BERLIN, MARRAKESH, MOROCCO, PARIS, NORMANDIE AND BACK TO PARIS

I have been going through some changes in life and in a way a new book… originally I was saying a new chapter but I was talking to some people and they said it is not just chapters in your life sometimes you have new books… I like it because I honestly do feel like I started a new book.

I went to see a tarot card reader back in April and it was wild he knew everything about what I was going through without knowing anything about me. It is interesting now because he made all these predictions by the cards he chose and I laughed at a bunch of them but it is wild because I think he actually knew what might happen… it is wild how maybe someone can see a little bit into your future.

Well if my future works out the way he said it might then it is pretty good and I am excited and if it doesn’t I am still excited about life and possibilities….

I love to travel and when I winded up making a huge change in my life I told myself do what you love – book a trip – plan on something.

The Virgo in me loves to plan, plan, plan and have things to look ahead to and things to be excited about and that is what I started to think about and do… I didn’t book the trip in full to like the week before I was leaving but I had an idea where I wanted to go.

Traveling alone is a weird feeling at times – it is liberating and exciting and you get to do what you want but at the same time it does get a bit lonely.  I am constantly inspired so I did try to keep myself looking and searching and on the hunt for interesting things to photograph or try.  The weirdest parts were dinners… there are times I do like to go to a restaurant alone or go to the movies alone but I don’t like to do it 10 nights in a row… that is for sure.  So during “dinner time” I did have the tendency to drive my friends bonkers with emails so I apologize R, K, K and J for tons of emails during that time…. Just being a dinner alone but being able to converse still with my friends at home made me feel like I was having a conversation with someone… it was just that they usually were in the middle of the day while for me it was 9:30 at night.

I plan to talk all about my journey in detail and map out some of the things I saw and particulars.  But before I do that I wanted to give you the visual tour of my journey.  Then next week or when I get a second I will give you some of my favorite places I visited so if you visit Berlin, Paris, Normandy or Marrakesh – you can check out some of my favorite spots.

In the interim, I do want to thank my incredible tour guide Mustapha in Marrakesh, Morocco – without him I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy this beautiful place the same way. He took me to all the souks and key places and he introduced me to wonderful artisans and curators who have searched the continent of Africa for wonderful finds.  I even found jewelry from the 18th century from one of his friends.  Beyond that we spent a bit of time at MajorelleGardens, which is part of the YSL estate in Marrakesh and the most enchanting and visually stimulating place I have ever been. It was magical and memorable and I was very happy to share it with him.  I am happy to provide his info to anyone traveling to Marrakesh because he is the top guide there and an amazing human being.

So here is my tour ….

Berlin – I went for the Bread & Butter trade show … I walked and walked through the trade show and met so many wonderful people

Then flew to Switzerland waited about a hour and got on a plane to Marrakesh – I would say like a 5 hour trip in total from Berlin to get there that day. Marrakesh is full of spirit, religion, culture, history, artisans, music, delicious food – so much to enjoy – it was incredible and I loved every minute of it.  Here is a quick photo journey….

Oh I rode a camel in Marrakesh – I can see myself in a past life in Egypt riding a camel… it was easy and so much fun and my camel was awesome…. I loved every minute! I like camels because they are part of the name and concept of CARAVAN – this journey — with camels and caravans… and I have a special appreciation for them.

From Marrakesh, Morocco I flew to Paris- quick trip maybe 3.5 hours if that …. I stayed at one of my favorite hotels there if not my favorite, Mama Shelter – it is an incredible hotel with an awesome restaurant and just super cool décor… it was so enjoyable …. So I stayed over 1 night and the next day took the train to Deuville, France – the seaside resort. This is the place in Coco Avant Chanel and all those movies, Coco Chanel visits and she gets her famous striped nautical stripe top… I loved it you could feel the history… you just want to dress up like you are in the 1920s and sit on the beach all glamorous – it was the most beautiful beach with a huge personality – and it was celebrating its 100 year anniversary with a photo exhibit.  Some of my heroes like Josephine Baker were photographed at the beach. The other cool aspect was along the beach there were cabanas and each cabana was devoted to different famous people – there was everyone from Rock Hudson, Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, Farah Fawcett, Parker Posey, Harvey Weinstein… I also spent time in Trouville and I stayed in a lovely place called Honfleur.  There was so  much history and I couldn’t stop taking photos… I loved every minute I was able to spend there.

 some people might have thought was strange since there were a lot of little children going round and round on the merry go round… I didn’t care. I love the kid in me and I jumped on the elephant ( because I love elephants) and I sat there and I enjoyed the view… boats, a church, beautiful architecture, and beautiful buildings and it was just one of my favorite parts of my whole trip!


I stayed in Normandy for two full days and 1 night and I went back to Paris by train staying there for another 3 nights.

It was awesome because when I arrived back in Paris it was Bastille Day and I ate at Kong that night and it is all glass and I was actually able to see a few of the fireworks.  Kong is an incredibly cool restaurant with delicious food – it sits above the Kenzo store.  Oh that night I stayed at this awesome hotel that Christian Lacroix designed – it was beautiful and feminine, smelled incredibly and was decorated awesome! I stayed there one night and stayed the last two nights back at Mama Shelter because the pricing there is so fair and it is just a fun hotel.  I will tell you more the next round where they located and stores I visited etc.  But in the interim please check out my photo journey. The bummer was that I went to the YSL retrospective but you weren’t allowed to take photos.  If you can find some online try to see this exhibit – it was incredible and I was so lucky to have been able to visit it while in Paris.  I also of course visit Laduree, Colette, Merci, Angelina, Tsumori Chisato and many other stores which I will note another time. The other cool aspect was that I saw so many space invader mosaics which you will see some of them in my photo slide show.

Oh – I love street culture and seeing how kids react on the streets and what they are wearing, what they are doing, how they hang out with each other… and I spent about 45 minutes just watching and photographing a whole group of skate boarders at one of  my favorite places in Paris… PALAIS DE TOKYO

Lastly, not to bore you but I saved my own personal photo journey for last… traveling alone you get to be an excellent self portrait photographer – ha ha… I love taking photos of myself or having photos of myself to document how I felt, dressed, looked during different times of my life – whether it be during a visit to this garden in Marrakesh where I felt like a princess or walking in the streets of Paris or lying by the pool….

The most important thing that the tarot card reader said to me besides the fact that I would realize a huge part of my future in June ( which I think I did – but that is another story) but what he did say is that you are going through a self actualization period of your life where you are focusing on the positives in your life and you are enjoying your life and building a life. You are learning how to be independent but you are also learning how to be surrounded by the people you should be surrounded by in your life… it is true but he also made me realize how important it is to really love yourself. You can’t truly love anyone until you love yourself. There are days I hate my hair or what I put on or  that I said something stupid  but for the most part I love myself… not just the way I look but the way I feel and the way I care and the way I love and work… I have awesome work ethics… I always wish I knew more – like I really knew how to speak the three languages I studied in high school and college … I wish I read more and knew more about music and film and art… but all you can do is try — today is for learning and being inspired and to inspire and to share…. So I share with you some of my favorite ME moments… and some of my favorite places and some of my favorite outfits… including my Danny Roberts tees that I love sooo much … he is a genius !

 

Some of the things I loved along the way ….

In Berlin

Chipps so yummy check it out www.chipps,eu – wish we had this in nyc

 

In Marrakech

I first stayed for one night at Vanessa Branson’s incredible hotel Riad El Fenn – wow – check it out

www.riadelfenn.com then spent the other two nights at Mamounia

Maison de la Photographie – www.maison-delaphotographie.com

My most incredible tour guide in the world – Mustapha Chouquir – he took me to the most amazing places and he is so nice and patient… let me know if you would like his information –claudine@thinkpublicrelations.com – but some tips Marrakech is a city that is 1000 years old and it is the city of the seven saints.  There are incredible souks ( markets) that are world famous for their size , chaos and all the eclectic items you find from lanterns to spices. It is intoxicating, exotic, noisy, beautiful, ancient, modern, and just an amazing time.

I experienced a Hammam at one of the most amazing hotels – la mamounia — http://www.mamounia.com – wow – I was so soft after that and had an incredible massage… Thank you – Bouchra and Mohammed Chbani – I think something I heard from Sex & The City was maybe filmed there… or they stayed there- I can see why – it is like a palace

These are amazing footballs made in the souks – www.docballons.sportblog.fr – this is truly incredible

And Sadki helped me at this beautiful place for some items to bring home at Palais de la Menara – right there in the Medina

Look up the Dar Darma – www.dardarma.com – this is another incredible place

Abdellah helped me at the Miloud Art Gallery – El Jouli – right in the medina in the souk area

I fell in love with all the beautiful treasures at Amazonite which had antiquites objets d’arts – in the Gueliz ( the New City area) – the people that work there are so knowledgeable and I found amazing gifts for myself that are from the 18th century

In Normandy, Honfleur

La Table Toutain at www.fermesaintsimeon.fr

I met this very sweet woman at Josephine Beaume – an artist who specializes in collages visit www.josephine-beaume.com

In Paris

KK OUTLET AT COLETTE – check out KesselsKramer – they are a brilliant communications agency based in Amsterdam and London and they have created some awesome books, films and great products.

Masomenos – www.welcometomasomenos.com – really cool djs that have the cutest little store – loved it

Room Service – cutest store ever – where they reconstruct vintage items and add sweet buttons etc – they call it atelier vintage – http://www.roomservice.fr

I love Mama Shelter hotel but also love Hotel du Moulin Petit a former boulangerie in the 3rd arrondisment

La Bague de Kenza – so yummy and delicious down the street from Colette www.labaguedekenza.com

CARAVANGIRL all over NORMANDY & PARIS ….

Thank you for looking and I will include more specifics next time….

Visit me at twitter claudinedesola

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