January 14, 2013

KN does Switzerland!

And to conclude my trips...
The last trip of my exchange was in Switzerland :) 
What better way to test your skiing skills by skiing down the Swiss Alps!!
That has always been on my bucketlist, so I was definitely really excited for this one last hurrah.
 I also specifically picked to go to Interlaken, Switzerland because I wanted to go skydiving over the Swiss Alps.. Sadly that failed :'( due to the dumb weather!!! BUT my skiing experience definitely made my trip worth it stills.
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Total spent on visiting 23 countries: $5005.89 (and I'm not lying :D)
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January 07, 2013

La Cuisine Paris Macaron Class

I've always wanted to learn how to make a macaron, so what better time to learn how to make a French pastry when I'm in Paris?

I signed up for a Macaron Noël baking class in December with La Cuisine Paris. It was perfect because all the classes were in English, so I didn't have to worry about that and also there are a lot of other classes besides macarons!
Here are some pictures from our class :)
Me listening intently while mixing
Mixing in the meringue into the mixture
Piping is a lot harder than it looks..
Success :)
Added gold flakes on the tops :)
Proud of my piping hehe
Into the oven they go! For 12-15 minutes, or until they stop sticking to the sheet
Look at their feet! :)
Me and my "K" macaron
Final product: Pink macarons with chocolate ganache and gold designs ;)
I'd say that overall, this baking session, was a huge success!
Besides the color not turning out correctly (it's supposed to be a deep red LOL fail), it was a very fun experience! I missed baking soo much, so this really helped me fill my void until I got back to Toronto.

I'll be practicing more when I settle back in Toronto. So if you want to be my guinea pig.. Just let me know ;)

January 05, 2013

Marrakesh Day 4: Pre-Spring Break Relaxation

Waking up to beautiful weather, we decided to just hang out and relax until we had to head to the airport.
We had breakfast on the rooftop and just enjoyed the sunshine :)
It felt like we were on Spring break, and in all honesty, I'd choose this over Punta Cana or Cancun.
We headed out to the marketplace one last time, and brought back some freshly squeezed Orange juice.
A cup of Orange juice was only 4 dirhams (which is 40 cents). Amazing!! And it was probably the best cup of Orange juice I've ever had :)
And back to the hostel we went. We wanted to save our Orange juice so that we could sit on the roof and relax. It was probably the hardest thing to resist while walking back haha
Just chillin'
And this is when we decided it would be a great idea to climb up this roof. So glad we did though, because it was so relaxing to just sit there and look out over the buildings!
Our view from the ledge

Our lunch: chicken salad
Leaving Morocco was a sad goodbye. Not only were we saying goodbye to the beautiful sunshine and summer weather, but also to one of my favorite and biggest adventures.
Goodbye Morocco!! :)

January 03, 2013

Marrakesh Day 2 & 3: Camel Trek & Sahara Desert Camping

Waking up in the early morning to start this adventure was difficult but I was too excited not to be awake for it.
So the tour was basically going to be 2 days, where we would take a bus for 8 hours to the desert, ride a camel during sunset and then stay a night in a tent in the Sahara Desert. In the morning of the next day, we would ride a camel during sunrise back to the edge of the Sahara Desert, and then sit in the bus for another 8 hours to get back to the city.
The 8 hour bus ride was as horrible as it sounded. But to make it a little more bearable, we had casual stops along the side of the mountains for pictures, and the views were AMAZING.
Simply. Breathtaking.
A little store on the side of the road
My deer & I
Mountain goats
For lunch, we stopped at this restaurant that had an amazing outdoor patio (well, everything was basically outdoors). I was just loving the sun...
Moroccan mint tea
Aaaaand back to our bus ride.
Literally standing on the edge of a cliff (as per usual), in my Moroccan pants heh
My first sight of the camels. SO CUTE.
So they sit down while you board them. Once they get the signal, they would stand up. If you weren't careful, you would fall off LOL I almost fell off, but thank goodness I didn't!!! 
As people starting picking camels, I got forced to go on this one camel that wasn't attached to anyone else (all the other camels were attached in a line with other camels). I felt so secluded for the first bit but then I actually enjoyed my own little private camel trek heh. But then in the end, I got attached to Viv's camel. So at least we were all together! It was pretty fun. It was basically like riding any other animal. So in the end, I didn't really need to hold the metal bars to steady myself. AND, I ended up sitting cross legged on my camel. It was the most comfortable position, I swear!
Just Sally & I
Riding into the sunset
Sahara Desert sunset
By the time we arrived to the campsite, the sky was already super dark. We landed and got off our camels. Thank goodness I had a flashlight or else we'd be SO lost!! It is literally pitch black. You couldn't see a single thing. And I think that could have been a good thing because I'm pretttttty sure that the sand area was covered with camel poop. BUT I'm not 100% sure. What you don't know can't hurt you right? Haha
After we got assigned tents for the night, we dropped off our stuff and headed to the main tent for some tea and peanuts, while they cooked dinner.
Dinner was in another separate tent, where we all had a candlelight dinner. So romantical! JAYKAY. There was this cat there that kept jumping up right next to me trying to get food :@ :@ :@ but that's besides the point. We had some soup, tangine, and oranges for dessert.

After dinner was over, we all headed back to the main tent for some music and dancing. Haha it was actually quite fun!
After sitting around for a while, we headed outside to see the stars. One word = planetarium.
It was so dark outside, with no lights whatsoever, that you could see soooo many stars, it didn't even feel real. I honestly felt like I was in a planetarium!! If it was warmer, I definitely would have just laid outside and slept while gazing at the stars. Secret confession: I absolutely love star gazing.
We headed to bed after hearing dogs/wolves/whatever howling. I honestly thought I was going to get killed haha.
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Waking up in the morning did not feel like real life. It was SO cold. I was bundled so thickly. I'm pretty sure I was wearing 4 shirts, a hoodie, my pea coat, 2 scarves, with leggings and my moroccan pants. AND 5 pairs of socks. I was curled into my fleece and it was still freezing outside. I swear it was -20 degrees!! It was a mission and a million to take off my layers to change. But once I forced myself to get out of bed and out of the tent, it was worth it.
Our tent for the night
After breakfast, we quickly packed and went back on our way back towards the city on our camels :)
We made a couple more pitstops along the way back to Marrakesh.
One of our pitstops was at this store that handmade carpets, and...stuff. Not really sure because I wasn't too interested in fabrics like this and what not. But it was still a nice change from our other boring pitstops!
Another pitstop was supposed to be a tour at this castle but I really didn't feel like going nor did I want to spend money on it. We ended up just wandering off while waiting and took pictures of our surroundings. Can you believe people actually live in these little villages on the mountains?!
For lunch, I ordered couscous :)
On our way back, we stopped by this bank of snow and decided to make snowballs hehe :P
I can now say that I made a snowball in Morocco haha
By the time we arrived back to the city/our hostel, it was already really dark. We ended up hanging out in the hostel with people we met on the camel trip. What a great 2nd and 3rd day!
Hummus! Yum.
I still cannot believe that this all happened. Especially coming from a girl who HATES the outdoors.. I actually rode a camel, and survived a night out in the desert!! One of my best trips yet :)
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