29.6.14

Discovering Spinalonga

So, already more than one and a half months ago (on May 13), while I and my fiancé were still luxuriating in dreamy Crete we also visited the teeny-tiny island of Spinalonga. Our journey began from Agios Nikolaos where we went on board of a tourist ship called Kalidon (which, by the way, is the synonym for Spinalonga). And once on the historical island, we immediately decided to ditch other tourists and explore the whole thing on our own, without the typical, usually kind of disturbing hordes. It surely was an impeccable idea to do that and here's what we learned (history lesson alert!!).

colourful Agios Nikolaos

Spinalonga is a small (=8.5 ha) rock island. In ancient times this island was called Kalidon and a castle was built on top of it by the residents of ancient Olous (a sunken city situated at the present day town of Elounda).
Then came the Venetian period and a massive fortress, armed with 35 cannons and 300 soldiers, was constructed on top of the ruins of the ancient castle between 1579 and 1586.
In 1715 the Turkish rule hit Spinalonga and it lasted until 1889.
 

In 1903 the Greek Government made a decision to turn the island into a hospital colony for people suffering from leprosy. Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a contagious disease that primarily affects the skin and the extremities and to a lesser extent, the nervous system. The victims of the disease, men and women from all over Crete took over the abandoned homes of the Turkish invaders and slowly started to rebuild their lives there. They created a community of their own: turned the main roadway into a shopping street, built a bakery, a coffee shop and a grocery shop.

thrifted headscarf | Emporio Armani sunnies | Chicnova sweatshirt c/o (link) | thrifted Lil' Missy (Seppälä) crop top | thrifted Review Jeanswear denim shorts | thrifted Complement fringe bag | Via Dei sandals.

In 1912 Crete was united with the rest of Greece, Spinalonga started to receive financial assistance from the Government and got a president, a priest and a teacher. Weddings were held there and from these marriages 100 healthy children were born.
Electricity
, supplied by a generator, came to Spinalonga in 1930 and this way Spinalonga had electrical power when the rest of the people in the villages of Crete were still using oil lamps and later, gas lamps.

A cure for leprosy was found in 1954 and many of the residents of Spinalonga got well and returned to their families. Spinalonga as a refuge for victims of leprosy was closed down in 1957.

church of Agios Georgios



Well, that indeed was one quite decent history lesson and I genuinely hope at least some of you are fond of history and the further background of things and events around us :). I myself added Victoria Hislop's Spinalonga related novel The Island to my wannabe reading list after seeing and studying the real thing.

Anyhow, after our fascinating hours in (small) Spinalonga we also got an unexpected chance to visit the peninsula of Spinalonga aka "large Spinalonga" (see the map for clarification). Unfortunately our time there was a little too strongly limited and we could only take a speedy walk nearby our landing-place but in the process we saw the unique rocky church of Saint Luke and other spectacular authentic views. You know what I mean if you're also a true fan of mighty mountains and heights.
Oh and when we arrived in Agios Nikolaos again and were tiredly on our way to the hotel we came across the coolest tavern - Ayra Loft. This time I will only share one little collage about our first delicious meal there but you will definitely hear and see more about that scrumptious eatery in my future posts!

church of Saint Luke


Emporio Armani sunnies | thrifted Kenzo kimono cardigan | thrifted dress | thrifted Complement fringe bag | thrifted Beverly Feldman loafers.

And last but not least a few very quick words about life lately and my grand hiatus. I celebrated my birthday entirely four times, on June 25 began our second holiday in 2014 before what I worked like a madwoman. After all the effort our garden is in pretty nice shape already and we're moving towards new projects and ideas, for an easy example - I want to order all our books alphabetically (perfectionist problems) and bring my poor messy wardrobe into perfect order. The list goes on of course but I'm sure today's post is long enough without my endless list of chore.

I hope you enjoyed my history lesson and all the photos taken on memorable May 13. And I also truly hope I will be so much better at avoiding those whopping hiatuses which are totally uncool of me. So I guess see you next time! :)

13.6.14

An ordinary "ootd", featuring Born Pretty's fifth batch of goodies

Hey! As once promised, today I finally have a real outfit to share! It derives from May 25, it's simple, it's summery and on top of everything else it contains my three freshest goodies from ever so lovely Born Pretty (link). So, let's get to the point right away! For one thing I just had to get my hands on those shiny, totally adorable poodle shaped earrings, perfect for a hopeless dog lover like myself. And right now those canine beauties have to be my most favourite summer earrings because of their crystal shine and lightness.

I also picked this spunky statement necklace, embellished with colourful rhinestones and golden spikes. And I totally dig the bold assortment of beautiful blue, green and pink. So surprise, surprise - it's currently my new favourite statement necklace!
And last but not least, in the third place I decided upon a girly hair bow since my hair accessory collection is very narrow right now and bows are always a nice, timeless choice for completing a messy... or why not a non-messy (which I personally rarely experience) braid for example.


Emporio Armani sunnies | Born Pretty earrings (c/o) link | Born Pretty necklace (c/o) link | Born Pretty hair bow (c/o) link | Guess Jeans top | thrifted Bik Bok denim skirt | MICHAEL Michael Kors sandals.

spike and rhinestone statement necklace €5.16 (link)

shiny poodle earrings €2.21 (link)

floral hair bow €2.16 (link)

So, you can purchase everything I just demonstrated by using the product links under my photos above. And that's not all!
If you enter my coupon code JET10 before checking out you will get a 10% discount. I know Born Pretty's prices are very cheap anyway but every possible discount is an extra bonus. And my experiences with the quality of their products have only been pleasant: the prices are low, yes but the quality is certainly high! Therefore I want to show you some more goodies from their extensive Jewelry & Accessories collection. Those five items in my modest collage are the goodies that have just recently caught my eye and you can find all the product links under the collage.

1 - rivet ring 1.96 (link); 2 - ring/bracelet 3.63 (link); 3 - earrings 1.93 (link); 4 - necklace 6.56 (link); 5 - earrings 2.08 (link).


Now, before finishing up a little chit-chat seems appropriate. In other words my birthday is way too quickly approaching and we should probably throw a small party on Saturday. But even the menu is unclear yet and overall I'm like a headless chicken right now, running around and going crazy. So I guess we will just have to wait and see what the near future has in store for us. Exciting much, isn't it? Anyway, I sincerely hope that in my next post I can finally tell you about the most popular archaeological site in Crete after Knossos (which we, by the way, visited in august 2009 and my blog post about it stands here). So please bear with me and see you next time!

4.6.14

Hotel swap No. 1: from Sensimar Minos Palace to Minos Beach Art Hotel

Believe me when I once again say I honestly wanted and planned to post a lot earlier. I really really did! But every single time I make those grandiose plans life happens. It's already like a good old Murphy's Law. Weekends mysteriously disappear somewhere while we are (actually deliberately but still) working our poor fingers to the bone.

Because who would have thought designing your own garden can be so insanely tricky and time-consuming? Fortunately it's a big big joy to see the day by day developing outcome. :) Oh and I also got a new additional short-run job with one deadline already on Friday and the other deadline at some time in the summer. But I'm going to stop blabbering now to finally get this long overdue Crete show on the road again.

So, as promised, today you can read all about the surprising and exciting events of May 11 and 12. The 5* hotel we had booked in December 2013, Sensimar Minos Palace Hotel & Suites (link) somehow happened to be overbooked for two consecutive nights (May 12 till May 14). And since we weren't there with a group (unlike all those countless German senior citizens) the hotel offered precisely us (plus a few other chosen couples) an opportunity to spend those two nights and circa two full days in another hotel.

Group No. 1 - The main hotel, Sensimar Minos Palace

First they showed us 4* Candia Park Village (link), a hotel that looks like a typical Cretan village. But whereas we weren't actually obliged to agree with the switch at all we said no because of the rather remote location (4 km from the centre of Agios Nikolaos; Minos Palace is 2,6 km and Minos Beach is 1,4 km from the centre).

But wait! When we returned to our actual hotel we got a terrific new offer from them - a superior waterfront bungalow at 5* Minos Beach Art Hotel (link), also called the little Venice. It was closer to the centre of Agios Nikolaos, even fancier (+more expensive) than Minos Palace so by all means we said yes to the new luxury hotel and new experience. Because when someone offers you a chance like that free of charge it would be extremely stupid to back out, don't you think? Especially when our initial room at Minos Palace was just a standard seaview room and our only trouble was moving our suitcases a couple of times. By the way, when we returned to Minos Palace on May 14 we received some more free treats, in addition to our next room upgrade but that's just a spoiler for a future post.

Group No. 2 - snapshots from Minos Beach Art Hotel

Right now I have to start talking about today's extreme photo flood. The first bunch in the beginning of my post showcases Sensimar Minos Palace, our main hotel, and a few glimpses of our seaview room. What I loved the most about that room was our furnished balcony with a wonderful sunny view of the Mirabello Bay. I honestly (and obviously) miss that view, the magical atmosphere and beautiful stillness, a true bliss. And I will definitely talk about Minos Palace again!

The second group of photos introduces our hotel No. 2, Minos Beach Art Hotel that was only a ten minute walk from the centre of Agios Nikolaos. Our superior waterfront bungalow indeed was a nice one: situated by the edge of water, consisting of a bedroom, living room, dressing area, bathroom with a Jacuzzi bathtub, large veranda with a panoramic seaview and reserved sunbeds and umbrellas in front of the bungalow. Minos Beach also had magnificent food in their Bacchus restaurant and plenty of cute local cats hanging around the area. It sure was an absolutely delightful experience!

Group No. 3 - snippets of joyfully colourful Agios Nikolaos

And last but not least comes the third bunch and a little piece of picturesque Agios Nikolaos. It was our first brief trip to the town centre and those three snapshots are simply a fragment of everything I'm going to share with you in the course of time. You just have to excuse my slow pace. :)

Right now I have so much to write about! In addition to our Cretan adventures a couple of local Estonian outfits are waiting for their turn. And I believe my next post will present my fifth package from lovely Born Pretty (link) besides a classic summery outfit. And then, after that I'm going to introduce the historical island of Spinalonga to you. So I guess you just have to wait and see what happens because right now the list of my topics really seems to be endless. See you in the next post, guys!