Next destination: Paris, France

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What to do in Corfu - Ce sa faci in Corfu



How to get to Corfu - Cum sa ajungi in Corfu
We traveld to Greece by car and took the ferry from Igoumenitsa to Lefkimi, as it was closer to Messonghi where we were going to stay. It takes about 55 minutes, it's shorter than the other rides, but you have to carefully check their timetable before you get there as they are less frequent (only 7 rides/day). Here ou can find more information about getting to Corfu and also timetables.

Am calatorit in Grecia cu masina si am luat feribotul de la Igoumenitsa spre Lefkimi, deoarec era cel mai apropiat port de Messonghi unde urma sa stam noi. Dureaza cam 55 de minute si este cea mai scurta cursa, dar sa aveti grija sa verificati orarul inainte sa ajungeti acolo pentru ca pe aceasta ruta sunt mai putin frecvente (doar 7 pe zi). Aici puteti citi mai multe despre modalitatile de a ajunge in Corfu si de asemenea toate orarele.

Where we staied - Unde am stat
 Our accomodation was in Messoghi, on the Eastern part of the island.  If you're looking for cheaper accomodation, there are plenty of options on Airbnb. If you're new to the site, you can sign up through my link and get an extra $35 discount for your next trip. Also, they give me $20, so everybody wins.
From the eastern part of the island you can see Albania. If you look carefully at my pictures, you can slightly see the shape of the mountains in the background.

Cazarea noastra a fost in Messonghi, pe partea de est a insulei. Daca sunteti in cautarea unei cazari mai ieftine, aveti o gramada de variante pe Airbnb. Daca nu aveti inca un cont pe site, va puteti inregistra prin linkul meu aici si primiti 100 de lei reducere la prima calatorie. De asemenea, voi primi si eu 50 de lei credit, asa ca toata lumea castiga. 
De pe partea de est a insulei se poate vedea Albania. Daca va uitati cu atentie in pozele de mai joi, puteti vedea pe fundal conturul muntilor.

Where to eat - Unde sa mananci
There is no food better than that cooked by the locals, in the mountain villages. We heard about The Village Taverna by chance, but it was the best culinar experience we could have chosen. We came back there almost every evening to taste something new and everything was great. From Messonghi, there is only a 30 minutes walk to the old village of Moraitika. 
This restaurant is a family business they started in 1981. The wife cooks, the husband comes to speak with you and recommend the food and the children help with the serving. They don't have menus because they don't need them. Nikos comes to the table and after a few minutes of talking to you he makes an idea about what you like. You tell him if you prefer chicken, lamb ot anything else and he knows what to bring you. Every night when we went there everyone had a different main dish on the table and everyone loved what they ate. If I were to give the restaurant a mark, it would be 10/10. 

Nu exista mancare mai buna decat cea gatita de localnici, in satele de munte. Am auzit despre The Village Taverna din intamplare si a fost cea mai buna experienta culinara. Ne-am intors acolo aproape in fiecare seara pentru a gusta ceva nou si totul a fost delicios. Din Messonghi pana aici e o plimbare de 30 de minute pe jos. 
Acest restaurant e o afacere de familie care a inceput in 1981. Sotia e bucatareasa, sotul vine la masa in intampinare si va recomanda ce sa mancati, iar copiii lor servesc la mese. Nu au meniuri deoarece nu au nevoie de ele. Nikos vine la masa si povesteste cateva minute cu voi, isi face o idee despre ce v-ar placea sa mancati. Ii spuneti daca preferati pui, miel sau orice altceva, iar el stie exact ce sa va aduca. In fiecare seara, fiecare a avut un fel diferit de mancare si tuturor le-a placut ce au mancat. Daca ar trebui sa ii dau acestui restaurant o nota, aceasta ar fi 10/10.

There is one special appetizer they brought us the first evening and asked for it every time we went there because it's A-MA-ZING! I don't know what it's called, but they bring you a home made toast and they prepare it in front of you: they slice some hot, melting cheese and they add some tomato sauce on the top. My mouth is already watering! Definitely ask for this one if you go there. 

In prima seara ne-au adus un aperitiv special, pe care l-am cerut de fiecare data cand ne-am intors acolo deoarece e absolut MI-NU-NAT! Nu stiu cum se numeste, dar ne-au adus la masa o paine prajita de casa pe care au preparat-o in fata noastra: au taiat o bucata de branza fierbinte, care se topea si ne-au pus peste un sos de rosii. Deja salivez! Cereti neaparat asta daca ajungeti acolo.


Kerkyra (Corfu Town)
The capital of the island offers plenty of opportunities. You can enjoy a walk on the Esplanada, the marble pedestrian area where in the past only aristocrats were allowed to walk. Near the port you can see the Old Fortress, a fascinating historical place. We didn't have the time to visit inside the walls, but the entrace is allowed. Don't forget to get lost on the small streets in the old town. The Greek atmosphere is veritable between the coloured buildings, little shops and terraces.

Capitala insulei ne ofera o multime de oportunitati. Va puteti bucura de o plimbare pe Esplanada, o zona pietonala din marmura unde in trecut aveau voie sa mearga doar aristocratii. Langa port gasiti Cetatea veche, un loc istoric fascinant. Noi nu am avut timp sa mergem in ineriorul zidurilor, dar intrarea e permisa. Pierdeti-va pe micile stradute din orasul vechi. Atmosfera greceasca e una veritabila printre cladirile colorate, micile magazine si terase.
Esplanada

Old Fortress
Old town

We also took a cold, refreshing break from walking in the sun and got a fish pedicure at the Fish Spa. It was my first experience of this kind and it was definitely unique. You put your feet in an aquarium full of small fish that eat your dead skin and leave your feet smoother. You feel a tickle at the begining but you get used to it. The results are less obvious if you do this only one time, but it's nice to try.  

La un moment dat, am luat o pauza bine meritata de la plimbarea prin caldura de afara si am fost la Fish Spa pentru o pedichiura cu pestisori. A fost prima mea experienta de acest tip si a fost cu siguranta ceva aparte. Intrati cu picioarele inr-un acvariu plin de pestisori care vor manca pielea moarta si va vor lasa picioarele mai fine. La inceput, veti ca va gadila picioarele , dar va obisnuiti cu senzatia. Rezultatele nu sunt spectaculoase dupa o singura sedinta, dar e ceva interesant de incercat.

Kaiser's Throne
It's in top of a hill from where you can see the whole island and the view is spectacular. A great spot for taking pictures. The access is from Pelekas. You leave your car in a parking and there is a short walk to the spot. There is also a bar near the place where you can sit for a refresing drink. 

Este in varful unui deal de unde puteti admira panorama incantatoare a intregii insule. Este un loc numai bun de facut poze. Accesul este din Pelekas. Masina trebuie lasata intr-o parcare, iar pana la acest loc este o plimbare scurta. De asemenea, este un bar in apropiere unde va puteti racori. 

Kanoni
My number 1 favourite place - it's a spot from where you can watch an amazing sunset by the sea but also planes landing and lifting from Capodistria's airport runways, which are extremely close. There is a very beautiful bar with a terrace on the top of the hill from where you can admire the whole thing, but you can also go down for taking amazing pictures with the planes that seem to be flying just a few meters above you. Actually, there is much more than a few meters, but it's impressive as the planes are so big and so close. We went there in the evening and there was a plane every 15-30 minutes, so it's impossible not to catch one. Be sure not to miss this experience if you travel to Corfu.

Locul meu preferat de pe aceasta insula - un loc de unde puteti privi un apus superb in mare, dar si avioanele care aterizeaza si decoleaza de pe pistele aeroportului Capodistria, care este foarte aproape. Aici este un bar dragut cu o terasa pe varful dealului, de unde puteti admira tot spectacolul, dar puteti si sa coborati pentru niste poze foarte reusite cu avioanele care par ca zboara doar cativa metri deasupra voastra. De fapt, e o distanta mult mai mare de cativa metri, dar e impresionant pentru ca avianele sunt atat de mari si atat de aproape. Ne-am dus acolo seara si am vazut cate un avion la fiecare 15-30 de minute, deci e imposibil sa nu prindeti unul. Nu ratati aceasta experienta incredibila din Corfu.

Sidari
A natural, cristal clear pool in which the most curageous divers can jump from the cliffs. There is also a mud beach there.

O piscina naturala, cu apa limpede, unde cei mai curajosi dintre voi pot sari de pe stanci. Tot aici este si o plaja cu namol.

One day cruise - Croaziera de o zi
We went on a boat trip with Capitan Homers from Messonghi. They have a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor and I've only read good opinions about their tours. They offered us drinks and souvlaki on the boat, but also a nice Greek atmosphere. They took us to Parga, Blue Lagoon and Botanical garden. I simply loved the last two places.

Am mers intr-o excursie cu vaporasul prin agentia Capitan Homers din Messonghi. Aceasta agentie a primit un Certificat de Excelenta de la trip advisor si am citit numai opinii pozitive despre excursiile lor. Pe vapor, ne-au oferit bauturi si souvlaki, dar si o atmosfera greceasca pe cinste. Ne-au dus la Parga, Laguna albastra si Gradina Botanica. Ultimele doua a fost favoritele mele.

 Swimming in the Blue Lagoon is an amazing thing to do. The water is crystal clear and you can see fish swimming next to you. It's a great place for snorkeling, though you don't necesarily need goggles to see the fish under water. We stopped there and had enough time to swim.

Sa inoti in Laguna albastra e ceva inedit. Apa e limpede ca si cristalul si poti vedea pestisori inotand langa tine. E un loc bun pentru snorkeling, desi nu aveti neaparat nevoie de ochelari pentru a vedea sub apa. Am facut o oprire aici si am avut timp sa inotam. 

On our way back, we stopped in a beautiful botanical garden. It was full of flowers, palm trees, bananna trees, hammoks, statuettes. There is also the possibility to swim in the sea. I think I liked this place the most in the cruise day as it was something different and refreshing.

Pe drumul inapoi spre Messonghi, ne-am oprit la o gradina botanica sperba. Era plina de flori, palmieri, bananieri, hamace si statuiete. Aici aveti si posibilitatea de a inota in mare. Cred ca acest loc mi-a placut cel mai mult in ziua croazierei deoarece a fost ceva diferit si racoros. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Places not to miss in Thassos - Locuri pe care sa nu le ratezi in Thassos

Hi,
In this article I will talk about places that you shouldn't miss in Thassos, as well as things I liked and disliked about my trip there. The first thing you should know is that Thassos isn't a very big island, but you will need a car to be able to explore all of its beauties. So if you travel by plane, renting a car is the first thing you should put on the to-do list.
We went there by car and had to take the ferryboat to get to the island. We took the ferry from Keramoti and in about 40 minutes we arrived on the island. You will find more information about the routes and schedules here. Very soon after we left the shore, hundreds of seagulls appeared above us. They enchanted us with a beautiful show and, at the end, they took their rewards from the passengers who gave them bread and biscuits. It was lovely, but the magic was just about to begin. Little did we know how many more beautiful thing were waiting for us on the island.

Buna, 
In acest articol va voi prezenta cateva locuri pe care nu trebuie sa le ratati in Thassos si va voi spune ce mi-a placut si ce nu mi-a placut acolo. Primul lucru care trebuie mentionat este ca Thassos nu este o insula mare, dar veti avea nevoie de o masina pentru a putea explora toate frumusetile ei. Daca mergeti cu avionul, va trebui neaparat sa inchiriati o masina. 
Noi ne-am dus cu masina si am luat feribotul din Keramoti spre insula (dureaza cam 40 de minute). Aici puteti gasi mai multe informatii despre rutele disponibile si orarul lor. In putin timp dupa ce am parasit portul, sute de pescarusi si-au facut aparitia deasupra noastra. Ne-au incantat cu un spectacol superb si la sfarsit au fost recompensati de oamenii de pe bord care le dadeau paine si biscuiti. A fost superb, iar magia abia acum incepea. Pe atunci nu aveam nicio idee cate surprize frumoase urmau sa ne astepte pe insula.
 

 As I said, it would be a pity not to explore the island by car, as there are so many beautiful beaches. Don't even think about spending your whole stay on the same beach, because all of them are different and all of them are full of surprises.
Day 1: we arrived in the afternoon, so after we checked in at our hotel, we decided to spend the rest of the day at Pefkari beach, the one that was the closest to our accomodation. The sand is really soft and there are no words to describe the delicate particles that were comforting my feet. If you have been to Greece before, you may already know that the sand is rather rough on most beaches, but it is not the case in Thassos.

Dupa cum am spus, ar fi pacat sa nu explorati insula cu masina, deoarece sunt o gramada de plaje frumoase. Nici sa nu va ganditi sa petreceti intregul sejur la o singura plaja, pentru ca toate sunt diferite si toate sunt pline de frumuseti. 
Ziua 1: am ajuns dupamasa, iar dupa ce ne-am cazat, am decis ca vom petrece restul zilei la plaja Pefkari, cea care era cel mai aproape de cazarea noastra. Nisipul este foarte fin si nu as putea descrie in cuvinte cum particulele delicate ale acestuia imi mangaiau picioarele. Daca ati mai fost in Grecia pana acum, probabil ca stiti deja ca nisipul este mai dur pe majoritatea plajelor, dar nu si in Thassos.

The moment I knew for sure that this trip is going to be magical was when I saw a couple getting married by the sea. It was indeed a great place to unite their destinies: the sunset was perfect, the wind was blowing just a little bit, the atmosphere was romantic. People came near them and watched the moment and everyone was rewarded with a sweet bag as a thank you for being with them in the most special moment of their lives.

Momentul in care am realizat ca aceasta excursia urma sa fie magica a fost atunci cand am vazut un cuplu care se casatorea pe plaja. Era intr-adevar un loc perfect pentru a-si uni destinele: apusul era superb, vantul sufla doar un pic, atmosfera era romantica. Oamenii au inceput sa se adune in jurul lor si urmareau momentul de pe margine. La sfarsit, toti am primit niste pungi cu bomboane ca o multumire pentru ca am fost alaturi de ei in acel moment special.
video

I think the top attraction of the island is Giola - the mermaids' gulf. It is also in Top 14 natural pools in the world on TripAdvisor. If you are the courageous type, you can jump in it from the cliff. Swimming in it feels great, the water is cristal clear and you surely feel like a mermaid.

Cred ca principala atractie a insulei este Giola - golful sirenelor.  Acest loc este de asemenea inclus in Top 14 piscine naturale din lume pe TripAdvisor. Daca sunteti mai curajosi, puteti sari in golf direct de pe stanca. E minunat sa inoti aici, apa este transparenta ca si cristalul si cu siguranta te vei simti pentru cateva clipe ca o sirena. 



 Another attraction that impressed me was the stone horoscope. You can find in on your way to Metalia beach. There are 12 stones placed in a circle, each representing one of the signs. You can make a stop here and take pictures with your stone, but also enjoy the beautiful view of the sea from the top.

Alta atractie care m-a impresionat a fost horoscopul de piatra. Il puteti gasi in drum spre plaja Metalia. Sunt 12 pietre mari amplasate intr-un cerc, fiecare reprezentant o zodie. Va puteti opri aici pentru a va fotografia cu piatra voastra si pentru a va bucura de peisajul superb cu marea vazuta de sus.

Limenas is the capital and also the most important harbour that connects the island to the continent. The coloured buildings built on the hill make you think about the italian coast. The beach is not very big but you can enjoy tasty Greek dishes on the taverns with the view.

Limenas este capitala si de asemenea cel mai important port ce uneste insula si continentul. Cladirile colorate construite pe dealuri va vor duce cu gandul la coasta Italiei. Plaja nu este foarte mare aici, dar va puteti delecta cu mancaruri grecesti gustoase la tavernele cu aceasta priveliste.

 You can take a day off from tanning and visit the villages in the mountains. You won't find many locals, but their stone houses will impress you. You will find out that Thassos is an island where the sea and the mountin merge beautifully into something unique. Their streets are really tight and there are many places where there is space for only one car, although it is a two-way road. You will reach the top wondering how they managed to build a community there in the first place, as it is so high and so tight. You will have to park your car and visit the village by foot. The following pictures are from Kastro.

Puteti face o pauza de la plaja intr-o zi si sa vizitati oraselele din munti. Nu veti gasi foarte multi localnici pe acolo, dar casele lor va vor impresiona. Veti descoperi ca Thassos este o insula unde marea si muntele se contopesc perfect. Stradutele lor sunt foarte inguste si sunt o gramada de locuri unde este loc pentru o singura masina, desi este un drum cu doua sensuri. Veti ajunge in varf intrebandu-va cum au reusit sa construiasca o intreaga comunitate acolo, atat de sus si atat de ingramadit. Va trebui sa lasati masina intr-o parcare si sa vizitati orasul pe jos. Urmatoarele poze sunt din Kastro


 Another nice village is Kazaviti. We arrived there in the evening and caught a great sunset among the crowded houses. We had dinner at a local tavern, which was a great idea because the cuisine up in the villages is genuine - it's made by the locals and it tastes amazing.

Alt sat dragut este Kazaviti. Noi am ajuns acolo seara si am prins un apus superb pe care l-am vazut printre casele inghesuite. Am luat cina la o taverna de acolo, o idee foarte buna deoarece mancarea de sus din sate e autentica - e facuta de localnici si are un gust minunat. 

Golden beach is know as the most beautiful beach in Thassos. From there, you can go up in Panagia village, known for their roasted chicken, lamb and pork. That's how we did every day, we went to the beach in the morning and at noon, when the sun was too hot, we would go up in the mountains - the food is always tastier there. After lunch, we would take a walk in the village and be amazed by their beautiful hoses and then go back to the beach and enjoy the rest of the day by the sea.

Golden beach este cunoscuta ca si cea mai frumoasa plaja din Thassos. De acolo, puteti urca in Panagia, un sat cunoscut pentru puiul, mielul si porcul rotisat pe care il servesc. Noi am facut asa in fiecare zi: mergeam dimineata la plaja, iar la pranz, cand soarele era prea puternic, urcam in munti, unde mancarea e mereu mai gustoasa. Dupa pranz, faceam o plimbare prin sat si ramaneam uimiti de casele lor frumoase. Apoi mergeam inapoi pe plaja si petreceam restul zile langa apa. 


I know that in the begining of this article I told you that there are many beaches and you should go to a different one each day, but I went to this one twice because I simply couldn't get enough. I enjoyed my time so much there that I forgot to take more pictures of it, so I only have these ones. This beach is called La Scala beach and it's different from others because it is much more elegant. The atmosphere is different, in the background you have great italian music and everything is so fancy, from the sunbeds and umbrellas to the glasses the frappe is served in. If you want to feel the atmosphere, just listen to Alberto Fortis - Il duomo di notte -a song I heard there- and imagine you are in your sunbed with a good book, sipping an ice cold frappe.

Stiu ca la inceputul articolului v-am spus ca sunt multe plaje frumoase si ca puteti merge la alta in fiecare zi, dar eu am fost la aceasta de doua ori pentru ca pur si simplu nu m-am putut satura. Mi-a placut atat de mult acolo incat am si uitat sa fac mai multe poze, deci le am doar pe acestea. Aceasta este La Scala beach si este diferita de celelalte pentru ca este mult mai eleganta. Atmosfera e diferita, pe fundal e muzica italiana si totul este foarte extravagant, de la sezlonguri si umbrele pana la paharele in care este servit frappeul. Daca doriti sa intrati pentru cateva clipe in acea atmosfera, ascultati Alberto Fortis - Il duomo di notte - o melodie pe care am auzit-o acolo - si imaginati-va ca sunteti pe sezlong cu o carte buna, sorbind un frappe rece ca gheata.

Of course no trip to Greece is complete without a Greek night, one of those nights with plenty of their food and a little show made by the locals. We went to Taverna Avgustos in Theologos, a place very much advertised everywhere on the island. It was ok, but it wasn't great. I've been to other Greek nights in other parts of Greece that were much better, but if you've never been to a Greek night before, it's definitely worth going. If you have been, you'll be a little disappointed - the food is good but not great and the atmosphere could have been just a little better, all in all, the ratio between cost and quality is not quite ballanced.   

Cu siguranta ca nicio excursie in Grecia nu e completa fara o seara greceasca, una din acele seri cu multa mancare si putin spectacol facut de localnici. Am fost la  Taverna Avgustos din Theologos, un loc caruia i se facea foarte multa reclama peste tot pe insula. A fost ok, dar nu minunat. Am fost la alte seri grecesti mult mai reusite in alte parti ale Greciei, dar daca nu ati fost niciodata la asa ceva, merita sa vedeti cum e. Daca ati mai fost, veti ramane putin dezamagiti -  mancarea e buna, dar nu minunata, iar atmosfera putea fi ceva mai mult. Raportul calitate-pret nu este tocmai echilibrat aici.  

A little more about the food - what I reccomend you to eat if you go anywhere in Greece: anything with tzatziki! You will never again taste such good tzatziki like in its mother country. And also the big plates of fresh fish and sea food. There are plenty of taverns by the beach so it's very likely that you'll have a view anywhere you decide to stop and eat.

Inca putin despre mancare - ce va recomand sa mancati daca mergeti oriunde in Grecia: orice cu tzatziki. Niciodata nu veti mai gusta tzatziki atat de bun ca in tara lui. Si desigur platourile mari cu peste si fructe de mare proaspete. Sunt o gramada de taverne pe faleza, deci este foarte probabil ca oriunde veti manca veti avea si o priveliste superba.

And now, the last thing worth mentioning - their huge orchards of olive trees that are literally everywhere. It doesn't matter where you are driving to, on one side you'll see the sea and on the other, the ochards. The trees are really impressive because of their massive trunks. Most of them are cultivated not for the fruits, but for their wood. If you think you'll be able to taste the olives directly from their home, I'll have to destroy your hopes. If you travel in the summer, this will not be possible, as olives aren't mature yet. They're only good to eat and harvest in the winter.

Ultimul lucru pe care vreau sa il mentionez - livezile mari de maslini care sunt absolut peste tot. Nu conteaza inspre ce va indreptati, mereu pe sosea veti avea pe o parte marea si pe cealalta livezile. Pomii sunt impresionanti din cauza trunchiurilor lor masive. Majoritatea sunt cultivati pentru lemn si nu pentru fructe. Daca va imaginati ca o sa gustati masline direct de la ele de acasa, va trebui sa va spulber aceste vise. Daca veti calatori vara, acest lucru nu va fi posibil pentru ca inca nu sunt coapte. Ele se pot culege si manca doar iarna.  

In conclusion, I have to say that Thassos is the most beautiful Greek island from all that I visited until now and it impressed me the most. Somhow, most Greek island are similar to eachother, but Thassos has something that will make you remember it forever. Still, there is a possibility that Santorini will surclass it, but I've never been there so I can't tell yet.

In concluzie, trebuie sa spun ca Thassos este cea mai frumoasa insula greceasca pe care am vizitat-o pana acum si care m-a impresionat cel mai mult. Oarecum, insulele grecesti sunt toate la fel, dar Thassos are ceva ce te face sa ti-o amintesti pentru totdeauna. Totusi, este o posibilitate ca Santorini sa o surclaseze, dar inca nu am fost acolo asa ca nu ma pot pronunta.