Mediterranean Magic

POSTCARDS FROM THE MED!

SUN! SAND! (& SEX?)

HOLIDAY STYLE GUIDE!

HOT TIPS! BAD TRIPS!

THE COOLNESS FACTOR FOR SERIOUS STYLE HEADS!

PLUS A GUIDE TO THE ULTIMATE IN UNCOOL & STYLE HARAKIRI!

MEDITERRANEAN MAGIC & THE MARRAKECH EXPRESS!

This month I thought you might all like a taste of a little Mediterranean magic! Because summer’s here and it’s time to get online check out those travel sites and start thinking about that perfect dream vacation! And most important, what to wear on that special dream trip! Because your vacation destination, where you choose to go (and indeed don’t go!) Is as much of a fashion & style choice as what you wear!

There are of course a million destinations to choose from, some beautiful magical and romantic! Others a disappointing overpriced dog’s breakfast of fast food packaged tourism, designed to simply relieve you of your hard earned money!

I have been fortunate enough to travel all over the world, and to live in a number of countries including the USA (NYC and San Francisco). However as much as so many places have their beautiful adventurous, romantic, memorable sides and moments! The Caribbean, for example! Particularly Jamaica where I have some wonderful memories (many of which I could not discuss here!) Brazil, where I lived for some time! And the truly mind blowing wonderful magical Japan! (and China!). I am going to focus on two or three absolutely ‘must see/must go to’ destinations, which are in ever sense amongst the most beautiful magical dreamlike inspiring places in the world! These are Greece & Morocco!
When I say Greece however, I mean the Greek Islands! Not Athens! Athens should definitely be avoided, particularly in the summer, when it’s an absolute nightmare!

The Greek Islands though are a beautiful and romantic paradise! However having said this, there are still guidelines, for in the summer months when most people travel, you need to avoid the main tourist beat! This can easily be done by a good look online at ‘Trip Advisor’!

Highly recommended is a bit of ‘Island Hopping’! Excellent and extremely affordable ferry services run between all the Islands! Indeed some of the Islands are so close together that you could almost swim between them! (Well, Lord Byron did!)

Greek food is amazing, and addictively delicious! Greek food though should only be eaten in Greece, for only then do you experience the true ‘sensual magic’ of what is a terminal food orgasm!!!!! And, to wake up in the morning, then find a small café where you can breakfast on fresh Greek Yoghourt, honey and fruit, as you gaze languidly out over the most beautiful scenery and sea, you have ever seen, is food for the senses! The ‘colours’ landscape and sea in Greece are legendary, and has inspired poets and artists for centuries! From classical Greek culture, to Lord Byron’s romantic adventures, you can soak up the soft gentle soothing vibrations!
There are, as I have said, many islands! Santorini is beautiful, and is the sight of the legendary Atlantis! To stand on the mountain top of Santorini, in the beautiful pure white town, and look out over the beautiful mind blowing scenery, is to loose yourself in a truly unforgettable timeless magic! If you want a little more ‘fizz’ with your yoghurt, then try Mykonos, this though is the destination of choice for the global gay community! So although wonderfully colourful cool and stylish! Not necessarily relaxing for those looking for a more chilled out environment! Crete and Rhodes, are larger islands, and away from the main tourist drag, exceptionally beautiful! My recommendation though, is the beautiful island of Kos! This is a stunningly beautiful destination! Kos is a small island, not far from the Turkish coast, with wonderful scenery beautiful flowers and greenery everywhere! Go to the northern less touristy side of the island, and you will see some of the most beautiful soft white sandy beaches and crystal sea, found anywhere in the world! (But avoid the ‘British Invasion’ in July & August!) Kos is very popular with naturalists and very clean, with a backdrop of beautiful sand dunes and mountains! So if you are looking for a perfect magical romantic holiday that you will never forget, choose the Greek Island! As for clothes! As you will see in the photo images! Dress down not up! Soft loose cool and stylish! No high heels, not ever! So start checking out the shops for those beautiful soft floaty summer items, and book that ticket now! (By the way, don’t forget the sun blocker, and don’t worry about the language! Everyone in Greece speaks English, and they are all exceptionally friendly and helpful!

The next tip is possibly one of the most amazingly beautiful and romantic destinations in the world! Morocco! And particularly the truly magical cities of Marrakech and Fez! (And don’t worry about going to a Moslem Country! Morocco is one of the friendliest safest countries in the world!)

Both of these destinations will seriously blow the mind of anyone who is of a romantic persuasion, and both are a total trip for the senses!
Indeed both these cities should be a must see on not only your holiday hit list, but also in your life experience!

Marrakech is a truly legendary city, immortalized of course in the famous song by Crosby Stills & Nash! (‘Marrakech Express’)! And everything you can ever imagine, dream and fantasize, you will find there! Which is why it was and is a favourite destination for artists, writers, actors and the cooler rock/pop stars! In the 60’s, everybody from the Rolling Stones, to William Burroughs and Yve Saint Laurent would hang out in there! And you will still see a lot of the cooler faces from the fashion/style/music/art/film world! Grooving on the magical Marrakech vibes!
The large main square of Marrakech ‘Jemaa El Fna’! Is mind blowing, and wonderfully exotic! It’s surrounded by cafés and bars, and the action is at night! You just sit in a first floor café balcony sipping mint tea, eating delicious ‘Couscous’, and watching the snake charmers, jugglers, Berber tattoo girls etc etc! You can disappear into the huge Medina Souk, and investigate the wonderful and enticing delights that are on sale there! Stay in a traditional Riad, cheap, and pleasurable in the extreme! Wander along the maze of passageways, and don’t worry! It’s perfectly safe! Moroccan people are very friendly, but will all try to sell you something, including ‘Kif Kif’!

What to wear? What to buy? Keep it loose simple floppy and cool! Pure Mind/India Style/Yohji Yamamoto! Soft Indian Clothing, Flat Sandals! Scarfs etc! And Morocco is paradise for terminal shopping junkies! The jewellery is wonderful and cheap (see photo’s), also traditional clothes , scarves etc, you can build the most amazingly cool and ultra boho stylish looks!, that will kill them in De Moins!!!!!!! And when you buy! You must haggle over the price! It’s expected, and part of the fun! So be shameless!

And while checking out the exotic pleasures and delights of Marrakech and dressing up like a 21st century Anita Palenburg (that’s the look!!) Who was both Brian Jones & Keith Richards girlfriend in the 60’s! You must (that’s MUST!) spend a couple of days chilling out and being ultra cool, in the Atlas Mountains! The Ksar Shama & Spa in Quirgane, is on of the most beautiful and mind blowing places I have ever been in my whole life! Time stops, in this truly wonderful Berber style hotel way up in the mountains! Chill out round the incredible pool, surrounded by the most spectacular views and scenery you have ever seen! So with a few days of this and Marrakech! Any stress tension and worries, will be completely dissolved, and you can ‘Turn On! Tune In & Drop Out, and float around being ultra cool, in the trippiest boho looks you can ever imagine! Just ‘Digging The Vibes’!!!

And after all this seriously wonderful ‘Mind Candy’! You can head off to Fez for few days magic in the old city of Fez!

Always (ALWAYS) travel ‘Off Season’! (This applies everywhere!) First of all it’s far cheaper, and secondly you will not be surrounded by thousands of stressed out tourists melting in the high summer heat! Avoid at all costs June/July/August! Best times are: May/Late September/October!

Why people choose to come to Europe etc., in these absurdly over priced mid summer months, swelter in the heat, and spend their time trudging around cities looking at museums etc., is beyond me! Forget this torture! Head for the Greek Islands and Morocco for the most amazing and affordable vacations you have ever had! (and the coolest looks and ultra shopping nirvana!). But be warned! You’re seriously gonna max out that excess baggage!

Bad Trips! And Seriously Uncool Destinations! Definitely NOT for the stylish! So Avoid At All Costs (whatever you have heard!)

  • Spain: Costa Del Sol, Ibiza, Majorca! A nightmare of trashy resorts (and people) High Rise Blocks/Hotels spread along the sea front! And the most appalling food!)
  • Greece: Athens! ( A large overcrowded claustrophobic uncomfortable city! But great food!)
  • USA: Las Vegas, Miami (Trashy, vulgar, loud! Miles and miles of high rise blocks and neon overkill! Plus the most Unbelievably absurd and badly dressed people!
  • Thailand: (A package holiday nightmare! Simply awful now, and full of the tourists from hell!)
  • Bali: (same as above)
  • Any major cities in Europe, the USA or anywhere else in high summer!
  • Dubai: (Miami & Las Vegas from hell! If you like the idea of holidaying in a giant shiny shopping mal, with appallingly tasteless architecture, this is for you! (and Rod Stewart))
  • Paris: Sadly a shadow of it’s former glory! Dirty, disappointing and easy to get mugged!
  • Rio de Janeiro: A total nightmare even worse than Miami (don’t believe the hype!)

Must Go to Cities (off season only)

  • London: Still the coolest most unique and cosmopolitan city in the world!
  • Berlin: The second coolest city in the world right now!
  • Kyoto (Japan): Beautiful! Amazing!
  • Beijing (never Shanghai!): Beijing is a great destination! But avoid high summer at all costs! Best time is October!

And finally, here are two more seriously hot tips for you!

  • Comino: A very small island just off Malta! No roads, only one hotel! It’s paradise! Comino is a nature reserve, only reached via a regular boat service from Malta, which takes around half an hour! The views are spectacular! Forget all those Caribbean Islands! This is an absolute treasure! And for all those into diving and snorkelling, it’s definitely destination Number 1! And for painters and photographers, the ultimate in creative karma and inspiration!
  • For all of you outside the USA: Forget NYC/L.A etc.! Head for the South West! Beautiful desert vistas, cactus, sun sand and endless highways! Seriously beautiful! Definitely the new ‘cool school’ destination, for visitors to the US! Start at Phoenix and just head out on the highway!

So start checking those online travel sites (TeleText Holidays are an excellent guide to what’s available!)

And get ready for the trip of a lifetime!

Chris Garland London July 2014

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