“Booked.net – Top Destinations to Go There” organizes this photo challenge: Top Five Destinations I’d Love to Return. Erwin has been a loyal follower on my blog and he recently chose me among other bloggers to participate in this challenge. And challenge it is, to decide on 5 specific spots where I’d like to return. Some of the places, I was lucky to live in for a few months or even a few years. And some of them I was able to return already a few times.
I will start with Morocco:
I spent 9 years in Morocco until I graduated from high school. It was an enriching experience. Since leaving Morocco I returned several times. Once I simply returned to go to a surf house north from Agadir called Endo Surf. It was a nice little surf lodge in a small village. It was not particularly touristic and I liked the fact that it was true to Morocco. However Morocco has so many beautiful places such as Marrakesh which changed so much in the last decade. During our road trip in 2005 we drove over the Tizintest, a long and winding road going from Marrakesh to Taroudant. Taroudant is one of the cities known for dyeing all sorts of materials, mainly leather and cotton.
A little break at Sidi Kaouki beach… …before heading up north to Bouznika a small town between Casablanca and Rabat. My friend Sophia had a little beach house rented out with her family. It was simply breathtaking to be able to walk directly onto the beach from the little house. Last but not least, the royal city of Rabat. It is a fairly quiet town but it has such beautiful architecture that it is worth spending a day in this city.
After nearly ten years I should definitely consider returning to Morocco. Even though it is not my home country, I feel a little bit home and therefore a tiny bit homesick.
London and always London:
Boring? Never. At least not to me. My friend Julie told me that in another life I must have been English because I have such a huge passion for England. In general I love the UK, for the culture, the mentality and the quirkiness of the English.
London is colorful:
London is wet:
London has hidden quiet places:
London has big red buses with open doors:
London has pretty bridges: London has unique art:
And of course London has it’s beautiful cosy pubs: London is overwhelming, dirty and loud. But if has this peaceful Englishness which balances out the crazy big city vibe. I love this contrast.
Montreal was a city I spent a year in and loved it. Quebecois are unique. They speak this funny French, which took me a while to get used to. They are so laid back and since the winters are extremly long and extremly cold, as soon as spring seems to show its face, everyone just steps out of their houses to spend time outside, even if it is just to have a glass of wine on the porch. Montreal also has by far the best bagels in the world. Regarding the poutine, this French fries dish soaked in gravy and covered with cheese, is still not my cup of tea but if you do wanna try one go to La Banquise.
Montreal is full of really fun street art.
And the old town of Montreal gives me the feeling I am constantly walking on a film set.
The harbor area is pretty fun as well.
Montreal is full of art exhibitions.
And if you feel you need a break from the city take a ride to Mont-Tremblant (about one hour thirty away from Montreal). It is particularly breathtaking during the Indian summer.
Didn’t I mentioned that I loved the Britishness? You can find a little gem in Cornwall (South West of England) called St Ives. We were a group of uni friends, who went down for a few days in 2011. We stayed in a hostel, nothing special, but should we go back I would make sure to rent a little cottage. St Ives’ old town is made of small little pedestrian streets with little houses and lots of them can be rented out. It is an artist town, so you can find a lot of galleries. And it is fudge heaven. Creamy, soft and sticky and this nice caramel taste. With my friends we grabbed a few tiny waves. Nothing to impress anyone but we had the time of our lives! (Thanks to my friend Barbara for taking most of the pictures). The Tate Gallery of London also has a gallery in St Ives. It was one of those galleries which was interactive: We could write our names on the wall and run in a labyrinth of balloons.
Seriously who wouldn’t have fun spending a little bit of time on such a playground?
I can’t give it up: I love England. My last uni year I was in Eastbourne, East Sussex. About 2 hours by train from London right on the coast. The sunshine coast as they call it. Ironic for England? One might think so, but actually we had a lot of sunshine. Yes the occasional rain shower would happen too, but in average we were pretty well served with sunshine. Lucky us. Ask an English person about Eastbourne and 90% will tell you: “Waiting room to heaven” or simply “ah my grand-ma retired there”. True. Lot’s of elderly people around there and knowing that funky Brighton is pretty much around the corner, Eastbourne is really not particularly attractive to anyone in his/ her twenties. But, Eastbourne also has its gems. It has this amazing little tea house: Dicken’s. You feel like you are sitting in your granny’s living room. Make sure you order the best scones in the world. I asked them for the recipe, but they wouldn’t share it.
I spent a few hours and a few pounds at Camilla’s Bookshop. A great second-hand store which includes a parrot.
Just outside of town the beautiful English country side awaits you. Seven Sisters is a beautiful area to go for a hike.
To keep the challenge going, I chose 5 of my favorite fellow bloggers to participate in the challenge:
http://mandmp.wordpress.com/ – Stephanie
http://whymatters.me/ – Sebastian
http://lemanshots.wordpress.com/ – Josephine
http://martinlever.org/ – Martin
http://mabelkwong.com/ – Mabel
I am looking forward to seeing what they have to share with the World about the World.
Your photos are absolutely fantastic.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate this kind feedback!
Thank you Geoffy!
What a nice concept! And what passionate stories
Thank you so much for your kind feedback Chris!
Souvenirs…souvenirs… Que de chemins parcourus ! Quelles belles photos! Ravie de voir que tu continue le hobby de tes 15 ans!
Encore plein de voyages et la photographie. tout un programme…
Oui moi aussi je suis heureuse d’avoir retrouvé le temps et l’envie pour la photographie. Ça me fait du bien.
What a great post Nathalie. Thank you so much for posting it. Your first destination Morocco is since long time in my bucket list and a good friend of mine is from morocco waiting to show me around. He is importing the pure argan oil. https://www.zwenabeauty.com/
Your last destination awakes so many memories to my 3 months study in Brighton and I could easy add it to my to go list. 🙂
Thanks Erwin! How funny that you lived in Brighton too! What a town! I was at the University of Brighton but my campus was in Eastbourne.
And travel to Morocco! I only showed a tiny bit of this place but the desert is breathtaking and all the royal cities are worth visiting. When I lived there they sold argan oil in big plastic bottles which used to be water bottles. It was already relatively expensive there, but now the world has discovered this product which is unique to Morocco.
Thanks for inviting me to participate in this challenge. It was really fun to go through all my photos. A travel in time.
You are welcome Nathalie, I knew that you have some interesting destinations and you brought such beautiful memories back to me I had in Brighton. I was in Hove at the St. Giles school for English and had a girl friend who was an assistant for chemistry 🙂 at the uni in Brighton. I know this red brick buildings well and think have some slides of it too.
Yea I enjoyed the journey to travel in time too and I’m glad you liked it. Brighton wow was great fun.
Such stunning photos, Nathalie. Crisp and colourful. I never knew London had delicious soup noodles (they look Asian???). I love how you capture colour so well in your photos. It seems to come naturally for you.
Thanks so much for nominating me to participate in this challenge! I am very humbled and flattered, and even more so to be one of your favourite bloggers. Normally I don’t do challenges, but something tells me I will take up this challenge…and I love challenges. Need to get out there and take more photos this year. Thank you so much, Nathalie. Keep up the good work 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind feedback Mable. The Noodles are Asian. It is actually a chain restaurant which is pretty cool. It is called Wagamama. Always a good place to eat.
I am looking forward to the results of your challenge. You will see, it is fun!
Wagamama. We actually have that here in Melbourne too. I have never eaten there, I think one of these days I will. Yes, hopefully I will be able to participate in the challenge, there will be a time 🙂