Tucked beneath the raw peaks of the Rif Mountains in Northern Morocco, you’ll find the pretty sapphire city of Chefchaouen.
Founded in 1471 by a Moorish warlord who was exiled from Spain, Chefchaouen was built as a stronghold in the fight against the Portuguese. Famous for its achingly beautiful blue-washed buildings, Chefchaouen is an essential stop on any visit to the Rif region. Seemingly every keyhole, stone wall and doorway is painted in striking shades of azure, cerulean, cobalt, turquoise, periwinkle or powder blue. Largely shut off from the world for over 400 years, Chefchaouen is a photographer’s dream! Painting the walls blue likely happened during the 15th century, shortly after the city was founded.
But why so blue? Well, …
A few minutes’ walk from the Cologne Cathedral stands the House of 4711. Home to the original 4711 Eau de Cologne, this beautiful perfume boutique is located on the corner of Glockengasse, directly opposite the Opera House. The building itself is striking. Granted, it took me more than a few minutes to find it (what, with the Black Forest Cake and Cathedral stops!), but it was well worth the effort to discover the history behind the storied cologne.
Pulling back the large glass and gold doors, I was struck by the sheer number of bottles on display. Products for sale also include soaps, scented candles and even teeshirts and gift wrapping service is offered for purchases.
Friendly, helpful and eager …
Parisian markets are among the best markets in the entire world! And, in the heart of the city, you’ll find Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II. Formerly known as the Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux, this spectacular flower (and bird!) market on the banks of the Seine was recently renamed in honor of the British queen when the Queen of England came to France for the 70th anniversary commemorations honoring D-Day.
If you’ve arrived on the island by Metro, take a moment to marvel at this charming little subway stop. Notice the elegantly-arched globe lighting in the tunnel as you exit the train. As you make the climb out of the Metro, you’ll see the Art Nouveau “Metropolitian” sign
Just a hop, skip and a jump from Dam Square you will find De Negen Straatjes (The Nine Streets): The most charming shopping district in all of Amsterdam! Up and coming designers, to-die-for vintage stores and cozy, casual bistros make the quaint and quirky streets that straddle Amsterdam’s grandest canals a shopper’s paradise. Accordingly, next up are The Sandy Papers’ Top Nine of The Nine Streets as ranked by — well, Sandy! 🔝 9️⃣
🏆 Best: PANCAKES Amsterdam 🏆
Warm and welcoming, this cozy little pancake house serves up classic Dutch pancakes that will provide a solid food foundation for the rest of your day. Feeling adventurous? Their apple, almond, calvados and cinnamon combo is like Christmas in a pancake!