Tuesday, 1 May 2018

summer dreaming


"peach and honey in the air, ice cream cones on the pavement, windows flung wide open, an orchard of apricot trees with wind chime breeze through the leaves and branches shimmering with the heat haze. there’s a timeless oil-painting or polaroid-worn-away-at-the edges kind of beauty about this dream and you, paint-splattered camera flash on your skin. you, and you, and you. I want to live like this forever. always reaching for each other and never quite touching. light bathing the marble-skin of your back, muscles rippling the way the river flows, softly, urgent. call it love, call it anything you want. in this life, it starts raining the second we say each other’s names / in the next, the world stops breathing right before we kiss for the first time / in another, we jump into the river at dawn and never come up for air." -an extract I found somewhere online

my mind has been littered with thoughts of the summer and new destinations. I think I have taken the term 'itchy feet' to a whole new level as I find myself trawling through airlines and air bnb's throughout the day, often spending hours conjuring up a trip. I like the idea of escaping somewhere and integrating myself into the place from small mannerisms to more explicit signs to try and disguise my dreaded tourist status. I never understand those people that go on holiday and spend the whole time tucked away in their hotel and getting red faced and huffy when they found out that not everyone speaks English. As I grow older and my independence soars, the thought of being able to travel somewhere, whether that's alone or with someone else, sends my mind into an over-excited scramble. When I think of places I would like to go, I like to think of every aspect of it from the places I'd see to the type of clothes I'd wear. I'm a very laid-back and fluid person and my personality and demeanour is able to morph with every place I go if necessary. 

Thinking of my trip to Madrid makes my heart flutter with the images of the strolling through historic centre and the thought of speaking and immersing myself in a language that rolls off the tongue so smoothly and dances languidly in the warm air. The soft, buttery sounds and high pitched trills of rolled r's and lisped c's that come with the Spanish language and the idea of finally being able to communicate in a country that is so dear to my heart is seriously a thought for battered minds. Rooftops, balmy weather, tapas, walking tours, cycling in the sun, imperial palaces, new metro experiences, rowing boats, art. I cannot wait to experience the capital that I have learnt so much about.

Then moving effortlessly to the Italian port city of Venice conjures up images of pale homes and lines of clothes drying, washed out with the beating sun. Intricate architecture that gives a whole new meaning of 'look up.' Hideously touristic gondolas which are so paradoxically beautiful housing loved up couples and plush red velvet seats streamlining through the turquoise water. Gingham skirts, bright coloured bandeaus. Flowing layers, almost as fluid as the soft sounds of the canal water ebbing against surfaces as you walk down quaint cobbled streets and alleyways, the bitter thought of the fact that in a few decades, water levels will rise and this city, that is so full of everything, will cease to exist and turn into nothing. The smell of tomato and basil filling the humid air and who cares if your hair's frizzy because you're in Venezia- the most beautiful city there is. 

And then there is the sensory overload that is Morocco.

I don't think I will ever be able to put into words the feeling of stepping off the Royal Air Maroc plane in Casablanca and smelling and feeling the thick heat of the country hit you all at once after such a sterile environment in the air. It is truly inexplicable. The first few days are a frenzy of hugs, kisses, 'you've grown so tall', questions on school, trying (and failing) to pick up the arabic and french again with each word. The call to prayer becomes your way of distinguishing what time and part of the day it is. You're woken up by the sounds of cockerels and chickens, even in the city. Sellers walking around neighbourhoods yelling for people to buy their fish, bread, veg or eggs. The occasional beggar asks for and stale bread and within minutes, women and children are throwing bags of bread from their windows. I have not visited Marrakech in 3 years so I'll be rediscovering the red city this summer in all its tiled, terracotta walled, palm tree glory. Street cats on every corner, basking in the 30 degree heat, new rooftop restaurants, brightly coloured walls and palm trees, barely swaying. 

Hearing the dialect change and become increasingly more Spanish as we progress up north will never cease to amaze me. Swimming in the mediterranean sea, which is substantially calmer than the atlantic that we have on the west coast, makes every worry I may have had in the last 11 months disappear. Hills and mountains, white homes painted with the intention of bouncing light off and warding off the heat. The north of Morocco feels like a completely different country and is a completely new experience. 

Perhaps we'll take the ferry across the strait of Gibraltar and travel to the southern coast of Spain. I have always wanted to show my family the colourful, charismatic cities that make up Andalusia. Orange tree lined promenades, yellow walls, extravagant wooden doors and tiles which makes a confusing cross between European and Islamic architecture. I have roamed the streets of Seville, Cordoba, Granada and Malaga before but I have been wanting to return ever since September 2016. The history of the region fascinates me, to think that so many different groups from the Romans to the Phoenicians to the Muslim Moors had established a rule in this place and what we see of it today is a result of these past occupations. The religious coexistence between Muslims, Jews and Christians under the Muslim rule, the conversion of Cordoba into the world's educational hub, the evolution of the Spanish language which sees many arabic influences, mudejar art and architecture and the subsequent Reconquista and Inquisition have essentially bridged the ever so important gap between history and language for me. I cannot wait to revisit with more knowledge on the history of the region so I can completely revel in it's beauty and past. 

And now is where the travelling line plateaus. The rest of August is a mystery. I could stay in London which isn't sounding half as bad. But then there's my 18th birthday which I can't help but feel pressured to make iconic and memorable. It is a milestone birthday, after all. I've toyed with the idea of Barcelona, where I'll have the ability to experience a region of Spain that I've never explored before. Or perhaps go and spend a few days in the country side again, something I will always appreciate. Lisbon is growing on my radar and may be a trip for September. You can also never go wrong with Paris...

I'll see where the month takes me. But for now, I am content. And I spend every day thinking of the summer to come. 

"Estoy deseando que llegue el fin de Junio, los días soleados, el calor: todo lo que no sea este invierno interminable" 

Dalal

30 comments:

  1. Amazing!

    https://julesonthemoon.blogspot.it

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  2. Wow, just the way you described each country you visited gave me the feels asdfghjkl

    I've been to Barcelona before and it's so rich in history, beauty and inspiration you'll just fall in love. One of my favourite places I've been to in Europe was Copenhagen because not only do they speak english but they also have interesting points of interests.

    - Nicole | nicolesmind.com

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    1. Ah thank you! Barcelona is at the top of my travel bucket list, I'd love to visit in the near future. I've seen so many blog posts and youtube videos on Copenhagen, it seems like the new 'it' tourist spot

      Dalal

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  3. I love the way you describe your experiences! You are the type of person people want as a travel partner, someone to fully experience a country’s hidden gems and culture with. I haven’t been to any of the places you’ve mentioned as they’re not on my list of places I want to visit but the way you’ve described them, I am going to have to pencil them in because I too want to have those same experiences. I am going to be living vicariously through your Instagram posts and blog posts of your summer, I am so excited for you to share your first trip with us!

    Fran | www.franciscarockey.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Fran! I'll let you know if they live up to my expectations ;) Watch out for the instagram and blog posts aha

      Dalal

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  4. This was written so beautifully Dalal and it made me feel as though I was actually in some of those places at one point! I can't wait to visit Spain this summer as well, despite not being able to speak much of the language I'd quite like to learn some more before I go!

    Lucy | Forever September

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    1. Thank you Lucy! Can't wait to see your blog posts and hear what you thought of it- I can teach you some Spanish :)

      Dalal

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  5. Your writing style is gorgeous! Morocco is one on my list and you've described it beautifully.
    Louise X

    Http://ribbitsaidthefrogcalledtoad.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Louise! Maybe I'm biased but Morocco is such an amazing country, you should definitely put it on your bucketlist

      Dalal

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  6. Dalal you have such a lovely way with words! And you're making me want to travel more and seeing more of the world too!

    www.sophiesspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Sophie, that's so nice of you to say!

      Dalal

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  7. i loveeeee this post! i have been desperately waiting for summer for months now n its finally almost here im so excited! ur writing is so beautiful, its making me long for places I've never been n wishing to go back to italy. i hope whatever u decide for ur bday is the best <3

    afuckinglook.blogspot.com

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    1. Me too, I've been anticipating it for the longest time ever- it's so close, I've just got to get through these exams! Thank you so much, I'm glad I could evoke such feelings haha.

      Dalal

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  8. Wowww it sounds like you're going to have such a great summer!! :)

    - Iona | asweetdestination.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so excited for it to come and to share all my experiences!

      Dalal

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  9. DAMN I'M SO JEALOUS! My summer so far is looking like it'll just consist of netflix, lazing around and feeling bad about it, being annoyed at having to pay for bus travel in London (ffs) and buying a lot of unnecessary food, lmao! But this has inspired me so much to open up new windows in the near future for travel - it's never something that I've had a hold on independently - sure I've been to some amazing places, but my mindset has never truly been 'I am going to travel.' I've just always seen it as this amazingly privileged thing to do and that I'm not quite there yet haha. I'm doing a year abroad at the end of next year though, so maybe that will act as a catalyst for me to start! Also you don't have to go crazy for your 18th - but defo do something fun!! HAPPY BDAY IN ADVANCE!!! <3 <3 <3

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    1. The thing is, the flights are SO cheap via ryanair! My flight to Madrid is £55 and Venice is £60 so it's definitely affordable and Airbnb's can cost you around £100 for 4 nights so I think it's doable- LOOK INTO IT, it can be so much cheaper than you think!!! Besides, netflix and lazing around is fun anyway (not looking forward to the day my free bus travel is gone) Lot's of love,

      Dalal

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  10. The more I read about summer, the more exciting it sounds and Dalal you are filling it with so many amazing trips - Lisbon definitely sounds like a winner though but you can't beat Paris, especially if it's your 18th. The history, language, culture of your trips just sounds so dreamy and I hope you have the best time <3 x

    eleanorclaudie.com

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    1. I don't blame you! I'm looking forward to experiencing it all and having all the stories to share on here haha. I think Lisbon is probably going to be saved for September- I agree, nothing can beat Paris (iconic) Thank youuu!

      Dalal

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  11. I love this post so much - your descriptions are beautiful and have me dreaming about summer a little (who am I kidding - a lot!!) too!!

    Heather xoxo
    https://www.hefafa.me.uk

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    1. Thank you Heather!!! haha it's totally justified

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  12. What a lovely post, you write so well! I thoroughly enjoyed this read. P.s. I love the first photo!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed :)

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  13. I want to go to Madrid so bad! Love this post Dalal, made me feel all warm n excited for summer even though mine is nowhere near as exciting as yours but ah god the description of getting off the plane in Morocco has made me feel as if I'm going to have that experience some time soon!x
    constantlylibby.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. The main reason I wanted to go was because of Las Chicas del Cable! Thank you, I'm so glad you liked it Libby- I'll be sure to keep you updated on it all haha

      Dalal

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  14. Love this post! Sounds like you have a jam packed summer ahead of you an I'm sure travelling to all these diverse places will be incredible, especially places like Paris and Morocco
    Feel free to check out my latest post x
    LOOK LOVE WEAR

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    1. Thanks Arianne- hope your summer is fab! and I will do

      Dalal

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  15. Your writing is fantastic. Love your Spanish quote at the bottom too! You definitely should go to Barcelona, I’ve been twice and it’s Outstanding. I went to Seville, Córdoba and Granada in 2016 and I’m desperate to go back. I went to Madrid a few times alone last summer as my best friend lives there, but I have no summer plans as of yet! Your post definitely has me thinking of it though ahah. We’re off to Paris again in December, maybe see you there if you decide to do a Christmas trip!

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    1. Muchas gracias Lauren. I actually adapted it from Federico Garcia Lorca's play La Casa de Bernarda Alba, the actual quote is "Estoy deseando que llegue noviembre, los días de lluvia, la escarcha; todo lo que no sea este verano interminable." Isn't the south of Spain just stunning? Ah let me know of any Madrid tips. Enjoy Paris!

      Dalal

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stop procrastinating and just comment already
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