Travelling To Bologna, Italy

Travelling to Bologna Italy was a blast.

I have Italian friends in Nairobi and every time they talked about Italy, I felt like I really needed to see for myself what all the fuss was. I traveled to Paris last month for a couple of days and also had the opportunity to travel to Italy, how lucky! Read all about Paris.

Train From Paris France - Bologna Italy
Train From Paris France – Bologna Italy

I took a train from Gare Du Lyon in Paris at 6pm. The train was an overnight train so it came with bunk beds that were oddly comfortable. I shared my cabin with an adorable family from Mexico. I was traveling alone so I spent most of the trip dead asleep. When I woke up, we were in Milan, I did not leave the train station because I needed to connect trains to Bologna. As I was trying to organize my luggage, I realized that there was something different about the passengers heading to Bologna. Most of the passengers were fashionable and super chic. That’s when it finally hit me that I was in Italy for sure.

I was attending the biggest beauty expo in the world for my beauty business so I checked into the UNA Hotel and went straight to the EXPO by 8:30AM.

Cosmoprof Bologna
Cosmoprof Bologna

The experience was totally worth it.

I saw amazing brands, products, packages, and manufacturers who inspired me to start my own brand. I will be updating you on that by the end of the year.

Cosmoprof Bologna

When I was not busy having meetings at Cosmoprof, I had time to explore restaurants.

And the main square.

Bologna was generally a calm city with really nice people. I extended my stay by one night and stayed at an Airbnb which was small and cozy and for the last minute booking, I did not have anything to complain about.

I also tried shopping from the H&M there but the styles were not really my style.

Two Days In Paris – Unexpected Travels

Happy New Day,

I have always wanted to go to France and I finally did it!  I went to Paris for a couple of days and it was not what I expected. The rain was crazy and for me, weather plays a major role when it comes to my vacation enjoyment. Being from Kenya, a country whose temperatures are about 30 degrees Celsius all year round, Paris was challenging for me.

Paris - Reina Kimeu - Kenyan Travel Blogger
Paris In The Rain

I couldn’t do much because it was raining but I hanged out at the super social Les Piaules and made some new friends, most of whom could not speak English but google translate came through for us.

Paris - Reina Kimeu - Kenyan Blogger
@LesPiaules 

Regardless of the rain, I walked around, got to see the Republique square. On my way back, I got lost and went round and round for 2hours. Yes, can you imagine getting lost on your own in a new country where you cannot speak the language?

Paris - Reina Kimeu - Kenyan Blogger
Paris In The Rain

I asked about 10 different people but all they did was confuse me even more. I have almost given up when I saw a burger king, a familiar brand. So to get some food and heat, I decided to eat there little did I know that I had discovered a gold mine. The burger king burger was the best one I have ever tasted. My mind was blown and for a minute, I forgot that I was lost and simmered in the Burger King delight.

Paris - Reina Kimeu - Kenyan Blogger
Paris In The Rain

The airline I used was Emirates and I found their staff very polite and helpful. I will definitely go to Paris for a longer time next time. What places should I visit next?

Eating Out: My Favourite Foods From Restaurants In Nairobi

Eating out is expensive but so much fun as well!

I love to eat out in Nairobi and sometimes I tend to blame the traffic because I end up walking into restaurants near the office to wait for the traffic to die down. I also blame my love for amazing food because who doesn’t love sweet smelling aromas, well-presented food, and amazing ambiance to get their evening going?

These are my favorite foods from restaurants in Nairobi.
Art Caffe – Green Salad.

This salad is life! As I am writing this, I just had this exact salad. The beauty about it is the sweetness from beetroots, raisins and yes, small pieces of lemon! This just makes my mouth tingle with excitement.

Eating Out Beat Restaurants Nairobi Art Caffe Kenya
Source: Trip Advisor
Ocean Basket – Sushi.

Oh, my! Anyone who knows me knows about my love for Ocean Basket. When they started, I used to go there twice a week with the lovely man I was dating and the waiters always remembered us and even remembered our orders. The fact that their customer service was magical, kept me coming back! I recently took my mum for Sushi but being an African woman, raw fish was not something she was willing to try out!

Eating Out Beat Restaurants Nairobi Ocean Basket Kenya
Source: Yummy
Nyama  Mama – Smokehouse Burger.

My favorite Wednesday spot! I used to have evening classes for the past year and after school, I loved passing by Nyama Mama wetlands for the drinks and the amazing smokehouse burger. The band’s soothing music was also a plus for me. My favorite spot is always at the bar( that’s where all the magic happens).

Nyama Mama Eating Out Best Restaurants Nairobi Kenya
Source: Yummy
Alchemist – Diavola Pizza.

I only just discovered the pizzas at Alchemist and I am in love! The diavola pizza is one of my friend’s favorite pizza because it is simple and one of the most authentic Italian pizzas. I love how the pizzas are made, the size is perfect to share with a friend and the ingredients they use are said to be from Italy just to make it authentic!

Eating Out Beat Restaurants Nairobi Diavolla pizzeria Zumi Kenya
Source: DiavollaPizzeria
Which are your favorite restaurants? Here are the tips to help you plan your trip to Dar es Salaam.

Planning To Travel To Tanzania? These Are The Top 4 Restaurants In Dar Es Salaam

I want to go back to Dar, Tanzania 🙂

Dar Salaam was amazing to me last year. I was so relaxed when I visited because I had very little going on in my life and all that I needed to do is relax and enjoy the breeze. The one thing I loved about the place was the fresh sea food but on the flip side, the traffic situation is a mess. Being Kenyan, I should not complain about the traffic but I have to tell you guys, the  foleni is worse than  what we experience Nairobi. When traveling to Dar from Nairobi, you can book a flight via Kenya Airways or Precision Air or take  Dar Express or Dar Lux buses that cost about 3,000KSh one way.

I had a fantastic experience dining in all these places.

Karambezi.

I am addicted to calamari and that is usually the first thing I always ask for when I go to sea food restaurants. I have been looking for the best calamari around and I think I finally found it in Diani, but thats another day’s story. I loved the calamari at the Karambezi and the ambience. It was quite romantic.

Travel Dar Esallam Tanzania Africa Kenyan Blogger

News Caffe.

I have a friend who insisted on taking me to the News Caffe in Dar because unlike the Kenyan branches, this one had the best poached egg in the continent. He drummed it up so much, I would be a fool not to experience the best breakfast in Africa. As much as I would have liked top burst his bubble I had to agree with him, the food was amazing.

Travel Dar Esallam Tanzania Africa Kenyan Blogger

The Cape Town Fish Market.

Being very high on the must visit places on trip advisor, I had to eat at the Cape Town fish market. The weather was perfect when I was there and to my surprise, there were men in suits having lunch (seriously? Who wears suits at the Coast?) Anyway, I was asked for sushi and I was a little disappointed. Everyone else loved their meal but I guess I kept comparing it to my favorite restaurant in Kenya, Ocean Basket- Oval Branch.

Travel Dar Esallam Tanzania Africa Kenyan Blogger

I dont remember the name of the restaurant but it was in Oyster Bay.

I was so full from my buffet breakfast to have anything substantial here so In asked for a fruit salad and enjoyed some good company and the view that was totally epic.

Travel Dar Esallam Tanzania Africa Kenyan Blogger
I really want to travel to Santorini, Greece with my friend Rehema and also go to Namibia. Which is your ultimate beach vacation spot?

A Local Tourist Exploring Malindi : The Kenyan Coast

I had never been to Malindi before because of the grotesque stories I had heard from my friends who have been there. When the chance presented itself, I was very hesitant but curiosity got the best of me. My trip started with a short trip on board a flight by local airline, 540.

Due to the last minute booking, I could not get a seat on the Nairobi – Malindi flight so I opted for the Mombasa option. After landing at the Moi International Airport, I took a cab. My trip to the bus stop, ‘BUXTAN’, deserved 5 stars. My UBER driver, was very polite, funny and he even gave me the small girl in a big city talk,” Trust nobody and watch your bag.” Considering I was from an even bigger city, I honestly found Mombasa a walk in the park.

The drive to Malindi was scenic. We passed through one of my favorite towns, Kilifi. Kilifi holds a special place in my heart because of the fantastic week I spent there over the 2016/2017 New Year’s. We also went through Vipingo, which simply had breathtaking views. Next to the road were far reaching acres of land lined with sisal plantations that looked even better lit up by the setting sun. Two and a half hours later, I had arrived in the controversial Malindi Town.

Malindi Kenya Kenyan Blogger Travel
Fishermen off the Malindi coast

My first stop was Mario’s Bar, which is at the Nakumatt Malindi. It was at 5pm and the place was packed with people. This was definitely the place to be in the evenings. There was a burst of life as we walked through the small restaurant, looking for a table. Although the pizza and espresso was good, my overall experience there was terrible. The waitress was rude, the food took too long to be served, people stared a lot and allegedly most of the girls there are “working girls”. We went to the apartment, freshened up (changed from jeans to a playful peach dress and heels) and went out for dinner, hoping to have a better experience this time around.

 

Walking into the Baby Marrow, I felt a shift in my moods. The lighting and live music playing was set to give the restaurant a romantic feel. The art work chosen to give the walls character simply blew me away. I could already tell that I liked the place, even without sampling their food. The service was perfect and the food was worth the wait. The Baby Marrow Restaurant, should definitely be on  Malindi’s must visit list.

Malindi Kenyan Coast Beach Travel
Tanning (Like I need it! Ha! :-))

The next adventure involved a boat, some courage, good company and a healthy appetite. The day involved some snorkeling, swimming in the crisp clean waters of the Sardinia Island and enjoying the calm open waters. I loved the barbecued sea food platter that was made by the boat’s “captain” as we were swimming.  When he asked us back to the boat for lunch, I did not know what to expect. After eating at Ocean Basket in Nairobi, you tend to think you have had it all when it comes to sea food. The barbecue on an island did not just sound heavenly but sent my taste buds to heaven and back. Crab, prawns and fish have never tasted so good. After the filling lunch, we slowly drifted back to the mainland. We needed to rest before the crazy night we were about to have at White Elephant.

Mombasa Watamu Malindi Kenya
Beach Barbecue.. Yummy!

The party started off with a house party where my two sweethearts, Angie and Remy finally met after telling them about each other for so long. We later headed to White elephant where the DJ made a Nairobi girl’s night unforgettable. Having a group of female and male friends who are from different walks of life, meant that there was definitely some misunderstandings and some friction but we got through the emotional storm knowing and understanding each other better. Malindi was memorable not because of the beautiful beaches and amazing food but because of the fantastic people I spent time with.

Its good to be back!

Love , Reina.

Zanzibar, Tanzania Is The Most Romantic Place In The World: Prison Island Edition

ZANZIBAR WAS BREATHTAKING.

I went to Tanzania earlier this month. I have been to Tanzania before but this time, it felt different. I felt older and wiser. You know how that feels, right? I was able to make better packing, traveling and accommodation choices.

Kenyan Fashion Blogger Reina Kimeu (Fashion forensic Africa) ZANZIBAR
Source: (Fashion forensic Africa)

I love to travel and I would honestly travel all year round if I was lucky enough to get a job that allowed it.  A few years ago, I considered being a flight attendant but I backed out because of school. Oh well, that is another day’s story.  I was in Zanzibar for a few days and there is so much to write about. Today, we are all heading to Prison Island in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

We traveled from Zanzibar main Island on a boat called the Honey Moon (No pressure). It was so funny because the young man commandeering the boat was only 18 and he was so confident at sea. I remember saying to myself, if my dad was here, he would flip because he hates being in anything that moves over water. He is actually one of the many people I know who are scared of being on a boat. As we drifted away from Zanzibar, I thought about the place we were going to, why this place was special and if we were paying for a boring tour around an abandoned  prison.

Kenyan Fashion Blogger Reina Kimeu (Fashion forensic Africa)
Source: (Fashion forensic Africa)

 

When our boat docked a few meters from the beach, I couldn’t help but get exited because the island was beautiful. Our 18 year old boat owner, who was also our guide, took us to the Tortoise sanctuary. Who knew they could be that big? I had never interacted so closely with tortoises that were so big and that old. The oldest one was over 150 years old. Can you believe it?

Kenyan Fashion Blogger Reina Kimeu (Fashion forensic Africa)
Source: (Fashion forensic Africa)

Their skin was so rough and they like it when people massage their necks. These tortoises knew how to chill. They were never in a rush 🙂 Beach time all the time.

We then headed to the reason why the Island is called Prison Island. According to the guide, this was a quarantine area for the ill slaves being traded in Zanzibar. They were all brought here to get treatment before being sold to the Portuguese and Arabs . Zanzibar being one of the biggest trading points for the whole of east and central Africa, the number of slaves sold were in their thousands. This high numbers meant that diseases, like the plague, spread very fast. What I found out was that the famous prison Island was more of a hospital than a prison.

We had to rush  back to the boat because we had to go snorkeling. Prison Island is the best place to do this because the water is calmer and clearer. This was my first time ever in the middle of the ocean, floating right near the coral reef, curiously looking down into the water trying not to panic. It was really scary because I am not a good swimmer and having a life jacket on was not enough. After a few minutes of holding on tightly, I actually let go and enjoyed the view. What I saw when I looked into the water was beautiful; fish minding their own business, sea weed being see weed and me trusting the ocean to be calm just for a while. It felt quiet and so peaceful floating away. It was unbelievable.

Swimming with the fish

Thank you for taking time to visit my blog.

My next article will be about my Stone Town Adventure.

Have an Amazing Time.

 Reina Kimeu

Lamu: A magical Destination On The Kenyan Coast

Traveling can be scary and interacting with people who speak a different language, people with different cultures and characteristics, can be very intimidating but I have learnt to enjoy myself irrespective of all this. I have always wanted to travel to Venice, Cape Town, Cairo, Istanbul, Paris, Milan, Bali and Lamu. I am glad to have gone to Lamu late last month. I usually like to write about Fashion but I would like to add a travel section on my blog. I hope you like it. Continue reading “Lamu: A magical Destination On The Kenyan Coast”

Exploring Malawi During The Lake Of Stars Festival

I am back! I feel so relaxed and happy to have added MALAWI to the list of countries I have been to. I had mentioned that I will be going on a road trip from Nairobi, Kenya and go through Tanzania for the LAKE OF STARS FESTIVAL held annually in Mangochi, Malawi. I have to say, I have never been on a road trip that lasted more than 10 hours at a time. This was a new experience for me and I am so happy to share with you this experiences with you. Continue reading “Exploring Malawi During The Lake Of Stars Festival”