Category Archives: TRAVEL

Bruges pt.2

Given that this was a quick holiday and with only half of day left to spend, we decided to take a boat ride down the famous Bruges canals. It was really easy to find where to board  from and the ride it self took about half an hour. We got a very cool guide who, I swear, spoke so many languages and even knew a bit of Croatian. He was chatting away on English, German, French and Spanish with ease. He was really funny and made us feel  so welcome in his beautiful town. He show us some beautiful buildings on the way while talking about the town history. I tried to take a few snaps but it was hard as the boat was quite cramped. Most of these were taken while walking back to our hotel.

I loved our time in Bruges. People are nice and chatty, the food is great and there is plenty to do & see. It breathes history every corner and coming from a small medieval town myself I felt like being at home. Minus the sea. :-)

Whilst on the way back to our hotel we stumble upon a small antique market. I bought this old rusty key that I use as a pendant for one of my necklaces.

So…would I recommend a visit to Bruges? Yes, a 100% I would. It is close enough to England/France and depending from where you coming from don’t give it a miss. It is a precious gem. Sometimes all you need is a day or two to charge your batteries and move on with your life.

X Ines

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Pictures & Notes – Postcards From Bruges, Belgium pt.1

Hope you all had a lovely week. I spent mine catching up with loads of work hence my absence from no42. I was also working on this two part blog post I’m sharing with you today.

I will be honest with you. This is one of those bad confessions to make online but I’ve only ever heard of Bruges before because of the movie In Bruges. Now I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie to begin with, mostly because of a large amount of very dry British humor which at that point of my life I just didn’t get or bothered to understand. Few years down the line and I love it! If you haven’t seen the movie yet I urge you to do so. Anyway we hit Bruges in April earlier this year and these are my postcards from our two day trip.

We started our trip with some homemade coco J. mum brought with us in a flask…The drive to the ferry is more than two hours away and coco was well appreciated along the way. What a sweet gesture.

We boarded in Dover. It was a boring ride.  Ferry didn’t offer much except for a very overpriced and overcooked full English breakfast. I also missed taking pictures of the white cliffs of Dover as it was too windy and we weren’t allowed outside. Rubbish, I say but they do look stunning even if seen from the inside of ferry boat.

After another hour of driving from Dunkirk (yes, we did so much driving) we finally arrived to Bruges. What a stunning place! I was sold, like strait away. I can now say it was the beauty that got to me. The charm of being lost in the endless maize of cobbled streets whilst trying to find our hotel was amazing. Which by the way was literary tucked away minutes’ walk from the town center  We booked a room in a small and very reasonable priced hotel Europ.

The architecture of Bruges is stunning and I admit: I was one of those tourists who walk with their heads in the clouds, annoying all the locals by stopping every two minutes and having sayings like: OMG check this building! OMG look at that! Yep, that me. That annoying tourist.

One thing I did enjoy very very much are all the chocolates…in shop windows and in my belly.

The town is riddled with canals and small streets making it really hard to navigate with the car so most people use bikes as their mean of transport.

The center square is quite touristy with loads of thing to do. You can get a tour with one of the local tour guides or a horse & carriage for about the same amount of money. (£30) We didn’t do either. Being there only for a day, my eyes & legs were focused on exploring as much as I could and being stuck in a tour is not really me. There was a great Picasso exhibition on in one of the galleries but the queues were massive and overpopulated with bunch of Japanese tourists. Same thing happened with the clock tower. So we did the only logical thing and went for people watching while sipping a pint of fine local beer.

Bruges is not just famous for its architectural beauty but also for beer, chocolates and chips. I had a few chips from a few different local chip shops and each one of them claimed they were the ones who invented the beauty of chips frying. I do have to say they do taste better in Belgium than anywhere else. Want to know the secret? Fry them in animal fat not vegetable oil.

Bruges offers a lot of souvenir shopping. There is a lot of cheap stuff from China on offer but those types of souvenirs are easy to recognize and in my opinion best to avoid. All you have to do is keep looking: into a small sideways streets. You will be surprised.  Walk out of the town center and you will find some top of the range modern boutiques mixed with quirky handmade stuff. You just have to look. One of my favorite recent buys is from Bruges and it comes from this lovely shop.

As we really didn’t plan this trip we didn’t realized we came in the peak time of Queens day/week celebrations. Bank holidays in Bruges are best to be avoided as most of the streets are full of not just tourists but locals too. Being a foodie as I am, it annoyed me not being able to sit and eat in that nice square,in that nice restaurant. Settling down for a cheap takeaway pizza really isn’t my way of fun but hey I was in Bruges and there was plenty of chocolates around.

X Ines,

P.S. Log in soon for p.t two

 

 

 

 

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Day Of The Dead Sneak Peek

Hubby came home from Mexico today. :-) He was over there covering the Day Of The Dead celebrations. He shoot soooooooooo much. We spent most of our afternoon looking at the images and here is a little sneak peek of what to except to see soon on the blog and in our The Studio shop.

Photo by : Jordan Banks

He also bought loads of stuff for our new project but more on that subject some other time. Things are about to be reveled very soon. For now let me just share a one cute little present he got me.

 

xo Ines

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Where To Stay – Hotel B.O.G in Bogota, Colombia

Intro : I have been to Colombia before. Me and J. went there for our honey moon three years ago. Unfortunately having spent most of our time chilling on the beaches in Panama we only had a time for a flying visit to Cartagena. Which was amazing btw!

So when our good friends decided to get married in Cartagena we jumped at the opportunity to spend two amazing weeks in Columbia. Timing was perfect, we had no work commitments and it was also my birthday and our wedding anniversary. J. had to leave earlier so I meet up with him one day after he has already landed in Bogota .(joys of traveling on/with Croatian Passport ) Knowing it was our anniversary he treated me to the plushest hotel he could find. Now how sweet is that?

As sweet as the thought he actually mistaken the two dates all together  and we ended up spending my birthday in there and our anniversary somewhere else! But hey, this girl is not complaining and that post is about to follow this one…very soon. :-) This bit is actually taken from B.O.G hotel official web site and gives you a bit of info about this amazing place:

THE B.O.G HOTEL CONCEPT

 

The B.O.G Hotel is designed with a unique combination of luxury textures and colors inspired by two Colombia’s greatest natural treasures, gold and emeralds. The imagination of the famous Portuguese designer “Nini Andrade” has captured their luster in shades of bronze, green, and grey in a concept that makes this hotel unlike any other-proud to proclaim its selection as the first Colombian hotel to be chosen as a Design Hotel.

According to the architect Guillermo Arias, The B.O.G is a hotel which architecture combines sophistication and rescues the distinguished elements of contemporary and universal culture. From the conception of the volume (reinterpretation of the modern movement); even its path, link the visitor to various elements rich in textures, colors and lighting. The hotel experience begins at the Lobby Lounge, continues through the rooms and reaches the ending at the terrace bar and pool overlooking from the entire capital city.

 

We arrived late that afternoon to what I can only describe as the most exclusive hotel I have ever been. Now don’t get me wrong, I have been anywhere in the world pretty much but/and always with my beloved backpack on my back. The staff was lovely. Big smiles and while were waiting for all the necessary forms to be filled we were offered a glass of wine in a bar next door. Being able to speak Spanish again I jumped at the opportunity and ordered some nice Malbec from Chile while chatting with the locals who worked there.

Photo credit: B.O.G Hotel

I have learned that B.O.G. hotel was inspired by Museo Del Oro or in plain English -} Gold Museum  While chatting it slipped my tongue that it is in fact my birthday tomorrow and our wedding anniversary the next day. So I asked (as you do)for the nicest room they have, if possible and got given one of the few rooms with a terrace.

Photo credit: B.O.G Hotel

The B.O.G hotel  also has a spa & gym together with very attractive roof top swimming pool. That was our first stop. Now, coming from England from 15 c to ever colder Colombia you would think that temperature would stop us. Wrong.

It did not and here is me chilling on the roof top the following day.

Then as if it couldn’t get any better I had a manager stopping me before going out and offering some free drinks for our anniversary. Very much appreciated!

Upon our return we realized that the sheets were in fact changed to a sateen cream ones and on them was a cute little note saying : Happy birthday and anniversary from B.O.G hotel! Together with some flowers and chocolates.Very sweet!

We haven’t actually had time to dine in Leo restaurant but the menu did look amazing and there was a gold aura about the place.

I guess next time it is, as we were only spending two nights there before we headed to beautiful Santa Marta on the coast but that’s another blog post to come…

I have however returned to the B.O.G hotel two weeks after as there was no way I was staying anywhere else. All I can say is: that the B.O.G hotel is one fine place and if you ever find yourself in Bogota, Colombia it would be a shame to stay anywhere else. Their service and professionalism were the top of the game.

Browse their web, as the clearly know what they’re doing.

Love Ines

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