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Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Three Days In The 'Buj - The Dunes Experience.

Saturday, 17 December 2016
Have I said thank you to you guys lately? Thank you so much for all the love on my birthday and the support in my last postI appreciate you!

P.S - Picture overload in this post.

So, It is no news that I was in Abuja over the weekend for the dunes experience. I talked about it in my last post here and If you follow me on instagram, you must have been fed with all my updates on insta stories. Haha.

I got back to Lagos last weekend and I was really not ready to face real life after the great weekend I had at the Dunes center in Abuja. Why do all good things have to come to an end? *sigh*
I was selected amongst a few other notable fashion personalities (Fashion writers - Nikki Anyansi of StyleVitae, Oge Agu of Kamdora, Favour Olugu of TW Magazine, and Godson Ukaegbu of Genevieve Magazine,  Stylists -JekwuTheStylist, Zed Eye and Jane Michael Ekanem, Photographer - Kola Oshalusi, Blogger - Akin Faminu and OAP - Kaylah Oniwo) to experience the launch of the luxury floor at the Dunes center in Abuja. We were to spend three days lodged at one of the best places in Abuja - The Dunes Apartment and I was really excited for it all.

Here's a break down of all we got up to during the three days we spent exploring the dunes center and my highlights.

Day One.
I set out on Friday morning and met up with the rest of the crew at the airport.
We arrived in Abuja in the afternoon, got loaded up into the bus and headed to the Dunes Center. That journey was my first glimpse of Abuja and I was really amazed at how free the roads were! We got to the Dunes centre in record time and I was so happy to see that it met and exceeded all my expectations! I mean, I had high expectations already but somehow they managed to exceed it. The building itself was quite massive (I got lost a few times lol) and the apartments were real ly impressive.
We had a welcome package waiting for us in our rooms and part of its content was a scroll. The scrolls were definitely one of the best parts of my #theduneexperience because I'm a sucker for the little details, branding and extra personal touches (like I tried to show you all with my blog planner packaging). Everything was so well thought out and it was obvious from the start.
Quick background : The Dunes Center is a one stop shopping arena in Maitama (Abuja), comprising of the Dunes apartments, the Dunes restaurant/ Cafe and the shopping arena where you can find just about everything! You can also shop your favourite luxury/designer brands, Art, and Nigerian fashion at the mall.
After we all got settled in, we went down to the cafe to have lunch and generally familiarize ourselves with the centre. Can you tell that I have a serious case of green fever(envy) for Nikki's hair? Legit hair goals right there!
The highlight of day one was the masquerade ball later that night. We all for masks and got to dress up to dinner.
I wore an Ejiro Amost Tafiri skirt with a lace crop top for the ball and it was such a fun night watching everyone let loose was particularly interesting. Lol. Trust someone over here didn't exactly let loose. Haha

I also got surprised! I remember saying I wouldn't mind being surprised for my birthday in this post even if I didn't think it would ever happen. I was so sure that it was never going to happen and even kept disagreeing with people in my comments that it would never happen. Little did I know that the crew had a surprise planned for me. I was so shocked when the song suddenly changed to a birthday song, a cake appeared and everyone started singing along! Best birthday yet!

Day Two
Day two was the D - Day. The actual day of the fashion show and launch of the nigerian floor (stocking Nigerian fashion brands) which was the main thing we went there to witness. But before the actual event, we were taken on a tour of their luxury floor. I wish I had taken more pictures from that tour because I need to share all the beautiful shoes and bags! It was just so much beauty in one place. 

Day two was my day to switch back to my comfort zone and I wore a polka dot crop top and black highwaisted pants. Full style post coming soon!
The fashion show and launch of the Nigerian floor was the highlight of Day two for me. I finally decided to have my face beaten and coupled with the lovely dress I got from an amazing Abuja based designer Maxine Arthurs, I was ready to have a good time. Full outfit post in my next post!

The show was one of the most organized and creative one I've been too in a long while. The set up and sitting arrangements were done in a different and out of the box way to help us engage more with the crafts and products on display.
We ended the day with dinner at the famous Dunes restaurant.

Day Three.
On day three, we had a treasure hunt and said our goodbyes to the dunes center and Abuja. The treasure hunt was fun but I was sad because I didn't win anything lool! Even with all the expo I got with the riddle on twitter. *sigh*Akin won a Roberto Cavalli gold wallpaper that I was seriously lusting over!
I wore a loose fitting denim overall which might just appear in another style post soon and got to meet up with blogger Grace Alex and Modavracha before we headed to the airport.

Christmas definitely came early for me this year. It was a memorable experience as I got to make good connections and I also had a wonderful time while at it.
Another thing I've been going on about is how I want to visit Abuja and I'm glad I can tick that off my bucket list finally. Although, I didn't do much exploring so I have plans to visit again.

Pic : @kolaoshalusi

If you're in Abuja, you should totally check out the Dunes center. For more information, check their site.

 Let's connect!

P.S -  You might have missed these!

Wanderlust Diaries - Exploring Benin Republic (III)

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Hey, Guys!
I'm sorry for bringing in the final post in my Benin Republic travel series this late/far away from the rest. I'm a bit obsessed with order and I try to put up my posts according to how I mapped them out in my planner. I hope you haven't lost interest already please. Lol

Anyways, this is going to be a bit shorter than the previous post where I shared travel tips and details for anyone planning to go road trippin to Benin Republic from Nigeria.

Read my post on the journey to Benin here and all my travel tips and details here

In this post, I'll be sharing the little exploring we got up to while we were there.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to be as "touristy" as I would have loved to and we didn't really visit lots of places or do lots of sight seeing. My travel partner already had some laid out plans for the trip and I just went with the flow.
We also didn't have a lot of time - spent roughly three days (including arrival and depature day). Hopefully, I get to go back to Benin again and be a tourist proper.

P.S - Some pictures were taken by Alabi

 Tokpa Market.
Our first stop after we settled into the guest house (the same day we arrived) was the Tokpa market in Cotonou. I personally was looking forward to going thrifting as Alabi (Travel Partner) had said that we could get really nice hats in the market.  Unfortunately, we got there really late and most of the shops were closed already. I managed to find someone selling towels, which was really important because I didn't bring mine with me.
One thing I noticed was that the usual back and forth price haggle we do here isn't really done there. They state their price and leave little or no room for haggling. I kept looking back and waiting for the seller to call us back but he didn't. In my heart, I was like why so tough Oga? Lol
After buying the towel, we decided to just take a few pictures so our trip there wouldn't be wasted. Alabi set up his tripod and we got snapping. We definitely got more than a few stares but unlike in Nigeria (specifically Lagos), no one came to harass us for taking pictures.

We went back to the market another day but to get foodstuffs to cook and also take some pictures.
The majority of the people we met spoke french, a few Yoruba and the rest - a language we couldn't decipher. Lol
We made do with body languages and asking everyone "parlez vous Anglais" before going ahead.
I noticed that the market people can be such bad belles sha!  Especially when you're buying from their neighbor. One woman practically insulted me and kept shouting, when I didn't even speak to her or anything. *sigh*

 La Casa Del Papa.
The plan for our day two was to go down to the Casa del papa resort - a little slice of goodness tucked away in Ouidah, one of Benin republic's cities.
We had to leave Cotonou to get there and It was a loooong ride! At some point, we went through the bushes and I was low key scared that it might be a kidnapping LOL.
That fear wasn't half of what I felt actually biking from the junction at Ouidah to the resort. It was the longest and scariest bike ride ever, and it didn't help that we weren't passing roads but long stretches of vegetations and sands with the beach on the side and scary looking locals.

The resort made up for all the terror though and we finally had our first real meal there. After which, we spent some time on the beach taking pictures. Unfortunately, I didn't document a lot here because I was too busy snap chatting. *Sigh*
Someone approached me and asked if I was a blogger though hehe, apparently I looked "interesting".

Just a sign we passed on our way out.

We had planned to go to Porto Novo, another city in Benin on the third day but ended up not going and just spent the rest of the time instead exploring our own neighborhood.

Postcards, The People And LifeStyle.
I absolutely love the scenery of Benin Republic (especially Haie Vive in Cotonou where we stayed and Ouidah!) I had this feeling of being in new Orleans or morocco while I was there. Their architecture and general aesthetic is on point. Almost everywhere I looked was a building, wall or road suitable for a dope picture. It gave me serious life.
Like I mentioned in the other post, the main transportation means is via bikes and a lot of people also use it as their personal ride. I also noticed that lots of people owned bikes as opposed to cars as their personal cars and it isn't uncommon to find women in their Ankara outfits riding one.
Crossing the road was a serious task that required deep concentration because of the way the bike drivers unleash on the road ehn!

Another thing I found interesting was that they had no fuel stations, they sold their fuels on the road sides in jars and bottles.
The Beninese are quite patriotic! It seemed like we couldnt walk for a minute without spotting their flag somewhere.
Asides from the market woman incident and a rude cab man, they generally seemed like nice people. No one tried to cheat us or get bribes from us.
Cotonou seemed pretty safe. The owner of the hotel we stayed in told us it was safe to walk around at night without worries.
Oh and there was 24hr light! I didn't hear a single generator sound where we stayed and that was really amazing! Like Nigeria, see your neigbours oh? Do they have two heads??

All in all, I had a pleasant stay but I'm definitely looking forward to going back and being a tourist proper, indulging in their nightlife and seeing more of their historic places.

Anyone else planning to go to Benin anytime soon? I hope you found my travel details post and this one helpful too?
Have you been on any "vacation" to another African country (especially the less popular travel locations ) ? Where did you go and how did you find it?

Feel free to use the share buttons to share this post please and let's connect!

P.S -
-Outfit || Nailing Smart - Casual.
Lagos Living | Art Cafe Lagos.
Inspiration || The Beret Comeback.
Boost Your Blog And Blog Like A Boss. Here's How!
The Off Shoulder Trend Obsession.

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