Tag Archives: Places to visit

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

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!



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!

Adelaide rocks!

The famous New York Times has published a top destinations list to visit this year and Adelaide is the only city of Australia that has been mentioned! So congratulations to our beautiful city ranking number 24 in the top places to go in 2015!

It makes me proud and happy since generally bigger and popular cities such as Sydney, Melbourne or Perth steal the wind from Adelaide… but this time our charming city has proven that actually small is cute . Our city has a lot to offer and it is lovely to know that the world is now aware of it!

Adelaide has been praised for its amazing quality of life,  its great beaches, its art, its famous festivals, its wonderful food and wine industry, its friendly people, its great energy and vibes that make Adelaide so special and so unique!

I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful city… it is been only a few months since I have moved here but I really feel at home.  This city has a personality and a heart and it is impossible not to feel at ease.

It is good to be in Adelaide 🙂



Curious to discover the 52 cities to visit in 2015 according to the New York Times? Have a look at the following article:


Peaceful rice paddies

Bali is full of beautiful and lively colors and green is definitely one of them!

I like to gaze at the rice paddies… somehow I find them very relaxing, nice for contemplating…it is also new to me as in France it is more about fields of barleys, sun flowers etc… but here rice is to Balinese people what bread is to French people 🙂 so no wonder there are so many rice paddies in Bali so well kept.

The result is absolutely spectacular! I particularly fancy the Rice paddy terraces in Ubud. If you feel brave and you are wearing good shoes you can have a walk there or you can also just sit and relax in an open air concept restaurant, have a popular local beer (Bintang) or a delicious fresh young coconut and enjoy the dramatic view, it is really a wonderful experience that I will be glad to do again… 

A ticket to the past…

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to sit in an old train, smell the wood and the leather seats and hear the steam engine of the locomotive running… Now close your eyes and for a minute imagine that you are in an  Agatha Christie novel while glancing at the pictures…

Today I had the chance to visit the biggest railroad museum in Australia and it was really a great experience! It was very interesting to learn about trains history and it was also fun to climb into the cabs of giant steam engines and walk through elegant carriages and just imagine what it was like to travel by that time…

Actually I was pretty impressed by the level of comfort they managed to achieve.. some carriages just look like little flats with real beds, bathroom and kitchen… traveling by train (depending on your class status) could be in the days of yore a luxurious and enjoyable journey!

I couldn’t resist acting like if I was a traveler from another century, and my bestie managed to capture beautifully the spirit of the past in a series of black and white photographies.

National Railway Museum
76 Lipson Street
Port Adelaide SA 5015

West Terrace Cemetery: a poetic experience

Some say it is the most poetic place they know in Adelaide! You would think how awkward for a cemetery…I am normally not a fan of such places and don t think I am a *Vampire diaries* addict (the main girl character of the show Nina likes to rest and write in her home town cemetery) … But I have to confess this cemetery is fascinating, nearly magic…

I have really enjoyed my self guided walk tour here on a sunny spring afternoon! It is really a lovely and peaceful place and this is really a nice walk! It is definitely poetic! The landscape, the graves, the trees…even the birds have a story to tell In a way it reminded me of Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris!

Brochures are at the entrance of the cemetery, I have picked the famous women tour and I have learnt a few things about brave and passionate women born in Adelaide or coming from London with dreams and big ideas to change the world! It was really inspiring!

Actually the walk lasted about 2 hours, the brochure was well detailed with a map and full of information so I did not get lost, I have learnt many facts and actually time went by so quickly..I am pretty sure I will come back, there are plenty other themes tours to learn more about Adelaide and guess what it is totally free!

Furthermore, the West Terrace cemetery runs night tours on Fridays ($25), it is a totally different experience but definitely worth it! I had the chance to take part to the special Halloween tour on Friday 31st October and it was amazing: interesting stories, sounds and lights effects, great actors…. it was pretty fun and most of the participants came in their halloween costumes which really added something to the atmosphere 😉 No wonder that West Terrace Cemetery has taken out the award for best cultural and heritage tourism attraction for the third year in row seeing the cemetery inducted into the South Australian Tourism Hall of Fame.

In my opinion West Terrace is definitely an original city cemetery, it is well kept and fulfills its role protecting ancestral heritage, offering peace and bringing life in a creative and respectful way to old and interesting stories about Adelaide!

West Terrace Cemetery
161 West Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000

Virginie and the Haigh’s Chocolate Factory

One day I have read « LIFE happens, chocolate HELPS!’ I really think it is true. You see I adore chocolate, I particularly enjoy milk chocolate and in my opinion it is the best therapy ever! Luckily for me, there are Haigh’s chocolates in Australia and cherry or should I say chocolate on the cake the factory happens to be in Adelaide! If you are living abroad I bet you  have never heard about them and neither did I… because they do not export their precious products overseas because the chocolate quality could not handle an oversea trip! Their chocolates are very famous here… Actually Haigh’s is one of a few Adelaide icons and deservedly so. They will celebrate in a couple of months their 100 existence anniversary! All of their chocolates are still made by hand and they are literally mouth watering!


I have fallen in love with the « milk rocky road » basically it is freshly made fluffy marshmallow with roasted hazelnuts, cherries and juicy raisins, smooth milk chocolate, glace… it tastes absolutely marvelous! No words to describe it…. it is sooooo good! So I went back to the shop to buy some more…. guess what…no more left! Not a single one….over! The nice lady in the shop informed me that these little treats were only seasonal products…which means they make them only in winter season and now it is spring time here in Australia so I will have to wait for next year…

But you know me I do not want to give up so easily….. so I have tried a second shop…. same answer… a third shop same answer….but this time the lady was so friendly and had so much empathy for the little poor french girl who could not possibly wait for next year that she asked « Do you want me to call the factory for you and check if by any chance they have some left? » of course I want « Please,dooooo! » and she did and guess what?! They still had some small and big boxes of them… they took my name and said I could pick them up directly at the factory on the following day and they offered me to take the opportunity to attend to their free factory guided tour too and I did!

What a lovely tour I must say, it is so interesting to learn about the story of Haigh’s chocolates, how they started and became famous. It is a family business and it reminded of my small home town Clermont-Ferrand where we do have also a old and famous family factory business called MICHELIN… pretty sure you have heard about them 😉 but let’s go back to chocolates… it smells better! So visiting the factory was in a way like visiting Willy Wonka Chocolate factory and see how the magic happens, the machines, products, staff gestures…. no wonder these chocolates are so amazingly good gorgeous, smooth, luxurious…. furthermore it is a good opportunity to taste a lot of sample chocolates for free and if like me you are crazy about them you can still purchase more from the outlet shop at the end of the tour…clever!

So next time when visiting Australia make sure to visit Haigh’s shops and eat their delicious chocolates!  And if you happen to be in Adelaide take the tour in their amazing factory (it is very closed from Adelaide South Terrace and the lovely himeji garden), you will not regret and your belly will say thank you, I promise 🙂

Free guided Factory viewings tours

154 Greenhill Road, Parkside, SA 5063

Tours operate Monday to Saturday from 9am.

Please book your free tour online http://www.haighschocolates.com.au/tours