#ThisisEgypt..or maybe not.

I will never forget the day I left Egypt, almost 11 years ago, it was October 2018 and I was scared, excited, ecstatic and curious to find out what it felt to live alone and start from scratch. I was young and I didn´t have much of a plan, and surely I had no idea it would take half of my age then (I was almost 22) to touch base in Egypt again. But then life took its course, I found a new job, I tried to settle down a little, made another major move, got married, travelled around and got a baby boy (the best thing I have ever done actually)…. so yes, quite a lot of things happening.

This year however, one of my best friends got married at a small beach town, so we decided to combine attending the wedding with a little time off to tank some vitamin sea. Bonus point: the wedding was in Egypt. I was super excited to finally have booked a flight to a country I once called home.

I knew El-Gouna, the city we travelled to, is known to be the “St. Tropez of Egypt”, I just did not expect it to be so far from the reality I left about a decade ago. The city does not resemble what you would expect Egypt to be. A ghost town at midday with an overwhelming crowd in the evening.

If I had to choose three adjectives to describe it, I would go for “clean, polite and safe”, three words I would never thought to use when talking about a place in Egypt. I was very surprised to find a very open minded society, with a not so conservative women´s fashion, and a very easy going men´s society. Definitely not the place I left 10 years ago, but definitely not the place I would use the hashtag #thisisegypt for..because let´s face it. This (to me) is not Egypt.

El-Gouna Marina

To make myself a little less hated, and a little more clear, let´s dig into the facts a little. El-Gouna was built about 30 years ago by a company owned by one of Egypt´s richest men: Samih Sawires. Wikipedia describes it as “an Egyptian tourist resort” (not even a city??) – it makes sense though. I found it quite interesting to go through a gate with a security check just to get into the city, which only means you cannot get in unless you 1. work there or 2. have a place to stay at…but then again..a gate? really?

Once you get in, the dirt from the sidewalks disappears, the noise lessens and the mood is chill. I have to say I loved it, but I did not feel like I was in Egypt at all. So back to the #thisisegypt hype. Is it really? To me it isn´t. A place designed for the rich and famous is and should not be representative for an entire country. In El-Gouna poverty suddently disappears, houses all look very similar, glamour is a state of art and prices are rather high compared to the country´s average (for locals at least). I had a feeling that Gouna is a weekend getaway for Cairo´s upper society, because why have dinner in the capital city if you can have dinner at the beach? I think being so in high demand makes the city want to maintain its standards, which is a good thing after all.

Baby Liam enjoying the Red Sea

I really loved finding a trash bin at every corner and no cigarettes on the floor. And believe it or not I was able to nurse in the street without anyone actually minding (something hard to find even here in Germany).

All in all I loved my time in El-Gouna (even though I found the Mövenpick – the hotel we stay at – far away from what I would call a 5 star resort..still better than the other choices though), and I would definitely recommend you pay a visit. It is a very nice place for families and it is child friendly, with the bonus of being a safe place for kids to run around and women to enjoy some freedom. The beach is probably most suitable for water sports then just a quick dip (you really need to wear some shoes unless you want to cut your feet), but the water is beautiful and the underwater world is one of its kind.

Despite the fact that to me #thisisnotegypt , I find it worth a visit. If I lived in Cairo I would be happy to know I could escape the city´s chaos for a while, find some good standards without having to go abroad and relax a litle bit. It is definitely the best place to tank some energy and get ready for a new, stressful, working week. I would recommend you rent a private boat for a day, we did that and not only my 6 months old boy loved it, but also we had the chance to swim with dolphins and take some great pictures. It was definitely a nice day out at sea. What I would also recomend is taking time to try out some of the restaurants at the Marina in the evening and chilling at a cafe in Downtown, we felt really welcome and had a great time. Definitely move around with a touk touk (you can get one using Uber, now #thisisegypt for sure 🙂 ) and forget about your good hair days, the wind will blow you away but you will still wear your best smile, believe me!

Last but not least, don´t forget that Egypt is not only this. Do take the extra mile and visit the actual Country, visit the historic sites (those which are “a little older” than just 30 years), visit the local Souks and markets, go either south to Luxor and Aswan or north to Cairo or Alexandria, do take a stop at a local village and talk to locals. Definitely talk to locals. Out of all the people I have met, Egyptians are definitely amont the friendliest to strangers!

Have you been to Egypt yet? If so let me know what you think in your comments below or send me an E-Mail 🙂

Ps: Be prepared for a lot of checks at Hurghada airport on your way back !

Cheers

Pete x


A mother´s 7 minute makeup routine

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week, it´s already Friday so weekend is officially on! I woke up at 7 today and nursed my baby boy, then had the luxury of time and had proper breakfast – those with a newborn at home know exactly what I mean when I say time is real luxury.

Again, all new (and not so new) mothers out there know how precious time can be. We don´t get much of it for ourselves and try to do everything at once as our babies sleep…sometimes it is way too much and we look like a mess by 10 am already (haven´t we all been there?)!

Whilst it is ok for a mum to look like third world war is breaking out, there are ways to reduce the side effects, or at least ways to slightly save the appearance, all you need are seven minutes and some good make up!

Before I go on, let me tell you I am in no way a make up artist, I do not follow any make up tutorial channels on Youtube and I don´t really care about what brand famous people use. I firmly believe you have to go with what matches your skin and your pockets.

So now, getting back to the point, as I mentioned above, all you need to fix your morning look are seven minutes and some good make up. I start my morning makeup routine by washing my face with (a very normal !) soap, nothing fancy. Afterwards I apply moisturizer and wait until it soaks in, during that time I get my hair done really quick (usually a quick brush and either straighten or curl up with my GHD products, which are a blessing to my mornings by the way). So once this is all done I start my quick makeup routine.

I gently apply foundation with a makeup sponge (I use brushes when I have more time). I usually take a light coverage MAC foundation in the morning, and make sure it is slightly darker than my own skin. Afterwards I apply some concealer under my eyes and T area. The colous is slightly lighter than the foundation, but I haven´t found the perfect brand for me just yet. I am currently using Lancome but I am not sure I will stick to it.

Moving on, as a third step I apply some bronzing powder (or compact / matting powder) on my face; that is from MAC as well, while as a forth step comes the eyebrow shaping (which I may or may not have time for)..I have to be honest on this one, after pregnancy my eyebrows stopped growing properly and since I can´t go for microblading (I am still nursing), I always need to fill in the gaps on my brows with either a pencil, or preferably powder.. Anastasia Beverly Hills has some really good ones in this case.

Last, but not least, comes the lip balm followed by either lipgloss or lipstick. I prefer lipstick but I go for gloss at times as well, depending on my mood.

And that´s it ladies. You are ready to go 😉 But these are only basics of course, for a night out I usually go for more than just that (for instance blusher, highlighter, eyeliner and co. ) .

Anyhow, let me know your tricks to make it through the day as a mother, woman, and wife 🙂 Hope you find some time for yourselves and enjoy your weekend!

Cheers

x


Why you should stop booking bed and breakfast

Hi there!

Nice to see you back on my site! Hope you are doing fine!

It`s Sunday and I just had a long, relaxing breakfast with my hubby and our baby boy, Liam (though he was just pretty much watching us eat) . We often sit together and plan what to do on our free days, or on holidays..we spend time looking through destinations to travel to, and possible hotels we can book. To be very honest, I have always been a fan of booking breakfast in advance regardless of where we go…I always thought there is nothing more comfortable then waking up and walking straight to the hotel restaurant and get my latte as quickly as possible. Well, I recently found out how much I have missed out on during my travels due to this (bad?) habit of mine..a habit I should break, at least when it comes to city trips.

We travelled to The Hague (Netherlands) back in August, booked a comfy room at the Hilton Hotel in downtown, but forgot to book breakfast to it. Once we arrived, the concierge told us there would be no problem at all in adding the extra service to our room for the usual charge..At this point I was very tempted to say “sure, do it”.. but something held me back and I told my husband: “let´s just do it differently this time”. And what a great idea it turned out to be!

Before I go on, you have to know that The Hague is a nice town located directly on the western coast of the Netherlands. It is small enough for you to be able to walk to most of the attractions (if you are staying in the city centre), yet big enough for it to offer a large variety of restaurants and shops. We didn´t know much about the city before visiting, but we found our way around straight away. Bear in mind, I was 8 months pregnant at the time, so I was not as fit as I am now, but I still took great long walks.

Binnenhof – Den Haag

During our evening “explorer´s walk”, we couldn’t´t help but notice the many bistros and cafes the city has, and were relieved that we did not book breakfast after all; The Hague has a really good culinary variety to offer!

While walking we came across what just a few hours later would be our breakfast place. It is called “Walter Benedict” and I can heartedly recommend it! Not only the Menu is perfect to match all types of taste, also the interior (a mixture of industrial and rustical) is so well done, you can´t help but feel home! Being pregnant I could unfortunately not eat most of my favourite dishes (poached eggs are one of the many for instance), yet I got adviced really well by the waitress and I have totally enjoyed our meal. I got my capuccino and was very happy they had decaf (I did not drink coffeine throughout my pregnancy). We got fresh juice as well, and have one amazing time. The entire staff spoke english and everyone was extremely nice to us.

After this amazing meal we took a walk to our hotel, and I couldn’t help but think how good of an idea it was not to book breakfast at the hotel.

First of all, the price of our meal would´ve been much higher. Most 5 and 4 star hotels charge you about 20EUR per person for breakfast (some hotel charge as much as 40EUR!); true.. you do get a really big variety of food to choose from, but let´s be honest.. You will not try everything out, will you? Such breakfasts make sense if you are somewhere in a beach resort, or in the mountains, far away from the metropolitan life.

If you are on a city trip you should just get out and enjoy a beautiful breakfast somewhere in the city instead. This way you get a taste of the local life and make the best use of your time. Don´t be scared not to find your way, just use Google Maps (or do it old school, with a paper city map, I love those too!), Tripadvisor, and your good sense, or just ask locals and your hotel concierge for good advice, they know their town best after all!

Also, if you are in The Hague, make sure to visit Walter Benedict, a pretty bistro in a pretty city!

I wish you all a lovely Sunday and do not hesitate to share your thoughts with me, especially if you know of some child-friendly cities we could visit in the near future !

Pete

xx


Hello, it´s me!

Hey there!

I hope you are all doing well, and having the best time… I most certainly am!

As you can see, my page has a complete new look (which I hope you will like!) and a whole new content.

This is because a lot has been going on in my life this past few months, and I feel like 2019 has brought me a fresh new start. First of all, I have more time since I am on parental leave, and secondly I haven´t felt this motivated in a really long time. Also, I have a clearer idea of what I want and how to get there, but I guess this is because I am aging after all *sigh*

…But first things first; let me tell you one or two things about myself. I was born 32 years ago in Italy, where I grew up and spent a big part of my life. I also lived in Cairo, Egypt and in Budapest, Hungary. I am currently living in close to Frankfurt, in Germany.

I believe this whole moving and living in different countries has added a lot of value to my life.. I have learnt about different (ok yes, very different!) cultures – and I have also learnt how to deal with them, which can be really hard at times.

I love to travel, love food, make up and clothes (yup, I am a woman after all), but most of all, I love my family.

As I said, I am on parental leave. My baby boy, Liam, is 3 months old and needs me the most, for this reason I have decided to spend sometime at home with him before going back to work in the (relatively) near future.

Here I can finally expose myself and I will talk about my experiences, about a whole bunch of things which caught my attention, I will give some honest (and trust me, I can be very honest!) opinions, and of course, I will talk about my, bumby but beautiful, journey as a mom.

So stay tuned! There is lots coming up and a lot I want to read your thoughts and comments on!

 

xx

Pete