Stay: Villa Olmi Resort, Florence

We packed our bags and headed for Florence for a few nights. Our hotel of choice was this time Villa Olmi Resort. It is located about 4km outside the city center but the hotel offers free shuttle bus to and from the city center. If you choose to go by taxi it is about € 20-30 (june,2014)

Villa Olmi is a beautiful 4 star resort wich includes a villa, a farmhouse and a rural house set in a big beautiful garden.

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They served an intercontinental breakfast but ours were not included in the total price. This is also where they serve lunch and dinner. The resort has a small swimmingpool with lovely sourroundings not to far away from the bar.

Every room has its own private bubblebath that left you wonderful relaxed before bedtime. Nice hotel rooms but they were not sound proof and much of the sounds around came through and were disturbing.

All in all a great stay if only a little closer to town and a little less noise.

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Springtime in Paris

Paris is never what you´re expecting I ones read. And it could´t be more true. This past week I have been giving the question of: So how was Paris? And to be completely honest  I struggle to answer this question.

Eiffeltower

I can’t quite put my finger on what it is with Paris. Don’t get me wrong. I loved my 4 days in Paris. But I have also visited so many other big cities in my travel days and this is by far not my favorite city.

My ambitions may have been to high for Paris. I wanted to see and do so much of what Paris has to offer – and you just can’t do it all in 4 days.  And what about those tourist lines. Even for May month those lines are pretty long. For instance, when we decided to visit the Paris Catacombs in Montparnasse – we waited in line for 2.5 hours! – Madness. This was the only waiting in line we did on this trip.

You could loose so many hours just waiting in line here. And there are so many more fulfilling things to do than wait in line. Why not spend a couple of hours on a sidewalk café instead? Way more relaxing and fun time to spend your time. Get yourself a carafe of wine and just sit and soak up the sun, sound and the people. Thats therapy.

Paris by the seine

it´s been said that Paris at spring is the best time to visit. Warm without being to hot, the air is fresher, all the parks are luscious green and inviting to spend some time at or even a nice picnic. And last year Paris was named the winner of Tripadvisor´s traveler´s choice – the best city to visit.

And I admit it. Paris is lovely in spring. With all it´s great monuments, wide boulevards, all of the neighborhoods, charming sidewalk cafe´s by the dozen and not to forget the incredible light show at the Eifell tower after dark. I am so glad we stayed even if we were cold as ever. It was truly magical. And in spite of all the concrete city – Paris is still a very green city and I find that very charming.

I leave you with some pictures from Paris in spring:

 

Sorbonne university Paris

Sorbonne university Paris

The square outside Sorbonne University

The square outside Sorbonne University

a view of the tip of Ile st-Louis

a view of the tip of Ile st-Louis

Arc de Thriomphe at the end of Champs-Elyseé

Arc de Thriomphe at the end of Champs-Elyseé

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

Flowers and the view of the Louvre

Flowers and the view of the Louvre

Spring in paris with the Eiffel tower towering.

Spring in paris with the Eiffel tower towering.

And if you ask me if I would like to go back. That is a big YES, I would love to discover and explore more of Paris´s neighborhoods.

The pink City, Marrakech – the city of color.

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Marrakech is truly the 1001 nights in real life. It is called the pink (or sometimes red) city due to its color of the city walls. Located at the north of the foothills of the amazing snowcapped Atlas mountains. The pink color is originated from the pigment of the local clay and new regulations claim that every new house or building must be given this pink color.

The pink city wall with at lovely old door

The pink city wall with at lovely old door

It seem to me that there is color in every corner of this city. Bright and sunny colors which make you happy and want to put it down in a photography to remember later. This is some of the color I endured during our 2 days in Marrakech:

Color pigments mixed with water to make it hard

Color pigments mixed with water to make it hard

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color pigments

color pigments

Spices, a must to shop and bring home

Spices, a must to shop and bring home

the mini tagine in the color of the rainbow

the mini tagine in the color of the rainbow

Newly colored yarn, her hung up to be dried

Newly colored yarn, her hung up to be dried

And not to be forgotten when speaking of color. The Majorelle garden. Used to belong to the famous designer Yves Saint Laurent but was formed by the french artist Jacques Majorelle. The garden it selves is not very big but the colors are breathtaking. It even has its own color – the majorelle blue. Worth the trip while, but I recommend you do it in the afternoon.

colourful pots surrounding the park

colourful pots surrounding the park

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This is my second time to Marrakech and I never get tired of all its color and it makes me want to come back time after time.

 

 

Tea time the Morocco way

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At our recently trip to Morocco, we were treated to quite the amount of mint tea. The moroccans make their tea with pride. As we were demonstrated in the lovely Riad Chorfa by our tour organizer.

Mint tea is a sign of hospitality, friendship and tradition. Served all day long and if you make your way in to the souk/medina for some shopping you may very well be treated to some mint tea during the bargaining. The tea is made the old fashion way with gunpowder green tea and is served very sweet often garnished with some mint leaves.

making that moroccan mint tea

making that moroccan mint tea

Here as shown in above picture you have the gunpowder green tea in a traditional moroccan teapot. Fill up one a small cup of boiled water and let sit for a little while. After about 1-2 minutes swirl the pot and pour one cup, discard this as this is dirty tea.

clean vs dirty tea

clean vs dirty tea

You can clearly see the difference between the dirty and clean tea – dark being the dirty. Then you add the fresh mint leaves and a ton of sugar.

To bad I did not get a picture of the massive sugar cubes he used, one stick probably equals 10-15 normal sugar cubes.

Add more water and put to a boiler. When the water has boiled you may start the pouring. And If you have  ever got served moroccan mint tea you know they pour one cup and put it back in the teapot, this they to 2-3 times and the only reason is to dissolve the sugar.

Ready, set and pour:

Put it all back

Put it back into the pot

 

Tea is served, enjoy!

Tea is served, enjoy!