Catania Fish Market

We spent some time in the city of Catania while in Sicily. ย Though short it was full of action and the kind we like: adventure and food!!

Private tour guide helped make most of our tour. Will tell you more about that next time ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

We love local markets, seeing the live local culture in action is just priceless…


A short walk from our hotel, the Catania fish market was waiting to welcome us. It was like heaven for us, the variety of days catch – all sorts of fish, shellfish, octopus,… lively stall keepers shouting for their goods… ย 

At the skirts of the fish market the vegetable and fruit stalls and accompanied by olive and cheese tables. ย Making sure the shoppers will have a pick of the best for tonight’s dinner!

For more photos follow us on Instagram: surprisesaffron

Italian Adventure: first stop Brindisi! Lecce!

Our journey started in Stockholm, Skavsta airport. This is the first time we are using this airport and RyanAir.  Skavsta is known for cheap and direct flights to places in Europe.  Since it is cheap go ahead and treat yourself to a Business Plus upgrade!  

We found RyanAir to be basic, entertaining, and efficient. They had food, duty free, and lotto on board. Yes you can indeed play the lottery while flying :)) 
Total flight was three hours long. Went by quickly.  You can imagine our excitement when we saw the land as we approached… we knew out Italian Adventure started!!   

As we travel the Puglia region and other surprise locations, follow us along!! Ciao ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น 

Vacation Forever?

Is that possible? Is that true? I need vacation. I need forever. I can hear you right from here you are also saying I need that too (with big warm smile). Who doesn’t? Maybe few very luck people I wanna meet them please to feel really on vacation and to make sure this is on earth and real ๐Ÿ™‚

Actually I need vacation from jealousy from anger from harm will from evil eye from destroy from war from money from hard work from addiction from insult from bullying from unjust from unfaithful should I count more and more I think I should stop here not because this is the end of the bad things or don’t have more to count but because all we know the rest and even lived once all of this feelings or situations and still living.

How about what we really want to do about that? are we really creating right circle around us? Yes I know this is not what normal vacation include but by being loving, caring, happy for others happiness and success, calm, willing good, sharing, generous but of course not stupid (even people do think we are but usually they are blind enough could not see what is the real purpose of helping others what means to you) and this is not always money but sometimes spending time with someone who need you or speaking to them or doing something for them easy for you but hard to do for them or what doesn’t have value for you will mean to much for other. but please don’t forget you are a small line of this circle so you have to be wise to choose this circle which people to avoid and which people must include in this vacation.

Do we really need a vacation from this world and this body’s? or just from any kind of toxic people around us? Maybe all. so we should wait in this world until our new great journey or vacation starts but while waiting hope we could find our forever vacation circle in this world and stuck to that even it seem to others selfish or like big ego but at least when you know that is your truth and that makes you you then let people call it hell and you are the evil. (that most of them blinding themselves in those full lies-life’s they thought they are living right way and they try to drop you into the same hell or their fake heaven and they are the angels) So be aware when you can create and live in your own hell or heaven. Why living others’s?.

Don’t expect people will tell you good for you! or you deserve this good things! or feel happy for you while doing something beneficial for yourself. Expect they will do it for them selves and while you are doing the same they will tell you how bad, selfish etc…and guilty you are this shows really who they are.

Until next vacation….

Life is short keep your circle clean as much as you can & live your vacation forever and full time!

Maldives: paradise found!

20140614-132051.jpgWe are not ready to say goodbye to Maldives… but we said ‘until next time’ and hopped on the seaplane. Captain happened to be from Canada, fun chap!
20140614-130105.jpgBtw.. what is it with men in uniforms ๐Ÿ˜‰
20140614-130414.jpgHard not to enjoy our drinks looking out on this beautiful sight. 20140614-132909.jpgSo happy we got to see these beautiful islands; Male, Gangehi, Kuredu, and Komandoo – before they disappear underwater. 20140614-130510.jpgAll photos on our blog are taken by us –using simple iPhone and iPad actually. Here are some scenes we captured, enjoy.
20140614-130953.jpgA friend we made there said people usually return within 6 mo or a year. Having been there we understand why and hope we can also return in the next 2yrs to visit other islands. How can we resist a paradise like this!20140614-131801.jpg
So… when are you going to Maldives?20140614-131930.jpg

Maldives: Kuredu afternoon rainstorm

20140610-171212.jpgHow amazing is mother nature!
We sat at our covered deck, sipped hot coffee and watched the rainstorm pass over us pouring blessings and happiness.

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During all this, it was not cold, so we just sat in our bikinis and watched everything unfold – wind blowing the water and trees around. Everyone was tucked into their villas – but we feel lucky to experience this weather variety.

Maldives: care-free fashionable days and nights

20140608-100409.jpgWe are so glad we packed light but smart. This way we can let go when we want and we can kick into fashion gear when we like. For us having what we need handy is relaxing, that way we are not thinking about WHAT we should wear or what we don’t have , but rather we think about WHAT we will do today.

You will definitely need more than one cover up as most places even beach bars won’t let you walk in and sit down in your swimsuits. We brought 8 coverups, just right for this long trip. Today we are wearing our comfy coverups by… Karen Zambos, Patterson J. Kincaid
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The other day we wore these dresses to the White Party. Well, I got hassled by Peter (our Brit friend) that my dress was not white enough lolll He said this as he sat there in his blue and white striped shirt – thanks Peter!
20140608-095627.jpgDesigners: Dolce Vita, and the halter dress is by us (yes we are branching into designing and making our own line)

Today’s bikinis, perfect for this sunny fresh breezy day:
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Designers: Lisa Marie, Missoni

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing we wish you a surprising and exciting day!

Maldives: Kuredu exploration continues

20140606-161156.jpgWhen you swim and a fleet of fish swim behind you and when you stand they circle around you and play — you can’t help but feel happy and so enchanted by the Maldivian ocean.

Truly our one big regret is not having underwater camera to capture and show you all these amazing fish. IF you ever decide to visit Maldives you MUST buy an underwater camera or some kind of gear so you can take pictures.

The food debacle continues… today we spent 30 min until staff finally directed us from one closed restaurant to another for a simple lunch. We ended up eating at the O Restaurant, which suppose to be the upscale one. Setting was pretty over the water and with breeze coming through windows. Food was OK and was served buffet style – we expected menu and service since it is advertised as a la carte. Well, we embraced the unexpected and ate up!!

A long walk on the beach took us to the island’s sandbar. So far on each of the islands we had the joy of exploring a sandbar. We can confidently say the Kuredu sandbar is the best and biggest. Saw 3 types of fish and a small shark.
20140606-161237.jpgOn our way back from the sandbar we decided to walk through the center of the island, where there is a sandy road and bit of jungle. This is also the main road where they drive golf carts (taxi) to shuttle people from point to point. We heard this funny squealing and decided to see what it was. See for yourself — they were two baby birds.
20140606-161326.jpgWe don’t know what kind they are but they sure are cute birds.

So the full day of sailing we were looking forward to… it was cancelled this morning via a letter at out door. Reason was there was not enough people signed up to do it. Frankly this gave us the opportunity to schedule excursions and reef snorkeling with the diveshop instead of the hotel. Diveshop staff has been very helpful and providing clear information.

Tonight the food theme is Arabian and we were told there will be a White Party at the bar — we have our white dresses ready!

We noticed this little charm lock at the beach swing. How adorable… we dedicate it to all of our readers, may you have a love filled fantastic summer ๐Ÿ™‚
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Maldives: Kuredu .. partial report!

20140605-173409.jpgWe arrived at Kuredu island today and been exploring it all day. Why ‘partial report’ you might ask — well, it is a big island so it will take a bit before we can give you the ‘full report’.

We were greeted by the staff singing and drumming. We were assigned a host ‘Melanie’ – who will be our go to person whenever we have a question or need something. This was different than the other two islands, maybe because this one is so big and so many people.

It is the biggest island we visited here so far and our last island. Sad to think this is our last destination, until we return to Maldives again.

Kuredu has a different feel, more crowded and has more activities — so you don’t get the remote feeling from it. We like variety so this will be interesting after the quiet paradise islands we have been enjoying.

When they say activities they mean it – they have everything from power boats, parasailing, catamarans, kite surfing… and more. For now we are trying to figure out what time and where the daily yoga is ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kuredu has 7 restaurants / bars – as we sample each we will let you know what’s good what’s not.

We are at a beach villa here – it is very similar to Komandoo. Without hesitation we can say the beach and water is better at Komandoo. We miss our private sharks ๐Ÿ˜ฆ circling in front of our doorstep.
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Yes we already made a friend at Kuredu – meet Freddy the crab!
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Maldives: Tips, Tricks, and what others won’t tell you!

20140528-161106.jpg Cost – Not all islands are super expensive. You too can have a Maldivian holiday without breaking the bank. For example Gangehi Island and Resort is such place; it is decently priced under $200 – $300 and still beautiful and comfortable. We steered clear of cheaper locations because at some point you do get what you pay for. Make no mistake, this is not a cheap vacation no matter which way you do it, but you have options of paying $5000 per night vs $300 per night.

Male – not an exciting destination. Unless you care to see the local culture up close, you can skip it and head directly to your island.

Transportation between islands – none will tell you the truth about this one. Basically all resorts claim to pick you up from Male and drop you back off. So like us, if you plan to travel to multiple islands they won’t offer a solution to take you from one to the other. Makes sense for the at nearly $500 per person per flight – they know how to make money! What might help is to stay at island that are very close and you can proactively ask before booking if there is a speed boat option. This is what we did for the other two islands – they are close to each other 25 min by speed boat at $75 per person.

Prices – when you are at Male best to use Rufiyah. But at the islands you can use dollars, euros, or credit cards. But beware some islands like Gangehi will charge you in euros, you have no other choice, plus 10% service charge and 8% government tax.

Maldivian food – don’t expect to see it except in a street dive at Male. Resorts serve international fare. Anyhow there is not such a thing as original Maldivian food – it is a fusion of Indian, Sri Lankan, Arab types of foods. This is day 3 – so if we do encounter something different we will certainly tell you and show pictures.

Seaplane to Gangehi – first stop!

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Today we hopped on a seaplane for the first time. We are certified travel junkies and love trying new things.

Yesterday we walked around Male – literally, yes it’s that small. We walked all the way down Majeedhee Magu (street) until we reached the artificial beach, about 15 min from our Hotel Octave. Male does not have natural beaches so they made one. Locals were swimming, it was great to see women enjoy a dip in cool waters. They were fully dressed, per their culture they could not wear skin revealing clothes let alone bikinis. Official religion is Islam here. Tourist are expected to be modes, but we have seen people in short and tank tops.

We also sat at the BreakWater cafe, it was filled with locals. Don’t be surprised at ratio of women to men. Generally it’s like 10 to 1; did not deter us but does make it uncomfortable at times when the whole place is filled with men.

Took a long walk by the shore; was fascinating to see the modern and old ships side by side. The seamen had returned from the sea and were pulling out the fish – this was a sight to see. Endlessly rewarding mentally and culturally when one sees others’ way of life.

We also dipped into the local food markets to see the fruits and veggies. We ate cocoa-chocolate sticks, and drank fresh coconut juice. We tasted this lovely fruit, but don’t know it’s name:
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Dinner was had at a seaside sweet restaurant called SeaPort. Again mostly filled with locals; we and one other tourist were the foreigners. Naturally we had seafood – we are yet to sample true Maldivian food. Male had contracted the global disease called ‘modern food’ – so you have higher chances of eating a pizza than stumbling on something really local.

Ok — we are off to book spa and catch a yoga session!

Next episode: tips, tricks, and what others won’t tell you.
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