Hair/ Fashion/ Lifestyle

Cheveux, mode, art
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Carnets de voyagePosted by Affwé Mon, October 27, 2014 22:25:29

Summer in Tel Aviv... diving into the local culture and history

After almost a year of Hebrew classes this summer I felt brave enough to rent a flat rather than a hotel room and dive into local customs and culture; not that you need Hebrew to get around in Tel Aviv (everyone speaks English, and Russian works as well)... but I like to challenge myself or at least think that’s what I am doing.

The Yemenite Quarter

As part of the plan, I didn’t settle for a flat in the ‘touristy’ area along the promenade nor in one of Tel Aviv’s fancy avenues. Instead I went for one of the city’s historical parts, namely the “Yemenite Quarter” – or “Ha’ Kerem” – named after the Yemeni Jews who settled there in the 1880s. Akin to the developments in many cities throughout the world Ha’ Kerem’s popularity grew in the past years as “old” became fashionable again and as some of its original residents passed away or left, while trendy, younger residents looking for a different vibe moved in. In the context of its gentrification the area has witnessed a major refurbishment of some of its structures. So today, you can find beautiful renovated buildings next to shabbier original housings – an ecclectic mix which together with the adjacent “Carmel Market” will give you a flavor of the Quarter’s past, and the feel of being centuries away from the city’s otherwise busy streets. If you are ready to give it a try, I can most certainly recommend Yossi’s ground level studio / appartment found on airbnb. By the way, thanks again Yossi for your patience and hospitality... I had to text my host throughout the night because the departure of my in-flight from Istanbul kept changing... which made me arrive at 6 am instead of 1:30 am (needless to say I was not a happy camper)!

Eating your way through the city...

The article “Eat your way through Tel Aviv” published last May in Time Out Israel, argues that Tel Aviv is nothing short of being the culinary capital of Israël... a statement I can definitely relate to. This time around I had the privilege to dine at “Claro”, run by chef Ran Shmueli. The description on the eatery’s website, namely that “Claro is not just a restaurant; but a place of entertainment... offering a superb dining experience” is nothing short of reality. I very much enjoyed the Mediterranean inspired dishes as well as the open kitchen which allows you to watch the chefs under fire. Thank you, Benny and Hana for taking me there... You truly are Tel Aviv’s best guides for food (and art). By the way Claro is located in the heart of Tel Aviv’s in a district called “Sarona”. Originally a German Templar Colony established some 140 years ago, Sarona has been completely transformed into an open air commercial area harboring high-end art galleries and an assorment of specialty shops, among others. The renewed colony includes an urban park and the accurately restored original 37 buildings of the Templar settlement, one of which houses Claro.

You can’t possibly visit Tel Aviv without having ice cream! And you might as well have it at “Anita La Mamma del Gelato” – winner of the 2008 Time Out award... and truly to die for if you are an ice cream afficionado!! - in another historic district of Tel Aviv, namely “Neve Tzedek”. Neve Tzedek – meaning “Oasis of Justice” - was founded in 1887 by a businessman who wanted to escape the crowded Jaffa, 22 years before the city of Tel Aviv was founded. It is hence the first Jewish neighborhood of the city. The quarter has hosted many intellectuals and artists who chose to dwell and create there, including Nobel Prize winning author and poet Shmuel Yosef Agnon, and it is home to the well-known Suzanne Dellal Center (BatSheva Dance Company & Ensemble). The renovation work undertaken has allowed to restore and maintain much of the district’s older charm... but in its wake has turned Neve Tzedek in one of the city’s most expensive areas of the city and hence displaced the original population.!/pages/Anita-La-Mamma-del-Gelato/165698253485359

Fancy a drink after your afternoon ice cream and before dinner? Take a stroll along the promenade – it has the added value of walking off some of these calories that seem to pile up when you visit Tel Aviv... although you’ll probably have to add a swim, some kayaking or a run if you really want to compensate for food intake  - and stop for drinks at “Fortuna del Mar” in Tel Aviv’s Marina. . Obviously there isn’t much architecture to explore here but the view at dusk is breathtaking and relaxing at the same time. And it’s even better when you can share such moments with friends. Toda raba Michal and Niv for the invite.... להתראות! On a side note, Michal is the founder of a neat initiative aiming at financing israel based women entrepreneurs in the high-tech field... Check it out on

Music, music, music...

During my second short trip to Tel Aviv this summer, I was lucky enough to be there just when one of my favourite israeli singers – “Eviatar Banai” was performing... or let’s say I made sure to match the date of my stay with the date of his concert . Even if you don’t understand Hebrew, give it a try and listen. His music and voice have a special vibe that makes me shiver, especially when he sings “Ad Mahar” – “Until Tomorrow”. First live concert... fantastic experience, also because of the venue in Jaffa (another part of the city I’m keeping for a future blog), “Barby”, which is kind of historic as well – “the real thing” according to Yael who graciously organized the tickets on a very short notice and attended the performance with me. -

Talking about Yael, she recently drew my attention to another israeli artist, who sings mostly in English and who’s currently spending a year in Berlin: Roy Dahan. I checked his music out, liked it... and what can I say... I’m glad to announce that he has accepted to come to Luxembourg for two gigs on December 17 and 18 – so make sure you save the date in your calendar, more info to follow!

I guess that’s it for this edition. There will be a special about Tel Aviv’s fashion design scene early 2015 including interviews with Galit Reissman, owner of TLVstyle boutique tour, fashion photographer Ronen Fadida, and Leah Perez of the Shenkar Design Institute... I’m excited already, so stay tuned.

Photographer / Photographe: Etienne Delorme

Assistant photographer / Photographe assistant: Henri Da Cruz

Make-up & Hair Styling / Maquillage & Styling coiffure: Marga Mengato

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Carnets de voyagePosted by Affwé Sat, August 30, 2014 00:29:49
Carnet de voyage... by Gigi

When holidays go organic... early July in Malibu...

Initially the plan for this year’s summer break with my son Noah was to start in San Diego, travel up the California coast and then venture into Oregon and Washington State. But eventually conflicting schedules (my work - his school) and exhaustion (both of us) made us settle for what turned out to be an enjoyable and truly rejuvenating stay in Malibu.

The right mix between peacefulness…

The advantage of staying in Malibu is the proximity to some beautifully raw spots of nature such as Point Dume Nature Preserve and its secluded beach. Go there in the morning and it will be just you, the sand, the ocean… and some early riser riding the waves or practicing their yoga routine.

Our nature experience was even more enhanced by seeking shelter up in the canyons rather than along the quite busy Pacific Coast Highway. “Villa Seabreeze” which we were lucky to call home during our stay, offers exactly what you need to recover from the ubiquitous stress we’re all exposed to: a breathtaking view of Santa Monica Bay, the peaceful silence proper to mountains landscapes after dusk and a real good “karma” .

Malibu is also (still) very much about neighborhood feeling and small shops rather than the usual subsidiaries of large commercial chains. “Cafecito Organico” at Point Dume, an artisan coffee shop located within the independent bookstore “Bank of Books”, became our favorite spot to hang out. Their fresh ginger flavored Chai Latte is to die for! And if you are a health freak like me, you will also want to try “Sunlife Orgnics” – best juice and smoothie place so far – just next door.

…and action

Yet, you’re decently close to all kinds of activities including a broad cultural offer with Los Angeles basically next door. For us this stay was the opportunity to discover the legacy of the Getty Family. It started with a visit of the “Getty Villa”, an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria, which we discovered thanks to our friends David and Diane from Seattle who visited us in Malibu. N.B. Admission to the Getty Villa is free, but timed tickets must be obtained in advance via phone or the museum's website.

Thereafter we visited the “Getty Center”, an amazing art museum. Even if you hadn’t time to explore the collections and exhibitions, the Center’s architecture, its landscaped gardens as well as the spectacular view of LA are in itself worth a visit. While there I discovered the work of James Ensor an interesting and very eclectic - to say the least - Belgian artist. Unfortunately we were a little pressed with time, so make sure to foresee a whole day if you ever have an opportunity to visit.

Tanja, thank you for bringing us there!! By the way, Tanja Majerus, is a talented Luxembourg-born and educated artist who moved to LA about 17 years ago to work for the animated film industry and subsequently the toy industry, among others. Check her work on – Tanja, I’m proud to have been a couple years in the same school as you.
Tanja & me;

Of course, once you’re in the area you can’t miss out on Santa Monica and its famous Venice Beach. Santa Monica actually offers a nice mix of elements: a downtown section where you’ll find the usual mall complex including Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, etc. – look out for The Santa Monica Place - . But you will also find unique stores, bakeries and cafés in places such as Montana Avenue. As for artsy Venice Beach… it really looks and feels like what you see on tv… skaters, street artists, surfers, people working out in tight outfits that don’t leave much to imagination… but then most of them can indeed afford to “show it off”. You can spend hours just sitting there and watch the crowd!

Food & Drinks…

Actually I should say only food… drank mostly water and smoothies during this stay, except for that one evening when, sure enough, the police was testing every driver for alcohol or other substances… just to make it clear, I passed the test!

My friend Maria from Luxembourg who happened to be in LA as well during that period of time (see why below) took us first to True Food, a chain of restaurants which offers dishes inspired by the anti-inflammatory diet approach – Mor and Iris, you would love it – and hence a wide array of savory vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Noah fell in love with their organic pizza, and with their miso soup.

We also spent a nice evening at a well-known Russian restaurant called “Mari Vanna” located in Melrose Place, West Hollywood – if you remember the sitcom named after this address you’re either my age… or you like to watch old stuff  . The food was as excellent as the whole “ambiente”. Truly worth an evening, and if you’re lucky you might sit right next to one or the other celebrity.

Talking about celebrities, so the reason why Maria was in LA is because her daughter Ana, an aspiring film director attended a 2 months workshop at UCLA… and her short film shot while there won the first price. Congratulations Ana!! So watch out for that name in the coming years: Ana Pierucci… Noah & I are looking forward to cheering you on the red carpet.

A last place I’d like to highlight is the Aroma Cafe in Studio City: a cafe/bistro with a warm atmosphere - and somewhat of a French feel - which offers a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, homemade pastries and home crafted coffees & teas, and which prides itself for sourcing from local vendors and producers… as I said, these holidays were very much “organic”.

Noah & Frank

I couldn’t possibly finish this edition of my “carnet de voyages” without thanking our friends Meredith and Frank. You were wonderful hosts, who introduced us to the “arcanes” of life in Malibu – which included for instance taking us to your yoga classes – and therewith made our experience quite unique. Noah & I cherished the evenings spent on your terrace, dining & chatting and we’re looking forward to hosting you soon here in Luxembourg. Our warmest regards, also to Fiona and Ram.

Next time we’ll be back in Israel and discover new aspects of Tel Aviv… See you soon

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Carnets de voyagePosted by Affwé Thu, July 31, 2014 12:05:00

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Carnets de voyagePosted by Affwé Thu, July 31, 2014 10:36:44

San Diego... in love with a city

First time in San Diego, and what can I say, I fell in love (with the city)! Leading high-tech hub, cool night-life scene, breathtaking views, perfect for running addicts, and friendly, laid back people who greet you on the street. Very much a Seattle vibe (yes, I am a Seattle fan) with the perfect weather as an additional perk. - And the short ride from the airport to downtown San Diego definitely played in favor after a painfully long journey via storm ridden Chicago airport. Bottom line: there’s definitely going to be a ‘next time’... actually trying to talk my 12y old to go to UCSD... so mom can visit!


If you like “fusion cuisine”, you want to head to Roy’s San Diego Waterfront restaurant. Incredibly flavored and delicate dishes, truly “chef inspired bites” as advertized on their website. I tried out their strawberry salad, followed by an opulent plate of sashimi – thanks for picking this place, Haim!

Mezé Greek Fusion in the Gaslamp district is a good option if you fancy oriental type dishes, and good wines. You can either dine in the restaurant’s urban chic premisses or order to go – if you’re entertaining at home and don’t have time to cook, a sampler plate by Mezé will make you stand out as a host.

Given the city’s proximity to Mexico there are tons of options for mexican food. I’ve tried out El Patio in Old Town San Diego. Old Town is obviously a little more of a “tourist” destination (albeit fun if you’re visiting with kids). Yet it harbors some genuine places. El Patio is a family-run business, where service isn’t always up to speed but the food was fresh and excellent... and they have some humongously sized Margaritas – no driving after one of those!

... Sports & Fashion...

I had penciled in the San Diego trip to renew my ageing running gear... and since I’m running a lot it ages quickly, or so I like to think (hey you need some kind of rationale to justify shopping sprees’ smiley). As you can witness from the picture this season’s accent for running apparel is all about mixing and matching colors & patterns. I went for a flashy pair of Brooks Glycerin 11 and a multicoloured shorts / t-shirt combo by Asics, on sales of course – an outfit which turns each training unit into your personal feel good color run!

In San Diego I also discovered a neat and truly comfortable walking shoe, namely the “memory foam” model by Sketchers – good advice Catherine! Memory foams come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Once you try them out you’ll be hooked. I haven’t seen them in Luxembourg yet but I’m quite sure you’ll find them on Amazon if anything else fails.

And since you can’t just keep running or walking in life here comes a recommendation for those who are after decently prized second hand designer cloths, namely Laurie Ann’s Designer Resale – you might find exactly that one special piece you’ve been looking for!

...Visiting with kids...

San Diego is a kid-friendly city: easy to walk and with a fairly extensive public transportation system. For instance Coronado Beach, the perfect family day-at-the-beach outing, can be reached from downtown San Diego in 15 min by ferry boat or water taxi.

Since we (Sham, Carl, baby Jan and I) didn’t have much time for leisure (Sham & I were working; Carl & Jan were watching the world cup games) we maximized the time available by walking to Balboa Park – a long uphill walk from downtown San Diego. Don’t think of Balboa Park as merely “one” park. But rather a resort that includes a wide range of things to do and to see – from playground & activity centers for kids to museums, historic buildings, vegetation zones, theaters, and of course the well-known San Diego Zoo. check Balboa Park here

... where to stay?

Obviously San Diego features all the usual hotel chains. Rates can be quite pricey though, especially during major conventions. Since we were traveling with a child we decided it would be more convenient instead to rent a flat downtown. We picked a loft-type flat in the Gaslamp district (the place to be at night), right on top of a bar. Well it turned out to be the perfect location: great flat, great neighbours, great host... what else can I say? Great tenants, I guess ;-) - Check out the flat and Shamala’s review on the link below.

check Airbnb here.

Enjoying Malibu’s shoreline as I’m finishing up this post... just a small hint for the next edition!

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Carnets de voyagePosted by Affwé Tue, May 27, 2014 15:38:57
Five-days-food-galore in the US!

I know: I do not eat much, I do not eat regularly, and food is not my priority... that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate good food – many successful fashion designers are men, yet they hit the taste of most women .

Anyways, back to food! During my recent trip to Salt Lake City, San Francisco & Los Angeles (yes, all three in just 5 days) I had the opportunity to test an interesting and eclectic selection of restaurants.

Let’s start with Valter’s Osteria in Salt Lake City: truly a blend of finest Italian cuisine. Chef Valter has definitely succeeded in modernizing dishes while preserving his region’s (Tuscany) traditional features - my favorite: his home-made gnocchis (potato dumplings) firm enough to keep their shape on the plate, soft enough to melt away on your tongue. On a side note, I very much appreciated the frugal use of garlic which I often found overwhelming in many US-based Italian restaurants. And then there is chef Valter himself: a “character” to say the least – passionate about his cuisine, about his guests, about perfection in cooking and serving... probably not the easiest person to work for, but a delight for the customers.

Next stop: San Francisco’s Farallon, centrally located on Union Square. Even if you didn’t know the restaurant’s specialty, you’d find out as soon as you enter this underwater fantasy ambiente illuminated by medusa lamps, opened by chef Mark Franz in 1997... somewhat of a Star Trek ‘slash’ Atlantis feeling. As for the menu... you can pick anything really, but fish and seafood, is why you want to be here for in the first place. And an open kitchen space will allow you to appreciate first hand the skilled chefs at work. Echoing most reviews on Trip Advisor: not cheap, but definitely worth it, even more so as a knowledgeable sommelier will help you pick just the right "cuvée" for your dish.

Fancy a good dinner and an amazing view of San Francisco Bay, then The Caprice in Tiburon is the place to be. You can enhance the experience by getting there with the San Francisco Ferry. The menu is not very large yet you’ll find something that matches your taste. I’d define the culinary style as a creative California-French-German blend, which contrasts by the way with the rather traditional decor of the restaurant. One word of caution though for larger groups – they don’t seem to have a large wine cellar: ordering more than 3 bottles of the same wine proved challenging... but maybe it was just a temporary “rupture de stock”.

To wrap it up, a couple of suggestions for more informal venues... on this last trip I tried out the University Café in Palo Alto... nice coffee house atmosphere, decent prices, large variety of food, a place to chill out. Almost next door - a bit more on the pricey side but who cares when you’re a chickpeas addict like me – you’ll find Oren’s Hummus; indeed one of the best Israeli food places outside Israel. Friendly staff, upbeat atmosphere... usually quite a wait though because it’s so popular, but worth hanging in there. If you prefer a vegetarian option at a more than reasonable price, I recommend heading to Udupi Palace in SFO’s mission district: a choice of simple yet outstanding South Indian dishes. Plus you’ll discover one of San Franciso oldest – and in the meantime hottest - neighborhoods in the process.

One last suggestion for those who like me want to make sure they still fit into their clothes after such a food galore... don’t forget to pack your sneakers (they don’t need to be pink smiley), keep a left once you hit the Ferry Building on San Francisco’s Embarcadero and make your way to the Golden Gate Bridge – some 16 km (or 22 if you decide to cross the bridge) of breathtaking scenery which will allow you to work off all the calories and free up your mind.

Headed to San Diego next.... see you soon!

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Carnets de voyagePosted by Affwé Wed, April 23, 2014 23:09:36
Carnet de voyage... by Gigi

Early April in Israël

Back since a couple of weeks already, but the memories are still vivid. As usual the journey to Israël, was an explosion of sensations... a potpourri of fragrances, colors and sounds... a medley of old and new, of history and modernness, a blend of chilling and excitment.

Eating & Drinking...
The Montefiore Boutique Hotel-Restaurant & Raphaël Resto-Bistro in Tel Aviv are no longer insider tips, yet definitely worth (re)discovering. Whether you fancy Asian fusion inspired dishes, British style afternoon tea with scones, or cocktails @night with a cool crowd, Montefiore is the place to be. At Raphaël’s, chef Rafi Cohen will embark you onto a savory sashay inspired by the oriental influences of his upbringing in Jerusalem as well as by his apprenticeships in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants in both Europe and the US. This time I also managed to have an early evening coffee at Delicatessen (Yehuda Halevi 79/81) above– a neat deli offering a fantastic outdoor breakfast or brunch... you can also buy good quality groceries, quite pricey though.
Raphael Tlv
Hotel Montefiore
Deli Tlv

... and Lodging
Now that was a cool experience! Tried out the recently reopened Mendeli Street Hotel (good idea, Yaël). Just a few minutes away from Tel Aviv’s beachfront promenade, the hotel has been designed by local Israeli artists who have succeeded in creating a clean, lean and bright environment, while maintaining the warmth that characterizes both the country and the city. The breakfast buffet is further highlight... catered by Rafi Cohen (see above). Rather than listing or describing the tasty dishes suffice to say that breakfast reservations for non-guests are sold out until August!! Finally, to make things perfect, the Mendeli Street Hotel features quite competitive prices.
Mendelistreet Hotel

Things to do...
This time around I visited two art exhibitions: a selection of Israeli art @ Tel Aviv’s art Museum. Organized in three chapters: Joint Identities, 1906–1960; Private Identities, 1960–1990; and Glocalism, 1990–2011, the exhibition translates into pictures many of the concepts coined by anthropologist and human geographer David Harvey - . This section of the museum also features an “all-embracing” and “monumental” piece of art “Lusitana”, by Portugal artist, Joana Vasconcelos - , which highlights the patterns of disruption, of blurred boundaries and sometimes subtle subversion which characterizes identity formation. Followed by “Life-Likeness” of artist Tsuki Garbian @ Rothschild Fine Art Gallery. In a nutshell, Life-likeness is about privileging the picture, the portrait of an individual over the real person... food for thought at a time where reality is distorted by our quest for paint-brushed perfection and where social media prevail. Benny & Hana, if you’re reading this thank you for taking me there (among others).

...places to see
While I have visited Tel Aviv and Jerusalem several times, Nazareth was a premiere. The city’s reputation as the hometown of Jesus of Nazareth, and hence its unique position in the Christian world, is known to most of us whether religious or not. Yet entering the city for real is a step up. Nazareth truly immerses you in history as you wander through its tight, steep streets and its many churches, among which the impressive Basilica of the Announciation. Largest city in the Northern District of the country, Nazareth is also known as the “Arab capital” of Israël. Indeed, it is home to the largest Arab community – and the largest Christian Arab population – of Israël.

To round off this first edition of Gigi’s travel journal, a few words about a historically less relevant place, but nevertheless a gorgeous spot of nature, unswayed by real estate developers : Beit Yanai Beach, North of Tel Aviv which I discovered thanks to Vanessa and Oren. Pristine and quiet under the week, Beit Yanai turns into a family resort and kite surfer paradise on weekends. Definitely worth a trip.

That’s it for now.... stay tuned for the next “carnet de voyage” in about a month time.... from the West Coast!

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Marrakech 10- Choukrane

Carnets de voyagePosted by Affwé Sun, April 13, 2014 04:12:59

Sur le chemin du retour nous passons devant les saintes tombes Saadiennes.

Retour Au Riad.
Nous faisons quelques longueurs dans la piscine chauffée (enfin l'eau était encore fraîche...) puis direction le SPA.

Au SPA, soins d'une heure et demi en duo avec Lucile.
Je vous passe les détails, mais peau de bébé assurée au final « fourchette, manchette et coup du filet à linge » pour venir à bout des boules de nerfs et fous rires garantis.

Un cocktail est donné au Riad, auquel nous sommes conviées mais le temps ayant encore raison de notre volonté, c'est pour aller directement au Riad restaurant, encore un choix issu du petit guide magic de Lucile.
Au fait il faudra que tu me donnes les références de ce livre ma Lucile.

Notre chauffeur est un marocain d'une quarantaine d'années qui se prénomme Abdou et il est absolument adorable. Il nous accompagne au Dar Marjane et ne nous fait pas payer la course. Il nous propose de venir nous chercher le lendemain pour nous emmener à la maison Marjorelle et aussi un autre endroit qui m'échappe au maintenant.

Je ne vais pas encore épiloguer sur la variété et la finesse des mets qui nous ont été servis, ni sur l'accueil chaleureux et personnalisé (nos prénoms étaient marqués grâce à des petites paillettes rouges sur notre table) qui nous a été réservé au risque de me répéter. Mais je ne puis raconter tout cela sans mentionner le fameux « Pigeon à la Pâte de blé » et le « dessert au lait et galette craquée » inoubliables faisant suite à une valse d'entrées toutes aussi succulentes les unes que les autres. Le lieu est typique et la fréquentation est mixte locale et touristique.
Nous sympathisons avec des locaux, hommes et femmes et discutons de choses et d'autres.
Un musicien joue de la musique andalouse, bientôt rejoins par deux autres hommes (un chanteur avec une guitare du Niger je crois et un danseur).
Impressionnant ! Puis une jeune danseuse du ventre est venue clore ce dîner.
Waou, quelle maîtrise, Shakira n'a plus qu'à aller se recoucher!

Fin de soirée.
Demain c'est le départ, j'entreprends de faire ma valise sans perdre de temps.

Dimanche 23 novembre 2008.
Petit déjeuner au cœur du Riad, nous plébiscitons le pain perdu marocain.
C'est l'heure, il faut y aller.

Je fais mes adieux au personnel du Riad, règle la « douloureuse » et c'est Abdelmoula (un ami d'Abdou qui nous conduit à l'aéroport).
Il m'apprend quelques mots de d'arabe que je répète avec conviction sous le sourire de Lucile. Lucile est très réservée comme fille, je suis assez spontanée.
Nous nous complétons bien.

Al Matar.

A l'aéroport, je remercie Abdelmoula, Lucile prend une photo de lui et moi, je lui dit "Choukrane".
-Bon ma chérie, je crois que maintenant tu peux te débrouiller me dis Lucile en me tendant la joue.
-Merci pour tout lui fis-je en la serrant dans mes bras, t'inquiète je gère.
Elle repartit avec Abdelmoula probablement pour la maison Marjorelle.
Elle me racontera.

Direction l'enregistrement.

Marrakech n'aura pas seulement été un voyage au pays de la beauté artistique, la perfection du raffinement. Cela été plus. Un retour aux notions simples et essentielles.
Je voudrais juste faire une spéciale dédicace (« big up » pour les initiés) à Lucile (jolie fleur), à Julien (sorry pour le taxi, private joke) et à la voix..cette voix...

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Marrakech 9-Jemaa El Fna et Nikki Beach

Carnets de voyagePosted by Affwé Sun, April 13, 2014 03:57:08
-La Place Jemaa El Fna
Notre parcours du souk terminé, nous nous dirigeons vers la place Jemaa El Fna.
Je sais une chose: je dois y boire un jus d'orange. Un quasi impératif.
Nous y sommes rapidement et c'est encore la matinée, elle n'est pas encore à son potentiel. Des charmeurs de serpent et des dresseurs de petits singes que je connaissais sous le nom de « boubou » à Abidjan sont installés là. Et il y a aussi des Calèches à jus d'orange.

La mission du jus d'orange accomplie, nous devions ensuite nous rendre à la Palmeraie, quartier situé en dehors de la Médina. Sortie de la nouvelle ville direction la palmeraie. Nous hélons un taxi en direction de Casablanca.

Nous traversons le quartier Abdoukal et cheminons en compagnie de chariot à bois, une carriole tirée par un âne, l'insolite règne partout.

Nous arrivons au Nikki Beach. Nous réglons les cent dirames (environ dix euros) négociés avec le chauffeur de taxi au départ de la nouvelle ville.
Nikki Beach
-Bienvenue à vous, mesdemoiselles, veuillez me suivre. Moi c'est Michou.
Nous emboîtons le pas à Michou et pénétrons dans l'antre de la branchitude.
On se croirait sur une plage de la Full Moon en Thaïlande la sérenitude en sus.

Michou c'est la cinquantaine insolente, taille moyenne, mince, vêtu d'un pantalon de pécheur en coton et d'un Tee-shirt prêt du corps blanc, et sur la tête il porte d'un fichu et des lunettes-masque. L'ensemble de sa tenue est d'un blanc immaculé. Il a vraiment le look du « teuffeur » sur qui le temps n'a pas d'emprise.
L'endroit est magnifique. Très sobre, tout le mobilier est en bois sombre et les assises et transats disposés autour de la piscine sont de même couleur que les vêtements de Michou. On aurait pu se croire dans un temple zen, si la musique ambiante et les serveurs habillés du même uniforme que Michou, mais en plus jeunes, n'étaient pas là pour nous rappeler que nous sommes au Nikki Beach, un haut lieu de la Jet set internationale.
Nous nous sommes installées à une table baignée encore par les rayons de soleil , il fait pas loin de 24 degrés et j'ai l'impression d'être loin en vacances.
Vive les lunettes de soleil. Un serveur vient nous proposer le menu.
Lucile craque un peu...
-Il est beau.
-Hum, hum opinai-je de la tête.
Nous commandons nos plat et optons toutes les deux pour des gambas à la plancha. J'en salive d'avance.
Autour de nous, de jeunes gens et femmes sont attablés. Une ambiance festive règne contrastant avec le moment de la journée (nous sommes en plein après-midi!).
Nous nous faisons « brancher » par des Italiens mais refusons poliment leur invitation à nous joindre à eux pour déjeuner.
Notre repas arrive et la fraîcheur est au rendez-vous: Jeunes pousses aux notes asiatiques et purée bien « de chez nous ».
Après cette dégustation, nous tombons nos tenues et nous mettons en maillots pour profiter de la caresse du soleil. Les transats sur lesquels nous sommes alanguies sont encore bien exposés à la lumière du soleil...c'est juste un enchantement!!
Il est temps de rentrer pour les soins et massages que Lucile a pris le temps de réserver au Riad.

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