Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, and sits just north of Africa. The wonderful people here consider themselves “Cretan”, not Greek and do a fine job of representing their independent culture. One of my favorite fun facts, speaking in mythological terms, Crete is believed to be the place where Zeus grew up!
I’m here visiting a dear friend of mine that I met years ago while dressed in a dirndl (I was, he was in lederhosen) singing German songs on a table at Oktoberfest in Munich.
Year after year we’ve stayed connected and this time, our reunion sweeps me to his summer job at a hotel in Chania. Before I take you to Crete, lets sneak a quick look at the journey to get there starting with a hanging tram in Dusseldorf to a layover in Athens. I got excited when I saw the writing on the back of the seat. Almost there!
Landing in Athens brings you an open designed terminal with many options to keep you occupied. With several museums, gambling halls, and cafe’s you’ll find quite a selection of entertainment. There’s even a kids play room if you care for a sitter while doing a little souvenir shopping. Hayden was behaving that day, so I let him hang with me.
The dreaded airport lunch? Not today! A salad buffet full of raw veggies, herbs, toppings and fresh dips like tzatziki and hummus. This definitely beats the usual option of an iceberg lettuce bowl with a few slivers of carrot and a bag of dressing for the same price!
A friendly and helpful side note to all of my frozen yogurt fans out there, at the Athens airport there are two different options for this cold delight. No need to worry, I did the exhausting hassle for you and tried both to confirm there is most certainly a better choice! Your welcome. The winner is…
Ok, finally landing makes my stomach fill with excitement as seeing sweet Florian is soon to be! If you know this guy, you can confirm that his kind smile matches his sincerity and his German quirky sense of humor leaves your cheeks aching from laughing!
We meet up for our first breakfast after a good nights sleep, meaning a few hours as the sun was coming up (thank you to the unofficial welcoming crew and the deck of cards). Check out this view!
Right away I felt my shoulders drop a notch and my busy mind lower gears. Between the Cretans love for food and drink, the warm sun on my skin and the ocean as a back drop, it only seems silly to allow any stress to hinder positive thoughts. Let me take you for a quick walk from our doorstep to the main road that hugs the shore.
Next, lets explore the work place of Florian. This type of hotel is new to me as its specifically designed for German travelers on vacation here. Not only does the staff speak German, but their news letters, guided tours and special events are all centered to help the guests feel connected and comfortable. Welcome to Hotel Dimitra!
Johanna and Jule, both here working from Germany, greeted us with eager smiles and fun conversation. Maybe its because we just came from their home country, but their sweet and spicy personalities made me feel comfortable instantly!
On this evening, the hotel was throwing a themed party they described as “bad taste”. Apparently you’re supposed to dress in an awkward fashion and sport a “unique” look. Of course we were invited and yes, I encouraged (made) Hayden dress up. I think we did just fine! The walk from our place to the hotel was the best part. All of the tourist on the street and people dining on the terraces staring at us as we giggle our way past them. Great memories!
A flash back of Jr.High popped into my mind when we were peaking around the corner to make sure we weren’t the only ones in costume. Coast is clear!
I am one lucky lady.
What better way to mingle with a crowd of Germans while visiting Greece than a theme party!
Such an energetic event to kick off our time here. Also, many thanks to Florian for not only the personal invite, but the exposure to bring me some haircut clients along the way!
I’ll end this post now with a neat photo I snagged from the bar decor. More Crete to come!