June 19, 2017
We went on a short but sweet trip to Marrakech, Morocco to check out all the fantastic architecture, foods and craftmanship that’s oh-so-fashionable at the moment, seeing morroccan-arabic tendencies in Acne Studios and Celine S/S17 collections to name a few. We spent most of our time in the Medina with its many narrow road, multicolored walls, and salesmen with goat leather shoes and rugs and straw bags.
There are barely any signs, rather if you are going somewhere, you need to know where it is, or have it marked on a map and be attentive to keep track of the little strange roads and try not to end up where you started or in a blind alley. What’s most charming about it is that all of a sudden you walk through a wooden door and enter a little paradise that you would never have expected from the outside. The Medina is full of Riads that look like little Palaces with the most beautiful mosaic tiled floors, walls and ceilings. The word Riad comes from the Arabian term for garden, which it’s basically all about. A traditional Riad has two or more storeys around an interior garden and courtyard, often with banana and orange trees and a little fountain. These used to be homes to the wealthier Moroccan citizens, but as tourism increases each year, many of them are turning into hotels and are thus accessible for international visitors.
We stayed at Riad 72 (http://riad72.com/) in the Medina, such a lovely place. Beautiful, clean and the most adorable staff patiently answering all my stupid questions and requests.
We stayed at this room the first night but got upgraded to the suite on the second day. Comfy beds, pretty bathroom and hey look at this little private terrace and outdoor shower.
We spent our days walking walking walking, in circles I am sure, constantly getting lost, but that was OK. So much to look at. We had a lot of coffee, morroccan lamb/veggie stews and hung out in the sun. April/May is really a good time to go, before it gets too hot in the summer months. We had around 30 degrees C during daytime, and it could actually get a bit chilly at night.
June 3, 2017
I am in Barcelona for the weekend! Primavera Sound Festival is on and I’m going to see Solange perform for the first time ever (psyked!!); Miguel dirty dance to Adorn you and Bon Iver to yet again make my eyes wet.
I did a short guide for you guys if you’re around or if you’re planning a trip here soon; enjoy!
- Casa Bonay Hotel. Coolest boutique hotel in the city. Stay here, or drop by for a drink or coffee in the Libertine bar.
- Hotel Brumell. Casual luxury little urban oasis.
- Airbnb: so many beautiful airbnb.listings in this city such as this one https://www.airbnb.se/rooms/602550?location=barcelona&s=q6jkU2gX
- Eldiset. Great tapas restaurant in El born area.
- El Nacional. Fancy foodcourt with a great buzz
- Xemei. One of the best italian restaurants I’ve been to in a long time. Start with the burrata and work your way through the menu.
- Nino Viejo. Mexican restaurant and taqueria run by Paco Méndez and Albert Àdria (brother of Ferran). Lively, colourful and yummm!
- Boca grande and cocktail bar Boca Chica. Delicious food and beautiful maximalist interior by designer Lazaro Rosa Violan (same who designed Stockholm’s Nosh and Chow)
- Paradiso. Look for a Pastrami shop and walk down into a little design oasis behind a secret door. Great cocktails and artwork.
- L’Antic Teatre. Located in a narrow street just off the big street Via Laietana. The theatre incorporate a lot of different activities and shows; music, dance, art exhibitions, poetry reading… and last but not least they have a lovely outdoor garden bar terrace.
- Dr Stravinsky. Awesome cocktail bar with skilled bartenders and beautiful decor.
- 33/45. Cool bar in El Raval area. Perfect stop for a beer and GT on your way out in the night.
- SKYE coffee Co. Coffee truck inside a big airy factory space half way between La Sagrada Familia and the beach.
- Flax and Kale. Beautiful healthy cafe around the corner from MACBA museum of contemporary art
- Satans coffee corner. Nerdy coffee place in El Gothic. Strong coffee in a small but pretty space, just the way we like it.
May 26, 2017
Lux: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, 905 Country Club Rd
Mid: Ojai Rancho Inn, 615 W Ojai Ave
Budget: Casa Ojai Inn, 1302 E Ojai Ave
May 8, 2017
I did a roadtrip in California in collaboration with Hertz for a week in April. Below are my highlights throughout the week, some roadtrip tips and what not to miss along the way!
My good friend Mattias and I were sponsored with a car by car rental company and Star Alliance partner Hertz and did an instagram takeover for a week! We picked up the car in Los Angeles and hung out here for a day first.
LA was greener and leafier than I’d ever seen it as it has been a relatively rainy winter and this day California governor Jerry Brown declared an official end to the drought emergency that has been going on since 2012.
We visited my friend Hannah who lives in Oakwood close to Larchmont farmers market that I have been writing about here before (see my previous LA guides below). We went to some of my favorite spots in the city such as this little gem pictured above; the Butchers Daughter in Venice, had a poké bowl at Sweetfin Poké along North Larchmond Ave and dinner at Nightmarket + song in Silver Lake.
The next day we hit the road inland towards Palm Springs!
Roadtrip tip; Go before the heavy traffic hits! This is even something that can be a good thing to think about while booking your flight tickets and when to pick up the car from the car rental office. Traffic gets heavy in LA during rush hour and you’ll save hours in driving at other times! This might be obvious for many, but for me living in Stockholm basically never going anywhere by car I really had to remind myself about this.
We hit Palm Springs and crashed at our friends’ house that they rented for a week over Coachella and fueled up for tomorrow’s parties with Gustav, Micke, Karl and Jonathan.
Such an amazing exhausting weekend! Coachella Weekend One 2017 highlights were definitely Kendrick Lamar featuring his first ever performances of the songs from his newly released album DAMN, Haitian - Canadian DJ and producer Kaytranada, all time favorite Bon Iver, Swedish band Little Dragon with their just released album Season High, watching Future bring out Drake on stage and just hanging out eating drinking and dancing in the desert sun with all good friends!
The day after Coachella, we hit the road again but were fortunately reasonable enough not planning a very ambitious route for us to drive this day. We decided to go to Ojai, a little town north west of Los Angeles, known for its lush landscape and great hotels and spas.
If driving directly, it should only take about 3-4 h depending on the traffic, but we also made a few stops along the way;
- The Cabazon Dinosaurs
- Desert Hills Premium Outlet
- Elmers Bottle Tree Ranch
- Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve
We reached Ojai after sunset and we were all very tired so we just checked in to our hotel and slept for 10 hours.
Source: The Los Angeles Times
After checking out Ojai and its pretty little lodges and hotels it was time for us to hit the road again and travel up North along Interstate 101 and Highway 1. We read on the California Department of Transportation website that the Highway 1 was not fully repaired since it was damaged by landslides due to this winters’ heavy rain. We therefore had to skip some parts of our planned route, which was a bit unfortunate. We did however find some new highlights along the way...
Where to stop along the way between LA and San Francisco is a classic question that I usually get so I have done quite a few blogposts about them. You can find them below. This time we did an alternative route and checked out some of the less famous stops.
- Six Flags Magic Mountain Amusement Park: if you’re into huge rollercoasters
- Santa Barbara: For great ice cream, burritos and beach vibes
- Neverland Valley Ranch: ever heard of Michael Jackson?
- San Louis Obispo: really cute little town with some good restaurants and cafes (Kreuzberg pictured above)
- Madonna Inn: craziest hotel, definitely worth it to stop by if only for a coffee
- Morro Bay: beautiful beach and a great surf spot!
- Big Sur: Yea, a classic!
- Monterey: from the series Big Little Lies
- Santa Cruz: For its pretty boardwalk, amusement park and neon lights.
We had some amazing days in San Francisco. Sara and I stayed at Izabelle's place in Mission District, Mattias and Jimmy stayed at a hotel not too far from us. We had so much great food, drinks and lovely weather so we could chill out in Dolores park and walk around in the sun. A San Francisco guide is coming up shortly!
This is Stella
Hi! I am Stella, a true traveler from Sweden! In addition to traveling, I also love music, beautiful things, my boyfriend Gustav and the food he always makes me. And serendipity… such as winning a million EuroBonus points with SAS, like I actually did last year, which enables me to travel around the world. Follow me on my journey!