06 August 2012

Around the World...Africa

I can feel the excitement from all who have signed up for the Challenge of Travel. The closet librarian in me loves the fact that there will be a little bit of research to be done to participate in this challenge, the armchair traveler in me is stoked to be {virtually} visiting all these places I might never have a chance to see otherwise, and the jewelry rock star in me is welcoming all the inspiration that will come my way from seeing what everyone will do. If you signed up, I will be sending out an official email on Tuesday with all the countries that have been assigned.

As part of doing all this virtual globe-trotting, I have been spying some amazing pictures. Miss Marcie turned me on to the website Lonely Planet. And Google Images is my constant companion. There is a wealth of great eye candy on Pinterest and Flickr as well.  I feel so cosmopolitan as if I am planning a safari in the African veldt or a ski trip in the Swiss Alps. There is a lot of information on just about anyplace that you care to search for and tons of really cool pictures. So that got me thinking... if I could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

So I decided that since this is my birthday week {yep, turning another year older on Saturday} that it was time for a celebration. This week I will share with you one place on each of the six continental regions in the world (Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America) that I dream of seeing one day in person, complete with some color palettes {courtesy of Brandi Hussey's free color palette template} and my observations. If you are like me in that you have no passport, the internet is a gateway to the whole wide world just waiting to be explored.

First stop: Africa

Africa is the second largest and second most populous land mass in the world. This giant of a continent is home to 1 billion people. There are 47 countries that make up the continent, but 53 if you include the outlying islands.

The climate of Africa ranges from subarctic to tropical. It is host to deserts, tropical rainforests, savannas. The largest population of free range wildlife can be found here and are some of the most storied animals on the planet.

There are two places that I would like to travel in Africa: Tanzania and Morocco. 
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Tanzania 

My daughter is nuts about elephants. Sometime a few years ago she became obsessed with the largest land animal. If you want to get in her good graces just buy her anything with an elephant on it, and if it is orange, you score even more points!

{African elephants traverse the plains of the Serengheti under the looming Mount Kilimanjaro}
She has professed that she would like go on an African safari one day. I never had a clear idea of where I wanted to go in my lifetime, so why not start with her dream? If I can make that happen for us one day, I think that would be the trip of a lifetime.

{This is a restaurant called The Rock that is just off the coast of the Zanzibar beaches. You can wade out there for your gourmet dining experience, or there is small boat that will ferry you across.}
Tanzania is the quintessential African nation to me. Home to the the Serengheti National Park, the beaches of Zanzibar, and the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro... those are names that speak to me of this vast continent.

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Morocco 

Culture and history and architecture are things that I really enjoy. To experience all three in one place, Morocco would be my choice of destination. It has an ancient, timeless appeal. Traders and nomads are the norm and it would be really intriguing to immerse myself in this rich culture.

{Ben Youssef Madrasah, Marrakech, Morocco. Photo from SEIER+SEIER}
The details that I see in my mind when I think about Morocco are scrolling patterns and mosaics, onion topped archways, getting lost in a maze of limestone back alleys and bazaar stalls. The tile work and the textiles are fascinating in their unique patterns and intricate details.

{Spices in a Marrakech stall. Photo from JoshFassBind}

Everywhere there seems to be color. The people wear brightly hued textiles, the buildings are painted in rainbow hues, spices seems plucked from a crayon box. I can just imagine what a pungent smell this stall must have! The colors are so saturated and rich. To stroll among the people and take in the sights and sounds and smells and beauty of this nation would be a dream.

So there you have it. Two places in Africa that capture my fancy.


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Next stop: Asia

Your turn...
What images do you associate with Africa? What countries would you long to see on this sprawling continent?

4 comments:

Off the Beadin' Path said...

I agree that Africa is fascinating with its own kind of majestic beauty! I hope you will arrive there some day! Meanwhile, since you're interested in Morocco, I urge you to read "The Time in Between" by Maria Duenas, as I said on my FB page, it's one of the best books I have ever read! Google the author, there is a wonderful video of her description of her story. She writes with substance, fitting for the background of Morocco and Spain!

Cece Cormier said...

Loved this post. The visuals are exceptional and the addition of the color palette is a great idea. Looking forward to more colorful armchair travel.

A Half-Baked Notion said...

I could have requested almost any African country, Erin. I have been an Africaphile since childhood and I don't believe there is such a thing as too many pics of Africa! I know that, barring some spectacular windfall, my travels will be restricted to my armchair and computer. That's O.K., though... this challenge will give me lots of opportunity to drool over the African scenery, animals and (my favourite) the beautiful people and their amazingly colourful dress.

Kristen said...

Yes Yes Yes again I would love to see the beauty of Tanzania as well. A Safari would be awesome!

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