Capri is without a doubt one of these must-have-seen-must-have-been-seen bucket list items for many travellers. Associated with La Dolce Vita, famous Capri sunsets, jet-set lifestyle, yachts and spotting the rich and the famous..
I had the opportunity to go to the island in late September, so slightly off-season. Shoulder season as we would call it in the travel industry. Slightly less busy, still crazily expensive, slightly less hot, still a summer prolongation, slightly less famous crowds, still extremely stylish.
How to get there
If you come from far away and you take a flight, best way is to fly into Naples and then take a ferry from the harbour. It is a 45min speed ferry ride. Costs of a ferry ride are roughly about €35 per person one way. Capri is car-free, so if you drove to Italy with your car, leave it in Naples (or which ever harbour you take the ferry from). A lot of island visitors are day-tourists. The quick 30km journey makes it possible to arrive in the morning, discover the island and leave again with the last ferry back to the mainland.
What to do
Upon arrival in Capri harbour, head to the funicular to get into the Main Square of Capri Town. It is quite a spectacular ride up the hill with a great view of the harbour and the sea. If you are not a day visitor, your luggage will be transported by an electric golf cart to your hotel, so you will still have to make your own way up into town. Once you are on the main square, you will probably make your way to your hotel which will give you a nice first impression of Capri Town. Tiny alleys and walkways, paved with the most stylish (and most expensive) boutiques, street-side cafés and restaurants.
There are also some great hiking trails all around the island, so if you are not up for the lifestyle of the rich and the famous, put your hiking shoes on and discover the island by foot. One of the most beautiful trails starts at the Arco Naturale. You will walk down a thousand steps but don’t worry, you don’t have to climb them up again.
For a more casual stroll visit the Gardens of Augustus which not only offers a great view but also beautiful landscapes to spend an afternoon in and just admire one of the morst beautiful and colourful spots on earth.
Alternatively, book a boat trip and sail around the island, sail to the Blue Grotto or to the famous Faraglioni. Ask your concierge to book you a boat trip or walk down to the harbour, there are plenty of places that you can book a tour.
Where to eat
Capri is a small island and you can basically reach the main areas by foot. Capri Town is full of restaurants and cafés. Head over to the main square for an iced coffee in the afternoon or an aperitif just before dinner.
Down by the main port is a cute sea side restaurant – Ristorante Da Gemma – perfect for a small lunch in between.
In the middle of Capri Town you will find La Capannina. A family run restaurant where the world’s A-Listers have been, yet the staff is absolutely welcoming and forthcoming to anyone. The foot was fantastic, the atmosphere authentic Italian.
Ristorante Le Grottelle is an absolutely stunning little gem which includes a walk uphill that’s more than just a stroll but totally worth it. Your heels should stay at home though.
If you are up for a drink out in outdoor bar with an incredible view over the iconic Faraglioni, head over to Capri Rooftop Lounge Bar. It is as nice during the day as it is after dark. Maybe a it more chic after dark.
Where to stay
Capri is a small island, ideal also for a day visit but if you decide to stay over you can enjoy dinner without having to rush to catch the last ferry or indulge in the Caprese nightlife. There are no real budget option if you decide to stay over, accommodation is rather on the expensive side. We were lucky enough to stay at the Tiberio Palace Hotel and what a treat that was. Besides the amazing interior design and style, the whole atmosphere is Mediterranean island style like, from the pool area to the colourful balcony tiles.
Capri hadn’t been on my must-do list and then I was taken by surprise with the opportunity to visit Capri spontaneously and I grabbed this opportunity. I stayed 3 nights and that was just perfect. It was a great trip and I am very grateful to have visited this famous island and retrospectively, yes, I’d add it to my bucket list and so should you. Make a big trip to the Amalfi Coast out of it and incorporate Capri either for a day visit or as part of the trip with an overnight stay. Capri on its own? Not necessarily but the whole area is beautiful and so worth a visit.
If at least one good thing emerged from the pandemic 2020/21, it must have been remote working and the latest travel trend in combination with that: Workationing. A workation allows you to shake up your environment and potentially gather inspiration from being in a new place. Especially for people being in the creative space or knowledge-based professions, this could help seeing problems in new ways and inspire new out-of-the-box approaches, benefiting your work and ultimately your career.
The idea behind workation is what the word literally means: working + vacation. A working vacation that blends productive time and leisure time. This can be done on an individual basis, be it if you are a freelancer or simply if you are able to move your ‘home office’ to any location in the world (formerly known as digital nomads). The concept, however, can also be applied by employers who sent a group of employees away to allow a mixture of personal free time, group experiences (like yoga, hiking etc) and workshops, training etc.
This goes hand-in-hand with the term #slowtravel which is the idea of not just rushing through a destination, but taking it all in, spending more time there, blending in with daily life and experiencing a deeper connection to local life.
An Idea is born..
In my case, we currently don’t have an office in Cape Town. We are working fully remotely at home. Besides having a team in Cape Town, we also have offices in other parts of the world, like Tel Aviv and Lisbon. As you can imagine, any cooperation on projects with the colleagues from other locations is done via video calls, emails, slack etc.
I also don’t have kids that are bound to a school or a place. So, I asked myself the question: would it make a difference to my work output where my home office is? All I need is a laptop, a stable internet connection and a quiet place to work from. And that, I can get basically anywhere I want to be.
So, the decision was made to skip winter in Cape Town and to spend 3-4 months in the northern hemisphere. My first stop was Germany where I had to quarantine for 14 days – this must have been the best time for my employer, because there was zero distraction. I didn’t even go out for grocery shopping. As nice as Germany is and as homely as it feels, it is a good base to have but it is not the place I wanted to spend my workation at. Italy had been on my mind for a while and I even took Italian language lessons back at varsity, so why not refresh those once acquired skills?
You get your usual tourist hot spots in Italy, but that’s not where I wanted to go to. I wanted something small, not yet too well known, a little bit off the beaten path. Yet, still big enough to not get bored after a week, slightly touristy so that you have a good choice of places to eat out and where perhaps the one or the other restaurant offers a menu in English or German. Thanks to friends who went to such a place two years ago, the idea of going to Monopoli was born. Booking platforms as in the likes of Airbnb and others offer amazing long-term deals these days, so I rented a cute little apartment in Monopoli for a month and made my way into the south of Italy to work remotely from there.
Impressions of Monopoli
Expectations of my Workation
My expectations were simple: a change of scenery from my daily life. My routine stayed the same. I was working my standard hours, my colleagues saw a different background when in video calls, but other than that, they shouldn’t have experienced anything different.
I wanted to get to know my neighbourhood, shop in the closest super market, buy fresh fruits and veg from the veggie store next door, get a take-away coffee in the local coffee shop, find a yoga studio (even better, I found a private teacher on a roof top). In short: I wanted to live like a local, I wanted the real ‘home’ office experience just in a different place I could call home for a while.
What to do in Monopoli
Monopoli is a quaint typical Apulian town. Life is still slower there. Shops and restaurants are closed between 13h30 and 17h00. Just make sure, you get your lunch shopping done in time, because if your fridge is empty and your meeting runs over.. well, bad luck..
Go for Ice Cream! It’s a must. You will find amazing ice cream shops all around town, most of them offer vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free options. That was my daily walk after work, to clear my head and fill my tummy..
Visit Baldovino Winebar – not only is it a great location, in the middle of the Centro Storico, partly using the steps of an old church, but also has it the cutest, most knowledgable owner. He indeed impressed me, when he still knew a few days after my first visit what I had to drink my first time there. I would be flattered to believe that I left an impression 🙃
Eat raw seafood. You have probably done the sushi and poke bowl hype, so now it is time to take it a step further. A regional speciality is raw seafood as a starter. It might sound weird at the beginning, but I actually quite enjoyed it. Mussels, squid, shrimps, octopus and the list goes on and on and on. A good place to east amazing local food with a great view and a true holiday feeling is at Carlo Quinto.
Did you know that half of Italy’s beaches are managed by private lidos? Monopoli is no exception. There are quite a few free stretched of beaches, but if you want to get the true Italian feeling and a little bit of more comfort, visit one of the private lidos. You will pay a small fee but you will also get an umbrella and a deckchair with it. I didn’t have a car while I was there, however, there are the most amazing beaches in walking distance.
Take a stroll through the old town, the Centro Storico, get lost in the smallest little streets, discover unique corners everywhere you turn and take lots of photographs!
It was the best thing I could’ve done! The timing was perfect, proper summer had just started, yet it wasn’t overfilled with (domestic) tourists (yet), as the main holiday time in Italy is usually August. The change of scenery was good for my general productivity as well as for my creative thinking. It almost felt like taking a step back and looking at the situation from the outside with a fresh pair of eyes. Europe in summer has the exact same time zone as South Africa, so there was no issue with meetings etc.
The only thing that is a negative is that now, I want to do that every year.. and instead of 1 month, I want to do it for 3… So, let’s see how the working environment in general develops and if perhaps this becomes the norm.. Surely it can’t go back to what it used to be? That productivity is falsely associated with time spend in an office. #Justsaying
Sometimes it takes a special occasion for a dream to come true. It was my mother’s 60th birthday and she decided to celebrate it on a Nile cruise. All in Agatha Christie “Death on the Nile” style. And it sure, wasn’t disappointing at all.
It was my second visit to the Land of the Pharaohs. My first time was 9 years ago – a visit to Cairo which included the Great Pyramids of Giza and a little love affair in and with Egypt. However, I must admit that Upper Egypt is by far the more interesting part of Egypt. That’s the part we visited while on our Nile Cruise.
There are various cruises available. From a 14-day cruise which usually starts in Cairo and goes all the way down (or up) to Aswan, to 1-week cruises and even 5-day cruises. Five days are really short as most of the first and last day is spend travelling. So, you effectively have three full days. We did the one-week cruise and it was just perfect.
As far as I remember it was also my first ever fully guided tour. More on the topic in another post perhaps. I didn’t know what to expect and what we were about to see and experience over the next week when we got there.. so, if you are ever thinking of doing a Nile Cruise this post will give you an idea about our itinerary and what might await you.
DAY 1: Arrival and Embarkment
We arrived in Luxor in the early afternoon and were taken, in true guided tour style, with those big tour busses to our ship (the kind of busses I hate to see driving in the streets of Cape Town – oh the irony). Embarkation (is that the cruise equivalent for check-in?) was done just in time for tea time. Coffee was served on the sun deck to give us a great first impression with an amazing view of the Temple of Luxor, a stone-throw away from our ship.
Day 2: Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak
We still woke up in Luxor where we spent the night. So, no movement as yet. Just after sunrise we boarded one of those big tour busses again and drove for about 45 min to the west bank of the Nile, also known as Thebes West (they say the dead were buried on the west bank of the Nile, the living lived on the east bank). First stop: the Temple of Hatshepsut.
The legend says: The temple was commissioned by Queen Hatshepsut who had to pretend she was a man, since Queens were not a thing back then in her dynasty. So, all the statues show her as a man. The architect was her lover who promised to built one of the most beautiful temples the ancient world has ever seen.
Behaving like a Millennial, always on the hunt for that perfect Instagram shot, I did my research on the best angles for those images beforehand. So, I came across Hatshepsut’s temple on various social media platforms and it reminded me more of a neo-classic building than ancient Egyptian and I wasn’t too impressed. That however, changed as soon a I got there. It was simply stunning and an absolute architectural jewel.
Next stop: Valley of the Kings. Oh well, the name promises more. This valley is basically a part of the desert into which graves were carved into the earth. These graves are stunningly beautiful and colourful from the inside but rather unspectacular from the outside.. Well I guess that’s the secret that the first grave was only discovered in the early 1800’s. Long deserved rest for all those pharaohs.
Quick pitstop at the Colossi of Memmon – really nothing to write home about except that we didn’t stop on our way to the Valley of the Kings because there were already too many buss loads of tourists there.. Yet, it is a stunning sight that in the middle of nowhere or in the middle of a wheat field, suddenly you see these massive statues.
Next stop: Temple of Karnak, definitely one of the highlights of the trip. Just magnificent. Exactly 2.7km on a direct axis connected to the Tempe of Luxor. Connected through the Avenue of Sphinxes – which was rediscovered only recently and the current mayor of Luxor had all the buildings built on top of this avenue torn down to make it visible again. All of them, except a mosque and one of the oldest Christian churches in Egypt.
After visiting this highlight of Luxor we finally went cruising on the Nile. Oh what a feeling.. as soon as we left Luxor all we saw was water, the green belt on the shores and the golden sand of the desert. It started to feel a lot like “Death on the Nile”. I actually don’t even know if we stopped anywhere or if we kept on going through the night. When I woke up we were still somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
Day 3: Temples and Cruising
Waking up to the sound of cruising and a sunrise on the Nile was an unforgettable moment.
Next Stop: Temple of Horus in Edfu – one of the best preserved ancient monuments in Egypt. Preserved by desert sand since it was fully covered with sand at one stage and truly one of the most atmospheric temples we visited. The rest of the day was spent cruising again.. With high-tea on the sun-deck and views for days until arriving in Aswan late in the evening.
Day 4: Aswan
Aswan, a vibrant, pretty city on the shores of the Nile where Lake Nasser, the largest man-made lake in the world, was build in the early 1960s. We docked straight by a lovely promenade right in the centre of Aswan. A short walk to the Bazaar and more importantly a short walk to the Old Cataract Hotel where Agatha Christie wrote her world famous novel.
Tip: If you plan to do high-tea at that world famous hotel, book in advance and perhaps avoid going on a Thursday, that’s usually reserved for hotel guests only.
If I ever go back to Aswan, this is where I will be staying!
Another highlight close by is the Philae Temple complex on the island of Philae, a tiny little island on the Nile. The temple was built to honour the goddess Isis and can be reached by a short boat trip.
Day 5: Abu Simbel
Besides spending quality time with the whole family, Abu Simbel was THE absolute highlight of the trip. The 3h30am wake-up call and almost 4-hour drive through the Nubian desert towards the Sudanese border was more than worth it. I love the desert and just to add, I’ve spend almost 5 years of my life living in one. Yet.. for the first time in my life, I saw an actual Fata Morgana. The temples of Abu Simbel are basically two massive temples carved into a rock, built by Ramses II for himself and for his favourite wife Nefertari, the most beautiful woman of this ancient era.
As you might have figured by now, I am such a sucker for ancient ruins. I like to walk through them and imagine I had lived there during that time and what life would have been like.. I was lucky enough to have visited Petra, the famous tomb city in Jordan, about 25 years ago, way before mass tourism discovered the tombs and I can tell you that the Abu Simbel is right up there on the list with Petra in terms of wow-factor.
Historical fact: when the government of Egypt built Lake Nasser in 1962, they knew that the original temples would be flooded. So, the decided to relocate them by 64 meters. Yes, to move them! The whole rock that the temples was carved into.
Here is another amazing historical fact: It is believed that the axis of the temple was positioned by the ancient Egyptian architects in such a way that on February 21 and October 21, the rays of the sun would penetrate the sanctuary and illuminate the sculptures on the back wall, except for the statue of Ptha the god of death, who always remained in the dark. Due to the relocation of the temple by 64 meters, these dates shifted by one day and are now on the 22nd of the respective month. Guess what? We were there on its original date, the 21st Feb!
Day 6: Kom Ombo and cruising back to Luxor
The day started with a little cruise on a typical small sailing boat which was basically more or less an excursion to sell us gifts and crafts onboard. The locals are making use of every opportunity to sell anything to tourists. And everything costs 1€ by the way…
After the Arab Spring in 2011 tourism basically came to a stand still which was the only source of income for so many locals. Traders are desperate for any sale and would even dock on our ship and sell gifts from their tiny motor boats.
Next stop: On our way back to Edfu where we would anchor for the night, we stoped at another Temple: Kom Ombo. Thetemple is unique because it is in fact a double temple, dedicated to Sobek the crocodile god, and Horus the falcon-headed god. The layout combines two temples in one with each side having its own gateways and chapels. I just wish we could have arrived a bit earlier as the sun set over the Nile was magnificent from the temple’s viewing point.
Day 7: Luxor
If things had gone to the original plan we would have arrived in Luxor a day earlier and the evening of day 6 and perhaps day 7 could’ve been spent with my Egyptian connection mentioned at the beginning.
Fate had different plans and we only arrived back in Luxor just after midday on our last day. We visited the Temple of Luxor – the one that is connected to the Temple of Karnak by the 2.7km long Avenue of the Sphinxes. The temple is magnificent. A master piece.
The one obelisk missing at its entrance is the one that’s now in Paris, standing tall on the Place de la Concorde (little did I know about that fact when I was admiring the Parisian obelisk just 2 months prior to that).
Again, I just wish we had managed to get there earlier. If you are not bound to a group travel itinerary, try to get there as soon as the temple complex opens in the morning and hopefully you will also avoid the crowds.
In the evening we had the opportunity to go back to the Temple of Karnak for a sound and light show. They’ve done a great job. It takes you by foot through the temple complex and it sets you back 3500 years by sound and light effects. What a perfect ending to a perfect trip. One more night on the ship before a week of time travel back to ancient Egypt came to an end.
A great trip to spend quality time with the family. A great way to explore so many different places and to learn about the era of the Pharaohs. Travelling in February was perfect. Don’t go there between May – September it will just be too hot. Sometimes I wished we had more time at certain places, on the other side it was pleasant that everything was taken care of, no planning from our side required. All in all, a trip I can highly recommend. Maybe try to slot in a hot air balloon ride over Luxor. We simply didn’t have the time for it. Next time… I have a feeling my second visit to Egypt wasn’t my last one.
It’s easy to fall in love with Paris. That’s why Paris is the best rebound I can think of. So, where better to go to and distract yourself after a break-up or a heartbreak. Just remember movies like “Midnight in Paris” or “Before Sunset”that give us a pretty good idea of how beautiful Paris is. It is not only the beautiful architecture, or the stylish sense of fashion of the Parisians, there is more to it. It’s the way of life that Paris portraits: good food, good wine, class and style. Short: The savoir-vivre!
Winter in the Cape is underrated. So much in fact, that Cape Town and the Western Cape as a whole struggle with tourist numbers every year. Visitors, come! There is no reason to avoid the Cape in winter. In fact it has become one of my favourite seasons.
Reason number one
Less traffic – way less traffic. And I mean not only on the road. No queues to most tourist attractions, no need to book a restaurant two weeks in advance. The city is not as congested as it is in peak season.
Really affordable – prices fall for locals. You can find a lot of restaurants offering winter menus at reduced prices. Even weekend get-aways are becoming more affordable for locals when the influx of foreigners with stronger currencies wears down.
Reason number five
Sunny days – and there are plenty. Winter in the Cape is rainy season. That’s true, but the rain usually never lasts too long. A few rainy days are usually followed by as many (if not more) days with temperatures rising to a gentle low twenty. Ideal for beach or prom walks, lazy lunches in the sun or visiting a wine farm and buying some red for those rainier days.
I made 2018 my year of not going on a long-haul flight. It is November now and it looks like I’m going to make it! Having been on a ten hours flight once a month for the past nine years took its toll on me. Traveler burn-out is a real thing. Moving back to Cape Town a year ago and escaping the concrete urban jungle that is Johannesburg, made me wanting to explore my old new hometown more. It is after all one of the most beautiful places in the world with an influx of hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. If they all come to see what is so special about Cape Town, I can as well stay and discover that too.
Besides the bucket list items of every visitor, like a helicopter flight, a paragliding tandem jump, shark cage diving and having dinner at Africa’s only restaurant that made it into the top 50 restaurants worldwide, there is plenty of free (or at least free’ish) stuff to do. Here are my top 5:
#1 Lion’s Head
My number one activity has to be a hike up Lion’s Head. No doubt! I prefer the views to those from the top of Table Mountain, you get a bit of exercise in and it’s a perfect second date activity.
The hike up is very popular with locals as well as with tourists. So, choose your depature time carefully if you want to avoid masses of hikers which results in queuing and trying to ditch trailrunners and suicidal selfie takers. Never go up for a full moon hike! You have about 2000 people trying to squeeze in on narrow pathways. (Tip: get a tripod, head towards Vredehoek side of town and take a long exposure photo of those masses of people all equipped with lights making their way down).
If you go for a sunset on any other day, don’t forget headlights or at least a fully charged phone with a torch function.
#2 Promenade Walks
Take a long walk along Sea Point and Mouille Point Promenade. Restorations and construction work have almost been completed. If you start at the public swimming pool in Sea Point and you go all the way past the Mouille Point Light house, you can stroll a good 5km along the Atlantic Seaboard. There are different sculptures displayed along the way and the fresh sea air is definitely a goodie on top. If you are an eager jogger, it’s a popular route to go. You even have some outdoor gym facilities waiting for your if you want to push a bit more.
Get over your weekly hump with YogaLife, Cafe Caprice, Havaianas and Savanna!
Wind down the day with a free sunset yoga class led by The YogaLife on Camps Bay Beach. After your bodies and minds have been stretched, float over to Cafe Caprice for a healthy meal and complimentary Savanna Dry.
Bring along a towel, your swim wear, friends and family. All levels welcome! It happens every Wednesday during the warmer season. Check out their Facebook Page for all the details (and cancelations in case the wind blows too strong)
One of Cape Town’s main attractions must be its beaches. You don’t have to drive far out to find the most pristine beaches. Clifton (all 4 of them), Camps Bay, Glen Beach are super close to the City Centre and the neighbourhoods surrounding the City Bowl. Parking can be a nightmare and it gets full quite quickly. If you don’t want to lie on the sand like sardines in a tin, choose your beach times accordingly.
Just a short drive out of town is Llandudno beach – another one of these white sandy beaches. A little longer drive out is Boulders Beach in Simons Town. In case you are keen to swim and sunbath with some Penguins than that’s the place to go. If Penguins are not your thing but you are already on the False Bay side of the Peninsula, then head out to Fishhoek, Kalk Bay or St. James.
You probably know of the red City Sight Seeing (CSS) busses that you see around Cape Town or any other major city around the world. But did you know that CSS also offers free walking tours? You can choose between the The Historic City Walk and Vibrant Bo-Kaap Walk. They are for free and the guides work on a tip basis. Each tour is about 90min long and they offer morning and afternoon tours.
When you live in South Africa and you are given a business class ticket to any destination of your choice where would you go? Well, I looked at a destination map of the airline that gave me that ticket and chose the one that was furthest away. Two long haul flights each 11 hours long, a transfer-time in the middle of about 6 hours and I landed in San Francisco. Just me! Airport shuttle and hotel booked well in advance, a SIM card that works in the US loaded with data and ready I was for my four days adventure in San Francisco.
After much consideration I decided to stay in a hotel in Nob Hill.. Oh well, the view from that hotel was just amazing! Arriving just in time for an incredible sunset, I fell in love with SF almost instantly. Here are my top things to do in SF when traveling on your own and you don’t know anyone in that city:
1. Hire a bicycle:
San Fran is a bicycle friendly city – well, if you don’t count the hills into consideration and if you stay in the flatter parts of the city.. I guess it is more of a tourist attraction than a local thing. There are a lot of bicycle hire shops spread all over the city. Most of them are located along the Waterfront anywhere between Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. The most famous thing to do with a bike is probably to ride over Golden Gate Bridge. The city caters for it and the infrastructure from the Waterfront to the Golden Gate Bridge is bicycle friendly with dedicated bike paths etc. And don’t be afraid to get lost, just follow the paths (or the crowd for that matter) and it will take you straight to the bridge). The ride over the bridge itself is noisy (with all the cars hammering past you), windy (and mostly foggy) and be aware of having to dodge all the pedestrians. But it is so worth it! Once on the other side in Marin County you basically just roll down hill straight into the beautiful sea-side town of Sausolito. It’s the perfect spot to have lunch and enjoy a bit of sun. If you are too lazy to ride all the way back (like I was), you can take the ferry back to San Francisco harbor – they also take your bike!
2. Downtown, Financial District and China Town:
Nothing spectacular but a should-do, I guess. A must-do for me was to go shopping at a yoga brand clothing shop that we don’t have here in South Africa, hence going downtown had to be done. What I really love about SF is that it’s not a big American City, it is rather small and hence walkable as everything is also just so close by. If you are too lazy to walk up (or down) those famous SF hills, take a cable car, in fact, I think it is a must-do to ride on one of them. There are dedicated stops all over downtown, the waterfront as well as in Nob Hill, you just jump in and pay the conductor 7 USD. Which is a an adequate fee, I believe, because you get your ride plus your tourist sensation, so basically a two in one!
3. Little Italy and Lombard Street
A short walk from the Waterfront is a neighbourhood called little Italy. A cute little space with European flair, a lot of gelaterias and Italian eateries. From there, take another short walk to the bottom of Lombard Street – the crookedest street in the world. Go, and you’ll see why:-)
Nah… not my cup of tea to be honest. I expected more and as soon as I got there, I made my way out again. Not my vibe and it also didn’t feel the safest to be honest. But give it a try. The houses on my way were amazing! lots of old and renovated Victorian Houses.
5. Painted Ladies
Well, what should I say.. another rather disappointed experiences. It is nice to have seen them and the weather was warm enough to chill in the park opposite for a bit, but to be honest you find more beautiful Victorian houses in Nob Hill. The view from the park, with the Painted Ladies in front and downtown in the background makes for a great Instagram shot. But that’s about it.
6. Mission District
Definitely worth a visit. Especially if you are a fan of Street Art like I am! I booked an Airbnb Experience in advance which was the best thing I could’ve done. So, in case you are not aware yet, but Airbnb also offers experiences, which are excursions, cooking classes, painting classes, dance lessens.. let you imagination run wild or check out their website. I booked a guided tour with a local Mission artist to one of the oldest Mural sited in SF (first mural dates back to 1971!!!), Balmy Alley. Patricia who has painted and co-painted murals in Balmy Alley herself took us on a tour through Balmy Alley explaining the history and background stories of the various murals and giving us an insight of the neighborhood. It was definitely one of the best experiences of my whole SF trip. You can go on your own, but understanding the murals is a different story than just looking at them.
7. Hiking along the coast line
Another Airbnb experience I booked was a hike along SF’s coastline, passing Golden Gate bridge all the way to Baker’s Beach. There a quite a lot of hiking trails and you don’t necessarily need a guide to do it. I guess I booked it, because I didn’t know, I was traveling solo and it turned out to be a nice way to meet some other fellow travelers.
8. Rock-balancing at Lands End
Lands End itself is a worth a trip out of the city. It is a beautiful nature’ spot with a short hiking trail to a small beach from which you have a beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Down at that beach, you’ll find quite a few hipsters doing rock balancing. It’s a beautiful art of meditation and testing your will power as well as your patience. To learn how to do rock-balancing I booked my last experience and Travis, a local rock balancer, took a group of 7 down to the beach and tried to teach us the art of rock balancing – more successful to others than to me… Yet, it was the most fantastic experience and the timing was perfect! We ended our session just in time for a beautiful sunset over the Pacific.
This is my top things to do round-up for a solo trip! There is plenty more to do – So, I guess I need to go back one day.. See you soon again SF!
Looking closer at Johannesburg (let’s call it Jozi from here on) one can see and even more so feel a change in so many aspects. One of them is definitely the upcoming art scene. So much has happened here in probably the last 2-3 years. Continue reading “Arty spaces “→
Alicante is rather underrated. When you think of going to Spain, you’d probably think of Barcelona, Madrid, Andalusia, perhaps even Valencia, probably Bilbao or recently San Sebastián or Santiago de Compostela. Continue reading “The gem that is Alicante”→
Despite having been proud and happy single for the last couple of years, I probably fell in love countless times. Needless to say that it never lasted very long. Not necessarily because I fell out of love, more like because I didn’t fall, they tripped me. Continue reading “The perfect travel date”→
48 hours are definitely not long enough. Don’t do it! Don’t just stop over on your way to Aussie Land, Bali or wherever your journey takes you. Spend some time there and discover.. if your wallet allows for it because, gosh, Singapore is expensive. Therefore you get a super clean, super save city. I’ve heard about the cleanness before and yet, I was still surprised. Continue reading “48 hours in Singapore”→
On my bucket list! Madeira. Image credit goes to my aunt and uncle who recently visited this Portuguese island. When I saw the pictures and listened to how much they loved it, my mind was made up: I want to go:) Continue reading “Madeira impressions”→
I won – yes I actually really won – a wellness stay at the Algarve. So, flying to Lisbon was for me the only option getting there, hence why not spending a couple of days there?
I went with a really good friend of mine, we even lived together for a short period of time and I knew we’d get along – in fact it was my first proper girl’s holiday in a very very long time. Continue reading “Lisbon”→
You probably won’t just go to Lagos as a tourist. You will probably only go if you are an expat going for work, a spouse of an expat or if you happen to marry a Nigerian. I went for work. Having lived in South Africa for 12 years now, I am well aware that SA is not necessarily Africa, hence I knew that something completely different was going to await me .But I am not sure if I was prepared. I guess I wasn’t. Continue reading “Lagos, Nigeria”→
Spain is always a good idea – especially when it’s winter in the southern hemisphere. Northern hemispherians never believe me when I say it gets cold in Africa. That’s so far fetched. Although I mostly love Johannesburg winters, the nights get extremely cold, houses are not built for the cold and the air is so dry. That’s why I love to escape the winter here for a little bit if I have the chance. Continue reading “Spain is always a good idea!”→
It was love at first sight. The moment I stepped out the metro station at Munich’s Marienplatz, walking up the stairs and looking at the building that hosts the “Toy Museum”, I was sold and in love! A feeling of being in the middle of a fairy tale town completely overwhelmed me. It wasn’t my first visit to Munich but I never realized its beauty before. A perfect sunny spring day, probably helped a lot. Continue reading “24 hours in Munich – the perfect date”→