Category Archives: Landscape

THE COQUI COQUI EMPIRE OF SENSES

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-10

Necessity is the mother of invention – illustrated through the fact that Francesca Bonato and her business partner Jacopo Janniello Ravagnan‘s accessories line: ”Hacienda Montaecristo” was born of necessity when Francesca and her husband, Nicolas Malleville, a contemporary landscape architect and perfumer, opened their first Coqui Coqui boutique hotel on the Yucatán Peninsula in Southeastern Mexico.

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-2

”We all needed to supply our homes, the hotels, the boutiques, so we started working with local artisans and weavers to create these pieces. I started collecting the traditional Mexican shawl called rebozo.” Francesca Bonato

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-23-1

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-15

It was back in 2003 when the couple opened their first bohemian chic boutique hotel in TULUM near a former hippie outpost which has today become one of the most stylish and high-end beach destinations in Mexico. With the never ending coconut trees and white sandy beaches, nothing else but nature’s pure resources, are the inspiration behind the Coqui Coqui experience.

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-20-1

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-21-1

The jungle, the Caribbean Sea, the ruins, and the local architecture are the backdrop and magnificent canvas to this bohemian chic contemporary designed hotel – where pure, elegant, stylish, and rustic are just a few of the feelings which the hotel exudes.

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-14

Unified in a tranquil beachfront environment, they provide guests with a truly majestic and extraordinary hospitality.

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-13

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-27

Today, a decade later, this peaceful and relaxing sanctuary has definitely become an integrated part of the Yucatán Peninsula, both in charm and in culture.

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-19

In addition to the two smaller properties that followed in VALLADOLID and COBA, in September 2011, the couple turned a turn-of-the-century building in MÉRIDA’s historical center into another Coqui Coqui guest house which stands next door to the second Perfumeria after its flagship sibling in Valladolid.

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-4

The youngest residence next to the Perfumeria in Mérida is the latest addition to the Coqui Coqui Empire, complete with its Venetian plaster walls, marble baths, red velvet settees and original ornate tile work. Its design reflects the metropolis’ vibrant life whilst keeping its elegant and sophisticated époque design intact.

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-24

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-6

Inspired by the synchronicity of local and colonial traditions, the romanticism of the past and Mexican culture, the Coqui Coqui Empire embodies the owners’ passion and love for culture and tradition. And that is what makes it so unique, something definitely worth seeing, staying in, smelling and ultimately, wearing.

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-8

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-11

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-9

http://www.yatzer.com/coqui-coqui

Advertisements

THE POP UP HOUSE

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 12.25.58 PM

The Namib Desert. A four wheel drive, long dusty roads and our mobile home for the following fifteen days.

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 12.29.10 PM

The Duwisib Castle is a historical monument situated in the heart of our 6,000-hectare farmland built in 1909, by Baron Captain Heinrich Von Wolf. With scenic views and camel thorn trees, it is no wonder the Baron decided to build his fortress at this special location.

duwisib-guestfarm

Much of the raw materials used in the construction of the fort were imported from Germany. After landing at Lüderitz, the materials were transported by ox-wagon for over 600 mms through the Namib Desert. The castle consisting in 22 rooms.

RITOCCATA Duwisib_Castle_07_fs

A frugal breakfast, early in the morning. Me and my husband were heading off on a self-drive camping adventure. We drove 4500 kilometers in two weeks. Our pop-up tent and the small camping table with the cotton checkered tablecloth, camp stove, plastic plates and cups. The caveat: just make sure you always stop and fill up whenever you can for fuel and drinking water because, once you leave the city, you leave the tarmac and you end up in the middle of a beautiful nowhere.

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 12.28.57 PM

Sossusvlei, Namibia’s famous highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert, is a huge clay pan, enclosed by giant sand dunes. Some of the most spectacular hills of sand are, at a height of 300 m, the highest and largest sand dunes in the world.

namib-desert

Wind continuously reshapes the patterns of the huge dunes of the Namib Desert. It timelessly forces the grains of sand on the flat windward slope upwards to the crest of the dune. Here they fall down in the wind shade. The leeward slope is therefore always considerably steeper than the windward side.  Below: it is me on the top of the “Dune 45” like a tightrope walker 300 meters high.

Below: at the top of the “Dune 45”, like a tightrope walker 300 meters high.

RITOCCATA II Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 5.20.57 PM

Below: Sossusvlei Lodge. We just spent a night here. A real bed has been our reward after so much effort.

RITOCCATA Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 7.13.19 PM

Below: Welwitschia Mirabilis. Welwitschia was discovered by the Austrian botanist, explorer and medical doctor, Friedrich Welwitsch, in 1859 in the Namib Desert of southern Angola. This species is called “mirabilis”, which means marvellous in Latin. This plant can live up to 2,000 years.

welwitchia-mirabilis

Below: a local market.

open-air-market-of-semi-precious-stones

After driving for three hours in the cocent sun, a short break was necessary with a good cold beer. A Tafel Beer of course. It is a fine quality, smooth tasting natural lager with a wholesome flavor and aroma, which makes it perfect for any occasion. This beer has its origins at Hansa Brewery in Swakopmund. Cheers then!!!!!

RITOCCATA II Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 5.22.32 PM

In the vast arid space of Northern Namibia lies one of Southern Africa’s best loved wildlife sanctuaries: “Etosha National Park”. It is a unique place in Africa.

Namibia-etosha

Zebras and springboks are scattered across the endless horizon, while the few waterholes attract endangered black rhinoceros, lions, elephants, giraffes and a large number of antelopes.

Mokuti Etosha Lodge - Elephants at Waterhole

Etosha, meaning “place of dry water”, is enclosing a huge, flat calcrete depression (or pan) of about 5 000 km². The pan itself contains water only after very good rains and sometimes for only a few days each year, but it is enough to stimulate the growth of a blue-green algae which lures thousands of flamingos.

RITOCCATA p1020145

A hippie family from Netherland we met in Etosha Park. They told us that they had gone through the whole African continent on this battered Peugeot. They had two small children with them. Crazy people!

RITOCCATA p1020143

Below: my African kitchen. I’m preparing lunch with avocados and a fruit salad. Light and juicy, and simply fantastic. We had lots of boxes full of food. The ice box made up for my cutting table.

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 12.28.38 PM

Like two temporary nomads we celebrated the same ceremony every night:  we pop up our military tent. We used an iron ladder to reach the jeep’s roof. Our tent was like a tiny dot in the luxuriant nature. The green mosquito net was not enough to protect us from African biting insects. The bed inside was made of a thin mattress with two pillows and a light duvet. The floor was hard on my back and the space was quite small for two adults, but sleeping under a star canopy was making you forget all discomforts.

P1020072

On the way to Damaraland to find Namibia’s wildlife.

Screen Shot 2013-04-19 at 11.25.23 PM

Damaraland is the old apartheid name given to the region south of Kaokoland and north of the main road to Swakopmund.

Screen Shot 2013-04-20 at 4.22.45 PM

Above: Twyfelfontein Lodge.

P1020004

In front of a roaring fire with our local friend and guide, Silvio, who is now running a very cozy restaurant at the lighthouse in Swakopmund with his wife Esbi.

RITOCCATA p1010977

Above: on our way to Skeleton Coast we had to cross a dry river bed. My husband had to lower the tyres’ pressure in order to float over the deep sand. Our reliable Toyota never let us down.

RITOCCATA Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 5.21.22 PM

The Sunday picnic with Silvio and Esbi on the coast.

RITOCCATA Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 5.22.55 PM

The Skeleton Coast is named after the beached whales and seal bones which covered the shore area when the whaling industry was still active. It generates its fair share of “human bones” too…

NAMIBIA. Skeleton Coast2

Skeletal shipwrecks caused by rocks offshore in the fog. More than a thousand vessels can be found along the coast!

RITOCCATA Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 5.20.23 PM

Good morning Africa! Sand’s everywhere and, under the scorching sun, water becomes the most precious element. It seems you have never enough. Are we too spoiled by our so called civilization?

KOLMANSKOP I

august-stauch

In April 1908, August Stauch (here above), the railway station master at Grasplatz registered a 6 month prospecting claim of 10 km wide along a 24 km stretch of the Lüderitzbucht-Keetmanshoop railway line.

namibia-ghost-town-kolmanskop1

In May 1908, Zacharia Lewala, who had formerly worked as a coachman in Cape Town and/or on the Kimberley mines picked up a diamond on a stretch of the railway line on which he was working.  He reported it to his supervisor and the news was conveyed to Stauch –  (Here below Zacharia Lewala).

ZachariasLewala

In September 1908 the German Colonial Government proclaimed the “Sperrgebiet” making a large territory along the coastline from the Oranje River all the way to 26 S and 1oo km from the coastline “Forbidden Land”.

RITOCCATA Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 1.39.48 PM

Rough diamonds.

Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 1.34.40 PM

A diamond rush followed. In 1909 Stauch found the Idatal (named after Stauchs wife Ida), a valley where the desert winds made the diamonds visible. In the moonlight men were on their knees and hands picking diamonds from the surface. (Above local miners).

Kolmanskop01-800x287

In 1909 mining also started at Kolmannskuppe. The place was named after a British transport driver, called Colman.

Kolmanskop02-800x216

During a desert storm he managed to survive but had to abandon his ox wagon. His wagon, standing on a hill (kuppe) became a landmark, named Colmans Hill (Kolmannskuppe) and when a town was built next to the mine the old name was kept although it is actually built on another hill opposite the original Colmans Hill.

Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 11.41.31 AM

Kolmanskop was built in this gem-rich land, in German colonial style, complete with all modern facilities, including a hospital, ballroom, casino, ice factory and sports center. Its tram and x-ray machine were the first in Africa, funded by the diamond wealth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Kasino. It was built in 1927 as the last building in the centre of Kolmanskop. It was used for many things. It was a big restaurant, it was a church, a theatre, a sports hall and many other activities took place hear.

KolmansKasino07

The main hall was a sports hall and a theatre among other activities.

“The theatre sponsored visits of shows and operettas from overseas and a 8 – piece orchestra that played for all the formal dances as well as tea dances on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. All the ladies turned up in the latest fashions. The club served tea, coffee, beer and spirits while the orchestra played sweet music. Some couples did the tango or one step. The brave ones tried the Charleston”.  (Marianne Coleman, daughter of Ou Kat Coleman foreman at Kolmanskop)

KolmanEngineer01-800x328

This was the residence of the mining engineer Leonhard Kolle who stayed here with his family until 1935 when they moved to Oranjemund. A beautiful house with a huge veranda along the whole building. On the right hand side you see trees. This was not common in a desert town.

KolmanHospital01-800x336

Of course there had to be a hospital in a wealthy and organised town such as Kolmanskop. The picture above shows the first hospital in Kolmanskop.

KolmanHospital02-800x546

Some of the equipment used is shown in a small room in the ”Old Shop”.

KolmanHospital03-800x296

Later on the hospital was enlarged to what it is today.

KolmanTeacher00

There were some 40 children in Kolmanskop. Of those 25-30 attended a school in Kolmanskop with classes up to grade 4. The picture above is from 1926. The teacher was Mrs Hussmann. She lived in a nice little house between the architect and the quarter master.

KolmanShop01-800x503

The shopping street – ”Kolmanskuppe Ladenstrasse”.

The town declined after World War I when the diamond-field slowly exhausted and was ultimately abandoned in 1954. The geological forces of the desert mean that tourists now walk through houses knee-deep in sand. Kolmanskop is popular with photographers and filmmakers for its settings of the desert sands’ reclaiming this once-thriving town.

Dust_Devil_(1992)

Dust Devil is a 1993 horror film written and directed by Richard Stanley. The film was described as being like “Tarkovsky on acid” by Steve Beard of The Face.

Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 3.16.44 PM

The King Is Alive (2000) is the fourth film to be done according to the Dogme95 rules. It is directed by Kristian Levring. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.

Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 3.19.40 PM

Samsara is a 2011 non-narrative documentary film, directed by Ron Fricke and produced by Mark Magidson. Samsara was filmed over four years in 25 countries around the world. It was shot in 70 mm format and output to digital format. The film premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and received a limited release in August 2012.

http://on-the-rand.co.uk/Diamond%20Grounds/Sperrgebiet.htm

http://stories.namibiatourism.com.na/blog/bid/270034/Kolmanskop-Swallowed-by-the-Dunes#Comments

Image

LIKE BIRDS

bloodandchampagne3883

BLUE MAJORELLE

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.33.22 PM

In 1919 the French painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962) took up residence in the Medina in Marrakech (then a French protectorate) with which he fell in love. Majorelle was the son of the Art Nouveau ébéniste of Nancy, Louis Majorelle. Though Majorelle’s gentlemanly orientalist watercolors are largely forgotten today (many are preserved in the villa’s collection), the gardens he created is his creative masterpiece.

2Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.33.51 PM

In 1922 he purchased a palm grove just outside Marrakech and in 1931 he commissioned architect Paul Sinoir to build him an Art-deco style workshop of astonishing modernity. He set out his primary living space on the first floor and made a vast artist’s studio on the ground floor to paint his huge decorative works.

3Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.34.22 PM

Fond of botany, he created a botanical garden around his villa structured around a long central pool, with a variety of over 1800 types of cacti, 400 species of palms and other rare varieties of the time. Different environments, planted with lush vegetation in which hundreds of birds nested.
4
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.34.33 PM
The garden is a living and evolving work of art made up of exotic plants and rare species that he brought back from his travels around the world: cactus, yuccas, water lilies, white water lilies, jasmines, bougainvilleas, palms, coconut trees, banana trees, bamboos…
5
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.34.43 PM
Embellished with fountains, ponds, water features, ceramic jars, avenues, and pergolas… This bold action revolutionized the way in which gardens were to be viewed.
6
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.34.51 PM
In 1937 the artist created an ultramarine blue that was both bright and intense: known as blue Majorelle, he used it to paint the walls of his workshop, and then the entire garden transforming it into a living tableau which he opened to the public in 1947.
7
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.35.33 PM
The power of the blue Majorelle is long lived and permeates the essence of what it means to live and see color in Marrakech.
8
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.35.47 PM
Following a car accident, Majorelle was repatriated to Paris where he died in 1962. The garden then fell into neglect. In 1980, Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent acquired the garden to save it from property developers and to bring it back to life.
9
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.35.57 PM
Following the death of Yves Saint Laurent in 2008, Pierre Bergé decided to donate the Jardin Majorelle to the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent.
10
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.36.06 PM
11
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.36.18 PM
12
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.37.15 PM
The Garden welcomes over 600,000 visitors each year, tourists and locals alike.
13
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.37.29 PM
14
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.37.42 PM
Mr. Frédéric Mitterrand, in the presence of Mr. Pierre Bergé, placed a plaque engraved, “Maison des Illustres” (‘House of Honor’), at the gate of the Villa Oasis, where Mr. Yves Saint Laurent came and worked throughout his life.
15
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.37.53 PM
16
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.38.03 PM
17
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.38.19 PM
18
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.38.32 PM
19
Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 11.38.52 PM
Yves Saint Laurent said “A visit to Marrakech was a great shock to me. This city taught me color”.
.
.
.
.
.
.

THE LIGHT OF PROVENCE – Château de Moissac I

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 7.18.50 PM

Built in a hill-top village, a refuge for lovers of ancient stones…In the early 17th century, the Château de Moissac-Bellevue was a residence dedicated to relaxation, owned by a noble family from Provence.

intro_parc2

Sobre, patrimonial, remarkable, with its monumental entrance, vast drawing-rooms and dining-rooms opening out to the gardens, its imposing kitchen, its bedrooms and bathrooms extending upwards to the attics, the building was rewarded for its exemplary restoration in June 2008 by the “Prix des Vieilles Maisons Françaises” sponsored by Emile Garcin.

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 7.11.44 PM

Terraces and ponds extended by soothing landscapes as far as the eye can see.

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 7.11.53 PM

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 7.12.03 PM

http://chateaudemoissac.fr/life_at_the_chateau.html

ISLAND HOME

3

This stone house, isolated on an island of Maine, belongs to Charles and Barbara. Its lord and master, is the sea.When the time of storms comes, it takes possession of the space. 

4

5

1

6

W1

W3

W9

W2

8

2

W15

W20

http://www.planete-deco.fr/