Tag Archives: Travel blogger

Burano pt#2 – Colorful Canals!

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Burano pt#2 – Colorful Canals!

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-Karen Bahri

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Burano, Veneto, Italia pt.1 – Street Beats

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Burano, Veneto, Italia  pt.1 – Street Beats

February 22, 2017 I wrote a post on a tiny little island which is situated not too far from Venice, Italy. Check it out here:

https://karenskaleidoscope.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/burano-italy-walking-through-a-kaleidoscope-of-colours/

A week ago – I was there! I actually almost forgot about it until this winter when my friend was doing this great, big Euro tour and she actually went to the island (assuming my article inspired her, I am sure it did ūüėĀ) She told me how magical this little place in the world is and how she would love to retire there – I completely agree with her!

You can check out my article above in regards to some facts and info about Burano. Since I probably took around 6748 pics, I’m going to try my best to categorize them as best as I can. I’ll start off with street pics and whatever randomness I can’t think of a category for.

The funniest part of Burano, is there is another neighboring island, known for its handcrafted glassware, called Murano. So when I was asking directions, etc, the locals would be like BOOOOrano? or (however you say “or” in Italiano. Note to those traveling to Italy, learn some Italian first. OMG!) MOOOOOOrano lol.

Burano is simply stunning and you honestly – HONESTLY will NOT find another place like this IN THE WORLD!!! The colors!! and just the character. You will find laundry hanging from ropes outside peoples windows, lovely flower pots outside windows, etc so Italian style!!! You will see bikes, and just households daily “things” but to us it’s so rustic, intricate and has so much character. When I first arrived, I caught myself at every corner shrieking because every corner was SOOO CUTE. I walked along quiet corners to hear TV’s blasting from inside homes. I was actually curious to know if people actually lived on this island or if it was just for show. Some little 20 year old kid at a shop told me yes, people live there. He lived there. So I asked to him, since he is only 20 and most 20 year olds I know like to go out, party, go crazy and live life lol.. he responded something, but like most people I ran into in Italy, their English wasn’t the best so I couldn’t understand him. So that’s still a mystery! I think he misunderstood me though and told me neighboring islands good for partying. Since that wasn’t what I asked and I wasn’t really bothered anymore lol I just nodded and said “that’s great!” ūüėĚ

Unfortunately I had to catch the boat back, because it takes about an hour or so to get back to Venice, so I couldn’t catch the sunset, which I hear is worth a view – but I WILL be returning within the next few years, and will catch it!

Burano was hands down my favorite part of my travels from the past two weeks!!!!

Enough words – let’s let the photos do the talking. Since I took around 39426 pics, I’m creating groups based on categories. Here are the ones categorized as “random/backstreets” – I will follow up with the others.

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view from the boat as we arrived onto Burano

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I learned how to use a selfie stick during this day as well! My life is complete LOL

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~Karen Bahri

A peak inside the Gem of Zanzibar – Stone Town!

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Stone Town is not just any town – it’s a delight for the senses not to be found anywhere else in the world!

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Stone Town is a city of prominent historical and artistic importance in¬†East Africa. Also known as¬†Mji Mkongwe¬†(Swahili¬†for “old town”), it is located in the old part of¬†Zanzibar City, which is the main city of¬†Zanzibar, in¬†Tanzania.

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Its architecture, which mostly dates back to the 19th century, has STORIES to tell, as it reflects the diverse influences of Swahili culture Рyet also giving a unique mixture of Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements.

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The buildings are honestly a feast for the eyes, despite their deteriorating condition. That only adds charm and character to the entire painting! Stone town was designated as a¬†UNESCO¬†World Heritage Site¬†in 2000 due to it’s distinct archetecture.

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The most well-known feature of Zanzibari houses are the finely decorated wooden doors.

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You won‚Äôt find these giant wooden masterpieces anywhere else in the world! Elaborately carved with astonishing detail, the heavy doors in Stone Town are quintessentially ‘Zanzibar’, and served as a valuable glimpse into the homeowner‚Äôs place of origin, profession and economic status.

For example, the Indian doors were crafted by skilled tradesmen out of imported teak. The large brass studs have their origins in India, where they were once used as a defense against charging war elephants. In Stone Town, however, they were used only as decorative pieces and symbolic markers of wealth.

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Arab doors have intricately crafted frames with Arabic inscriptions at the top. The chain, lotus and pineapple are common and culturally significant motifs.

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The heart of Stone Town consists of a maze of narrow alleys lined by houses, shops, bazaars and mosques. The streets bustle along with bicycles and motorbikes as they are too narrow for cars. Stone Town can easily be explored on foot.

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Of course, the¬†beaches in Zanzibar¬†are RAVISHING, but this UNESCO World Heritage Site is definitely worth a stroll at some point during your holiday in which you feel like exploring. Trust me, it’s worth it –¬†It is utterly captivating!

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I hope this has given you a good glimpse of a little town you may never have even heard of! Stone Town has an interesting history. Everything about this place will make you feel alive – from the melting pot of African, Arab, Indian and European cultures; the vivid shades of every color imaginable; the textures; the vibrant energy of the seafront and markets; and the locals who greet you with a ‚Äújambo!‚ÄĚ (hello) and ‚Äúkaribu‚ÄĚ (welcome) everyday!

To add to your itinerary, if you have been following me for a while, almost a year ago I wrote about the most unusual and amazing place to check out on the Indian Ocean off Zanzibar (which got a lot of buzz, thank you muah!). You can check that here:

https://karenskaleidoscope.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/the-rock-a-luxurious-fairytale-in-the-indian-ocean/

And OF COURSE I’m sure the main reason for your holiday would be for the astonishing beaches, with a day or so excursion to Stone Town, so I don’t want you to forget what that beautiful pond looks like ūüėĀ¬†—–>

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-Karen Bahri

 

 

 

 

The most Beautiful Small towns in France

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The most Beautiful Small towns in France

Paris, the city the world is in love with! A beauty indeed, but there is plenty more to see in France than just the capital. From wine country to the Alps, there are thousands of beautiful villages and small towns in the country, and each region has its own special qualities. Travelling around some of the small towns in France means travel between hilltops, rocky coastal towns and breathtaking scenery while enjoying the local lifestyles of the people.

Among the thousands, here is a short list of small French towns with such beauty, they can rival any major city in the world:

Annecy

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Sometimes called “the Venice of Savoie,” this lakeside Alpine town is treasured for its sloping hillsides and the small canals that wander their way through the streets.

Pourquerolles

Fort Sainte AgatheIŐāle de Porquerolles is a CoŐāte d‚ÄôAzur gem which¬†is an island paradise that’s also a small town. The best¬†thing about this place is¬†that after¬†all these years, the car-free island is still a blissful, peaceful paradise!

Bayeux

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Tapestry is the highlight for most tourists to the town. Bayeux has an appeal of a mix of the classic (the Norman-Gothic Bayeux Cathedral dominates the skyline) and the more contemporary (a somber, minimalist World War II cemetery).

Eguisheim

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Eguisheim is very unique with its concentric layout of streets unlike other towns and villages in France. It is a magnet for tourism because of its flower-filled villages and colorful houses, which give it a fairy tale ambiance. One of my favorites on this list!

Dinan

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The prettiest town in Brittany! Set on a hilltop, this medieval town oversees the river of Rance. Dinan is surrounded with long ramparts or walls, Tudor type houses, port, cobbled streets, art galleries, and shops.

Perouges

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Perouges is a medieval walled town in the northeast of Lyon. The town is so romantic, homey and old-fashioned that it is often used in many films.

Lourmarin

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Lourmarin is poetry in motion. It has numerous cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and ivy-covered streets full of a lavender scent which will give you an exquisite taste of its locality.

Chamonix

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Although Chamonix’s proximity to Mont Blanc has made it a legendary skiing and climbing center. The town, with panoramic mountain views and rows of slant-roofed buildings, is lovely all year round.

Ars-en-Ré

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A charming town of bicycles! With its white-washed houses and traditional green shutters, hollyhocks, salt pans, and relaxing but sleepy beach town vibe, it is a pleasure to explore this tiny seaside village.

Eze

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For a more subdued Riviera experience, bypass Nice and Cannes for Eze, whose rocky hillside location 1,400 feet above the sea makes for stunning views of the Mediterranean.

Etretat

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Etretat is best known for its three natural arches and pointed needle. It attracts tourists and even celebrities because of its peaceful scenery.

And last, but definitely not least:

Colmar

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Picturesque Colmar has a section also¬†known as “Little Venice,” thanks to the small canals that cut elegant lines past candy-colored houses. And locals aren’t the only ones inspired by Colmar’s beauty: some people believe the town was the model for Belle’s village in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast!

~Karen Bahri

 

 

Switzerland’s Earth Shattering Secret Wonderland!

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Switzerland’s Earth Shattering Secret Wonderland!

If you have ever wondered what it’s like to live in a home blanketed inside earth, start packing your bags and head over to Dietikon, Switzerland and find out what it actually feels like to be at one with nature!

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Earth House Estate Lattenstrasse is located in Dietikon, Switzerland. These homes are ACTUALLY tucked¬†within mounds of earth. You will totally get the feeling as if you have stumbled upon a secret society! “Earth Houses” are so called because they’re designed to reside within their environment, blending into the natural contours of the land rather than merely set down on top of it. These homes appear like small cozy huts to live in, but are actually quite spacious inside. They also¬†have a¬†balance of the best of modern design and energy-efficient living. The estate includes 9 separate homes, featuring three 3 bedroom, a 4 bedroom, a 5 bedroom, three 6 bedroom and a 7 bedroom house. There is even an artificial lake in the center, a subterranean parking lot, and room to grow vegetation on the property.

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The aim of building an earth house is not to live under or in the ground; but with it. The earth house concept uses the ground as an insulating blanket that efficiently protects the homes from rain, low temperatures, wind and natural abrasion.

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Being that the homes are protected by a layer of earth, they have natural insulation during the winter that allows them to use only a third of the energy a normal home would consume. During the summer, the homes stay cool, making air conditioners and fans unnecessary.

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The earth house concept uses its surroundings as an advantage ‚Äď the surroundings are not adapted to the building, rather, but the house is shaped in order to preserve the natural environment. Modern earth-house architecture incorporates the latest interior finishing, such as contemporary kitchens, bathrooms and house-control systems.¬†Furthermore, every house is newly designed in accordance with the wishes of its owners.

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This amazing little community definitely will make you feel like you have stepped into a hobbit hole from the Lord of The Rings trilogy or something!

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~Karen Bahri