Monthly Archives: June 2009

Formentera, Spain

After Marrakech, MM and I headed to a more familiar European vacation spot on the Mediterranean. Neither of us had ever been there, so it was still new an exciting for both of us. We went to the small island, Formentera, in Spain.

Formentera is the smallest island of the Illes Pitiüses group (which includes Ibiza and Formentera) and belongs to the Balearic Islands of Spain. It is 19 kilometres long and is located approximately 3 nautical miles south of Ibiza. The only way to Formentera is by boat from Ibiza. This makes it a much quieter destination than the party-central Ibiza. Formentera is known for is well-maintained nature and pristine beaches.

There are a few main villages on the island, but all resemble a very small and sweet Spanish community where the life is simple. North of Formentera is the small island of Espalmador, which is only separated by a shallow sandbar. During low tide, it is possible for one to wade between the two islands. It is a very popular stopping point for yachts heading between Ibiza and Formentera.

A local dialect of Catalan is spoken in Formentera, while the official languages are Catalan and Spanish. Many Italians have made Formentera their summer getaway since it is so close yet feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of normal life.

MM and I did all kinds of honeymoon activities from renting mopeds to renting our own boat to see the island from the sea to visiting all of the beautiful beaches the island has to offer. It was the perfect way to end our honeymoon, and we hope that we will be lucky enough to enjoy it again in our long life together…

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Marrakesh, Morocco – Honeymoon part 1

After our wedding in Tuscany, MM and I flew from Bologna to Casablanca in Morocco and then took another plane to Marrakesh. A close family friend gave us her home (aka palace) in Marrakesh for a week. This gift also came with a full staff – personal guide, chef, and cleaning crew! It was just the two of us in a house that would literally cover an entire New York City block!

Since we’ve been back and we’ve been telling everyone that we went to Marrakesh, we have realized how few of our friends even know what country it is in…and then, they ask where Morocco is! So, I feel it is my duty to shine a light on this fanastic cultural experience and destination.

Marrakesh is known as the “Red City” because of the redish color of nearly all of the buildings – it is an important and former imperial city in Morocco. Like many North African and Middle Eastern cities, Marrakesh contains an old city (the médina) and a modern city (called Gueliz). Marrakech is the third largest city in Morocco after Casablanca and Rabat.

Marrakech has the largest traditional market (souk) in Morocco and also has one of the busiest squares in Africa and the world, Djemaa el Fna. The square is constantly bustling with acrobats, story-tellers, water sellers, dancers, and musicians. By night, the square turns into food stalls, becoming a huge open-air restaurant. The smell and sounds alone will make you feel as though you’ve transported to another planet.

Although midday was deadly hot to wander through the souks, we did buy a beautiful leather suitcase, some ceramic jars, two huge carpets (it would make ABC Carpet cry at the price we scored), some traditional Morrocan dresses for me, and some leather shoes for both MM and me.

We were spoiled with our own personal chef for the entire week, so we didn’t go to a restaurant once. We were told that in Marrakesh, to go to a restaurant is sad to the people who can cook for you at home. (Although there were certainly some fantastic restaurants for the tourists.) From wild chicken with curry to seven vegetable cous cous to freshly pureed strawberries…we were in heaven!

There’s more to share about this experience, but I will leave you with that to get your tastebuds slightly moist for all things Morrocan…

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back in NYC…

During the course of my wedding and honeymoon, I have been in Milan, Lake Como, Florence, Artimino and Bologna in Italy…along with Casablanca, Marrakesh, Madrid, Ibiza, and Formentera. I have attempted to speak Italian, Spanish and French (Moroccan was a little out of my abilities).

Needless to say, I have a lot to share about all of my travels. Plenty of amazing food, places to visit, stories to tell, etc.

I am just going to need some time to gather my photos and get myself settled into NYC again before I can digest everything clearly.

I’m happy to be home with my new husband, though!

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