They called it puppy love…

Many times I have walked by the guide dogs centre on Morphett street in Adelaide CBD wondering how it actually worked, how dogs were trained, what was going on ect… I was curious about it but felt too shy to push the door and ask some questions about it… but when I have read in the newspaper that there were actually guide dogs discovery centre open days in October, I took my chance and booked me in!

I have really enjoyed this experience and I am really happy I could take part in such event. It is a unique opportunity to learn about guide dogs, their training, their mission, how they can make a huge difference in someone’s life but it is also interesting to experiment and to understand what it is like to live with vision loss and have to develop and rely on other senses.

Actually, there were some activities such as: playing basketball with glasses simulating a vision loss, walk with your eyes closed with a white cane on a fake street, test sounds and develop an understanding of safe listening levels, learn braille…

In my opinion walking with a white cane with my eyes shut down was the most interesting experience because I have realized how different (and scary) the world could be when you can not possibly see and have to rely on your ears and touch. I mean crossing a street is something we are doing everyday without even thinking about it but when you can not see it becomes totally different and dangerous… and it feels comforting to know that there are ways to cope with it and for those who do not wish to use a cane, they can be helped by a guide dog and go on with their everyday lives!

These dogs (Labrador) are amazing, they are doing a great job, they are very intelligent animals, they are heroes and they simply are adorable and lovable! I know it can be tempting to pet them because they are cute and helpful but today I have learnt that when they are wearing a yellow coat (meaning they are being trained) or wearing their harness (meaning that they are guiding their owner) it is forbidden to interact with them because they are working and focus on their task and you don’t want them or their owner to be put in danger because they have been distracted by you!

It is one of the many things I have learnt thanks to the friendly volunteers working at the Guide dogs centre. Tours are organized during school holidays period and  it is definitely worth the visit!

Adelaide Guide Dogs Centre
251 Morphett St
Adelaide SA 5000
P: 08 8203 8333
F: 08 8203 8332
Toll free: 1800 484 333
https://www.guidedogs.org.au/discovery-centre

Embrace the wild with style!

“Don’t keep forever on the public road. Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before.”―Alexander Graham Bell

If you are looking for something different, if you want to make memories and see things you have never seen before, if you love to travel with style while exploring South Australia… Off piste is definitely for you! This tour off the beaten track will literally take your breath away!

I went went on the ultimate 4 WD adventure and it was absolutely amazing from the start to the end! This is why I wanted to share this “little secret” with you. We took this tour in October 2014 and the weather was just perfect not too warm and not too cold! Besides we were a small group, only 6 people driver/guide included.

What a day I must say! McLaren Vale wine area and the Fleurieu peninsula region are such great places to visit! We felt so privileged going to spots that most would never have the opportunity to experience. We saw kangaroos with their babies in the wild, a huge snake right in the middle of the road, a blue tongue lizard … also Ben (our friendly guide) even played a didgeridoo for us while we were having lunch on a beautiful spot in the hills with a spectacular view on the fields and the sea! Especially enjoyable was the stop on the morning along the riverside in the Onkaparinga River National Park where we enjoyed locally source wine, cheese and bread: it tasted absolutely fantastic!

Ben (on the picture) is so friendly and easy going, always smiling, talking, trying to put everybody at ease. He makes you feel special and does his best to meet your expectations depending on your interests (nature, photography, animals, wines etc). He is so knowledgeable about the area, its history, wineries, local people, the natural beauty of the countryside. It is very interesting to listen to him and you can tell this is truly his passion and not just a job. We could easely understand why – it’s a beautiful region of South Australia.

This was a fantastic day! Overall a great tour and a unique experience that I will highly recommend even (or especially) if you are a local because it will literally blow you away!

http://www.offpistetours.com.au

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The barefoot philosophy

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet” , Thích Nhất Hạnh

Did you know that walking barefoot on the beach is like having a Free YOGA and SPA session at the same time?!

So save your money on a pedi, throw your shoes away and head to the beach!

Actually the sand acts as a natural exfoliant, gently rubbing off dead skin… By walking on the beach you will get for sure softer, more supple, more attractive skin on the heels and balls of your feet. Remember this unwanted skin?! it is all gone now and it did not cost you a penny, magic, isn’t it?!

Walking barefoot is also relaxing and energizing… it is like having a foot massage, it will also increase the blood circulation in this area.. You will feel so good and your foot will be thankful for this special treat!

Sand provides resistance, so walking on the beach is more demanding than walking on road so it will keep your fit and healthy. Soft foot and amazing body, that is exactly what we want!

Walking barefoot in the sand offers so many benefits, so if you’ve got access to a beach, get out and get moving.

As for people living in Adelaide, no excuse! We are lucky to have many beautiful beaches around us such as: Semaphore, Grange , Henley, Glenelg, Brighton… so pick your favorite and enjoy the walk and the view!

Bali : The island of the gods…

Bali is not just a beautiful trip, it’s a cultural and spiritual journey that needs to be experienced in order to be fully appreciated… Actually, it all started 2 years ago when I have read this famous book called « Eat, pray. Love » based on a true story of a woman who lived 6 months in Italy, then 6 months in India and then 6 months in Bali. Her wonderful story inspired me and I was curious to know more about this country since I have never been there before. So I felt very lucky to spend my christmas time in Bali!

I have really enjoyed this country, its amazing temple, its wonderful colours, its delicious cuisine but above all its friendly people. It is impressive how balinese people are generous, lovely and cheerful… somehow you always end up with a big smile on your face when you are around them. Thanks to Airbnb I managed to find a beautiful villa with a nice swiming pool near canggu’s beach. Each day, I would get up early, do a 1 hour yoga session on the garden rooftop facing the sea, have a swim, enjoy an awesome breakfast prepared by Ketut (I ate the best bananas pancakes ever), then I would go surfing in the afternoon or visit a famous place, the evening I would enjoy a nice dinner on the beach or at the villa. Time went by so quickly… I have visited many places such as Ubud (known as the capital city of art), the monkeys forest, the water temple, the rice paddies… everything was absolutely gorgeous…

While in Bali, I had the chance to experience two important ceremonies called : Galungan and Kuningan

« Galungan marks the beginning of the most important recurring religious ceremonies. The spirits of deceased relatives who have died and been cremated return to visit their former homes, and the current inhabitants have a responsibility to be hospitable through prayers and offerings. The most obvious sign of the celebrations are the penjor – bamboo poles with offerings suspended at the end. These are installed by the side of roads. On the other hand, he Kuningan ceremony in Bali traces its name to the special offerings of Yellow Rice, or ‘nasi kuning. These are offered to the ancestors and Gods, to appease them and keep them happy. The Kuningan in Bali is a time when the spirits of decease people return to earth and the whole family comes together and prays to their ancestors and the Gods to keep them happy and to bless them. » (source Wikipedia)

In my opinion it was a humble and peaceful experience which I am glad I could be part of. Balinese people are very spiritual people and it felt really good to pray with them and for the peace of their ancestors.

I am grateful I can travel and learn about different cultures. I am always amazed by what I discover…Once the Dalai Lama said : «As often as possible, go someplace you’ve never been before. Experience new places and new things. You might find yourself with someone or somewhere that makes you much happier than your previous circumstance. The Earth is so vast with unique and beautiful places, why wouldn’t you want to go explore them? » …

What about you ? Which country are you going to visit this year ?

A french episode at Muratti Cakes & Gateaux

Every new friend is like the beginning of a journey!

I am glad I have the opportunity to meet so many people from so many different places! I am always amazed by their stories… it is wonderful to realise that the world is full of interesting people and learn new things with them.

It is unbelievable how much I have learnt since I am traveling, everyone has a different story to tell and it is like opening a new book each time… There is always something to learn, to share, to discover… I really hope they feel the same about me and that I am making a difference in their life and they are happy to know me!

I used to think that you make most of your friends at college and then somehow you stick with them… but since I live abroad I have a totally new outlook on things and I have realised that no matter your age, occupation or whatsoever there are always many opportunities to make new friends and enjoy your time with them!

This morning, I had a lovely breakfast with Ann: we go to Spanish classes together once a week. She is a lovely lady, she is a native Australian, she is retired so we don’t belong to the same generation but still we get on well and we enjoy talking to each other (great practice for my English by the way)! She lives in North Adelaide and since I have just moved to this area, she has decided to give me a tour and it was absolutely lovely from her! How kind to show me around: the aquatic centre, the sport centre, the restaurants, the cafes, the parks… How kind from her!

We have also enjoyed a nice coffee and a cake at a place that I have never heard before (it is one of her favorites) called “Muratti Cakes & Gateaux”. Somehow it reminded me of the bakeries and tea salon in Paris… It was nice to see french cakes that I have been missing a lot lately… I have treated myself with a nice lemon tart and a cappuccino, it was absolutely delicious! Ann has insisted on inviting me and I felt so lucky… Australian people are really friendly 🙂

For those living in Adelaide and who want to taste gorgeous french pastries, I highly recommend this place which happen to be in Proscpect city (very closed from North Adelaide) and there are also nice and cute little shops around so it is definitely worth the trip by car or by bus G10.

Next time when you go to Muratti, tell me which cakes you had… they all look so good, I am curious to know which ones are popular!

In case you can not possibly decide, here is a tip: usually when in France, my favorites cakes are: lemon tart, strawberry tart and anything with chocolate or coffee. I mean you can’t go wrong with those, can you?!

 

Muratti Cakes & Gateaux                                                                                              114B Prospect Rd                                                                                             Prospect SA 5082 

http://www.muratti.com.au

Trendy tea and pancakes at E for Ethel

Sometimes, when abroad, I like to challenge myself… I like to invent some missions such as finding the best place to: enjoy a good tea, eat the best scones, drink the best chai latte, taste the best pancakes etc… I think it is a nice way to discover a city because you have to look on the internet, read the reviews, come up with a plan and then try to find these little gems by yourself and test it and write about it…

It is also the perfect opportunity to walk in new streets, see shops you have never seen before, gazed at cute Australian cottages (I am in love with them), smell the delicate fragrance of Adelaide’s colourful flowers, enjoy the sound of the birds in the trees…

I bet you are wondering what my little mission was today… well you know I am obsessed with this TV show called “Gilmore Girls” and especially Luke’s dinner where the 2 Gilmore girls like to hang out especially for breakfast! So I am always looking for places with the same kind of style.

Well today I have tried a new place in North Adelaide called E for Ethel on Melbourne street and I think it could compete with Luke’s… Vintage chairs and tables which give the place a charming vibe, friendly staff, delicious pancakes, lovely cup and tea pots… and the special touch: when serving a cup of tea they leave a famous quote on the plate… it reminds me of the fortune cookie and I really liked it! Today my quote was a famous sentence from the film Casablanca (1942) “Here’s looking at you kid”.

Furthermore this lovely restaurant is also a shop where you can find beautiful handmade creations designed by locals artists… adorable, isn’t it?!

 

E for Ethel
7/116 Melbourne street
North Adelaide 5006
http://www.eforethel.com.au

A good breakfast to kick the day!

Do you happen to know this TV show called “Gilmore girls”?

I used to watch it when I was living in France in order to practise my English. I liked the 2 main characters called Lorelai and Rory Gilmore who were quite nice and fun!

Anyway, they were living in a charming little town and they had the chance to have a really cool place for breakfast! I have always envied them for that and I have always wished I could find a restaurant as nice as theirs in the TV show…

Today I have tried one called the Royal Oak on O’Connell street in North Adelaide which reminded me somehow of this show… The vintage decoration was pretty cool and we enjoyed a nice English breakfast but for those who have followed the TV show grumpy Luke was sadly nowhere to be seen…

 

 Royal Oak
123 O’Connell street
North Adelaide 5006
http://www.royaloakhotel.com.au