A weekend of sailing and exploring the beautiful island of Mallorca with The Yacht Week
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36 hour weekends
An all encompassing weekend guide for a one night stand with the playful city of Amsterdam.
A quick but very inspiring 72 hours in New York City.
A girls weekend trip to Lucerne filled with chocolate, cheese and champagne all while being locked up abroad in a Jail Hotel.
It's a country, a city, a tax haven & a tech hub. The little country of Luxembourg has been on my list for quite some time now. I figured Skype, Amazon and Paypal have offices there - it must be something worth seeing. The perfect weekend trip was filled with 24,753 steps of walking, a lot of (coffee) drinking, and even better company.
The Story | The Proof | The Suggestions
Black crows. Commonly and usually associated as rats with wings. Picking up the leftovers, hassling over every last crumb of a granola bar at the beach, or a lost bite of a gyro sun dried with the hustle of an overpowering city. Give the definition some slack, as that is just one girls wild interpretation of such creatures. Though, the black crows I am referring to are quite the contrary.
They are the eyes of the valley. Why yes, they often snaggle around for the last bite of baguette atop Brévent, or at the mid station in Grand Montets. But when the black crows are out, so are the blue bird skies, and the free bird souls. Perhaps we are all the same as the black crows - analyzing the weather, scavenging the mountain for what it is worth; Rinsing every fresh line dry until the storms come again, and sharing stories at the local watering hole.
It is quite difficult to compare Chamonix to the other ski resorts of the world. There are no covered or heated chair lifts for miles, ski in ski outs are for the extremists, and how does one even determine what après ski bar to go to? Would you walk into Elevation in your moon boots and Bogner jacket? You could, but Probably wouldn’t.
The latest season's Patagonia only, S'il vous plaît.
Just as a background story I skied Chamonix for the first time 4 years ago with my mother - the peaks alone got me hooked. I didn’t even explore past the McDonalds on Avenue Michel Croz because I didn't even think anything worth going to was past this way (I just to happen to miss all of the best après ski bars) Eh. You live and learn, right? One year later I found myself getting dropped off by some handsome british transfer driver asking me “Is this your address?” My response: “Eh. I am not exactly sure… this is what they gave me? I guess I will find out” I went to ‘study french’ in a town that echoes swedish and english over a lick of anything french. Although, Insted the school I studied at was phenomenal. Skiing and Studying - genius beyond the SEO search value. In the two months spent there I learned how to drink a lot of beer, eat even more baguettes, say cheers in swedish, and attempt to keep up with the ski bums.
The following year, same time, same place - I arrived fairly more confident of my location for an ‘internship’ with a startup (talk about a resume builder) and while the season started out slow, I made some friends, drank more beer, and learned what the mountains had to offer. Patience.
This year, I booked a 4 day stay in the city that stole my heart - and it is safe to say nothing has changed. The swedish ski bums still affluently populate the city / bar / restaurant scene, the snow was dumping, and the black crows are still flying high. Touche chamonix, touche.
I personally always forget to use the extraordinary guides of the internet (lonely planet, checkin, tripadvisor, pinterest, etc.) I usually prefer to ask my friends where to go when traveling. So if you are also one of those people who are horrific travel planners - as in aimlessly wandering in a city until you see a menu with a typeface you like, and a crowd that looks enthused this one is for you.
1. Aprés Ski
- Pointe Isabelle Hotel (Across from McDonalds) (A new one - ‘pre aprés ski’ in my opinion)
- Venture to Chambre Neuf around 6:15 (when the ski bums arrive) for No Limits live band (expect to scream 'one more song' , 'we are Chamonix', etc. - the swedish and norwegian ski bums dance on the tables, feel free to join, they won't bite - crowd surfing is allowed, hang the pitchers on the chandelier when you’re done).
*Don't shower beforehand, and wear your ski clothes.
- Munchie - Best sushi / fusion food in town
- Moo Bar - Pulled pork burger. Just do it.
- Le Jekyll - Sunday Ribs
- Rolly Polly - quick delicious sandwiches
- Casa Valerio - Favorite Italian / Pizza spot in town
If you want to buy food their are plenty of grocery stores (Petit Casio) scattered around town (next to the Rossignol store, and across from WESC) and Super U located across from Moncler -ish. The beer is on the first floor, and the food is cheaper than the other places.
3. Where To Ski
- If it is sun you want: Brévent-Flégère
- Perhaps trees + backcountry: Grand Montets
- Touring: Le Tour
- First time on the slopes: Les Houches
- Something Extreme: Aiguille du midi (you should probably hire a guide, bring crampons, a rope, avalanche gear, etc.) You can walk to Brevent, and Aiguille du midi everywhere else you need to take the bus (which rarely runs on time)
4. Sleep Warm
- . I like the little places like Hotel du Louvre, and Hotel Richemond. Partly because they are near the bars, restaurants, and busses to all of the ski lifts (call me lazy). Wifi is fast, cheap and the breakfast and coffee is sufficient (Croissants, Pain au chocolate, and hard boiled eggs). There are plenty of beautiful places to stay throughout the city.
5. Smile, you're in Chamonix
Until next time, Chamonix. For those who are there - enjoy it.
Location: Woyton coffee shop.
The order: Iced cafe latte avec homemade granola and plain yogurt
I greatly appreciate a strong cup of coffee (preferably iced) and a cup of homemade granola in the morning. I often find myself riding my bike along the Rhein 8 min. in the opposite direction of my office just to taste the cold brew "classic on the rocks" Woyton has to offer in düsseldorf.
Café culture isn't about the caffeine kick or the mason jars that it's served in. The ideal coffee shop makes one feel like they are snuggled up on their couch on a gloomy Sunday morning (you all know the feeling). The aromas and sounds remind me of hearing my father grind and brew fresh coffee beans each and every morning before school. Not to mention, sitting and sipping a cup of coffee is the perfect excuse to people watch.
There is something intimate about coffee shops. Perhaps it's the smells, sounds, memories and stories behind each space. Or rather it is because people often find that their cup of coffee, cappuchino, or cafe au lait is a little "pick me up" on any given good, bad or mediocre morning. Simply put, That cup of coffee will never let you down.
Life is too short to sleep, enjoy a cup of coffee and keep on keeping on.
Well, now that I've got your attention you might as well take a gander at the naked beauty of Mallorca, Spain. This 36 hour trip was one for the books - sand, sun & the sea. I booked my flight 3 hours before it took off from Düsseldorf (at 5:30 in the morning.)
The moment I landed I knew I was in for a warm treat --- even though I had no hotel, no phone reception, and absolutely no idea where I was. So where do I begin in a situation like this? I asked the information desk at the airport where the closest beach was (insert clueless american here) the kind man at the desk pointed me in the direction of Playa de Palma (something like that). So I took bus no.21 for about 5 min, got off and aimlessly wandered into a hotel and asked if they had any availability for the night. Voila! I couldn't help but laugh for a couple of minutes when I walked 100m onto Platja Ca'n Pastilla; the white sand on the beach danced effortlessly with the soft waves of the Mediterranean sea - I knew I was in the right place.
The next 8 hours were rather simple - toes in the sand, drink in my hand.
Cheers for the weekend Mallorca, it was a good one.
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36 hours in Antwerp, Belgium with zero plans. There was much to see in this coffee-shop culture of a town. Beautifully merchandised boutiques filled with well designed knickknacks, along with magnificent rococo style facades lining cobblestone streets. Narrow street cars from the sixties with ray-ban pantone colored window advertisements flooded the streets which complimented Antwerp's fashionably artistic and contemporary social scene.
Annie and I rested our heads at the OHotel designed by architect and designer Jo Peeters. He combines vintage and design, old and modern with the conveniences of nowadays - our room had all black walls, one spotlight over the bed, and a paper thin glass panel separating the bed from an obscene shower show (quite the romantic room for two college friends looking to catch up over wine & waffles), but coming from a design background, the hotel was certainly unique. Don't leave without drinking a cup of Pip's lemongrass tea and decadent chocolates in the cafe near the entrance. Also ask the kind receptionists where to experience the local spots of Antwerp for the non-local, they really recommended some great places.
Other than art galleries & design shops, we were on the hunt for the perfect belgium waffle. We ate 3 (oops) throughout the weekend, and the waffles at 'Queen of Waffles' really outdid themselves. A warm waffle smothered in fresh whipped cream, drizzled in succulent honey & topped with bananas - why yes, it really was life changing.
Anyways, we took the bus back from Antwerp to Dusseldorf for 12 euros & free wifi along the way. Antwerp is a unique city that is filled with all walks of life, but predominately those who live for the little things in life. 36 hours is the perfect timeframe to sit and explore.