10 Pictures to help you escape from home

Tabacón Hot Springs in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

10 Pictures to help you escape from home

We cannot always travel… It can be because we just started a new job, because we need to take care of someone at home, because we do not have the budget, or because the situation is so complicated at a global scale that the major recommendation is: STAY AT HOME… You might be a travel lover like me, and in that case you are probably thinking about some trips you had to cancel and reminisce your past trips with nostalgia… Or you might just be bored at home, after having binge-watched you favorite show for the 10th time/ baked hundreds of homemade cookies or tried to learn five new TikTok dances… Therefore I decided to do something to help! I have put together some of my best pictures from my past trips to give you a few ideas about where to go next and/or make you dream! Time for us to think about our future trips and forget about our daily routine! Here are 10 pictures and destinations that will help you escape from home!

Tabacón Hot Springs in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Tabacón Hot Springs in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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You are in Tabacón Hot Springs, a resort located in the heart of the beautiful rainforest in Arenal in Costa Rica. The temperature outside is tropical. You are soaking in the thermal water with delight. The natural Tabacón river flowing throughout the resort is slowly mineralized and heated underground by the Arenal Volcano’s magma. As the flora and fauna of the area is triggering all your senses, you really feel like you are in the middle of the jungle .

Gazing at the thermal water cascading from the waterfalls in front of you, you are forgetting about all your issues. Your only thoughts at the moment are wondering whether you should go down the waterslide, go sit in one of those secluded pools with an amazing view of the Arenal Volcano, or just enjoy a refreshing drink at the swim-up bar afterwards…

More info about Tabacón Hot Springs:

Tabacón is an eco-friendly resort with one of the best hot springs in La Fortuna in Costa Rica! The resort is flanked by the beautiful Arenal Volcano at one end and the Arenal Volcano National Park on the other. Tabacón is featuring Costa Rica´s largest network of naturally flowing thermal mineral springs in a large and beautiful private, rainforest reserve. The thermal river that flows through the resort is heated by the still active Arenal Volcano. The temperatures of the five different hot springs differ from 25 C (77 F) to 50 C (122 F), but the resort has also a cold river.

You will find dozens of cascading waterfalls and natural warm pools surrounded by gardens along the riverbed, of varying temperatures, water flows and degree of privacy. The main area has also a swim-up bar, a waterslide, and spa facilities where you can enjoy a variety of treatments.

No need to stay in the resort for the night, you can book a day pass for this thermal experience (online, via a phone call, or by simply going there at the opening in the morning).

Location: 142, Provincia de Alajuela, San Carlos, Costa Rica.

Websitehttps://www.tabacon.com/

Why you should visit La Fortuna in Costa Rica:

La Fortuna is Costa Rica’s most popular destination. Why is it so appealing? First of all because it’s located close by the Arenal Volcano. This one was until 2010 Costa Rica’s most active volcano, and one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world! Although it’s dormant at the moment, the volcano provides a scenic background to the area. But people also love to visit La Fortuna because there is a great variety of natural attractions and activities to do around here.

Costa Rica in Central America is one of the best places in the world to admire nature and wildlife! Indeed you will find there a great variety of beautiful landscapes with volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs, rainforest, cloud forests, white-sand beaches, coral reefs and National Parks. I have seen many amazing animals: sloths, hummingbirds, toucans, frogs, butterflies, and monkeys. The country is also well known for its ecotourism and sustainable initiatives.

What else you can see/do in La Fortuna in Costa Rica:

Here is a list of cool things to see/do in La Fortuna in Costa Rica:

  • Discover the gorgeous La Fortuna waterfall.
  • Hike through Arenal Volcano National Park to see the famous Arenal Volcano.
  • Visit a sloth park: there is one in the city where you can see sloth in the wild.
  • Do some outdoor adventure activities: ziplines, hanging bridges, kayak and canoe.
  • Take a boat tour to see the wonderful nature and wildlife of Caño Negro (a wetlands site).
  • Go horseback riding.

Higashiyama district in Kyoto, Japan

Higashiyama District in Kyoto, Japan
Higashiyama District in Kyoto, Japan

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You are walking in a cobbled street lined with traditional wooden houses in Higashiyama in Kyoto. In this early morning it feels like you are traveling back in time as you are going further down the alley. Before you Hokanji temple stands out with its five story. This 46 meters high pagoda coming from another era simply mesmerizes you! Your mind is trying to picture how it was centuries ago with geishas and samurais wandering around… 

After gazing at the blooming cherry tree on your left, you feel so grateful for visiting this beautiful place in spring! You are now thinking about having a cup matcha tea and about all the fantastic temples you will discover today. You are so excited to be here!

More info about Higashiyama district in Kyoto:

Higashiyama is one of the best places to experience the atmosphere of the traditional Kyoto. There are shrines and temples everywhere. The area is really preserved with cafes, teahouses, ryokans, restaurants and shops taking place in the traditional wooden houses. You can just get lost in the streets and breathe in the ambiance of this Japan from the past!

As you can imagine, it’s usually pretty packed (with tourists). So I recommend you to go there twice to enjoy it to the fullest. At first take a walk during the day to grab something to eat, drink a cup of tea, or buy some souvenirs in the shop and experience the liveliness of the area. Then come again early in the morning or at night to have it all to yourself!

Location: Ninenzaka street and Sannenzaka street, Higashiyama-Ku, Kyoto

Why you should visit Kyoto in Japan:

Kyoto is THE Japanese city to visit to experience the history and the traditions of Japan. This city used to be the capital of Japan from 794 to 1868, and is the home of no less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites! That’s why there are a huge quantity of reasons to visit it.

First of all Kyoto is the city of temples. There are over 1600 temples and shrines in Kyoto! Secondly Kyoto is the best place to spot a real Geisha with their unique outfit and way of life! Thirdly you will find there many beautiful parks and peaceful garden. Last and not least, the food scene there is amazing. And I am not even talking about the insane colors that Kyoto is taking during the cherry blossom season or the momiji (fall) season! You should see Kyoto at least once in your lifetime!

What I love the most about Japan is the mix between the super futuristic world and the traditional world. On the one hand you can walk in areas with so many bright neon lights that you cannot tell if it’s day or night, or have dinner looking at robots fighting each other. And on the other hand you can visit 1400 years old Buddhist temples and meet geishas in the streets.

What else you can see/do in Kyoto:

Here is a list of interesting things to see/do in Kyoto:

  • Gion district: another place where you can experience the atmosphere of the traditional Kyoto and meet real Geishas in the street.
  • Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine: a Shinto Shrine featuring a path with hundreds of traditional Torii Gates dating from 711.
  • Arashiyama grove: the famous Bamboo forest.
  • Kinkaku-ji Temple: “The Golden Pavilion”.
  • Philosopher’s Path: a walking trail famous for the cherry blossoms.
  • Maruyama Park: Kyoto’s most popular and most crowded spot for hanami (cherry blossom viewing parties). The park is also full of temples.
  • Kiyomizudera Temple:  one of the most celebrated temples of Japan founded in 780.

Lavender fields in Provence, France

Lavender Field in Valensole, Provence - France
Lavender Field in Valensole, Provence - France

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It’s the beginning of the summer and you are standing in a purple dream! There are lavender fields surrounding you as far as your eyes can see. You close your eyes and you take a deep breath in: the smell is absolutely incredible! The only noises you can hear are the ones of busy bees and chirping birds.

You walk along the alley in the middle of the lavender until you reach a tree with a shape of a heart. You decide to sit a its feet for a few minutes and you look around you: the landscape is absolutely magical! There is a sunflower field right close by: another spot to add to your sunset walk!

More info about Provence in France:

Every year at end of June and the beginning of July, the lavender fields are blooming in the region of Provence in France. The best lavender fields are located around Valensole. This pretty medieval village of Provence, ideally located in the middle of a plateau of lavender and almond trees, means Valley of Sun? Lovely right?!

Wandering in the middle of those lavender fields is really an amazing experience that will appeal to many of your senses: the gorgeous purple colors, the incredible smell of the lavender, the sounds of the bees, … Nothing better to escape and forget about any kind of stress! But lavender is not the only flower you will find in this area! Sunflowers, sage, and poppies are also growing in Provence and providing amazing backgrounds!

Location: Valensole 04210 France

Why you should visit Provence in France:

Provence is a region located at the South of France and therefore gifted with a very pleasant climate. Adding the perfect weather to the beautiful landscapes and you already have two very good reasons to visit this region! Moreover the coastline of the French Riviera is magnificent with the Calanques, one of France’s natural wonders.

But Provence is also a place full of amazing architecture, art and museums. Many painters, writers, sculptors and musicians, have been inspired by this region: Cézanne, Matisse, Chagall, and Picasso for example.

The following well-known cities are located in Provence: St Tropez, Cannes, Nice, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence.

I cannot talk about Provence without talking about the gastronomy! The local markets are providing the best products. There are plenty of excellent restaurants and the local specialties are delicious!

What else you can see/do in Provence:

Here is a list of formidable stuffs to see/do in Provence:

  • Roussillon: a village located in the very heart of the biggest ochre deposits in the world with beautiful ochre colored facades. It’s classed among the “most beautiful villages of France”.
  • Gordes, another one of the most beautiful villages of France: very charming with its typical architecture with white and grey stones.
  • Discover the Gorges du Verdon and the Lac de Sainte Croix: one of Europe’s most beautiful river canyon. You can rent kayaks to travel on the river and the lake, or hike.
  • Admire the Palais des Papes in Avignon: the largest gothic structure in Europe.
  • See the Pont du Gard: an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge built in the first century AD.
  • Walk in the Calanques: a series of rocky cliffs and bays between the city of Marseille and the town of Cassis.

Sunrise in Bagan, Myanmar

Sunrise in Bagan - Myanmar
Sunrise in Bagan - Myanmar

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It’s dawn and you are walking in the middle of pagodas built centuries ago. They have all kind of shapes and size, from temples to simple stupas. It’s so surreal that you feel like you are in a movie! The sun is rising slowly, and all of a sudden you spot a hot air balloon rising in the sky! Then another one, and another one! In a few minutes there are plenty of them with all colors of the rainbow flying in the sky in different random directions. You are running from one spot to another to capture them as they are quickly vanishing at the horizon.

One hour later the show is over and the sun is higher in the sky. You are still not sure if it was just a dream or the reality… But one sure thing is that you will be up at sunrise the day after to witness this magic again!

More info about chasing the hot air balloons at sunrise in Bagan:

Watch the sunrise with the hot air balloons in the sky and the temples in the background is quite a special experience in Bagan! To make the best out of it, you need to find a spot with temples and pagodas where you are sure that the hot air balloons will be visible. For this its’ great to do some research and explore the area the day before. The balloons are flying during approximately 1h from sunrise between Nuyang-U and New Bagan, so you have to get up early. Some places get very crowded, that’s the reason why it’s important to look for the best spots in advance, and try different ones every morning.

You can go with an electric scooter by yourself, or hire a tuk tuk.

Location: Soo Lay Gon Group, Bagan – Myanmar

Why you should visit Bagan in Myanmar:

Bagan used to be the capital of the Pagan Kingdom between the 9th to the 13th centuries. During that time no less than 4,446 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed here. Today Bagan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can still find in the area the remains of 3822 temples and pagodas! Given this context sunrises and sunsets are very spectacular there.

Myanmar, aka Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia close to India, China and Thailand. This country is full of beauty and really deserves a visit! Furthermore Myanmar is not too touristy yet, a good thing if you like to travel without being in the middle of a crowd!

What else you can see/do in Bagan:

Here is a list of amazing things to see/do in Bagan:

  • Visit Ananda temple: this Buddhist temple built in 1105 has a stunning architecture.
  • Do a hot air balloon ride: seeing all the temples and pagodas from above is fantastic!
  • Visit the archaeological museum: this will help you to understand the history and culture of the Bagan Empire.
  • See a local market: Mani Sithu Market in Nyaung-U is a good choice to get a real loca experience.
  • Hike Mount Popa: hiking this extinct volcano is an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful dramatic scenery.

La Petite Venise in Colmar, France

La Petite Venise in Colmar - Alsace, France
La Petite Venise in Colmar - Alsace, France

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You are wandering in Colmar in France, or should I say right in the middle of a fairy tale. The facades of the dozens of half-timbered houses around you are painted with all the colors of the rainbow. Between the pink ones, the blue ones, the yellow ones, or the green ones, you do not know which one is the prettiest! You are wondering if a Disney princess will walk down the street at some point… And you are pretty sure that the cute bird perched on the lamppost close by is about to talk to you as if it was a human being!

As you are gazing at the Lauch River flowing gently in front of you, you notice a bark moored to the bank. That would be a very good idea to keep on visiting the area on the river!

More info about Colmar in Alsace:

Well known for its colorful half-timbered houses, Colmar is a French city that deserves a visit. It’s located in East of France, in the region of Alsace at the border of Germany. Would it be in December for the Christmas market or at any other time of the year, this town is a dream!

Most of the most photogenic spots in Colmar are located in the Old Town, around an area called “La Petite Venise”. La Petite Venise or Little Venice is the name given to the course of the Lauch River in Colmar. This name probably came from the original line of the houses on both sides of the river, which serves the southeast of the city.

Why you should visit the region of Alsace:

My father was born and raised in the Alsace region. I always love to visit here!  This region is blessed with beautiful forest and hills, the Rhine River and the Vosges Mountains. It’s also a fertile land for grapes, and you can see a lot of amazing vineyards! It’s a good region for outdoor activities like biking, boating, trekking and fishing.

Colmar is not the only beautiful city in Alsace. Strasbourg is the capital city of the Alsace region and the formal seat of the European Parliament and other international institutions. Its Old Town is enchanting and now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will also find colorful half-timbered houses in other villages like Riquewihr, Eguisheim, Ribeauvillé and Kaysersberg. Some of them are part of “the prettiest villages of France”!

Alsace is a very traditional region, and it is are really famous for its wines, beers and gastronomy. Here are some of the local dishes that you have to try: the flammekueche, the sauerkraut, the pretzels…

What else you can see/do in Alsace:

Here is a list of fantastic things to see/do in Alsace:

  • Visit Strasbourg and the district of Petite France with many half-timbered houses standing on an island over the Ill River. The Cathedral is one of the major landmark of the city.
  • Discover the most charming cities and villages: Riquewihr, Eguisheim, Ribeauvillé, Kaysersberg…
  • Visit a castle: like the Haut-Koenigsbourg,
  • Hikes: there are more than 17,000 km of marked trails in Alsace,
  • Taste the amazing local gastronomy and the famous wines of Alsace.
  • Visit the Christmas markets in winter: they are worldwide famous!

 

Check out my articles about Alsace: Alsace.

The Chronicles of Georgia in Tbilisi, Georgia

Chronicles of Georgia in Tbilisi - Georgia
Chronicles of Georgia in Tbilisi - Georgia

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You are standing in the middle of an impressive monument at the top of a hill in Tbilisi, Georgia. All around you 16 dark pillars of 30 meters high are building a square temple structure. On all of these pillars you can see different people standing proud: the kings, queens and heroes who have contributed to the history of Georgia. As you take a look at them, you feel incredibly small… Surprisingly in that part of Tbilisi the wind is blowing very hard. Its power is so intense that it’s even difficult to stand and walk. Between the powerful wind and the imposing sculpture, the atmosphere is really breathtaking!

As you are fighting with the air to go down the series of stairs and to leave the place, you take a final look at it. Although you felt really uncomfortable, you cannot but acknowledge the power of this experience. You will never forget it for sure!

More info about the Chronicles of Georgia in Tbilisi:

Located in the Mount Keeni, the Chronicles of Georgia is a stunning monument of Tbilisi. Some people call it the “Stonehenge of Tbilisi”, no wonder why when you look at it! It has been built by Zurab Tsereteli in 1985, but somehow was never fully finished. The monument sitting at the top of a large set of stairs chronicles the history of Georgia.

It’s difficult to describe that place with words only, but I would say it’s astonishing, raw and dramatic! This is definitely a place you will have to see by yourself to really understand what I mean! This place is a must see if you visit Tbilisi!

From up there you have a great view over Tbilisi Sea (an artificial lake that serves as a reservoir) and the city.

Why you should visit Tbilisi in Georgia:

Tbilisi is the capital city of Georgia, sitting at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. It has been influenced by the Middle East, Russia, Asia and Europe with all the invasions it had endured along the centuries. Therefore the architecture and the culture of the area is very unique! Wandering in the Old Town of Tbilisi is an unforgettable experience! You will walk into a labyrinth of narrow streets where you can admire the picturesque pastel colored wooden houses and their amazing carved balconies. But the city features also some very modern and design structures. Tbilisi is known for its thermal waters, and this is a great place to experience thermal baths!

The locals are warm and welcoming. The ambiance in the city is lively and many trendy places are opening. One last thing I absolutely have to mention: the food is divine! The Georgian cuisine is one of the best I have ever tasted!

What else you can see/do in Tbilisi:

Here is a list of awesome things to see/do in Tbilisi:

  • See the entrance of Orbeliani Baths: THE most beautiful facade of Tbilisi with its blue tiles, and take a thermal bath.
  • Take a walking tour of the Old Town and discover the cute Clock Tower of Tbilisi.
  • Walk on the Bridge of Peace: it’s super design and it’s lit at night.
  • Visit the beautiful and surprising Kaleidoscope House.
  • See the stunning Sameba Cathedral, aka Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi: the main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
  • Enjoy the panoramic views from Rike Park.
  • Discover the cool urban space of La Fabrika for a drink.

The Bali Swing in Ubud, Bali

Bali Swing in Ubud, Bali
Bali Swing in Ubud, Bali

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You are sitting on a very high swing in the middle of the jungle in Ubud, Bali. You are very excited to be here after having seen a ton of pictures of that swing! All of a sudden you are propelled up in the air! You cannot but scream and close your eyes because it’s too intense! But quickly you open your eyes again: you do not want to miss anything! Then you discover the fantastic green scenery at your feet: rice terraces and palm trees are all over! You can even spot a river flowing down there. The feeling of swinging above this gorgeous landscape is really sensational! It’s as if you are a kid again but in a dream tropical world! You enjoy it to the fullest as you heart is racing at every new push in the air!  

Unfortunately the experience is already coming to an end. Although it lasted a few minutes, you have the feeling it was only seconds… And you already want to do it again!

More info about the Bali Swing in Ubud:

This photo was taken at the famous Bali Swing. It costs 30 EUR / 35 USD for the entrance with the swing experience. If you are just here to accompany your relatives but do not want to swing it’s 10 USD. A rather expensive price, but it’s a complete experience: there are several swings with different heights, some cute nests for Instagrammable pictures, breathtaking views all around, and even a lunch buffet and drinks!

The staff is very kind and welcoming: it’s all about service here! Someone of the team can help you take your picture with your phone if needed. Security measures are implemented to prevent any risks. For an extra price you can even book a photographer and rent a dress!

As this place has become very popular, it’s very touristy and you might have to queue one hour or more to access the swings. Always better to come at the opening! But I also know that many other swing places opened in the area, cheaper and less busy.

Location: Jl. Dewi Saraswati No.7, Bongkasa Pertiwi, Kec. Abiansemal, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80352

WebsiteBali Swing

Why you should visit Ubud in Bali:

Ubud is a town on the Indonesian island of Bali amongst beautiful mountains and rice fields. As an arts and culture centre, it is one of the most touristy places of Bali. Nevertheless the atmosphere there is serene, which makes it so special! Ubud and its area are full of temples, museums and art galleries. It’s also a good place to buy craftwork and souvenirs, to see a Balinese traditional dance, to have a fancy dinner or to attend a festival.

Ubud is as well a paradise for yoga lovers! There are a ton of yoga schools and retreats for all types of yoga and meditation. All those places have views over the rice terraces and the jungle, which makes it even better!

Lastly if you like to eat healthy food, you will enjoy Ubud for sure! There are many vegan cafes and restaurants in the area. Between all the smoothie bowls, the buddha bowls, the raw cakes and the vegan Indonesian dishes you will have plenty of choice!

What else you can see/do in Ubud:

Here is a list of exciting things to see/do in Ubud:

  • The Monkey Forest: the sanctuary and natural habitat of the Balinese long-tailed Monkey with more than 1000 monkeys.
  • Walk in Campuhan Ridge Walk: a hike/walk to do at sunrise or sunset with beautiful views over the jungle and the rice terraces.
  • Wander in the rice terraces: the most beautiful in the area are in Tegalalang.
  • Visit a temple: Tirta Empul (with Holi Spring to purify people), Gunung Kawi, Pura Kehen, Goa Gajah.
  • Chase waterfalls: Nungnung waterfall, Tibumana waterfall, Tegenungan waterfall.
  • Go to the market: the best place in all Bali to buy souvenirs and do cheap shopping.
  • Walk in Ubud and have a look at the Palace and the Water Palace.
  • See a traditional Balinese dance show.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Sunrise at the Eiffel Tower, Trocadero - Paris
Sunrise at the Eiffel Tower, Trocadero - Paris

Picture this:

You are in Paris, one of the most romantic city of the world! The stunning Eiffel Tower is standing right in front of you and you have it all to yourself! The sun is about to rise and the sky is taking the most beautiful colors in the background. A soft breeze is blowing gently on your skin, just enough to make you realize that you are not dreaming! You gaze at the magnificent Iron Lady lit by the sunrise, observing all the details of the architecture.

You are enjoying that show for a long moment: there is no pressure to rush… At some point you realize you are hungry. You walk down the stairs of Trocadéro and you head to a café nearby.  A well-deserved croissant is waiting for you there… or maybe two!

More info about the Eiffel Tower and Trocadéro in Paris:

I guess there is no need to introduce the Eiffel Tower: the most famous landmark of Paris. Built for the Exposition Universelle of 1889, it was hated at first by the Parisians! Who would have thought at the time that it would be the most beloved landmark of France and maybe of the world!

As a Parisian and a photographer I have seen the Eiffel Tower countless of times. Nevertheless I can tell you that I am still amazed by our iconic Iron Lady!

There are plenty of places to capture the Eiffel Tower. But the spot that you can see in the photo is my favorite and offers a unique perspective of the tower: it’s named Trocadéro. It’s free of access and you can go there at any time of the day or the night.

My favorite moment to shoot at Trocadéro is at sunrise. On the one hand it’s not too crowded with tourists yet. Although you won’t be the only one, as a lot of photoshoots are happening early morning there. And on the other hand it’s the best for the sky colors and the light!!

Why you should visit Paris in France:

Paris, also named the city of Love, is a magical city! There are so many reasons to dream about Paris, and to visit it again and again! If you ever need to be convinced, here are some of them!

Paris is an historical city: it dates back to approximately 259 BC and is the capital of France since the 6th century. Therefore there are plenty of historical monuments all around the city. It’s also a feast for the eyes for the architecture lovers!

Paris is one of the best place of the world for art and culture. You will find there plenty of museums, art exhibitions, festivals, or concerts. There are so many things to do that you cannot get bored! Paris is as well one of the global reference for fashion.

But Paris wouldn’t be so much appreciated without its very unique ambiance! Simply sitting at the terrace of a cafe, eating a croissant, or walking along the banks of the Seine, has become an art, a way of life! Wandering in the streets of Montmartre (a neighborhood of Paris) is a good way to get the typical atmosphere of Paris: a cliche maybe, but we all love it! And of course I have to talk about the French gastronomy: Paris is foodie paradise! A ton of places offers delicious food here.

After reading this you should get why Paris has been a source of inspiration for many writers, painters, artists, and filmmakers over the years! So why not see by yourself?

What else you can see/do in Paris, France:

Here is a list of wonderful things to see/do in Paris:

  • See the Eiffel Tower from every perspective possible and walk to the top, and also see it at night when it sparkles every hour!
  • Visit the Louvre Museum and take pictures with the pyramids in the courtyard.
  • Walk the Champs Elysées and go shopping.
  • Admire Notre Dame Cathedral from afar.
  • Wander in Montmartre to get the feeling of the traditional Paris.
  • Eat a croissant everyday (because why not?!).
  • Sit at a terrace for a cafe and watch people go by (so Parisian!).
  • Visit the castle of Versailles.
  • Walk along the banks of the river Seine at sunset.

 

Take a look at all my articles about Paris here: Paris. As a Parisian I have written a lot about this city!

The Skydeck in Chicago, USA

Skydeck glass balcony Chicago
Skydeck glass balcony Chicago

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You are standing in a glass balcony at 410 meters in the air and you are overlooking the city of Chicago. You are very impressed to be able to see this amazing city from this extraordinary perspective! Putting cautiously one foot in front of the other on the glass floor, you are looking down. And you realize that you can see tiny people going about their daily activities and tiny cars driving around! Reaching the window glass at the end of the balcony, you appreciate the exceptional architecture of Chicago: those skyscrapers look quite different from up there! 

 Gazing out at the never-ending horizon, you let your thoughts run wild for a moment… After a while you feel ready for a sightseeing day in the Windy City. Walking in those streets down there will never feel the same!

More info about the Skydeck in Chicago:

On the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower you will find the Skydeck. This is the highest observation deck in the United States! The elevators reach the top in about 60 seconds. The Skydeck offers unbeatable views of the city and beyond: you can see parts of 4 different states (Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana & Michigan), Soldier Field, Chicago River and more.

Once you are up at the Skydeck, you will have the incredible opportunity to stand in The Ledge: 4 glass balconies, which extend approximately 1.2 m (4.3 feet) from the façade at 410 meters (1,353 feet) in the air. They will allow you to see the streets below. It is very impressive!

The best times of the day to come to take photos there are first thing in the morning, or 1h prior to closing. For the morning option, be ready to queue in front of the entrance before the opening to be one of the firsts to enter. For the sunset option, be aware that it’s very popular, so you will have to be patient. In case it’s busy just wait for your turn to go inside the glass balcony.

If you are afraid of heights, this might be a challenge. But you will not regret it!

Location: Willis Tower, 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606

WebsiteThe Skydeck

Why you should visit Chicago in the USA:

Chicago is an American city located in the state of Illinois on the shores of Lake Michigan. I have spent 2 weeks in Chicago for the first time at the beginning of Fall 2019 and I enjoyed it a lot! This city has a lot to offer.

For me it was love at first sight! The skyline is amazing and the architecture of the skyscrapers is stunning. Actually the architecture of Chicago makes its reputation worldwide! The presence of the Chicago River in downtown adds a lot of value the city. That’s one of the reasons why it makes it very pleasant to discover!

And Chicago has beaches on the banks of Lake Michigan! It’s really amazing to be able to escape from the busy city in only a few minutes. During spring and summer this is the perfect place to relax, to stroll and to workout.

What else you can see/do in Chicago:

Here is a list of fun things to see/do in Chicago:

  • See the Bean and Millenium Park: the Bean, aka Cloud Gate, is the most famous landmark of Chicago.
  • Do an architecture boat tour.
  • Walk the Magnificent Miles for shopping, restaurants and entertainment.
  • Visit the Art Institute of Chicago: one of the oldest and largest art museums in the USA.
  • Stroll on the Chicago Riverwalk.
  • Enjoy breathtaking 360 degrees views of Chicago at 360 Chicago.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Eat a deep-dish pizza: the most famous local specialty.
  • Have fun at Navy Pier.

 

Take a look at my article about Chicago for more info: the TOP 10 Things to do in Chicago!

Medieval views in Tallinn, Estonia

Picture this:

It’s summer and you are in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. At this moment of the year, the days last very long and the sun is rising at 4am. Therefore you woke up at 3am to make sure you could see the sunrise. Although you are tired, you are walking up the steps that lead you to the viewpoint. You arrive on top of Patkuli Viewpoint Platform and you discover a fantastic view over the medieval city of Tallinn! The sky is already taking beautiful colors, a sign that the sun is about to rise. Finally it’s peeking through the clouds and you can enjoy its rays caressing your face: your efforts have been rewarded! From here you can the Town Wall and its defensive towers, St Olav’s church and the bay of Tallinn in the background. The city is really magical!

Suddenly a seagull just lands close to you. Far from being shy, it is walking around and posing for your photos. It’s stealing the show to the sunrise! As the sky is rising higher in the sky, you are yawning: time to go back to sleep! You will wake up later for a good breakfast!

More info about Patkuli viewing platform in Tallinn:

There are a few viewpoints to admire the city from above in Tallinn. Here are my two favorites: Patkuli viewing platform and Kohtuotsa viewing platform. Both are located on Toompea hill.

Patkuli viewing platform offers spectacular views over the old town of Tallinn, the Baltic Sea and the harbour. There is a staircase, built in 1903, leading down the cliff face to Nunne street and Shnelli Park below. You can go there at any time of the day but it’s obviously better for sunrise and sunset. Patkuli viewing platform is a bit less crowded than Kohtuotsa. The locals love to go there with their loved ones over the weekends. It’s of course less busy at sunrise than at sunset.

Location: Patkuli viewing platform – Rahukohtu, 10130 Tallinn.

Why you should visit Tallinn in Estonia:

Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia, located at the crossroads of Northern, Western and Eastern Europe. The Old Town of Tallinn is one of Europe’s best-preserved historical city centers! It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with first traces of human settlement dating back 5000 years! It has charming medieval architecture, cobbled streets and ambiance. A good moment to visit is during winter for the Christmas market!

By the way Tallinn is a beach town: in the Pirita district, just outside the city center, a 2km sand strip borders Tallinn Bay. This city is also a popular cruise ship destination, with more than 300 ships docking here each year.

What else you can see/do in Tallinn:

Here is a list of interesting things to see/do in Tallinn:

  • Wander in the Old Town of Tallinn to enjoy the medieval architecture, and see Viru Gate and the main square Raekoja Plats.
  • Visit St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral: Tallinn’s largest and grandest orthodox cupola cathedral.
  • Hunt for all the beautiful doors of Tallinn.
  • Visit Kadriorg Palace: a baroque palace currently housing the Kadriorg Art Museum.
  • Wander in Telliskivi: the hipster area of Tallinn.
  • Go to the beach.

 

For more ideas read my article about Tallinn: The Top 10 Things to do in Tallinn.

As I have visited all of those destinations myself, let me know if you have any questions. It will be my pleasure to help you! They are all different and all worth the trip!

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About Me

Hello! I am Ophélie, an avid traveller, photographer and foodista. I am French and I live in Paris.

This blog, will give you all my secrets: my best addresses (sightseeing and food) all around the world and in Paris, and my travel and lifestyle tips!

 

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39 Comments
  • Charu Goyal
    Posted at 15:55h, 03 April Reply

    All these pictures are so beautiful, Ophelie! I would love to be at any of these places right now. Thank you for writing such a great list of destinations 😍

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 17:57h, 03 April Reply

      I am so pleased you like all the photos Charu! I cannot wait to travel again, even better if it’s with you !!

      • Charu Goyal
        Posted at 12:13h, 04 April Reply

        Yes, we have to do more trip(s) together super soon 💗

  • Sandra // BlueMarble Vagabonds
    Posted at 12:02h, 04 April Reply

    Ok, these really are dreamy pictures! I don’t wear dresses often, but those pics made me wanna do so 😀 Wanderlust at its best <3 🙂

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 17:00h, 04 April Reply

      I am glad if those photos motivate you to wear more dresses Sandra: they look good in photos for sure but also make me feel so feminine! I hope you also found some new places to visit!

  • Eleanor Green
    Posted at 12:05h, 04 April Reply

    This makes me dream so much! I can’t wait to travel again! I would especially love to visit Costa Rica and South America in general.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 16:57h, 04 April Reply

      I really want to travel again to this part of the world too! So many amazing countries that we need to see Ellie!!

  • Amanda
    Posted at 12:45h, 04 April Reply

    Oh I’ve been in lockdown in over a week, this really made me dream away!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 17:01h, 04 April Reply

      So good to know that I managed to make you dream Amanda! It really was the purpose of this article!

  • Suvarna Arora
    Posted at 14:26h, 04 April Reply

    I love all these destinations babe. I so wish to see some European destinations this year after the situation settles.

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 17:02h, 04 April Reply

      I hope you will get this opportunity ASAP Suvarna! Maybe we will even have the opportunity to meet each other?! That would be awesome!

  • Paula Martinelli
    Posted at 14:52h, 04 April Reply

    Oh how I miss to travel 🙁 but thank you for helping to mentally take me to amazing places around our beautiful Planet!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 18:30h, 04 April Reply

      I am doing my best to make you escape virtually Paula. I miss travel so much too!

  • Caroline
    Posted at 14:55h, 04 April Reply

    You are making me want to travel badly 🙁

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 18:31h, 04 April Reply

      We have to be patient, the world is waiting for us anyway!

  • madhu sharma
    Posted at 15:23h, 04 April Reply

    Wow really these pictures are stunning ..love them .hope to start travelling soon

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 18:23h, 04 April Reply

      Thank you Madhu! I cannot wait to travel again too!

  • Emma
    Posted at 16:42h, 04 April Reply

    I want to visit all of them. Right now. Some I’ve been to, some I haven’t but you’ve definitely inspired me to start planning my next trip. First stop: the lavender fields! Your injuries are stunning by the way

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 18:27h, 04 April Reply

      Makes me so happy to have motivated you to travel (again) to all those places Emma! The lavender fields in Provence are so dreamy you will love them!

  • Brit
    Posted at 16:50h, 04 April Reply

    Wow these photos are absolutely stunning!! And I love the mini guide that follows each destination. Wonderful post!!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 18:27h, 04 April Reply

      Thank you Brit! I am glad I could provide you with some useful info!

  • Taylor
    Posted at 17:15h, 04 April Reply

    Wow! This is amazing Ophelie and I love how creative this blog post is. Every place you feature here looks so dreamy right now and of course, all of your photos are so stunning. 🙂

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 18:34h, 04 April Reply

      I am glad you liked the way I wrote this article, I wanted to be a bit different! Thank you for the compliments Taylor!

  • Katie Diederichs
    Posted at 19:17h, 04 April Reply

    So many beautiful photos and descriptions here. Loved the “mini vacation” off of my couch!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 12:56h, 05 April Reply

      Many thanks for the compliments Katie! Mission accomplished for me if I managed to make you travel from your couch!

  • Sophie
    Posted at 19:30h, 04 April Reply

    I loved daydreaming and travelling around the world via your beautiful photos. Thank you for all the inspiration 🙂

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 12:55h, 05 April Reply

      Thank you for your feedback Sophie! I am glad I made you travel from home!

  • Kriszti
    Posted at 20:45h, 04 April Reply

    This is exactly what I needed now to dream myself away from this current situation 🙂 All of these destinations are so beautiful! Can’t believe I’ve only seen 3 of them!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 12:57h, 05 April Reply

      I hope I added 7 destinations to your bucket list then Kriszty! Glad you liked the article!

  • Lyne
    Posted at 21:44h, 04 April Reply

    Your photos are so beautiful, I love them! It’s the perfect post to escape reality, I was in Kyoto not so long ago, your photo bring a lot of memories back!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 12:58h, 05 April Reply

      Thank you Lyne! I miss Japan so much too, I was there exactly one year ago!

  • Urban Wanders
    Posted at 21:49h, 04 April Reply

    These pictures are incredible! Definitely helped me escape for a second 😀 I am especially looking forward to traveling to Paris again in the future!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 12:59h, 05 April Reply

      Paris is waiting for you! Thank you for your feedback, it’s great that you could dream for a moment!

  • Polly
    Posted at 02:00h, 05 April Reply

    Your photos are absolutely stunning. The Tabacon hot springs in Costa Rica look absolutely beautiful. Hopefully would get the chance to travel there soon!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 13:00h, 05 April Reply

      Costa Rica is an amazing destination and there are many hot springs there Polly! The perfect place to go to enjoy nature and wildlife!

  • Dana Berez
    Posted at 02:16h, 05 April Reply

    Provence is so high on the list! Love all these destinations!

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 13:01h, 05 April Reply

      The lavender fields in Provence are so dreamy Dana, you would love it for sure!

  • Cristina
    Posted at 09:43h, 05 April Reply

    I love this post because it’s so different from others I’ve come across during these uncertain times. Your pictures and dresses are stunning too 🙂

    • Limitlesssecrets
      Posted at 13:01h, 05 April Reply

      Thank you very much for your feedback Cristina, it means a lot!

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