10 invaluable tips for your trip to Iceland

Iceland is the new hype in travel-land! Thanks to cheaper flights and free stop-overs the country has known a real boom in tourism! I couldn’t stay indifferent either to the gorgeous pics of jaw-dropping waterfalls, photogenic puffins and empty roads, so off I went on a 2-week adventure to the land of fire and ice! I read up a lot beforehand, but there were a few things I didn’t quite expect.  To better prepare YOUR trip, here are: Ten invaluable travel tips for Iceland! 1.Rent a car Yes, Continue Reading

Why Kerala is a different kind of India

So you think you know India? Crowded, polluted and heaving with holy cows? Well, think again! In February, I had the chance to visit the southern state of Kerala and boy, was I in for a surprise! Kerala is different from other parts of India! How? Glad you asked: 1.Where are the cows? I mean, seriously, where are they? A few years ago, I went to the Indian states of Rajasthan and Delhi where roaming cows in the city centre are as common as pedestrians or rickshaws. Everybody gets out of the Continue Reading

Rio de Janeiro: the ultimate travel tips!

Aaah, Rio de Janeiro! A name and place that leaves nobody indifferent! I planned on spending 4 days here, I ended up staying eight! A lot has been said or written about Brazil’s most (in)famous city. But how exactly do you “tackle” Rio? By all means, read on! 1/ Is Rio safe? Rio de Janeiro:  a name that evokes “beach, sun and sex”.  To some… To others Rio apparently evokes “crime, favela’s and hold-ups.  “Oh, be careful!  Are you sure it’s wise to go on Continue Reading

León: the revolutionary side of Nicaragua

The intoxicating smell of grilled meat and the plumes of smoke indicate that I’m close. I’ve just arrived in León, the revolutionary capital of Nicaragua, and my first mission after a long bus ride is to find food. Behind the cathedral I can spot the little chairs and tables of the fritangas. Fritangas are small, casual outdoor food stands that fill the main square just before sunset in most Nicaraguan towns. There’s no menu, it’s point and choose, and the main staple Continue Reading

The most beautiful colonial towns of Brazil

From the southern town of Paraty to the northern city of Olinda: colonial architecture and cobblestone streets can be found all over Brazil. But nowhere is the concentration so high than in the inland state of Minas Gerais. Minas Gerais has long been known for its wealth of minerals and its mining activities, which, together with the goldrush, created huge wealth in the 18th century. The result is a mix of beautifully decorated churches, colonial houses and a peek into the country’s rich Continue Reading

Granada, the colonial jewel of Nicaragua

The trees on the Parque Central provide a welcoming shade from the midday heat. Horses and carriages are waiting for tourists to take them around the town and the open-air terraces are heaving.  Above all that towers the prominent yellow and white Cathedral. I arrived in Granada, presumably Nicaragua’s most beautiful and most popular colonial town. And beautiful it is indeed! The nearby Plaza de la Independencia is an attractive ensemble of colonial architecture with patios hidden behind Continue Reading

Managua, the forgotten capital of Nicaragua

I’m standing on one of Managua’s highest hils, next to the black silhouette of Nicaragua’s national hero, Sandino. From the Loma de Tiscapa, I overlook the Lago de Managua and the Tiscapa lagoon, one of the only green spaces in an otherwise chaotic and busy city. The park is steeped in history. It was once the site of the Casa Presidencial, where Sandino was executed in 1934. For decades, the park was home to one of Nicaragua’s most notorious prisons. The capital of Continue Reading

Salvador da Bahia: beyond the Pelourinho

Colonial architecture, capoeira and Afro-Brazilian culture: these are the clichés that usually come to mind when you think of Brazil’s 3rd biggest city: Salvador da Bahia. And they are all there indeed! All concentrated in the small historic neighbourhood of the “Pelourinho“. You can spend hours walking the steep cobble-stone streets hunting for souvenirs, visiting one of the many beautifully decorated churches or stopping at the Terreiro de Jesus for a Continue Reading

Discover hip and urban Marrakech in the Ville Nouvelle!

The true charm of Marrakech lies inside the medina: a place of endless souks, historical palaces and the famous Djema el Fna square. But Marrakech is also one of Morocco’s most modern cities, home to a yearly international film festival, as well as an arts festival. If you want to have a more complete picture of the city, I’d urge you to stroll around in the Ville Nouvelle, the modern part of Marrakech. Wide boulevards are home to numerous cafés and ice cream parlours, as well as big Continue Reading

How to meet locals while traveling

I don’t know about you, but for me, travelling is a lot more than seeing the sights. Yes, of course I want to visit the Louvre on a Paris trip and yes, I’ve been to Lady Liberty in New York, but what really makes a trip is to meet locals while traveling, to meet the ordinary people like you and me, who live, work and play in the city or country you’re visiting! And no, that doesn’t mean you have to strike up a conversation with every person on the street. (although feel free to do so) Continue Reading