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My first trip to Africa and I have to say it was beautiful. The tiled mosaics, the authentic architecture, the ornate designs, the patterns, the colours, the pillars, the stained glass, the lights; I was in awe of it all!

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Staying in the old city, in a hide away little ally, just besides the midst of all the hustle and bustle; I got to experience the real Marrakech. Dar 73- the perfect combination of a classic Moroccan riad and a modern apartment; i couldn’t of been happier. Just a few steps out was the jewish quarters (random I know, but believe it or not there were more jews in a muslim country than I ever anticipated. Another fun fact: everyone spoke French first and then came the Arabic and few English speakers) a local spice market, the Bahia Palace and then of course the in famous Souk markets that filled the streets and main square at night. I visited during Ramadan, so it was very quiet during the day and everything came to life after dark.

Within the old city, I would recommend going to both Marrakech Art Museum and the old Islamic school; Ben Youseff. Just next door to each other, you cannot go to one without the other. Full of years of history and beautiful interiors (I’d be lying if I didn’t say exteriors too) its a part of Marrakesh not to be missed. The fine intricate detail in absolutely everything was mind blowing and not to mention the fact it was all so authentic and picturesque.

Outside of the walls of the old city; the new city! Not as much as a traditional feel, but it defiantly had its fair share of gems. Of course there was the classic desert, camel rides and quad biking (which was a lot of fun). But, highlight has to be Jardin Majorelle- Yves Saint Laurent gardens! As a fashionista, you know anything that starts with YS and ends in L is going to have my head turning. Once owned by the French artist; Jacques Majorelle, these beautiful grounds were saved from real estate developers by Pierre Bergé and our runway favourite; Yves Saint Laurent. Originally commissioned to have an artist’s studio in the Art Deco style, the grounds are full of exotic plants, beautiful flowers, rare species and the classic “Majorelle blue” house. Since then, the garden has been restored and now includes a bookstore, cafe and boutique. After YSL’s passing in 2008, a memorial to the French fashion designer has been built.

Moving away from fashion but sticking to amazing sites and photos that say a 1000 words; and slightly further out- La Mamounia! Perhaps the prettiest and fanciest hotel I have ever been too (yet). The grounds were beautiful- I could picture myself getting married there (yes a Catholic in a Muslim country, surrounded by Jews, getting wed). Every plant was perfectly placed, there was event vegetation growing. The atmosphere was so tranquil and again the decor – inside and outside was breathtaking! There were so many little courtyards (I’m obsessed with them and love that inside-outside feel) with more intricate tiling, elegant pillars, water features and grand designs; every aspect so beautiful and more spectacular than the last. The ceilings inside also shared the wow-factor, the elaborate chandeliers, luxurious carpet and miraculous archways; I fell in love! With the decor and sites of Marrakech aside, the food was also pretty good and lets not forget the shopping- who doesn’t love a good market eh?

So all in all; a perfect getaway- albeit there was no beach; but the fact I was in the sun was more than enough- until next time that is! #ChasingThe Sun

For more amazing shots and travel stops, click here!

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VFTT 292 Tile Series 1.3

Across 2 years, 13 countries and 4 seasons, The View From The Top reaches over 300 posts. What started as an inspired photo challenge, has now become a visual journey of my travels as well as day to day living captured in squared snapshot views from the top!

Focused around imagery of the waist down (legs and feet), often featuring specific items/ objects (exotic fruit/ entry tickets) and more so, my surroundings (the beach/ landmarks); The VFTT takes on the same basic layout in every shot to express consistency across foreign settings and to explore a sense of creative consensus of different views. In other words, and something I picked up on my travels; Same Same but Different; The VFTT series could not be described any better!

View 1-313 Here!

 

 

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When its time to get my “Dora the explorer” on, this Christian Louboutin backpack will have to come along for the adventure!

I’m not one for “busy” looking designs, but I have to say, I really do like this bag and its Hawaiian shirt feel! And of course, it wouldn’t be a Louboutin design without the classic stud embellishment. Again, I never caught on to the whole stud trend, but here it fits in with the style of the backpack and actually adds depth to the overall piece; making it a lot more visually stimulating. Plus, the studs bring a certain glamorous factor to it! #BackPackEnvy

VFTT 266 Sunnies on Deck 2.0

…Well some of it. It may have been Bali, Cambodia and briefly Malaysia last year, but this year it was time to revisit Thailand and take my first trip to China. Honestly, with weather as cold as it is in Beijing at this time of year, I never saw myself visiting China anytime soon, but as a stop over destination en route to/from Thailand, I thought why not. After choosing the longest layover time, I looked into things to do with eight hours to spare in the capital of China and lo-and-behold I found myself at one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World” – The Great Wall of China! – And The View From the Top came too! Before jumping to The Great Wall, let’s not forget the craziness yet awesomeness that is Bangkok, along with the amazing sceneries of one of Thailand’s beautiful islands; Koh Tao! The VFTT tells all…

 

…Back to South-East Asia I went. This time to Siem Reap, Cambodia. And The View From the Top  came too…

Although I didn’t get to go to the beach, I liked Cambodia. Well, the little I saw of it anyway. Visiting for just a week, didn’t exactly give me enough time to really “see” Cambodia. However, my time spent (all in Siem Reap), was short and sweet. With friendly locals, good food, exotic fruits, interesting markets, floating villages and temple ruins that are thousands of years old; I can check Siem Reap off the list. But as always, I’ll be back!

To see where it all started…Click Here! 

And for more Travel Snaps, Click Here…

From reluctantly switching up my fancy 4-wheel, easy-glide suitcase to a typical backpackers’ rucksack; I am finally back to the “high life”, and living the luxury of not having to carry my wardrobe on my back!

As much as I enjoyed the travellers life and adventuring through South America, I could not wait to ditch the backpack and return to the suitcase life. What better way to do it than with a spontaneous, last minute trip to Bali, Indonesia. Full of culture, food and fun my experience; as short as it was; was amazing. With only 10 days, it was  most definitely well spent. Funny enough, it was pretty action packed yet there was still enough time to relax, do nothing and take in the beauty that was Bali.

Staying in Nusa Dua was the best choice of a “hub”- so to speak and perfect little spot to call home for just over a week. With day trips to Uluwatu to see the classic temple on a cliff and one of many monkey forests, to Jimbaran Bay for their authentic Balinese grilled seafood. A quick stop at Padang Padang hidden yet beautiful, little beach, an adventurous elephant ride, witnessing rice harvesting and the view of hundreds of rice paddies from a terrace deck. To visiting a coffee plantation, local fruit market, a few more spiritual temples. As well as a trip to built-up, slightly western; Kuta with one of the best sunsets seen and surfing hotspot (apparently). To a long drive to Ubud for its traditional markets and site seeing to an even longer boat ride to Gili Trawangan Island for a night and another b-e-a-utiful sunset! I can safely say I had a good time, made the most of my trip and got a taste of Bali; big enough to want to go back (some day). It was a short but very sweet holiday!

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