Crete in 5 days (Chapter I)

 

We needed some holidays so we decided to visit Crete; the biggest greek island located in the mediterranean sea at the same distance from the three continents (Africa, Asia and Europe).

We loved it!

Therefore we would like to share our trip experience with you and, furthermore, give you a couple of tips to visit Crete.

Rethymnon

The third most important city of Crete and our first stop. Actually it was a good idea to start our trip in Rethymnon.

This small city is as charming as its people. Walking among its ancient streets we discovered historical remains located close to modern stores and restaurants ready to welcome the tourists. Do not miss the chance to have a walk around the Venetian Fortezza.

Rimondi Fountain

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Venetian Fortezza

Chania

It is the second most important city of Crete and our second stops. Throughout history many different cultures settled in it, leaving their trace in the architecture of the city.

The prettiest part of the city is the old town, surrounded by an ancient wall. Walking among it narrow streets and contemplating its pastel-colored houses we arrived to the port, where we enjoyed a beautiful view.

But walking around the city was not our only plan. We wanted to try the greek food (tzatziki, greek salat, greek yogurt…). That is the reason why we went to some typical greek restaurants:

To Patriko

We have no words! We enjoyed real home made greek food. The food was delicious! The waitress was delightful, she also taught us some greek words! We highly recommend it!

Address: Panou Korounaiou 25, Rethymnon

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Ta chalkina

Charming place located at the end of Chania´s port. Known due to its greek music concerts this restaurant offers a selection of greek dishes. Do not forget to try its champignons! Amazing!

Address:  Akti Tompazi, Chania

(The restaurants were recommended to us by an expat friend with greek family)

After enjoying such a tasty food we would recommend you to relax and have a rest.

What do you like more, beach or mountain?

In Crete you can easily relax yourself in both of them. In the way between Chania and Rethymnon there are some known beaches where to lay down and have a rest.

In Daratsos beach, located in front of our hotel, we enjoyed one of the most beautiful sunsets that we have ever seen.

Although we were excited about going to the beach (yes, in Germany we do not have so many of them) we could not resist to get lost among the mountains of Crete. Therefore we rented a car and we travelled from Chania to Paliochora among extraordinary landscapes where we had the opportunity to make some unexpected new friends on our way.

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But that´s another story.

Have you ever been in Crete? Which are you favorite places in Chania? Share them with us!

 

* If you want to know more about Crete follow our “Secrets of Crete” section in Facebook and do not miss our next posts (Crete Part II & Part III)!! Stay stunned!

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5 pieces of advice to my pre-expat self

Which advice you would give yourself if you could go back 3 years in time? 

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Three years ago some of us had just arrived in Germany while some others did not know that the universe was planning to bring us here.

If we could come back three years in time we would give us some advices before starting this expat adventure:

1. Never stop dreaming: If you can imagine it, you can achieve it

If you believe in something, go for it. Nothing and no one can stop you.

There will be days you will reconsider everything, there will be moments you will want to go back to your family (your comfort zone), sometimes you will feel homesick…

However, never forget that if you believe in yourself nothing can stop you. If you wanna change something just make the first move.

The most common obstacles while living abroad are traditions and language. Do not wait until the last minute to learn the language and to adapt yourself to the local culture. The earlier you do it, the earlier you will start overcoming any difficulty.

2. Do not lose your inner child 

Learn from each single moment, look around with the same curiosity as if you were a child, talk to different kind of people, laugh at yourself, enjoy simple things in life, face this adventure in a positive manner and never stop smiling, because this is the adventure of your life.

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3. Every person comes to you at the right moment

Every single person you will meet living abroad will come to you at the right moment. Together you will experience remarkable adventures which allow you to evolve as human beings, and your friendship will be a special relationship that will least the rest of your life.

Every person comes to your life for a reason. Learn from them because they will make a difference in your life.

4. Integrate yourself into the local culture

Do not be a conformist; learn the language, make local friends, try local food, travel around the country, go to local festivals, taste typical drinks, go to after work meetings, discuss with different kind people, get used to the local way of transport, speak the local language (even if you are just starting to learn it)…

Be ready to discover a new culture and to experience it, integration is the first step to feel at home.

5. Each situation will teach you a life lesson

Expats are outside their comfort zone. Expats are far from home. Expats are trying to be part of a new culture with different traditions.

Sometimes a trivial thing can be huge problem: a misunderstanding due to the language, looking for a job, a legal matter… Learn from these situation and keep always in mind that there are no problems, there are just solutions.
And the most important advice:  Enjoy this experience like you have never done before, because this is the best life lesson you will ever learn.

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Crete in 5 days (Chapter III)

Since we came back from Crete we cannot stop thinking about its food, its people, its landscape, our new friends “the goats”, its exotics beaches…

Elafonisi

Finally we found a crystalline water beach!!.

Elafonisi is located in the south-east of the island and we really recommend you to spend one day enjoying this amazing place.

An odd thing about this beach is its sand. If you look at it you will realize that it has a rosy color (although we did our best it is difficult to appreciate it in the picture). Do not miss the chance to enjoy this unique place!

Stavromenos

 

Stavromenos is a touristic place full of apartments and semi-rocky beaches where to enjoy the view and some typical local food.

Here we enjoyed a couple of days. We were just relaxed, we swam in the mediterranean sea and we tried all the regional food and wine that our stomach could assimilate.

Where to eat?

Taverna Eleven is a nice and familiar restaurant located at the beach.

Its menu is narrower as those that you can find in other restaurants because they use local products and fresh fish of the day. We recommend you to try the local wine the serve, tasty! and to enjoy the sunset while having dinner on the terrace.

Heraklion

To finish our trip (and because our flight had some hours delay) we decided to visit Heraklion, a city built 2500 years ago and used as a port city then.

In Heraklion we could find ancient monuments like the Morosini fountain (year 1720) and the actual city hall (date from that time) in the middle of modern streets full of fashion stores.

City hall

After those 5 days we fell in love with his island. We recommend you to discover and to enjoy it! If you want more tips about Crete contact us!! We are really happy to give you some tips!

If you want to know where to sleep in Crete check our facebook, more ideas coming soon! Stay tuned!

 

See you soon Crete!

 

*Check my other posts related to this trip to find out more amazing spots: Crete in 5 days (Part I) & Crete in 5 days (Part II) (Press on the name to discover more)

3 curiosidades de Maastricht que no te puedes perder

“Nuestro destino nunca es un lugar, sino una nueva forma de ver las cosas”. Henry Miller

Regresar a un lugar que habíamos visitado anteriormente es una manera de redescubrirlo. Perderse por sus calles una vez más nos permite verlo con otros ojos y fijarnos en detalles que antes habíamos pasado por alto.

Alguna vez habéis tenido la sensación de que esa ciudad que tan bien creíais conocer os ha vuelto a sorprender?

A nosotros nos ha pasado con nuestra querida Maastricht. Nuestros últimos viajes nos han enseñado otra cara de la ciudad que queremos compartir con vosotros. Aquí os dejamos 3 curiosidades de Maastricht que no os podéis perder:

1. La libreria Selexyz Dominicanen

Antiguamente, hacia 1294, pertenecía a los Dominicos, durante la segunda guerra mundial fue un hospital y, tras su abandono, el ayuntamiento de Maastricht la vendió a una empresa que construyó, en el año 2005, una impresionante librería de tres pisos.

En esta iglesia se mezclan habitualmente amantes de los libros junto con turistas que se pasean entre sus pasillos (700000 al año) y reconocidos escritores que organizan firmas de libros. Al final del edificio se sitúa una cafetería donde poder disfrutar de un buen libro y un buen café.

Por todo ello, es considerada una de las librerías más bonitas del mundo.

2. Basílica de San Servando

Este impresionante monumento del siglo XIX está formado por unas grandes vidrieras a las que acompaña un precioso altar. Sin embargo, no dejéis de mirar al suelo, ya que en una de sus alas se encuentra un curioso laberinto cuya historia se remonta a 1885.

Aquí podéis leer el post que hemos escrito explicando la historia del laberinto de San Servando. ¡Esperamos que os guste!

3. Plein 1992

Llegados a este punto os recomiendo que volváis a agachar la cabeza pues en este lugar se encuentra el monumento conmemorativo del famoso tratado de Maastricht. Se dice que se eligió esta ciudad holandesa para llevar a cabo el tratado ya que se sitúa muy cerca de la frontera belga y alemana, lo que la lleva a evocar un sentimiento europeo difícil de encontrar en otros lugares.

Junto al monumento se encuentra además un moderno puente con unas maravillosas vistas de la ciudad de Maastricht.

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Cada visita a nuestros vecinos holandeses supone un nuevo descubrimiento por eso no nos cansamos de pasear por allí.

Y vosotros, ¿habéis tenido alguna vez la sensación de re-descubrir una ciudad?

Luxembourg!!

The first time I visited Luxembourg I was surprised, since I was expecting a city, in fact a whole country, full of mansions and expensive cars. However, Luxembourg is not that at all. It is a small international country full of history, which you can feel in each single street. Do you want to know more? just keep reading!

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A bit of history…

Luxembourg is the 7th smallest country in Europe. It is bordered by Belgium, France and Germany and it has three official languages, although during our time there we only listened french. We all know it as a “tax heaven” country. But Luxembourg has more to show us.

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Grund

This historical area is the perfect place to get lost. Walking across its streets the visitor can enjoy a nice view and discover cute restaurants, where it is possible to enjoy a nice meal in front of the river.

Furthermore, the Neumünster Abbey and the National Museum are located in this charming area.

Downtown

In the city centre, surrounded by stores and restaurants the visitor can find the Place d´Armes, Nôtre           Dame Cathedral and the Grand Ducal Palace. Do not leave without trying the cakes of the patisserie               located in front of the palace, amazing!!

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Clausen

It is the place for the night life, as well as for Microsoft, Amazon and some other well known companies. It is easy to access to this part of the city through Grund or walking across the old bridges which set up the city.

What to eat?

And finally… I want to show you a pair of cute restaurants that we discovered and which I would                     recommend you.

 

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9, Avenue Monterey L-2163 Luxembourg

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Place d’Armes, 1136 Luxembourg

Have you ever been in Luxembourg? Did you like it? Did you also have different expectations before arriving to Luxembourg? Share your experience! 🙂

Luxemburgo Centro