So take off your shoes, let down you hair, be inspired and make your weekend beautiful xoxo MV © Mostly Victoria – 2014 – Cape St Vincent – Portugal
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“the biggest cliche in photography is sunrise and sunset” – Catherine Opie – Zorba – Stavros – Crete – Greece ❤ June 2013 ❤ Stavros Peninsula – Crete – Greece ❤ June 2013 ❤ Santorini Caldera – Cyclades – Greece ❤ July 2013 ❤ Nafplio Forest Fire – Peloponnese … Continue reading
We’re back with more Travel Treasure and this week it’s one for all my fellow foodies…
Prepare to be inspired and why not share your treasure too?
Cafe du Monde NOLA
by Lara Platten
‘You must go to Cafe Du Monde’ ‘Oh I always go to Cafe Du Monde’ ‘You have to get beignets at Cafe Du Monde’
When the same place gets mentioned by seemingly every guidebook, list or person who’s been to a given city, you know you have to go. I’m covering a lot of cities on my trip across the US, but no eatery has been as consistently recommended as Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans.
On my first full day, a Saturday, the queue is down the street. Now I’ve queued for coffee before (Monmouth Coffee, Borough Market, step forward – it’s well worth it) but this is something else. The outdoor covered terrace area is huge – this is no tiny third wave coffee haunt. Instead, I opt to try the jambalaya at a restaurant opposite and come back another day. I will plan. I will be prepared. I will come early.
On Monday morning I come back, it’s barely 10am. On the walk from my accommodation in the Arts District shops are still closed, New Orleans – as you’d expect from a party town – is still waking up. But there’s a long queue at Cafe Du Monde. After a few minutes, I ask ahead and find out it’s a queue for take-out, so it’s a free-for-all to grab a table, if you can find one. There’s a few lurkers doing the rounds, grabbing tables before they’ve even been cleared, still laden with dirty cups, crumpled serviettes and the remains of beignets that couldn’t be conquered. There’s icing sugar under each and every table.
I settle for one inside and pick the corner by the window for best people watching – an activity you do a lot of, traveling alone. A chirpy waitress takes my order of small black coffee and beignets, but I switch tables and a waitress who’s clearly been here a while (and I don’t mean just her shift) brings my order. She barely even looks at the guys on the next table and gazes out the window vacantly when she takes their order.
My beignets (a type of French dougnut) and coffee arrive, laden with so much icing sugar it forms peaks and resembles a mini-mountain range. I have to tap off the excess not just in a vain attempt to save my thighs but to reduce the risk of choking by inhaling at the wrong moment.
Just warm, soft, sweet with the tiniest hint of a crisp outer, these beignet are delicious. The coffee is not bad at all either (and this comes from a wannabe coffee snob who has a habit of asking US baristas for a custom order). From my window seat I can see New Orleans life pass by, observe the hustle and bustle inside… and all for just $5.30. A great way to pass an hour in NOLA.
So here’s your weekly fix of Travel Treasure; you just gotta do, what you gotta do, to get a dolphin’s attention!
Prepare to be inspired and why not share your treasure too?
A Dizzy Dance with Dolphins
by Emily-Ann Elliott of ‘The Grown Up Gap Year’
Swimming with dolphins in New Zealand.
Jumping into the icy cold, choppy, seawater took my breath away and it took me a few moments to notice that I wasn’t alone. A beady eye was looking at with me with interest and then another one appeared, and another, and another…
Before I knew it I was absolutely surrounded by dolphins, swimming beneath me and back flipping next to me.
My visit to Kaikoura came about as part of my 30b430 trip, where I ticked off 30 things around the world I’d always wanted to do before my 30th birthday. Our morning began at 5.30am and as we sat in the boat bleary eyed, the crew warned us that they couldn’t guarantee that we’d actually see anything. But just 25 minutes later we started to spot some dolphins following us. Now I’ve seen the odd dolphin before, but I’ve never experienced a whole pod and seeing around 400 together was an incredible sight.
We jumped into the water and began to make the silly squeaking sounds we’d been told would attract the dolphins’ attention. My self-consciousness instantly vanished as the dolphins curiously moved closer to check out these strange creatures.
Dusky dolphins are one of the smallest species, but they were still the same length as me and I couldn’t believe the speed at which they swam. To be so close to wild animals was such a fantastic feeling and I kept ending up with mouthfuls of seawater as I was laughing so much.
The crew told us a good way to play with the dolphins is to make eye contact with them before swimming around in a circle, which might encourage them to copy you. I decided to give it a go and caught the attention of one before madly trying to propel myself around. It looked at me quizzically, as if to say: “Okay, so we’re playing this game?”, before swimming around me so quickly that it made me dizzy.
It was one of the most amazing moments of my trip and is something I will treasure forever.
This week’s delightful little travel treasure is about happiness found in a moment of spontaneity.
So prepare to be inspired and why not share your treasure too?
Hitch-Hiking, Happiness & Hair Braiding
by Dariece of Goats On The Road
It was a long journey travelling (and hitch-hiking) all the way from the south of Mozambique to the very northern reaches. We were desperate to reach the untouched Quirimbas Archipelago, a string of 27 or so stunning islands. Once we boarded our boat to take us to Ibo Island, every minute spent in dusty towns, on cramped transportation and stuck on the side of the road with our thumbs out was totally worthwhile.
We wandered through mangroves at low tide from Ibo Island over to Quirimba Island, with nothing more than a small village. The local people who inhabited that village were outstanding. Kids were greeting us with waves and hellos, the tiny market sold a few vegetables and coconuts and the men and women were looking curiously at us with huge smiles.
We spent the whole day just wandering around this village where they rarely (if ever) see foreign faces. We chased kids around and tried to communicate with the adults. Towards the end of the day was when I experienced one of my most treasured travel moments. I was just sitting there minding my own business, totally content, when a woman about my age came out of her house, grabbed my hair and started braiding it! Before I knew it, I had a group of people surrounding me watching my new hair-do come to life. If that wasn’t random and amazing enough, afterwards, her and I started dancing while everyone was making a drum beat!
It was just one of those moments where no words were spoken, but we understood each other perfectly.
For more on this amazing country, have a look at our Budget Guide To Backpacking Mozambique
and our Backpacking Mozambique – A Week In The Life video of a crazy week in Mozambique.
This weeks travel treasure left me with a serious case of wanderlust and made it to my bucket list! Will you be adding it to yours?
Be inspired and why not share your treasure with us too…
Dream Dinner in The Desert
by Kiwi and Koala
You can eat dinner or you can dine. Dinner in a desert, next to one of the most recognizable natural wonders of the world, Uluru (commonly known as Ayer’s Rock) and the dinner is called “The Sounds of Silence“.
The Adventure begins as the bus pulls up out front of in the Hotel about one hour before sunset and it only takes a few minutes to to a large sand dune not too far from Uluru. You stroll up to the top where you are served Champagne and hors d’oeuvres and listen to stories from a local, as the sun gets lower, and the giant red monolith changes color’s of red. A magical start to the evening, listening to the sounds of the didgeridoo reverberating through the desert, you feel very small and yet connected to this magical place.
As the sun dips behind Uluru, you walk to the dining area. A series of white table cloth table’s literally set up in the desert, with an unobstructed view of Uluru disappearing into the darkness. In the darkness you can feel the presence of this incredible monolith, let your eyes adjust you can see the silhouette against the starlight. You get to feast on a BBQ buffet of Australian delicacies, barramundi, kangaroo and crocodile, bush salads and classic desserts, complemented by Australian wines or beers.
The food was as wonderful, and as dinner moves along, the millions of stars come out to join you. Until you have seen the stars in the desert, you haven’t seen stars! Utterly breathtaking… After dinner a startalker, takes you on a tour of the spectacular southern night sky, telling stories of the Aboriginal dreamtime. The evening was about four hours long and has given magical memories for a lifetime.
Kiwi and Koala live in Monteray (California), they can be found; tasting wine, eating food, travelling and writing about it all at Wine Walkabout.
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