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The Most Amazing Travel Photos You Will See Today
Get Inspired: A Posh Girls Guide to Paris
Purple 10: Film Inspired Holidays

The Most Amazing Travel Photos You Will See Today

National Geographic’s 2013 Traveler Photo Contest is on and we’ve been sneaking a peek at some of the amazing pictures sent in from all over the world. Showcasing the natural beauty of the world, stunning portraits of people, spontaneous moments and gorgeous landscapes, it’s a feast for the eyes and a balm for the soul.

The competition is open to professional or amateur photographers who can submit their own entries until June 30th. See all the pictures from this years competition here, in the meantime we’ve picked out a couple of our favourites below.

Beauty of Sunset

Photo and caption by Fevzi DINTAS. This photograph was taken at Lipe Island in Thailand. Long exposure used and selective colours adjusted. Location: Lipe-Hat Yai, THAILAND

Flying Carpet

Photo and caption by vafa adib. Carpet for sale by beach vendor. Location: Mexico, Puerto Vallarta.

Lavender Fields Forever
Photo and caption by Jennifer Holmes Beamer. While traveling through Tasmania, we took a detour to find this spectacular lavender field. After a soothing meander among endless fields of fragrant lavender we were ready for a nap in the red soil. Location: Tasmania Australia.

Peeping Tom
Photo and caption by Jasminder Singh Oberai. A boy in Nandgaon was playing Holi with his friends. I alongwith some friends was shooting the village side during holi and spotted him. He ran inside his house trying to avoid us. We stayed right outside his house waiting for him to emerge. Patience paid off very soon and he peeped from behind the door, smiled and vanished again. This moment was enough for us to capture this portrait. Location: Nandagaon, Uttar Pradesh, India

Sea Turtle in Kauai

Photo and caption by Paul Oeschger. At the end of my last day of snorkeling in Kauai, I came upon this green sea turtle. It was the most amazing turtle I saw all week. Not only did it seem unfazed by my presence in the water, it actually kept swimming up to me, almost as if it was asking to have its portrait taken. I love underwater photography, something I didn’t discover until 25 years after I first picked up a camera. It’s a joy to experience the beauty of the sea and the life in it through snorkeling and photography. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors. Location: Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

Photo and caption by Pei-Chen Sung. She’s lying easily on the grass, within her mind’s absence, I captured this beautiful portrait. Location: Domaine de Boisbuchet, France

Yellow Dress
Photo and caption by Herschel Pollard. Amelia Island, Florida Camera: Zero Image 69 Pinhole, f/235 Film: Expired Kodak Portra 100T Exposure: About 5 seconds. Location: Amelia Island, Florida.

Get Inspired: A Posh Girls Guide to Paris

Paris – je t’aime. You are the ultimate city break, a haven of girlish fantasy, a macaroon paradise, a swish, sassy, chic enclave of all things hip and fabulous. Dive in our posh girls guide to Paris.

It’s a given that Paris is every girl’s dream getaway, from the shopping to the eating to the dancing the night away. But the posh girl in Paris is looking for that je ne sais quoi, which isn’t found in most guides to Paris. We assumed that you fine ladies may have better things to do than trawl the Internet looking for establishments that cater to your er… calibre (filing nails, sipping from teacups etc etc), so we created this list of Paris’ best posh girl must-do’s. Don’t mention it.


Say Oh at the Hotel O

This new hotel, part of the Elegancia group, was designed by Paris it-boy Ora-Ito and inspired by Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Rather than typical hotel rooms, Hotel O comprises 29 cabins, in a space vessel style, cutting guests off from the hectic Parisian streets and and Etienne-Marcel shopping meccas at its doorstep. Each room has a unique colour scheme, built with four materials: wood, cork, felt and Corian, to create a harmonious blend of clean lines and smooth curves. The breakfast room doubles as a bar, serving a short range of cocktails using quality, often organic spirits.


Let them eat cake at Laduree

The history of Parisian tea salons is lovingly linked to the history of the Ladurée family. In 1862, Louis Ernest Ladurée opened his first a bakery at 16 rue Royale in Paris. The decoration of the pastry shop was entrusted to Jules Cheret, a famous turn-of-the-century painter and poster artist, who sought inspiration from the painting techniques used for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the Garnier Opera. Now with salons all over Paris and beyond, Laduree have become famous for their macrons – small, round cakes, crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle, in various colours and flavours. No posh girl could complete their trip to Paris without having a macaron or two at the original tea salon on rue Royale. Decorated in original wood paneling, with a cascade of angels and gourmet fairies on the ceilings, this unique café is a symbol of the French art of living.

Exercise your taste for posh nosh at Le Meurice

Gallic gastronomic grandeur meets old school glamour at Hotel Meurice in the heart of Paris. It has the skeleton of all typical Parisian fine eateries – mosaic floor, crystal chandeliers, heavy damask curtains – but has recently had a super-modern overhaul by designer Phillipe Starck. Chef Yannick Alléno bagged a third Michelin star in 2007, due to his brilliantly inventive cooking, which is based on a deep knowledge of classical Escoffier vintage culinary technique. Flex your posh girl muscles with a course of In addition to crispy green ravioli with a fricassee of snails and wild garlic.


It’s Chanel, dah-ling

It would almost be a crime to stay in Paris and not take a visit to staple French fashion house, Chanel.  The masters of timeless luxury, their window displays at the rue Cambon location are particularly beautiful.

Smell true Paris at the Belle du Jour

The Belle du Jour is devoted solely to antique perfume and perfume bottles. It is the kind of shop you’ll probably find only in Paris, and is not to be missed.

Become a vamp at Cadolle Couture

This well-known lingerie store offers personalised fittings to the posh Parisian woman. In fact, the founder of this store invented the brassiere!

Get your best bib and tucker at Plume Plume

Once a patisserie, this charming boutique is filled with exquisite treasures that are made for the posh girl. Think raspberry-coloured hats, fur clutches and bejewelled necklaces.

Release your inner magpie at Bijoux Burma

It’s true that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but in Paris, costume diamonds are the posh girl’s. Bijoux Burma offers the best of both worlds, presenting a variety of colourful precious gems in bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings and broaches, as well as costume jewellery that is arguably even more spectacular.


Drink tea with a difference at W Lounge

A place to don your new purchases and dance to Paris’ hottest DJs spin, while sipping one of W Lounge’s signature cocktails.  This innovative cocktail menu, crafted by W Hotels Worldwide Director of Cocktail Culture, Joseph Boroski, contains only the most fabulous drinks in Paris. Managed by one of the city’s top bar experts, Aurélie Panhelleux, the W Lounge even offers Do It Yourself Cocktail Sessions on a Tuesday and a unique twist on teatime with their exclusive Cockteals tea-infused drinks.

Sip champagne at The Ritz

With a hardcore following of young and trendy Parisians, The Ritz Bar Terrasse, weather permitting, is the place to be in Paris.  With a collection of chic and comfortable outdoor lounge chairs, which overlook the interior courtyard of this legendary hotel, when you’ve made this kind of mark on the world of luxury, there’s really no other option, but to have your own champagne label. Enter the Ritz Brut and Ritz Brut Rose. Perfect for spending a Parisian evening nibbling on fresh strawberries, and drinking bubbles with a loved one, if you don’t want to go for their delicious own brand, you can of course indulge in some Cristal (995 Euro), Perrier Jouët Belle Epoque (500 Euro) and Dom Ruinart Brut Rosé (600 Euro) by the bottle.


Relax at Raffles

Another astonishing interior under the belt of Philippe Starck, this hotel is a decadent, art-filled rebellion of colour, pattern and texture. Stark’s own interpretation of 1930s Paris. Then came the spa: an ethereal, snow-white world of plush lounging spaces, the longest swimming pool in any Paris hotel and fabulous treatments by Clarins. Try the Balance of Power face treatment by My Blend (€295 for 105 minutes), which uses a combination of eight creams and seven boosters, chosen by the therapist from a possible 400.

Get done at Doux Me

The Doux Me beauty room at Hôtel Costes offers personalised facials, body treatments and massages, using only organic products and vegetable-based oils that will leave your posh-girl skin feeling, soft, smooth and revitalised. Created for women, by women, this is ever Sloane Ranger’s dream pampering sesh.

If you enjoyed our post girls guide to Paris, you should read A Goth’s Guide to Gothenburg.

Purple 10: Film Inspired Holidays

Whether it’s a sun soaked beach, and American road trip, or Middle Earth, films have the power to inspire, so why not let them. We’ve put together our top 10 favourite film inspired holidays, so you can live like a movie star, even if it is just for a while. Let us know in comments below if we’re missing any important film inspired holidays!

  1. Hollywood! Does it really need any explanation? Tinseltown is the motion picture capital of the world, and you can barely take a breath before seeing a famous film studio, a Kardashian or a Lohan, or a Star on the Walk of Fame.
  2. New York, New York The city so good they named it twice. NYC was the famous setting (and fifth character) in the Sex and the City series. Carrie was always talking of it like a loved up teenager. There are tonnes of themed tours to choose from where you’ll be taken on a whirlwind visit to some of the show’s most famous settings. There are stops for Cosmos, a visit to the famous Magnolia bakery, Aidan and Steve’s bar Scout and as many designer shops as you can think of.
  3. Tunisia For any Star Wars fans, Tunisia will already be familiar territory. It’s where George Lucas chose to locate Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tattooine. You can visit lots of parts of the set which is still intact, while Luke’s home has been lovingly restored by dedicated fans. Tozeur and the salt lake of Chott el-Jerid are chock-a-block with familiar scenes, while the Jedi battle between Qui-Gon and Darth Maul in Episode I was filmed nearby. The less said about that though, the better!
  4. New Zealand if you’ve ever fancied seeing a real version of Middle Earth then New Zealand is the place to go. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was brought to movie life here by star director Peter Jackson. The countryside is filled with lush, rolling green hills, epic waterfalls, snow capped mountains and stunning sunsets. You’d have to be an orc to want to miss out on that!
  5. Bali The story of a woman finding herself after divorce resonated with fans all over the world in Eat Pray Love and it’s Bali setting could be the reason why. Julia Roberts playing Liz Gilbert’s epic journey finishes in the exotic and glorious surrounds of Bali really struck a chord with audiences.. Part meditation, part healing, part sun holiday, Bali is a serious escape from the norm. It also helps that the star gets it on with Javier Bardem’s gorgeous Filipe.
  6. Forks, Washington State One for the twi-hards. Forks is where Bella and Edward first met and fell in love. If that means nothing to you, then a Twilight themed holiday won’t be for you. But the town is certainly making the most of its new found fame with DIY guides and unofficial tours. Check out a 1956 chevy, painted red and referred to as Bella’s truck.
  7. Benidorm, Spain If you like the sun, sea and shenanigans of the tv show Benidorm, then you’ll love heading to the place itself to indulge in a little of the same. It’s the quintessential Brits abroad type of place, where holidaymakers can unwind on the lovely beaches and in the lively bars of the popular Spanish city.
  8. Florida Could Orlando be the ULTIMATE kids movie destination? We, of course mean kids of all ages. From the Magic Kingdom to the newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter and everything in between, you’ll never be sort of things to do. And while, they might not be actual shooting locations, it’s a great choice for re-enacting your favourite Hogwarts moments.
  9. St Vincent/the Grenadines These Caribbean islands are about as idyllic as you’ll get, with perfect white sandy powder soft beaches, sparkling turquoise waters and the odd palm tree to shade under. Perfect for pirates to find hidden treasure and Jack Sparrow to get deserted with Keira Knightley. Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed here and, what with all that gorgeous tropical scenery and sunshine, we can only imagine what a tough shoot it must have been!
  10. Skopelos, Greece get your Abba tunes out, slip into some shorts and sandals and head for Skopelos. The gorgeous Greek island was the luscious backdrop to fun Meryl Streep led Mamma Mia. We can just imagine lazily strolling down cobbled streets, past whitewashed houses humming Voulez Vous to ourselves…

Bonus point! Las Vegas to go relive the movie The Hangover, but remember… what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

Read more: Purple 10 world’s best party towns

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