Bali Trip

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I must say that traveling back to Bali was something I always was a little bit afraid of. Having lived there for a year in 2011 I dreaded seeing all the changes due to excessive building, tourisme and pollution. Due to the increase of population the island had radically changed into a hectic traffic nightmare. The southern side of the island is not the best for kids, the sea is way to rough and not very clean however if you are into food and shopping eat your heart out!

Rent a scooter in the area of Seyminyak, Canggu or Umalas and make your way through the maze of endless restaurants and shops for both inerior and clothes.

Here’s my shortlist…

Restaurants:

Sarong http://sarongbali.com/

Biku http://bikubali.com/

Earth Cafe http://www.earthcafebali.com/

Mama San http://www.mamasanbali.com/

Made’s Warung http://madeswarung.com/

Desa Seni is also one of the best yoga venues http://www.desaseni.com/

Cafe Organic http://cafeorganicbali.com/

Ku de ta (just for a sundowner) http://www.kudeta.com/

La Luciolla for an easy quiet lunch with sea view https://www.tripadvisor.nl/Restaurant_Review-g469404-d804047-Reviews-La_Lucciola-Seminyak_Bali.html

Ryoshi http://www.ryoshibali.com/

Dahana for some seriously good Japanse food http://www.dahanabali.com/

Shops:

Magali Pascal http://www.magalipascal.com/

Lulu Yasmine http://www.luluyasmine.com/

Milk & Roses http://milkandrosesboutique.com/

Daune http://www.daunandco.com/

Great inspiring day trips:

Green School https://www.greenschool.org/

Five Elements Spa http://www.fivelements.org/en/

So scooter your way through traffic and be sure to wear your helmet even though it might ruin your looks;-)))

x

 

Bewaren

Bewaren

Bewaren

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Ibiza…

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Ibiza, you have to admit, it still is fun!

The scorpio island has changed so much over the past few years and gotten very busy but it still has the magic that once made it a hippie, bohemien hangout for creatives from all over the world.

So where do we go now? Here are some of my tips & tricks to survive, even with kids! Ibiza is a great destination with friends or as a family vacation.

Breakfast:

  • Cappuccino in the marina with a great view of the old town
  • Can Guimo; small hippie place with homemade breakfast, lunch etc. It is next to the road in San Lorenzo
  • Passion Cafe has various restaurants all over the island. The place for healthy juices and great food.
  • Croissant Show in the old town for a french breakfast
  • Jockey Club only if you are very early

Lunch:

  • Aqua Blanca for the best sandwhiches ever
  • Es Torrent for excellent service and fresh fish
  • Los Enamorados in the North of the island
  • Paloma Cafe the lunch in the campo
  • Il Giardinetto, Italian food in the Botafoch harbor. Simple but very consistently good Italian food!
  • Babylon beach in St. Eulalia
  • Cala Bonita at s’Estanyol; new, great staff and food

Diner favorites:

  • La Luna del Orto
  • Cicale the other great Italian
  • Es Caliu for the meat lover
  • Macao in busy St. Gertrudis
  • Les Terasses for a special Moroccan or Thai night

Feel like doing something different? Catch the ferry (or rent a boot) to Formentera and rent an old fashioned Mehari or a bike! Lunch options are numerous but make sure to book ahead as some are quite popular. Here are some great places:

  • Chezz Gerdi
  • Beso
  • Tiburon
  • 10.7

Don’t forget to try the local drink, hierbas but drink it on the rocks🙂

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Sri Lanka time

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For a while this had been on my Bucket list. A country with a rich past, gorgeous beaches and beach taking inland nature.

Our family trip started off in Galle. A cute little town with a rich history of the Portugees, Dutch and English settlers. Now it is being renovated and has numerous cafe’s, boutique hotels, shops and great restaurants.

Here is a short list!

Where to stay:

  • Fort Bazaar Hotel
  • Galle Fort Hotel
  • Amangalle
  • Mango House

Where to eat:

  • Tuk Tuk
  • Amangalle
  • Tuna & Crab
  • Poonie’s Kitchen
  • Fortaleza

One more thing, I know Sri Lanka is known for its tea. Not so strange that coffee is not a priority but for me with a slight coffee addiction, it is hard waking up! In Galle, after a little trial and error exercise the Fort Bazaar has my vote!

To do tips:

Go surfing! Just outside of the fort is Devata beach. Grab a tuk tuk to the Shack where you can rent a board, book a lesson and have a bite to eat. Open for breakfast.

Go to the beach and have lunch:

  • Wijaya Beach
  • WB beachclub
  • Talpe Beach Restaurant

If you have more time and want to really get Some waves drive down to Arugam Bay. It is quite a drive (4,5 hours) but well worth it. Book a room at Hideaway and enjoy the laid back surfers paradise.

 

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My favorite restaurants in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, my home town… Love this city! With all it’s different neighbourhoods, farmers’ markets, the beautiful canals which never bore you and not to forget dozens of great restaurants. Here’s a little short list with my favorites:

  • Toscanini… the famous Italiaan
  • George Bistro for the best burger (yep sorry, they won!)
  • Gebroeders Hartering for a ‘old Amsterdam’ surrounding and simply amazing food
  • Buffet van Odette the not to miss lunch (breakfast, dinner too!)
  • Hotel Goudfazant good food in a huge and cool old garage
  • Choux near central station is a precious little gem
  • Krua Thai for authentic Thai food
  • Marius is more intimate yet simple, and not to forget Worst next door
  • Restaurant Breda delicate tastes and great decor
  • Ku Kitchen’s Asian food and cocktails
  • De Klepel always has a great set menu
  • Brut de Mer oysters yeah!!!!
  • The Seafood Bar for your classic ‘fish dish’
  • Sama Cebo the Indonesian oldtimer, get a spot in the brasserie!

More to follow… Enoy!!!

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Tulum


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Took me years to get there and damn why did I not pick up my gear and go earlier? Something about the way Cancun has been in de media, the stereotypes of Mexicans, the drug traffic problems and the unhealthy Mexican food eaten in the West that have kept me from travelling to this huge and beautiful country.

Boy I was wrong. Even though it is a country with yes huge drug problems these areas can easily be avoided as an informed and intellegent traveller and yes big parts have been ruined by toerism and have nothing to do with the real beauty of Mexico.

Being quite ignorant of the diversity of the culture we were immediately intriged by this ancient culture. Flew into Cancun and left as soon as possible, ok ok one Starebucks coffee to go… Even just writing that can give you a hint as to how fast you should leave that place:-) We drove to Merida, visited Progresso at the coast. And drove through Izamal where all the houses are painted yellow! Then stopped at a hacienda along the way to have lunch. The natural resources and handycrafts blew me away. I think Nicolas and his wife of Coqui Coqui did a great job at using indiginous handycrafts to show in simply jaw dropping jewels, clothing, fabrics, handmade hats, leather good and perfumes what they are capable of making.

Vallalolid is a great stop to get a better feel of the Yucatan cuture. Travel down to Coba for Mayan ruins. Chitchen Itza is great but the hords of toerists make it feel less special. Somehow even though you know you are probably the zillionst toerist visiting you still have this ‘adventurous’ feeling that you want to persuade yourself of. Trust me, when you see those buses arriving that feeling is nowhere to be found, so if you go make it a quicky…!

And then precious Tulum; the new place to be. Go off season and still find the peacefull side of this little peace of paradise. Having seen quite a bit of beautiful places this place did strike me as special. Why? Well I have this theory that every spot first dicovered by hippies are the best. The nature is unusually  breathtaking, the energie is good, fertile grounds which consequently leads to fresh produce and great food.

So go, relaxe, breathe, take a yoga class or two and enjoy. Don’t plan, let go, sleep, eat, swim and have a mojito or two..!

Tips:

Yaan Wellness

Yaan Wellness for the best treatments ever, extremely pricey but out of this world. You can actually feel that the therapist is loving and giving her or himself in the treatment. Tuning in to you as a individual person. Try the ‘egg’ reading treatment, old mexican tradition and mind blowing. Or just go for a daily yoga class, beautiful.

Uno AstroLodge

An old hippie ‘community’ and lodge on the beach. Join Bobby Klein here for weekly meditaion session on Thursday at 16:00. Donation of 100 pesos. Truelly a special experience and not to be missed.

Cenotes

Do not miss out on the Cenotes. This made our family vacation! Kids loved it and were intrigued by the underwater tunnels. Even though it might seem like a touristic thing to do, the beauty of these ‘caves’ will blow you away. Or just use it to really cool down as the fresh water is super cold!

Restaurants:

Hartwood: get in line or reseve a table for 8 online

Posada Margerita allthough the chef didn’t have his best day when we visited. Great shop though!

El Galeon: best taco’s from an old streamliner next to the road

Casa Jaguar

Arca

Gitano has good food and great live music

Pasha for kebab, humus and falafel

Places to stay:

There are actually endless possibilities and different options in luxury, atmosphere and price. The choice is yours!

Nomade

Papaya Playa Project

Uno Astrolodge

Ahua Tulum with surfkiteschool on the beach

BeTulum (no kids allowed)

 

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Favela in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Traveling with my two kids is one of my greatest joys in life. The adventure and energy are highly addictive. This pic is one of my favorites, their faces are pure joy even though they had to smile on command:-)

 

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Ibiza hotspot Mikado

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Spring in Ibiza is the best time to enjoy the green fields, wild flowers and blossoming almond trees. We were there for the Easter break and it was absolutely gorgeous! Living in a city the nature was so overwhelming, instantly made me feel alive and more connected. Waking up when it is still chilly outside and having a coffee next to the fireplace, what can possibly go wrong after a start like that?

We had lunch at Mikado, a great thai or asian restaurant in the center of St. Gertrudis. The food was fresh, well seasoned (sort of essential in the asian kitchen) and not very expensive. The kids had chicken saté and we ordered almost every starter on the menu… La Escollera is my other all-year round favorite. Lunch was again, as always, simply delicious.

The best 4 day break ever! No crowds, pure nature and a blue sky…

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Trancoso

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Boho chique, barefoot luxury… This place has got it all! The staff is lovely, food is delicious and Trancoso is the ultimate hide-away. Travel here in the summer and find a relaxed, deserted little town away from the crowds. However if you travel here in December or January expect a big party crowd that will keep you awake and busy well after midnight.

Uxua Trancoso

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Colombia

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Wow! Who would have believed a couple of years ago that travelling to Colombia would ever be safe again? Well it is! And so NOW is the time to go!

It is the new vibrant South American destination. Not only is the culture a treat but wait until you find out about the endless food options. With loads of influences from Peru, you can find loads of fresh ceviche and fish in Cartagena. Absolutely loved this town. It has a mix of an old European colony and the warm vibrant Colombian upbeat atmosphere. Medellin is the hang out for ‘digital nomads’ and the coastline is still pure and untouched.

Hotel tips for Cartagena: La Passion (bit out of fashion but great location), Ananda Hotel, Casa Blanca and Hotel Casa Pestagua. If you want to treat yourself; Santa Clara is your best bet.

Restaurants in Cartagena: La Perla is a delicious small Peruvian restaurant where you can eat ceviche with a great glass of wine. Feel like a good steak? This is the place to be: Quebracho. Would do anything for that chimichurri saus! El Boliche is a cute restaurant where ceviche is made for you behind the bar. Reservations are must as this place is tiny! Restaurant Carmen serves good fusion food and is a good option for diner. The area of Plaza de Trinidad is great to have a drink at night. Start your night at Trattoria di Silvio for some serious excellent Italian food and then hit the town starting at Bar Demente.

Something else? Travel up to Tayrona park and go surfing at simple and super basic Costeno Beach.

Enjoy!

 

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Eivissa Food; the best Ibiza restaurant tips

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Almost summer… 2016 can you believe it? Can’t wait to put on that long dress, wander in my garden and look up at the stars at night and wonder what the hell am I doing back in Amsterdam most of the year. As soon as I land just the scent of the air brings me back to my childhood year on the island.

My book is full of tips of places which still have that authentic feeling and haven’t changed through the years. Wonder why everyone always wants ‘new’ when there is so much beauty in ‘old’?

Just a list of my all time favorites:

La Paloma is the hippie favorite. The food is always excellent and has never let me down. I usually order different starters to share as choosing one has never been my best quality.

Ex Xarcu where time just does not seem to matter. The amount of the bill on the other hand does as this can be quiet stiff.

Macao Cafe is the best Italiaan where you can drink wine all night and have your kids running around the town square without having to (really) worry.

The Passion Cafe does serve the best organic health food. Great menu and juices, perfect for the day after guilt comfort food.

Oh almost forgot, Can Guimo, best countryside breakfast place! Homemade cakes, great breakfast, lunch and healthy juices!

Enjoy!

xxx

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