Posts Tagged ‘wanderlust’

Folegandros

Folegandros
Folegandros
 

Folegandros

During this past winter, I asked some of my friends whether they’ve been to Folegandros or not. And the answer I got from most of them was a no. Neither have I. My immediate thought was, “we should change this”.

This was how a carefully planned trip to Folegandros got started. From a simple question.

One reason why I think none of my friends have visited Folegandros yet is because of Santorini, Greece’s most popular island. Santorini is very close to Folegandros, and if people have to choose between those two, people mostly choose to go to Santorini. I personally didn’t mind going to a less popular island. I was actually intrigued by the idea of exploring Folegandros and 100% sure that I would love it from the very first moment we touched ground. And I did.

Folegandros

Folegandros

I can still recall in my mind the moment we arrived at the port Karavostasi. We were super exhausted even though the trip on the fast ferry lasted only 4 hours and a half. We were exhausted because we had an early morning wake up call, as the ferry’s departure was set at 7am. But once we arrived, the magic power of the white washed houses in combination with Folegandros’s natural beauty had made our fatigue fade away and turn it into a state of excitement and euphoria.

We spent one week in Folegandros, ignoring what people had told us that one week would be too much. My answer to them is: “one week is enough to see the island, but if you want to really enjoy it, then you need to stay longer”.

Folegandros

If time and money were not an issue, then I would suggest: stay, relax, enjoy.

Folegandros

Folegandros

Folegandros

Three things I noticed during my stay in Folegandros: 
  • June is a wonderful month to visit Folegandros. The island is not jammed, which makes your stay on the island very enjoyable. 
  • The island offers high quality accomodations to the most discerning travelers. It has a great variety of amazing boutique hotels.
  • Also, the little fashion stores host incredible pieces made by Greek fashion designers. I fell madly in love with the Kori collection. 

Folegandros

Here is a list of some cafes/tavernas that we visited, in other words, a few things you shouldn’t miss:

Try the traditional dish “matsáta”, which is handmade noodles with rooster or rabbit

Mama’s Pita, Souvlaki House in Chora. We paid a daily visit here!

Chrisospylia restaurant for shrimp spaghetti in Chora 

Breakfast/brunch at Pounda in Chora / Traditional cafe “Lontzia

Eva’s garden restaurant / Pancakes at Parasagas

Folegandros
Folegandros
 

I want to remember this small rocky and longish island as a place I want to return to. Hopefully it won’t be long before I return.

Folegandros

Hotel: Folegandros Apartments

Rent a car: Evo rent a car

Outfit: 2 the little store

The Viennese Girl visited Folegandros island in partnership with the Greek Tourism board.

Special thanks to Mrs. Christiana Papitsi, Mrs. Efthalia Papadopoulou and Mr. Konstantinos Magkas. 

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Finland

Finland
 
Finland
Finland
 
finland
Finland
 

Finland was not on my favorite countries to visit list for the simple reason that I generally avoid countries where temperatures are low for most of the year. By saying this I am actually referring to all the North European countries. But then of course, I wouldn’t miss a chance to visit Finland if the opportunity presented itself. And it did!

Last week I spent 5 days in Finland. I was invited by Ping Helsinki, the leading digital marketing event in the Nordics. The first two days were spent in Helsinki, exploring the capital city and attending master classes around the topic of online marketing and content creation. The day after the event, we took the train and went to Tampere. Tampere is a little town in southern Finland. It is also known as the Finnish sauna capital, the favorite activity of the Finns! I thought it was a great idea that the Ping Helsinki festival was combined with the post tour, because that gave us the opportunity to get an idea of how the countryside of Finland looks like.

Finland
Finland
 
Finland
Finland
 
Finland
Finland
 

I invited my friend and travel buddy Pauline to join me on this trip. Pauline flew in from Athens and I flew in from Vienna. We met at the Helsinki airport and went to the hotel together. And guess what! The weather forecast was for blues skies, warm temperature, and lots of sun for the entire week. Finland successfully convinced me that I was completely wrong! Yes, the weather can be warm in Finland too! I was such a fool to believe that it wouldn’t.

A welcome party was scheduled to occur a couple of hours after we touched down in Finland. It was to take place at Löyly, a restaurant located in a unique section on the seaside of Helsinki. They couldn’t have chosen a better place to welcome us to Helsinki. I loved this place! We did sauna, some of the bold and beautiful people jumped into the freezing cold water of Baltic sea. After that, we had a great first dinner in Helsinki.

Finland
Finland
 

For the post tour, we got to pick amongst four destinations: Tampere, Turku, Bomba in Koli National Park, and Ruka-Kuusamo. After a lot of discussion, we decided on Tampere because we thought experiencing sauna in Finland was something that we had to try at least once in our lifetime.

A few general thoughts regarding Finland: I found it to be a very peaceful country with very kind people. Also Helsinki was very easy to explore. Grab a city map from your hotel and go explore the city on foot. All the photos of this blog post were shot at our beautiful hotel in Tampere, which happened to be the highlight of the whole trip for me! I just love small boutique hotels that pay attention to detail, and that have beautiful interior designs.

Many thanks to Steve and Chanel from How Far From Home, Urlaubsguru, Ping Helsinki, Visit Tampere, and Lillan boutique hotel for making this trip happen! The people in Finland did an excellent job organizing all this and we were very happy to be part of it! Thanks again for having us!

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Rome

Rome

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome

Rome

Rome hotel recommendation: Relais Rione Ponte

Dress: Longchamp

Jewelry: Pandora Shine

I’ve been to Rome a million times. So many times that I’ve lost count! It has been a favourite destination of mine for many years – a city that has always felt like my second home. Visiting Rome feels familiar – I suppose not only because of my numerous visits, but also speaking fluent Italian helps, too.

Despite all of these trips to the Eternal City, I have never been in Rome to see actual snow on the ground. On Monday morning, after two hours of exhausting flight delays, I landed in an Italian capital blanketed by snow, everywhere. Locals told us that this is very rare. The snow only lasted one day and afterward, the sun finally came out to melt it away. Nevertheless, the wintry chill remained lingering in the air.

This time I was invited to Rome by Relais Rione Ponte, a boutique hotel which partnered with Emmeotto Gallery to present the exhibition “Contemporary Experience”, a project designed to expose guests of the boutique hotel to stunning pieces of contemporary art.

The elegant location and refined rooms of Relais Rione Ponte on the second floor of a seventeenth century building were the ideal spot to showcase works of art by Italian and international artists in a sophisticated atmosphere. Click here for more.

Apart from the Siberian cold, that we obviously disliked, everything else was delightful.

During our three days stay, here are the restaurants and cafes we visited and loved: Ditirambo, Trattoria Lilli, Pizzeria Emma, Brassai Roma and Angelina’s cafe. If you find yourself in Rome, I strongly suggest you pop in for a visit; indeed, just the thought of spaghetti alla carbonara makes my mouth water.

And then, it was time to depart the Eternal City, to fly across the Atlantic ocean to the City that Never Sleeps — New York — followed by another trip to Berlin for the ITB and Hamburg with Pandora, the famed jewelry brand. Hopping from one international flight to the next, soaring over oceans and across continents, and checking in and out of hotels was all quite thrilling to say the least.You can say that March was quite adventurous— and my latest Instagram posts should be proof of that!

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Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel
Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel
 

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel
Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel
 

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

All photos taken by me

Although I am not a huge ski fan, I wouldn’t turn down an invitation to visit the 5 star Hôtel Le Strato in Courchevel 1850. Because deep inside, I knew that this would be a dreamlike winter getaway, and that I would need a break from the busy city life. After all, Courchevel is not only for ski lovers…

With that in mind, I hopped on a train that December morning, from Paris en route to Gare de Chambéry. From my very first day at Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel, I could recall the warm welcome by the reception. It started with a welcome snack, which was very much needed after a 3 hour train ride. I was also given a tour of the hotel that helped me orientate myself with the premises and felt excited for what was about to happen in the next days.

On the first day, we visited the village and took photos in front of a huge Christmas tree, then we returned to the hotel to enjoy the heated indoor pool, followed by dinner. The next day, we ventured out to the mountains.

Although the whole experience was utterly dreamy, here are a few of my favorite moments and things that I would like to share with you:

If only life could always be like this…unfortunately after 3 nights of staying at Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel 1850, I had to say goodbye and get back to my busy city life again.

I hope you enjoyed these photos and inspired you to visit this charming property at the foot of the slopes in Courchevel 1850.

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The Viennese Girl visited Courchevel 1850 in partnership with Atout France and IF Communication. 

Malta Gozo Comino

Malta Gozo Comino
Malta Gozo Comino
 

Malta Gozo Comino

Malta Gozo Comino
Malta Gozo Comino
 

Malta Gozo Comino

Before this year’s travel adventures start again, I would like to share a few photos and infos from my trip to Malta, Gozo, and Comino. This took place last November.

I have always wanted to visit Malta as far back as I could remember. So when the opportunity came, not only was I happy to finally tick this destination off from my bucket list, but I was happy to exchange the cold temperatures in Vienna for the 20 degrees in Malta. In other words, you can say this switch immediately uplifted my mood!

Malta Gozo Comino
Malta Gozo Comino
 

Upon arrival at Malta, a cab brought me to a beautiful boutique hotel called La Falconeria, I had a double room with a traditional Maltese balcony and views to the rooftops of Valletta.

It was midnight when I arrived, so I had no other choice other than to go to bed immediately. But before doing that, I took a quick glance out of the window in an effort to soak in where I was. I saw long narrow streets, elegant tall buildings, and picture perfect wooden balconies everywhere.

Malta Gozo Comino

During the first two days, Mr. Vince Debono and I explored Malta Gozo CominoMr. Vince Debono was not only an amazingly knowledgeable travel guide, but he was also a talented photographer.

I would need hours of writing in order to do justice to all the amazing places that Mr. Vince showed me. And I am pretty sure I would still leave out some valuable info. So it’s best that you check  visitmalta.com and visitgozo.com before you start organizing your trip to Malta Gozo Comino. 

But what I can do is to point out a few of my favourite activities:
  • The boat ride from Valletta to the Three cities in a typical Maltese gondola shaped boat, called “dghajsa”. That was so much fun!
  • Walking around Mdina, also known as “The Silent City”.
  • The views of Malta’s Grand Harbour from the Upper Barraka Gardens.
  • Valletta’s old narrow streets
  • Lunch at the rooftop terrace of Ta’ Rikkardu, in the historic old Citadel in Victoria.

Malta Gozo Comino

Hotel in Valletta: La Falconeria

Hotel in Saint Julian’s: InterContinental Malta

Regarding the accommodation, I spent the first two nights in a boutique hotel in the heart of Valletta. After that, I changed location and moved to St. Julian’s, where I spent three nights in one of the highline suites at InterContinental Malta.  For me, as a traveller to Malta, it was interesting to see those two different faces of Malta. Valletta was a huge open air museum recognized by UNESCO for its historical and cultural value, while St. Julian’s was in a more modern part of the island and offered nightlife and entertainment.

The trip to Malta ended the best way it could, with a dinner at the Paranga restaurant with a very good company. I savored great local fish and had a glass of wine!

A special thanks to Ryanair and Malta Tourism Authority for organizing this individual press trip for me, and for giving me the opportunity to travel to Malta Gozo Comino.  If you are also planning to visit Malta, definitely check out the flights from Ryanair here and the Malta Airport lounge!

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Corte San Pietro

Corte San Pietro

Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 

Corte San Pietro

Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 

Corte San Pietro

Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 

Shoes: Humanic shoes

The perks of being the owner and editor of The Viennese Girl photography blog (TVG) are visiting amazing places around the world, staying in amazing hotels and getting to know amazing people. One of those hotels and places was Corte San Pietro in Matera and the owner of it, Sig.a Marisa and Fernando Ponte.

I kept thinking again and again “This hotel property should be featured on the TVG in the category Hotel recommendations” . And here it is now, online on TVG.

I am not sure whether my photos can do justice of the beauty of Corte San Pietro. This place is way too beautiful! I tried to catch the beauty though. Having just only one lense, the 50mm, is not easy. I know, I know, I have to buy more lenses, but this is another topic of discussion haha. Nevertheless, I took many photos of Corte San Pietro, as I usually do with anything that I like a lot, as it usually happens every time I am in a place I like a lot.

Hmm, what should I say now about this beautiful hotel? I have more feelings than words can describe because it’s special, unique, one of a kind… I loved the minimalism, the attention to detail. And in general, I love people who have an exceptional sense of style and know how to decorate a place. I loved how they managed to turn old caves to a luxury boutique hotel. The Italian breakfast in the morning, a peaceful courtyard, our room the Deluxe Loft Matrimoniale, the view from our window, the umbrellas hanging on the door in case of rain, and our names in front of our cave, because this was our temporary home. Temporary, but still our home in Matera! Amazing place, as I’ve said before. It made me feel special and most probably it will make you feel special too.

The only bad thing is that we had to leave…

If you have the chance to visit the South of Italy, please visit Matera, Corte San Pietro and Fernando!

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visit Matera

visit Matera

visit Matera
visit Matera
 
visit Matera
visit Matera
 
visit Matera
visit Matera
 
visit Matera
visit Matera
 

visit Matera

visit Matera
visit Matera
 

visit Matera

visit Matera
visit Matera
 

visit Matera

visit Matera
visit Matera
 

visit Matera

visit Matera
visit Matera
 

visit Matera

visit Matera
visit Matera
 
visit Matera
visit Matera
 

visit Matera

visit Matera
visit Matera
 
visit Matera
visit Matera
 
visit Matera
visit Matera
 

Do you know for how many years I’ve been longing to visit and see Matera myself? I recall once, I saw an editorial on a magazine that took place in Matera and since then I’ve been dreaming of this little cave-town in the south of Italy which is very particular and unique like no other. And now, not only am I happy that I finally visited that place but I am also happy to share this travel and adventure of mine with you all, so that you can all visit Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993, and see the beauty of the place for yourself. But, do you know what the best thing in the whole trip was? Or maybe one of the best things… Matera in February seemed to be all mine. I hope this doesn’t sound selfish, all I am trying to say is that I loved looooved the quiet atmosphere of the place ..and without scads of tourists, I could take photos here and there uninterrupted. I guess the high season in Matera starts in April and ends somewhere in October.

When we arrived in Matera, after about 4 hours bus ride from Napoli, it was pretty late and we were quite tired. Do you know, what was the first thing we did, once we checked in at Palazzo Gattini? Three letters I tell you: SPA! I put on the swimsuit and jumped literally into the pool, and after the sauna, it felt, oh so revitalizing! The following day, when I woke up I started realizing more of what was happening and where I was. I can still recall three things of that morning very well, like it was yesterday: Fresco painting on the ceiling of our hotel room, bruschetta with ricotta for breakfast and an Italian flag hanging on the balcony. Welcome to Matera! Together with our personal guide Mrs. Dora Cappiello, we were more than excited to check what Matera had to offer and to photograph its beauty. It was that kind of place that I was dying to photograph, although it was quite confusing at the beginning because I didn’t know from where to start, like it usually happens with all the beautiful places in this world that blows my mind.

We stayed two nights at Palazzo Gattini and two nights at Corte San Pietro (of which I am going to tell you more in the next blog post). Another day we were also invited to have breakfast at Sextantio, another beautiful historical hotel, where we met Mrs. Marcella di Feo from Basilicata Turistica and the whole team. Afterwards, we drove together to the opposite part of Matera to see the little town from another point of view. The program of our visit was quite flexible, and it was good like that because I needed my freedom to move around and explore everything the way I wanted.

I miss everything about this little town. The hot chocolate I had everyday at Caffè San Biagio, crazy and funny tuk tuk rides with Paolo around i Sassi di Matera (look for him in Matera), bruschetta with ricotta, “Trippola maritata” pasta dish we had every night for dinner and so many other things that made this trip special…too bad we had to leave because the day of our departure there was a chocolate festival happening in the weekend…but as Fernando from Corte San Pietro said in Italian “Per tornare, bisogna andare”! And I had to leave. Paris was next on the list!

At this point, we have to thank ENIT Italia for organizing this individual press trip for us, My Austrian Holidays and the Region Basilicata for having us as guests and showing us I Sassi di Matera! More on Instagram.♥

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?♥

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