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Graphic tour

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Vienna, Austria 06 Kowloon In December, Hong Kong, China 14 Seville, Spain 22 Marrakech, Morocco 30 Sicily, Italy 38 Symi, Greece 48

Vienna In April, Austria 10 Lantau & Peng Chau, Hong Kong, China 18 Seville In May, Spain 26 Marrakech In October, Morocco 34 Lake Como In August, Italy 42 Koskinou In July, Rhodes, Greece 50

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I’m Pauline, the voice and the eye behind The Voyageur. I’m French and I live in Paris where I work as a photographer, fashion designer and art director. You could say that I have a weak spot for travel, good design and fresh ricotta, but the answer to what gets me going is probably the sum of what I’m sharing with you here. “This is a place to make you discover or rediscover small corners of the world that feel unique, inspirational and surprising.” All pictures are shot by me, unless, well, I am actually ON the picture, in which case I have my husband to thank for it. I currently shoot with a Sigma DP2 Merrill and a Sigma DP2 Quattro even if some of the pictures here were taken with my former Sigma DP1. My husband’s pictures are shot with a Mamiya 7, a Ricoh GR1V, a Leica MP or a Ricoh GXRm.

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That’s a big gallery, but how could it be different with Vienna? The city is a graphic paradise if you’re on that “clean, elegant and modern” side of the fence, but it also goes beyond that. The city has avant-garde in its blood and a taste for sophisticated experimentation influenced by expressionism, primitive arts and exoticism. Art, both contemporary and modern, is of great quality, but just walking the streets you can marvel at fancy vintage bookshops, beautiful store signs and unique architectural details. Vienna, I think I said it before, but I really

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love you.

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VIENNA IN APRIL, AUSTRIA We often pick a destination because we’re drawn to fantasy. That’s a recipe for disappointment but it’s easy to be misled into thinking that traveling is about finding what you’re hoping for, when discovering what you haven’t dreamed of is the actual endgame. With Vienna, I felt I wasn’t taking much risk. Not being a Sissi fanatic there was no particular image of a romantic city engraved in my mind and if I’m being completely honest the last time I had read about the place was in a design history book, back when it was an outpost of the avantgarde. Yet I was curious. Surely an old imperial capital at the crossroads of Germany, Switzerland and Italy would have a thing or two to show for. For a French the

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geographical position also meant

be de rigueur). Good design with a

getting one step closer to Eastern

seductive flair is perfectly at home

Europe and Russia. Would that be

there (maybe a byproduct of mixing

tangible? My only fear, really, was

German and Italian influences!). In

that the city would be too much of

addition to that, the city manages to

an open-air museum, with pristine,

feel airy and quiet without looking

golden-clad buildings lined-up and

empty and dull. You can walk almost

not much soul. How nice it is to be

everywhere and when you can’t, there

proven wrong sometimes.

is a beautiful tramway to take you

Vienna is sleek, comfortable and

around. There are also a good number

unmistakably modern. It sometimes

of beautiful parks with enough room

takes from it neighbors, but to my

to make a Parisian go crazy and a

surprise mostly only looks like itself.

collection of gorgeous museums that

It holds a vast amount of architectural

you may visit….in total peace. Yes,

beauties, and not only in the pompous

because there are hardly any tourists

style that might come to mind. It’s

in Vienna, which does increase its

a remarkable source of inspiration

charm immensely.

for anything graphic, demonstrating

Let’s keep it that way. Go, but don’t

both rigor and elegance at every

tell anyone!

street corner (a graphic tour will

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There would be much to say about how delicate even the most trivial things can get in Asia. This was undeniably true on the islands of Lantau and Peng Chau, a short ferry ride away from Hong Kong. Here, the pace is obviously slower and it seems to leaves more space for poetry, more time to improvise on your walls and more liberty to pick colourful tiles. The bright tones get a bit pastel under the tropical sun, but the glorious red and the gold remain miraculously intact.

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KOWLOON IN DECEMBER, HONG KONG, CHINA


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I didn’t know before going there that the city of Hong Kong was literally split in two. On one side you have Hong Kong Island, the richer, most westernized part and on the other side of the Pearl River you have Kowloon, the part of the city that was historically Chinese before it merged with the rest of Hong Kong. We spent the second part of our trip there, where it seemed we were suddenly the only white faces in the busy crowd. So yes, of course, this side of town is radically more Chinese, which is quite puzzling when you think that, right on the other side of the river, Westerners sipping rosé wine is the most common sight. That’s what makes the city so interesting obviously, but that shouldn’t make you think that there’s a traditional side and a modern one, because that shore too is under the spell of futuristic dreams, and massive construction projects are underway in West Kowloon… This was supposed to be the corner of Hong Kong where we would get to recognize the city of Wong Kar Wai’s movies, but this is Asia, and the past is quickly done away with, and the ’60s were a million years ago it seems. This kind of thing always breaks my nostalgic European heart, but this is still a pretty exciting place to explore, and a pretty photogenic one surely.

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These pictures were taken mostly in Yau Ma Tei and also in Mong Kok and Prince Edward. For more info on Yau Ma Tei and a great place to stay in the neighbourhood, check Tribute Hotels website.

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Seville isn’t so romantic on the outside; it feels strong and elegant at first. But, once you get to see the gardens and the courtyards then it’s all about ceramic tiles, fountains and flowers, with the white Andalusian sun playing hide and seek with the shadows of the thick walls and the orange trees. The mix between Spanish, Moorish and Italian influences makes the city a decorator’s paradise, with ornaments everywhere and surprising

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Seville is a sophisticated city of simple pleasures. First there’s the sun, the glorious Andalucian light feels generous, even in winter. The shade becomes just as precious as the temperatures rise, might it be provided by a straw curtain or an orange tree. Can you imagine a city whose streets are lined up with fruitheavy trees? Fresh orange juice is like water there, cheaper even, and always delicious. In the end I guess it’s the gardens that I loved the most, the city is full of them, public and private, they’re romantic yet elegant and filled with statues and flowers. They sure know a thing or two about good living there. Seville is the largest town of the southern Spain region of Andalucia. We went to Seville in May, but I believe it’s a pretty good destination almost all-year round. I hear the summer months are dreadfully hot though, the sevillanos told us that only the Italians and the Japanese seemed to be able to handle this kind of heat!

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When you’re French, Marrakech tends to be seen as an “obvious” destination. The fact that most Moroccans speak our language has drawn a large quantity of French tourists to Marrakech, making the city quite touristic. As always, going there off-season allows you to enjoy the city’s marvels even more, and what marvels! Having travelled since to more austere part of the Middle East – like Cairo or Istanbul – I now realize how opulent Marrakech is. It’s really the epicurean and colorful face of Middle-Eastern aesthetics, much like in a Delacroix painting! The abundance of riads and palaces among the city ensures there’s always some delightful decor around the corner.

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I’d like to come back to Marrakech. I feel I’ve just scratched the surface, everything was so beautiful there that I was constantly distracted, and despite the fact that the city is already very decorated on the outside, I suspect its most beautiful treasures are hidden behind thick walls. That’s the thing with those oriental cities; it’s all stone and dust so when a garden miraculously appears it feels like a fantastic oasis. It works every time! Looking back at those pictures I also can’t help but marvel at the quality of the light there, the constant clear sky and the colored walls are truly working some magic.

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MARRAKECH IN OCTOBER MOROCCO 35


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SICILY,

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Here is an inscrutable thing about Sicilian adornments. A feeling that there is no such thing as innocent decoration there

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These pictures were taken around the villages of Tremezzo, Varenna, Bellagio and Lenno; I can’t speak for the other parts of the lake!

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LAKE COMO IN AUGUST, ITALY Some places are just as beautiful as they say. Lake Como is one of those. First, there’s the lake itself -I had no idea it was going to be this big- with its shimmering waters and its sinuous outline that’s constantly changing the landscape perspective. Then, there’s the impressive mountains surrounding it -again I really imagined them way smaller- sometimes green and mossy, sometimes sharp and rocky. In the end that’s some pretty dramatic setting, more even when a summer storm comes. But let’s not forget that on top of that there’s a collection of charming villages, packed with elegant villas, with all the refinement you can expect from Italian architecture. The Lake Como is in the North of Italy, very close to Switzerland; if you don’t have a car you can get there by train at the Como station or take a taxi from the Milano airport (a 30 minutes ride). Once you’re there it’s pretty easy to move around by bus or by boat. This is a touristic and rather upscale destination, which means you have to expect to see quite a few tourists and the prices are significantly higher than in the rest of Italy. We’ve been there in summer but I have a feeling that it’s the kind of place that looks good all-year round.

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“it’s the kind of place that looks good all-year round.”

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Different island, same fascination for the graphic novelty that goes with the mysterious Greek alphabet. You don’t think about it beforehand, but once you’re there and everything is written in Greek it becomes quite a challenge to decipher say, a bus schedule, when you don’t even recognize the name of the village you’re staying in. At least after reading this post you will have figured that TABEPNA means restaurant, and well, once you know where to get ouzo and tzatziki you’re pretty much settled!

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KOSKINOU IN JULY, RHODES, GREECE The small village of Koskinou was full of good surprises. Who would have thought that fifteen minutes away from Rhodes town there was such a charming and uncrowded place? The main particularity of the village is its neo classical houses that looked like nothing I had seen before. Some of them were quite in ruins -which I actually liked- but a lot of them had been restored in a beautiful and authentic way. We learned that Greeks from the mainland had been buying houses in Koskinou for a few years now, renovating places that had been abandoned for a long time. What was also surprising was the size of the old town; it was not only a street or two, but really a rather vast maze of little streets. It’s mostly residential so there’s no souvenirs shops to disfigure the sights, unlike in Lindos, which make the exploration really feel like one!

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