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INSPIRATION

Things that inspire me

I came over a beautiful definition of inspiration. According to this definition inspiration is the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions. To me it describes perfectly what happens in my mind and in my heart when I feel inspired. I believe inspiration is important because it often brings beauty, good feelings and new creative ideas into my life and it made me think of things that inspire me. Here are some of my favourites!

 

Sicilian lemons. The smell, the taste, the colour, the beauty.

 

Small balconies filled with flowers, like this one in Sitges, Spain.

 

The sea. Especially the Mediterranean one. Gives me energy, strength and a strong feeling of freedom. Here I’m taking a little swim outside Sperlonga, Italy.

 

Narrow streets with colourful houses. Perfect places to get lost and explore, like here in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

 

The sunrise. It moves me to tears and reminds me that every day is a new opportunity. This is from an early morning in Taormina, Sicily.

 

 

Las Palmas – a pearl in the Atlantic Ocean

Do you also think of standardized hotels and menus in Scandinavian languages when you think of the Canary Islands? In that case, think again. In the Atlantic Ocean there are seven islands waiting to be explored, each one of them with a unique beauty. The island that lies closest to my heart is Gran Canaria with it’s magnificent capital Las Palmas.

 

Playa de Las Canteras

 

I came to Las Palmas for the first time almost ten years ago, when I worked as a flight attendant. I remember my first walk from the hotel down to Playa de Las Canteras, the city beach, and how I was filled by a special energy. It was something in the air, something with the atmosphere, that was so far away from the image I had of the Canary Islands until that moment. The more I explored the city the more I realised that here, in the Atlantic Ocean, there was a big spanish city that had nothing to envy its sisters on the mainland. When I later had the opportunity to get to know the other parts of Gran Canaria I was convinced that this is one of the most fascinating places I know.

 

View over the Atlantic Ocean in San Agustìn

 

Las Palmas is, together with Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital in the autonomous community of Spain that the Canary Islands are. The Canary Islands were known in ancient times and the europeans believed for a long time that this group of islands were the end of the world. Several seafarers from Italy, Spain and Portugal moved here and it was from those islands that Columbus left for the journey that took him to America. Before the Spanish colonization the islands were inhabited by aborigines from whom you can still see traces today.

 

The landscape of Gran Canaria

 

What’s most fascinating about Gran Canaria to me is that the island is like a small continent of it’s own. The nature and landscape varies so much and this creates so many things to see and do. Las Palmas has everything that a big city can offer; restaurants, cafées, bars, museums and shopping. The city also has a beach with a nice boardwalk where tourists, young surfers and locals meet. The older parts of the town, Vegueta and Triana, charming with their cathedrals, decorated buildings and secret tapas restaurants, are perfect places to go strolling.

 

A glimpse of Las Palmas old town

 

Las Palmas is a perfect base if you’re planning to explore other parts of the island as well. Around the city there are several small villages that are nice to visit. The central part of the island with it’s rocky landscape offers trekking opportunities and breathtaking views. If you go to the southern part of the island you’ll have sun, beaches and party combined with beautiful sunsets and a dune landscape that looks like a desert.

 

The Dunes of Maspalomas

 

There is so much genuin joy of life in this place and I hope that this glimpse will inspire you to a new, more true experience of Las Palmas and Gran Canaria.

 

Puerto de Mogàn

Meet your guide

Hi, I’m Johanna and I’m your personal guide. As BelTours first birthday is coming up I think it’s time to introduce myself and this travel idea a bit more.

I have Swedish and Italian origins and I have been travelling as long as I can remember. I was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, but my second home is Formia, a small coastal town located between Rome and Naples in Italy. I’m curious and outgoing so working in the travel and tourism industry suits me perfectly. I’m also a singer, my second profession, and I love dancing too. I’m obsessed with the sea, starry skies, dawns, sunsets, coffee and lemons. I love eating a lot of good food and I love speaking in different languages. I collect moments and experiences but I shall not lie, I love shopping too.

I’m passionate about travelling because I’m curious about the world, I love meeting people and I’m fascinated by all the beautiful things there are to experience. I’ve studied Tourism Management and for several years I worked as a hotel receptionist, in Sweden and in Italy. I also spent time flying around the globe working as a flight attendant and collected different types of experiences. I currently work as a tour guide and travel planner and so I got the idea to start BelTours.

I started by asking myself: why do I love to travel? I realized the answer was deeper than what I had imagined. It wasn’t just about wanting a nice vacation (although vacations are lovely), but it became clear to me that travelling and discovering new places makes me truly happy. And the more I thought of it the more I felt that to me it’s a lifestyle, not only a job or a hobby. The second question I asked myself was how can I get the most out of my journeys? By trying to experience the new place as genuinely as possible. Try new food, meet the locals, get lost. So after sorting those things out I felt that I wanted to share travel experiences and reach out to other travellers searching for genuine experiences.

Through my own travel space BelTours I want to give my contribution, by offering personalized guided tours and travel itineraries to the places I love. I hope to inspire to a familiar and friendly way of travelling and hope to see you soon.

Bon Voyage!

Johanna

Travel resolutions

Me and Alicante, Spain. 

 

I love January 1st. Almost as much as I love Mondays. And mornings. Must be my obsession with fresh starts. But isn’t it exciting to know that 365 days lies ahead of you, waiting to be filled by emotions and experiences? 2016 took me to several wonderful places that I had never seen before and it also gave me the opportunity to start BelTours. It was definitely a good travel year! And in order to make the most out of 2017 as well, here are my travel resolutions:

 

  1. Look up. From the phone and from the map. There is so much beauty everywhere and getting lost can be so much fun.
  2. Put away the camera and enjoy the moment. I love taking pictures. Have done since long before phones with cameras and Instagram. But no sunset picture in the world can compete with the feeling of experiencing it live.
  3. Be brave. New adventures are waiting, just say yes.
  4. Go somewhere new. Doesn’t have to be the other side of the planet. Sometimes choosing another way to work can lead you to new places in your own hometown.
  5. Listen. To the sea, to your heart, to your dreams.