What will I be doing in April? #BEDA

As I said in yesterday’s post, I am going to try to blog everyday in April which will be very challenging cause I am going to be super busy . So, today I will tell you what my April looks like.

I am working full time. I mean, on average, I work every morning from 9-ish to 2:30 and then from 5-9. That’s a lot of teaching folks.

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Coffee

On the 12th of April I am flying to Birmingham for a teacher’s conference. I am flying to London and from there I will take the train to Brum (that’s what some call Birmingham). My presentation is on the 14th. I already have plans to meet friends who will also be at this conference.

So, apart from work, I also have to prepare my presentaion a.k.a study for my presentation.

I am back in Greece on the 16th, have a free weekend, and back to my work schedule (as described above).

The 23rd of April is my last day of teaching and then we have Easter break. Yeap! In Greece Easter falls on the 1st of May (Greek Orthodox). I get 2 weeks off. Yay.

 I will take you along all these days with loads of random posts and of course my regulars, so stay tuned.

Oh! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog cause, well, you ain’t gonna wanna miss out on all the blogging or will ya? I have loads of other social media stuff you may want to use to connect with me (check sidebar). Thanks Bea for telling me about #beda.

xxx

 

To You

I heard about Brussels and I worried. We haven’t spoken in ages, but I still think of you and you do put a smile on my face.

Funny thing about meeting people online. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about online dating. I am talking about chatting online. That’s how I met X. On a warm summer night. I was in Crete and X was in Africa for work. We started talking. “I’m from Belgium” X said. “Where’s Belgium?” I asked.  Get a map! It’s only like the capital of Europe!” We started talking about our life, our favourite things, music, food everything. Then, it was time to stop talking and we said if we meet again here, it will be out of chance. And we did. And chatted again for hours. “We have a connection” X said. ” Nah. We just have the same interests. That’s not a connection”.

X believed in soul mates and connections. The cynic in me doesn’t believe in that stuff. Maybe cause I haven’t met the ‘one’. The thing about talking online is that if you have a strong pen, you get caught up in bubbles and pink little clouds. because you are not face to face with someone but looking at a screen, you talk about your inner thoughts. You are under the assumption that the other person is as well. This went on for ages. Months. X was in a bad place and I was trying to be a friend. Now that I am writing about this, I do wonder. My gosh the hours I spent online. The things we talked about.

I would meet men in my real life and wonder ” Why is this dude so boring? Why can’t we have conversations like I do with X?”.

I am a sucker for words I guess. Woo me with your talk. Talk to me about music. Make me think…

We spent loads of time sending each other music. That’s the other thing. When you chat with someone and then you start sending music, your “fairy-tale” has a sound track. Ours was this one.

I then found out I was going to be working in England and the cheapest flight from Athens had a stop at the Brussels airport. Com’on?! I said” I will be in Brussels for 2 hours. Do you want to meet?”. X came to the airport and we had one of those movie moments at arrivals. You know the one where you are looking for someone and you cannot find them?  You are looking in the wrong direction and someone calls your name and you turn? That’s what happened. X said, ” Joanna?”. I turned. I saw X. We went for… water at the Starbucks airport. We laughed, had fun. It was like two friends meeting. Then it was time for me to catch the plane and go to the UK. We said “goodbye” and had one of those awkward moments when you try to kiss someone on the cheek but you both aim at the same side. Yeah.

There were lots of talks after that. Another meeting for some hours. Nothing happened. This went on for 3 years.Messages, chatting. “You have had an impact on me” X said. Then it just went away. Life happens.

Looking at what happened in Brussels last week made me think of X. I hope you are OK.

 

City break:36 hours in Athens (girlie version)

Hi guys!

On Thursday the 17th of March I flew to Athens (Greece) cause I had some things to do and I decided to take you along and show you what I was up to. My 36 hours will be a bit different to what the typical tourist does cause, well, I have been to all the tourist attractions in Athens and I lived there for 5 years. My post will be a bit of a strolling, shopping, and coffee/food :). No museums, no galleries and no ruins (although you really have to do all those first and add some of the stuff I did).So, lets walk around Athens girlie style!

❤ Day 1

I had to get up early cause my flight was at 6:45 and boarding time was 6:15. This meant that I got up at 4:45! Yeap! I was sleep walking. I was travelling with my sister. We got the plane to Athens and landed at around 7:30. It was too early to go to the hotel, so we decided to have some coffee and a toasted sandwich at Gregory’s in the airport. Gregory’s is a famous chain that has lots of sandwiches, pies and loads of coffees.

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We then took the bus (line X95) to Ambelokipi which is central Athens. We were going to stay at the President hotel. We paid 97 euros for a double room (breakfast included). We were on the 15th floor.

I had not booked anything online, so this was the price we paid upon arrival (Booking.com was giving the room much cheaper, and when I told the receptionist she said that the hotel had lots of arrivals which was why the price went up). Anyways, not complaining about the price cause the hotel was worth it!!

We freshened up and then got a taxi to the center. You see if you take the metro (which is a 10 min walk from the hotel) it costs about 4 euro and a taxi ranges from 5-7. We were both beat and old :p , so we opted for the taxi!! Tip: Taxis parked outside the hotel are more expensive than just waving one from the street.

Our first stop was Ermou street which is at Syntagma square. That’s one of the central shopping areas in central Athens. Is it the most glamorous? No. But, it is outside and had some of the shops we really wantedto go to. I like Ermou. We went to M &S, H&M, Zara, MAC, and lots more. We had some coffee at a coffee shop and then did a bit more shopping.

We then went for lunch at a coffee bar/restaurant. It belongs to Elli hotel which is on Ermou street. I had some really yummy ravioli and coffee.

After that we went back to our hotel cause we had an appointment. We relaxed a bit and then went to Syntagma square again, this time for dinner at a Chinese restaurant called Attic Moon at Xenofontos 10. We had a yummy meal and then went back to the hotel and slept (you can check all the restaurants and hotels out on tripadvisor as well).

Kineziko

❤ Day 2

We had a yummy breakfast, packed, and then left our luggage at the hotel reception. Again, took a  taxi to Syntagma square and went to this big store called Public. You can find books, toys and anything tech related there. I got a book, my sister got some toys for my niece. If you are in the area, I definitely recommend going to the Grand Brittania for coffee or tea (luxury ❤ ❤ ).

We then left to stroll down Panepistimiou street which is one of my favourite streets.

Of course I did some damage in Attica department store (just a bit). Highlight of Attica was of course shoping at the Burberry counter where the Burberry makeup artist (Vasilios Gelis) showed me how to do my brows and was really really helpful (<3 <3). I felt like a doll after leaving Attica!! Full post coming soon cause I bought a few things from Burberry and learnt loads fromtheir makeup artist!!!

 We then went for coffee at City link (behind the Attica). This is an ‘in’ place with some coffee shops and restaurants.

At around 5:30 p.m. it was time to go, so we went back to our hotel. We took our suitcases and then got the metro to te airport. It took about 40 minutes from our hotel.

We left Athens at 9 p.m. and now I am back on my little island :). So there you have it guys.

Athens

Have you ever been to Athens? Are you thinking of visiting? Feel free to comment below.

OK! Time to beg for subscribers 😀 Please do subscribe to my blog if you liked what you read. I blog about life, beauty, planning makeup and all the stuff that make life beautiful. Maybe give my Facebook page a ‘like’ so you can get notifications of when I post :D? Connect with me on Pinterest / Twitter/ Instagram (cause as you can see, my pics are fantastic!). Please ‘pin’ this post if you enjoyed it.

Thanks for stopping by!

                 xox

                              Jo

Have coffee with me: winter in Crete

So, most people think of Greece in the summer. Islands, sun, lovely beaches with crystal clear waters, yummy foods and ice-cold coffees. But what about the winter? What is life like during the winter? Well, I am going to show you a few pics and have a cup of coffee with you.

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Our coffee date

Let’s imagine it’s Sunday afternoon. Typically people in my town (I live on the island of Crete) go for coffee with their friends after lunch.We (me and you, my reader) will go to the old Venetian harbour for coffee. There are loads of coffee shops to choose from. We will go to one called Pallas. You can have a nice coffee, get a cake, and sit there for a long, long time.

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You see, in Greece coffee means hours of socialising. No one comes to pester you and ask if you want something else (maybe that’s why the economy sucks, cause of the endless coffee drinking!).

Some pics

Disclaimer: I am terrible at taking pics!!!! But even from my horrible pics, you can tell that there is a lot of beauty, even in Winter.

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Fortetza (Venetian harbour, Chania, Crete)

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Boats (Venetian harbour)

 

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Alexandrian lighthouse in the Venetian harbour of Chania

 

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The harbour

 

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Restaurants, cafes, hotels in the Venetian harbour

Random fact:Winter in Crete is like summer in the UK. The temperature the last few months is between 15-22 degrees. If it is chilly, we sit indoors, if it cold, we sit outside.

So, this is a typical Sunday. this is my town in Winter :).

PicMonkey Collage coffee

Please do subscribe to my blog if you liked what you read. I blog about life, beauty, planning makeup and all the stuff that make life beautiful. Maybe give my Facebook page a ‘like’ so you can get notifications of when I post :D? Connect with me on Pinterest / Twitter/ Instagram (cause as you can see, my pics are fantastic!). Please ‘pin’ this post if you enjoyed it.

 

My new M&S bag: #Blogmas Day 19

So, today I did a bit of Christmas shopping with my mum. She bought her presents and she got me a new bag. I ❤ bags. I am a bag lady :).

This one is from M&S (Limited Edition). You wear it as a crossbody bag. I wanted one of these cause when I travel I prefer cross shoulder bags.

It’s black with silver metallic details (zippers). It is soft. It has three pockets. One is for your phone the other is for I dunno what and a third one is for things you want to keep safe. My purse fits in there.

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It cost 39 euro but M&S is having a sale in Greece so I got it for 29.

The bag’s tag has the bag code number just in case you want to check this bag out.

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So, here’s me new bag. The little things ❤ ❤ that make us happy.

Please follow/subscribe to my blog if you like what you read. I am @mypinkrambles  on Twitter/Instagram. Maybe even give my facebook page some TLC? I am off now. Gotta go find exercises and worksheets for my learners tomorrow. What have you been up to? Leave a comment, say hello 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

xx

 

How about going to Crete for Xmas? #Blogmas day 15

Hi guys!!

If you are wondering where Blogmas 12/13 are, well they are planner-related and cause I was running around I had no time to write special #Blogmas posts#Blogmas 14 is missing cause I was sick :(.

But today I am back and coming to you with a special edition. I am going to take you around my town. Everyone (or many of you) have seen pictures of Greece during the summer, but what about winter and Christmas? I live in a town called Hania. It is on the island of Crete in Greece. So, let’s walk around my town today.

The old market

Chania has the oldest market in Greece. It is over 100 years old. It sells food, souvenirs and you can also have coffee or eat at a restaurant here.

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Trying to blur out the faces. People are always in front of the market!!

Pedestrianised shopping area

There is an area full of stores, cafes and no cars are allowed. There used to be a lot of stores selling candles which is why the area was called keradika (candle area) but there aren’t any anymore.

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The Venetian harbour

this is my favourite place. Very picturesque Venetian harbour with narrow streets. People go for strolls here and have drinks or food.

In this picture you see a Turkish mosque with a typical Christmas decoration (the Christmas boat instead of the Christmas tree).

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and enjoy this view….

The lighthouse

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So, why not visit Crete during Christmas? The weather is much warmer than anywhere else and you get to see how the locals spend the holidays(and it’s much cheaper).

Catch up on all my blogmas posts by checking out the #Blogmas category in the side bar. Do follow my blog if you want to read more from me. Connect with me on Pinterest/ Twitter/ Instagram

Talk tomorrow!!

xx

 

#Blogmas Day 11: Oh Christmas boat

Blogmas logo

So, today’s #Blogmas post is going to be short and sweet. I am going to talk about a Greek Christmas tradition. In many city centers and in some houses, instead of decorating Christmas trees, people decorate little boats. This is a very old tradition and some say (and this is what I choose to share with you first) that it is because Greece had a lot of sailors and people who worked on boats. When they would return home for Christmas their wives would decorate little boats and that’s why you see them in Greece during the holidays. It’s a way to celebrate our “nautical history”.

Others say that it is because of Saint Nick who is the patron saint of the sea and who is celebrated on the 6th of December. I prefer the 1st explanation cause it’s more lovey-dovey.

So, here is a pic my friend Marina took and I am sharing it with you guys today. This is from the center of my town; Chania, Crete.

Pin of boat

Feel free to comment in the comments section (I love reading comments btw, so go ahead and write  in the comments space, that’s your space). Remember to subscribe to my blog if you like what you read. I am @mypinkrambles on Twitter/ Instagram. I am also on Pinterest. Don’t forget to catch up on all my #Blogmas posts.

Talk to you tomorrow!!!

 

10 things to do in Volos (Greece)

Today’s “10 things to do in….” has been written by the lovely Evi Sanida. All the suggestions and pictures are her own. So, let’s see what Evi says about Volos (Greece).

10 things to do in Volos (Greece)

This is a list of the things I love to do in the area around Volos. It is not a tourist guide but a list of my most preferable activities that wind me up when I have free time and take my mind off things.

1. My hometown is actually a few kilometers away from Volos, so, forgive me but, I will start with the place with the most open-hearted, kind and welcoming people in the world…When you visit Volos, stop by Stefanovikeio and visit Lake Karla. Lake Karla was completely drained in 1962 to gain land for agriculture but because agriculture was never successful in the saline soils, local councils have began restoring part of the lake. Nowadays, it is home to many species of birds like storks, pelicans, flamingos as well as ducks and fish. Walking by the lake you will immediately feel refreshed, close to nature and try to find some more time to explore the landscape. This is the view from the church of Saint Athanasios.Pic 1.jpg2. While in the area, don’t miss the chance to visit another one of my favourite places. The church of Saint George. Located on the way to Kanalia, another village next to the lake, you will be impressed by the spirituality of the place and the quietness of the landscape. Built in 1915 entirely by stone, and surrounded by tall trees, the church welcomes visitors with picnic benches and amazing nature all year round.

 church.jpg3. Now, in Volos, start your day with a stroll along the seafront. You won’t regret this variety of colours and smells. Small, colourful fishing boats at one end and luxurious yachts on the other end. Meanwhile, the cafes offer you tasty freshly-baked croissants or cheese pie along with your coffee so a stop there is a must.

limani.jpg4. I left this visit for number three although it should have been number one mainly because it is the reason why Volos is so famous. TSIPOURO. The drink that will make you forget to return home. The reason why so many people in Volos have big bellies and rosy cheeks. The meeting place for young and old. Our tsipouradika (places where they serve tsipouro) can be found all the way along the coast, in the city centre, hidden in smaller, unknown roads and they all serve –oooooh, my God- so tasty and freshly cooked fish and seafood that you will hardly have the courage to do anything else after that.

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5. But really, don’t leave this city without tasting our local speciality. A soft bread stuffed with cheese, ham and a tomato sauce. When you order it, add French fries and some special mayonnaise sauce with ham. It’s worth visiting Volos just to eat this treat.

bread.jpg6. In the heart of the city, lies its most hectic area. The shops here cater for all your needs, while the local cafes, restaurants and bars can host everyone and offer you high quality services. I love morning strolls for (window)shopping that end up in upbeat conversations with my friends at the central cafes.

coffee.jpg7. Another reason why I absolutely love this place is Pelion. Really. If you haven’t been there you’re missing lots of things. Now, here, I don’t know where to start from. In Katihori, you will enjoy the most amazing view of Volos. In Portaria, you’ll eat the best meat. In Makrinitsa you’ll take the most picturesque pictures while strolling in stone paths that lead to the central square. In Zagora enjoy misty mornings while in Milies, you’ll see the traditional and world-famous train station and in Chania do some skiing or snowboarding in the winter, in Milopotamos or Agios Ioannis dive in crystal-clear waters….someone stop me, the list is going to be endless.

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8. Another of my favourite places is the Roof tile and Brickworks museum (or else Tsalapata) where you can get informed about the long history of brick making of the old factory. What is more amazing is that the museum is actually the old factory itself and the visitor follows the actual process of brick making. In the museum, there are also interactive screens and videos of people who used to work there, so it is (to say the least) a work of art!

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9. And since I love my friends, I love company, I love food and I definitely can’t live without music, in Palaia, an area located right at the entrance of the city, I love to hang around listening to traditional live music in tavernas with young people who are always willing to sing along and dance till morning.

mic.jpg10. Now, to tell you the truth Volos is never running out of things to do every time of year, but since Christmas is on the way, the best is yet to come. So, as soon as the city lights are on, I promise to give you a taste of the festive city which will attract thousands of people from all over Greece. The lights are being put on, Santa’s village is being constructed and the skating rink is getting ready. Tons of hot chocolate are being brought and the red carpets are going to be laid soon all over the city pavements while Christmas music is being played. So, stay tuned for number 10, which is the best and it is yet to come! I’ll be back!

Once again, many thanks to Evi for writing this post. You can find more of Evi’s pictures on Flickr. For permission to repost the pictures please leave a comment below and I will give you her email.

So, why not travel to Volos for Christmas?

Remember to follow my blog if you like what you read. I am @mypinkrambles on Twitter/ Instagram. I am also on Pinterest. Thanks for stopping by. At the moment I am doing #Blogmas so you may want to check out what I have been ‘rambling’ about. If you would like to write a guest post in this series ” 10 things to do in….” ,please leave a comment below and I will gladly share your post.

Thanks for stopping by and once again.. thanks Evi  ❤

10 things to do in Thessaloniki (Greece)

A few weeks ago I asked my Facebook friends if anyone would be interested in writing a blog post about things someone can do in their town. This is the 1st blog post in this new series. So, what would you do in your city? Here is Vicky, a fellow teacher from Thessaloniki. taking us around her town; Thessaloniki, Greece.

10 things to do in Thessaloniki

This is intended as an ‘alternative’ tourist guide of my city, because what I would like to share and suggest is places that I often visit and love rather than typical attractions of a city.

1

It is true that the city is largely known for its Byzantine history, so lots of opportunities to visit the many churches in the center of the city or to see the remains of the Byzantine walls

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@Vicky Papageorgiou

2

What I love though, and always take my friends/visitors to, is the old monastery (Moni Vlatadon) where St. Paul preached when he visited the city. It’s high up in the old city, on the left,  just before you cross the first arch gate. I like the peacefulness and the spirituality of the area. Especially in summer, full of trees as it is, you can enjoy the fresh air, coolness and the sound of the crickets. A panoramic view of the city only adds to its beauty.

@Vicky Papageorgiou

        @Vicky Papageorgiou

3

If you like walking, you can follow one of the narrow paths/cobbled streets from that place that will take you straight to the city centre.

Center

@Vicky Papageorgiou

4

Once you get there, and if you want to experience one of the last areas left nearly intact since the beginning of the century (not for long though…), this is the old fish and vegetable market. It has been a ‘fave’ for me ever since I was a child when my mother would go shopping every Saturday. Fish mongers invite you to smell the fresh fish (Hello, love! Let me feed you fresh sardines today. Come and see how fresh they are! –  shoving them to your face ! –and trying to tempt you even more – We will gut them for you! ). I just love them!

@VickyPapageorgiou

@VickyPapageorgiou

5

Small shops selling natural sponges, shops with a variety of spices you can never imagine (there is a particular one you can even find snake-skin and teeth – I swear!). You can find fresh fruit and vegetables but also salted fish next to a shop with clothes, cheap ones mainly, another on with souvenirs and then a shop with army clothes. It’s all there. Take your pick!

@Vicky Papageorgiou

@Vicky Papageorgiou

   6

Cross the road and you are in the area of the old Baths. They are not open to the public but you can have a nice coffee and watch the people pass-by.

@Vicky Papageorgiou

@Vicky Papageorgiou

 7

The city is full of thermal baths but is also full of mosques which are now used as museums or cultural venues. One of them is the Yeni Tzami. Even though it is a bit further off the centre, you should give it a try. Places like these remind you of the city’s once multicultural character.

@Vicky Papageorgiou

@Vicky Papageorgiou

8

Not far away is the harbor and a stroll along the seafront is a must! You can enjoy your coffee and lunch at Kitchen Bar at the old Harbour and the (now renovated) warehouses. In the same area, there is the Photography Museum as well as one of the Bienalle Galleries.

Kitchen Bar

@Vicky Papageorgiou

9

Enough with the city centre now! If you are an art lover, the State Museum of Contemporary Art, located in the West suburbs of the city, is a wonderful experience. It is housed in the renovated building of the old Convent of Les Lazaristes , which is an interesting location on its own. Now, the old cells host the paintings and/or the installations exhibited. A unique place indeed.

Art

@Vicky Papageorgiou

A few words (or more) for this particular collection and one of my favourite places in the city : The initial collection was formed by a large part of the famous Costakis Collection, acquired by the Greek state. It contains around 1,275 works of Russian avant-garde art consisting of paintings, sculptures, drawings and constructions. You can see one of the vastest collections of Russian Avant Guarde Art, with over a hundred works of art on display in the permanent exhibition, they are the pride of the collection and are by artists such as K. Malevich, V. Tatlin, V. Kandinsky, El. Lissitsky, L. Popova, O. Rozanova, N. Udaltsova, A. Rodchenko, S. Nikritin, etc. The story behind the collection is fascinating since the Greek collector whose collection became the most representative body of Modern Russian avant-garde art anywhere,  was no other than a chauffeur who worked for the diplomatic corps! More specifically, for the Canadian Embassy. Being in contact with many visiting diplomats whom he drove to antique shops and galleries ,and having a strong instinct for art, although with no formal education, made him develop not just an interest in art but a passion for it along with an open mind and a great ‘eye’.  He wanted to rediscover the Suprematist and Constructivist art, lost and forgotten in the attics, studios and basements of Moscow and Leningrad. Hunting for ‘lost’ pictures, he did not hesitate to visit relatives, warehouses, small cities, any place where he could find ‘his’ paintings for the collection. Do not miss it, if you can! It is a must!

Later in the evening, I am sure you would appreciate a nice stroll at the new seafront. Plenty of people there, enjoying the light breeze and the beautiful colours of the sea and the sky. Sometimes, there is a jazz band playing. No matter what, it’s a great closure for a busy day. I hope you can enjoy it!

@Vicky Papageorgiou

@Vicky Papageorgiou

*I hereby declare that I have the right to publish the photos

Over to me

Firstly, thanks so much to Vicky for writing this fantastic post!!  ❤

All the photos are copyrighted by Vicky Papageorgiou. To re-publish you need her permission. Vicky is a teacher from Thessaloniki. She is also a blogger. You can read her blog posts here.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post. Do give it a thumbs up (aka a ‘like’). If you would like to write a blog post about your town, please let me know in the comments below and  of course don’t forget to follow this blog (check the sidebar on how to do that).

Talk soon

xx