Tag Archives: Activities

Three Weekends In Holland : Maastricht (Part 1)

  

Trendy Maastricht

The Hotel: The Dutch, Maastricht

A great decoration (for Instagram), super cool and friendly team and central location, a stone’s throw from Maastricht train station. The best: our suite with a disco ball and Barry White as a music (photos above 4, 5 & 6)!

In short, The Dutch offers an 80’s twist. It feels so good that you no longer want to leave to visit the city! My heart swings between aerobics and lazy morning (lol). 1, 2 & 3: the lobby and bar of the hotel with a flair of Miami Vice.

Where To Eat

My Selection To Go For Brunch & Lunch

Photo 1. SoDelicious: for a Sunday brunch with good bread and excellent soups (the Thai soup subtly flavored is a delight). Relaxed nice atmosphere, with a great team and a very modern decor.

Photo 3. I really enjoyed the space of the Filmhuis Lumière‘s restaurant in an old ceramic factory. The simple cuisine is healthy and tasty with fresh and delicious salads. After or before, you can attend a cinema screening.

Photo 4. Bijzonder is a really good vegetarian restaurant. We tasted a platter with different restaurant specialties, in a very young atmosphere. It is located near the Grotten Noord (North Caves Maastricht Underground) which can be visited (more details in the “What to do” section below).

Photo 6. Very good burgers at Tapijn Brasserie! A vintage decor that makes me think of an ancient army canteen. It’s better if you have a car, because the restaurant is a pretty far from the historic center.  

My Selection To Go To Dinner

2. Onglet is all good! To access the restaurant with a “New York atmosphere”, you cross a hipster butcher shop. It’s quite exclusive but definitely cool. The meat dishes are to die for (and yet I am not a meat lover, the quality is impeccable) and the non-alcoholic gin and tonic is gorgeousl! Congratulations to Chef Chef Alan Oostrom and the team!

5. I discovered a very Dutch dish, the croquettes which are the specialty of Bistro CroquantThe setting is very pleasant with a mix of local customers and tourists. The atmosphere is more mature and family.

What To Do

Art, Science And History

If you have been to Maastricht several times, you know some of the main activities are to stroll through the picturesque streets of the city, do some shopping and then sit at an outdoor cafe for a long time. Especially when the weather is nice! But the more we enjoy a city, the more we want to discover it.

Photos 1 & 2. In the historic center, the Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht (natural history museum) is in an old building full of charm. We go from one room to another, discovering among others: birds, butterflies and the skeleton of a mosasaur (giant predatory reptile that lived at sea). Fun and exciting! Activities are also organized for children. 

Photos 3 & 4. I really liked the Bonnefanten. A part of the museum is dedicated to ancient art (from 1200 to 1500) and another to contemporary art (Arte Povera). 

Photos 4 & 5. If you like history, I recommend you visit the St. Peter Caves, dug by miners for 10 centuries. We did the private tour with a history-loving guide who showed us the space where the Nazis stored the paintings (of famous masters) they had stolen. Scary. Thankfully these caves were also used to hide Jews and an American pilot during the Second World War.

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Visit Maastricht,

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thanks to the Maastricht Tourism Board for this beautiful invitation. Many thanks to The Dutch Maastricht and all the restaurants mentioned in the article. As always, these are my opinions. .

Egypt : 7 Activities I Did in El Gouna

1. Diving in The Red Sea

Like all scuba diving lovers, I could not ignore a dive in the Red Sea!

During my short stay in El Gouna, I had a nice dive with the Colona Diving Club. I did not dive deep, within 20 meters, but with a good visibility. Perfect as a refresher, after more than a year without diving! The whole team is very professional.

Leaving early in the morning by boat, we returned in the middle of the afternoon. After my first (and unfortunately unique) dive, I had a seasickness because there were a lot of big waves. But the landscape and the color of the water were stunning.

2. Discovering By Bike El Gouna

What is better than a bike ride?

Created 25 years ago north of Hurgada, this small seaside town, facing the Red Sea, is covered with countless lagoons. We ride a bicycle in a gradient of blue and turquoise. Pure happiness for the eyes!

There is a lot of wind and small bridges. We often ride on wooden bridges, while discovering points of view that are difficult to access otherwise. It’s a real pleasure! To experience early in the morning or at the end of the day, to avoid a strong sun.

3. Riding A Quad In The Desert

El Gouna is at the gateway to the desert

So we tested two types of activity to visit “the desert”: the jeep safari and the quad with Alex Safari. Both have strengths. But, I preferred the quad, because the tour is more active and spectacular.

It feels like entering the decor where the dust is master. We drove fast enough, with a first stop in the camp of a Bedouin family.

All along the trail, there are some small stops to “explore” geological curiosities, such as caves (photos above). The highlight of the excursion: the sunset facing the Dry Canyon, a landscape from a western!

5. Relaxing In A Beach Club

Yes, Lazing In The Sun!

We did not look far. Ideally located opposite our hotel, the Three Corners Ocean View, we had lunch and spent the afternoon at the Moods Restaurant & Beach Club.

The view is lovely and the atmosphere young and cool. I felt asleep while scanning the horizon and the sea, listenning some lounge music! Like everywhere in El Gouna, there is a lot of wind (which can be cold).

6. Jeep Safari In The Desert

Back To The Desert!

This time in a jeep! Nice tour (with a stop in the same camp of a Bedouin family) as when we were on quad. Same view for the sunset on the Dry Canyon.

Only the rhythm changes (longer stops along the trail). So I might recommend the jeep if you don’t like the quad, or go with your parents (and they don’t like or drive a quad, lol!). 

7. Dining In The Marina

El Gouna By Night

The two hotels where we stayed are very comfortable. So we had most of our dinners there. That’s why I would not be able to do a review of the restaurants in the marina of El Gouna.

We only dined in a restaurant in the marina : a delicious and delightful experience. And as we strolled along the pontoons cluttered of yachts, I saw several restaurants with beautiful terraces. The atmosphere is very nice and laid back.

I also spotted some shops, like Malaika which offers linens (with Egyptian cotton? Photos below).

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Sunweb.com, diving : www.colona.com, quad & jeep safari :  wwwalexsafarielgouna.com, Moods Restaurant & Beach Club

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many Thanks to Sunweb for this beautiful invitation. And many thanks to Colona, Alex Safari and Moods. As always these are my opinions.

Cabo Verde: What to do in Boa Vista

The Day Trip Jeep Safari

Discovering The Island

This morning, Frank and Andrea Hennick, our guides and owners of the Boa Vista Tours agency, pick us up at our hotel for a day trip in Boa Vista Island. We are a small group of about ten people in two comfortable jeeps. As the couple is German, the tour is in German. But as my friend and I do not speak German, Andrea will translate the essentials of the program in English.

We take the Route 66 paved by the women of Boa Vista, from what I understood. We cross the inland of the island, the landscape is arid and deserted and almost unreal. We will stop in Bofareira, a small village. Far from mass tourism, our guides have forged strong bonds of friendship with the villagers. We can feel a mutual respect. It sounds true and simple. And also “cliché” in a time of big cynicism. We visit the new small school, a project in which Frank participates. Some of us brought clothes and school supplies for the young students. Then we slowly take the road towards the coast.

We arrive near more tourist areas, but always avoiding the crowd. We have lunch in an idyllic beach, at the pleasant beach bar Pérola d’Chaves serving local specialties, run by a Cape Verdean woman who lived in Germany. Charming and quiet: the kind of place you don”t want to leave. In the afternoon, we go south with the huge beaches of Santa Mónica and Varandinha. Incredible scenery under a strong wind! In return, driving on the dunes of Morro d’Areia (behind the beaches). The more “adventurous” of us experience sandboarding. In short, thanks to Frank and Andrea who have a deep attachment for Boa Vista and its inhabitants, we spent a fantastic day full of discoveries and emotions. No need to speak German to participate in this wonderful excursion!

The Quad Tour

The South Coast of Boa Vista

My second time driving quad, a great moment! Lololol! This time, the activity organized by TUI extends over an afternoon (4 hours) in a breathtaking setting!

When we arrive at the quad rental center, the team gives us the equipment and explains us how to drive safetly the quad. First tip, take a plastic bag to put your belongings, so the sand doesn’t dirty them. Second tip, also take an old sweater (the wind can be cold when driving, especially at the end of the day). And basic advices, if you do not want to burn in the blazing sun: a thin long-sleeved shirt on a tank top (when you stop at a spot, it’s hot), comfortable pants with light sneakers (and socks, the sand is highly irritant) and sunglasses. In short, a good dose of common sense not very glamorous! 

We are divided into two major language groups: French and English. We will all do the same tour, one group will leave before the other and we will meet at some stops. The activity is very well supervised and secure : several instructors and some with an emergency quad that circulates back to check that none of us has any problem. Heading south of the island, the landscapes are stunning and very rocky. We crisscross on a track surrounded by small ocher hills. Then we stop in a village to buy water. We continue to the coast, where we park the quads back from the beach. In this untouched scenery, I have a feeling of infinity. When we return, nonchalantly the day goes down. I am full of sand, but what a beautiful experience! Athletic.

Visiting Sal Rey

Following the beach line

Sal Rei is the main city of Boa Vista Island. The city is small (9000 inhabitants according to Le Petit Futé guide) and very quiet. So very quickly we decide to return to our hotel by the beach, a good hour of walking taking our time. I really liked the walk, the coastline is not yet disfigured by too many resorts. There are long beaches without construction, euphoric for the eyes! We meet local and tourist walkers and runners. A lot of kitsurfers and very few beach clubs.

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Tours : Boa Vista Tours & TUI

Flying to Cabo Verde : Tui Fly   

Where to sleep : Riu Palace Hotel

Related posts : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thanks to Boa Vista Tours, TUI, TUI Fly and Riu Palace Hotel. As always, these are my opinions.