Travel

Valencia

The beautiful cathedral

It’s surreal with the corona virus situation where Spain experiences a complete lock down and isolation. I visited Valencia 2 weeks ago, when first cases had just been explored there. As I walked down the streets, I noticed an alertness and afraid of being exposed. But still it didn’t stop me from exploring this beautiful cathedral. Neither could I help myself eating delicious food. My worries were long gone.

Churros! Couldn’t miss that when I had just arrived Spain
Dulce de leche everybody

This place was just heaven on earth! I mean look all the desserts displayed on the counter, how could you possibly choose just one thing? I told myself I have to come back one day and keep trying everything haha. It was a difficult choice, but the winner in the end; the banana bread.

Looking back, it makes me reflect on how privileged we are to travel around the globe, what a freedom we have. Being in quarantine makes me appreciate the traveling even more, in addition to move and go wherever we want to. My advice is to use the quarantine time to charge batteries and being grateful for have lived the way we do. It’s time to take care of our health and the world, and things will fall into place, they always do. With a little faith and trust, stay calm.

With love & care, Melanie

Ps: another café worth visiting with cool vibes, healthy food and yummy cakes, cookies and milkshakes: rawcoco!

Travel

Breathe ~ Marbella

Cake makes me happy;)
Cheese cake & tiramisu carrot cake
Kale salad & carpaccio

This restaurant has a lovely ceiling with natural plants hanging down, alongside lamps giving the room a bohemian style and vibe. Only downside is that you’ll have to be loud to get heard if you want a conversation across the table haha. Anyways, when the food is delicious, you stop talking and just eat right.. Maybe that’s the reason why?

Because the menu we were served, was absolutely fabulous with its flavors and textures, well combined together in taste and presentation. I choose a healthy kale salad with a refreshing citrus dressing, added with parmesan and caramelized nuts, topped with carrot and orange slices to give vibrant color, which made it a nice starter. Oh, and with leafy greens you absorb nutrients and digest better with c-vitamin foods combined, therefore have that in mind next time you’re making a spinach or kale salad! The other starters were as tasty and man it was hard to choose! Luckily I got to try a bite of the carpaccio my best friend chose. The beef slices just melted on my tongue! For main dish I had sea bass, and same effect it had as it entered my mouth.. And to top it all off, an interesting combo of carrot cake and tiramisu as dessert. It was as I had been brought back to Italy, with it’s amazing mascarpone cream layers.

Rumors has it that underneath this restaurant there is it’s cafe “Ground”, having delicious cinnamon rolls and other freshly baked goods. That’s next on my list;) … In a while.

It’s all now surrealistic and strange due to the corona virus with businesses and restaurants shutting down. The world is exploring a lock down and it’s like we are entering into a different world and life, which we are.. This was one week ago, when things seemed normal and all worries were put aside about corona. However, now we need to take precautions and take this serious matter into action. If we want to go back to our normal lives, we need to stop the spreading NOW. Be respectful, think of the global picture and take care of each other by doing what’s best for each and one of us with putting ours and others health first.

With love and care, Melanie

Travel, Well Being

Road trip to Ronda ~ España

On a sunny Sunday, me and my best friend decided to seize the day by taking the car from Marbella to Ronda, taking us only 1h to reach the place. I realize it’s so important to unfold your creativity and live life to the fullest! And what better way than putting the music on high volume, dance and sing in the car and just feel the good feels! Also the scenery around us as we drove up the curvy roads up through the mountain hills, was absolutely beautiful.

The stunning viewpoint from Ronda

I believe these days where you have the opportunity to disconnect, find new inspiration and strength to keep moving forward in your craft is really necessary for you to endure the everyday life and challenges you face. It’s a great idea to escape for a day, explore and enjoy the gift we’ve been given called life! And, share it with someone you love and care about, the experience is forever memorable.

“Stay close to people who feel like sunshine”

From this viewpoint we walked around the park, noticing beautiful, blooming peonies flowers welcoming us. It was also magical as the sun stroke light through the palm trees. As you walked from the entrance gate towards the view at the end, it was almost as a dream walking on a staircase to heaven. Taking you to a beautiful place where worries, evilness and destruction didn’t exist, only a kingdom of beauty and peace.

Beautiful peonies in its glory
Sunlight striking through the garden at the center of the park
Fountain spot where you’ll find tranquility

I highly recommend to unleash your creativity, to be around people who makes you happy and share the moment with them, which will be a memory for life, an affirmation that you are living out your gift during your time on earth. Oh, and embrace all the beauty life offers you!!!

With love and care, Melanie

Travel

Cala Cortina ~ Spain

A true paradise with turquoise water and stone hills around the bay. It lies hidden behind the mountains, almost like a treasured place that is difficult to spot! Since it’s not too many tourists who knows about it, you’ll find it mostly occupied by the local Spanish people.

Next to the beach lies a Spanish authentic restaurant, offering you the special dishes from the area and gives you a taste of the sea and the Spanish food culture. You can order tapas like pulpo, marinera, tortilla de patatas, almendras and the list goes on.. I definitely recommend the tapas dishes I mentioned above. You will feel yourself blending into their culture and relaxed vibe:)

A very special dish from this area is “Caldero” – cooked rice in fish broth with herbs and spices, served with cold fish and aioli! It can remind you of a paella, but it’s so different. For sure it is filling, but you don’t want to stop eating it because it’s so good haha.

The Mediterranean Sea is so beautiful, spot the view at the top of the hill.

At the background you see the city of Cartagena, Cala Cortina lies 10 min away and here you also get to see old fortresses from back in the time where it was one of the important harbor cities in the world and needed protection from not getting conquered.

I love how the wild nature is present, it’s like escaping from the modern era we live in and sink into tranquility and meditation.

The water is crystal clear. As I was sitting at the rocks enjoying the view, I couldn’t stop gazing at the beautiful reflection of the sun hitting the sea water, making it shimmery and glittery✨

This was from a Saturday spent some weekends ago. I indeed recommend to escape to nature after a tough and stressful week at work or daily life, it truly makes you calmer and more rested for a new week ahead of you:)

Travel

Àguilas ~ Spain

At this time of the year the carnival celebration is also big in Spain! And here they go all in with parade, dancing and costumes too. It’s really fun to see how everyone participates, from family, to teenagers, to old people! Make sure not missing it while it’s happening during weekends in February.

Also this hidden Mediterranean village has a lot to offer. I loved walking at the beach promenade and strolling in the narrow neighborhoods. There is a fortress on top of the hill, which leads to a breathtaking view at the top overlooking the ocean and the place.

On the picture above you will see a the restaurant which is at the top of the hill too! It looks amazing to sit down there and enjoy the view while eating:)

Absolutely love this neighborhood! My favorite color is turquoise and I couldn’t stop taking pictures haha.

You realize now that it’s a paradise right!

Hoping this could be a travel inspiration for you:)

Travel

Murcia ~ Spain

Here you see the Cathedral Church of Saint Mary. It’s absolutely stunning and more stunningly when you take a visit inside. There are so many details to look at, truly a masterpiece. I had my eyes on it while sitting down at the square and watching it when it was sunset. To see the different shades of sunlight striking it, was eye gazing, magical. I sat there at café Valor, eating churros around 5 pm, surrounded by locals who did the same, blending well with their culture and absolutely loving it.

Other plaza spots to enjoy than Plaza Catedral de Murcia are:

Plaza Santa Domingo

Plaza de las Flores

Murcia is small to be a big city, but I love that. And moreover, I love that you can feel and sense the Spanish culture in every corner. You get to see how locals live a relaxed lifestyle without stress despite living in a city. You don’t see people rushed, no you’ll find them sitting at the benches at the plazas or eating tapas. It feels more like a village with not much traffic or noice. This is what makes it so enjoyable spending time in this city, especially during weekend.

So, eager to feel the spirit of Murcia? I got it covered for you:) Here are my favorite things to do when in the city and best places to eat at!

Real Casino de Murcia

The inside interior is amazing!

Monasterio del Corpus Christi Augustinas Descalzas

This reminds me of a miniature version of Alhambra in Granada. Absolutely love the pool and the architecture.

Since the city is known for eating and drinking culture and not so much about attractions, that’s kind of not a downside for me because I love eating hehe. So here is the list:)

Restaurants / Tapasbar ~ Typical Spanish

* Navarros

* Salzillo

* Morata

* La Taverna

Cute café places

* El gallinero

* Cafélab ~ serves toast, coffee, lattes, teas

* Socolá ~ best brunch place in town although the only one haha. But still counts when they serve amazing food! More about the place in a new blog post.

Sweet tooth

* Baklava ~ serving delicious Turkish sweets

* Godis ~ serves amazing gofres / Belgian waffle

* Socolá ~ amazing pancakes and cakes!

Mercado de Correos

A food hall or food heaven, offering all kinds of foods and what an atmosphere there is to sit inside there.

I liked especially the ice cream of course..

After this guide of Murcia, I’m convinced you are as convinced as me, that you need to visit this city in Spain;)

Travel

Hondarribia ~ España

I love the houses here, it’s such a charming atmosphere. The city has an old town where you can get lost in the small and narrow streets. It lies on the top of the fortress and takes you back to ancient times.

It’s funny because the houses reminds me of being in the Swiss alps! Was I really in Spain?! This place is also very close to the French border! The French people come over either by boat or car to enjoy themselves with tasty wine and delicious tapas. I get why… Since I was accompanied with local Spanish people who knew what was best, they encouraged me to try their locally produced white wine which is called “vino txakoli”, amazingly I liked it a lot and I’m not a whine lover! So try that one when you’re here;)

They have seriously good seafood here! It’s fresh and local, the tuna was amazing and their famous fish soup was super tasty! North of Spain do live up to their reputation for great cooked food. Aaand by my surprise, they had dangerously good ice cream here! Go to Gelateria Valenciana and satisfy your tastebuds.. It’s just across the other side of the walking passage waiting for you after your meal.

It was a magical day 12th of July, here you see the streets of the old town with the view towards the sea.

Travel

Basque Country ~ Playa de Sopelana

It was my first time being in Basque Country. I felt like I was no longer in Spain. Here it was greener, there were wild mountains and cliffs. The beach was also so different to what a Spanish southern beach I was used to. The tied would change with 6 meters and people had to move all the time as the water would catch them! It was a delightful sight to see the rocks and the mountains surrounding us by the ocean.

What a peaceful and grounding eye catching moment this was. I definitely recommend coming here as there are less tourists, the nature is so wildly beautiful and you can go hiking, mountain tracking and surfing here!

Oh, but come here in July when it’s warm and the water is not too cold;) That was the month I was there, the climate and the ocean was just perfect!

Travel

Barcelona

Barcelona has so much to offer with great cafés and restaurants at every corner to amazing architecture. I love having a walk in this city, there are so many places and streets to discover. One place I discovered and became quickly a favorite is the café “Brunch & cake”. I absolutely adore this place, the atmosphere and the vibes, but more importantly the food they serve! It’s served fun and playful on your plate. It’s made with passion and that’s why I love it. Of course a plate can look good and not taste good, but here they do both things good which is a win win!

In Barcelona you can find five cafés of this name, I personally love “Cup & cake” the most, it’s small and intimate, for me more cozy and somehow they serve the food the best by all of the cafés this chain has! The other one which comes after is bigger and is also nice, it is at the street called Rosselló.

The menu offers a lot of healthy options and I did go “bananas” and got indecisive with what to choose! I can’t blame myself, you’ll understand too once you see the menu.. From pancakes, to healthy vegan burger, to açaí bowl, sugar free muffins, avocado toasts to delicious salads, I mean come on, how can you choose??

So next time you are in Barcelona, “Brunch & cake” or “Cup & cake”, is the place!

Here is their website to check out more:

http://www.cupcakesbarcelona.com/shops-brunchcake/?lang=en