Last time I took you to the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean, to Fiji.
On this Ascension long weekend, it seemed appropriate to show you another jewel of Christian architecture, and what is an unrecognised basilica and yet highly prestigious in many ways.
You know how much I love to share with you my interest in architecture, art, and history ...
The Basilica of Sainte Clotilde of Reims, bears the name of Queen Clotilde, Queen of the Franks and wife of King Clovis, whom she converted to Christianity.
Clovis, remember that is the name of the champagne at my Solo Wedding in Santorini (reread the article).
This magnificent basilica, in Greek cross shape, surmounted by a dome, was built between 1896 and 1905, by Alphonse Gosset, architect from Reims, with a national and even international reputation since he participated in competitions abroad (like one for New York in particular).
Neo-Byzantine in style, he was inspired in particular by the model of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople (Istanbul-Turkey) that I had the chance to visit.
This very fashionable style in the 19th century, also reached its peak with the construction of the incredible Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris.
Much more modest in size than St Remi Basilica or Reims Cathedral, and of course Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, it’s no less majestic from floor to ceiling.
Whether it’s the tiling with fleur-de-lys and doves, or the stained-glass windows depicting Joan of Arc and the baptism of Clovis.
Or the incredible ceiling under the dome which symbolises the celestial vault.
You will not remain indifferent ...
What I love most about this basilica is its baptistery.
Isolated next to the entrance, circular in shape and carefully decorated, it was used for baptism.
Moreover, the Basilica of St. Clotilde was originally erected to celebrate the 1,400 years of the baptism of Clovis, a baptism which took place at the Basilica of St Remi, remember my article.
But what makes all the richness of this basilica are the relics kept in its crypt!
It represents 1,600 Saints of France with 403 reliquaries and 2,100 relics.
Photos weren't allowed, but the video at the end of the article gives you a guided tour (but it's in French, anyway images speak for themselves).
My previous articles on Reims and its region:
Here again my video with the Cathedral of Reims in the background!
Have a luminous week everyone!
Love & Joy,
While checking my travel photos, I came across May 2014, during my trip to Fiji.
Incredible holidays, I lived in the Pacific Ocean for a long time, so it was easy for me to visit exotic archipelagos, only 4 hours by plane from Brisbane, Fiji is a popular destination for Australians.
For sure, from Europe or the US, it becomes more adventurous. That’s why this week I wanted to share its treasures with you.
This country located in the Pacific Ocean includes more than 300 islands of which only 100 are inhabited, representing a total population of 936,000 inhabitants.
Of course, when you think of Fiji, you visualise the white sand beaches and turquoise waters, and don't worry, you’ll be amazed!
Nothing better than a boat to fully enjoy, can you feel the sea air??
The coastline stretches over 1,129 km (701mi) for a country with an area of 18,333 km2 (7,078 sq. mi).
Although covered with tropical forests, the islands are also mountainous with the highest peak reaching an altitude of 1,324m.
But I also took the opportunity to visit the local market in Suva, the country's capital on the main island: Viti Levu.
It’s always very interesting to discover local products, you learn a lot about cultures.
And in Fiji, there's a very popular root, from a plant native to the Western Pacific called Kava, and related to the pepper tree.
When crushed into powder, it makes a preparation for infusion, keep that in mind because I’ll talk about it later in this article 😉
What I also love is visiting villages, it's very interactive, they are all different, you learn so much about customs and traditions, and I've even been to a pottery village.
You know how much I love this craft, reread Cretan Pottery.
Fiji has preserved its traditional art and cultural heritage, handicrafts such as pottery, cloth, wood carving, jewellery continue to be passed down in the villages from generation to generation.
Made from clay and sand, potteries often have a utilitarian use. Handcrafted, they dry in the sun before being heated over a fire containing coconut shells and bamboo.
If there’s one memory that marked me more than the others, it was the connection with the locals.
In the chapter Moral of my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini, I explained I liked participating in charitable projects.
I had the opportunity to make a donation for one of the villages on the island of Viti Levu, for the construction of a small infirmary. No significant amount, but to them it was a blessing.
Most of the inhabitants were working and were not present in the village at this time of the day, but the Chief asked the children - who were at school - to come to thank and honour me.
I spent several hours, sitting in the village hall, drinking kava, the famous drink mentioned above, very sour and spicy, with an earthy taste and with anaesthetic and relaxing properties, quite a program ...
As a guest, you can’t say no, as it’s a sign of respect and friendship.
Experiencing strange things, that’s also a part of discovering new cultures.
I also listened to them play music and sing, but most of all I danced with the children!
One of the happiest moments of my life, I’m still very moved when I talk about it.
Receiving so much kindness, love and joy from complete strangers is what makes the beauty of our humanity.
You understood, if you have paid attention to the photos, whether on a boat or in a village, music and dancing are omnipresent in Fijian culture, I love this.
And after so much emotion, it's time to relax and enjoy the shows offered at sunset ...
No doubt I have a special connection to the Pacific Ocean, and I can't wait to go on a plane to discover new beautiful places ...
In the meantime, I'll just watch Vaiana again, the Disney movie I talked about in my article Merry Christmas 2020.
And also, a great video at the end of the article, a change of scenery in your living room 😉
You can also read my previous articles about Fiji:
And thank you to the InterContinental Fiji, who made my stay and all my excursions unforgettable!
Find all the Travel Articles: HERE.
And as a reminder, some of my favourites:
No article next Saturday, I’ll be very busy, I have to attend several seminars including one with his Holiness the Dalai Lama 😊
Next article: Saturday May 15th
Have a wonderful month of May everyone!
Love & Joy,
I should have been in Paris this month, unfortunately with the confinement I changed my plans but that doesn’t prevent me from showing you more of this magnificent French capital which is full of countless treasures.
I’ve chosen for this week one of the gems of France, which I had time to appreciate during my Honeymoon 2, last year.
Let's be honest, the Louvre Museum is huge, spread over nearly 250,000m2, of which 70,000m2 are devoted to exhibition, with 403 rooms, and 35,000 artworks out of the 500,000 preserved.
It’s also the largest museum in the world (in terms of exhibition area), in addition to being the most visited in the world.
So, I won't be able to show you everything at once, but today I'm going to talk about some legendary pieces of art.
First of all, the Louvre surprises with its architecture.
From one room to another, atmospheres are different, we travel in time and space, we discover all the styles of decoration, but also the history of France, and the history of its different owners of Philippe II to Napoleon III, via Henri IV or Louis XIV, but also more recently the French Presidents.
No less than 800 years of construction, transformation, and renovation ...
After my articles on the Palace of Versailles, the Garnier Palace, the Pantheon, the Louvre is a magnificent palace to discover.
It became a museum in 1793, the majority of the artworks coming from the Royal Collection, which became national property during the French Revolution.
It survived the changes of power and the 2 world wars, and continues to this day to acquire and protect artistic treasures.
Even without the artworks, I’d spend hours admiring and exploring every nook and cranny from floor to ceiling!
As you know, the Louvre is full of sculptures and paintings from all eras, and I’ll show you many of them in different articles.
But this time, I present to you my favourite sculpture: the Venus de Milo.
Magnificent marble sculpture dating from 120 BC, it’d represent Aphrodite the goddess of love and beauty (Venus for the Romans).
Obviously, you know my attachment to Greece since My Solo Wedding in Santorini, and this masterpiece of Greek sculpture adds to the wonderful creations I’ve shown you previously:
Discovered in 1820, by a Greek peasant on the island of Milo, island of the Cyclades, it was acquired by a French ambassador who offered it to Louis XVIII, and the latter donated it to the Louvre in 1821.
She was hidden at the Château de Valençay during the 2nd World War.
Today, she stands almost alone in the Galerie des Antiques, surrounded by red marble from the time of Napoleon I.
As I already explained in my article Honeymoon 2, I had never been able to have a picture taken with her before, for the good reason that there were always too many people.
This time, I had all the time and the opportunity to have a tête-à-tête with Mona Lisa, a moment of pure happiness and emotion.
In 1518, Francis I bought the painting from Leonardo da Vinci, and joined the collection of the Louvre during the Revolution.
She was moved too during World War II, like almost the entire Louvre collection, but her hiding place, the Château de Chambord.
In 2005, she was placed in the centre of the museum's largest room, protected in an air-conditioned display case due to its fragility, as it’s an oil painting on a poplar wood panel.
I'm going to show you something you don’t necessarily think of with the Louvre Museum and yet, the Crown Jewels!
It’s true that we got rid of Kingship a long time ago, and we’ve forgotten that incredible pieces of goldsmith's work, crockery, furniture and jewellery were created in the past and represent an incredible richness of craftmanship and luxury.
And to present them with dignity, nothing better than the Galerie d'Apollon created at the request of Louis XIV. Rich in gilding, painting and sculpture, it easily recalls the splendour of the Palace of Versailles, no wonder since the same artists took care of the Hall of Mirrors. Above all, this is the room that for the first time, Louis XIV associated his power with the symbol of the sun.
Today, among other things, we discover the Regent diamond of 140 carats, bought in 1717 by Philippe d´Orléans, Regent of France, and which Louis XIV had refused in the past because it was too expensive.
Along with Louis XIV's Blue Diamond, they were stolen during the Revolution, a burglary at the Hôtel du Garde-Meubles where they were stored.
The Regent was found a year later, however the blue diamond was lost and transformed to become the famous Hope Diamond (exhibited at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington USA).
If the Mona Lisa is the most visited work of art in the world, the Hope diamond is in second place, our Kings of France certainly had great taste.
By the way, these magnificent jewels remind me of my article Kensington Palace in London.
And if you’d like to know the full history of these jewels, don't miss the fabulous discussion at the Ecole School of Jewelry Art - Van Cleef & Arpels, which will take place on May 5 & 6: Link for registration (free event).
I described this wonderful school in my article:
I never tire of learning and discovering with them the incredible history of stones, metals and jewellery and I encourage you to visit their website: link.
Check my Previous articles about Paris:
And I invite you to watch the little video at the end of the article, which shows the successive constructions of the Louvre Palace, it's fascinating ...
Have a fantastic week everyone!
Love & Joy,
And yes, it's Easter weekend, and while some of us thought of celebrating it with our family (me for example!), France is re-confined just before the school holidays ...
But let’s not lose our enthusiasm nor our faith in a better future, and that’s why I’m taking you today to visit the Basilica of St Remi in Reims.
After my Solo Wedding in Santorini, I’ve spent a lot of time in this beautiful region of Champagne-Ardennes, which includes the city of Reims, and I’ve already introduced you to some great attractions:
St Remi Basilica is almost as tall as Reims Cathedral, 413ft long (126m), like Notre-Dame de Paris and 190ft wide (58m).
It was built in the 11th century, but more construction occurred for several centuries until the 19th century, but its golden age dates from the 12th century.
It was largely destroyed during the 1st World War, and 40 years were necessary for its reconstruction (20 for the Cathedral of Reims).
Roman and Gothic in style, its volumes are very impressive and make the place very solemn.
Many items of furniture and decoration were destroyed and ransacked during the French Revolution.
However, some sumptuous elements are still present and distinguish it from other religious buildings such as:
Let's admire now the classic stained-glass windows that have withstood ages and wars, accompanied today by contemporary stained glass windows created between 1950 and 1980.
But what makes this basilica unique is that it keeps the relics of Bishop Saint Remi, the very one who baptised Clovis, the first King of France. This is the reason why it was originally built.
His tomb is majestic and beautifully displayed, although this is only a 19th century replica, the original being looted and vandalised during the revolution.
Moreover, the basilica is decorated with many chapels including the chapel of the Virgin of the Vow, and an ambulatory to accommodate the many pilgrims.
A video to watch at the end, unfortunately it's in French, but you can still enjoy the beautiful images...
Don't hesitate to re-read my articles from previous years:
No article next week but you can continue to follow me on my social media ...
Next Post: April 17, 2021
Love & Joy,
I hope you’re enjoying the effects of the new moon, and you’ve decluttered as I recommended to you last week in my article Detox Your Life.
Spring is here, well in theory, because it’s not the 10 degrees of temperature predicted these days in my city that will bring me out of my cave.
For those who follow me regularly, you know how much I love NYC. And in fact, the very first time I went there was in spring 2013!
I love this city so much that I plan to celebrate in 2027, the 10th anniversary of my Solo Wedding 😊
In the meantime, I went to dig through my photo archive and decided to show you a little more New York this week.
Nothing more symbolic than tulips to represent this season ...
If the city and bay of New York were discovered in 1524, it didn’t take this name before 1664 when the English conquered it from the Dutch.
Initially, it was even French because it was discovered on behalf of François 1er.
At the end of the 18th century, accompanying strong demographic growth, the city developed according to a Hippodamian urban plan, like a grid. So easy to walk around and get your bearings!
Today, it’s the largest city in the United States with more than 8,300,000 inhabitants (20 million inhabitants with its suburbs) for an area of 302.6 square miles (784 km2).
It’s also the most populous English-speaking city in the world.
This city calls for curiosity and is definitely very different from European cities.
Yet the atmosphere seems familiar to us, the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Center, Broadway, Time Square, the yellow cabs, the police, everything reminds us of the movies and series we have watched ...
The architecture is really fascinating in this city, and I’ve already explained the construction of the Rockefeller Center.
But my favourite thing about spring is of course the famous Central Park!
With its 341 hectares of greenery, 2.5 miles (4 km) long, with its many trails and lakes, it’s the perfect place to recharge.
Created from scratch, it took 13 years of construction before it was completed in 1873.
As nature comes back to life, we appreciate its beauty and benefits even more ...
On foot, by taxi, bus, metro, bicycle, there are many ways to get around, but crossing the city by rickshaw is the most fun (when there’s no traffic jam ...).
Let’s get out of the city to admire the Statue of Liberty.
From its full title “Liberty Enlightening the World”, this neoclassical copper statue with a steel structure weighs 225 tons and stands 151ft (46m) high, but 305ft (93m) in total on its concrete and granite plinth.
Donated by France in 1886 to the United States to celebrate the centenary of the American Declaration of Independence. This is the work of 3 men: Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (Architect), Auguste Bartholdi (Sculptor) and Gustave Eiffel (Engineer).
Visits weren't allowed when I was there, so I just photographed her on the ferry to Staten Island. It remains a very moving meeting.
One of my dreams is to fly over the city by helicopter, you’re not surprised if you’ve read my Series of Articles In the Air.
Each time, the weather prevented me, but I keep it on my list 😊, maybe next time ...
Till then, a very nice video at the end of this article.
Reread my Previous Articles:
You can read all my travel articles here: link.
Happy Spring to all!
Love & Joy,
After talking about Madrid and Sydney, two cities I like a lot, back to nature.
And for that, nothing better than Australia of course.
I lived in this wonderful country for 7 years, before my Solo Wedding in Santorini, which gave me lots of opportunities to visit amazing places.
With its 7.692 million km², I still have a lot to visit, for example I’ve never been to the west coast. It gives me even more reasons to want to go back someday.
In the meantime, I'm taking you today to another famous island in Queensland: Moreton Island!
A precious memory that the discovery of this island for a whole weekend and that for several reasons.
First, I did it with my younger sister in February 2016, just 5 years ago. She came to live a year with me and this excursion was her last, and what an adventure!
Pick up in Brisbane by our driver and guide with a 4X4, to board a ferry; at only 40km (25mi), the crossing takes about an hour and a half. Which is long enough for my sister to be seasick...
Third largest sand island in the world, only 4X4 vehicles are allowed on this island classified as a national park.
By the way, for information, the 4 largest sand islands in the world are in Queensland
Like the visit of North Stradbroke island, I’ve told you about already, the discovery of Moreton is also adventurous…
Apart from the white sand beaches as far as the eye can see, which I personally never tire of, you can discover the sand dunes in the desert.
As impressive as those in Dubai (reread the article Desert) and perfect for tobogganing with a wooden board.
First time for my sister & I, was fantastic; no photos or videos unfortunately, I was too busy having fun!
The 4X4 also provides easy access to the heights of the island to Cape Moreton Lighthouse, the first lighthouse built in Queensland in 1857.
One of the buildings has been transformed into an information centre with a presentation of the island and its history.
Remember that Moreton Bay including Brisbane, and Australia in general, was initially a penitentiary centre for British convicts.
When the weather is clear, you can easily see whales, sharks, turtles, dolphins, rays and dugongs.
The vegetation is very astonishing here and offers a surprising spectacle, perfect for photography.
Let’s stop at the Blue Lagoon, a lake in the middle of the island, with a sandy bottom formed by the natural collection of rainwater over thousands of years. Its cool water infused with the natural tea tree oils that surround it, makes it a popular spot.
For fish & snorkelling lovers, let’s head to the beach to enjoy the 15 ships that were deliberately sunk there in 1963 to create a breakwater. Coral and wildlife have taken over the place and the atmosphere is quite unique.
Again, no photos, I was head underwater admiring fishes, but beautiful images in the video at the end of the article ...
You know me well enough now to guess that I picked the hotel instead of the campsite.
However, the Tangalooma Island Resort is not like any hotel.
Originally the place was a whaling fishing station that operated between 1952 and 1962. The island is in the way of the whale migration route from June to November.
Today, an Eco Centre installed within the hotel, protects and informs about the environment and the island’s wildlife. Lots of activities are organised around it, interesting for both adults and children.
A whole ecosystem coexists here, which makes it a surprising and magical place ...
I've saved the best for last, if you've read my article My Favourite Animals, I talked about it briefly: dolphins!
Every evening, about ten wild bottlenose dolphins come to the shores of the hotel.
You have the option of being able to feed one of them by hand. The research team take the opportunity to check the health of the dolphins and to count them.
They are only fed 10-20% of their daily requirement to keep them wild.
The experience is incredible and truly extraordinary, the dolphins are curious and playful, and being able to approach them so closely is a great chance.
To leave this little paradise, we had to take the ferry again, much to the despair of my sister who would have preferred the helicopter!
Reread my Previous Articles:
Have a great week!
Love & Joy,
I was in Madrid 4 years ago, to freeze my eggs, a new city for me that I discovered with pleasure and great curiosity.
Another milestone in my life, after My Solo Wedding in Santorini.
Freezing my eggs was a thoughtful decision, however the process was longer and more emotionally painful than I’d have thought ...
But I’ve already told you all this in detail:
Faith is what has helped me, the one I have in God, in the Universe but also faith in myself and in my choices, the way I react to hardships, and how I constantly challenge myself to become a better me day after day.
Without wanting to, this article is timely because this week I’ve been greatly tested on that side, staying on course towards your dreams while the path seems to be giving way beneath your feet…
To be silent and to learn to listen to oneself, this is the main principle of meditation but also of prayer.
And in fact, in 2018, I was going to the sumptuous Almudena Cathedral every day to calm my mind...
After the grandiose and opulent Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral located just opposite can’t be missed.
Built in the heart of the city, near the Plaza Mayor, its neoclassical style and multiple huge entrances make it one of the main attractions.
Its baroque dome and its columns inevitably recall the Pantheon in Paris which I talked about during my Honeymoon 2.
Begun in 1883, it wasn’t completed until 110 years later, for lack of money, and of political and religious wars.
Finally, in 1993 Pope John Paul II consecrated it, and a statue in effigy adorns one of the main entrances ...
It’s equally majestic in the evening, bringing out other details of its incredible architecture ...
102m (335ft) long and 82m (269ft) high, this cathedral is very impressive with its 4,800 m2 (52,000 sq ft).
But its originality lies in the duality of its architectural style: neoclassical on the outside (like the Royal Palace), but Gothic on the inside with modern and contemporary artworks.
Very different to the Reims Cathedral (France), that I’ve showed you already.
The wedding of King Felipe VI and Letizia Ortiz was celebrated in this cathedral in 2004.
This cathedral is a true incarnation of several eras dedicated to the Virgin of Almudena who sits in its centre.
And many people flock every day to approach the statue erected on a magnificent platform.
The Virgin of Almudena is the patron saint of Madrid, she’d have appeared several times in the past, near a wall built when the city was an ancient Muslim medina called Almudena.
Celebrated on November 9 with many processions, religious services, the entrance is completely covered with flowers, it’s a very important day for Madrid inhabitants. I had the chance to attend once and it’s fascinating.
Besides, I strongly encourage you to visit the Cathedral Museum, which exhibits the Virgin's ceremonial outfits and accessories, and also tells the story of the Diocese of Madrid (unfortunately no photos allowed).
Especially, the entrance to the museum will give you access to the Dome of the cathedral at 70m (230ft) high, surrounded by the 12 apostles.
And to admire the city, you don't need a helicopter like in my last article In the Air 3, the view from the roof is breathtaking!
The absolutely sumptuous neo-Romanesque crypt opened to the public in 1911 ...
Madrid is a city I like a lot, with its rich history, architecture, culture, there’s a lot to discover in this city.
Read my previous articles about Madrid:
Have a lovely week everyone!
Love & Joy,
After my article last week on My Solo Wedding Fireworks in Santorini, I decided to keep my head in the sky.
I’ve shown you in the past how much I love spending time in the air:
Today I'm taking you to the other side of the planet, to visit an incomparable place from the sky: Sydney!
An Australian city discovered by James Cook in 1770 - who to get there largely used the navigation instruments mentioned in my article The Greenwich Meridian, moreover certain objects and documents of the navigator are exposed in the museum of the Royal Observatory of Greenwich - Sydney is a unique city in many ways and it can be visited by land, sea and air…
The helicopter is a great way to discover its architecture and landscape from a different and grandiose perspective, as it covers 12,300 km2 (4,750 sq. miles)!! In comparison, London covers 1,572km2 ...
Thus, we can easily admire its magnificent opera house, the Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, Anzac Bridge, the Olympic facilities, but also its numerous beaches ...
I’ll tell you more about this city in a future article.
Re-read my articles about Australia:
For brave people, you can also climb to the top of the Harbour Bridge, after 1,332 steps you reach a height of 49m (161ft.), 3 hours of journey in total.
Quite honestly, I’m not brave enough to do it but I have no doubt that it’s an incredible experience to live ...
However, I’ve been to the top of the Sydney Tower at 260 metres (853ft) high to admire the city at dusk.
Everything becomes magical with the lights ...
Sydney by helicopter is one of my fondest memories, I’m happy to have shared it with you and I hope I’ve made you travel in the air ...
Have a great week!
Love & Joy,
Youhouhhhh!! Finally, here it is 2021, a new decade begins, with new expectations, hopes, dreams and interaction to come ...
I wish you all a magical, bright & wonderful year!!
I hope you had a great holiday season.
I spent NYE with my parents, and last time was in 2015. They came to see me in Australia, and we were outside the Sydney Opera House for the gigantic fireworks. An absolutely unforgettable memory. I put the full video of this year's Sydney fireworks at the end of the article 😊
What a year 2020! We’ve been through a lot, definitely a very interesting and demanding period. It drove us into a corner and pushed us to question ourselves about the meaning of our lives.
In my articles Happy New Year 2020 and 2019 to 2020, I said, among other things:
My resolutions for 2020: to sustain my momentum, not to plan anything and to live driven by opportunities, new people, and of course to continue to realise old dreams and create new ones.
I definitely had a good intuition by not planning anything, I was unable to travel abroad in 2020, but I took you with me on my previous adventures:
However, in 2020, I had a wonderful Honeymoon 2 in the most beautiful city in the world:
And I still have a lot to tell you ...
In 2020, I talked a lot about myself again lol:
My quarantine articles obviously:
I hope you’ll keep some good habits like dancing every day!!
I did my best to inspire you more this year:
I couldn't attend any new ballet, but I did watch some on the internet!
This period definitely made me more interested in the options available online, then I met incredible people and attended some amazing world conferences ...
My Resolutions for 2021:
Recently a friend told me why stop something that is working?
So, let's continue: the blog, the videos, my social media...
And if there’s anything you want me to talk about or improve, please tell me: here.
Obviously, publishing my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini, or How It Saved My Life is still relevant today, but I'm also working on the next one:
After… My Solo Wedding in Santorini, or How My Healing Became A Mission…
I promise to tell you more soon ...
However, this year, I intend to travel, find where to put my bags for good and may be even find love ... 😊
“I was born to inspire people to be themselves! "L.
And thank you again for your support & unconditional love, I wouldn't have so much fun creating and writing without you!
No article next week, I'll be busy writing my greetings cards & meditating to charge my energy for the New Year.
Take the opportunity to catch up with the articles you haven't read 😉
And don't worry, I’ll stay active on social media:
Happy New Year again, I believe in you and your magic, and as I said on my photo at the beginning: leave sparkles wherever you go ...
Be confident, be yourself and shine like a thousand fireworks!
Love & Joy,
After my article Louboutin last week, let's stay in luxury and creativity, I promised you an article on Dubai, here it is, and at Christmas of course!
Change of scenery guaranteed and even more decadent than in my previous articles:
I know you’re already dreaming!
The beach and the skyscrapers probably remind you of Christmas in Brisbane with South Bank Beach in the middle of the city. I love it!
And for those wondering, yes, we wear bikinis at the beach, Dubai is a very cosmopolitan city that is home to many nationalities and cultures.
It’s quite confusing at first, but you quickly get used to the mix and it’s quite fun & inspiring.
You’ll surely recognise the Burj Al Arab hotel, the highest in the world and 7 Stars please, with among others a heliport and a restaurant at 200m above sea level (Video at the end of the article).
A real aesthetic and technical feat, built on stilts (250 pillars of 1.50m in diameter!) And able to withstand storms and frequent earthquakes in the region.
I couldn't visit it, but it made a perfect background for my selfie!
And yes, my hair was a bit longer at that time, read or reread my article Titanium Heart to know everything about my haircuts ...
In my article Desert, mentioning the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, I said that everything was possible in this city, the proof again here with the different activities that you can find in the gigantic shopping centres out of sand: luxury shops, art, cinemas, aquariums, and even an ice rink and ski slopes, this is Christmas anyway!
No chance to be bored in Dubai ...
And cuz it’s Christmas, window displays and decorations are in the spotlight.
Oh Louboutin, did you read my last article?
However, I strongly advise to wear sneakers to visit these immense galleries, I sprained my ankle walking these endless alleys ...
Of course, we think of luxury and extravagance, I won't lie, I’ve experienced them a lot: caviar buffet, champagne, luxury shopping, restaurants, bars ...
It reminds me my Solo Wedding in Santorini somehow.
I also took the opportunity to wear my jewellery and designer dresses:
Outfit 1 – Dress Anne Fontaine, Bracelet Tiffany & Co, Ring Chanel, Earrings Swarovski, Chanel beauty, Shoes Stuart Weitzman, cigarillos Romeo y Julieta
Outfit 2 – Dress Zimmerman, Earrings Coach, Chanel beauty
You think I'm exaggerating, so what are you going to think of the air-conditioned bus stops and police driving Ferraris ...
Let's continue in the spectacular with the fountains ballet like in Las Vegas, with the famous Burj Khalifa tower illuminated in the background.
With a height of 828 metres (2,717 ft), 163 floors, it’s the tallest tower in the world since 2009. However, the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia is expected to overtake it by 2024 by reaching 1000m (3,281 ft).
The Burj Khalifa tower is nonetheless an incredible construction, like many others in Dubai.
And just another building that many have seen before, the 5 Star Atlantis hotel. Huge complex with 1,539 rooms including 2 underwater suites, a water park, an aquarium, 17 restaurants and bars ...
There’s even a skytrain to access it.
The Atlantis was recently (October 2020) the backdrop for the new largest fountain in the world called The Palm Fountain, because located on the Palm Jumeirah island (Video at the end of the article).
Dubai can also be visited by sea, by yacht to blend in perfectly with the scenery, although mine was almost invisible compared to the size of the others ...
Sea Trip Outfit - Dress Hermès, Sunglasses Prada, Belt Salvatore Ferragamo
But by air it's even better, by seaplane please. You know I like flying (read the article In the Air).
We then realise the immensity of the work that has been required, and all the construction in progress.
Let’s not forget that it was only in the early 90s that it all started ...
Have fun recognising the buildings and places mentioned above 😉
There’s a photo, however, that must have seemed strange to you ...
And yes, the old town is not so far with its traditional boats still in use, but also the spice market and especially the gold market!
I've never seen anything like it, and yet you know I've travelled a lot in my life.
I also highly recommend visiting The Dubai Museum, it’s absolutely beautiful, housed in the old Al Fahidi Fort.
Rich in number of artefacts from the region but also from around the world, thanks to trade, it also exhibits local life before the oil era.
Besides, do you know what was Dubai's main wealth?
They were mainly pearl fishermen; actually Paris was the pearl capital of the world at the end of the 19th century and had strong trade links with the countries of the Persian Gulf.
Dubai is the perfect embodiment of the past and the future, perfect at the end of the year when we reflect on what we have accomplished while setting new goals ...
To keep you busy while waiting for Santa, several videos at the end of the article that highlight what I told you in this article.
Don't forget to send me your photos of Christmas decorations, they’ll be published in my next article:
Have great Christmas preparations!!
Love & Joy,
"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,