Tag Archives: American girl

Going, Going, Gondola!

Our first and only night in Venice passed by much too quickly.

So the following morning I was on a mission to see as much of the city as possible before our evening flight.

With the shops and narrow streets clogged with tourists fresh off the cruise ships, we dodged down an empty stone passage and swiftly took to the canal!

Venice Emilio Ceccato

Venice Foot bridge

Venice Waiting for Gondola

Leaning out over the water, we hailed a passing gondola. Once aboard, it was evident there is no better way to experience the enchantment of Venice.

Venice Hat

Venice Waiting Turned

Our wizened tour guide was proud to come from a family of gondoliers. His licence was passed down to him from his grandfather, and eventually he will bequeath it to his son-in-law. He pointed out significant buildings, and poetically lamented the current economic and political state of Italy. It was so romantic listening to him orate behind us while we canoodled in our loveseat, watching antiquity float past just beyond the lacquered edge of the boat.

Gondola View

Gondola Looking Up

Gondola POV

Gondolier

Bauer Plaza

Bauer Plaza ?

We stopped at the Bauer hotel to pick up friends on our way to lunch. The terrace was an absolute dream, and we couldn’t resist a glass of prosecco under the scarlet canopy overlooking St Marks.

Day 2 Venice Chelsea

Bauer Masks

Bauer Terrace

After our pre-lunch aperitivos, we boarded a taxi to the restaurant.

Bauer Taxi

“Harry’s Dolci” is located on Lido island with a terrace that looks back onto the hem of Venice.

Seated at our table, covered in crisp robin egg blue linen, we ordered a round of Cipriani’s famous bellinis and set to work translating the all-Italian menu.

Day 2 Harry's View

Day 2 Venice Harry's Boys

Bauer Menu

Can we just go back to the bellinis, though? Pureed white peaches and prosecco… So exquisite I was rendered totally silent.

Our server made some astute recommendations from the menu, and before long he was back at our table flourishing an array of dishes before us.

Day 2 Venice Cipriani Tray

Vitello Tonnato (veal with tuna sauce)

Vitello Tonnato (veal with tuna sauce)

Day 2 Harry's Table Passing

Harrys Tray

Day 2 Venice Smiles

Day 2 Harry's Squid Ink Pasta

Squid Ink Pasta

Squid Ink Pasta

Veal Ragu

Veal Ragu

Sole

Sole

 

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi

A blissfully mellow last meal in Venice! We idled over coffees and dainty glasses of grappa, trying to delay our inevitable return trip to the airport.

Day 2 Harry's Table Smile

Day 2 Harry's Table

Day 2 Venice Table Done

Day 2 Harry's Mask View

After a while, our taxi arrived and we reluctantly (but happily) climbed aboard and scuttered toward the departures gate.

Day 2 Taxi

Day 2 Venice Boat

Day 2 Venice Cigar Shades Smile

Day 2 Venice Cigar

Day 2 Olivia

Day 2 Venice Boat Hug

Day 2 Venice Z Final

Venice, it was a whirlwind – but an absolute pleasure!

La Pause, Marrakech

Sometimes to experience the essence of a place, you have to venture out of its heart and beyond its periphery. Marrakech is a seething urban cauldron, dust-tinged and hectic, petrol vapor refracting in waves off of its every surface.

But drive 40 km out of the city, and sputtering mopeds give way to donkey carts, and then to nomadic shepherds herding lambs by the roadside, and then to nothing but undulating red dunes. Eventually, there is breeze, there is quiet, there is calm.

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I really couldn’t fathom a better way to end my trip to Morocco than a day at La Pause eco-resort blissing out over lunch in an authentic Bedouin tent surrounded by the remote tranquility of the desert.

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Run by an eccentric French expat (of which I saw several roaming about fitting that description), La Pause aims to provide an authentic and timeless desert experience, with no electricity, and minimal modern conveniences.

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The chef at La Pause offers a set menu cooked with local seasonal ingredients, and your 5-course meal is served under a private nomadic tent. All produce is transported daily from Marrakech and not stored on location, ensuring the freshest, most delicious ingredients go into every bite.

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Lunch started with a rocket salad, freshly picked from the garden and seasoned using the extra virgin olive oil pressed from La Pause’s olive groves.

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Traditional Moroccan soup

Traditional Moroccan soup

Lamb tagine with prunes and almonds

Lamb tagine with prunes and almonds

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This intriguing Moroccan dessert tasted like frosted cornflakes

This intriguing Moroccan dessert tasted like frosted cornflakes

Moroccan tea

Moroccan tea

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All visitors have free access to the grounds – go on, wander through the olive groves, take a dip in the swimming pool, or just stretch out to warm yourself on a sun lounger.

We sipped rose wine and gallivanted around the Agafay desert terrain.

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And what a special surprise when I spied the La Pause boutique! Leave it to the French to identify stylish wares of superb quality – without the dread of having to haggle animatedly for ages to get a fair price! Berber cushion covers, hand painted glass tableware, and woven baskets. Viola!

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Leaving with a bagful of goodies!

Leaving with a bagful of goodies!

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This magical desert experience was by far the highlight of my Moroccan trip. I have to say I probably won’t ever go back to Marrakech in the future; but if I do, I’ll definitely be La Paus-ing here again!

Pool Day

I know I’m on vacation, but a day at the pool is luxury I cannot pass up.  So I grabbed some high-brow reading material (i.e. Grazia and Glamour), headed for the roof, and slung myself back in a sunlounger to work on my tan (ahem, burn).

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Poolbar

After lunch it was time for a cold beer from the bar and a friendly match of dominoes.

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Pooldominoes

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Such an amazing trip this has been! Barcelona, I’m gonna miss you.