Tuesday, 31 December 2013

South-East Asia

In June 2013 I spontaneously decided to go for a longer trip to any region of the world. My final choice was a three weeks tour through four countries in South-East Asia: Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia.

For more pictures please click here.

Why a tour? Well, first of all, I was lonely traveller and wanted some company. Secondly, I am a woman and you never know what might happen. Retrospectively, I could have done it own my own since you meet lots of loners (and female ones) in this region. Big advantage then is, that you save a lot of money. On the other side you have to organize everything on your own. In my case hostels and transport were already booked - this was a plus regarding my non-existent preparation for the trip.

I started the journey in Geneva and went to Hanoi via Paris and Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnam Airlines. Dropped off in Hanoi, I was immediately confronted with the heat and 1 million motorbikes. The new world of sounds, narrow streets, heavy rain showers, new culture and religion was exactly what I had hoped for.

With my group we headed to Laos a few days later. More precisely to Vientane, the quiet capital and the exact opposite of Hanoi. After visiting temples and Buddhas, we continued our way to Vangvieng, a place full of backpackers who enjoy drinking and tubing on the river (us included). It is a very relaxed place that took the stress from all of us. After a long trip to Luang Prabang, I want to speak of this place as my favourite one: monks' rituals, elephant trekking, Kung Si Waterfalls and French influences since Laos belonged (like Vietnam and Cambodia) to the former French colony of Indochina. The following two days we spent on a slowboat on the Mekong river in order to reach the border to Thailand.

Passing the Golden Triangle and Chiang Rai (must-see: white temple) we finally reached Chiang Mai in the Northern part of the kingdom. Unfortunately we only had little time here that I spent by having a Thai cooking class. By overnight bus we continued to Thailand's capital: Bangkok. It is by far the most modern city that I visited on this tour and thanks to 3 days I had enough time to explore the city by foot, boat and taxi. Highlight was the rooftop bar whereas lowlight was that all persons (except for my roomy) left the tour and we both "leftovers" joined a new group (that turned out to be great, too).

With the new group we entered a new country (the 4th in 3 weeks) which was Cambodia. Two days in Siem Reap were followed by two day in Pnohm Penh. Of course Angkor Wat was a priority but I even was more impressed - no better is the term shocked - by the events that happened only 35 years ago when the Khmer Rouge killed 3 million people in 4 years. Never heard of this tragic genocide before, I bought three books to better understand why such horrible things happen.

My last stop was then again in Vietnam, to Ho Chi Minh City. As I absolutely wanted to visit the Cu Chi tunnels I didn't have a lot of time to explore the city because my flight was on the 2nd day there.

Although I sometimes had the feeling that I rushed through some places, I am so glad that I decided to do this trip. As usually I collected some of my favourite addresses, so you can visit them when you plan a trip to south-east Asia. Since the entire region is less touristic than Paris or NYC, I took the liberty to name some main attractions - always mixed with places that you don't find in the "Lonely Planet".
Besides my great tour company with whom I spent much time and share lots of experiences, I also met many friendly Asian people who helped me, for example, when I couldn't cross the road because of too much traffic. Thank you!

I also was happy - at least from time to time - to have some French influence in the region: crêpes (pancakes), sandwiches and French pastries compensated the amount of noodles, rice and curries during the time. Due to the cooking class and my cookbook I will try to recall some memories and especially smells when I muss south-east Asian times and its food.

General tips
  • Budget: I might be frugal but I always note what I spent on my trip. It helps me to keep an eye on my expenses and allows me to allocate money the right way. Generally spoken, it is a very cheap region and without tour you should be able to get along with 1000 US-$ in three weeks (always depending on how much you drink, eat, where you stay, what you do etc.)
  • Visa: Don't forget that you most likely need a visa for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (Thailand is easier for short touristic stays). They are extra costs and especially Vietnamese visa must be ordered in advance. 
  • Shopping: Bargaining! Prices at the markets are too high and you should always ask for discount. Personally I am not very good in it and always felt that I paid too much after having purchased my stuff. Same applies to taxis, tuk-tuks and motorbikes. 
  • Clothes: If you do backpacking, don't take too many clothes. Laundry shops are all over the place and I am sure that you find nice shirts for little prices at local markets. Take some clothes for sports, light ones, easy-to-make-dirty, party etc. 
  • Vaccinations: Since South-East Asia is a place with tropical infects, consult your local doctor for vaccinations. They are also expenses to consider in your budget. 
  • Date: 5th July - 28th July 2013
  • Tour provider: Tucan Travel
  • Highlight: Luang Prabang
For more information and questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

USA South-West

We were in the south-west for 21 days. We, that is my family and me, in total 4 persons. Within the three weeks we crossed California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada that we traveled all by car. The trip started in Los Angeles and ended in San Francisco. You cannot believe how often I look at the photos, missing the moments when I climbed a mountain or ate a delicious slice of pizza at the sea. To give you some advice and spots that you should absolutely see when planning such a trip, I compiled my experiences.

For more pictures please click here.

Day 1-3: Los Angeles
We started our journey in Los Angeles. I listed all my favourite places in a different post: From beaches to downtown to Hollywood – you will find several interesting ideas for you trip.

Day 3: Los Angeles – Havasu Lake
Heading to the east our destination was Havasu Lake, a water reservation at the Colorado River. On our way we stopped in Corona for the Fender Guitar Visitor Center (not the official boring museum!) and crossed the Californian desert.

Day 4: Havasu Lake – Grand Canyon
After a very hot night in a Days Inn (40°C, not even the lake is refreshing then), we continued our trip to famous Grand Canyon where we stayed at the Red Feather Lodge. Standing at the rim the view is just impeccable. However, fuel your car in Williams as prices are high there. Same is appropriate for food because restaurants are rare and food expensive. As we were up to visit several parks we decided to buy the annual National Park Service Pass for 80 Dollar per car.

Day 5: Grand Canyon
We got up at 4 in the morning to be amongst a lot of other visitors to get a glimpse of the spectacular sunrise. Afterwards we started our hike down the canyon (Advice: Don’t go with a ranger who will explain every stone to you, at least on an easy hike). Next time I’ll come, I will try to make the 2-day-hike down to the river.

Day 6: Grand Canyon – Moab
After the impressive canyon, our route continued north-east towards Moab and lead as to Monument Valley (that is not part of the National Park Service but owned by Indians and not included in the yearly pass) and Canyonland National Park. In Moab we stayed in a town house that we rented on vrbo. The house was spacious for 4 people, had a community pool and was very clean. Perfect way to stay in Moab!

Day 7 & 8: Moab
Moab is the centre of biking, so all bikers are warmly welcomed. Another activity is river rafting on the Colorado River. I suggest that you don’t take the easiest offers as they mainly consist of eating and talking and not of rafting. I, for my part, swam most of the time next to our boat.
The Arches National Park is the reason for me to go back to Moab again. I love the red stones, the sculptures, the historical formations. Go hiking in the early morning to see Utah’s landmark: the Delicate Arch.

Day 9: Moab – Cedar City
This part is the longest in our 3-week-trip. Therefore you should start early in the morning and grab some typical American breakfast at “Denny’s” in Salina. Then stop at the Bryce Canyon: This canyon is not less impressive than the Grand as especially the stone formations are fascinating. Take some hours to either hike the rim or down to explore this magnificent world.

Day 10: Cedar City – Las Vegas
Cedar City is boring and was only a miscalculated stop before Las Vegas. We actually could have driven to Las Vegas but had unfortunately already paid a simple Days Inn. Therefore we early in the morning went then to Las Vegas to go shopping in the outlet and moving into our hotel: the Treasure Island.

Day 11: Las Vegas
This extra post about Las Vegas gives you places where a stay in Las Vegas is fun. I wasn’t that convinced though.

Day 12: Las Vegas – Yosemite National Park
Another longer drive expected us towards the mountains. I was glad to leave the desert and see some trees again. Of course we had to pass Death Valley before which was another reason for leaving Las Vegas early. It didn’t reach the famous 50°C then, however the landscape was great another time. As we left the hotel early in the morning, we were eager to have breakfast. Unfortunately there was no suitable spot until Bishop, CA. So either have breakfast with you or eat before because at some point you feel starving J

Day 13 – 16: Yosemite National Park
Admittedly we passed a lot of great time here. We stayed in a private wooden house in Yosemite West surrounded by bears (didn’t see any), trees and huge squirrels. We did a lot of hiking. We did horseback riding in Wawona. We climbed the Sentinel Dome. We went to Yosemite Village to see the non-existent Yosemite Falls (it was far too dry). And we did a long hike to Nevada & Vernal Fall. This hike is nothing for people with acrophobia. But remember: no food shall be left in the car, your car should be fueled before entering and buy food as restaurants are rare and food is above average prices.

Day 17: Yosemite National Park – San Francisco
The drive down to the sea is lovely. Before crossing the Oakland Bridge take the opportunity to go to Berkeley and its lively streets and the famous university campus. From the research centre you have a stunning view over the Pacific Ocean. Arrived in San Fran we moved into another apartment rented on www.vrbo.com that was clean but not in the best street. Dirty Mission Street is next to it; the other side to Dolores Street is much more convenient.

Day 18 – 21: San Francisco
San Francisco deserves to have its own special post because the city has so much to offer. Check it out and enjoy and get on the next plane for heaven’s sake!

Personal Highlight: 
Being among the first hikers to climb the amphitheatre where the Delicate Arch reigns over the red landscape & the 360° view from Sentinel Dome in Yosemite.

General tips: 
  • National Parks: As we entered a few National Parks we bought an annual pass for 80 US $ instead of paying each entrance fee extra. For more information see here
  • Accommodation: We were four people in a touristic region. Therefore a three weeks trip can turn out to be expensive. Thus we tried to stay longer at private places (LA & Yosemite), rented a place for longer stays (Moab & SF) and shared rooms from time to time. For all stopovers (Havasu & Cedar City) we went for cheap Days Inns.  
  • Fast Food: You will cross lots of fats food places, my favorites are Wendy'sDenny's and Subway. I absolutely forbid you to go to Taco Bell - this is just no Mexican food. 
For more questions how to organize such a trip, please don't hesitate to contact me. 

Dusseldorf, Germany

Okay, I know that Dusseldorf is not the place to be. And I admit that it is not amongst "1000 places to see before you die". However as a former resident I want to give you tips for a stay in Dusseldorf. You never know.

For more pictures please click here.

  • Hütte91: Each room was differently designed by an artist. Prices vary from low to mid budget.
  • Hotel Orangerie: Located at my favourite square in Dusseldorf, the Hotel Orangerie has some nostalgic touch that I cannot resist. Though, it is in the middle of the city.
  • Auszeit: "Auszeit" means timeout. And this hotel doesn't offer less: it is nearby the big park Volksgarten and within some stops with the train you are in the heart of Dusseldorf.
  • Stage 47: A design hotel in the middle of the city, between central station and famous Königsallee, offers luxuriously equipped and designed suites and rooms.
  • Villa Viktoria: A very classical facade hides 40 rooms and suites in the Northern district of Derendorf. With its beautiful garden, the breakfast on the terrace is an extraordinary experience.  
  • A Midi: My favourite spot for lunch - easy dishes and a great backyard to flee from reality.
  • Himmel & Ähd: You might think that avoiding Bolkerstrasse allows you not to eat typical German food. Well, I send you to Himmel & Ähd where you get the same-called dish.
  • Don Sushi: Probably it is not the best Sushi in entire Dusseldorf but it has an awesome price-quality-balance. Besides Sushi taste their Tempura: You find a manual to eat it on each table.
  • Bistro Zicke: I always have difficulties to find good restaurants in the Old Town that are no touristic nap. Bistro Zicke is one of them: simple but high quality dishes, a great mixture of young and old people and some bohemian flair.
  • Eigelstein: In Dusseldorf you drink "Alt"-beer and in Cologne you stick to "Kölsch"-beer. However the Eigelstein only sells Kölsch and is therefore a foreigner in Dusseldorf. As the location next to the harbour invited for lunch this restaurant is a good option.
  • Malinas: I am a huge fan of Polish food! The green painted walls and the local decorations such as preserving jars beam you to Poland in order to spend a great night with family while having traditional dishes.
Bars & Nightlife
  • NRW-Forum: I went here in order to see the Rankin photography exhibition but was immediately caught by the cosy atmosphere of the round bistro. Not only for museum goers!
  • Kassette: Two streets away from my former place, this bar was more a living room with its Chester couches to me. Great choice of beer, some live music events and free literature to overcome boring nights.
  • Ufer 8: On Thursday nights, after work parties welcome the business men and women. Pay only three Euros and enjoy really good dance and house music.
  • Rudas Studios: The posh club in the harbour is known for its celebrity public. Though, I prefer the live bands that are truly stunning and make the club alive. 
  • Rosie's: Near the Kö, the Rosie's is the bar to have a cocktail with friends. And if someone is hungry, he or she will certainly find a delicious snack on the menu (that changes each night).
  • Kwadrat: Situated in a hidden side street of Nordstrasse, the Kwadrat is perfect for some talk with friends or to read some books. I personally like the 70ies style and their hot chocolate.
  • Bar Apartment: Nerds, young mothers, students - here all kind of people meet and the chatty atmosphere attracts me each time to come back again. In summer I like watching the hustle on the square in front of the cafe.
  • 3Raum Bistro: I lived in front of this bistro that is known for welcoming service, good dishes and the atmosphere you want to show to your best friends for having a cup of tea.
  • Kucheneck, Bilker Allee 233: Simply the best cakes in Dusseldorf, the Kucheneck is not more than a tiny spot next to a gas station with only space for one table inside. A daily choice of 10 cakes and nostalgic music perfect this cafe.
  • Sugarbird Cupcakes: There are two boutiques in Dusseldorf, one located in the middle of the Old Town where you get the fancy cupcake variations and other snacks. You feel like in a barbie world as walls are painted pinkish, but this fits just perfectly to the offered products.
  • Woyton: Thanks to this coffee shop I was able to be connected to Internet throughout my stay in Dusseldorf. So free Wi-Fi is only one advantage. Next to great juices, delicious coffee and handy snacks.
  • Kauf dich glücklich: Women and men will find a new outfit in the heart of Dusseldorf. And by far better than all the shopping malls that you fond around Kö and Schadowstrasse.
  • Kleidsam: Nowadays it is rather difficult to find a well-organised boutique with friendly service. But at Kleidsam I found it as they have a good choice of labels that women love. 
  • Villa Oliva: Admittedly, I have a weakness for vintage items. These, clothes (like Lena Hoschek) and more decoration material is offered at Villa Oliva, a little shop in Southern Dusseldorf. 
  • Fashionesta: Sometimes you urge for a designer piece and you hate your wallet for its emptiness! To overcome this issue, I suggest this outlet store. Obviously, you need to be lucky to find your dream dress, but believe me: it happens from time to time.
  • Unterhaltung: While walking through some streets on a rainy Saturday, my heart suddenly lightened up when I saw Unterhaltung. Small designer brands expose their beautiful clothes here, thus shopping becomes a unique experience!
  • Perlenreich: Diamonds are a girl's best friend... or pearls. A wide range of all sorts of materials and colours can be found in this shop. Consequently individual pieces of jewelry are designed, corresponding to each individual customer.
  • Schloss Benrath: The pink castle is situated only 15 minutes outside city centre and it is worth a visit. Not only the museum inside, but especially the symmetric park are eye-catching.
  • Volksgarten: As a nature lover, I even need some green spots in a city. The Volksgarten is the perfect place to relax on a sunny weekend, to have a picnic or to walk out the dog.
  • K21: Although I don't like museums too much, the K21 with its modern art works surprised me positively - maybe because of the building's architecture. And don't miss the modern bar under the rooftop. Just top.
  • : The Königsallee, abbreviated Kö, is the shopping boulevard in Dusseldorf: Louis Vuitton, Prada, Abercrombie & Fitch or Tiffany's are only few that string together. If you want to spend some money or just have a look at people with a lot of it, keep walking the sidewalk.
  • Relax: In summer, the fountain in the courtyard of the "Museum Kunstpalast" is a lovely spot to hang out as canvas chairs are positioned.
Special recommendation
  • This time I recommend the toilet in the Maxhaus which belongs to the catholic church. Historic relics can be found and are exposed in the vaulted cellar, as well as the freshly renovated toilets. But please leave a donation at the reception or combine the visit with the well-respected restaurant Klosterhof.
More information
Personal data
  • Travelling Dates: August 2012 - January 2013
  • Accommodation: Lived in Oberbilk, near the Volksgarten park
  • Personal Highlight:

San Francisco, USA

During our trip through the south-west of the US, we also had a stop in San Francisco. This hilly city at the Pacific Ocean – both I can only confirm. The geographical situation combined with Victorian and Edwardian houses makes this city unique. However, I was astonished that you still find a lot free thinkers and homeless people here, due to tolerant governance and the mild climate throughout the year. This is probably a reason why I could not totally fall in love with the city.

For more pictures click here.

  • Clift: Elegance, contemporary design and very good service are its assets. Great for a short stay in SF!
  • Hotel Triton: A hotel in the centre with bright and welcoming rooms, a great location and colourful designs - any more?
  • Ritz-Carlton: The Ritz is known to have famous guests, luxury rooms and impeccable service. The one in SF is no exception and is awarded one the best hotels worldwide.
  • Phoenix Design Hotel: My favourite place to stay in the city as its located in the centre and has this rock'n'roll attitude.
  • The East Brother Light Station: A little outside SF, near Berkeley, this light house was transformed into a cosy bed and breakfast. 
  • Andalu: This is a outstanding selection of eclectic small plates with a festive and informal atmosphere to create a sensational dining experience
  • Lettüs Organic Restaurant: The cafe features delicious freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, salads, yummy bowls, sandwiches and their famous mouth watering garden burgers, that even carnivores yearn for
  • The Waterfront Restaurant: Located at pier 7, the Waterfront is the perfect place for a nice dinner with family or friends to enjoy splendid food while watching the seaside
  • Delfina Pizzaria: Locals say it is the best pizza in SF. So expect a long queue before having dinner as reservations cannot be made 
  • Zuni Café: As a lover of French and Italian cuisine, the Zuni combines both styles in the best way
Clubbing/ Bars
  • Sexy VesselLocated in the heart of Union Square this nightclub boasts a luxurious lounge atmosphere with signature style and elegance
  • Red Devil Lounge: A lo f live bands come here to play in this transformed theatre. I love the variety of music!
  • Club Deluxe: Want one of the best mojitos throughout SF? In the club in Ashbury Haight you will find it, surrounded by art-deco facade and cosy jazz music.
  • Vesuvio: Located in North Beach, the Vesuvio Cafe is an artistic cafe with history as opened in 1948. 
  • Tartine Bakery: On Sundays expect a looong queue in front of this bakery as locals want to get the delicious bread, the tartine or cakes made with love
  • Macy’s Top Terrace, Union Square: On top of the department store, you have a great view over busy Union square while enjoying a cup of coffee and some cake.
  • Bi-Rite Creamery: They make the best ice cream, soft serve and baked goods by hand in small batches. It just tastes like the stuff I grew up with and reminds me of childhood.
  • GAP: This worldwide famous brand was established in SF. One of the best shops is on XXX Street
  • Eco Citizen: Known to be the centre for hippies, eco citizen follows the rule to only fabricate with ecological tissues. Bet you didn’t know that they can look so good?
  • Tante Marie's Cooking School: By coincidence I crossed the french stylen kitchen and decided spontaneously to take a lesson in how to bake a nice cake. I can only recommend place and people!
  • Alcatraz: I warn you: If you want to go to Alcatraz in high season, book your tickets at least one month in advance. Otherwise you will be disappointed to not enter this historic gangster place.
  • Silicon Valley & Stanford: The world turns here: Apple, google, yahoo... They are all here. Just drive by their headquarters and visit afterwards the historic and beautiful campus of Standford University where the elite is educated
  • Ferry Building: Impossible to oversee in downtown is the Ferry Building, located next to the sea. Enjoy the market atmosphere and forage for little treasures
  • Surroundings: Berkeley, Sausalito or Carmel. Take a car and drive out of the city: Enjoy the intellectual and artistic streets in Berkeley, follow the sea to lively Sausalito or enjoy having some coffee at Carmel, directly at the Pacific
  • Russian Hill: Since “Full House” the Victorian houses became THE place to photograph. I recommend to take some time and to chill in the dog park for some hours
  • Coit Tower: One of the best views on Alcatraz, Golden Gate and downtown offers you Coit Tower
Special recommendation
  • Hop on, Hop Off: Even sports persons are tired to hike the hills each hour – so try the Hop-on-Hop-Off-buses that bring you to all important sights (The BART train system is fine but Europeans are used to much better public transport). Some even cross Golden Gate
  • Sports: Just walk through San Francisco’s streets – the steep hills are sports enough. Or grab your trainers and jog along the piers as many locals do (to avoid the hills, obviously)
More information
    Personal Data
    • Travelling Dates: Mid-August 2012
    • Accommodation: Private apartment in Mission district, rented via vrbo.com (advice: when going south go for Dolores Heights and away from Mission street)
    • Personal Highlight: Waterside restaurant with family, with good food, with great view

    London, Great Britain

    I finally made it up to compile my favourite spots and to share them with you in London, city where I was born! This was really an affair of my heart which is why I put a lot of time into it and because it was truly hard to make a proper choice. Hopefully you love the city as much as I do besides visiting the Big Ben, Tower Bridge and Oxford Street. Let me tell you that I primarily chose spots that are still reachable for tourists so you don't have to spend time driving to suburbs.

    For more pictures click here.

    • Astor Hostels: 3 hostels located in London, I only had a glimpse at the Hyde Park one. And I was really surprised how clean and warm the welcome was.
    • The Arran House Hotel: A small family run hotel, owned by the same family for more than 30 years, brings back the same guests each time as it is known for the warmth and hospitality.
    • 69TheGrove: In central London, this Bed and Breakfast in a Victorian House offers everything one needs to be happy in busy city as London. 
    • easyHotel: Those hotels are popular with young fellows because the value for money is right. Of course one cannot expect any luxury, therefore you only pay some pounds.
    • Apex Hotel: Choose one of the three location ins London's centre and relax in luxurious and spacious rooms! From the 4-star hotel you can expect only the best.
    • Hotel 41: Inhale the history of the Hotel 41 that is around the corner from Buckingham Palace. The ancient ballroom is now a five-star hotel with exquisite service. 
    • Equity Point London: The hostel near Hyde Park impresses with its simple colourful design and is a meeting point for young travelers with low budget. 
    • The Slug and Lettuce, Leicester Square: Only steps away from busy Leicester Square, this restaurant/bar offers of some easy but good dishes while exploring the city. 
    • Jack's Cafe: A stone's throw away from Queen's Park, Jack's serves a variety of world's foods and breakfast all day long. An easy-going place in the heart of London. 
    • The Dove: Dining in a typical English Pub belongs to London as the leaning tower to Pisa. What could be better than having this experience next to the Thames with good basic food? 
    • Polpo: Twice in London (Soho and Covent Garden), I hardly can remember when I last was at such a good Italian Restaurant. The menu might be smaller - that I prefer - but the quality counts and can be evaluated above all expectations. 
    • Cay Tre: Normaly I am no big fan of Vietnamese Cuisine, but this restaurant in London's North East took my attention and gets my fully appreciation. 
    • The 10 Cases: A bistrot is not a revolution. But as long it promises good food and a warm atmosphere, it is worth to be mentioned here. The attention to detail and a friendly service make every night there to a remarkable one. 
    • Assas, Covent Garden: I am careful when it comes to Korean food but the Assas in the middle of the city just convinced me with its extremely low prices for tasty food.
    Bars & Nightlife
    • Old Thameside Inn: After a long walk at Southwark in winter you are longing for some strong drink: here I got what I wanted and chose this inn to meet friends when in London
    • Cherryjam: Next to Paddington Station, you can here celebrate with your friends an unforgettable night. Good DJs, good drinks and some choice of snacks invite you to spend some hours dancing!
    • Fluid: Instead of promoting the famous Fabric, I concentrate on Fluid, only some steps away. The Japanese Club has retro furniture and recommendable cocktails. 
    • Lucky Voice: People who love Karaoke will find themselves in a paradise because this bar is about it. With my friends I had so much fun in the Soho place!
    • Guanabara: Where on hearth shall we find a good cocktail with fresh food? I found the answer some time ago: In Guanabara, a Brazilian bar, some steps away from Covent Garden. 
    • Tiger Tiger: Ok, you might meet a lot of tourists that want to party in the city centre as this bar is located next to Piccadilly Circus. But their happy hour offers just unbeatble drinks and the dancing afterwards is fine as well.
    • Starbucks, Shad Thames: Normally I don't promote any chains here, but this Starbucks is my favourite in the entire world. Hidden behind a simple grey door, with many places to seat and with few tourists. 
    • Mrs Kibble's Olde Sweete Shoppe: As a Fan of sweets, I couldn't resist to stop by. In this nostalgic store you feel like 6 again, buying your first own candy. 
    • Albion: Located in the East of London, the Albion is a caff with an in-house bakery and cake counter with British food and products. Lovely!
    • Flat White: Located in vibrant heart of Soho, it is rumoured that on of the best espressi in London is served here. And I agree. Their sweet treats convinced me, too. 
    • The Kensington HotelEnjoy your afternoon tea in the gracious surroundings of The Kensington Hotel - One of the finest luxury London hotels. 
    • Lanka: Delicious cakes. A shop and tea room filled with warm ambiance. What do I want more? Sometimes I pass by to have some take-away and enjoy then lunch in nearby Primrose Hill.
    • The Stables: Personally I am no fan of the Camden Market, but when I went there once I discovered the Stables (especially the end of the mile). Ancient horse stables are now filled with antiquities that I like to rummage in. 
    • Liberty: Of course Harrods is THE department store (and I love it!) in London, though Liberty doesn't need to hide at all. Only the facade is worth a visit.  
    • The East India Company: As India and Britain have a heavy heritage, the store offers food gifts, gourmet foods and luxuries made mostly in Britain but influenced from tastes, cultures and traditions around the world.
    • The Star: Between Shaftesbury Ave and Covent Garden, I found my shopping paradise. The streets are arranged as a star and the buildings are built of brick stones.
    • Primerose Hill: Since I am afraid of dogs, this spot must be really special to me as the park is dog park. But nowhere else the view onto London is so magical!
    • The Borough: Once the district was dark and dangerous. But nowadays the renovated streets and buildings radiates a cosy atmosphere. Start your discovering tour with the Borough Market on Friday or Saturday. 
    • Greenwich MarketDiscover original artworks and handcrafted toys, fashions and handmade jewellery, delicious fresh produce and mouth-watering food-to-go.
    • Chocolate Ecstasy Tour: London is huge and a guided tour is therefore never false. But instead of boring guides, I recommend the Chocolate Tour through different districts and stops at chocolate stores. 
    • The Scoop: Open to everyone, the Scoop is an outdoor sunken amphitheatre with seating for 800. It regularly hosts a variety of free events, especially in summer.  
    • Olympic Park: In 2012 the Olympic Games took place in London and the East district where today the Park is situated got a breath of fresh air. Besides the sports places, I can recommend the gastronomic offers around: Crate BreweryViolet or Cooper and Wolf
    Special recommendation
    • Avoid Oxford Street unless you prefer shopping in a anxious atmosphere. Although worldwide known stores are situated in a row, I am seldom successful because I can't bear the stress around. 
    • Hot Tub Cinema: When I first heard about this event, I couldn't believe it until I checked out their homepage. Pick up friends and join this cinema sitting in a hot tub!
    • Portobello Road looks magnificent in the Notting Hill movie, but please don't go the on Saturday when there is market. Tourists push each other through the street, you cannot have a simple glimpse at anything and the beauty of the street is not reflected at all. Take your time another day and forage through the antiquities.
    More information
    Personal data
    • Visiting Dates: At least once a year
    • Accommodation: Private; easyHotel South Kensington; Hotel Columbus
    • Personal highlight: Sitting on Primrose Hill eating a good sandwich!

    Los Angeles, USA

    During my road trip through the South West I couldn't miss Los Angeles, evidently. Before I haven't expected too much, but I was positively surprised when I arrived: sun with a cooling wind from the Pacific, a beautiful landscape shaped by hills and curiosities that only exist in LA. But no true celebrity crossed my path (or is Heidi Montag one?)

    For more pictures click here.

    • Hotel Shangri-La: Overlooking the Pacific since 1939, The Hotel Shangri-La is a striking beacon of Art Deco elegance, a chronicle of Old-Hollywood glamour, and a quintessential nexus of culture.
    • Viceroy Hotel and Resorts: Another hotel located in Santa Monica which offers pure luxury. But even if you don't want to spend a fortune, just sit in the lobby and wait. After some time a waiter will come and offer you some water and crisps for free. 
    • Shutters on the beachRise to surf and sunshine; our iconic Santa Monica hotel is just grains of sand away from the water.
    • The AmbroseThis small boutique hotel has zen-like architecture and promotes a green lifestyle.
    • Hi Hostel LA / Santa Monica: For less budget, HI hostels are usually a good alternative. Freshly renovated with clean rooms, this accommodation is perfect for young travellers and families.
    • Nic's Beverly Hills: Los Angeles is known for Hollywood and their celebrities: You might spot one here dining exquisitely. 
    • The Malibu Cafe: Although located a little outside - hidden in the hills near Malibu - the Malibu Cafe convince with its chicken dishes and the park in which you sit: a small creek, horses, lampions, ... like a fairytale!
    • Philippes: Longing for a delicious handmade sandwich? The historic restaurants prepares each one individually and freshly - all wishes respected. 
    • Night + Market: A pretty good Thai Restaurant that opened December 2010 as a casual 4 day a week experiment and grew into a sort of annex or permanent pop-up inside. Yumm!
    • Wurstkuche: Although I prefer eating local food, I need to point out the Wurstkuche with traditional German sausages. All Americans love it and mix their sausages with all kind of different sauces. 
    • Gjelina: New Californian kitchen can be found amongst Venice Beach a lot, I tried Gjelina so far: My mom says that this was the best and most innovative pizza she ever had. Isn't that a statement?
    • The M Street Kitchen: Also part of the new Californian Cuisine, the M Street Kitchen offers dishes for everyone, beginning with breakfast and ending with your drink at night.  
    • Toast Bakery Cafe: Squeezed between trendy boutiques, this place is always packed and with good reason.  Their salads are hearty, the Arnold Palmers are perfectly sweet and tart and I keep going back for their Hummus Falafel.
    Bars & Nightlife
    • Eagly Rock Brewery: They are dedicated to the production of unique artisanal beers using the best ingredients to promote the ongoing development of the beer community in Los Angeles. Beer community? There we go!
    • The V Cut: More a bar for men as women don't like cigar lounges too much. In an easy going environment you can taste hand-rolled cigars.
    • Venice Beach Wines: With an extensive wine selection, you can start your night with tasting specialties from all over the world.  
    • Más Malo: Downtown Mexican restaurant and bar that features a range of classic and unique dishes, exceptional cocktails and an extensive tequila and mezcal collection 
    • The Grub: Nestled in a residential area in Hollywood, this unsuspecting little restaurant is as cute as it is delicious.
    • The Urth Cafe: Urth is clean, organic and ridiculously tasty. This comes with quite a price tag, but since their lattes are so addicting, I somehow justify spending $4 a cup.
    • The Griddle Cafe: Known for their plate-sized pancakes in flavors like “Banana Nana”  (brown sugar-baked bananas) and “Hear Me Roar” (strawberries and frosted flakes), this has a fantastic blues-y feel with exposed brick walls and an intimate setting.
    • The Pie Hole: They offer pie by the slice and individual savory pies that you can order. I just like to drop by and to eat their Mexican Chocolate Pie.  
    • Goldie's: On of the best places for brunch with your best friends in LA. The interior and outside design of this recently new opened place is so well done that I could simply spend the entire day trying their dishes.
    • Plastica: a boutique filled with unique items from around the world as well as products by local designers. Although most of the merchandise is literally plastic, we feature items made out of any number of different materials.
    • RoomService: It's not just about selling furniture and electric home accessories, but selling a comfortable, relaxed lifestyle. They offer their customers the ability to customise all of their styles to fit to customers' design style specifications.
    • Milk: This boutique on 3rd Street is always packed with easy-to-wear dresses, drapy tops and a great selection of flat sandals. Despite their impressive list of designer clothing you can always find affordable pieces mixed in throughout.
    • Traveler's bookcase: As a traveler this store was like heaven to me: travel books about the entire world. I read for hours and hours, dreaming of foreign worlds and languages.
    • Scent Bar: This shop is different. You enter it with your nose and once you are in, you smell. And smell. Fragrances is the metier and they customise them for you. Because each fragrance belongs to a different person. 
    • Planet BlueIf you’re after that beachy, California-girl vibe, this place has you covered.  Everything from their long, bohemian dresses and distressed jeans to their cult favorite fragrances and bikinis is impeccably chic and understated.
    • Tar Pits: I have never heard of the Tar Pits before but think it is a natural phenomenon that you should see when in LA.The world's most famous Ice Age fossil excavation site is located in the heart of LA.
    • J. PaulGetty Museum: In the museum you'll find so much oeuvres that you have to spend a week to look at each intensively. What I loved most about the Getty was its architecture and the location on top of the hill with the stunning view. 
    • Griffith Observatory: Griffith Observatory's unique architecture and setting, compelling programmatic offerings, and cinematic exposure have made it one of the  most famous and visited landmarks in southern California
    • Paramount Ranch: I love watching Western Movies. Paramount Pictures purchased 2,700 acres of the old Rancho Las Virgenes for use as a "movie ranch." You can visit it without entrance fee and might be lucky to see how a new movie is produced. 
    • Melrose Trading Post Flea Market: Described as a cool, eclectic gem of a place to find treasures and rare goodies, the Melrose Trading Post is a great Sunday destination
    Special recommendation
    • Don't visit downtown if you have only a few days in LA (except I have some special recommendation :)). Spend your time better exploring the beaches, Hollywood or the environment
    • I love having a cup of coffee sitting somewhere on Rodeo Drive in order to see a celebrity sooner or later
    More information
    Personal data
    • Visiting Dates: End of July 2012
    • Accommodation: Private
    • Personal highlight: Standing on one of the Getty Museum's terraces while overlooking the city

    New York City, USA

    Big lights will inspire you, let's hear it for New York New York, New York... And how much those lights have inspired me. Although I only spent a few days in the city that never sleeps, I instantly fell in love with the hectic, skyscrapers, cultural differences and all the other things that it has to offer. As usual, I won't recommend any Empire State Building tour (although it is pretty impressive) or other touristic spots - no, I will show you how I experienced the Big Apple.


    For more pictures click here.
    • The Element Times Square: Located in the heart of the centre, this eco-friendly hotel is the relaxing spot after a long and hectic day in the city.
    • Ink48: This hotel puts you near top theatres, shops and attractions while giving you a stylish urban retreat complete with destination spa, breathtaking Hudson River and city skyline views.
    • The Pink Hostel: Women always fear to take shared rooms in hostels, so this one is only for ladies! Situated in the North of Central Park it is not the best location, though. 
    • Manhattan Hostel: One of the cheapest ways to stay in NYC is the big youth hostel on the Upper West Side. With 700 beds it reminds of a factory but it is proper which is most important to me.
    • TRYP: NYC is full. However this hotel offers spacious rooms, decorated with New York chic and Mediterranean influences. Definitely one of my favourites!
    • Andaz Wall Street: Living in the historic street in the middle of the financial district, is already an experience. Mixed with this modern hotel your stay will be perfect. 
    • The French Quartera Guest House: It offers residential-style accommodations with a New Orleans flair, dining onsite and a wide array of services and amenities await you.
    • Trump SoHo:  If success hasn't spoiled you, this hotel will. You should expect nothing less from a luxury hotel in downtown Manhattan, situated where SoHo meets Tribeca and the West Village
    • The Bryant Park Hotel: Located next to Central Park, the Bryant Hotel is the hot spot for young Hollywood, fashion culturi and cosmopolitans.
    • As prices for hotels/ hostels are rather high in New York, I recommend some Couch surfing or renting an apartment via vrbo.com. Especially an apartment saves money when travelling in a larger group, more than 3 persons.  
    • Rue57: The mixture of a Parisian brasserie and sushi bar seems to be strange, but food is highly recommendable. 
    • Carnegie Deli: Located near Broadway their menu offers everything one can desire. I tried their New York Cheesecake and can only force you to have it as well.
    • San Loco’s Tacos: If you like Tacos, San Loco's are the place to be for you. And four times available in NYC - there is no excuse that you cannot find it. 
    • Supper Restaurant: The East Village is an area that becomes hipper from day to day - the supper restaurant follows this trend: prices are high, but food is extraordinary and really good.
    • Tom’s Diner: Since 1940 Tom's Diner has been a cosy place for all who just want to have some good food: burgers, fries, etc. Located near Columbia University many students pass their nights there. 
    • Pure food and wine: An organic restaurant in the middle of NYC with the high potential of becoming the place to be in the next years. Some celebrities have already passed as they are convinced by the restaurant's philosophy.
    • Black Duck Restaurant: Not only duck is presented here, but a variety of good dishes. Enjoy the atmosphere amongst locals while listening to Jazz concerts or James Bond screenings.
    • Peter Luger: This steak house in Brooklyn is a real secret - for 125 years it has been offering prime meat in a nostalgic atmosphere.
    • Yakitori Totto: If you have the desire to eat some Japanese food, I can only recommend the Yakitori Totto with its large choice of Yakitori (grilled chicken) and other tasty dishes.
    Bars & Nightlife
    • Green House USA: Eco-friendly club with celebrity potential - well, it is situated in TriBeCa where all celebrities live. 
    • Part of the Nightlife is the life around Broadway: Visit a musical and buy your tickets at tkts on Times Square the same day. The queueing is worth the discount and the experience afterwards. 
    • Ajna Bar: If you are willing to spend a little more for your night out, I can only recommend the Ajna Bar. Not only the entrance is impressive, but it is also a club with really good house music. 
    • Le poisson rouge: This eclectic multimedia art gallery serves up art and alcohol, but the people-watching is usually just as good as the shows on display.
    • Bar Next Door: Hidden in the basement of a beautifully restored townhouse, this bar feels like a secret enclave. Low ceilings and stone-and-exposed-brick walls somehow provide superb accoustics for regularly scheduled live jazz performances.
    • Bemelmans Bar: Few bars combine wit, glamour and coziness as well as Bemelmans.
    • Van Leeuwen Ice Cream: They make their ice cream using only fresh hormone and antibiotic free milk and cream from local farms, cane sugar and egg yolks. Yummy!
    • Little Cupcake: You know that I love cupcakes, there is no city where I don't recommend a cupcake store. And in NYC it is Little Cupcake because their frosting and dough fit perfectly together.
    • Penelope: Admittedly, it is currently a trend to go to Penelope. I discovered it before the hype and knew why: good food, cosy atmosphere, lovely service.
    • Spot Dessert BarSpot is a perfect haven for all-natural desserts & beverages with an Asian twist on their sweet tapas, pastries and ice cream. 
    • Lady M Boutique: Stop by their boutique on Madison have, buy a sweet bite of cake and sip some coffee - some hours of heaven!
    • A second Chance: Shop designer clothes either online or in one of their boutiques in Manhattan. 
    • Roundabout: It's been a year that I have looked for a black dress. Finally I found it here in this store selling new and resale couture in SoHo. Why I love it? When talking about customer service, there are only few stores that catch up with Roundabout. 
    • Hollister: Everyone coming to NYC has a peek into Abercrombie & Fitch, the "big brother" of Hollister. Except me. I wasn't interested and went instead to Hollister on Broadway. Few people and nice service. You can SHOP here.
    • Chelsea Girl: Vintage clothing - hooray! “Old clothes are old friends.” is what Coco Chanel said and this is Chelsea Girl's statement. 
    • Beacon's Closet: Three stores in Brooklyn and Manhattan that offer women's and men's individual clothing. No brands, affordable prices and nice pieces.
    • Bird: Located in Brooklyn this store sells women's clothes by different worldwide known designers. A boutique where you get personal advisory.
    • Rags-a-GoGo: Crazy store (with crazy web page) that has to offer a large choice of vintage clothes. Back to 70's? No problem!
    • Buffalo Exchange: With new and recycled fashion to a social enterprise: the purpose of Buffalo Exchange is to lead the resale fashion industry, provide a livelihood for its employees, a fair return to its owners and achieve sustainable profitability.
    • SoHo & TriBeCa: Two districts I absolutely adore. Go to SoHo for shopping whereas Tribeca is a desirable neighbourhood for celebrities. You might cross one.
    • Little Italy: The district in Lower Manhattan is lively. Just soak up the Italian influences by wandering around. For now I couldn't find a really good restaurant because most of them are tourist traps.
    • Central Park: NYC is busy and Central Park is one of the few places to catch some nature. Walk around, play on the grass, have a date on the lake. It gives back some energy.
    • Chinatown: Another lively neighbourhood in which you feel like in Asia. As it is one the biggest Chinatowns in the world, you absolutely should see it and taste some of their specialities that are sold on the street.
    • Manhatten Kayak: Instead of taking a touristic boat to the Statue of Liberty, rent a kayak and paddle yourself.
    • Gossip Girl tour: Since young girls strive to be the Blair Waldorf of their city, New York offers the Gossip girl tour through the Upper East side.
    • The high line: Once it used to be a railway, now it is a park. The initiative to make the city greener, attracts locals and foreigners to gain some energy.
    • Farmer’s market: The two goals are to promote regional agriculture by providing small family farms the opportunity to sell their locally grown products directly to consumers, and to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, most nutritious locally grown food the region has to offer. Achieved.
    • Tramway to Roosevelt Island: In order to visit the island take the tramway as it leads of the water and you can enjoy a fantastic view.
    Special recommendation
    • Yellow cabs are typical NYC - but they are expensive. Better go for the subway system, a weekly pass costs 29$. More and more locals change their behaviour as NYC tries to become eco-friendlier. Help them.
    • Some food should be eaten in NYC: Hot dog on the street, fresh bagel and New York Cheesecake are the top three in my opinion.
    More information
    Personal data
    • Visiting Dates: Few days in May 2011
    • Accommodation: Hostelling International, Amsterdam Ave
    • Personal highlight: Billy Elliott Musical on Broadway and shopping in SoHo

    Geneva, Switzerland

    While having lived three years in Geneva, I discovered beautiful places around Geneva Lake and in the city. Most tourists are only aware of the lake's beauty and Geneva's significance for worldwide organisations and politics. Of course prices are higher than in other European areas, but you don't have to spend a fortune - you only need to know where. May I give you a hand and show it to you?

    For more pictures click here. 

    • Manotel: The Manotel Group is hotel chain in Geneva that has 6 hotels with different categories and styles. Each hotel is high quality standard and located in the centre.
    • HI: Hostelling International has also a hostel in Geneva which is located next to the lake and the United Nations. As a rather new building it is not only suitable for school groups but also for tourists who want to pay less.
    • La Cour des Augustins: Between Carouge and Old Town this design hotel offers everything you desire in a city: comfort, silence and excellent service.
    • Appart’Hotel Residence Dizerens: This charming guest house enjoys a quiet location in a pedestrianised street in the centre of Geneva.
    • Hôtel Parc des Eaux Vives: Just imagine a soft awakening in a historical mansion overlooking the lake and in the heart of a magnificent park - then you are in of the 7 chambers that are offered in one of the most luxurious hotels in Geneva. 
    • Chez la Voisine: My favourite restaurant throughout Geneva. I drag everyone here because food is delicious (and menu changes daily!), location is amazing, service is friendly and prices are fair.
    • Chez ma Cousine: Here you can only choose between three dishes: Chicken with fries, chicken salad and salad with goat cheese. I recommend the location St. Gervais because it is less crowded than the one in the Old Town.
    • Sushi Train: As their Happy Hour is in convenient hours (18.45 to 22.30), the reduction of 50% makes Sushi train affordable. 
    • Mr Pickwick Pub: If you like to have some beer or some Pub food - Mr. Pickwick offers it. Furthermore soccer games are shown on regular bases and Thursday, Friday and Saturday Live Music is played.
    • La Fumisterie: Located in an ancient garage, nowadays exquisite food is served here. Their agenda is always full, so be sure to be there early enough or check out their website before to see whether they fully booked.
    • Il Carosello, Boulevard Georges-Favon 25: The so called best pizza in town is at Il Carosello in my opinion.
    • Inglewood/Holy Cow: I couldn't decide which burger restaurant I put here. They are both good. Maybe Inglewood has a little more charm...
    • Crêperie des Pâquis: As Geneva is situated at the French border, French classics are not far away. A good Crêpe is a must.
    • Céline et Sébastien, Rue des Eaux-Vives 7: Only a few steps away from the busy shopping street, a sandwich at Céline et Sébastien is heaven on earth after a long day in shops. 
    • El Baraka: It is not often that I recommend a simple kiosk, but the Kebab at El Baraka is really tasteful, costs only a few bucks and the kiosk is open every time I pass.
    Bars & Nightlife
    • Le Chat Noir: In the old district of Carouge the Chat Noir is known all over the place. It used to be a shabby basement but it recently refurbished its location and (local) live bands and DJ create good mood.
    • L’Usine (KAB & PTR): The clientele in the Usine is special and alternative. Therefore entrance is below average here and beer is rather cheap. Please don't wear any classier than Converse and jeans.
    • Bypass: This club is rather expensive and unfortunately located outside of the city centre. I only go there Friday: Ladies night which means free entrance before midnight and champagne for free all night long.
    • Ethno: A stylish bar at the Rhone bank with nice staff and good drinks. 
    • Java Club: At the top of the Kempinski hotel, the Java Club attracts mostly rich people. Entry is free but prices for drinks are exorbitantly high.
    • Brasserie des Halles d’Ile: Situated on the island in the middle of the river, this location is a mixture between bar and restaurant. On some nights a DJ is playing some music, on others it is just one of those normal after work bars.
    • Qu’Importe: Perfect for some after work drink in Carouge with a large choice of wine!
    • Le Scandale: Not far away from the central station, the Scandale is a pizzaria, bar and club in one.
    • AMR: If you like Jazz music, the AMR is the place to be.
    • Cheesecake & Co: Within a few steps from the university and Old Town, Cheesecake & Co offers delicious cheese cake but a variety of other American snacks, f.ex. bagels.
    • O Calm: It's been a while that I found this lovely place in Carouge. I prefer their cakes and drinks because their salads are rather healthy (with a lot of seeds). On the terrace you easily forget that you are in a big town.
    • Les Recyclables: Between books (that you can lend of course) and ancient interior, I love having my breakfast. I feel so intelligent here. And so alternative.
    • Arthur’s: Situated in the most expensive street - Rue du Rhone - in Geneva, next to Hermes, Louis Vuitton & Co, I sometimes want to feel special and afford a coffee in this designed cafe at the river.
    • Chez Quartier, Rue Voltaire 24: For a long time, I was looking for a suitable place in Geneva to have breakfast and I finally found it here. Don't be astonished but trust is their credo: Serve yourself at the bar and pay afterwards.
    • Fleurs de Marie: Cupcakes, tea, brunch, snacks in some kitsch furniture. Take your time to go there because service is sometimes is a little slow. 
    • Papeterie Brachard: Even if you don't need anything for your office, have a look at this shop because it so well organised.
    • Pomp it up & Pompes Funèbres: Two shoe stores next to each other: One sells only sneakers in all variations, whereas the other specialises in all models that are not sneakers related. 
    • La Halle de Rive: Nothing better than fresh food. All variations in this food hall. 
    • Globus Food: Okay, it is a normal department store with a food department, but however I love to stroll through the cupboards discovering new ingredients and products each time.  
    • Fête de la Musique: Mark the 3rd weekend of June in your calender. Then there is the Music Festival in Geneva and all kind music is performed all over the city.
    • Fêtes de Genève: Two weeks in summer the bank at the lake is crowded with people and stands because everyone celebrates the Geneva festival. Each year their is guest country presenting itself. The highlight are stunning fireworks by the end.
    • Bateau de Genève: Just at the bank in the centre, this boat is location to eat, to meet, to drink or just to visit. 
    • Cathedrale St. Pierre: Climb the stairs and you will be rewarded with a lovely view above the Geneva, the lake and  the mountains.
    • Maison Tavel: You want to know something about Geneva's history? The free entrance museum exhibits artifacts and a miniature relief of the city.
    • Baby Plage: In summer there is nothing better than to jump into the lake. On the way to Geneve Plage you cross Baby plage, a small sand bank where you can quickly refresh yourself.
    • Mont Salève: Admittedly, it is in France but you have the best view from the Mount Salève. Either walk up or drive by car or take the cable car - enjoy nature high above Geneva.
    • Parc des Eaux Vives: I love this park because it is so spacious and calm. Only few people relax here and I cannot understand why?!
    • Carouge: Once there were fights between the French Carouge and Geneva, nowadays Carouge belongs to Switzerland twists its visitors around its finger. 
    Special recommendation
    • The public transport ticket is also valid for the yellow "navettes" (boats) that bring you from one bank to the other. Cheap 10-15 minutes boat trip. 
    • Geneva's environment is stunning: The French Alps, Nyon (with it's Swiss charm), Lausanne & Vaud, Yvoire, ... - it is worth to rent a car.
    • The best toilet in Geneva is the one at the Kempinski Hotel: Take the side entrance and you'll be directed to the toilet without bearing weird looks from the reception staff.
    More information
    Personal data
    • Visiting dates: resident from 2008 to 2011
    • Accommodation: at home :)
    • Highlight: Taking a "navette" across the lake while the sun is shining, water is blue and I see the Mont Blanc in its fully beauty.