vacation

VLOG, VIDEO

Martha Takes India - Part 1

Eu precisava de dar um tempo do mundo virtual, então eu fui para a Índia em busca de auto- conhecimento. Eu passei a maioria do tempo sozinha, mas mesmo assim consegui filmar um pouco desta viagem que mudou a minha vida. Espero que venham comigo nesta jornada!!

I needed a break from the virtual world, so I went to India - not the busy India! The calm one! - in search of myself. I've spent most of the time by myself, for myself. But I managed to film a little bit and turned into a little movie. Hope you come with me in this journey!

TRAVEL, FOOD, FASHION, ART

LEBANON GUIDE

I've been coming to Beirut for almost seven years and my love for this place keeps growing each time. My husband is Lebanese and the family still lives here and that's why we share our time between the US and Lebanon. Just like Brazil, this place has a special part in my heart and it makes me feel like home! It might be the rich culture, the kind people, the happy spirits even in times of adversity, the delicious food or the many different sceneries that cross the country. Lately, I've been discovering Lebanon like I never did before. Amazing days skiing followed by lunch on the beach, a visit to a Syrian refugee camp and the many schools built there, a gorgeous day at the Baalbek ruins and many other adventures. People often ask me if it's dangerous coming to Lebanon. My personal answer after being here more than 20 times is no. In fact, I feel more secure in this country than in other places. For this reason I'm sharing details of my favorite places and things to do. This was carefully put together based on my personal experiences and the help of close Lebanese friends. Enjoy and don't forget to take notes!

WHERE TO STAY IN BEIRUT

LE GRAY

FOUR SEASONS 

WHERE TO EAT IN BEIRUT

Lebanese cuisine is by far my favorite! The variety, the flavors, the richness, simply unbelievable. Expect to gain a few pounds while here (: Some of these restaurants are more traditional and others are more trendy but all of them are amazing. Note that some of them have the summer and the winter editons but I linked all places and if you click on their names it will direct you to their pages where you can get more information.

MOUNIR 

Amazing traditional fresh lebanese food located 20 minutes form Beirut in a beautiful hill. It's usually the first place I go for dinner when I arrive in Beirut. Make sure you have a light lunch before!

LA PARRILLA 

The summer edition has a gorgeous view of Beirut and a super cool atmosphere with a DJ on the rooftop. The winter edition is right next to my house and it's super cozy. Everything is good but the burger is amazing.

CAPITOLE

Great for dinner and drinks, the view is beautiful and the most popular night is Thursday. 

EM SHARIF

Located Downtown Beirut next to all the shops. The food is spectacular, definitely a must for lebanese food lovers.

CASABLANCA

You know when a restaurant is good when the locals are always there. It was the first place my husband took me 7 years ago and the food remains great. Simple and delicious.

MEAT THE FISH

It started as a small place the it was such a success that they keep expanding. Fresh and yummy choices  for a nice lunch or dinner with friends!

BABEL BAHR

Gorgeous place by the sea for lunch or dinner especially during the summer. Feels like you're in the south of France.

CENTRALE

This place is special. Summer or winter it has a great atmosphere and a super cool bar!

OTHER GREAT RESTAURANTS: La petit maison (french), Tavolina (Italian),  Kampai (Sushi), Cocteau (french), Balthus (french), Pacifico (mexican), Arts (fusion), Dirty Laundy, Baron (french).

WHERE TO WORKOUT/YOGA

Because I spend long periods of time in the city, I try to attend some yoga classes as well as boxing and spinning. I do my boxing/Muay Thai classes with Jihad (a Lebanese champion) at U ENERGY gym. My spinning classes are at EXHALE gym and my yoga at YOGA SOUK. 

WHERE TO SHOP 

It's hard to tell you where to shop in the city as there are endless boutique and hidden places all over Beirut but here are some of the places I go: All shops in the Downtown area, PLUM, Sarah's bag, L'artisan Du Liban, Orient 499, Elie Saab, Les 66, Aishty, Sandra Mansour, Andrea Wazen, Vanina and many other places around MAR MIKHAEL and Gemmayzé. If you need a shopping mall you can go to the new ABC Mall.

WHAT TO DO IN BEIRUT

Now that I gave you a list of the best restaurants to go in Beirut, I will also tell you what are my favorite things to do in the city and the "must do's" outside of Beirut. You can do everything by car and the roads are usually beautiful!

DOWNTOWN BEIRUT 

This is usually the first thing I do when I get to the city. Wear a comfortable pair of shoes and go walk around. You'll have a great sense of the city's eclectic architecture that has mostly been reconstructed but still carrying the 19th century feel. You will see churches, cathedrals and mosques. When walking around the SAIFI area you'll most probably see beautiful brides (christian and muslims) taking photographs with their grooms. You'll also see many shops and boutiques, from the fanciest names like Hèrmes and Chanel to amazing local shops. While walking around you'll stumble upon modern constructions and really old historical buildings, sometimes right next to each other. To me, this contrast is what makes Beirut extra special. Girls often ask me: "Can I walk around by myself? Is it safe"? Yes, you can definitely walk around alone without having to worry. Something I can't do in my country these days. So put your comfy shoes on and enjoy the journey!

GEMMAYZE AND MAR MIKHAEL

These are the two "coolest" areas of Beirut, I love walking around these streets and stopping by cafés and boutiques. At night the streets are filled with happening bars and restaurants!

ZAITUNAY BAY

Located at the Beirut Marina, the bay has several restaurants and cafes. Perfect for a nice walk, lunch or diner.

CORNICHE - SEASIDE

I usually go for a walk or a run by the corniche during the sunset. I leave form Zaitunay bay and finish by the Pigeon Grotto (Raouché). When you get there you can sit by a cafeé and enjoy the view.

MUSEUMS

You can check a list of the best museums in Beirut HERE

THINGS TO DO IN LEBANON

BYBLOS

This was the first place I visited when I came to Lebanon and I still go there from time to time. the ruins are beautiful and they have amazing concerts during the summer. Byblos is the oldest port in the world so you'll breathe history all over the place. Have lunch at PEPE by the port.

JEITTA GROTTO

SKIING IN FARAYA

If you like skiing and the snow is good this is a must! Stay at the Intercontinental MZAAR HOTEL located on the slopes and have lunch or dinner at LE MONTAGNOU.

BEIT EL DINE PALACE AND SUMMER FESTIVAL

QANNOUBINE (TRACKING)

SAIDA (AND ITS SOUK)

OSCAR NIEMEYER LEGACY - TRIPOLI

I have not visited Tripoli yet but I was very surprised to know that the legendary Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer has designed 15 incredible structures in 1963 that were unfortunately unfinished due to the country's civil war in 1975. Read more about this incredible futuristic structures HERE

Still in Tripoli, I was told the the tour of the Hammans it's a must, more tham 1000 years of story. Make sure you contact an experienced and trustable team before visiting the area.

CHOWEN LAKE

BAALBEK RUINS

It took me six years to visit Baalbek! I don't know exactly what I was waiting for but I finaly made it happen during my last trip to Beirut. I took my friend and together with a guide (mattasalim@gmail.com) we explored the ruins and the vicinities. The day was incredible as Salim included some surprises such as a visit to the Lamartine Valley, a visit to the Ksara winery and a gorgeous sunset on a beautiful road surrounded by cedars. 

This is it! i could go on and on with more places and more tips so feel free to participate and help me add things to this precious list. This country is very dear to me and I couldn't be happier to be able to share my experiences with you (:

TRAVEL

FROM THE TOP

PHOTOS: MERVE KARAHAN DRESS: ZARA SHOES: GIVENCHY

Durante minha última visita ao Bazaar, enquanto fotografava com a Merve, um amigo que vende pashiminas nos recomendou uma locação. Ele disse que ficava há cinco minutos do Bazaar e que a vista era linda (ele fez questão de mostrar sua sessão de fotos de casamento no lugar)! E lá fomos nós com um papelzinho na mão tentando achar o lugar. Chegamos a um prédio antigo, tipo ruínas mesmo... Subimos umas escadas escuras, deu até medo. Um senhor bem turco sentava ao lado de uma porta de madeira e quando chegamos ele levantou para abrir a porta que levava até o telhado. Lá em cima, outras pessoas tiravam fotos enquanto um menino servia chá. A vista era realmente surreal e mais uma vez Istanbul tirou meu fôlego...

I was shooting some photos with Merve at the Gran Bazaar when a friend that sells pashminas there recommended another location for us to shoot. He said it was just a few minutes walking from the Bazar and that he did his wedding photographs there (he showed us the photos, so sweet!). Merve and I immediately took the little roads and headed to the place. It was a little spooky when we got there. Old building, dark stairs... An old man opened a wodden door and let us in. Up there, a few tourists were taking photos while another turkish man was serving tea. The view was spectacular, you could see the Galata tower and a lot from the old town. Once again, Istanbul took my breath away...

TRAVEL

SALVATION MOUNTAIN

Há alguns meses atrás, enquanto planejávamos nossa viagem para o Coachella, meu amigo Eduardo teve uma ótima ideia! Visitar a Salvation Mountain. Eu como sempre, nem perguntei o que era, apenas concordei e coloquei no roteiro. Gosto do fator surpresa em tudo o que faço (: Dirigi cerca de uma hora e meia de Indio até Imperial County, passando pelo Salton Sea e outras paisagens lindas. Fiquei encantada ao avistar aquele lugar cheio de cores vivas! A Salvation Mountain é uma instalaçāo de arte criada porChristian Knight. Ele começou a pintar o lugar em 1985 com toneladas de tintas das mais variadas cores. A montanha está coberta de versos bíblicos e mensagens cristãs. Ele morou lá mesmo, dentro de um caminhão todo pintado e decorado, recebendo visitantes do mundo todo de braços abertos, até seu último dia em Fevereiro de 2014. O lugar não é grande, mas quem estiver perto ou de passagem deve sim conhecer!

"LOVE JESUS AND KEEP IT SIMPLE"     

My friend Eduardo was the first person to mention this place when we were planning our Coachella trip a few months ago… As usual, I just said "let's go" without asking a thing and with no expectations… I had no idea about what I would see at Salvation Mountain! The drive from Indio was beautiful. It took about 1:30 hours and we passed by Salton Sea and also some other beautiful landscapes. Salvation Mountain is an art installation made of thousands of gallons of paint, adobe and straw. It was created by a local resident, Leonard Knight painted numerous Christian sayings and bible verses since 1985. He was living at the salvation truck, which he decorated beautifully just like the mountain. He passed away on february 2014 but he will always be remembered by welcoming visitors from all over the world with open arms.

Photos: Eduardo Bravin Outfit: Loft 747

TRAVEL, FASHION

CARAÍVA

Wow! What a delicious place this was! Caraíva is a little village beach located in Bahia, next to Trancoso. It took me about one hour by car from Trancoso and when you get there, you still need to take a little boat to cross the lake. There are no cars inside the village, only horse carriages! We spent the day and had a delicious lunch at "Bar da Praia" where beautiful people hang out to sunbathe and listen to music! At night the place becomes a big party with different bar and restaurants playing Forró, the typical music from the region. If you ever go to Bahia, do visit Caraiva for at least one day! 

Que delicía de lugar gente! Sempre ouvi falar de Craíva, da praia maravilhosa, das noites de forró… Dessa vez resolvi sair de Trancoso e visitar esse lugarzinho mágico. A viagem de carro durou em torno de uma hora, e a estrada é bem rústica (: Na chegada pegamos um barquinho para fazer a pequena travessia até Caraíva. Saindo do barco já sentamos no Bar dos Mentirosos e as cervejas começaram a descer! A praia é maravilhosa, as pessoas são lindas (tinha até angel da Victoria's Secret por lá) e a comida uma delicia. Passamos o dia no "Bar da Praia" e a noite rolou muito forró. Super recomendo a visita por pelo menos dois dias, para curtit bem… 

Ah! Esse Kimono que jaá me perguntarm no insta acabou, mas coloquei outras opções que achei online! As sandálias de pedra e o maiô são da MYSABELLA!

RESTAURANTES/ Restaurants: Boteco Do Pará, Cantinho Da Duca, bar Lagoa, Bar Da Praia, Bar do Porto, Tatuaçu, Mangabá...

POUSADAS/Hotels: Bangalôs da Aldeia, Beira Mar, Vila das Aguas, Canto do Sabiá, Casinhas da Bahia, Flor do Mar, Casa da Praia Caraíva, Thayna, Kitoki D'aldeia...