Archive of ‘Wanderlust’ category

Beautiful Blois

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Hotel: La maison de Thomas / restaurant: La Creusille

I spent one day in beautiful Blois. I took the train from Beaugency to Blois, and as soon as I arrived in the little town, I looked for the hotel to drop off my heavy suitcases. If you also have the opportunity to visit Blois, which is something I definitely recommend, you should check out this hotel. Needless to say, I loved my room on the first floor (which you can see from the photos here). I actually never had a room like this before and once I stepped in, I was in awe. I honestly didn’t want to close the door and leave the hotel for the day. But what can you do? C’est la vie!

How I spent my day and things to do in Blois:

Take the shuttle bus, which stops in front of the Royal Castle of Blois and in about 40 minutes you are going to reach the Royal Château de Chambord. Check the timetables for the time the last bus leaves for Blois. While you are in the Royal Château de Chambord, take your time. The castle and its surrounding are huge; therefore you need time to admire the exceptional architecture. There are also restaurants for a little relaxation. Once you get back to Blois, visit the Royal Chateau of Blois. From the Royal Chateau of Blois you can also have a panoramic view of the city (photos above). Plus, don’t forget to reserve a ticket for the festival of special effects which takes place in the courtyard and documents the history of the castle. During my visit in Loire Valley, I was going from one castle to another, which had me feeling like a little princess.♥

Visit Loire Valley

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The trip to Loire Valley didn’t start at its best for me. I missed my train for several reasons but such a thing can always happen when travelling. You have to always know how to deal with unexpected little problems and don’t let them ruin your day. I remember that the Uber driver did his best to bring me at Gare Austerlitz on time but when I arrived there, I was five minutes late, therefore I missed my train and took the next one.

Orléans is approximately one hour away from Paris if you take the direct train. Unlike in Paris, Loire Valley tourism office organized a plan for me to follow during my visit in Val de Loire and picked me up from the train station in Orléans. We had a small tour around the old little town, had an amazing lunch at Ver di Vin (Sabine et Laurent merci beaucoup, the food and wine was magnifique), took a bicycle and rode about 28km to Beaugency.

Regarding the ride, the route and landscape were both peaceful and beautiful, but I would suggest that you do that in a small group with friends and always check the weather before your departure. A good idea would be if you rent an electric bicycle and have a couple of bottles of water with you. In the middle of the route, have a rest and pay a visit at the beautiful Jardins de Roquelin.

I spent the night in Beaugency at the hotel l’Ecu de Bretagne, pretty tired but happy. If you plan to visit Loire Valley, you might want to write down those few places mentioned on this blog post. They definitely deserve a visit.♥

 

4 days in Paris

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After a hectic week with 3 deadlines, I finished my tasks and hopped on a flight to Paris for a press trip organized by the official tourism board of France. My daily program in Paris wasn’t based on tips of any travel guide. Since I know the city so well, I could spontaneously decide where I wanted to go and what I was up to next.

I spent a lot of time walking from one arrondissement to another because walking makes me feel good and it would have been a pity to spend time underground in the metro since the weather was so nice. And as I write this, I am asking myself: Do Parisians enjoy all this beauty around them, or do they take it for granted?

One thing that also helped me very much, which you might want to consider getting for your trips as well, is a SIM card that I bought from Orange. I had a French number and internet everywhere, which helps a lot especially if you have one meeting after another. I downloaded the app citymapper and used it mainly for directions on how to get from one point to another by metro. That made the whole experience of getting around a big city as easy as it can be.

The photos above were taken at Ralph Lauren restaurant, in the streets of Paris while I was doing window shopping, at Angelina tea house and at Ritz Hotel.

Although Paris must be the most beautiful capital city I have ever been in the world, it was yet again the people that I met and the discussions we had that made my visit so special. And the last day of my visit, the day I had to take the train for Loire Valley, I realized that 4 days in Paris weren’t enough. I am afraid that even 14 wouldn’t be…♥

To Paris with Air France

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When the email from the official tourism board of France landed in my inbox, I was as happy as a clam! It felt like my wish to get back to Paris and discover more from France has been heard. I was very excited that this wish was one step closer to reality. So, this is how I found myself in Paris for the fifth time. I spent the first days of July in the city of lights walking around the boulevards, taking pictures of things that I like, meeting interesting people, and catching up with good friends that are living in Paris. Being so familiar with the city and feeling so comfortable with my surroundings was one of the best feelings during my visit this time around. Getting around Paris without using a map gave me the sense of being home, yet there is still the constant mystery of a possible little surprise around any corner. Let’s get into the details and highlight some of the beautiful happenings and encounters during my trip to Paris.

Many thanks to François and his assistant, Margaux, for the warm welcome to Chatelles’s showroom during the first day of my arrival in Paris. Once I stepped into the showroom, I had an immediate crush on their vast collection of slippers that you can see here. It’s worth spreading the words for brands that I like, and that are in line with my style. Chatelles’s showroom is situated in a beautiful neighborhood, just opposite to Musée Rodin. Apart from the slipper collection, I also loved the stairs to the showroom, the decorations, the view from the showroom overlooking Musée Rodin, and the neighborhood…pretty much everything. C’était très romantique.

Having afternoon tea at Le Meurice was like traveling to another world. I have never experienced afternoon tea in Paris before, so it was quite a unique experience. It is something that has been on my list of the things to do while visiting Paris. I made myself comfortable at the restaurant Le Dalí, and I savored delicious treats made by the pastry chef, Cédric Grolet, while admiring the gigantic Ara Starck designed canvas hanging above me. It was an exhilarating culinary experience that I would definitely recommend. If only I could have one small treat right now…

One of the highlights of my trip in Paris was my visit to the Maison Boucheron. I got the chance to photograph and try some of their exquisite pieces, like Nara the Deer ring, which you can see here. It was quite an exciting experience visiting the Maison Boucheron, the first jeweler in Place Vendôme.

All in all, I had the time of my life yet again. Don’t be surprised if you find me in Paris again soon.. pour une balade romantique.♥

Special thanks to Atout France for organizing this press trip, Air France, Loire Valley Tourism and SNCF for making it happen. Stay tuned for the next blog posts from my press trip to France.

 

Skiathos and Skopelos

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Hotel in Skiathos: Skiathos Palace
Hotel in Skopelos: Skopelos Village Hotel 

You can’t imagine how happy I was for going back to Greek islands. I still remember being so excited while waiting for the departure at Vienna International airport. Together with a group of journalists, we flew directly to Skiathos island for a press trip organized by the Greek national tourism Organization. The plan was visiting and discovering Alonissos, Skiathos and Skopelos which automatically means: amazing landscape, warm hearted people, and good food. Yay!

I have never been on the Greek islands in May. When I was living in Greece, I used to visit the islands mostly in July and in August, but after spending a couple of cold months in the Central Europe, my desire for sea and sun together with my wanderlust was urgently calling for a cure and absolutely could not wait until June or July. I also realized that, not only June and July, but May as well, is a perfect month to visit and have holidays in Greece (pleasant temperatures and not that much crowd in places).

Once we arrived at Skiathos, we took the boat to Skopelos, that famous island where the musical Mamma mia was filmed. The three islands are connected by boat. So if you visit them, fly to Skiathos and take the boat. The boat trip from Skiathos to Skopelos lasted about an hour. In Skopelos, the people of the island who would later give us a tour in the following days welcomed us warmly with local delicacies. In the days that followed, I soaked all in: the good company of my new friends, blue of the sea, green of the nature, amazing view from my hotel room at Skiathos Palace and of course my favourite fried potatoes, a lot of kalamarakia and the famous Skopelos cheese pie, known as Skopelitiki Tyropita.

In Skopelos, I did something for the first time in my life: scuba diving (say yes to new experiences)! Visit Kostas & Ines at Skopelos Dive Center. Kostas explained to me everything about my first dive in the sea in order to enjoy the trip under the water the most and stay safe at the same time. What an amazing experience that I definitely recommend to others.

In this blog post you can see photos from my visit in Skiathos and Skopelos. My Austrian friends continued their travel to Alonissos but I didn’t. I had to go back to Skiathos and take the airplane to my next destination. The adventure would go on in Mykonos! ♥

Mykonos, the picture perfect island

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Upon my arrival in Mykonos, everybody was asking me the same question: “first time here”?
No, it wasn’t the first time visiting Mykonos, the picture perfect island. The first one was many, many years ago. My first visit, I recall, was based on a lie. I lied to my work and said that I was ill and left with a friend for a weekend in Mykonos, the picture perfect island.

This time, my friend Edisa and I got a little bit crazy during our stay in Mykonos because of all the beauty around us. We loved roaming around and let our instinct drive us through the alleys of the little town. If you visit Mykonos, pay attention to the details around you. You will notice that residents of Mykonos take care of their island. They really have a good taste about everything, they keep their island polished and this is a considerable reason to love them, right? With my camera, I tried to catch all that beauty, architecture and details as well.

In one of those photos you will see Petros, the pink pelican. Petros is the cutest bird I have ever seen. I had a quick conversation with the woman who takes care of him. She told me that there were three pelicans on the island. Now there is only one left. She set Petros free every morning and before the sunset, she is looking for him to bring him back home. If she doesn’t find her, she can’t sleep. Having and taking care of an animal is a big responsibility and this adorable animal left me to touch him and caress him. The woman pointed out that Petros doesn’t let anyone caress him. I guess this was a good sign that Petros and I became friends. What a pity I couldn’t pack him and take him with me to Vienna. : ) We also saw many dogs and cats on the streets of Mykonos. It seems that they were all taking naps and I am sure they were also annoyed by tourists like me who wanted to take photos of them.

Mykonos has the reputation worldwide of being a party island but for me and the way I conceived it, this island is something more than that. No doubt that here you can party until dawn, but this island has something special that you cannot describe with words. We had the chance to feel that “special” thing in the air, also thanks to the unbeatable hospitality at our boutique hotel Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge. Four days on this island resulted in more than 4.000 photos. That’s the reason that makes me call Mykonos the picture perfect island. The worst thing you can do is visiting this island without your camera, or forgetting your battery/memory card at home.

And as we are talking about the cosmopolitan flair of Mykonos, there is a lot happening in Athens as well. After Mykonos I came back to Athens to visit my parents. I would like to mention an event held by my friend Chrysanthos Panas. The Italian fashion desiger, Valentino, together with Giancarlo Giammetti and their good friend and jet setter Micaela Calabresi Marconi, visited Athens on Friday, March the 25th. They decided to visit Athens, for a three day city break so that they could see the beautiful city during the springtime – until now they have only travelled in Greece on summers. My friend, Chrysanthos Panas, owner of Panas Sophisticated Hospitality, Greece’s leading company of entertainment facilities and hospitality welcomed them and showed them the most important attractions of Athens. Among them, the renovated and historic restaurant Zonars in the centre of Athens, which now exhibits authentic paintings of Picasso, Matisse and Giacometti. Valentino and his company dined in Zonars on their first night in Athens and were thrilled with its amazing atmosphere. Giancarlo Giammetti signed his book “Private” and Valentino signed his book “At the Emperor’s Table”. On the second night they chose Athens exclusive members’ club Salon de Bricolage. Valentino loved the Salon de Bricolage crowd, which he said was full of “stylish and quality people”. Photos of the event here.

Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge

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It was Edisa’s birthday and she wanted to do something special. I told her that I would be in Greece for a press trip organized by the Greek National Tourism Organization but I could extend my stay in my homeland if she wanted to come and find me in Greece. I suggested that we could go to Mykonos. And this is how our little adventure started…

I flew from Skiathos to Athens and from Athens to Mykonos. I hate morning flights that forces my bell to ring at 05.00 am but on the other side, who cares if you are about to spend a couple of days at Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge in Mykonos with the company of a good friend? Once I arrived, a member of the staff picked me up from the airport with a white Jeep with beige leather interior and offered me a hot towel to clean my hands. I still remember some details of the service, small gestures like this, provided by the hotel that made our stay at Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge special, unique and above all unforgettable.

When I stepped in, I was offered a welcome drink and another member of the staff came to me with a map explaining some things about the island. Once I entered Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge, the first glance at the breathtaking view over swimming pool, beach, and all this romantic oasis that surrounded me had me thinking…. Why I haven’t discovered that place earlier? It was time for me to breathe easily and unwind. Edisa came on another flight a few hours later.

In the days that followed, we did all kind of things that belong to what someone would call as dreamy holidays. We relaxed in a 5 star Mykonian suite, savored amazing Greek food, took many photos, did funny things, made new friends, talked to strangers, and discovered hidden paths in the city of Mykonos. But most of all we were pampered from the hotel and felt like two small princesses. What I really really loved from our stay at Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge was that the staff surprised us pleasantly every now and then by being very generous and friendly to all the guests, the privacy of our suite, the dinner from the restaurant’s Chef, Athinagoras Kostakos (could he cook like this for me everyday…?), and the music from the bar…!!!!! It felt like everything was unfolding very naturally and effortlessly. We didn’t have to worry about anything, we were in good hands.

But then comes that day when you have to leave a place you don’t want to leave. Hmm… Hopefully we will get back soon to discover their beach club “Bill & Coo Coast Suites” that Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge launched to celebrate their 10 years anniversary.

Obviously we fell in love with Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge. Who wouldn’t? ♥

Simply Munich

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Simply Munich

simply Munich
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Simply Munich

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Simply Munich

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Simply Munich
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Simply Munich
Simply Munich
 

Munich, the capital and largest city of Bavaria, is characterized by the unique coexistence of strong economic growth and high tech industries on one hand, and traditional alpine small-town atmosphere on the other hand. In a nutshell: Lederhosen and laptops! Dirndls and high heels! And this is unexpectedly fun!

Having already visited Munich for the popular Oktoberfest, I was thrilled to be back for the second time in just one year! I shall admit that I am, once more, amazed by the harmony, that derives from the combination of historic buildings and modern architecture. The past is still present and the future is being born! Simply Munich!

Once I landed in Munich and dropped off my hand luggage at the hotel room, a program full of interesting activities organised by the  Munich Tourism Office awaited me, while I was greeted by the team from Mucbook and a group of other bloggers who had come to Munich just for the instameet. The fun started right away as we took the Rikscha and drove to the restaurant Cantina Cantona. Under the mottos “Simply Munich” and “Spring in Munich” we discovered different parts of the city together with the locals. We enjoyed a guided tour at the Munich Kammerspiele theatre, beer tasting at the Jewish Museum, a sweet seduction at Sama-Sama and African Dirndl at NOH NEE.

Regarding my stay at the H’Otello B01 hotel, I have to say that although I am a sucker for 5 star luxury hotels, I can appreciate the warmth and coziness that you can find in this small boutique hotel. Clean, centrally located, with passion for details, it can only be highly recommended from me. That’s why I also took so many photos of the decor and my delicious breakfast at bed…

Thank you Munich for the invitation and the warm hospitality. ♥

#simplymunich #einfachmuenchen

 

Paris in March

paris in March

Paris in March

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Paris in March would be described: fascinating and surreal.

In comparison to my last year’s visit in Paris, this time I didn’t take many photos of the city. I didn’t visit my favourite Place des Vosges, I didn’t go to Palais Royal, not even to Café Angelina for that famous hot chocolate, called ‘African’. But I met so many lovely Parisian people who brought me to other places, like Boot Cafe and Marlon restaurant. Besides, the main reason of my visit was the Chanel fashion show, so I was more focused on that and on my stay at my Paris perfect Apartment.

So now you know why I didn’t take so many photos of the city, but those few that I took, it would be a pity not to share them on The Viennese Girl blog as they turned out to be so pretty (I hope you find them pretty as well)♥

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