Around the World with…Marcella!

Welcome to the second round of Around the World, a weekly series that features a fellow blogger/traveler as they share one of their favorite places with us…whether it be a park, a country, a city, a beach, etc! If you’d like to join, please email me at amy [at] amyandthegreatworld.com. Now, enjoy a little trip to Chile, courtesy of Marcella! world marcella

Hello! I’m Marcella from WhatAWonderfulWorld and I’m excited to be taking over Amy’s blog today to share a special place with you! I blog about current travels, previous travels and that time when I lived in Chile. Closer to home, I include my everyday adventures in the wonderful city of London, which I am lucky enough to call home. Check out my blog, and find me on Bloglovin’!

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When asked: “Where shall I go in Chile?”, I always recommend the amazing city of Valparaiso. I haven’t met a person who didn’t fall in love with Valparaiso the moment their feet touched down in the city. So, today I am going to introduce you to my favourite Chilean city, Valparaiso. Often referred to as Valpo.

Valparaiso is a port city located just over 100km north of Santiago. The first thing you will notice upon arrival is the steepness of the city, which is why they say the people of Valpo have the best legs in Chile! It’s made up of steep staircases and narrow, winding alleyways. If you brave the steepness you will be rewarded with beautiful views over the port. But, if you are feel achy you can take one of the city’s many funiculars. There are twenty-two in total and these will take you up to the top of the hill for a small fee.DSCF3263DSCF3291DSCN4198 DSCF3284DSCF3279P1030822DSCF4880DSCN4236

The real charm of the city is that it resembles an outdoor art gallery. Lots of cities around the world have street art areas, but Valpo is different. In the steep-hilled area of the city there isn’t an inch of wall not covered. However, it’s not just the walls that are lined with art. Art is everywhere; on the floor, on the bins, on the chairs, on the steps. Art is what the city is all about! And art is what makes you want to keep going back for more.P1030817DSCN4238DSCN4243 DSCN4208DSCN4233P1030835 DSCN4234

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Valparaiso is also home to a very special kind of home. The home of Pablo Neruda, a nobel prize-winning poet, is located right at the top of the hills. Pablo Neruda has three homes in Chile, each one feeling like a museum of memories. This particular one is called ‘La Sebastiana’ and is beautiful in every way. It is full of artefacts from his life and you are free to wander around the rooms and see for yourself where his inspiration came from.

“I built the house. First, I made it of air. Then, I raised the flag in the air and left it hanging from the sky, from the light and the darkness.” Pablo Neruda – excerpt from “To La Sebastiana”DSCN4187 DSCN4185

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a bit of Valparaiso. Thanks for having me, Amy!

Marcella xx

Highs & Lows Lately (April)

I don’t remember where I saw this post originally (if you know, or if it was you, holler–I want to give credit where credit is due!). I hope you enjoy some “highs” and “lows” of my April so far!

HIGH

Starting my new series, Around the World, last week! If you’re interested, shoot me an email–I’m looking for more guest posts on anywhere in the world! Check out for the next installment later this week.

LOW

An alarmingly large chunk of one of my eyebrows has disappeared. Sadly this is not entirely foreign to me–my eyebrows have always been my least favorite feature, so much so that I shaved them off when I was 12, which destroyed them even more–but now it seems like I have a bald patch in there. My solution right now is to color it in or cover it with my bangs. One day I forgot to do both, and three of my students (two of them under the age of ten) asked me what was wrong with my face.

HIGH

A short week due to Easter break–which meant a quick visit to the lovely Karlovy Vary!

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LOW

Having to re-prioritize my travels, which meant taking one trip off the docket that I thought was for sure–Easter weekend in the tulip fields near Amsterdam. I’m learning that I really CAN’T see everything while I’m here–at least not all at once–and some things just have to go first, despite where they rank in my travel dream folder. So, I gave up my dream of seeing the tulip fields–for now–in favor of going to Budapest and Dublin with two of our best friends in May. So, probably I should shut up about this one, because hello, I’m living in Europe.

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HIGH

The fact that blossoms are finally showing their colors all over Prague. In fact, about two blocks away from us is a giant park full of cherry blossoms. Despite the persistent gray skies (except for today!!), the blooms are gorgeous and I plan to stop at them every day the weather is nice, since they are on my way home from work.

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LOW

Wedding planning. Some of it is fun–but the unexpected family drama is not fun. But planning the honeymoon has been the best!

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BOTH

Teaching is always a high and a low of my life. The moment I managed to capture, below, is one of those moments where I loved teaching and despised it all in the same minute. The children were supposed to be lining up, with their coats and backpacks on, so I could take them outside to meet their parents. Instead, one little boy started jumping between different colored floor tiles and another girl started randomly spinning. I was quite annoyed that they were disobeying me–I had another class to get to, and I get in trouble if they are caught running in the hallways–but then, they were having so much fun and being so cute. It was a good reminder–this is supposed to be fun. You only get to be five once.

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QUESTION:

Tell me one high and one low from your April so far!

Around the World with…Caitlin!

Happy Thursday, everyone, and welcome to the first post of my new series–“Around the World with…(insert your name here).” “Around the World with…” features a fellow blogger/traveler/friend sharing a favorite spot in the world–whether it be a country, city, village, park, beach, etc!  I’ve had so much positive feedback on this series that I’m hoping to make it long-term. So, if you are interested in participating, shoot me an email at amy [at] amyandthegreatworld.com! Now, take it away, Caitlin!

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Hey y’all! I’m Caitlin, a twenty-something southern belle currently living in Atlanta, GA, and I’m honored to be taking over Amy’s blog today! I blog over at Southern Exhilaration where I share my travels and adventures, southern experiences, and some of my favorite things. So, come on over and stay awhile, and be sure to check out my Facebook and Twitter too!

Today, we are going to spend the day with one of my favorite artists, Claude Monet!

A Day with Monet

About 46 miles (75 km) to the west of Paris lies the quintessential French provincial town, Giverny. Not the easiest to access, but definitely worth the day trip while you are visiting Paris. After buying your ticket for the Vernon station, it’s a quick 45 minute train ride out of Paris’ Saint-Lazare station. Once in Vernon, you can take a taxi, a bus (my recommendation), or walk to Claude Monet’s house. The walk takes about an hour as the house is a little over 4 miles (7km) from the station. We opted for the bus (€8 per person), due to rain that just would not hold off until we got off the bus.

Once you enter the gates, you are in Monet’s personal sanctuary. There are two parts to Monet’s little slice of heaven: the Clos Normand, which are the gardens in front and to the side of the house, and across the street is the famous Water Garden.

We opted to start with Monet’s house. A spacious two-story home, the ground floor contains Monet’s studio with some of his original sketches and a huge kitchen that made me very jealous. As you head upstairs you’ll see Monet’s room, and the other family quarters. The view from his bedroom is amazing! I snuck this picture, despite the no picture rule in the house. Call me a rebel!

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After the house, we wandered the Clos Normand. The garden is divided into different flowerbeds, with different height flowers and color palates making up each bed. It is said that “in the midst of chaos lies creativity”, and that is definitely the case with the Clos Normand. There is a planned chaos, and no constraint on the flowers allowing them to show off all their splendor. The gardens are filled with all different sorts of flowers, some I recognized and some I didn’t, but that was Monet’s design mixing the familiar with the rare.

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Passing through the under-road tunnel, you’ll come to the Water Garden portion of Monet’s domain. As I wandered the path through the bamboo, I felt transported to a different place, eventually coming upon the famous Japanese bridge, one of the most notable subjects of Monet’s work.

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The bridge overlooks the pond filled with water lilies. It’s breathtaking to see in person, and my nerdy self was geeking out over being in the actual place that inspired some of my favorite pieces of artwork.

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After sitting a while in the gardens, just soaking in the beauty, we headed into town and grabbed lunch at an adorable restaurant, Les Nymphéas. We enjoyed the food and atmosphere, but there are a handful of different restaurants around the area you can try. After our delicious lunch, we wandered around the different lanes until we headed back to the bus stop and back to Paris.

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Have you ever been to Giverny? Who’s your favorite artist? Have you ever seen the physical location of your favorite pieces of art?