• africa,  citytrip,  marrakech,  morocco,  unesco world heritage

    Marrakesh highlights part 2

    There have been several weeks between this blogpost and the former one. This is due to both of us working in education: the final month is a hectic one and there’s simply no time whatsoever to write. But hey, we’re back. Back to report about, and share memories of, our trip to Morocco in April of this year. Today: our 4th day… On our 4th day, we went back to the medina of Marrakesh. You must understand that we are traveling with a 3-year-old. She’s just the perfect travel companion, but traveling with 3 also means finding a compromise between each of our wish lists. Playing in the swimming pool…

  • europe,  GL,  italy,  unesco world heritage

    Impressions of Firenze.

    I wasn’t sure what title to give this account of our one-day walk through Firenze (Florence) in July 2013. We were merely passing by on our way back home (after visiting Sardegna) and the scorching heat (temperatures around 45°C, that’s around 113 degrees Fahrenheit) wasn’t really motivating us for long walks and intensive visits. We were also traveling with our (then) 3-year old daughter, Febe, so we didn’t visit any musea either. Instead, we decided on a walk through the city centre, followed by a visit to the Boboli gardens for some peace and quiet (and because it was then just declared UNESCO world heritage). The city was completely overcrowded…

  • africa,  citytrip,  marrakech,  morocco

    Welcome to Marrakesh – entering the doors and gates

    Marrakesh is a welcoming city with hospitable inhabitants and a definite focus on gate and door architecture. This became obvious to us even after a few hours in the city, and although we didn’t plan to write a separate blog post about this subject, we just had to photograph them because of their intricate beauty. And so this post only focuses on doors and gates in the Marrakesh medina. Gates. The medina of Marrakesh is completely walled. The ramparts are 19km long and interrupted by 19 gates only. Both the walls and the gates date back to the 12th century. The most beautiful gate is the Bab Agnaou, a triumphal…

  • africa,  morocco,  unesco world heritage

    Of seaguls and roasted fish: getting some fresh air at Essaouira

    During our stay in Morocco, we only once hired a car to go driving ourselves. Not that driving here is dangerous in any way, but we mostly took the shuttle bus to Marrakesh or had a private driver on our trips with www.saharadesertkingdom.com. Going to Essaouira, however, was just easiest and most comfortable with a hired car. We didn’t want to pay a lot of dirhams to go on a guided tour where you aren’t allowed to do things at your own pace. And traveling with a toddler, taking your time is just the only way to go. Moreover, the road from Marrakesh to Essaouira is straight, well-indicated and well-maintained. The…

  • africa,  citytrip,  marrakech,  morocco

    Fashion, colour and photograpy: the Majorelle garden

    During the 1920s and 1930s, the French painter Jacques Majorelle designed and constructed an extraordinary botanical garden just outside of the centre of Marrakesh, with the help of a local ethnobotanist. The result is stunning! The son of an Art Nouveau artist, Jacques was fascinated by colours such as the very strong cobalt blue, which he used extensively on buildings, walls and tiles in the garden. Relaxing amidst the cobalt blue Majorelle’s garden itself is a walled garden of Eden, with a focus on palm trees, bamboo, cacti and a selection of flowering plants to add even more bright colours (e.g. giant pink, red and white Bougainvillea). Personalised bamboo Red…

  • africa,  morocco

    Getting some fresh air at Ouzoud Falls

    On Friday the 18th we took another daytrip with the guys from Sahara Desert Kingdom, this time to get some fresh air at Ouzoud Falls. The Ouzoud Falls are located about 150 km from Marrakech in the Middle Atlas. We had the privilege of having a private jeep with driver once again, which gave us the opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery along the way.   Olive trees grow abundant in the area. When we arrived at the village of Ouzoud, our private guide took us through a market to a small walk that leads to the first viewpoint over the waterfalls. They are about 110m high and best to…

  • africa,  morocco,  unesco world heritage

    Day three: the Berber side of Morocco.

    After an enchanting experience in fairytale Marrakech, we headed east on our third day in Morocco. This trip would take us far away from the city’s busy medina. We were picked up in the morning by Idir, our guide, and Mohammed, our driver, with their 10-year-old (but trustworthy and strong as a dinosaur, according to Mohammed) Toyota 4X4 Land Cruiser. We had booked this daytrip through www.saharadesertkingdom.com, a small tour company we got to know through Twitter. In a way, our shared interest in traveling brought us together, and the first acquaintance with Sandra (via mail) and Idir (in Morocco) was more like meeting friends than saying hello to your…

  • europe,  slovenia,  SZ

    Fun things to do in Ljubljana, even when it’s pooring rain…

    For a traveller, the weather is always that one undesired factor of unpredictability. Especially when you are having your summer holiday in a Mediterranean country (i.c. Slovenia), you don’t really anticipate long periods of heavy rain. But there we were, end of July, expecting lots of sun, but receiving a much more humid sensation… We were camping near Kranj, in the Julian Alps, and we were aware that the weather could be slightly unpredictable in this area, but 3 days of pooring rain was enough for us to leave for warmer conditions (in our case that was the northern coast of Croatia). During those three days, we were constantly in…

  • AF,  belgium,  europe

    Hiking around Bouillon

    During the Easter holiday of 2015 we spent 3 days in the Ardennes with Maarten’s family. His father turned 70 and that called for a celebration! Maartens parents travel to the area of Bouillon each year in fall, to enjoy hiking and good food. This spring their children and grandchildren were invited as well, to enjoy a good dose of nature with them. On the first evening we took a short warming-up walk in and around the town of Corbion, where our hotel was situated. On the second day we made a bigger hike, all the way down to the city of Bouillon and back up to Corbion again. It…

  • AF,  belgium,  europe,  unesco world heritage

    Grote Markt – Brussels

      This beautiful open square has outstanding architectural value, with buildings dating mostly from the 17the century. The earliest mention of activity on this place, is 1174. It was then called Nedermarckt (Lower Market). The present name came into use in the late 18th century. At the Grote Markt both public & private buildings surround the square. We have only recently started to get to know Brussels a bit more. By attending several concerts there, we have gotten to know the city a bit better. The whole city centre is nice for a stroll and the architecture is often of a remarcable beauty. In that area, the Grand Place or…