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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!

 

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!

 

 

…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…

Having previously fallen in love with the The Big Apple; I always knew I’d be back. Back to the glamour, glory, fortune and fame…Not! Well not for me anyway (not yet). Just back to the sites, shops and skylines! Ironically, with that said, as much as I was looking up; as usual; I was capturing the “View from the Top”, and focusing down. Before VFTT 109, there has been a lot more exotic, rural and tropical shots, so I figured it was time to break it up a bit, to get back to the city and to momentarily replace mother nature . What better place to start, than the concrete jungle itself?

Since I’ve already been the clichè NY tourist; I took a step back this time and saw more of New york for what it is. Staying in Brooklyn’s finest and yet so typical Brownstone apartments, I felt like I was home. Granted, it was a short (but sweet) trip, there was something about not staying in a hotel in the centre of Midtown, that opened my eyes and made me want to go back for than just a visit. I could avoid the crazy, jam-packed city that never sleeps, yet still enjoy the “New York vibe”.  Having strolled through a couple of parks and the Botanical gardens, I could quite literally stop and smell the roses. Minus the Subway system (to which I won’t rant on about), I still love New York. Therefore, yet again; I’ll be back! #WatchThis Space

For any missed VFTT click here!

 

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imageChecking off the “7 wonders” of my world. Yep, my world. There are so many variations I decided to come up with my own- well, places on my bucket list that make me “wonder” how long until I get to tick them off.

In the last 3 months I have been able to tick Brazil off my list, because let’s face it them beautiful people, popular beaches and so called “danger” zone is a wonder in itself that I just had to see for myself. Admittedly there were times I didn’t feel the safest but I had to experience it for me in order to stop wondering, start living and being able to say “been there, done that”. The Iguazu Falls also got checked off, with two ticks; just because it was so amazing. Plus it only just got on the list a year ago because before that I was clueless, so I got to appreciate it even more. Tick, tick. The most recent place I can stop wondering about and get to mark as done is Peru’s gringo (tourist/ foreigner) calling; Machu Picchu.

Wow, wow, wow and wow again. Another breath taking view- in both respects; so beautiful and unreal to gaze at, yet to get to such heights the climb certainly made me breathless (quite literally taking my breath away). Ok, so I didn’t do the Inca Trail, but I still had to make my way to the top like everyone else; and to be honest, I’d have only been kidding myself and crying for four days if I even entertained the idea of such craziness.

Back to Machu Picchu. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; wow, wow, wow and wow again. It was just b-e-a-utiful! I have never been surrounded by so many mountains. Nor have I been up so early, (4am) and thought damn, this is so worth it. Driving up and around the mountains at the crack of dawn, I thought I was on a film set or something; entering Jurassic park or Pandora and waiting for some mystical creature or dinosaur to come flying out at me. It really was quite a picture and not a single one of the ones I took can portray what I’ve seen. Mother Nature certainly is a beauty and I can not wait to see what else she has me wondering about, because I have well and truly caught the travel bug, so I’m sure she will strike again. Without further ado; watch this space!

 

On starting this “thing” I never knew how involved i’d be, but I am really quite enjoying it. Trying to create abstract and interesting snap shots in the form of the “view from the top”, in and around different locations, exotic and culture settings has been intriguing. Travelling through Brazil has made it even more exciting; there is so many new things to see and do and the views are beyond imaginable. No, they are not the same from the “top” as they are in person or from a panoramic view but compared to what I’m used to, they are amazing- even from the head down. With such breath taking views and tropical influence, I can’t wait to see the rest of South America and continue snapping. Watch this space! [click here to see what came before]

A recent trip to Bangkok’s ooh so grand, Grand Palace! As hot, frustrating, smelly and crazy Bangkok was, its famous tourist attraction had a lot of gold, bling and sparkle to offer. Although the entrance fee was a bit pricey for what it was, it was a colourful experience. The gold was built high and the colourful jewels spread wide. From the free temples that pretty much all looked the same; the Grand Palce was more worth my while. However as on outdoor attraction, in the sun, with extra body heat from all the sight-seers, combined with Bangkok’s humidity, it’s not some where you want to stay for long, defineatly not a whole day kinda day trip!

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