The travel capsule in reversed order
Due to illness I haven’t been abroad for years. I haven’t even been away from home for one single night for the past three years.
However, this year I’m much better, so I travelled!
First to Sweden with my husband. We went up to a small coastal village called Fjällbacka, and met with my BFF and her husband who sailed up there, as they do every summer.
|The dramatic Kungsklyftan with huge boulders wedged in the cracked rock|
My husband and I went by car bringing our tent (a Vango AirBeam 600xl). The weather was amazing, though very cold at night.
|We didn't spend much time in the tent, but still appreciated a bit of "hygge"|
|A small walk in closet with a very hot bottle of Chanel topping the clothes stand|
The Swedish packing list was the first edition of my travel capsule.
|The white kimono sadly had a washing accident and now fits my daughter!|
The Swedish trip had to include practical clothes for a bit of hiking as well as shopping and restaurant dinners. The village has a famous mountain used several times in film and on TV, as well as in the novels by local author Camilla Läckberg.
|This is around 21:30, still warm and no wind. It doesn't get any better|
|The famous rock Veddeberget, used in film and TV|
|Nobody wants to go home and go to bed when the weather is like this|
In all the travel capsule guidelines I’ve come across, the main point is to pack as few separates as possible, that all mix well, and add different accessories for change.
I do the totally opposite!
Due to various medical reasons I have to change clothes mostly twice daily. That means packing several "full" outfits, except for outerwear. Since I can’t carry a ton on my own I have to “save” on the accessories. Hand washing is not an option as there isn’t drying possibilities.
Luckily I’ve been travelling with light weight summer clothes. Jersey trousers, skirts and t-shirts are manageable items, as a spare pair of ballet flats, just to give my trainers the occasional breather. We did a lot of walking in Paris, husband, daughter and I, so I only brought flats.
|Paris trip packing list, 8 outfits|
When it comes to outerwear things are quite easy too. An all-round denim jacket is more or less mandatory for tourists. Less obvious is a cream jersey jacket. However, the colour is a neutral, it’s perfect for the season, and since the fabric of this particular jacket contains a good deal of polyester, it’s somewhat resilient to dirt and dust. It’s the third trip that I’m packing it for in addition to a denim jacket. For this last trip to Berlin I also brought a longer jacket since we’re later in the season, and the weather report promised lower temperatures. It’s by Marks and Spencer, in a poly-tweed since I can’t wear wool, a longer length and a lovely bright pink with lime green specks!
|Berlin trip packing list, 8 outfits|
The difference on the three travel capsules is that the one for Sweden was more relaxed, the one for Paris was for hotter weather, even though it turned out to be almost as hot in Berlin! For city trips I like a bit more refinement, like the white sequin t-shirt that I've worn many times this summer. I'm desperately needing flat sandals. Those flats I brought to Sweden just comes off my feet - so annoying! So I was stuck with my old and worn ballet flats.
In Sweden we visited Kungsklyftan that has been used as a dramatic background for film and tv. After the initial bit of hiking, there’s a staircase on one side to “ease” the access, like 21 storeys high!!! But it’s so worth it when you see the view from the top!
|The view from the top was amazing!|
|The sky just doesn't get any more blue than this|
Later we had drinks of BFF’s boat, and dinner at a lovely restaurant. In summer the sun doesn’t set until 23:00, and the quiet, sunny evenings were magical!
|BFF's husband mixes a mean Aperol Spritz!|
|BFF with her biggest holiday smile, anticipating cocktails!|
|Husband and I enjoying life!|
Shortly after returning home we packed for Paris.
I visited Paris many years ago, and was underwhelmed. I found the French an arrogant lot that couldn’t be bothered with tourists who didn’t speak French!
What a difference now! Everyone were so friendly and helpful, I couldn’t believe it. We all enjoyed ourselves so much, and all want to return soon.
We took the train (three different ones) and it was fantastic. From Essen to Paris we went on the Thalys train, which runs 300 kilometers per hour. Just look at those velvet seats (and husband). I want trains like this at home too!
|Husband loving the train ride - at 300 kilometers per hour!|
Our hotel was located in Passage Jouffroy, built in 1846. After opening back then, the hotel hasn’t locked it’s door as it has been manned by a concierge at the front desk ever since! The hotel is called Hotel Chopin, and the story goes that Chopin himself often visited the piano sellers shop in the passage…
|This is one of the first shopping malls in the world!|
|Just look at the lamps and the hand rail - gorgeous!|
|Every day we had to pass the cafe on our way out. Well, we tried!|
|Hotel Chopin's entrance - and me!|
The interior of the hotel is very appropriately kept in a historic and romantic style. Doors, floor boards, fireplaces and more, are all original. With a mix of modern conveniences like flushing toilets, a lift, electricity and wifi, we didn’t feel we stayed in a museum. Neither were the interior very precious, so we felt completely relaxed and at home.
|The breakfast room. Our daughter had a feast every morning with those freshly baked croissants|
|Small but very pretty, and with original panelling and built in mirror|
We did go and see a few of the sights, and that was fine.
|For the second time in my life I sat below the tower waiting for the others to come down|
|Amazing that it's 3300 years old, and still looking this sharp!|
|The gilding was very new!|
|I think this was where a cell phone was dropped in the movie "The Devil Wears Prada"?|
|The arch is so big that a pilot flew his plane through it at the end of WW1 as celebration|
However it was our afternoon cakes that are the most memorable!
|The red to the left is mango mousse, at the back there's dark chocolate, and milk chocolate with nuts to the right|
|Savarin with rum with the liquor in the pipette for self distribution. Fun!|
|These are my daughter's and husbands choices at the famous Laduree. Eclair au Chocolate and the Plaisir Sucré|
|Now my choice was the Religieuse Rose Framboise - not as good as the Honoré I had in London in 2014, but still!!!|
|You have to see the inside too|
|The Interior is original and lovely, with lots of gold everywhere|
|I highly recommend Laduree for an extraordinary cake experience!|
What also stayed with me are all the little details: A door handle here, an old shop facade there, another shop only selling mustard, people having lunch outside.
|Brass handle on marble in the middle of a red lacquered door. Love!|
|The original painted glass facade of an old sweet shop. Just fantastic. With husband in front, also fantastic!|
|If you love mustard this is the place to go!|
|That seafood arrangement looked so delicious!|
There’s just so much to see in this beautiful city that this visit just feels like an appetizer. We all want to go back!
On to Berlin a week later! My family and I visited Berlin some years ago. We went to see the usual sights, and did a bit of shopping. The most memorable was a trip to an outdoor specialist shop that was so vast that they had an indoor pool for customers to try out their new kajak before purchasing!
This time I went with the mother’s group. What a party! Not only did we see lots of fantastic places and enjoy some amazing food, we just laughed so much, I swear my belly was flatter when I got home!
|On the ferry in the late afternoon sun having hotdogs|
We stayed at a lovely flat by the river. The busses were only a couple of minutes away, but mostly we took a good walk along the river since the weather was perfect and the scenery so beautiful.
|This was the back of "our" house, right next to the river and the walking path to town|
|The flat was fully equipped, and we had a large breakfast every morning!|
|The view of one of the balconies, where we had breakfast and good night drinks|
Like in Paris we had cake every day! The best were at KaDeWe, the big Harrods-like department store in Mitte
|M's choice, rather heavy with nuts, dried fruit and milk chocolate bits|
|C's choice, a vanilla Eclair which was PERFECT!|
|My choice: Again a mango mousse, this time with white chocolate ganache on soft sponge, HEAVEN!|
|This is the second best cake I've ever had, after the Honoré I had at Laduree in London in 2014. Cakes matter!|
|From the left: Sachertorte, Mango-chocolate gateaux, Apfelstrudel and red currant meringue pie in front|
And in the evening we were lucky to visit some amazing restaurants, the favourite being Monsieur Vuong, a Vietnamese restaurant, close to Rosa Luxemburg Platz, that was so popular they had a waiting line down the road. The waiters came out and took orders for cocktails to be enjoyed while waiting.
|Exotic cocktails for starters - too small!|
|Little crisp spring rolls with fresh vegetables inside - so good!|
|Chicken noodle soup - THE BEST ever! I've tried making it at home afterwards, not too bad|
|Marinated, crisp fried pork with another type of noodles, fresh vegetables and topped with mango - lovely!|
Another great place was the Italian restaurant A Mano at Strausberger Platz, which is actually at a round about! While we were waiting for our food, there was suddenly a lot of police on the street. Traffic was stopped, and we were all very curious. Then there was a van playing music, followed by thousands of people - on roller skates! It was totally unreal! Apart from the first van everything was so quiet. An absolutely amazing experience along with our gorgeous pasta.
|Sea food and chili|
|Salmon and lobster sauce|
We also had the traditional Schnitzel and beer one evening, and more Italian at another Restaurant - and the prices were low everywhere. At Monsieur Vuong we paid like 7 pounds or 10 dollars pr course. That's about half the price we paid in Paris. The same with the cakes, even at KaDeWe.
On our way home (by car) we stopped at the McArthur Glen outlet just outside the city. I was so lucky to walk through the door at Michael Kors, and instantly see this gold bag… It was “mine” even before I had paid for it! The price was less than 100 dollars, or 70 pounds. Having saved so much money I couldn’t leave this cute little purse behind, at just 30 dollars, or 22 punds!
|The gold bag now brightens many of my days|
|The little green purse plays very nicely with my green tunic, another Berlin purchase|
Back home it was supposed to be the end of summer. But no, this is the summer that never ends! During these many months I’ve been swimming a lot in the sea, which has been great for my skin problems.
|The never ending summer|
Just after my previous post I attended the sale at Monies, enjoyed cocktails in the afternoon with my family and looked after my allotment. My produce was eaten by pests, so even if the weather was perfect, it was nearly all in vain.
|No, too low - does the man behind me agree?|
|I'm being strangled!!!|
|Still too narrow on my throat - but gorgeous colours!|
|Lovely but maybe a bit too small? The top is from Boden, v-neck Ravello, bought on sale|
|It looks like I'm wearing three strands, but it is just one - I'll take it, thank you very much!|
|Family hygge with G&T's|
In late spring I bought this sequin top from Next, that I included in both the Paris and Berlin travel capsules. It’s not my preferred shape, but look how easy it is to dress up and down:
|Apologies for the dark photo, it was difficult with the strong sunshine|
|White sequin top with leggings from Danish brand Zhenzi, by the old Royal Exchange|
|The sequin top dressed down at the physiotherapists|
On the first picture I was going to the opening of a small square, all in memory of my late friend Karen. The weather was beautiful, there was a band playing jazz and the mayor gave a speech. It was all so appropriate and emotional. But lovely to see how she’s being honoured.
Later this summer I went to the cinema to see Ocean’s Eight. It was entertaining as expected, but the real joy was the clothes! I loved how Cate Blanchett looked like a 1970’s rock star. It’s a style I’d love to experiment with. But for this hot summer evening I just tried to keep cool.
|The trousers are from Evans, and a wardrobe workhorse. Sadly the top had itchy edges..|
In late August my friends and I went to the annual Copenhagen Jewellery Fair. I wore my new Zara t-shirt and an older, but unworn Pure Collection gold brocade skirt, along with my Marks and Spencer suede sandals. The skirt has been waiting for it’s first outing for more than a year. It’s so beautiful that I was a afraid I’d ruin it!
|Me wearing lots of gold - I love it! BFF is super cute in summer colours -and nice tan!|
|They're just the sweetest girls one could ever hope to meet!|
Last month we did experience a few days with slightly lower temperatures allowing me to wear my pink M&S coat again, with that very gold handbag.
|A very light weight poly tweet in bright colours - my coat! The dog was too shy for a photo|
Now before the weekend I met up with my BFF. We visited an old village on the outskirts of Copenhagen, called Dragør. It’s remarkable because of it’s origin. Back in 1515 the Danish King invited Dutch farmers to come to Denmark, to learn from their farming skills. They were given this piece of land, and settled. 500 years later a lot of people in Dragør still have Dutch names, and we met quite a few Dutch tourists. The village is charming, and the weather called for al fresco lunch by the seaside!
|Typical yellow houses, hundreds of years old - the weather is just unbelievable!|
|we had lunch by the seaside - enjoying every bit of sunshine!|
|In the distance to the right of my shoulder is the bridge to Sweden, Øresundsbroen|
As mentioned earlier, I suffer from some annoying skin problems, among other things. I decided to let it show (on my neck) on the last photo, even though I do know my way round Photoshop. If a princess can show a foot long scar on her wedding day, I should easily be able to live with this little patch of what-ever-it-is on my blog! The trousers are new from Asos, the pink top is old, from British brand Jacques Vert. It has taken me around two years to finally find a way to wear it!
It turned out to be a monster post after a very long time. I have had the best summer ever, despite many health issues. And with 23 degrees celcius still outside it’s not over yet! I’m so grateful for that.
Next time I’ll be posting my treasures from the apparently last sale at Monies ever, which is on October 31st. and November 1st. I’ll be going with a few friends, and spend too much money, since it’s the last time. An era is at it’s end. From now on it will be out of my reach - sadly!
I want to promise all my readers that I will post more frequently, and leave lots of comments on other blogs, but it all depends on how my body behaves. I hope everyone is having a great time and enjoyable weather like in Denmark!
Last photo is from a secret meeting that I'll tell you about later!
|Leopard coat from last winter, red trousers from spring - and new satin top from Mango outlet, and gold accessories!|
Lots of love