Bella Bologna aka La Grassa (the fat) city of the Emilia-Romagna region , the city my father comes from unequivocally holds a special place in my heart. I didn’t do many touristy things while there, as I have done them all in the past before. I mostly reacquainted myself with my ancestral home, spending time with friends and my amazing cousin who lives there. You will never find a tour guide quite like a family member, they always take you to unreal places, secret restaurants and of course every back ally route into the centre of town.
Lyon, Lyon oh what a place, the meeting spot between rivers Rhône and Saône is where we spent a night en route to the south of France. Filled to the brim with medieval roads, coffee shops and churches we tried far to many sweet pastries while roaming our quaint neighbourhood in one of the most magical towns in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
A chaotic city with so many districts can seem overwhelming at first, but we stuck to our lane (that being St Germain des Près) and had an a rather eye-opening and educational time. I think everyone wants to love Paris, everyone wants to feel the magical of this crazy historical city; and while it’s charm, and ancient heritage wormed it’s way into our hearts… I could not help to feel a touch relieved once we left. Don’t get me wrong it was powerful, bustling, classical and modern all rolled up into one, but for a small city girl from Cape Town it was a slight sensory overload. I think my low-lying claustrophobia may have been heightened due to the sheer number of people in the city for summer, filled to the brim of young-somethings clutching for a life in the the light. Personally I don’t feel like I know this vast space well enough to give you any ‘hot spots’ but I was lucky enough to receive so many amazing recommendations from friends that we got to try out some stellar spots!
A city after our very own hearts, Amsterdam is truly one of our favourites. We are lucky enough to have friends here to share with us their secret local spots, and new places to try out each time we visit. Flights to central Europe usually stop over in either Dubai or Amsterdam(no brainer), so we added it to our trip cause what’s summer without a weekend of canals, bitterballen and laughs with friends across the world. I made a little guide of things to do with links that we tried, tested and adored.
I took a long weekend in the wild to clear my mind and soul after a couple work-heavy weeks. The bush always regenerates me, I think the drylands and giraffe have some mystical hold over me, like a deep rooted earth magic, old as the eagles who fly above it. We bravely did the 16 hour drive up to Otjiwarongo – an area situated in central-north Namibia. We didn’t spend anytime in the city, but it is one of the more German influenced towns in the country. The vast farm lands are mostly game reserves and hunting lodges, with a huge emphasis on conservation and buck breeding.