CRAZY WONDERFUL PLACES YOU WON’T BELIEVE EXIST IN ITALY-SVEN JOURNAL

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Crazy Wonderful Places You Won’t Believe Exist In Italy

My quest for the discovery of unusual beauties in Italy continues! I’m proud to say i have found some new crazy wonderful places to lust over! Realizing that all of these locations are within the country i am currently residing in is incredible. Beauty can really be found anywhere and it is always closer than you think! So without further ado let’s dive into the crazy wonderful places of the day!

Carezza Lake, Bolzano

This landscape leaves me speechless every time: immensely beautiful. This lake is situated right outside of Bolzano, an Italian Border Town so you are a shot away from Austria and Switzerland! This lake is ever-changing because in the warmer months you can admire the lake in the beautiful conditions pictured below. During winter the lake freezes and it turns the landscape into a winter wonderland! And there is also a statue of a mermaid in the lake! It is very small so bonus points to whoever can spot it once there! 🙂

crazy wonderful places

Fumarole Sasso Pisano, Pisa

Apparently you don’t need to travel as far as to Island( although you definitely should!) to experience the sight of geysers! Right outside of Pisa you can visit the Fumarole to witness this incredible phenomenon, made even more unreal by the fact the geysers are mainly in the mountains and hills of the area, making the whole scenery very surreal and scary exciting!

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Bossea’s Caves, Cuneo

The Caves of Bossea are filled with me at every turn. They contain many underground lakes with waters so clear you can indeed see the caved in bottom. The “ceilings” are rich in stalagmites and other rocky points created by Nature so beautifully. And the best part? While touring the caves you come across waterfalls! You can visit these crazy wonderful places with tour guides moved by a real passion for this place.

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Arbatax’s Red Rocks, Sardinia

The red rocks of Arbatax( super cool name by the way) are located near other beautiful beaches so you can pack on the beauty while coming here to visit. The rocks are made of  deep red granite and the color and shades pop up even more against the clear water of the sea.

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Waterfalls of the Island of Liri, Frosinone

Frosinone is a little town about a hour away from Rome so if you happen to be visiting the capital of Italy, you can easily sneak in a little afternoon getaway to this crazy wonderful places and enjoy the beauty of the waterfalls!

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Have you visited any of these places? Do you have recommendations for the next add on the list of crazy wonderful places?

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SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES IN ITALY-SVEN JOURNAL

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Some of the Most Beautiful Beaches in Italy

Summer is indeed coming, and what better way to celebrate it and enjoy it than to spend a relaxing day at the beach? So let’s all start planning ahead!

Confession Time: I myself have never been much of a beach person. For that matter not at all a summer person but this past winter was really hard on me and for the first time in my life ( not exaggerating) i have craved beach weather and hot weather. I still love winter and spring like crazy but i can finally truly appreciate the summer frenzy everyone has always had and understood WAAAAY before i did. Therefor for the first time i actively desire to lay on the beach and simply chill. I’ve rounded up some of the most stunning beaches in Italy i could choose from all the great options out there, so by all means, don’t hesitate to put me in the know for other beautiful locations YOU think i should add this wanderlusting list!

I am currently in Italy aka one of the most scenic and stunning places in the world. Considering that this very country has the majority of its borders graced by seas i’d say it is a pretty solid idea to go look for some of the best beaches in the world right here. Depending on what you want to do at the beach, you’ll find yourself immersed in beauty and clear waters, along with relaxing sceneries like few others.

Rotunda Beach, Tropea

This beach reminds me of a landscape you could find  in Game of Thrones, wouldn’t it look really fitting in King’s Landing?? Absolutely unreal!

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The beach of Grotticelle at Capo Vaticano, Vibo Valentia

This beach is part of a complex of three beautiful beaches of Grotticelle, each one has its own little bay so it is worth to go take a peak a the other two! The stunning landscape truly reminds me of Greece! Stunning.

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Giunco Beach

How is this real life? Am i Dreaming? The world is indeed a beautiful place! The first time i came across this Beach i thought it was a mistake, it could not possibly be Italy! It looks like a real gem From Thailand or Vietnam! Indeed it is Italy!

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Cala Portese Beach

And not far from the aforementioned paradise there is the Beach of Cala Portese, on Caprera island. The things said about Giunco Beach can be pasted here! Insert paradise emoji here please!

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Campo All’Aia Beach, Tuscany

Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions of Italy and apparently holds many more secrets than i had imagines because when i think of Tuscany i immediately think of Florence, Pisa, Architecture, Paintings and Gelato. Not beaches but i was oh so wrong. Tuscany has some serious stunning beaches! This one particularly reminds me of a Cape Town beach, hugged by hills and mountains in the background. A true must see!

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Mezzavalle Beach

Surrounded by vegetation and with the whitest sand, this beach is simply eye candy. You reach the location after walking down a steep trail walk and after a beautiful day at the beach, when you reach the highest point of the landmark on your way back you can truly enjoy an out of this world sunset setting on this memorable landscape.

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Cala Luna Beach, Ogliastra

A paradise worth of Thailand, surrounded by mountains and the most vibrant green vegetation, the Cala Luna Beach in Sardinia is a little piece of heaven on earth.

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It is clear that this article had to be called this way because there is absolutely no possibility of gathering here all together the most beautiful beaches of Italy, for there are far to many; in fact when i was writing this article and collecting some more infos i kept stumbling upon other incredible places and i truly think in order to give them proper justice i’ll have to vision each and everyone in person myself. A hard task my friends! Ahah but i will manage 😛  and feel free to join me! 🙂

Have you been to one or more of this beaches? What other italian beaches do you think deserve a special spot in this list?

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Also don’t forget to follow me on Instagram if you don’t already, pretty cool things are happening over there too.

x,

Sven

STREET ART IN CLARION ALLEY, SAN FRANCISCO – SVEN JOURNAL

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Street Art In Clarion Valley, San Francisco

Street Art

If there is something you should know about me is that i love Art tremendously, in all of its (hers?) manifestations, street art included; therefore i am always on the lookout for new urban landmark to lust over. This time it’s the Clarion Alley in San Francisco.

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Clarion Alley is a little street packed with graffitis and any sort of art manifestation, situated in the Mission District. The graffitis are accepted and embraced and are a true representation of the city’s spirit.

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And all of the incredible pieces are coordinated by the Clarion Alley Mural Project.

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Have you seen this street art extravaganza for yourself ? What are your favorite graffitis? And if not, are you now intrigued by these images and will you add the street art of Clarion Alley to your bucket list?

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THE MOST AFFORDABLE COUNTRIES TO VISIT IN 2016 IN EUROPE-SVEN JOURNAL

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The Most Affordable Countries To Visit In 2016

Here is a rundown of some of the most affordable countries to visit in Europe this year, because you don’t always need to go to Paris or Rome to see stunning landmarks and sightseeings. Europe is the most variegated continent in the world and due to its amazing transportation connections you can virtually go anywhere with an ease impossible to find anywhere else. Therefore it is your duty, as a fellow traveler to visit as much as you can, to walk as long as you legs can’t hold your weight anymore, along the incredible paths of Europe.

Poland

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Romania

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Belgium

Greece

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Spain

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Macedonia

View at the bridge in Skopje

Bulgaria

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Slovakia

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Portugal

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Hungary

I have created this list while browsing for my own next destinations and added some of the countries i have visited multiple times myself already and for which i know for sure you can fly in+accommodation+museums+eat/drink for a much more convenient price than countries of the likes of Italy or UK. And for those wondering: yes, even Spain is pretty affordable. I highly recommend hostels as your chosen form of accommodation if you are tight on money. First and foremost let me tell you i don’t go in hostels, i just can’t bear the sole idea of shared bathrooms and sleeping in a dormitory. I am quite accommodating on many things but bathroom/bed no. So why am i now suggesting you a hostel? Because Spanish hostels are different, they are very clean and resemble a modest hotel rather than a filthy shared bedroom. I personally paid around 300 euros for a room+bathroom all to myself in the very center of Madrid near Plaza del Sol twice in different structures. Of course if you can afford to check in in a hotel, go for it, but this tip is an incredible exception to my personal rule and it is worth mentioning.

Each country here offers many destinations to visit and it is filled with beautiful surroundings, therefore visiting a little village or town rather the ever chosen Capital will be totally worthy and sometimes even prettier than the Capital itself. An example? Slovakia! Astonishingly beautiful, filled with woods and lands of a marvelous green like in no other place, not to mention the abundance of Castles, and who doesn’t love the sight of a castle?

Have you visited these places? Do you think i should add other affordable countries worth mentioning?

CHEFCHAOUEN AND JODHPUR: THE BLUE CITIES OF MOROCCO AND INDIA – SVEN JOURNAL

The Blue Cities of Morocco and India

CHEFCHAOUEN AND JODHPUR: THE BLUE CITIES OF MOROCCO AND INDIA

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Chefchaouen in this first and second (below) photograph.

If you look for the Blue City in magazines and books around you will find yourself confused with options because the state of reality is that with globalization we all can finally see the bigger ( biggest??) picture and put the pieces together as never before. In fact the Blue City can refer to both Chefchaouen, in Morocco, and Jodhpur, in India.

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THE BLUE CITY OF MOROCCO: CHEFCHAOUEN

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The Blue City in Morocco is a gem tucked into the Rif Mountains, a blue village almost hidden from the rest of the world. Its long name shall remain unpronounceable to the profanes, shall we? This tiny city/ village was founded in 1471 as a fortress for the moorish to defend themselves from the Portuguese invasion in the Spanish territories, and it clearly grew over time to become what it is today. Taken in consideration that this village was created out of necessity rather than as a proper intentional creation, you can understand why the “urban plant” is a bit confusing and that there aren’t many historically relevant buildings to see besides admiring the beautiful buildings colored in blue. The color blue comes from a jewish tradition which says that dying thread with blue and using it during a moment of prayer would be a good reminder of the power of God and the houses are a new reminder of that. They It is built against a hill so the greatest activity here is hiking besides eating local foods non stop and buying what sounds belittling to call souvenirs in the various emporiums: from the finest peculiar potteries to the great metallic jewels, there is no way you will leave empty handed!

THE BLUE CITY OF INDIA: JODHPUR

View of Jodhpur, the blue city from Mehrangarh Fort, Johdpur

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The Blue City in India, Jodhpur is located right in the middle of India and it is the most beautiful of the two Blue Cities because of the magnificent fort that watches over the entire city and because of the amazing architecture in general. There is plenty to see and visit and experience because unlike the blue city in morocco, this blue city is a real town with a population of over a million. The Blue cities were founded in a pretty close span time because the indian one was founded in 1459 and the urban plant is far more organized than the other blue city because this this town was meant to become the new capital of a new state, built on the ashes of the precedent one. The origin behind the blue colored houses is that it is meant to indicate the Brahmin caste because of the castes system ruling in India at the time. There are plenties of activities, as I’ve just said and between the visits to historical landmarks, textiles markets and the amazing indian cuisine you will not have a moment to rest.
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It is a true dream of mine to take part in the life of these beautiful cities even for just a few days and India is one of the countries written in bigger and brighter colors on my bucket list!

The word to you now: have you been to one or both of these Blue Cities? What are your thoughts? Is there another Blue City i should know about?? Confess: did i make you want to visit the Blue City of Morocco and India??

THE MOST ICONIC SPOTS IN LOS ANGELES – SVEN JOURNAL

Los Angeles

The most iconic spots in Los Angeles

SANTA MONICA PIER

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In Los Angeles there are very few things as famous as the Santa Monica pier, probably just the Hollywood sign and the Walk of Fame. It is a true landmark with a rich history, despite being just a little over 100 years old, filled with happy stories connected to its ever changing, or should i say ever evolving, entertainment structures such as the famous ferry that towers over the entire pier or the many boutiques and restaurants nearby. Over the decades this pier has seen success and true misery when it was almost destroyed by violent storms in the ’80s, but it always managed to make a big come back with ever better locations and fun things to experience!

GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY

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Situated on the hills of Griffith park, the observatory provides you with a stunning view of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. The story behind its creating is a heart warming one! The land on which the observatory sits was donated to the city of Los Angeles by Mister Griffith with funds to allow the city to build a observatory on it, going completely against the, then common, assumption that structures such as this should be only built in remote locations only accessible to few privileged people. Mister Griffith instead wanted to bring together the unaccessible subject of astronomy and common people. Isn’t it a really great story? So let’s all thank Griffith for such a beautiful action on his part!

THE FAMOUS PINK WALL

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It is indeed a famous spot thanks to outfits photos taken against this very wall by many Fashion and non bloggers from all over the world. It is a corner of the Paul Smith store in Melrose Avenue, in Los Angeles! A true must if you want to snap a Insta famous pic in a matter of seconds!

WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

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Situated in downtown Los Angeles this concert hall was designed by Frank Gehry, the one who also designed the superb Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, in fact if you compare the two buildings the touch of Gehry’s pen is blatant: they almost look like a continuum project, only divided by an ocean and a lot of land. It has quickly become a very celebrated spot thanks to its recurring appearances in many movies of the last decade. It is very well visible for example in the lovely Los Angeles based movie Celeste and Jesse forever, which features Andy Samberg as Jesse.

WALK OF FAME

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We all know that the stars on the Walk of Fame are a remarkable achievement for the people in the entrainment industry, not just for actors and musicians, but do you know how it all started? I have always wondered how could someone think of putting a star on a pavement for celebration. As with many stories there are many theories and assumptions on who started what, although there is no substantial proof that one of the many theories is more relevant than the other so i guess i will have to keep my question mark on this. The only certain fact is that this Los Angeles landmark was created with the aid of many brains and not just thanks to the idea of a single person. Situated on the Hollywood boulevard It now has more than 2000 stars so if you have a specific star in mind come prepared and study beforetime its location.

LACMA

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A.k.a. the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Wilshire Boulevard. The photo shows the Installation called Urban Light by Chris Burden who assembled it to give new life to the entrance of the Museum which looked a bit abandoned and frankly quite boring at night.

HOLLYWOOD SIGN

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There is not much else to add: it is the Hollywood sign, you need to go see it, although it is hard not to eventually see it even if you didn’t plan on it. I might just add that it once was called Hollywoodland and it was originally put there only as part of an advertisement campaign for new affordable houses built in the area. It was meant to stay there for less than two years but during that time it became such a symbol that it was decided the sign would stay there permanently. Needless to say the houses in that area are not that affordable anymore haha.

HOLLYWOOD BOWL

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To me this location will always be the place where the crew of 90210 would come and have a blast during the time of the reboot of the 90210 show. But that’s beyond the point. 😛 It is also the venue in which big concerts take place and where it is reasonably easy to expect saying major celebrities attending the same concert you are. But then again it is Los Angeles so celebrities are to be seen everywhere.

MELROSE TRADING POST

Los Angeles
It is a great place for vintage gems and antiques of all sorts. You can find almost anything in here so start fresh and come here in the morning so you can spend a good part of your day scouting around and who knows what you might find! It runs every Sunday 9AM-5PM.

ROSE BOWL FLEA MARKET

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Considered by most as the best flea market of the entire state and that is saying a lot! Unlike The Melrose Trading Post, this Los Angeles flea market occurs on the second Sunday of every month and it really has a bit of everything and it really excites me the idea of all the crazy deals on the furniture items sold here so you really need to come and check it out too!

DISNEYLAND

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Of course i had to list Disneyland! Hey it is the Los Angeles’s Disneyland! What did you expect? 😛

And finally the word goes to you now! Do you think there are absolutely iconic spots in Los Angeles that i should add to the list? And what do you think of this roundup of spots? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

 

 

MAGICAL AIR BALLOON RIDES AROUND THE WORLD-SVEN JOURNAL

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Magical Air Balloon Rides Around the World

Probably one of things found at the very top of my bucket list is to go on a air balloon ride! Ever since i first found when i was little while browsing my father’s old numbers of National Geographic Magazine. Of course the one i was most drawn to was the ever famous ride in Cappadocia, Turkey. This mystical land i so desperately want to visit, a land which keeps on coming back in my mind whenever i think of where i want to go next. For now i can’t go because since Cappadocia is such a dream for me, it has to come true in the most fashionable way, not simply with a last minute ticket to Istanbul and a train ride and a cheap hotel. I want my visit to Turkey to be the realization of my childhood dreams and therefore i will wait until i can have enough money, experience and equipment to document and fully enjoy it.

Today i have decided to list a few of the other air balloon experiences i have put on my bucket list, right below the Cappadocia experience.

Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

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Air Balloon Ride in Tuscany, Italy

Since i have moved to Milan, Tuscany is definitely close to me (actually i feel like everything beautiful that there is Italy is close to me now), therefore i think this experience is going to happen in the near future!

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Air Balloon Ride in Bagan, Myanmar

Flying over a landscape filled with incredible Buddhist Temples and a beautiful vegetation seems a true dream come true! This land looks like it was taken right out of a fairytales book. The ride will take you over the Temples of the Bagan region and the nearby villages.

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Air Balloon Ride in Yangshuo, Cina

Pictures really can’t do justice to this wonderful passage over the Li River, coasted by stunning green mountains. The ride will take you over high mountains, water streams, farm lands and typical rural villages.

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Air Balloon Ride in Magalies Valley, South Africa

It is in South Africa, i have a special connection with this country therefore the fact it is in SA is reason enough. Ahah ok no seriously this place is so stunning and rich in sights, you will not want to miss out on it! It’s also near Johannesburg so it is fairly easy to get here.

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Air Balloon Ride in Wadi Rum, Jordan

It is situated in such a deserted area, it does not get much isolated than that but Jordan is one of the countries i want to visit the most in this world, therefore this air balloon ride had to be put on this list!

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Air Balloon Ride in Monument Valley, Utah, Usa

In a landscape taken out of a western movie, with reminiscences of the times of the Gold Rush. A true must, just remember to bring a lot of water with you!

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Have you visited any of these locations? Do you have other recommendations for me to add on my bucket list?

 

PARIS BY NIGHT: 5 COOL CLUBS

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Paris By Night: 5 Cool Clubs

If there is one thing that will never disappoint anyone in Paris, that is the insanely animated nightlife. And everyone knows that there can never be a talk about nightlife without mentioning something about the club scene! So here are my favorite clubs in Paris, at the moment!

1 Silencio

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Silencio is probably the most eclectic club i have encountered so far. It is composed by many rooms, each one is very different from the previous. Just to name a few: there is a dance floor, a cinema, a lounge, a library, an art gallery, etc. Pretty sweet, uh? Beware it is a fancy venue and its entrance is members only until midnight.

WHERE: 142, Rue Montmartre ( it is underneath the SOCIAL CLUB)

2 Le showcase

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One of the most stunning and (most importantly) iconic clubs in all Paris. If the sure fun you will have there is not enough reason to go, you should then just stop by to admire the crazy beautiful interiors, obtained in this former boat house.

WHERE: Port des Champs Elysées ( right underneath the Alexandre III Bridge)

3 Le Dandy

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It is a relatively new club in the Parisian scene but i have the feeling it will stick around! It is housed in a former brothel in the Pigalle area ( ergo it is close to the Moulin Rouge area). The interior is very retro and it looks like walking into a house from the late ’40s- ’50s. And indeed this space was designed to have this at home feel. I love it! Don’t get fooled by it though: this club plays electro and house music during the weekends.

WHERE: 26, Rue Pierre Fontaine

4 Social Club

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THIS CLUB IS INSANE!!! This was my first, second and let’s face it, third thought! The forth? I need to go back to Paris immediately for this. I’m pretty sure the pictures speak for themselves on the reason why this club is a must see!

WHERE: 142, Rue Montmartre

5 Le Blue Club

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A club with a blue theme: blue cocktails, blue food and interiors. Yes! Even the waiters are blue! If you want to get yourself a blue partner, then this is the place for you!

WHERE: 12, Rue Muller

 

And why don’t you finish off your night, or start the day early, depending on your point of view on this, with a Brunch at HolyBelly??

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WHERE: 19, Rue Lucien Sampaix

The word to you now! Do you know these clubs? Or do you any recommendations club wise in Paris?

SNEAKY SNEAKY: DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM—->link is on the sidebar! 🙂

FIRST TIMERS: BUDAPEST – SVEN JOURNAL

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Hello hello! My next trip is coming up very soon ( in less than 24 hours!) and it’s going to be Budapest again. I rave about this city to all of my friends quite often ( some would say i never shut up about it, but hey! Budapest is that good!) and i’m excited to be coming back as i had promised my self the first time i visited. I’m going to spend there the week with one of my best friends, Giulia. She has never been to Budapest before so i really can’t wait to show her around non stop. I have a lot planned and i thought it would be a nice idea to list here the very must see attractions for a first timer in Budapest. It is a reminder to you as it is to me.

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First Timers: Budapest!

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The very must see attractions for First Timers in Budapest

  • Matyas Templom
  • Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Castle Hill
  • The Hungarian National Gallery Museum
  • The Parliament
  • Chain’s Bridge and the other bridges from the banks of the Danube River
  • Heroes’s Square
  • Ruszwurm Cake Shop

 

Matyas Templom

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Fisherman’s Bastion

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Castle Hill

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(A view from the other side of Castle Hill)

The Hungarian National Gallery Museum

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The Parliament

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Chain’s Bridge

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Heroes’s Square

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Ruszwurm Cake Shop

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Of course i had to include the most amazing cake shop ever! As far as i am concerned your visit here is not complete without a trip to this little heaven on Earth.

 

Have you ever been to Budapest? Have you visited all of the places mentioned on the First Timers list?

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TOP 3 CRAZY WONDERFUL DINING EXPERIENCES – SVEN JOURNAL

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TOP 3 CRAZY WONDERFUL DINING EXPERIENCES

Who doesn’t enjoy an unusual dining experience from time to time? I have eaten my way through many countries already and i most certainly do not intend to stop now. I have gathered here some experiences i definitely want to cross off of my bucket list because they are just too good to miss out on, don’t you agree??

Treepod Dining in Thailand

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Whaaaat?? As soon as i saw it i knew this place was calling my name! How incredibly awesome is this? Ok, yes i am a bit overzealous, i kind of always am when i encounter such things!! Let’s set the record straight! Tarzan is one of my favorites Disney movies because it scream adventures from every point you look at it, therefore the idea of eating elevated, above ground, surrounded by trees and waiters who zip line all the way to your table is just mind blowing! Yes i said Zip Line to the table! Super cool right? They are not talking monkeys but they are good enough for me!

WHERE: SONEVA KIRI RESORT, KOH KOOD

Dining on the stage of the Opera House in Hungary

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Yes, you heard it! Who knew it could even be possible to do such thing without having to organize everything on your own? The Four Seasons Hotel in Budapest arranges everything for you! It is indeed a one of a kind experience and you can have the entire Opera House all to yourself while enjoying a incredible meal and an orchestra playing the very best just for you. I love Budapest for many reasons already and this one just adds to already long list!

WHERE: THE OPERA HOUSE IN BUDAPEST, HUNGARY, ARRANGED BY THE FOUR SEASONS GRESHAM PALACE BUDAPEST

Blind Dining, or Dining completely in the dark, in Canada

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I must admit this thing is dining experience is indeed challenging and even if there is absolutely nothing to be scared off it is defiantly a challenge because you find yourself completely in the dark, sitting at your personal table, in a venue filled with other people, doing exactly the same, being served food in the dark and attempting to enjoy your meal without stabbing your hand with your own fork. I don’t know if i can seriously see myself enjoying this experience but i what i lack in enthusiasm towards this dining i sentiently compensate in curiosity because i really want to try dining in a “blind restaurant” and see how places like this one live and thrive.

WHERE: O. NOIR, TORONTO, CANADA

 

The word goes to you now! I would like to hear if you have tried any of these dining experiences before? Or if you have crazy wonderful suggestions for me to try out?