I reckoned that, after years and years of browsing through thrift stores and markets, it was about time to spread my love for secondhand and vintage clothing! Therefore I put together a video in which my friend Judith and I show you our latest items! Enjoy xxx
One day during Spring my friends and I lay on my bed and discussed our summer holiday 2015; Where did we want to go? Where could we find the perfect combination of sun, rest, beach, city, going out, good food, reasonable prices, authentic culture and an energetic, fun atmosphere? Eventually, after checking out Google Maps, browsing the internet a bit and scrolling through Pinterest boards and pins - my all-time favorite inspiration source - we selected Lisbon as our destination and booked our flights the same night. Four months later, a young lady in Lisbon told us that the tourist sector has been booming like crazy these past two years, and that we chose the right moment to visit before the city becomes overhyped and too focussed on tourists. I am so glad we did, and we didn't regret our decision for one minute! Therefore, I wanted to share a small recap of our time in Lisbon (including tips and photos) with you to share my enthusiasm! I hope you enjoy it and if you experience any hesitance about buying a plane ticket, spare yourself the doubt, and just go for it!
My number 1 advise at all times when it comes to finding a place to stay (I think you bloggers have figured it out by now, but for those of you who haven't); rent an AirBNB apartment/house! I have used this website multiple times, for destinations all around Europe, and my enthusiasm grows and grows with each trip I make. I am sure you have already heard all about the AirBNB concept, but I just want to underline that it is such a budget-proof and fun way to discover a city and the neighborhood which you are located in. This summer I realized that AirBNB rentals are not only a reflection of the owner's personality, but a reflection of a certain way of living. In Lisbon we stayed in a bright coloured apartment from around the early 20th century with old wooden doors en floors - you instantly feel like one of the locals, in contrast to hotels which can tend to feel quite bland and unpersonal. Plus: you can cook your own meals, which saves money!
TO EAT AND DRINK
Do a wine tasting with yummy tapas (cheeses, hams, olives and so on) in your own apartment (or hotel bedroom); even the wines sold in supermarkets are all so delicious and cost about 2 or 3 euro's each.
Lisbon, and Portugal in general, are well known for their delicious pastries. You find pasteleria's on every corner of the street and most of the time the air is filled with a mouth-watering sweetness. The most famous goodie is called Pasteis de Belem, which is an extremely creamy egg tart pastry. Stories are told that only three bakeries know the original recipe; which ingredients are used and in what quantities are still mysteries unsolved. My friends and I ate way too much of these, but oh well, what else is a holiday for?
my new (vintage) leather backpack, bought in a vintage store in Paris | palm trees in Belem | ice cream love
The finest gelateria in Portugal is Santini; this old family-owned establishment from 1949 has several locations in Lisbon and surrounding towns such as Cascais. Try one of the more unusual flavors like cinnamon! Just look out for a red-white striped logo :)
Drink lots and lots of sangria! I am not a fan of alcohol at all; I love an occasional wine at dinner, but all my friends know that beer and cocktails are not really my thing. However, sangria I actually like! We discovered the most amazing place to drink sangria by coincidence: PARK Bar (Calcada do Combro 58, district Bairro Alto). It was located a one-minute walk from our AirBNB rental, on the roof of a parking-lot. Yes, you read it correctly, a freakin' parking-lot. Once you're on the roof (take the elevator to the fifth floor, then take the stairs up one more floor until you reach floor 6), you find yourself in a whole other setting with lots of green vegetation, cool sitting area's and one hell of a view. Price for 2 liters of sangria: 9,50 euros.
Bring some proper footwear; Lisbon is built on steep hills and after one day of walking you can definitely feel your leg and butt muscles, which is actually a great work-out! So believe me, you won't regret bringing your trainers besides all the other fancy heels you were planning on cramming in your suitcase.
A follow up on the previous tip: walk, walk, walk! The steep hills can be quite a challenge and perhaps seem uninviting, but Lisbon is definitely a city to do by foot! The districts Alfama, Graca and Bairro Alto are quite compact, so all easy to discover in one day. You come across amazing views, there are cute cafes to take a break in almost every street, and there is always something or someone catching your eye of attention; beautifully decorated tiles, an old gentleman checking out the street from his window, carved wooden coloured doors, attractive young men in suits, need I say more?
just arrived at the AirBNB apartment, all sweaty and tired | view from our apartment | Cascais bay
I definitely recommend catching the train to Sintra and/or Belem for the day. Sintra is a beautiful town classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a number of palaces built and used as summer getaways by the former wealth of the 19th century. There are several bus lines which do certain tours around Sintra, but why not go on a little hike? It is quite a climb, but worth it when you reach the top. Our favorites in Sintra were Regaleria Palace (4 euro's entrance fee); the building itself isn't the most impressive of all the palaces in Sintra, but the garden is like a fairytale come true. Furthermore, on your way up to the Castelo dos Mouros (Castle of the Moors) you pass the guard's house, which is a peaceful place to rest including reasonably priced drinks. As for Belem; nowadays, it is considered part of Lisbon and easiest to reach by train (2nd stop on the way to Cascais). It used to be a fishing village, which functioned as a port where, around 1500, many ships took off to explore the world. Belem has lots to offer, such as monumental buildings and art museums. We visited the Botanical Gardens to eat our lunch and you mustn't forget to pay a visit to the bakery Antigua Confeitaria de Belem (R. Belem 84-92) which sells the best Pasteis de Belem in the world. Don't worry about the massive line; the service is really quick, so you're waiting time is limited!
We participated in a pub crawl - basically hopping from bar to bar with a group of young (and often drunk) people - one night which was epic. The Portugese certainly know how to go out! Clubbing starts really late, around 02.00, so check opening hours if you want to go somewhere specific and try not to fall asleep (I failed miserably once). Club Lux is the most famous (or should I say notorious), but my friends and I thought it was overrated. Moreover, you barely have a chance at getting in as a foreigner. I recommend stopping by other clubs like Urban Beach. Make sure you bring your ID card, dress up nice, flutter your eyelashes at the bodyguards and you will be fine ;).
walking the streets of Lisbon | Alfama | on the train to Sintra
If the weather's nice, it might be an idea to catch the train to Cascais for a beach day! A return ticket costs about 5 euro's. This town is a great contrast to busy and energetic Lisbon, without becoming dull and boring. We spent five days in Lisbon and then relaxed for three days in Cascais, just to really take a rest and enjoy the sun. Even though Cascais has been a hotspot for tourists for decades, it hasn't lost its authenticity and genuine Portugese atmosphere which was a relief. While we were there, we went out for dinner every night, since prices were very reasonable (15 euro's for an evening meal, wine and other drinks included, and sometimes even dessert!), and it was our chance to enjoy the local food. We ate vongole, clams, shrimps, calamares, squid, salmon, and so on! All delicious and fresh, yum!
As I mentioned earlier on, Lisbon has suddenly been overflowing with tourists these past couple of years, which means prices are going up. However, for the time being, food and other products are still relatively cheap, especially compared to Dutch prices. If you are a jewelry fan like me, Lisbon is the perfect place to go on a silver and/or gold hunt. If you search carefully, you can find small antique and jewelry stores scattered around the centre of Lisbon. My favorite is located on the southwest corner of Rossio Square. Be aware of opening hours, most shops close between 13.00 and 16.00.
Monki top | Zara shorts | vintage coat | Dr. Martens boots
I found this red satin gem in a thrift store in Utrecht, about 4 sizes to big, but you know me; I have always been quite fond of the oversized look. The saleswoman thought I bought it for a themed dress-up party, but I just wear it to university on a daily basis - I can tell you, it does turn heads! I was unsure about the origin of it; Chinese? Korean? Japanese? I am betting on Chinese, due to the lotus flowers print, but I might be wrong! If any of you have a clue, please enlighten me! Anyway, I am in love; definitely one of my favorite pieces in my closet at the moment.
Vintage denim jacket | vintage dress | vintage silver necklaces
Currently one of my faves, this denim jacket by Levi's. So easily suitable with all sorts of styles and items, in summer and in winter. Combined here with a vintage dress which I semi-anxiously/semi-hysterically laughing clutch every five seconds when it nicely blows up Marilyn Monroe style. How I love the Dutch winds ;) Kiss, Aimee
Mango coat | Mango top | Forever21 pants | Mango shoes
Just some spontaneous snapshots of me walking/jumping/hopping along the canals in Amsterdam today. I am beyond curious to see how long these will stay white and fresh. I hope they beat my white Converse which were smudged with mud only a few days after purchase. I am not too confident though... Happy Sunday night loves!
vintage shirt dress | H&M top | Brandy Melville necklace | unknown shoes
I have been making a small switch to buying and wearing more vintage items lately, such as this suede shirt dress, which I bought in Amsterdam two weeks ago. It is an interesting piece which can be worn in lots of ways. I have worn this piece as a dress, outside jacket and as a blazer; I love versatile pieces! What do you think of second hand clothing? I am curious to hear your opinion! Love, Aimee
After visiting Marrakech during the Christmas holidays, I came home with lots of new impressions and experiences. Although opinions on the city are various, I was positively surprised. I do think that it is best to travel to Marrakech at least a bit prepared, to just have an idea of where to go and not to go. If you go entirely clueless, you might bump into unpleasant situations which leave you a bit nervous and unsettled. For me personally, I feel more comfortable having an idea of which districts the city consists of, having a few identification marks like main tourist attractions or tall buildings to help determine my location, and having an overall overview of the city. Marrakech, and especially the medina, is a maze of small streets with impressive doors with an unknown paradise behind them, and all though I am sure you'll find perfection around every corner, it helps to have a few addresses which are always good and which you can rely on, in case getting lost and wandering around don't turn out for you! In this post I assembled my fave Marrakech spots, including mostly cafés and restaurants. In general, I would recommend to explore the Medina, and stick to the Northern Medina and Southern Medina. Both are different, the Northern Medina is quite structured and clean with lots of luxurious hotels, riads and museums. You would expect a western atmosphere, but I thought the area was actually authentic and non-touristic. It is the most quiet area of the Medina which I really enjoyed. The central Medina is very focused on tourists which influences everything; the products the shops offer, the way the salesmen talk to you and so on... Not the best area to spend your day in my opinion. The Southern Medina is a bit poorer than the Northern Medina, but shows the local life of Marrakechi best in my opinion.
Terrasse des Epices, 15 Souk Charifia Sidi Abdellaziz
This modern roof café right in the centre of the Medina, is a nice getaway from all the buzz going on downstairs in the souks. It is mainly visited by tourists, but the food is reasonably priced, the atmosphere is relaxing and the service is good.
Dar Cherifa, 8 derb Cherfa Lakbir
This little palace is a little hidden away, but following the directions on your map, not too hard to find. The interior of the restaurant is beautifully set up and if you make your way to the top, you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea on the terrace roof. I think the pictures tell the story best.
Riad el Fenn, 2 Derb Moulay Abdullah Ben Hezzian
Definitely don't skip the riads while visiting Marrakech! Staying in one is an exotic and luxurious experience, but expensive. If you aren't willing to pay so much for a room, then you can take up the opportunity to go for dinner or a drink. We had a delicious French three course meal in Riad el Fenn and then walked around the hotel a bit to take in all the beautiful interior design. Riad el Fenn is definitely one of the best and biggest in town, and highly recommended on all review websites and in travel journals!
Maison de la Photographie, 46 Rue Bin Lafnadek
A must for us bloggers and lovers of photography! The main theme of the exposition is the traditional Berber culture of Morocco and all the photos were taken between the 1850's and 1930's, which is great to get an idea of Marrakech was like in the old days! And again, the museum has a rooftop terrace with a magnificent view over the Medina.
Henna Café, 93 Arset Aouzal
Of course, I didn't want to leave Marrakech without getting henna done! Do not get your henna done on Djemaa el Fna, which is the big main and touristic square! The product the ladies use there there contains alcohol and other chemicals which aren't good for your skin. The ladies at Henna café make their own organic henna each day and take their time to apply it. They have a great selection of patterns to choose from, and the prices range from a couple of euros to 40 euros. Mine cost about 15. In Summer, the café is also a sweet place to hang out and rest since it is very shadowed. And don't forget cute little Mr. Turtle!
Jardin Majorelle, Rue Yves Saint Laurent
This garden, where Yves Saint Laurent spent lot of his time, is presented everywhere as one of the highlights of Marrakech and definitely worth a visit! Of course, highlights go hand in hand with mass tourism, but if you go early in the morning or late in the afternoon, these masses can be avoided a bit. The garden is harmonious and very well maintained which certainly determines a great deal of its charm. I fell in love with the prominent blue colour, majorelle blue!
L'Ultimo Bacio, Angle rue Tarik Ibn Ziad & Moulay Ali
We had dinner at this Italian restaurant twice, including New Years Eve. The setting is modern and very easy going, The meals are fresh and prepared with good ingredients; I had risotto one night and ravioli filled with salmon the next. Both were delicious! It is a good place to go if you ever get fed up with the couscous and tajines, and feel like going Italian for a night, in a familial atmosphere.
Café du Livre, 44 Rue Tariq Ibn Ziad
This café located in the relatively new neighborhood Gueliz is a bit of a search and a favorite among expats in Marrakech. It is popular for lunches and evening dinners and offers a big selection of alcoholic drinks (including cocktails), which can't be consumed everywhere in the city! The fun part of this café is the corner in the back which functions as a library where you can read and buy secondhand international books, in many languages such as English, Dutch, German and French. A nice stop for when you are on a shopping tour through Gueliz!
Riad Isis Hammam, 12 Derb Dabachi, Derb DJdid
Like rooftop terraces hammams are typically found throughout the whole city as well. Going to a hammam is a weekly or monthly routine for most Arabic woman, and very founded in their culture. I had never experienced going to a hammam or even getting a massage, and it was a very interesting one, that I can conclude! I do recommend it, if only for experiencing an important life component of Arabic women for a few hours! Hammam prices range a lot; of course there are very expensive and beautiful hammams, However, my mum and I chose for Riad Isis, which was a bit cheaper and I would say medium price range and that was fine.
Aïcha Number 1, Djemaa el Fna
Although I wasn't impressed by the heart of Marrakesh, Djemaa el Fna, as all the travel guides describe it, I did like the dozens of food stalls which fill the square in the evenings. My favorite was number 1 which is popular among tourists and locals because of the good quality of the food, but mostly because the owner Aïcha is the only female owner of a food stall on the square. Talk about girl power! That is a good enough reason for me to have my dinner at her place! The food is cheap, simple and typically Moroccan; calamari, chicken and tajines, yum :)
Kechmara, 1 bis & 3 rue De La Liberté
This restaurant, specialized in burgers, is located in Gueliz and embodies the modern and West-European vibe going on in several parts of Gueliz. The food isn't especially tasty or interesting, but fine! I would recommend to go for a drink since we terrace is a nice place to lounge.
I absolutely love living in Utrecht; there is always something to do, you're never alone, and the energy of the city gives me energy! However, if you live in a big city like me, you will understand the feeling, or better said, the urge to escape the buzz and crowds every once in a while. The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is the perfect place to do this. As the website beautifully mentions; Behind the entrance gate it is like the city holds its breath for a second. It offers a roomy, rustic and quiet space to have a coffee after or before taking a stroll around the botanical gardens. It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, originating from 1638, when medicen-men used the gardens to grow healing herbs. Definitely worth a visit!
Address - Plantage Middenlaan 2a, Amsterdam
H&M blazer| Mango sweater | H&M leggings | Sandro boots
Judith and I shot these pictures late in the afternoon, again. Hence the unsharpness in some photos - again. Oops! I long for those never ending summer days when you're still able to shoot at 8 in the evening. At this time of year, even 4 'o clock is too late to take proper photos! Oh, the challenges of being a blogger sometimes... We were really drawn to this wall art, since it forms such a large contrast with my all black outfit. I swear, I didn't even try to choose an all black outfit! It comes naturally to me in winter. Night night!
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