Archive of ‘Wanderlust’ category

Wild at heart

wild at heart
wild at heart
 

wild at heart

wild at heart
wild at heart
 

The owners of this flower shop didn’t complain about the fact that we were taking so many photos of their beautiful flower stand, (maybe they are used to it?) in comparison to the strange reaction of some Vienna flower shop owners who are nagging at us anytime we want to take even just one little picture (oh, yes, let´s be honest, they do). And that’s also one of the reasons I decided to feature Wild at heart on The Viennese Girl (TVG) blog. Not only because I think it must be one of the most beautiful flower shops I´ve ever seen, but also because they let us photograph it.

If you are thinking of visiting London and you love flowers, don’t forget to check out Wild at Heart. This dreamy flower shop situated at the main entrance of the shopping store Liberty London, close to Oxford street, will make your heart skip a beat. Unfortunately we didn‘t have the time to enter the shopping mall but I plan to do it next time. The next meeting was set up for lunch at the Aqua Shard with the team of Samsung Austria.

Oh by the way, if anyone out there would love to send me flowers, should consider to purchase them from Wild at heart, haha just sayin’. ♥

London calling

London calling
London calling
 

London calling – At the end of March, I was one of the lucky persons to travel to London with the team of Samsung Austria for the launch of their new Galaxy S8. I didn’t take many pictures this time because the trip was short, but I truly enjoyed sunny London in the very good company of Samsung’s Austria team. The presentation and the party for the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S8 was held right on the first day of our arrival in London. Apart from that function, we also had some time to stroll around the city and visit a few of my favorite spots. I’ve been to London many times before but for some reason, this time it felt like I loved it a little bit more. We have been very lucky with the weather. Can’t tell you enough how nice it was to amble and take photos without freezing in a city in full bloom. London in April can be truly beautiful.

I’ve been a Samsung Galaxy user since 2014. Mostly because of my demanding work, I feel like I have to update my phone every year with the new model that’s out in the market. Between the S8 and S8+, I think I am going to opt for the Galaxy S8+ (with a cute pink case) because I use my smart phone as if it was my computer. I also need it to have a big screen, as well as for it to be handy and practical. Can’t wait to test the new camera and all the new features. For all of you who are asking which gadget I use for taking photos for my Instagram, you now know the answer. The new Galaxy S8 will come out in Austria on the 29th of April. Exciting, no?♥

Bella Napoli

 

 

It was raining the first day we arrived in Napoli, but the city was generous enough and treated us with endless sunshine for the rest of our stay. We didn’t care at all because we didn’t have big plans for the first day anyway, so we were content to just visit that famous pizzeria “Da Michele” that happened to be located a few blocks away from our hotel.

I brought Anastacia with me on this trip. She thanked me over a slice of Pizza Margherita for bringing her to Bella Napoli. This was despite her initial worries regarding all the bad rumors that she had read on the internet about Napoli. I told her not to worry and just follow The Viennese Girl, haha. For me, it wasn’t the first time in Napoli. It was actually my third visit to this city. My previous visits were always during the summer season; therefore I have always connected the South of Italy, and more specifically Napoli, with holidays and summer. But I can’t tell you enough how good it felt for us to fly with with myAustrian Holidays down to Naples in the middle of February. If I look back now, it feels even more like the right decision to take the airplane and fly to Bella Napoli in the middle of February.

One of the best things that happened during our visit to Napoli was meeting up with Marco, a guy who I got to know through Instagram and was kind enough to show us his beautiful city and brought us to parts of the city that we wouldn’t have been able to find without him. Always remember that Instagram connects people. I feel really appreciative that Marco spent one entire day with us showing us around his beautiful city.

While in Napoli, we were never alone. My good friend Marcello picked us up every afternoon from the hotel and drove us to the small Italian village of “Vietri sul mare”, because I had cravings for mussels and pasta with sea food. We were pretty exhausted every afternoon after walking through the city for hours and we had to force ourselves to leave our hotel room and go for dinner. But on the other hand, how can you deny a good dish of sea food pasta and a large pot filled of steamed mussels? I have to say, this was the best way to end every day in Napoli.

We stayed at Una Hotels Napoli, which I would recommend because of its key location. Being next to the main Garibaldi station and being close to the Alibus airport bus makes it easy for anyone who wishes to reach other destinations from Napoli. To be honest, we didn’t spend a lot of time in the hotel. But the little time we did spend in the hotel, we were always greeted by the very helpful and welcoming staff. We enjoyed the delicious breakfast on the rooftop terrace with views to the volcano and of course we loved that the pizzeria “Da Michele” was only 5 minutes of walking distance from the hotel.

To sum it up, the three nights and four days we spent in Bella Napoli were filled with lots of sunshine, hundred of photos, Italian friends, and many delicious slices of Pizza Margherita. I will come back for those and many other reasons.

It was time to say goodbye to Napoli. Our main destination for this trip wasn’t Napoli. It was Matera. About Matera, I will tell you in the next blog post.

Many thanks to ENIT Italia for making this trip happen, My Austrian Holidays for flying us to that sunny destination, and Una Hotels Napoli for the friendly accommodation! More on Instagram! 

Royal Mansour Marrakesh

Royal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour Marrakesh

Royal Mansour Marrakesh
Royal Mansour Marrakesh
 

Royal Mansour Marrakesh

Royal Mansour Marrakesh
Royal Mansour Marrakesh
 

Royal Mansour Marrakesh

Royal Mansour Marrakesh
Royal Mansour Marrakesh
 
Royal Mansour Marrakesh
Royal Mansour Marrakesh
 

Royal Mansour Marrakesh

Royal Mansour Marrakesh
Royal Mansour Marrakesh
 

Royal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour Marrakesh

Royal Mansour Marrakesh
Royal Mansour Marrakesh
 

Royal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour Marrakesh

Royal Mansour Marrakesh
Royal Mansour Marrakesh
 

Royal Mansour Marrakesh

Royal Mansour Marrakesh
Royal Mansour Marrakesh
 

Royal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour Marrakesh

Royal Mansour Marrakesh
Royal Mansour Marrakesh
 

Royal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour MarrakeshRoyal Mansour Marrakesh

All photos of the hotel were taken by me

Royal Mansour Marrakesh – As you might already know, here, on The Viennese Girl blog, we are living for fairy tale moments. Such was my stay at Royal Mansour. At Royal Mansour, Edisa and I felt like two little princesses. And that’s just one of hundreds of reasons why we can’t forget this property ever since we left.

The whole experience felt so otherworldly right from the beginning. The staff of Royal Mansour picked us up from the airport and guided us through the VIP security and passport control while everyone else was waiting in another long line. That was the first hint that the following days would be phenomenal.

We hadn’t slept the previous night because our flight was very early in the morning. But the staff at Royal Mansour and the way they treated us made us forget all the fatigue. Who actually cares about a sleepless night if you know that the next day you get the best spa and dining experience you have ever had in your life?

Royal Mansour Marrakesh sets the standards very high. I’ve been traveling the world for years, from South America to USA, from the whole of Europe to the Middle East, and all the way to Asia. I never experienced something like this before. I remember one night I went to the reception and while I was waiting for some documents to be printed, I was looking at the ceiling and couldn’t believe my eyes. Throughout our stay we were looking around in awe, floored by the one of a kind architecture and decor of the palace.

That was it. For the five days we spent at Royal Mansour Marrakesh, we decided not to step out of the palace. We wanted to enjoy each and every moment of a 5 star luxury experience and completely forget the outside world. This is something I never do. When I visit a city for the first time in my life, I always leave the luggage at the hotel room and go out to explore the place…But Royal Mansour’s magical atmosphere captivated us not only for five days, but eternally.

There is so much to tell you. But how can words alone adequately describe all this magic?

At Royal Mansour Marrakesh we had our own Riad, a traditional Moroccan house of three floors. It was the Riad number 10. I literally loved every inch of it: the little patio once you step in, the little fountain with the relaxing sound of the falling water, the mosaics, the huge living room on the ground floor, the bedroom on the first floor, and the terrace with the little pool on the third floor. I felt so much at home. Our clothes were all over the closet and there was enough space for everything. Our cosmetics were all over the bathroom and our shoes were standing in the entrance hall. We were running up and down the floors and as days passed by, the Riad number 10 became ours, our beautiful home.

In the morning, breakfast was served a la carte. We could have it either on the roof terrace of our Riad or in the in the main courtyard around the olive trees.

We spent all evenings in the public lobby, sipping Moroccan tea and listening to a young lady singing in a language we didn’t understand. It must be love songs, I guess. We loved looking at her while the white gloves wearing butler was pouring us mint tea with such attentive care. Those evenings were something out of a fairy tale.

On our last day at Royal Mansour Marrakesh we found some books in our living room that documented stories of people who have visited Royal Mansour.. The guests of Royal Mansour were as special as the palace is. So, we opened the book with so much curiosity to read the stories in it. One of my favorite stories was of a photographer who said: “What’s the weather forecast? What difference would it make in any case, even if I knew? Just as long as there’s clear blue sky, everything will be fine. I’ve spent the whole day framing shots and setting up compositions for tomorrow’s shoot, taking masses of Polaroids and making my own sketches”.

Every night, a little bit before we go to sleep, we wandered along the alleyways and enjoyed the tranquility of the palace. We never met anybody during our little strolls apart from that night when a wedding party was held. That was evidence that this palace is a haven where you can enjoy high exclusivity and privacy. Here, peace and privacy radiate through.

All the words in this post was written with charged feelings of nostalgia. I am awash with nice memories from Royal Mansour. We were sad to leave, but on the other hand, I knew I was privileged to experience such extravagance and royalty, and I hope it will not be long before I go back again. You know, during our stay, I saw them building new oasis gardens with a new large swimming pool and 7 private pavilions. Those are for sure some of the hundred reasons to go back to Royal Mansour. Best hotel experience. Ever.

The Ritz-Carlton Dubai

The Ritz-Carlton Dubai

The Ritz-Carlton Dubai

The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
 
The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
 

The Ritz-Carlton Dubai

The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
 

The Ritz-Carlton Dubai

The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
The Ritz-Carlton Dubai
 

The Ritz-Carlton Dubai

I still remember vividly the moment when I arrived in Dubai at the beginning of last November. I took off my black winter coat and I was the happiest. Warm weather always has that impact on me. It just makes me happy!

Upon landing, I was picked up at the airport and driven to The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre where I spent one night and one day, before my next flight to the Maldives. Everything was perfectly organized from Michelle and Dubai looked familiar to my eyes. Although it has been years since I visited this city for the first time, people have told me that many things have changed since then.

Dubai was actually a stopover on my way to the Maldives. I spend two nights at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre before flying to the Maldives , and two nights at The Ritz-Carlton which is located along the Jumeirah Beach during my return trip from the Maldives. It was nice to have the opportunity to stay and check out both hotels.

During my stay in Dubai, although I wanted to go out to see more of the city, I decided not to and preferred to spend the whole time at the The Ritz-Carlton because long flights and changing time zones made me a little bit tired. The pictures that you see in this blog post were all taken in both hotels.

I loved the suite at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre with its full sized living room and very comfortable king sized bed. I was lucky enough to be there on a day when they organized a food party in the garden. In addition to that, having access to an exclusive lounge of the hotel was an extra treat. Before I had to leave to catch my next flight, I stopped by the rooftop terrace and spent some hours gazing at the illuminated skyscrapers.

Regarding my stay at The Ritz-Carlton in the Jumeirah Beach, everything was perfect and I need to thank here Miss Chloé Perrin-Macgaw from the Public Relations & Marketing of The Ritz-Carlton Dubai for the great company, warm welcome and hospitality.

The only thing that I couldn’t stand during my visit in Dubai was the air conditioner. That’s because air conditioner is not common in Vienna, so I am not used to it. However I totally understand that for the residents of Dubai, having air conditioner everywhere is more than necessary.

This is my last blog post for 2016. I wish you all Happy New Year’s Eve.♥ 

Life on a private island in The Maldives

Life on a private island in The Maldives
Life on a private island in The Maldives
 

Life on a private island in The Maldives

Life on a private island in The Maldives
Life on a private island in The Maldives
 

Life on a private island in The Maldives

Life on a private island in The Maldives
Life on a private island in The Maldives
 
Life on a private island in The Maldives
Life on a private island in The Maldives
 

Life on a private island in The Maldives

Life on a private island in The MaldivesLife on a private island in The Maldives
Life on a private island in The Maldives

Life on a private island in The Maldives

 

Life on a private island in The Maldives

Life on a private island in The Maldives
Life on a private island in The Maldives
 

Life on a private island in The Maldives

Life on a private island in The Maldives
Life on a private island in The Maldives
 

Life on a private island in The Maldives

Life on a private island in The Maldives
Life on a private island in The Maldives
 

Life on a private island in The Maldives

Life on a private island in The Maldives
Life on a private island in The Maldives
 

Swimsuit: Madame Shou Shou

All photos of the hotel were taken by me

Life on a private island in The Maldives – Upon arrival at Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Resort Island in the Maldives, we were welcomed with a drink and we were guided to our villas. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I had my own beachfront villa, named Manta Villa, that came with a private swimming pool, a spacious living area, and a large bathroom with outdoor showers! I felt like a member of the British royal family or even a celebrity (even though I am none of those). The island has 6 villas and they can only be booked as an island and not as an individual villa.

Imagine…a private island only for you and your favorite people! 

In the days that followed, I enjoyed snorkeling in the pristine waters, the spa treatments, and I practiced yoga. Everywhere I stood, there was uninterrupted Indian Ocean views. I loved everything. I loved the feeling of harmony everywhere on the island, the privacy and the maximun exclusivity. I loved the fact that I was spending the whole day carefree swimming in turquoise waters, having my feet on the unspoiled white sand and that the only piece of clothing that I needed was just a swimsuit. I loved exploring the underwater world and swimming among coral reefs with the turtles, reef sharks, and other beautiful sea creatures. I loved my daily fresh coconut drink and having dinner every night under the Maldivian night sky. Every meal was expertly crafted by a private chef.

One day, Coco prive Kuda Hithi organised for us breakfast on a sand bank. Do you know what a sand bank is? It is a very small island of sand in the sea. There is only white sand and nothing else. In the photos above you can see a sand bank, the endless blue and white around it. My favourite colors. Visiting a sand bank in the Maldives is a life experience.

The only thing that went wrong and ruined my good mood during my stay was that my 50mm camera lenses broke down unexpectedly and I couldn’t take as many pictures as I wanted. I could spend days and nights taking photos of this little island.

This was my last trip in 2016 and one of the best trips in my life so far. If one can only have one wish, I wish 2017 will bring me back to the private island of Coco Prive Kuda Hithi in the Maldives. You have my.

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives
Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives
 

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives

Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Maldives

All photos were taken by me

Maldives has always lived in my mind like a place of paradisiacal beauty destined for honeymooners only. Is it because the media promoted it like that? Maybe! However, Maldives is not for honeymooners only and I am glad that I had the chance to experience holidays in the Maldives with friends!

I was in Paris when I got the invitation from my friend, Michelle from Travel Junkie Diary, to join her in an exciting trip to the Maldives. To be honest, I didn’t believe that an invitation like that would ever come my way, because you know, some things are just too good to be true. Nevertheless, when I came back home to Vienna, Michelle and I started getting into the details about our next travel adventure on a luxury private island resort called Coco Prive Kuda Hithi in the Maldives. My wish to escape the cold winter in Europe has been heard.

Flying over Maldives with Fly Dubai treated us to a bird’s eye view of the islands, sandbars, and lagoons. In addition, the views were a hint of how beautiful the following days would be. What I’ve been seeing in travel brochures for the longest time was unfolding in front of my eyes.

When we arrived at Malé International Airport, we were picked up and transferred by a private yacht to the private island of Coco Prive Kuda Hithi in the Maldives. Once my feet touched ground on this little island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, I knew I would love it forever. I can list a million reasons why I love this place so much like nothing else in the world, but words will never be enough to describe the beauty of this private island resort and how it made me feel. I hope that at least the pictures in this blog post will give you an idea, but I still need to add here that the whole experience was just unreal and beyond any expectation.

More photos here… ♥

Jardin Majorelle Rue Yves Saint Laurent

Jardin Majorelle Rue Yves Saint Laurent

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Jardin Majorelle Rue Yves Saint Laurent
Jardin Majorelle Rue Yves Saint Laurent
 
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Jardin Majorelle Rue Yves Saint Laurent – another beautiful place to visit when in Morocco and it has to be featured on The Viennese Girl blog. I wrote a few words in my previous blog post and here, I can share some photos with you. It wasn’t easy to take the pictures that you see above. The place was crowded and you may already know that I don’t like having strangers in my photos. Besides, it was very hot and the sun was creating strong shadows and causing high contrasts, which is something that I don’t find very flattering in photography. For those reasons, we decided to visit Jardin Majorelle the day after for a second time, with the hope of finding less crowds and cooler temperatures. But it didn’t work out. The next day’s schedule was already full and there was not enough time for us to fit a second visit in the seductive gardens of Jardin Majorelle Rue Yves Saint Laurent.

Jardin Majorelle in Rue Yves Saint Laurent is truly a beautiful place to visit in Marrakesh. What you will find at Jardin Majorelle is: Blue walls, exotic plants and trees, fountains and vibrant colors, a bookstore, a boutique, the Berber Museum and the loveliest café ever where we spent about an hour and drunk something refreshing. I wish it won’t be long before I go back. More from the interesting history here.

 

One week in Marrakesh

One week in Marrakesh
One week in Marrakesh
 
One week in Marrakesh
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One week in Marrakesh
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One week in Marrakesh

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One week in Marrakesh
 

One week in Marrakesh

One week in Marrakesh
One week in Marrakesh
 

One week in Marrakesh

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Outfit: Peek&Cloppenburg

One week in Marrakesh was just perfect. I wouldn’t go for less. Of course, if you don’t have as much time at your disposal, then you can always go for less…I am just saying that at least one week is needed to enjoy this beautiful city.

I loved Marrakesh, its vibes and its colours. I was afraid that it would be a little bit dangerous for two girls to go there alone but when we got there I realized how wrong my initial worries were. There was chaos on the streets, of which I am not used to (because in Vienna there is order everywhere). But other than that, there is absolutely no problem as long as you dress up correctly and you don’t do anything provocative. You should always be careful in the night or during the early morning, but during the day there is nothing to worry about. We stayed at the hotel La Mamounia  which is very close to the Medina (old town of Marrakesh). We could reach the Medina either on foot or by taxi. However, my favorite mean of transport was the tuk tuk (auto rickshaw in English). That was so much fun.

I am afraid I am not able to give you all the Marrakesh insider tips and the hidden gems that you might be looking for. I only stayed there for one week, which was only enough time for the basics. However, I hope you still find the following tips and recommendations of mine helpful, so here we go:

  1. Find a taxi driver from your hotel. They are usually very nice and helpful and they always say “Yes madam, yes madam”. If you are lucky enough to find someone who is as nice as our taxi driver was, he will show you around, he will drive you from one place to another, he will wait for you out of every monument, for as long as your visit lasts. And regarding the money, the service will be absolutely affordable. At the end of the day, we gave our own taxi driver more money than he asked for because he was just too kind and helpful.
  2. Everybody told me: go to the Jardin Majorelle garden. But go early in the morning, at the time of the opening if possible. We didn’t manage to wake up early enough, although we wanted to. Jardin Majorelle is beautiful, but it’s way more beautiful without crowds and other tourists haha. And the cafe of the garden…oh my God!! So adorable!
  3. Nomad & Le Jardin: favorite restaurants in Marrakesh. We went to Nomad two times and if we had more time in Marrakesh, we would go there every evening. The restaurant is just unbeatable, both food and environment. Ask to meet Karim, the manager of Nomad. We can’t forget how nice he treated us.
  4. Although the Medina is way more interesting, I would suggest that you also look around the new city of Marrakesh called Guéliz.
  5. Don’t miss the Bahia Palace

I miss the days and the nights in Marrakesh. They were made of pure magic and glitter. Generally, traveling out of Europe gives me the biggest happiness. With that being said, I am happy to announce that there is one more travel coming this week. I am flying to Dubai to meet my friend Michelle Karam from Travel Junkie Diary. She invited me to visit her, and then we fly together to the Maldives with Fly Dubai. Follow along on Instagram  and check the hashtag #travelwithTJD for updates. ♥

 

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