OMG, only just yesterday (four days later than premiere!) I watched the Jurassic World trailer and OMG I can’t wait!!!
But where were my nerdy friends all the time? They could’ve warn me that the official trailer was out after too many hoaxes!! I’ve waited for this forever!
And of course the Star Wars VII trailer premiered earlier this week too. CRAZY. Some nerdy time coming up in 2015, I’ll need my nerdy friends with me next year…
In other news.. my lazy Sunday movie was Charade (1963) this week with Audrey Hepburn, so classy! All her outfits were by Givanchy and the film was filmed in Paris… Audrey + Givenchy + Paris = eye porn. You figured out, I really enjoyed the film (and it was a good thriller too, did not guess who was guilty of charge until the very last bit of the film!).
For Amsterdam Curated I was invited to visit Anne, the play about the story of Anne Frank. Before the play, we were dining with a select group at the restaurant of Theater Amsterdam, ‘Boven de Planken’ and after the play we got a little backstage tour.
The food was good!! The menu was simple (three courses, veggie, meat and fish), the starter and the dessert looked amazing and the service was good. There was a large wine menu, and the best: you could order drinks before the start of the play, and in the intermission they were already served! The. Best.
The play itself was really intense, as it’s not a happy ending story. It was heavy and confronting to see the things you read about in a play, but I think they did a really good job turning the diary into a play! Bizarre.
I took a lot of photos, and still waiting for the official photos of the play, but I already wanted to share the dinning photos before writing a review about the restaurant and location on Amsterdam Curated. After the play we got a little backstage tour, it was really interesting to see where the different settings in the play where going and how detailed they are made!
Hasselbladhas expanded its compact luxury line with the ‘stellar II’, a camera crafted exclusively for collectors and photography aficionados. Woah, I want that cam!! If you’ve been following me the past few years, you know that I do freelance photography work. But perhaps you also know I try to live a minimalistic life. How do I combine these two, as cameras come with gear. A lot of gear… I try to not spoil myself anymore with new cameras, the ones I have now (must say, I think I own about 15+ cameras.. told you I TRY to live minimalistic ;)) are more than enough for every things I want. I have analogue cameras, I have instax cameras, digital cameras, DSL cameras… but no Hasselblad. Hm, maybe… this is the perfect Christmas present for me. But maybe I should just leave it by dreaming. Who knows! Oh, the camera is €1650,- haha..
I wrote about Turn On The Lights every past year on Amsterdam Curated. This year was extra special, because I was invited to watch the show from the VIP deck.
There was gluhwein, small dishes and it was cold, so they gave away scarves. Yaay! Turn On The Lights is the (new) tradition of the opening of the festive season in Amsterdam. I watched the show next to the mayor – just to make sure I had the best view possible 😉 It was freezing and soo cold (especially if you have to wait a long 40 minutes!) but the show was great! I filmed a lot, so more about that soon (probably in this week’s vlog!)
I can’t describe how happy I felt after I noticed that Laura Poitras is coming to Amsterdam for a Q&A after the screening of her new film CITIZENFOUR. And the sadness when I noticed that it was already SOLD OUT. 🙁 But I’m still craaazy curious about the film and can’t wait for when it hits the web. (If I can’t see it legally I’ll go illegal – sorry) (more…)
In the hunt for the perfect high tea, we ended up at Marks & Spencer for an English afternoon. Failure? Nope. I looooved the scones and to be honest wasn’t that hungry so a full high tea would be a bit too much. All cafes were full or didn’t serve delicious tea’s, and in case of an emergency, the English always know what to do. Next time I’m visiting The Hague I really wanna do a Hello Kitty High Tea – I repeat – The Hello Kitty High Tea, looks awesome right?
A real KLM plane turned into a cozy home (I mean ‘aircraft loft’), and you can spend the night!
Calling all airplane aficionados! Fasten your seat belts for this amazing aircraft loft. After crossing the globe 3675 times, this beautiful blue and white jet will be temporarily available as a unique living space (on airbnb!)
On November 28, 29 or 30, you have the chance to spend the night inside this fly apartment. Tell KLM before November 20 why you would like to spend the night. They’ll fly in the winners from anywhere in the world.
Located right besides the runway of Amsterdam’s bustling Schiphol airport, our detached airplane comes with all conveniences and will truly be your home away from home. Inside the bright 366m2 plane with 116 windows you will find a large living room, one master bedroom, two children’s beds, two kitchens and eight small bathrooms. It comes with Wi-Fi, a toaster, a coffeemaker, comfortable first class chairs, a game console and giant cockpit panorama window. Can this be my home?
Step inside the sliding front door and make yourself right at home. There are plenty of books and magazines in our library to enjoy. Take a seat, enjoy 12 meters of leg space and watch other planes take off and land in the back yard.
Rather watch a movie? All time classics like Snakes on a Plane, The Aviator, Top Gun or Disney’s Planes are available on the home cinema system.
The kitchen is small but very functional. It’s equipped with everything you need to prepare your meal: cutlery, pans, ovenware, utensils, etc. There’s also a cooker and a basic stove. Please feel free to use whatever you find in our kitchen and fridge.
The master bedroom comes with a comfortable king size bed that ensures a long haul night’s sleep.
Families with children are welcome. Our amazing kids room will make your kids feel like they’re on cloud nine. It comes with two beds and everything small pilots need to keep themselves busy for hours.
Amazing idea! I bet the number, 95, is because of KLM’s 95th birthday this year, but I wish they could do crazy stuff like this every year! Participate here.
In April I flew to Catania, Sicily to check out the island for my project Unplug & Explore. And oh boy, I had a blast! While staying in the Grand Hotel Baia Verde, I unplugged for the week and explored the island. The weather was extremely pleasant; it was April but already super warm, between 20 and 24 degrees. Hereby my report, divided in three parts: Explore, Unplug, The Hotel. And some general information for if you’d like to visit yourself.
Would you like me to visit your hotel or city? Send me an email email@example.com
Explore As every trip, I had a few things I really wanted to see. Because it’s great to unplug or because it’s a shame you visit the city and not see them.
An Etna hike
Piazza del Duomo
The Orto Botanico dell’Università di Catania
My favorite thing of the whole trip was the hike on the Etna. The hotel arranged a tour for me on a Saturday (Easter Saturday). I was picked up around 9 at the hotel and in about 1,5 hours we drove to the Etna. In the car the tour guide told me a bit more about the Etna and the region, which was very interesting. I didn’t know Volcano areas are so interesting! You learn about it in school, but when you’re actually there yourself, it’s so much more interesting! The road trip was great for learning more about the Etna region and the small villages you drive through are amazing.
The Etna is the most active volcano of Europe (ieeeh!) but it’s completely safe to visit. So there are different layers of Volcano, which are all very different. You have the newer ones, the black ones, the nature rich ones.. so much difference!
On the mount Etna itself there’s also a difference on nature, depending how high you go. I went to Sapienza Refuge (1.986 mt), where I explored the last eruptions and the old Silvestri Craters. Then I visited the nature path of the Etna Park and the view of the Bova Valley. Afterwards we drove back, and visited Zafferana. I visited one of the most famous organic farms and had a lovely wine and honey tasting afternoon. They also offer great organic olive oils, pesto’s and olives. I also visited a volcano cave, which was not that interesting (mostly dark). I’d recommend a tour where you go through Alcantara Gorges, a beautiful river within high volcano walls.
Doing an Etna hike with a tour guide costs you about €40 – €60, going up higher with the cableway costs you about €30 more. Bring good shoes as you can take more adventurous ways to climb the mountain, where it might snow (I’d definitely suggest that route!). I’m afraid of hights but did it anyways, it was incredible scary but so much fun once I was down again 😉
Unplug Of course I was unplugged most of the time, but the hotel offers something I had to review… wifi! Which makes the hotel great for business trips, because besides the wifi they offer a few very classy meeting rooms! I could easily use the wifi while laying on the side of the pool of the hotel… great for keeping Instagram updated about how good life is.. 😉
The hotel offers so much relaxing that it was hard to leave and unplug in the city… my suggestions for unplugging in Sicily:
Visit one of the beaches. Hotel Baia Verde has a private beach, so there’s again no hurry to leave the hotel. But there are also many, many places in the nature where you can stop, read a boo and picnic.
Stay around the Hotel pool. The hotel pool is big enough to hold a few groups, so there’s probably always space for you.
Hotel Baia Verde owns a mini spa, how perfect is that? You can get massages, facials, spray tan (in case you’re afraid to show up near the pool.. go there first!) and a private gym, free to use for every hotel guest. This part of the hotel will keep you busy for a good day.
Go for a run! One thing I noticed immediately was the amount of runners passing by.. great I had my running shoes with me! I also tried out the gym, which is great when it’s already dark outside and you’d like to do some strengthening exercises.
Visit The Orto Botanico dell’Università di Catania. A quit place in every city, the one in Catania is actually pretty massive. With an area -Hortus Siculus- with only Sicilian plants. 150 years old but still a nice, quit place to spend an afternoon. Bring a book and something to drink and you’ll have a lovely day! I spent there a good few hours and left pretty relaxed.
The Hotel; Grand Hotel Baia Verde Snap Traveller arranged my stay at the Grand Hotel Baia Verde and it was an absolute pleasure. The personnel was super kind, and the room was more than perfect. And like you read before, the hotel offers great ways to unplug. If I could live there I absolutely would. But how about the rooms? The hotel is great for everybody: they offer small apartments -ideal for families-, luxurious rooms, smaller rooms and rooms with a view. And the best room: the ‘sea view suite’ the most beautiful sea view I’ve ever seen! Like you’re on a boat! I had a room with a view which was pretty luxe. A bed bigger than me (and probably more m2 than my apartment in Amsterdam – oh how lovely!), a sea view and a terrace. I’d definitely recommend that type of room to everybody visiting the hotel, as I believe it’s the best one (besides the suite with the sea view of course!). There’s nothing like waking up with a sea view, walking a few steps to the swimming pool or having breakfast on your terrace. Hmm.. talking about breakfast, it was great! I’m eating gluten and dairy free, which is always a challenge in Italy… but the hotel offered me great gluten free options. And not only crackers for me, also some madeleine’s! Yaay, every morning I got a different kind of gluten free breakfast, which is great if you’re staying longer than one night.
My room had a small desk, and more importantly two universal contacts – I forgot my worldwide charger for my camera so this was great! The only thing that made my stay at Hotel Baia Verde a little bit harder than necessary: I didn’t have a car. And the hotel is far from the city center and the busses.. ohh the busses don’t drive on time. Actually.. there aren’t times and sometimes I had to wait more than an hour. This caused me a lot of unnecessary stress (is the bus stil coming? How do I get home..). Of course I could have get a cab, but that was about €30, and the bus was only €1 for 90 minutes.. or free if you’re a dare devil.. because the bus is not a common used transportation, no one bats an eye if you don’t have a ticket. But it’s so cheap, why bother not buying tickets? Just make sure you buy them in advance on the station or in the city, as there isn’t a way to get a ticket in the bus itself or near the hotel. The hotel has a large restaurants, where they will make their way to make you a meal, even if it’s off the menu. Like a gluten free one 🙂
Information/Transportation/Etc. Arriving in Italy it was kinda hard to speak with anybody because no one, and I mean absolutely no one speaks English. So bring your language book if you have one. Prepare some basics so you can find your way, as the public transportation is not organised at all, even the bus drivers don’t understand you. They don’t announce the bus stops, so I’d recommend driving while it’s light outside. My first bus ride was in the dark and I’d never recommend that to anyone, I was lost. Terrible. A bus ticket is only €1 for 90 minutes. Sicily itself is reasonable priced, you can use euros. I flew from Amsterdam with Transavia, which is a great airline. On the way back we were even complete way before departure time, so we left earlier, which was great. This way I had my connection in Amsterdam, the plane was half empty, and everybody had about 6 chairs to sleep on. A special thanks to Snap Traveller and Grand Hotel Baia Verde!
A little while ago I visited the Etsy showroom for some Christmas inspiration. And although it was only September (I believe?), I was in the mood for Christmas immediately. It’s always fun to see a webshop come to life, and although Etsy is a marketplace, it’s safe to say that I love that shop. I wrote a small report on my visit for Unicorn/Dream magazine, so head over and get in the Christmas spirit.
In this show it’s all about celebrating freedom, empowering women and selling confidence. I’m talking about the new must see fashion tv show: The house of DVF. I think everybody loves Diane, how can you not? You might have seen a little behind the scenes before on The City, but now it’s time to shine in her own show. She’s on the search for a young girl to give the girl the opportunity of a lifetime: the company’s legacy (the brand’s brand ambassador). Wow, I wish I signed up 😉
Unfortunately I didn’t but I’ll watch the search closely as the show is currently showing (premiere 4th November 2014). More about the show. I just watched episode 1, and I love me a good behind the scenes in fashion show, so yaay!
We live in a world where alcohol bottles wear haute couture these days. How the hell do I keep up with style if even products are wearing high fashion? Too crazy! Versace versace versace. All everybody says when I start talking about the brand. Disaronno gave its bottle a new jacket, a Versace jacket. I guess that’s an Italy thing, but it sure looks good and more interesting than the ‘standard’ bottle. Now I’m jealous.. this bottle is more fashionable than me these days 😉
The party was at the recently opened hotspot ‘Americano Bar & Kitchen’.
Last night’s Disaronno wears Versace party was a lot of fun, with free Disaronno cocktails, great music (mainly Beyonce. Thanks Sunny!) and a photo booth! Yeah! Next week again? (btw, I filmed the party, so more about that in the next vlog!)