All photos courtesy of @WhereYouSmoke
@WhereYouSmoke sprouted in a moment shared between a spliff and the great outdoors. Run by an anonymous artist who grew up in LA, the Instagram account and online platform celebrates cannabis lovers who like to light up alongside Mother Nature.
Each week, we’ve asked @WhereYouSmoke to share a few favorite Instagram uploads with MERRY JANE, and so far it’s been nothing but picturesque snaps and chill-ass stories to boot. For this week’s edition, we decided to focus on brazen smokers who photographed themselves lighting up in front of iconic landmarks in foreign locales, including one of the OG classic “Wonders of the World.” Before we dive into some interviews, @WhereYouSmoke had this tall tale to share:
Having a father who lives in France, I grew up with the awesome opportunity of visiting him whenever I had a break from school. Mostly, he was in Paris, but sometimes he was in Aix-en-Provence, or Deauville, or other, smaller French towns. On a quick four-day trip to Paris during my university’s fall break, I was able to bring a friend with me. We landed early in the morning, and after a quick nap, we decided to head out. My dad had some work that day and the next, so we went exploring on our own. At the time, we were staying in Neuilly-Sur-Seine, so we had a bit of a trek to get around. Taking the little weed we had stored at the apartment from my last trip there, we rolled up a flew spliffs and headed out.
Traversing Montmartre, we lit up in front of the beautiful Sacre Coeur, and the white dome glowed just a little bit brighter with each toke. We made our way to le Marais, and sat outside a little cafe smoking our spliffs and cigarettes, sipping tea, and eating arguably the best Nutella crepe either of us have ever had. We walked down le Champs-Elysees, taking sneaky hits under L’arc de Triomphe, before finally making our way to the Eiffel Tower just as the sun was almost entirely set. At night, the entire Tower glitters with lights, and we knew we had to see it, no matter how many times we’d witnessed it before.
We had a bit of a ways to go from where we were, so we hopped on the train. I looked in my bag as we took our seats, and realized with dismay that we had completely run out of bud. We were pretty annoyed, and my little brother — who is from Paris —was out of town that weekend, and we had no plug of our own. As we sat pouting (though giggling, as we were still pretty faded), a young man walked onto the train, reeking to the high heavens of that good good. He sat a few seats away, and with very little deliberation, my friend and I moved to the seats just behind him. In my somewhat broken French, I explained our predicament to him, and asked if he might have any weed he’d like to sell us. He looked around a bit, eyeing the rest of the train, before pulling out a little tin case. Handing us probably about a little over a gram, I handed him a 20 euro bill, and he, my friend, and I all exchanged a smile and a thank you before he got off the train. My friend and I sat there, still decently high, and laughed appreciatively of the luck we had just come up on. Finally, our stop approached, and we got off, heading to the Tower.
Finding our spot on the grass, my homegirl and I each rolled up a PJ (personal J), and as we sat there about to light up, a young gentleman approached us selling bottles of wine and champagne for 10, 15, 20 euros. After finagling the price a bit — my little brother taught us to always follow this unspoken French custom — we popped open a 7 euro bottle of sparkling rosé and each took a swig. The sky was turning an epic midnight blue, and just as we each lit up our spliffs, the Tower began to sparkle. The bright white against the deep, blue sky and the thick, green grass popped and almost vibrated, and the cool October breeze passed over us as we both just lay there, beholding this beautiful sight and remembering what an epic day we had had. I’ve been some pretty dope places, and I know Paris and the Eiffel Tower very well, but spending the day seshing with my best friend, seeing all the landmarks that make Paris the extraordinary city that it is, I put that day *high* on my list of epic sesh days.
All interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Photo Taken at the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt
@WhereYouSmoke: Where was this photo taken?
@jromberg52: The photo was taken in front of the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo (Giza) Egypt, North Africa. My girlfriend and I decided to go to Cairo for the day. We drove a combined 14 hours from Tel Aviv to get there (via bus and car) and drove through the Sinai peninsula, which is known to be extremely dangerous. Along the way we encountered about 25 military check points from the Egyptian army, and were greeted by soldiers carrying AK-47s who approached our car and asked for passports in Arabic. Safe to say, it was a smart move on our part not to have weed on us during the trip.
When we arrived to the city, we went to a bar where we saw a guy around our age smoking a huge blunt. Naturally, I asked him if he had weed that he could sell me. Usually, this is the approach I will take when attempting to find weed in a foreign country. After talking with him, we bought five grams for about $30 USD (Egyptian currency is laughably cheap). When we arrived at the pyramids, we got two camels and rode them out into the desert. When we got to a remote location, I got off the camel and rolled a joint. As you can see, this is where the photo was taken.
Were you able to get a sense of the weed culture in Cairo?
As far as the culture goes, there was an extreme culture shock, but weed culture was not one of those shocks. Cairo was a very third-world city — very hectic and chaotic. The majority of the civilians were highly religious Muslims who were definitely not smoking weed. Compared to the many European cities that I have been to, the weed culture was rather non-existent, and we were quite lucky to have found some. In Israel (where I’m currently living), the weed culture is so incredibly relaxed that I have become accustomed to not worrying about where I smoke or police intervention. Once, I even smoked a joint in Vatican City while the Pope was coming to speak, surrounded by hundreds of Italian police. So we did not feel in any danger to smoke in Egypt, especially because you can get out of trouble with a small bribe there. The quality of the weed was average at best, but I guess we are spoiled from going to Amsterdam and Switzerland. Though it is not so much better in Israel!
You travel a lot — how do you get your green in all these places?
When I travel, I have always been able to find weed. In some countries, it is much more difficult than in others, especially given the language barrier. Many of the places I have visited such as Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Rome all had a thriving weed culture, and it was quite easy to find weed from many different people. Having also lived in Zurich, Switzerland for half a year, I was able to acquire many weed hook-ups that were quite reliable, and the weed there was very, very high quality. I guess it is hard to top weed grown in the Swiss Alps. In addition, I had the same situation when moving to Israel where I have found enough ways to access it here. I have had a lot of experience finding weed abroad, given that I have been abroad for the last 3.5 years.
Any advice for your fellow toking travelers?
If I had to offer advice to those are trying to find weed outside of their main country, it is to be persistent! You are not always going to succeed the first time or even the 10th time you ask, but eventually you will find someone who will help you and it is well worth the inconvenience.
What’s the pleasure you find in smoking in all these historically significant places?
Being able to have smoked in some of the most beautiful and historic places on the Earth adds an extra element to what is an already powerful experience. Being able to smoke a nice J in front of things you have seen in pictures your entire life, and just be able to sit there taking in every element of what you are experiencing is impossible to put into words. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride knowing you are doing something that so many people in the world only dream of. And that is what keeps me going in life. I have been very fortunate to have a home base in Zurich, the heart of Western Europe, which has allowed me to travel to 19 countries in the last few years for a very small price that most people wouldn't believe. When you are a student, you find ways to get the cheapest flights and the best deals on places to stay, which has allowed me - someone who does not have a lot of money whatsoever - to have lived my life like most would envision a millionaire retiree to live. Also, studying abroad in Israel has given me access to the Middle East and the middle of the historic world, which is why I was able to visit the Great Pyramids of Giza and many other amazing places.
Photo Taken at the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain
@WhereYouSmoke: Where was this photo taken?
@triplestrong: This photo was taken in the cute little park near the Sagrada Familia. Me and my two best friends were in Barcelona for holiday. I was there for a third time, but for my it was their first. We were there for a week and walked a lot every day. One beautiful day we went to the Sagrada. Honestly, every day in Barcelona is beautiful! We smoked one joint of Cheese, walked around the Sagrada, and just looked at it. Then we went to the one of the best place for churros (local pastry) near the Basilica and bought some. They were very good!
Were you able to smoke a lot when you were there? Are a lot of people blazing in Barcelona?
Yeah, we smoked all the time! Tried many strains and even dabbed for the first time! Also, we bought a pocket vaporizer and I liked it a lot. I find there's not as many people smoking in Barcelona as on the streets in Amsterdam, for example, but still a lot. You can see girls sitting on the terrace of the bar on the corner of the street drinking beer, eating tapas, and smoking joints. But as I know, there're nearly 300 social smoking clubs in Barcelona, so I think a lot of people smoke.
Did you spark up at any other famous Barcelona locations?
There are a lot of spots to smoke in Barcelona within the city and in nature. Barcelona is a very chill city. Cannabis enhanced my experience in Barcelona, because the city is so beautiful. A lot of wonderful buildings with many details, modernism style, and Gaudi, of course! It was a pleasure to walk and look around while high. I think the best place we smoked at was in the Park de Montjuïc. It was near our social club. First we went by foot to the cable car. It got us to the Castle de Montjuïc with a perfect view of the city. You can see the whole city from the top. Then we walked around Castle with a great view of the big port. We smoked a joint of Amnesia Lemon and walked through the chillest park to the Olympic stadium. Then there was an amazing sunset and a magic fountain show.
Did you go anywhere else on this Eurotrip?
On this Europe trip we also were in Amsterdam. We were there for the second time. Of course people smoke a lot and everywhere in that city. While we were there, there was the Cannabis Liberation day in a big green park, and it’s the biggest cannabis festival in the Netherlands. One of my friends had a birthday this day. Also we won three VIP tickets in an Instagram giveaway so we could go to the VIP area and participate in the Highlife Cup 2017. We tried a lot of different strains of cannabis, some hash and hash extract, and even smoked a vaporizer with the Cup staff. They were so hilarious :)
Photo Taken at the Cinque Terre in Italy
@WhereYouSmoke: Where was this photo taken?
@sofiafigoli: This pic was taken in Manarola, one of the Cinque Terre. It was me and three other friends (one of them lives there). It was a summer day and we wanted to smoke, but there were so many people everywhere and since in Italy weed is not legal yet, we had to find a chill place to go to. So my friend who lives there came up with this spot right above Manarola. From there, you could see the whole town and the sea, too. It ended up being just awesome!
Was there something special about smoking in a well-known (and picturesque) location?
I'm 100% Italian and many people smoke around here, even though, as I said, the stupid government hasn't made it legal yet. I'd say smoking surrounded by these beautiful places is one of the best things ever. There are so many pretty spots around here, and when you're sitting there with the Mediterranean in front of you, trees and nature by your sides, and Pink Floyd in your ears, you're just left speechless. It’s like, “Wow, how did I get so lucky?” I guess being high makes everything even better cause it makes you appreciate the whole thing on a deeper level.
Do you recall a sesh that was particularly fun, maybe in another city?
Well the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about smoking and traveling is Long Beach, California. I lived there my junior year of high school, and I went back to visit this past winter. I had the best time with the best people in the best spots!! I feel like people live in slow motion there; they're so much more chill. I think it might have something to do with the fact that they have the best weed eveeeer!