Crete after 6 months

My Crete experience finished a while ago… I am clearly behind schedule on blogging. Anyway, I decided to share a little summary of my summer in Crete. The good, the bad and other funky stuff. I worked every freaking single day Challenge accepted and challenge completed. But never, ever again. Never! To work every single day is just crazy. I don’t know how come I did not lose my mind. Maybe I did but I just think I’m normal. Actually, it is very usual in Greece to work every day. If you are planning to come and work in Crete you can expect that. Some companies, of course, allow the workers to have a day off per week or some companies make it once a month. It’s all because during the winter tourists are gone and so is the work.  So you put all your energy in half a year. Big international companies, like TUI for instance, definitely will give you a day off but if you find something local you might not get that. When you feel like you know every single person Crete is a big island in Greece but in the end, […]

Matala – the hippie beach

Matala is the hippie beach of Crete, where hippies used to ( and some still do ) live in caves. Now you can visit those caves and see for yourself how a hipster life looks like. There are some hippie festivals during the summer and otherwise, it has a nice, chill atmosphere. I don’t even know why, but Matala was immediately on my wish list when I came to Crete. Not even some crystal clear waters or pink sand attracted me so much. Maybe I am a hippie at heart. When I finished working in Crete I had some days off for discovering and of course, I took my course towards Matala. It is quite a long drive from Rethymnon. About a two hour drive. The road there is not so bad because compared to many other roads in Crete this one is an asphalt road all the way there and rather wide. Only, the ride is much longer than I am used to and you know, in Crete one can’t escape hills and curves. I really like driving, except at times when the road gets so crazy that it slightly freaks me out.  One of […]

“Secret” beach – Seitan Limania

My boss likes to be spontaneous and call me in the evening saying: “Hi! Tomorrow you will have a day off”.  Alrighty, gotta make spontaneous plans myself to have some fun. So I decided to rent a car to go to a secret beach. I can tell you all about it but you got to keep it as a secret!  Sadly, it’s not really a secret beach anymore and has been on the World Wide Web for a while and plenty of tourists go there. It’s a tiny beach called Seitan Limania nearby the former capital of Crete, Chania. The drive to my destination seemed alright, except the last curvy part. With little driving experience, I had to think ahead if I could manage the road. What the heck, I’ll worry about it when I get there and hopefully won’t die. Since my plans were last minute too, this beach was not too far away and I could still get there before dark. I was obviously the slow jerk on the road but dutifully made room for everyone to pass me. I was actually following the speed limits and often even exceeded the limits ( oops!) […]

Kournas Lake and Georgioupolis

What to do when you have half a day to spend and you live in Rethymno? Option one: You visit Georgioupoli, a little village with a nice beach, a church in the middle of the sea, and a beautiful view of the white mountains. Option two: You visit Kournas lake, a beautiful nature getaway surrounding you with mountains, lake with cute little turtles and nice taverns to eat with a remarkable view. I choose… both of them! Georgioupolis It’s about a twenty-minute drive to Georgioupolis from Rethymno with a car and maybe thirty minutes with the public bus. The public bus was more fun while a lady starts yelling out all the bus stops: “KAVROOOS anybody going to KAVROOOOSSSS!?!?” and next stop: “GEORGIOUPOLIIIIIIIS, GERGIOUUUUUPOLIIIIII !!!! “ At least you won’t miss your stop and will not accidentally fall asleep. The bus stop is just outside of the village, but the village is pretty small. I think it takes 15 minutes to walk from one end to another. At least seemed like it. I walked a little through the streets and then ended up at the beach and decided to visit the church first. You have […]

Samaria Gorge

Samaria gorge was initially not on my bucket list when I came to Crete since I don’t have the best shoes and it is one of the longest gorges in Europe, a 16 km hike. I have never walked this much in my life. Thus, I was not sure if I will be up for it. Yet all kinds of people make it, meaning also not very active or sporty. So when I got the chance to join our company’s guided tour I just took it. Woke up 5 AM. Oooh how early it was and still dark. And off I went to catch the bus at 6.15 AM. I had not done a guided tour for a long while. Last time I did, I was the guide. It was nice to listen to some info about the gorge and some useful tips too. Apparently, this 16 km hike equals to 32 km walk on a fine asphalt. The bus drive to Samaria was amazing. The sunrise between the mountains was absolutely wonderful and made me immediately forget about the lack of sleep. First, we arrived at a small plateau Omalos to have breakfast and […]

Mili Gorge

There are quite a number of gorges in Crete. The most famous and longest one is Samaria, which is 18 km long and rather challenging. I guess I need to gather myself a little before I will conquer that one. When I found out that I have one more day off before starting working I decided to walk the humble 4 km long Mili Gorge. A good choice for beginners, I guess. I know this post comes rather late. I mean, I started working here already months ago and am only now writing about this gorge trip. Better late than never, right? Anyway, I decided to bike there and back, which gave me some extra exercise. The way there went basically only uphill and after awhile it became so steep that I was not able to bike anymore. Plus it was like a sauna outside so I just continued crawling up with my bike by my side. To cool off a little, I managed to get my feet completely wet on my way there. I stumbled upon a big puddle. The whole road was covered by it and I would have had to go all […]

Traveling as a tour guide- Gramvoussa & Balos.

One day I was offered a chance to try out tour guiding. I was pondering about the idea because it scared the crap out of me but when I listed down all the pros and cons, I realized that I have nothing to lose if I try and it will not turn out to be such a good experience. So I said yes to the offer and then freaked out a little that what the hell did I just decide to do?!? I had one day to prepare my material. One-day preparation during my normal job, because there is no one to replace me so that I could take time off to study. Basically I had a few hours in total to prepare and to do it not just in English but also in German. I feel very comfortable in English, but German was a challenge. I speak German pretty well, but my German level is not as nearly as good as my English. So during these few hours I gave myself also some extra German lessons. And some French, because some days prior to the excursion, I booked some French people on this trip […]

First impressions of living in Crete

Finally, I can jot down some first impressions I have from living and working in Crete. I have been busy settling in and getting started with my new job. A month has already passed since I moved here and this has created a certain image of the local life. In general, I am very satisfied and completely in love with the island. Nevertheless, when you live in a foreign country there are always some things that are different and take some time to get used to. Sun and the surroundings I am most happy to be working and living in a country where the sun shines constantly. I can see the sea and the mountains from both, my office and from my house. It gives me such joy to be in an environment like this, especially when it is still snowing in my home country. If I please I can go for a swim in the sea every day. The city where I live, Rethymnon, is absolutely lovely. Particularly the old town. I love all the tiny streets and the atmosphere. And did I already mention the sea and the mountains? Ahh… Some days I am […]

Visiting Palm Beach Preveli

And here we go, new adventures! It has been less than a week and I am already in love with Crete. So much positive and the surroundings are awesome. I can see the beach from my house as well as a mountain with a snowy peak. Can it be more perfect? The first days I have spent getting settled in. This means getting papers fixed for my new job, meeting the crew, getting things for my new apartment and so on. We also started training for the job. Namely, I will be selling excursions for a travel agency. Once the job officially starts I will be quite busy and won’t have much time to discover the island.  Thus, when I found out that we have a day off from our training week, I impulsively decided to rent a car. I recently got my license, relearned how to drive a car in a month to complete my drivings license. I had not driven a car for five years. During the few months I spent back home, I had only had the chance to drive with my driving teacher or with my dad and his big jeep. So […]