheless, the 4 elements are still a philosophical subject, and some tribes still believe in their power.
So, have we really discovered everything?
Today, I’ll focus on the inspiration that these 4 elements give me.
You know that I love photography, I widely share my photos on this blog & on my social media:
Like any self-respecting artist, my photos are always associated with specific circumstances and obviously have a story of their own, it’s probably my writer side that stands out.
I take you with me to discover the magic of our planet Earth, seen through my eyes.
Planet Earth, the closest thing to us, not only our home, it’s also our centre or our inner self. In fact, in the representation of the universe in cosmology, the Earth is at the centre.
It represents stability, solidity, abundance, it’s also the element of speaking.
Cold and dry element according to the principles of Aristotle, it’s associated with autumn.
This photo, like all the photos in this article, was taken in Crete in 2018.
This one more specifically in June 2018, after the Freezing of my eggs in Madrid, and I was in great need of refocusing on myself, after several months of stress and 3 attempts, finally crowned with success.
The softness of the light at the end of the day is very soothing and comforting, a way of reconnecting with the Earth and with myself.
Air or wind depending on the culture, it can move things like clouds or seeds. It’s the flow of energy, it allows to breathe, it symbolises the breath of life.
It reflects the mood, our soul and it’s associated with knowledge.
The element is humid and hot like steam, and corresponds to spring.
This photo is very symbolic for me, I took it in November, while I was writing my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini.
I like observing clouds, this pic made me want to create a series on them.
There’s an expression I often use: “sky is the limit”. I love it.
Believe in your dreams and never stop chasing them, even in dark times, this is what this photo means to me.
Fire is associated with spirit, heart, physical strength, courage and passion, but it’s also a symbol of purification and resurrection. Besides, phoenix is represented as a fire bird.
This element is hot and dry, and therefore represents summer.
It’s both light and heat, I think my photo captures this image quite well.
I love sunsets as you discovered it in my article on this, with pics taken from all over the world.
There's something magical and fascinating, hypnotic about a sunset.
Crete is a beautiful place for that, and I was able to have fun with my camera, this light is an essential element of my recovery.
Essential to our planet and our body, because they're both made of 70% water.
This element exists in different forms and circulates in cycle.
It’s also soothing and beneficial, it’s linked to our health, and more particularly to our immune system.
Wet and cold, you guessed it, winter is its season.
I saved it for the end, because I love water, I’m a water sign, nothing surprising therefore.
My travel destinations often have the sea as a landscape:
It’s something that relaxes me a lot and I live by the water whenever I can, or I go to a spa or even both! Re-read Spas Around the World.
Definitely what I would miss the most if I had to live on Mars, planet without water (read Article Mars)…
While I was writing my book, I was going for a walk by the sea almost every day, right in front of my flat. It gave me strength, energy, peace and of course inspiration!
In this photo, I wanted to show that we can be soft and peaceful (by the colours), while being strong and powerful (the waves). This is the mindset I’ve discovered during my introspection, and this is what I’ve chosen to keep ...
No article next week, I have a few days off.
Next Article: Saturday July 4!
Have a good week!
Love & Joy,
And here we are, another year has passed, another place to celebrate it, yet different circumstances and more goals achieved ...
But still this pride that doesn’t leave me but grows more and more every day.
Just out of bed, I’ve expressed my gratitude and recognised that hardships in life happen to make us stronger and wiser.
"The future can awaken in a more beautiful way than the past." George Sand
Everything started in Santorini, this magical island in the Aegean Sea, which brought me back to life on May 27, 2017.
I was to marry the man I loved, but I found myself on my own before the altar.
I had no idea of my future, only the present mattered to me then, and my Solo Wedding was my lifebuoy.
The Spanish capital, Madrid, I’ve never thought I would be there on May 27, 2018.
I was preparing for a third attempt to freeze my eggs; I was on hormonal treatment and I was doing the daily injections myself. I was alone and extremely emotional because of the hormones, not to mention the stress of a possible new failure.
Despite this, I’ve celebrated my 1st wedding anniversary with fun, starting with churros for breakfast, or rather porras (Madrid specialty, like churros but bigger)!!
I stayed for several months, which allowed me to spend time in museums, especially in the Prado, my favourite museum. I was also very active on the blog and shared many of my discoveries with you.
I had just left Crete, my book was finished!
So happy with what I had just accomplished. All these months of loneliness and introspection, without TV and sometimes without internet for several days, had just given birth to one of my most beautiful projects, and certainly one of the most necessary.
Reread: Why a Book?
A fabulous retreat on one of the most beautiful Greek islands, and I’ve largely praised its beauty:
A very weird year for everyone, under the threat of Covid-19 and confinement.
Since I couldn't travel as planned, I had plenty of time to make videos and develop my social media:
My anniversary day was great, I had a lot of fun and relaxed at home, with pina coladas and sun, especially I ate churros!
The providers of this unique day:
I offer you a new Extract from my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini:
"Having a purpose is fundamental after a breakup, especially do not give yourself time to feel sorry for yourself, it does not prevent pain or tears, but it helps not to collapse. Some people take refuge in work, I preferred to focus on myself only. My personal life had just crumbled, I had decided to devote fully to myself for the rest of the year. I was going to put my energy to the benefit of my quest for happiness, all those things that I wanted to accomplish and that I kept postponing. Taking time for me, thinking about what I really expected from life, what would make me happy again, the things I was dreaming of, but also what I would like to do in the near future and more distant, either personally or professionally. Above all, listening to my heart and asking what it wanted, taking the time for my feelings, letting my emotions express themselves." L.
Find all the articles here Link or click on the titles below:
I don’t know what the future holds and what I’ll tell you in a year, but I’m confident, I know I’ll have many wonderful things to speak about.
Have a great week!
Love & Future,
Many countries restart their activity, France will be deconfined next week, but with strict measures, such as for example not going away more than 62mi. In my case, this means that I still can’t go to Paris, so I’m going to stay at my sister’s longer…
I thought a little summary of my articles during the quarantine would be useful, just to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
The very first article in the series:
I’ve also made you travel a lot over the past few weeks:
And I’ve shown you unique constructions:
I’ve also shared my life with these Videos (click on titles to watch):
The latest: Find your Superpower!
Reminder: a new video online every week on Instagram and YouTube.
All the videos here: link
My routine will remain the same, I’ll go out occasionally to take no risks, and many public places remain closed anyway.
For those who are going back to work, I think very much of you, I know this return to a reality whose future is still uncertain, is difficult, you’ll cope in the same way as you have done these past 8 weeks.
Stay strong & positive!
Don’t hesitate to re-read my positive articles:
And to relax and enjoy the weekend, at the end of the article, the trailer of a delicious comedy to watch with the family:
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir
A magnificent film that’ll make you laugh and look on the bright side of life!
Love & Life,
I love this city and I’ve already talked about it a lot, in my article Christmas in New York.
There’s so much to discover, and this time without all the Christmas lights, but under a spring sun.
Last week, I explained 2 incredible constructions, the Thames Barrier in London & the Channel Tunnel.
To tell the truth, I’m also very interested in architecture, and New York is pretty incredible for that, then today, I’m going to present you The Rockefeller Center.
The construction of the Rockefeller Center is an idea of John D. Rockefeller Jr., the same one who sponsored the reconstruction of the framework of the Reims Cathedral, in reinforced concrete (read Article).
This huge 7 million square feet complex, includes 1.5 million square feet of shops and dining, 19 commercial buildings, including 14 built during the Mr. Rockefeller era, which represents more than 40,000 people employed during the Great Depression.
Some buildings are as impressive inside as outside. Art is at the heart of them, Art Deco obviously, since construction started in 1931 and ended in 1939.
John D. Rockefeller Jr. considered art as an act of good citizenship.
As an aside, his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, was also fond of art, she created in 1929 with two of her friends, the very famous MoMa (Museum of Modern Art).
Sculptures, paintings, mosaic, each artwork is explained in detail on the Rockefeller Center website: link.
For example, ATLAS (1937) by Lee Lawrie and Rene Paul Chambellan.
You can enter the buildings and admire all of these beautiful artworks for free, but guided tours are also organised, and if you're lucky like I was, you may come across a member of the Rockefeller family.
After so much culture, let's take a walk outside, in The Channel Gardens, a path that separates 2 twin towers, the Maison Française on one side and the British Empire Building on the other.
In the surroundings, we find:
• The NBC studios, you should see some celebrities, in my case: Sofia Vergara, from the Modern Family series, so beautiful.
• But also, Magnolia Bakery for a delicious cupcake.
• Or Christies, auction mood today?
• And of course, Radio City Hall! But if you remember, we visited it in my article Christmas in New York, before the Show of the Rockettes.
Besides, during the Covid-19 confinement, it’s important to exercise, I’ve mentioned it already before:
Personally, I’ve decided to follow the free Rockettes lessons on Instagram: Link.
You have the choice between the workout program or a dance choreography from the famous Christmas show.
I saved the best for last, the Top of the Rock observatory, in the heart of the Rockefeller Center.
Located on the 70th floor, with 3 interior and exterior levels to enjoy a 360-degree panorama.
The view is breathtaking as soon as you go up ...
A video at the end of the article with original footage of the construction of the Rockefeller Center.
Have a wonderful week!
Love & Construction,
I'm very curious by nature, and I always have lots of questions, I like to know how things work ... And since we are confined, I have all the time necessary to tell you some of my discoveries.
I decided to continue my Series on London, and to tell you about 2 technical achievements that I’ve seen:
The Thames Barrier in London
The Channel Tunnel
The city of London, since its creation in the Roman era, has been the victim of sea floods, caused by high tides and storm surges, coming from the North Sea.
Following the terrible floods of 1953, a project to build a barrier was studied.
Finally, it was inaugurated by the Queen in 1982 after 10 years of construction.
It protects 1.3 million people, numerous sites and 67 underground stations…
This is the 2nd largest barrier in the world, 520 metres (1,710 ft) wide and 20m (66 ft) high.
Solidly anchored with concrete foundations, it consists of 10 steel gates, very wide to be able to withstand the pressure of the water and to stop the tide.
The 4 middle gates weigh 3,700 tonnes each, half the weight of the Eiffel Tower.
They’re activated by a hydraulic system and can close in 15 minutes.
This barrier will be operational until 2070, engineers are already considering the next innovation ...
When the dream of generations of English and French became reality in 1994, the year of its inauguration.
It took more than 5 years of construction, no less than 12,000 people, 2 teams (one English and one French) working 24/7, and 1 million tonnes of concrete.
Eleven tunnel boring machines - huge excavation machines - built specifically for this project, have extracted 10 million cubic metre of underwater rock.
In the end, 3 tunnels, 2 for train traffic and one service tunnel in the middle. Every 375m (1,230 ft) they are connected to each other by cross-passages.
If crossing the tunnel lasts only half an hour, it remains impressive when you think that it is 50km (31 mi) long, including 35km (21,75 mi) under the sea. Besides, above our heads, 80m (262 ft) of water and 40m (131 ft) of limestone.
The Eurostar is the most powerful locomotive in Europe, 3,000 tonnes to tow for an average of 140 km/h (87 mph).
But it’s also the most used railway in the world, up to 400 trains per day, or one entry into the tunnel every 4 minutes!
In 2018, 1.69 million trucks passed through the tunnel, 2.66 million cars and 22 million passengers.
And for those who want to learn more, here’s a video for you:
Read again my London Series:
My Birthday in London
The Royal Mews
The Design Museum
I love December
Happy New Year 2020
Have a good week!
Love & Genius,
This week, I take you to my adopted country, on the island that saw my rebirth, and by the way, the Orthodox celebrates Easter this weekend, a week after the Catholics.
Follow me to Santorini, Greece, to my favourite village: Pyrgos!
And to start this article, let me share with you a small extract from my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini:
When I finally passed the ceremonial table to stand behind, I noticed my ring. It was arranged on a small marble tile with the effigy of Santorini, and a wreath of bay leaves drawn on it. I had found it a few days before, in a small souvenir shop in Pyrgos. We went to visit this small traditional village on the heights of Santorini, with my sister and her fiancé. I fell in love with the place, its ruined old castle at the top of the hill, its ramparts, its 48 churches ... A peaceful and mystical atmosphere. This magic that I cannot explain but that enchants the whole island.
48 chapels or churches of any size, even though the village is very small, built on the hillside.
Santorini had 5 Venetian castles in the 15th century, and Pyrgos was the administrative city of the island.
Time, but also the terrible earthquake of 1956, turned this fortress into ruins.
Its maze of small alleys - typical of medieval architecture - which go up and down, with a surprise at every corner ...
No matter where you are, the view of the vineyards and the sea is magnificent, not to mention the sunset.
Pyrgos has plenty of cafes, restaurants and taverns, some of the best on the island, with this tasty Greek cuisine that brings people together.
This is where I celebrated my birthday in 2018!
Easter celebrations are very important in Greece, and traditions are still well respected.
During Good Friday, Pyrgos lights up with thousands of lanterns and candles.
A wonderful video at the end of the article, to make you live this magic.
Take care and stay at home!
Love & Light,
I know, it’s already Easter, this year in very special circumstances with this confinement because of Covid 19, which paralyses almost the entire planet.
Last week, we went around the world (read Friendship again), this time I'm going to show you one of the emblematic cathedrals of France: Reims.
Reims, even if known for its champagne, it’s more visited for its cathedral, which has been associated with this city for centuries.
Built in the 13th century and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, its majestic Gothic stature impresses with its 2,300 statues.
This Roman Catholic cathedral has been listed as Unesco World Heritage since 1991.
It was the place of coronation of the Kings of France until 1825, and it’s as impressive as Notre Dame de Paris, with its 2 facade towers reaching 266ft or 81.50m (226ft or 69m for Paris) and the height of the Nave under vault is 125ft or 38m (108ft or 33m for Notre Dame de Paris).
In addition, it innovates with frame windows called "rémoise window" (window of Reims), made of a rose above 2 lancets.
It has retained many original stained-glass windows, but it has also been enriched with contemporary stained-glass windows made by renowned artists such as Marc Chagall.
You’ve certainly noticed Joan of Arc in the Cathedral, she’s strongly linked to it, since in 1429, she accompanied Charles VII to be crowned King.
She’s celebrated during a festival, every year at the beginning of June, with many shows, music, dance, workshops, a medieval village and a parade on the last day.
But there’s a visit I particularly like, the access of the cathedral’s roof!
Don't be afraid of the 249 steps to climb, or the heights, but it's worth it: the city’s view is breathtaking.
You can also admire the many details of its facade and structure, as well as its lead roof.
This cathedral was severely damaged during the First World War, during the German bombardments, a fire completely ravaged the wooden frame in 1914. In 1920, it was finally rebuilt in reinforced concrete, including John D. Rockefeller Junior as one of the sponsors (yes yes, the Rockefeller family from New York, reread Christmas in New York).
And during this period, read again my article Chocolate, to succumb without feeling guilty…
Happy Easter everyone!
Love & Joy
We’re going to start our 4th week of lockdown in France, we’ve gotten used to it now, we know how to respect the space of the people with whom we are confined, we don’t eat the family packet of crisps in one go, and we’re learning to do gym at home.
I shared with you my daily activities in a video this week, I put it here for those who haven’t watch it (French subtitles available, click on CC / subtitles).
After going around the world last week, thanks to Las Vegas, I decided to check in with my friends living all over the planet, and you're going to assist me.
Let's start with Greece, which as you know has an important place in my life, since My Solo Wedding in Santorini.
They’re also confined since mid-March, tourist places and shops are closed, apart from supermarkets and pharmacies, unnecessary trips are prohibited, and Europeans arriving in Greece must self-confine for 14 days.
In short, they’re like us, however, they took strict measures from the first case of Covid19 on their territory, on February 27, which means that the country is very little affected.
I can't wait to go back there, but in the meantime let's dive back into the Greek blue with my articles:
My first TV Show
Rainy day in Athens
Series about Crete
Switzerland is less affected than France, with less restrictive measures so far.
I haven't yet shown you the charming city of Zurich with its lake and old houses, but I will soon.
No need to introduce this European city, I talked about it a lot in my special London series:
My Birthday in London
I love December
The Royal Mews
Happy New Year 2020 or How my dreams came true
In the Air 2 or Living on Mars
My friends are confined like us, some show great energy and creativity, like my friend Vincent, a gym & dance teacher, who gives live lessons from home on a donation basis. Don’t hesitate to inquire on his Instagram account: @vmerouze, you won’t regret it!!
The situation is difficult there, not all states are confined, fortunately people discipline themselves with social distancing and self-quarantine.
Difficult to know when we’ll be able to go there again, fortunately there are my blog & souvenir photos:
Spas around the World
Christmas in New York
In the Air (Grand Canyon)
Country that welcomed me for 7 years, and which remains very dear to my heart, as proof the certificate of friendship given by the Mayor of Brisbane at the time.
The measures put in place are less restrictive than in France, people are invited to stay at home, work from home is encouraged, no more than 2 people to go out or do the groceries, and only Australians can return but they’re quarantined in hotels.
You can re-read my previous articles:
Christmas in Brisbane
My Favourite Animals
Since March 24, no more entry and transit for foreigners, residents can return but only under certain conditions and with an authorisation. And as of April 7, they’ll be in total confinement like us.
To relax, read my article Spas Around the World, in which I had already made you discover this Asian city.
Obviously, a little tour of France: Paris, Reims, Grenoble, Annecy, Albertville, Marseille ...
To read again:
My Birthday in Paris
Christmas in Paris
Rainy day at Epernay
A special thought for my friends working for the French Embassy in Morocco, and for the French Embassy in Mali.
If you need more distraction, go to the Travel Page to read more.
Some of my favourite posts:
Rainy day in Madrid
Friendship has no border, no skin colour, no religion. My friends have diverse nationalities, various religions, different cultures and lifestyles, without forgetting my friends from the LGBTQ community: read Superwomen 3 again.
I wouldn’t be who I am without their infallible support and their love, I think very much of you, and I’ll come to visit you as soon as this pandemic is over!!
Have a beautiful week!
Love & Friends,
In this difficult period, and when almost the entire planet is confined, having fun to avoid stress is essential, and I know the right place for that: Las Vegas!
I’ve been there a few times, by plane and by car, discovering this city, out of nowhere in the middle of the desert, is a unique and surreal experience ...
If there’s one thing that can’t happen in Vegas, it’s to be bored!
Obviously, you think casino, so let's start here:
Adventure is already there, just taking a stroll on the Strip, during the day, this long avenue of 4.2 miles! Don’t hesitate to take the monorail for another point of view, and to save energy for the evening.
Depending on the time of year, the heat is unbearable, then, enter and visit the sumptuous hotels with their galleries and casinos. A free world tour, air conditioning included!
The most surprising, a virtual sky whose light changes over the hours as if for real ...
After several hours, we don't even know where we are… Egypt??
You’ll go shopping along the way for sure ...
But you can also go to a Pool Party.
All the big hotels organise some during the day, the right place for party animals until the evening. The biggest DJs perform, atmosphere guaranteed but you need to have money, the entry, drinks and snacks, for a whole half-day can ruin you quickly depending on the venue.
On the other hand, if you have plenty of money to spend, on the menu for $125,000 you can have 6L of Dom Pérignon, 30 bottles of sparkling wine and ... a Harley Davidson! Obviously pretty hostesses bring you all this…
Now if you’ve found the rare gem, you can also take advantage of the day to get married. Las Vegas has no less than 50 chapels celebrating more than 300 weddings a day.
I don't know if they organise solo weddings, but since in Vegas everything is possible ...
You probably haven't forgotten about this very relaxing activity that I described in my article Spas Around the World, and there are plenty of beautiful and amazing places in Las Vegas.
You can also choose a getaway to the Grand Canyon, read In the Air, I did it by helicopter, but bus excursions are also possible.
By night, it's another universe to explore, at the end of the article a video by helicopter, nothing better to realise that Las Vegas is the first hotel city in the world!
Shows, concerts, musicals, bars, restaurants and clubs, there’s something for everyone...
More and more online parties are organised during this quarantine. It's great to keep in touch and have fun, through new ways.
I believe in friendship and humanity!
Take care of yourself, have a good week!
Love & Party,
I miss the Greek sun, last year at that time I was writing my book in Crete: My Solo Wedding in Santorini.
So, for this new episode of the Crete series, I take you to the northeast of the island.
Agios Nikolaos with 27,000 inhabitants is the 5th biggest city in Crete.
It was built during the Bronze Age and has the particularity of a small lagoon in the middle of the city: the Lake Voulismeni.
Legend tells that Athena bathed in it.
This small lake of 137 metres in diameter, was later connected to the port, by a canal dug by the French Army in 1907.
This little town is absolutely charming, I love it. It offers countless views of the city and the sea. I like wandering through its streets or relaxing on a bar terrace ...
From Agios Nikolaos, departure by boat to Spinalonga Island.
This island was used in ancient times as an army base, with a fortress erected in the centre, to protect the port of Elounda (coastal city).
In 1579, the Venetians reused this space and built a large fortress, with high walls and circular bastions on the hill. These are the vestiges we rediscover today.
Then, the Turks took possession of it from 1715 to the beginning of the 20th century.
In the time of Coronavirus... It wasn’t long ago that people who had leprosy were isolated in leper colonies to protect healthy people.
Spinalonga was, from 1904 to 1957, a place of confinement for lepers. Without real help from the Greek government, they learnt to survive on this island. Finally, in 1957, sick people were transferred near Athens to be healed.
Leprosy is still present today in a hundred countries in the world, including India, Brazil, Indonesia, Nepal, Mozambique, Madagascar ...
Since 1976, the island has been protected as an archaeological site and buildings from the 20th century have been destroyed, leaving only the Venetian vestiges.
And if you missed my previous articles on Crete:
Crete Episode 1 - Heraklion
Crete Episode 2 - Rethymno
Crete Episode 3 - Lassithi Plateau
Crete Episode 4 - Chania
And since sunsets always inspire me a lot (read Article Sunset), a magnificent Cretan sunset to finish:
Take care of yourself and others.
Have a good week!
Love & Light,
Last week, we've been to Mars, let's get back on Earth...
For this new article, we’ll travel again but this time, telling you about my solo wedding and also delivering a new passage from my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini.
I did not mention to the hotel that the groom would not be here, so I went alone to the reception in May 2017, and after taking a deep breath, I explained to the very warm receptionist Emanouela, my story and the new organisation. Once again, the reaction of my interlocutor shocked me while her smile comforted me. She understood my pain and saluted my determination and my courage. In a few minutes, I had just found an unconditional support for my wedding, but not only, because this young woman was going to become one of my best friends. My instinct had made me choose the best place to stay. I could not have gone through all of this without all these incredible people along the way. When we experience a heartbreak, it is already difficult to leave home, so taking a plane alone to go to marry myself in a foreign country, this is a crazy challenge, or the need of a psychoanalysis, probably both!
It was therefore at Ampelonas Apartments in Imerovigli that my guests and I stayed for several days. And I’ve been there many times in the past 3 years, including for my First Wedding Anniversary.
I had already given you details in my article Behind the Scenes of my Solo Wedding.
And anyway, we always like seeing photos of Santorini (read my article again including a very nice aerial video).
Since then, the management and name of the hotel changed, and it has been renovated ...
Thank you to all the old Ampelonas team, more than a hotel, you were my refuge in the storm, the cradle of my rebirth, and I hope to return to Santorini in 2020!! φιλάκια
Find all the articles of my Solo Wedding: here
News of my book: here
Don’t forget to follow me on social media @blogaboutl:
Have a lovely week!
Love & People,
I’ve already talked about the London Design Museum and there’s a job I wanted to do when I was little ... astronaut ...
Space has always intrigued me enormously, as an eternal dreamer, certainly that being able to reach the stars will always be my wish. And as to keep my beliefs alive, a wonderful exhibition tells our fascination for Mars, until February 23, 2020.
Humans have always been interested in the sky and the stars, therefore, Egyptian astronomers discovered the presence of Mars between 2,000 and 1,000 years BC.
It was an exciting civilisation, you learnt about it already from my articles Tutankhamun and Happy New Year 2020.
The Babylonians noted their observations on Mars on clay tablets 1,000 years BC.
Mars is also mentioned in old Hindu almanacs, especially for its astrological significance.
The progress of science has allowed more and more precise observations, especially in 1659, thanks to a more efficient telescope which made it possible to determine the size of this planet.
Finally, in 1965, NASA took the first photos of Mars from space, then in 1971, the first video from its surface by a Soviet probe.
If cinema has imagined many scenarios on Mars, reality is starting to catch up with fiction.
In 2020, 4 equipment launches are planned (the United Arab Emirates, Europe, China and the United States), and in 2022 Japan and the United States (watch the NASA's video below).
The ExoMars Rover presented during this exhibition is part of the 2020 mission and will land on Mars in 2021. It’s an incredible mobile laboratory equipped with 9 scientific instruments allowing it to analyse any kind of composition, whether geological or organic.
This is the result of the ExoMars Program, a collaboration between ESA (Europe Space Agency) and Roscosmos (Russia). Their goal is to find out if there was living organisms on Mars, or even if there are still.
We are learning more every day and being able to see what's going on on this planet is fascinating…
The rockets, the equipment, we've come a long way since the 1950s. From housing to food, through clothing, everything is thought out and made in every detail.
Today, it would take between 150 and 300 days to reach Mars, depending on the launch speed and the position of the 2 planets. Better already love flying and rollercoasters, like me (Reread Halloween 2019).
The idea of a base camp in space, orbiting around March, is an option developed by NASA and ESA.
But an architectural competition was also held to find out what could be the housing solutions for the first settlers. Keep in mind that the resources between our planets are very different, for example the lack of water on Mars. It must also be said that we cannot take all the necessary equipment, hence the use of the 3D printer with Martian topsoil as material for example.
When living on Mars becomes almost a reality ...
Most countries, 76 in total, have a national space program today, however 13 are capable of launching and only 3 can send humans into space: the United States, Russia and China.
In 2013, India became one of the four countries that successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars. But its success is much greater because this is the only country to have succeeded on the first attempt, all this with very reduced costs. Miniature versions were created to show them on the streets and accustom the Indians to the space program.
Private companies have also been created to develop their own technology, we obviously find Elon Musk (Paypal, Tesla) with SpaceX (2002) and Blue Origin (2000) by Jeff Bezos (Amazon).
NASA plans to send the first humans to Mars in 2035, Elon Musk announces a mission in 2024.
Many questions arise then, what nationality will we have? Aren't we going to modify or even destroy this new planet? Do we simply have the right to freely colonise Mars?
In our quest for discovery and curiosity, we too often forget the negative or even harmful consequences of our actions.
The debate is open…
Fascinating Mars, but not as pretty as our beautiful blue planet!
When these missions were looking for candidates to become the first settlers, I wanted to apply, but I didn’t do it. I didn’t give up on this dream, I just decided to be patient.
I’m already giving you the invitation but I’m planning to celebrate my 90th birthday on this planet, so save the date: July 2070!!
By then, we'll have solved a lot of problems and also, figured out how to teleport?!?
I still wonder when will be the first Solo Wedding on Mars!! No way I miss that.
In the meantime, we'll just re-read In the Air 1 and watch the movie Top Gun 2 which will be released in June 2020! Who has goosebumps when hearing the music?
At the end of the article, video live from the International Space Station, it's beautiful and relaxing...
Have a good week and keep your head in the stars!
Love & Mars,
I wish you all a wonderful year 2020! May it bring you joy, love (and self-love), happiness, health, self-discovery, personal development, inner peace, and above all the realisation of your dreams!!
I hope your holiday season went well, that you enjoyed your family, your friends and yourself ...
In my article Single, I mentioned the many things that I do alone, certainly, 2019 was not as busy as 2018 (read article Happy New Year 2019) but I’m still proud, and I continued to chase my dreams, some of which I’ve been waiting for since my childhood!!
And to start this new year, I’d like to pursue with the London Series, a city which has been a truly enchanting place and conducive to many achievements:
Fame, 30 years I was waiting for this! Some dreams take time to come true, which makes them even more magical and unforgettable. Film created in 1980 then adapted to the screen with a series that I followed assiduously, then the musical in 1988. This is the story of young artists who wish to live from their art and become famous, thus they enter the prestigious New York Art School. School created in 1936, renamed in 1984 Fiorello H. Lagardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (named after its founder) and which has seen many talents, Al Pacino and Nicky Minaj for example.
For those who haven't seen it, it's still possible in London until January 10, 2020 at the Wembley Park Theatre, and it’ll be at the Casino de Paris from January 10 to February 2.
Certainly, this show made me want people to Remember my name (famous song of this show).
Still in the world of entertainment and glitter, I’ve had the immense pleasure of seeing the Royal Ballet of London, at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, in its production Manon choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan.
The original theatre was built in 1732, and the first ballet was performed in 1734. The building has been rebuilt several times after fires. The facade, foyer and auditorium date from 1858, but the rest of the building was extensively renovated in the 1990s.
The Royal Ballet was created in 1931 by Dame Ninette de Valois, and only took permanent residence at the Royal Opera House in 1946. Today Kevin O’hare has been its Director since 2012.
For the record, the films the 5th Element and Billy Elliot filmed in this theatre.
I keep adding ballet companies to my list: the Queensland Ballet, the Australian Ballet, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, the Bolshoi ballet, the New York City Ballet, the Cuban National Ballet, the National Ballet of China, the Hamburg Ballet.
I hope 2020 will add another one! Paris? Marseille? The English National Ballet?
And for those who love ballet, a video at the end of the article – Extract of Sleeping Beauty by the Royal Ballet.
I'm not sure since when I wanted to have a Paddington bear; you know him by the famous books written by Michael Bond since 1958, but also by the adaptation in cartoons and movies. I'm a fan, and I remain childlike by collecting teddy bears, so obviously this one was essential to my little family and to be even more symbolic and emotional, I bought it in Paddington in London! Because it was in this train station that this little bear was adopted by the Brown human family, with whom he continued to grow (and to do silly things!).
This bear is so emblematic that in 1994, the British tunnellers chose to pass through this soft toy, when they joined the French during the construction of the Channel Tunnel.
You know I’m passionate about Ancient Egypt, you liked my article Tutankhamun very much, so it's not surprising that I dreamed of visiting one of the most famous museums in the world for its collection of Egyptian artefacts: the British Museum!
This museum is the very first national public museum in the world, and it’s free!!
It was opened in 1759 and has more than 8 million objects from around the world over many periods of history, which 6 million people visit every year.
Above all, we find in this museum the Rosetta Stone, taken from the French after their defeat against the British during Napoleon's campaign in Egypt. It has been exhibited in this museum since 1802.
The Egyptian collection covers 3 millennia, with objects of all kinds…
I’ll tell you more about this fantastic museum and its other collections from around the world in another article.
My resolutions for 2020: sustain my momentum, do not program anything and live driven by opportunities, new people, and obviously continue to realise old dreams and create new ones.
My Solo Wedding in Santorini - which was in magazines in February and May 2019 (see Media) - continues to inspire people and I never could have imagined how much my story could help.
Many people in 2019 told me that my experience has profoundly changed their lives, this is my greatest reward.
Next week, I'll continue to reveal the dreams that came true in 2019 and those to come ...
Feel free to tell me what your dreams are 😊.
Great week everyone and happy new year again!
Love & Dreams,