PARIS / FRANCE

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The wonderful city of Paris.

For as long as I can remember I have always dreamed of visiting the city of Paris and to finally have one of my greatest fantasies come to life has been, undoubtedly, magical. Paris is a place like no other. A kaleidoscope of culture, colour and vibrancy. France in general teems with an unexplainable passion for life. What a pleasure it has been for my family and I to be graced with the charm of the capital city of a truly phenomenal country.

From Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower, a boat trip down the River Seine, a walk up to the Arc de Triomphe, an exploration of The Louvre Musee all topped off with wine & fine dining at a quaint sidewalk café in the space of two days.

On the 14th of July France celebrated Bastille day.

A day of liberation, triumph and great joy.

“Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just.” – Blaise Pascal

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The Louvre Museum Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

 

 

The Eiffel Tower

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The Notre Dame Cathedral 

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Boat trip down the River Seine

 

 

The hustle and bustle of the streets…

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I still remember what the 13th of November 2015 looked like for me. A lazy morning, breakfast in bed and a movie marathon with my friends. However, to the world, the 13th of November 2015 was a day of great sadness and suffering. The evening before, a series of terrorist attacks took place in Paris claiming the lives of 130 innocent civilians. I remember hearing the news and turning on the television to see a country in mourning. We felt it only right, nearly two years on from the attacks to visit the place where the attacks unfolded and to pay our respects.

Gone.

Never forgotten.

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All in all, I feel my family’s time in Paris was a time to reconnect and relax from our day-to-day crazy lives and see the world in a new light.

 

 

 

It is safe to say Paris is one of my all time favourite cities. A city that stands with pride for all its accomplished, all it’s nation represents and for its refusal to bow to the fear of terror imposed on its people.

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Thank you for the memories

xo

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a celebration of imperfection

A Celebration of Imperfection: Isn’t it amazing how beautiful people are? Look at anyone and study them. Admire their features: how their lips tort and eyes glisten, how their hair falls or sticks or lays. How their eyebrows flex and the way their arms fold and how expressive their hands are. The way their body moves and how their chest rises and falls so subtly with their pulse. People are beautiful even if we don’t find them attractive. The fact that they’re a living being is unbelievably magnificent.

Embrace it.

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c h i n a

A Week In China: In Photographs 

A week long adventure in one of the most exotic and wild places in all the world, China. This wonderful week was spent in the wild city of Chengdu with a group of students from my school in Dubai.

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On this trip we where able to explore the the city, volunteer at the Dujiangyan Panda Base, hike in the mountains of Yaoji, visit and help out at a local migrant school and well as take part in a Kung Fu lesson taught by our very own master.

A truly life changing experience

Dujiangyan Panda Base

The City at Night

Tibet

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Back to Chengdu…

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 Migrant School Volunteer Work

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Karate Lesson in People’s Park

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China: A week in a video 

Sarah 

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j o h a n n e s b u r g 

Hello Beautiful People

&

Happy Monday

I hope this post finds you in good health and with a joyful heart, soul and mind. I am incredibly excited for today’s post and to be able to share a few photographs of special moments captured here in South Africa, Johannesburg on my family and I’s very last weekend here before the sixth of August when we pack up our last few bits and bobs, hop on a plane, travel seven hours and arrive in Dubai, our new home country + adventure of note.

We celebrated our last Saturday doing something we as a family love most, exploring the hidden gems of Jozi, seeing new things, eating amazing food, laughing plenty, meeting new people (and bumping into a few familiar faces in the process) but most of all, having a good time. We did this by visiting two of the very best markets in all of Johannesburg, the first being The Neighbourgood’s Market and the second, 44 on Stanley.

Both of these fantastic places have such a unique, authentic, rustic yet modern feel wrapped within their their interiors. The happiness that people feel is the very first impression you get as you walk into these two places where you are greeted with the smells of fresh coffee beans being roasted, delicious curry, paella, burgers, pizza (almost every kind of food you could ever think of) being made as well as the phenomenal buzz of different people with different cultures, backgrounds, religions and opinions mixing and spending time with one another.

Taking in all of this is at first may be rather overwhelming, however, once you adjust to the sheer brilliant madness of these two places, you’ll feel right at home. I personally feel that Braamfontein (where these two wonderful places are situated) is an oasis of peace and joy with its perfect imperfections. The area of Braamfontein is a place where every kind of person, regardless of the restraints the ‘outside world’ places on them, is accepted and you are free to express yourself freely; this incredible phenomena is, undoubtly, infectious and makes me proud to be South African. There is no single word aside from wonderful to sum Johannesburg and all of its hidden gems that I’ll be sharing with you in this post today up with one big beautiful bow.

So, in the pursuit of making this momentous weekend even more special I decided to capture, to the very best of my ability, the splendour of both The Neighbourgood’s Market as well as 44 on Stanley through the lens of my trusty friend, my camera.

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First of all, The Neighbourgood’s Market.

Your first greeting as you arrive in Braamfontein is an amazing wall mural made entirely out of cool drink bottle tops, this astonishing spectacle never ceases to amaze us.

The second rather amazing, happy face of Nelson Mandela shines brightly in the clear blue skies of Braamies.

The city centre

The Neighbourgood’s Market 

The entrance and sign into the market has become, quite frankly,  one of the most photographed places in all of Jo’burg and why not? The sign is understandably perfect.

As previously stated, the market sells fantastic food, however, it doesn’t stop there, the market sells clothes, jewelry, shoes, bags, you name it, they’ve got it. These items are all uniquely designed and often thrifted which I believe gives the market a special dynamic and angle as opposed to everyday shopping malls.

Here’s a little peek into what exactly the inside of the food market looks like and what is on sale. The market itself is situated in an old three story parking lot where, obviously cars no longer park and where nifty stores are placed.


 

The top floor of the market is mainly an area where people sit down on make-shift seating and enjoy their food and drinks and socialize. This area has amazing views of Jo’burg and amazing modern-styled buildings surrounding it.

Including a better view of the legend, that is Nelson Mandela, smiling down on all of Braamfontein.

After our morning fun at the market we took a short walk to the best little coffee shop in town, Father Coffee.

It’s minimalist style and hipster feel makes it the perfect place to grab a coffee, take a seat and enjoy yourself. It will forever be one of my all time favourite places.


My father (and is broken collarbone) standing under the infamous Father sign at Father Coffee.

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44 on Stanley

After just a short drive of blasting Justin Bieber through the streets of Braamfontein (on request from Hannah, my sister) we traveled from The Neighbourgood’s Market and arrived at the one & only, 44 on Stanley.

One of the main features of this market is that it has amazing rooftop walkways that allow you to see Jozi from a whole new perspective & light. For me, walking around 44 on Stanley is therapeutic.


An aerial shot of the entrance into the market (taken from one of the many rooftop walkways you are able to explore.)


In order to access the rooftop you’ll have to climb up a series of metal staircases which is, admittedly, exhausting, however the view and experience is totally, without a doubt worth the effort.



Now for the shopping. 44 on Stanley is renowned for it’s unique boutique stores for clothing, food, house decor and many, many more.

The drama queen / fashionista of the family, Hannah, enjoyed trying on endless dresses and accessories during our explorations, quite obviously, this was the aspect of the trip she enjoyed the most.

Something a little more unique, the store Lunar, always brings a great big smile to my face every time we visit it. The beautiful, whimsical dresses makes me feel like a princess in a timeless fairy tale.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the store Anatomy will be the place I buy all of my dream home decor, I simply love the minimal, simplistic and understated look of all the furniture and other bits and bobs Anatomy has on sale.

It wasn’t long before all our exploring caught up with us and we had to stop at one of the very best Italian restaurants in Braamfontein for a pizza, or two, or three…

More rooftop exploring…

After lunch we decided to have our dessert at Bean There, a special gem hidden in the heart of 44 on Stanley.

Bean There, done that.

Behind the cafe itself, there is a sweet little seating area for the more introverted soul to grab a coffee and re-cooperate.

 

The final few snaps of the day.


I hope you’ve all enjoyed this post and its inspired enough to grab your camera, head on out to your nearest market and soak up the sun, absorb the festivities of your surroundings and capture the beauty in the small things you may come across much like I intended to do through my explorations in the world’s very best city + my home, Johannesburg.
This should be one of my last posts here in South Africa before I move to Dubai so be sure to stay in touch and keep an eye out for all of exciting new posts, experiences and stories I intend to share on this blog of mine.

Wishing you all of the very best for the week ahead.

Sarah