South Western Australia

Sometimes it is easy to miss the beauty that is in right in front of us. A wonderful perspective I have gained from all the incredible places I have visited overseas is just how lucky we have it here in our backyard, Australia. I was yet to visit the West side of the country and it had been on my bucket list for sometime. I am so lucky to have Maral, my little adventure sister who puts up with my spontaneity and well enjoys it just as much, to just jump on a plane, car or train and head somewhere new at the drop of a hat.

Western Australia is huge; so we only really had time to do the more Southern end. We flew to Perth and spent a few days discovering the eclectic nature of trendy Fremantle and surrounding suburbs. Our picks in Fremantle would be Moore and Moore Café and Art Gallery, for a browse of the free artworks and yummy cakes and coffee. Bread in Common is also a great spot to check out, whether you want breaky, lunch or dinner, its all locally sourced and homemade Mmm.

On our day in Perth we drove about an hour South West and discovered a hidden little quarry. It was a beautiful walk through a canyon like formation until we finally caught a glimpse of the baby blue glimmering and still water. We had it to ourselves and it was stunning.

After driving three or so hours down the coast we made it to Yallingup and Dunsborough. This area is host to spectacular national parks and crystal blue water. The soil is red and the flora is wispy and burnt, it’s most definitely a sight to see. We sat on the beach at Eagle Bay (which we had to ourselves) and watched the sky turn red, pink, yellow, orange with a tinge of green. We listened to a bunch of classics, sipping on wine. I would say watching the sunset and sunrise along with wine is our most repetitive and enjoyed habit. We camped there the night and slowly returned to Perth via Busselton the next day.

You all need to do yourselves a favour and book your next trip to Rottnest Island. Wow, this place is something else. It inspires me how well looked after and preserved this picturesque little Island is. We caught the Rottnest Express over (only about 30 minutes from Fremantle) and we hired some bikes and snorkels and rode around the Island. There are few roads and little luxuries, its almost like travelling back in time and I absolutely loved it. They had the old train line running.  Even the swamps on the Island are nothing short of breath taking. Maral and I were simply minding our own business on the beach as a little Quokka approached us. I think I actually went into shock and didn't respond for about 30 seconds, this little Aussie ball of cuteness was the most adorable and friendly wild animal I had ever seen, I instantly fell in love with little Kev. He followed us around for a little while before we moved on to the next little bay.

No matter which way you turned on Rottnest Island you would witness some sort of new beauty, whether it was the formation and colours of the beautifully preserved flora and fauna to the crystal clear seas and yes, there looked to be fun little waves too. It really was a little paradise. You can discover more at Rottnest Island WA.

We only spent a day on Rottnest Island and the next day we headed down to Denmark, which was about a five too six hours drive south. We camped at Parry Beach campsite right, which is very well looked after by volunteers who preserve the wonderful campsite. We arrived quite late so unfortunately they had no campsite available. But here is some Aussie hospitality for you, a family of WA bushys had a bit of room on their campsite and welcomed us in with open arms and even shared there open fire. They were some great entertainment, I honestly felt like I was in some cliché Australian movie, lets just say we picked up a few more phrases to add to our 100% Australian funny vocabulary list.

After watching another incredible sunrise we head along to William’s Bay. WOW! I think the pictures can speak for themselves.

We then slowly travelled to Hamelin Bay; we drank red wine and watched the sun go down over the beautiful bay. While we wished to camp there the night, we weren’t so lucky in terms of friendly Aussie hospitality, the office was shut and this one lady who was camping with her family was adamant we were not to stay on the free space next to her extravagant site so we started driving north in hope of finding somewhere else. Eventually we came to this private little campsite near the caves called Conto. This was a little blessing in disguise; this campsite was small and absolutely beautiful! Nestled right into nature. I woke up to watch the beautiful sunrise over the trees and hear the wildlife awake.

I think in our busy lives it is sometime easy to miss this simple beauty or even just take advantage of it. My best piece of advice for a sane, clear and productive mind is to emerge yourself in nature, sit back and feel everything around you and just appreciate this breath-taking world we live in. Remove distraction and consciously appreciate the simple privileges that the earth has to offer. Sunrise and sunset is a great place to start.

We then drove to Margaret River, which certainly lives up to its name. We cruised through wonderful beaches, cafes, wineries and farmland.

 We then returned to Dunsborough as we could not turn down another swim in he bluest of blue waters for the second time. After spending a few hours in heaven we slowly made our way back to Perth to jump on the red eye flight (12am) back to the Gold Coast.

WA has so much to offer, we only covered a small circumference of it and well lets just say I will most definitely return!

Em

xx

Memories of Morocco

Morocco was an amazing experience for Maral and myself. I am not going to lie, at the start we were not the happiest people. It was a huge cultural shock; the people were rather pushy and cold towards tourists. It could have also been because it was such an unfamiliar landscape and culture to ours. We were there during Ramadan, which is taken rather seriously by Moroccan’s. They are unable to eat or drink between around 3am until 8pm, which meant not a lot was open in the day and called for many hangary people (hungry and angry). It then just became a means of gaining perspective and an understanding of the motives behind their culture for us to comprehend and appreciate the beauty of Morocco. As we explored more through the niche areas and got to know people, we began to fall in love. We became obsessed with the countries rustic and authentic beauty. 

Firstly we arrived in Casablanca late at night and caught a train to our hotel in the city center. In the morning we explored the local Habbous markets where we met a friendly Moroccan man, Rashin. He insisted he was our brother- personally I think he was just a brilliant sales man as we walked away with far more material things than we needed. 

We then ventured to Marrakech, a city of dusty pink and eclectic doorways. We ate vegetarian cous cous and tajine, which is similar to a hot vegetable pot. It is amazing! We explored the Jemaa el fna square, this is a bustling market with many little alley ways full of stalls and pushy sales people. Personally, we did not love the square due to the hassling nature, but a lot of people really do enjoy the atmosphere. The kindest human being who we met, Ali, a friend of Maral’s dad organized us an incredible Sahara Desert tour- absolute highlight!

We left for the Sahara early, travelling through the windy roads boarded by numerous cactus bushes and rocky mountains- perfect! Everything was so clear due to the intensity of the sun. It was so spectacular. As I wrote in my diary,

 

 “The lines run imperfectly instinct with the roads creases, as we journey through the woven mountains of the desert. We floated through pink dunes as we winded towards the sinking sun. Blotches of greenery scatter the pink, as the dusty browns, pinks, reds and orange tinges combine in a beautifully sunburnt harmony. Aztec printed pink walls grow out of the deserts base. Flat rooftops overlap with a layered alignment. An organic spectacle, where man made works harmoniously with natures beauty. A sight to cherish and be inspired by”.

 

On our tour we were so fortunate to have a great group of people from all over the world. We met the most beautiful (inside and out) family from Portugal, who spent a lot of time with. We met a lovely couple from Barcelona, Colombia, a great girl from New York, a friendly Egyptian and more! Every day we ate fresh Tajine and so much fruit and tea, it was amazing.

 

We stopped and toured a unique city, home to many movies including a scene from Game of Thrones. It was called Ouarzazate. It is here I discovered what a Kasbah was- the entrance building to these cities- and understood the inspiration for the 1980’s catchy hit, “Rock the Kasbah” by The Clash. Could not get it out of my head/ anyone else’s head for the rest of the trip. Sorry guys.

Day of the Sahara- we woke up and ate tea and olives- Morocco is certainly not short on olives or oranges (growing on every corner). We then drove to the most beautiful gardens with transparent water irrigation. We walked along and over the stream, we weaved leaves and whitnessed how the Moroccan women and men weave there rugs. There is so much intricacy and beauty in these rugs. Once we arrived at the Sahara after the lunch, the Portuguese family, Maral and myself ventured out on the camels to our campsite together. It was 55 degree Celsius ++ heats and I loved it! The sun was setting, it was absolutely surreal.

Once we arrived at the camp, the local desert boys played us music and sang along. They lit a fire and fed us a huge tajine feast. We ate so much tajine that, at this point Maral and I do not think we can eat tajine again for a while. We slept under the stars- MAGIC. We could see everything out there, especially after 1am, when the moon was more visible. We woke up and watched the sunrise over the dunes, again something I cant really describe. We rode the camels back to our driver and parted ways with the family who stayed in the desert for a few days longer. It was a 12 hour journey back to Marrakech and the last day of Ramadan. We saw three car accidents on the way back. It is not safe, these drivers do not eat or drink and drive for hours along these windy reflective roads, we were a little worried, but luckily made it back safe.

Being back in Marrakech at the end of Ramadan was a completely different vibe. People were friendly, there was a certain unique energy that made us experience morocco in a new light. It was fortunate we were there when Ramadan was over.

After a couple of days back in Marrakech we travelled 3 hours to a little sleepy, seventies, fisherman’s village called Essaouria. We got lost in the little alleyways of the big Medina. An array of yellow, blue and wooden doorways at every corner. Moroccans certainly know how to create photogenic towns. We fell in love with the relaxed nature of this little town, very inspired by Bob Marley. We were so excited to head to the beach, however to our disappointment it was gale force winds and terrible water, so we stuck to exploring to town.

After a few days in Essaouria, which was enough, we made our way back to Marrakech. Our friend Ali allowed us to stay in his incredible Riad. Note- when you go to Morocco you must stay in a Riad. We are forever thankful to Ali who helped us realise the beauty of Morocco and the Moroccan people. He helped us so much and it is this generousity and kindness we will remember and assist us in wanting to help others. What goes around comes around. Our last night in Marrakech was however a little eventful, we were walking back from dinner at around 11pm and a Moroccan boy insisted on walking us through the Souks to our riad. Generally these guides pretend to be your friend to be paid when you reach the destination, however we informed him we had no money and he still insisted. There was not much we could do. On the way back two people came flying through the alleyways on motorbikes and we heard an agonising scream, as a lady was run over. It was horrific! The lady was alive but it is something I could not get out of my head for weeks. Once we returned to our accommodation, the Moroccan insisted on being paid and coming to our riad, we were firm and told him to go away but he began to follow us so we sprinted away. We luckily reached our riad and ran inside as he waited at the top of the alleyway. This was an eventful evening and we were glad to be flying to Croatia the next Morning.

 

Morocco was a great experience, very humbling and eye opening. If you love texture, pattern and creative architecture I think it is worth your while to travel there.

 

xx

GREECE!

I know Very delayed! But I found all these beautiful pictures that we took in Greece. We began in Santorini then made our way to Ios and I had my last few days in Athens. Letarcia fell quite ill in Ios so had to return to Germany. I spent the last couple of days in Athens alone, staying at the Hilton Hotel, where Sex in the City was filmed. It was a beautiful hotel and I really enjoyed exploring Athens and its beautiful pieces of architecture. Greece is one of the oldest civilised Countries in the world so the history that characterises the city of Athens was incredible and very enlightening. Anyway I will leave you with some images of the beautiful Country that is Greece.

Experiencing La Ciotat

Part two of our adventures in the South of France consists of a few mishaps but certainly no regrets. Friday was just a testing day at the race track so we decided to go for a wonder around the area which was pretty much in the middle of no where.

On our way to the race track we wondered down a small dirt road up on the cliffs and arrived at the most spectacular view that looked down on the beautiful coastline that frames the South of France and decided we were going to get to the beach somehow the next day. Keeping in mind there was no public transport where we were and ironically enough we had no car.

On Sunday we had breakfast and thought we were really cleaver and decided to hitch hike along this secluded road to the beach, which was half an hour away by car. We had our a4 pen marked piece of paper saying Plage (Beach in French). We were not the best hitch hikers in the world and were ready to chuck in the towel after half an hour. But then we had luck, sort of, a man pulled over in his little BMW and said he would drive us to Le Plage.

First instinct said hmm maybe not the best character but we were a little to eager to get to the beach. He drove so slow and kept asking to come with us, keep in mind he spoke no english so we were just interpreting, lucky Meg knew a little bit of French. He loved letarcia and kept calling her Bella, I was like her name is not Bella but then it was clear he meant Beautiful. I hit him a few times and had my pen out ready to go if he tried anything, its the only weapon like utensil I had on me. Lets just say my body alone is no real weapon, I consider myself more of an endurance athlete hehe. Luckily it did not come to that! We got him to stop at the first shop we saw and jumped out and hid and after about 10 minutes he finally drove off! He was just a seedy coward so we did luck out a little there, could have been worse. It makes me wonder how people hitch hike around the whole of Europe! 

In the shop I asked a lovely lady the best way to the beach and she said it was a while away and the closest one was not that nice. Her husband and herself offered to drive us to a local spot. She had travelled around the world, getting lifts and advice off people so I think she felt a little nostalgia talking to us. We had a  good feeling about this couple so let them take us to this spot in La Ciotat. Lucky we did!

We walked down and witnessed the most amazing rock faces that boarded the beautiful pristine waters and rocky shore line. We stayed here for a couple of hours then moved around to another rocky bay the lovely lady instructed us to go too. This bay had a beautiful cafe and again, spectacular water! The water was a little on the cold side but was amazingly refreshing and the 30 Degree celsius heat most certainly made up for it. 

Lets just say Meg doesn't have the most sun accepting skin. She decided to expose her body to the sun for a few minutes, covered in 50+ SPF sunscreen. Next minute, literally about 2 minutes later, Letarcia and I hear "OMG guys!!", thinking something dreadful had happened.."I just got 20 new freckles on my stomach!". Hahaha and she literally had. From then on Meg lay next to us, in the 30 degree heat, covered top to tail in all of our clothes. The contrast was so funny considering majority of people on this beach were half nude. Poor old Meg, but she will be the one laughing in a few years time when her skin is still youthful.

We then made our way around a headland admiring the niche little areas that gave character to this little eclectic town. We arrived at a beautiful harbour and the cloudless, picturesque day just made it all the more beautiful. We then arrived at a tourist info centre and decided to pay the big taxi fee back as we figured hitch hiking was just not for us! 

If we have learnt anything from out little adventure, it is to trust your instincts and if something, even in the slightest, does not feel right, then it probably is not! But if we had not got in the car with that man we would not have met the lovely couple and experienced the beautiful hidden spots in La Ciotat. Life is just one big adventure and and sometimes you have to make mistakes to learn and have a good time. Im so lucky that I have Letarcia and Meg and this trip would not be the same without them. So if you thinking of travelling, it is so nice to share experiences with other people. We are all safely back toHamburg in one piece now, so I guess what does not kill you only makes you stronger!

Em

Xx