21-28 August Mickey and I visited the Greek island Limnos (Lemnos). The island is the 8th biggest in Greece, located in the center of the Northern Aegean sea.
We travelled with Apollo and stayed at Porto Myrina, Powered by Playitas. The hotel had a lot of different sport activities included in the price. At some activities you could just up show at the set time, others you should sign up for. We tried Yoga, Padel, Scuba diving, kajak, SUP and did a lot of laps in the pool.
Tuesday we did a 12 km hike to the “Antenna hill”. Beautiful 360 degree view over the landscape from the top:
Wednesday we experience “extreme weather conditions” where there came a SMS warning!
Spent the day playing backgammon and visit the fitness center:
Thursday we hiked up and around the Castle of Myrina, that could be considered as one of the most resistant and best fortresses in Greece:
Friday we rented a car (“jeep”) and drove around the island to see some of the sights – A dessert. Sand dunes (and a tank) at Gomati beach.
Extraordinary lava formations at Falacro and drove on some dirt roads – great fun! and might be the best sight of the day. A salt lake at Aliki, that was not white but muddy due to the rain storm.
Had lunch at the surf beach Keros. Should see some windmills at Kontias but probably also due to the storm, the path up to the windmills was closed. Many of the roads was very narrow, especially through the villages:
Saturday we did a 14 km hike to “The Church without roof” (Church of Panagia Kakaviotissa). This Greek Orthodox Church was built by refugee monks who fled to the mountain as early as around 1,416 AD and is one of its kind in the world.
The track towards the church we choose an alternative route that Google maps marked as a path. In reality there was not much of a path, only the ones the sheep and goats had made. We used Google maps as a compass to help us keep on the right track. An exciting adventure.
Hiking back from the church, it was more or less roads and “the beaten track” all the way back to the hotel.
Myrina is the capital and main port of Lemnos and counts on 4500 inhabitants. The settlement stretches around two beautiful bays and between stands the imposing Venetian castle surrounded by massive formations of volcanic rock.
Visitors are charmed by the old neoclassical mansions, Ottoman buildings and fountains, traditional houses, narrow streets and modern constructions that compose the setting of Myrina. Along the waterfront lie plenty of restaurants and traditional taverns.
14-21 of October, Mickey and I visited the small beach resort Agia Marina, Crete, not far from Chania. We travelled with TUI and stayed at Atlantica Caldera Village, room no. 212 with a great view from the balcony, overlooking the village, sea and the island Agioi Theodoroi, a nature reserve inhabited by the Kri-Kri goat.
Here follow some stories and pictures of what we did during our stay, enjoy.
Beach walk Agia Marina – Palatinas, 8 km.
Hill walk Agia Marina – Cave Nerospilia, 8 km. (the cave was closed)
Beach walk Agia Marina – Chania, 11 km.
Chania is the capital of the Chania regional unit. It lies along the north west coast and consists of the city itself and several nearby villages.
On the way we had a break at Iguana Beach and passed Abandoned Graffiti House,
In Chania we walked along the Venetian Port, where we had lunch. We took the bus back to Agia Marina.
Bus day to Elafonisi:
Monday we went on a bus trip to the beach Elafonisi. The trip went via the gorge Topolia and a stop at Cave Agia Sofia (Wisdom of God) before we reached Elefonisi.
Here we spent a couple of hours walking around, swimming and relax on the beach. Elafonisi is an island when the tide is high and famous for it’s pink “sand”, that actually is seashells. Since many tourists have taken the sand with them home, there isn’t much left. The authorities have strengthen the rules and set high penalty for removing the sand.
Many thanks to our guide Joanna, who told many good stories about the culture of Crete and the scenery we passed through.
Beach walk at Elafonisi, 2 km.
Wednesday we rented a VW Up from a local travel agency, Beyond Travel, on the main street in Agia Marina.
The journey: Agia Mariana – Gorge of Imbros – Hora Sfakion – Frangokastello – Giorgioupoli – Kourna Lake – Agia Marina.
The gorge of Imbros is the second most popular gorge, after Samaria. for walkers on Crete. The gorge of Imbros was the main route through which Allied Forces evacuated Crete in late May 1941 after losing the Battle of Crete. Close to 20.000 troops (mainly New Zealanders, Australians and Brits) headed from the North of the island through the gorge of Imbros to Komitades and Hora Sfakion where they were due to be picked up by ships and taken to Egypt. About 13.000 made it onto ships. The rest were made prisoners by the Germans or escaped to the hills. There is a monument in Hora Sfakion commemorating these events.
Hora Sfakion is a small village with a main harbour front of tavernas, two minimarkets, a butcher, and a bakery. There is a quiet local beach immediately west of the village, and several pebbly beaches nearby. Hóra Sfakíon has a variety of tourist accommodations: rooms, studios, and apartments. The local economy is based on tourism, fishing, olive-oil production, and sheep and goat herding.
28 May – 1 June, 1941, British and Australian forces was evacuated from this bay after passing the the gorge of Imbros.
Frangokastello is a castle and scattered settlement on the south coast of Crete. The castle was built by the Venetians in 1371–1374 as a garrison to impose order on the rebellious Sfakia region, to deter pirates, and to protect Venetian nobles and their properties.
Returning to the north coast, Mickey found an alternative way on Google Maps. A small winding road with around 25 hairpin turns. I admit I was little nervous driving up this road. Very steep, narrow, no crash barrier, parts of the road broken and fallen off on one side, stones and rocks fallen on to the road on the other. Glad we didn’t meet any cars…
Due to the narrow road and suffering from a little bit anxiety, I “forgot” to take photos of the beautiful scenery. Found this picture on Google Maps.
Credit: Wolfgang Johannes
Formerly a small fishing village, Georgioupolis is more of tourist town now. The town square is surrounded by outdoor seating. The 9 km beach is the main attraction of the area with the church of Agios Nikolaos on the islet with the same name. Here you also find a small harbor at Turtle River, where you can rent different kind of boats to go up the river or out on the sea.
Nearby Kourna Lake is a popular excursion.
Kourna Lake is the only natural freshwater lake on Crete. It covers an area of 579 acres and maximum depth reaches 22 meters. The lake is a protected area as an important wetland with many species like moorhens, ducks, eels, snakes and a rare two-color turtle and occasionally herons.
A day spent at Gorgona Beach Club with sun, backgammon and bodysurfing in the quite big waves. Thanks to Director Alex and staff, for friendly and good service (and for use of your backgammon).
Restaurants Agia Marina:
These are the restaurants we tried. Dessert and raki served was the custom when paying the bill. “Raki is like Ouzo, but worse” – statement from a waitress.
Botonis – Grilled pork chops. The wood fired “globe grill” was standing in the restaurant
Neraida – Mixed grill, more than enough for two (got doggie bag for lunch next day)
Nostos – Ingo: Moussaka, Mickey: chicken gyros
Olivi – Both had very nice beef steaks with great “potato salad” (potato mixed with garlic, lemon and parsley)
Flight CPH – Madrid with a friend of Norwegian. Limited service on board. Good we bought a Joe and the Juice spicy tuna sandwich to go as “on-flight-meal”.
Metro #10 from airport, change to #8 to Tribunal.
Checked in at Rentalis Gran Via Fuencarral, an Airbnb flat (didn’t know booking.com have airbnb). Small, nice and clean with fantastic location. It was a challenge finding the entrance since the notification from Booking.com didn’t have a street number. Called the host, José, that guided and greeted us. José liked Madrid very much and he wanted the guests to do the same :-). He explained and marked all the sights in Madrid on a map.
It was raining so limited walkabout. Dinner at the local Delisko.
Monday – walkabout theme “Getting High”, 16 km
Sunny and chilly. 4-8 degrees in the early morning! Mickey comment, “like being at a ski resort – clear blue sky, sun and cold”.
The host José marked some viewpoints on the map.
Started with Mimosa (Cava + orange juice) brunch at Brunch club – great brunch salad, Mickey Slamon wrap
First viewpoint – El Cortes Ingles – view to Schweppes building
Second viewpoint Endifico Espana – 360 Rooftop bar where Stephani served us rosado, birthday version :-).
Passing Templo de Debod on the way to third viewpoint, Teleferico de Madrid
Walked through Parque del Teleferico and passing Lago Casa de Campo on the way to Palacio Real and Catedral de la Almudena for viewpoint #four. Arrived too late, It closed at 14:30.
Dinner at restaurant La Cabana Argentina Mickey’s birthday gift to me 🙂
Mickey invited to cocktail bar – 1862 Dry Bar
Thursday Departure 21 September together with Patrik, Lotta, Stefan and Robert. Gedser – Rostock ferry 17:00. Playing MIG where Robert is the unbeatable champ of knowledge. After checked in at Acama Kreuzberg, where most members of the Malmö City Skaters group stayed, we went for a drink at an Ethiopian bar/restaurant close by.
The Berlin Marathon Expo is located at Station, just down the road from the hostel, opened 11:00. Got the race gear, bib, chip etc and did some shopping.
After lunch at Parlamento Degli Angeli, a few of us went for a sightseeing trip on inlines where we passed The Wall and an Oktoberfest at Alexanderplatz, among other places.
Friday evening I booked table at Schildkröte for MCS to have some Schweinehaxe. Tasted very good but was quite huge portions and lot of protein. probably enough for at least two people.
Race day. I got the pleasure to have a ride in Timo’s Mustang for some shopping. MCS lunch at Amici Amici, Scampi sallad and a glas of white wine, perfect prep.
After the traditional photo session in the courtyard at the hostel, we rolled to the starting area at Tiergarten. Another MCS group photo and deposit the bag. This year they had moved drop off location for the “luggage”.
As usual it’s great atmosphere and feeling at the start, AC/DC Hells Bells and count down. Started in group E with Stefan, Per, Sigal and Søren. The race this year was a fantastic feel good roll from start to finish, even had energy to sprint at the end. Stefan and I helped each other from start to the finish line.
Just after we finished, it started to rain. Most of the club members took public transport back to the hostel, Timo and I rolled back. It was VERY slippery and it was lucky it didn’t rain during the race.
After skate dinner at Amrit/Mirchi, very nice Indian food – Bombay mule cocktail and Sizzling plate with lamb and Tandoori chicken.
After dinner some of us went to Kosmos for after skate party and we met, among others, Bart Swings, the winner of the Inline Marathon for the last five years or so. Asked him to join on a group photo…(it’s the guy in the middle with white T-shirt).
Also had the great pleasure to meet the one and only Sebastian Baumgartner that was instructor at MCS inline camp this summer…
Looked a little bit on the runners and finally got the chans to try the famous Mustafas gemüse kebab (usally always a VERY long line) before we went home…
Thanks to all participants that makes it such a great trip 🙂
Arrived JFK – Airtrain to Jamaica – MetroCard – Took subway E to Rockefeller, changed to B “express” – Missed to get of at Columbus Sq. and ended up at 112 st. where we changed and returned to 59 st./Columbus Sq. – Walked 5 min. to 63 st. – Checked in at West Side YMCA.
Circle Line Landmark Cruise and Battery Park day. Sunshine and warm.
Walked down to Hudson River, booked the Circle Line – Landmark cruise at 11.00. Had a cup of coffee/water. Learned that one reason for long lines could be the taking of photos against a green screen for “tacky” backgrounds… – Lunch at Landmark Tavern, recommended by the guide on the boat. Nice place – Walked 47 st. with lots of small restaurants – Subway from 42nd str. to World Trade Center Station – One World Observatory – “Ground Zero” – Irish Hunger Memorial – Battery Park (Pier A, East Coast Memorial, American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial) – Wall Street – Charging Bull – Visit to a local liquor store. Mickey was told “don’t touch!!!” the bottles, the 21 year syndrome!! – Testing burger at Shake Shack on Murray Street – subway from Chamber st. “home” (59 st.).
After Centrapark drink @ the “Y”, Gin & Lemon/Lime juice (no admission and no ID required in the room, don’t tell anyone) – Walked Down 8th Avenue to Thai restaurant, Chai Thai – Times Square by night – Soft ice Dessert @ MacD
19 June, DAY #4
Brooklyn Heights day. Sunshine and warm
Subway to High Street st, Brooklyn – Walk Henry St. to Joralemon St. – Breakfast at Pier 6, a fruit bowl, $11 + coffee, same price as 4 big muffins!! …Burgers and fries cheaper… “It’s more expensive to be healthy…” – Walked along Brooklyn Heights Promenade to Brooklyn Bridge (another highlight of the trip and can be recommended) – Lunch at Pier 1, under the tent. Beer (for me), water (for Mickey, 21!!) and fries, “Alcohol consumed under the tent. ID required” – Manhattan Bridge – DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) – Jane’s Carousel – Sunday Flea Market – Brooklyn Bridge – Supreme Court – Chinatown, Mott st.- Little Italy – Pizza at Lombardi’s, first pizzeria in NYC, 1905 – Spring St. – Subway “home”.
“After walk drink”, nice gin/lemon/lime in the room – 6th, Avenue of the Americas, to Empire State Building (did you know it was built in 13 months!!) – Museum at 80th floor – Looong line to the elevator to the top at 86th floor. Walked. Clear sky with stars and full moon, TOTALLY MAGIC!!! Did several laps around the deck (another high light of the trip and can be recommended) – Walked back “home” on Broadway.
Luggage label challenge. Label machine no work, WHAT TO DO!!! “Stupid tourist who suggest a solution”… (Mickey overheard conversation between the staff…) – Smoothie at Starbucks (again) – Talked to a girl from Vice magazine about New York music: New York – by John Lennon and what to spend the last ticket on, suggestion was visit the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum – We spent over 3 hours there + at a Navy school ship + in USS Growler submarine. Very interesting visit – Testing burger at Island Burgers and Shakes – Walkabout in Hell’s Kitchen – Coffee break at Bryant Park – Time’s Square, talked to some “bus boys”, salary 20% commission – 7th st “home”
Collect luggage – Subway “A” to Herman Beach, $2.75 x 2 – Air train to JFK Terminal 1 $5 x 2! “Who said free terminal shuttle?” – Mickey liked to get some special sorts of alcohol, e.g. Tito’s Vodka, St Germain… – For some reason we managed to get “Premium Check In” and “First Class Security Line” – Flight departure was 2 hours+ late and not with a Norwegian flight but with Hi Fly, Portuguese low budget flight. No safety instructions, no information, no inflight entertainment, “nothing!!!”, they served “food”…it was NOT Norwegian standard…
I bought New York Explorer Pass ($77) with 3 tickets (x 2), that we used on Circle Lines Landmark Cruise, Empire State Observatory and Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
Thursday The trip to Berlin Inline Marathon 2015 started from Malmö at 15.30, Thursday 24 September, with Patrik as driver and Lotta, Stefan, Gisle and myself as passengers. The time of departure involved rush hour on the southern motorway to Gedser. Patrik did a very good job and manage to get “in time” to the ferry. It was probably the tightest timing I’ve tried – 4 minutes before departure at the ticket office. Should mention that Patrik found a Super Duper deal on this specific departure, SEK 130!!, total price, one way for the car and passengers.
We arrived at the Acama hostel, Kreuzberg Berlin, at 22:00. Checked in and went out to an Ethiopian bar/restaurant in the neighbourhood where some tried Banana beer and palm beer served in a calebasse bowl. Finished the evening with a late night photo walk with Stefan to the Sience museum.
Friday Some of us went “breakfast hunting”. After that Stefan found a green spot on the gps and it turned out to be a nice park called Victoria park. After a photo stroll it was time to head for Tempelhof Airport to pick up start number, chip and check out the different gear.
Lunch at a nice Italian restaurant on Bergman strasse. Photo walkabout to the hostel with Robert where we passed a super cool shoemaker, totally retro, where it already was after work drinks 🙂
The afternoon was spent with a approx 20 km photo roll about with Stefan. Rollerskates is a great way to go around Berlin. Lot’s of really good bike pathways. Also some that’s not so good 😉 .
For Friday evening dinner, Ceci recommended a Singaporian restaurant, Mirchi, that was really good. Got a doggy bag with the fantastic lamb in coconut I couldn’t finish. Left in the reception at the hostel. Perfect for breakfast 😀
Saturday The staff couldn’t find the doggy bag and I didn’t get that fantastic lamb dish for breakfast, øv 🙁
Preparing the gear for the Marathon. Lunch at the traditional Italian “around the corner”. Some of us rolled to the Marathon start.
The race this year was a total good feeling and fun trip all the way. No sore back or anything. Finished on 1.40. Impressed by Torkel who joined the pack all the way after just practice inlines 4 x 10 km before!! (bonus info: he’s been practice a lot of ice skating…)
Some of us rolled back to the hostel, with a beautiful “pre sunset”. Feeling “natural high”…
The after skate dinner was at the same place as last year, at the steak and burger restaurant The Bird, X-berg. Unfortunately the fuse for the ventilation went and we had to wait quite some time for the food in a very smokey restaurant. The staff was friendly and brought starters and shots as an excuse for keeping us waiting…
Finished the night with After Skate Disco at Kosmos. Returning back to the hostel we all decided to take the U-bahn. It was a “interesting” trip but probably not the best decision, time wise, compared to a taxi 😉
Sunday Returning home…
Thanks Malmö City Skaters and everybody else for a great weekend 😀
Sharm el SheikhThe 25th October Mickey and I returned to Jolie Ville Maritim Golf Hotel & Resort, where we stayed 2012. The resort is still nice but the reef has been a bit worn out coz of some of the tourists. The number of restaurants that serves a la carte has also decreased and the resort cater mainly for the “all inclusive” guests – buffet and drinks.
The daily routine was a couple of laps in the 300 m. long Lazy River and some snorkeling along the local reef. Tuesday and Thursday we went on a boat trip, snorkeling at different reefs at sea. Fantastic experience where we saw a vast variety of fish. Close encounter with a Murray eel and a Napoleon fish. We also saw Lion fish and Sting rays among a lot of other kind.
Wednesday we went on quad bike ride in the dessert. At the end of the tour Mickey and I was asked to leave the rest of the group -” we go faster” the guide said. And we went FASTER!! FUNNY!!
10 sunny days (26 June – 7 july) of the summer vacation was spent in southern Spain, in and around the town Benalmádenawhere we (Mickey and me) stayed in a very nice flat overlooking the sea and mountains.
The town is located 12 km west of Malaga, approx. ½ hour drive from the airport. It is divided into three separate parts:
Benalmadena Costa – the coastal strip that contains most of the resorts hotels and some apartment blocks.
Arroyo de la Miel (Honey stream)- originally a separate village and is where you will find shops, most of the resorts apartment blocks, and many Spanish bars and restaurants. The towns train station is here, it is home to Tivoli World and the cable car.
Benalmadena Pueblo – the original village located about 3 km inland and at 200 m. above sea level. The Pueblo is like the many Spanish “white villages” found in southern Spain. Narrow cobbled streets with white painted houses and many beautiful flowers on the walls. You find Copenhagen municipal hospital, Montebello, here and hear quite a lot of danish in the streets. There is a bar called Dansk bar and a restaurant Rottehullet (the rat hole)…
1. Accommodation | 2. Cable car start | 3. Eagle rock | 4. Bil-Bil Castle |
5. Parque de la Paloma | 6. Mini golf | 7. Puerto de la Marina
The accommodation was located next to a golf course. Fantastic view of sea and mountain.
A 12 min. and 2,6 km long cable car ride start from Arroyo de la Miel. It takes you to the summit of Monte Calamorro, 769 m. Fantastic views over the area. A bird show is included in the ticket. Two falconers showed some tricks with eagles and vultures. After the show we decided to hike down. According to the guide it should take approx. 2,5 hours and “the trail start 100 m. down the road to the right”. After followed the trail for some time it suddenly ended and we looked for something that looked like a trail. Ended up at a VERY steep cliff where we agreed to turn back and try descending somewhere else. Found a not so steep and high spot where we managed to climb down. Mickey tried some “pebble surfing” on the hill side :-). With lunch break and the “detour”, it took us 2 hours and 20 min. to return to the start.
Benalmadena Costa has almost 10 kilometers of beach. From quiet cove, to the family focused beaches with plenty of activities. The beaches are a mixture of man-made, golden sand and shingle. Sales men and women like to sell you sun glasses, football T-shirts, hats, watches, hair extensions, massage etc. We liked the beach at Castillia Bil-Bil. For some reason, less crowded and one day with nice waves. Paseo Maritimo, the beach walk with lot’s of bars, cafes and restaurants to the Puerto Marina, an Arabian style marina that has over one thousand moorings and also with many places to eat and drink.
Parque de la Paloma with it’s large lake, water plume, wild life running free, beautiful trees and landscaped gardens with a large cactus garden with species from all over the world.
Mini golf at Playa Mini Golf Espana where we tried to play mini golf with “normal” golf balls for, what I know, the first time.
Road trip sightseeing:
We learned that it’s a good idea to take the train from Arroyo de la Miel to visit Malaga. One objective was to visit the Museo Picasso, it turned out to be closed on Mondays. Instead we semi followed a recommended “Trail-of-sights” from the tourist office (Malaga in 8 hours): Calle Larios – Plaza de la Constitucion – the Cathedral – the Roman Theatre – the Alcazaba – HC Andersen – Plaza de la Marina – the Lighthouse…
A nice drive south west along the coast way N-340 a few km. takes you to Fuengirola that is a major tourist resort. We visited the Bioparc, a quite small and different zoo. It’s divided into four exhibition areas built to simulate the animals’ natural surroundings.
Near the Castillio Sohail one could rent a boat on the beach filled with sand for 5 euro. This is used for bbq and the very popular grilled sardines.
Inland, a bit up the mountain, 450 m.above sea level, is the small white village Mijas located. Parked the car at the entrance of the village in a big parking house for 1 euro for a day. You can take a donkey taxi or walk around the narrow, cobbled and some times steep streets. Looked at a flamenco show at the town square. Wednesdays at noon. Don’t know if it’s on every day. Other sights we checked out was the El Compas view point and the chapel with small electric “candels”, Plaza de Toros, Calle San Sebastian and the fun (and little strange) Carromato de Max – a miniature museum with a collection of paintings on pin-heads, rice corns and hair, wood carvings on tooth picks etc. E.g. a picture of Abraham Lincoln painted on a pin-head (no photography was allowed).
Further down the coast, after about 2 hour drive from Benalamádena, on the Mediterranean Motorway A-7, is Gibraltar. This 6 km2 piece of land is still Brittish tertitory with about 30.000 inhabitants. The Rock, made of limestone, raises 426 above sea level.
After driving around the very narrow streets of La Linea, looking for the border, we finally found a parking place near the frontier. “Quite a few” people preferred to drive across, loooong que. At the frontier we bought tickets to the cable car that included bus transport.
The cable car is from 1966 and takes you to the top in about 6 min. After looking at the stunning views from the top and the many monkeys we walked down, this time on a proper road.
Back in the center we walked along Main Street checking prices on electronics that we heard should be tax free and much cheaper. We didn’t think that was the case. At the coffee break, I was surprised that the staff had limited knowledge of the English language.
March 15-22 I spent in Sestriere, Italy, together with Patrik, Jesper, Casper, Bo and Martin – Team Holst. Thanks to Casper that arranged the trip through Slopetrotter.
We flew Air Berlin to Torino and SAS home from Milano. 1,5 hours transfer from Torino to Sestriere and 3 hours the other way. A “memorable” moment on Air Berlin was the free “sandwich”…
Sestriere is located at 2035 m. above sea level, 17 km from the French border. It is a part of the ski area Via Lattea (milky way) that has around 145 skiable pistes, that adds up to approx. 400 km.
Landmarks in town are the two round hotel towers that was built in the 1930’s by the FIAT family for the employees at the car factory in Torino to spend their winter holidays. It is still a popular winter resort and the population goes from the 800 inhabitants to approx 20.000 during the winter holidays. In 2006 Sestriere was a part of the winter Olympics.
We had 6 days with sun, blue sky and warm weather. First couple of hours during the day the piste was hard, “wash boardish”. The next couple of hours it was nice and soft, sometimes a bit of spring snow. Some slopes turned a bit too slushy in the afternoon.