Crete Experience (part 1): Why Crete?

I have to confess, when my husband suggested that we go to Crete, I had other ideas. Johnny has never been to the Cyclades: Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, Andros, Syros… and these are the islands Greece is famous for.

He had been to Greece around 4 times, and I figured he’d start asking me if the white houses with the blue windows and doors were a myth or not.

I wanted him to experience that perfect white and candid blue. Everyone in the world wants to. And hey, we could probably spot a Hollywood celebrity there (Leo DiCaprio and Gerard Battler were just there)

My husband then said the following magic words which made me forget all about Gerard battler abs, (he probably lost since the movie 300 anyway): “but the food is excellent in Crete.”

Each traveler interprets vacation time differently. For some, vacation is the time to unwind in a peaceful place probably by the beach. To have lazy morning and lazy afternoons, that would make up for the hustle and bustle of everyday life. For others, vacation time is one huge party. It is the opportunity when you can start getting drunk at 3pm all the way to early morning. Mykonos is a popular destination for party-lovers. I have friends who love to absorb the energy, the vibe of it all. I have other friends who travel solely for the shopping experience. Show them a center filled with things they cannot usually get from home and they are in heaven.

Johnny and me love to travel so that we can eat… No, I am joking. We take our vacation very seriously. It is the European way after all to live life awaiting the next vacation time. We both lived in Europe at one point, by the way. He lived in France, where he probably learned all that careful planning and I lived in Greece where I did not learn any planning whatsoever. I just learned to love beautiful Greece. Anyway, we have a checklist, whenever we are discussing a new vacation location. They have to have all the below:

1)  historic significance, must-see museums, or important excavations;

2) breath-taking scenery, jaw-opening architecture, paradise beaches;

3) and yes, I am not going to lie, we purposely choose locations that are famous for amazing food.

Crete has the most important excavation of all of Europe, the earliest European settlement, at Knossos and with Crete’s strategic location, the Minoan settlements are only the beginning. You can visit Venetian castles, turned Ottoman strongholds. You can visit monasteries that have played critical roles during the Greek revolt against the Ottoman empire, or during the resistance in World War II.

History, check!

When we looked at images of the natural beauty of Crete,we were thunderstruck. So to see, so little time. And lets not mention the beautiful beaches like Balos and Elafonisi… I can’t even describe how ignorant I felt about Crete. I had no idea Crete had such beautiful beaches. I was ashamed to call myself Greek…

Paradise location, check!

Last, but certainly not least is the culinary experience. Does Crete really have great food and how did Johnny know? Well during our honeymoon in Corfu there was a Cretan carnival, and yes there was glorious food everywhere. So with the third check for yummy-yum-yum food, we had our bags packed, our tickets bought, our passports in hand and ready to go to our first Cretan town, Hania!



This world is full of killers.


A shot. Metal. Destruction. Near. Wake UP!

The tin bucket in my cell was shot. It took me a few seconds to understand that.

It made an awful sound. My head is ringing. It was loud enough to resurrect me from a passed out mode.

Two men are watching.

The first man has a big mustache. He thinks scaring me was very funny and pulls in a second man who is holding a recording device, a camera, closer.

To have a better frame when he shoots you next?

I can only open my eyes better now, but I can’t see their faces clearly. It’s the sun behind them. I can’t tell who he is, yet he seems so familiar. I recognize who the second man is from his voice.

Read more here 



A new updated has been published on Stella Diaries.

Below is an excerpt:

“It is banned now, but it wasn’t then. Looking back, I must have been terrified, wanting to be with my parents, but then Chief told me that I was the ideal candidate of the Eraser application.

She was old when I saw her again, had changed her name, but I could see she was still as feisty as ever

She explained to me the other children who would be subjected to memory alternation, will always be at a disadvantage, that there will always be someone in their life who knows they have been that fateful day. They would always be at risk of all of the memories coming back. That was one of the drawbacks of The Erase, she revealed, but in my case, no one knew except me.”

Stella Diaries 8:HEAT AND HELLFIRE

I decided to update “Stella Diaries” twice a week from now one. Next week it will be Tuesday and Friday.

Greferendum: Heroes fight like Greeks


In my weekly updated story Stella Diaries, I have Stella say multiple times that she doesn’t understand much about politics, well it will not come as a surprise, but this is because I don’t much understand politics.

I understand situations; I understand people and countries under crises. I understand frustration, unemployment, and the feeling of being in debt.

I usually stay silent about global events whether sad or festive, because I believe that no matter how much I read about any particular event I will never have enough knowledge to add any good insight. I feel if I can’t know everything, and all the side of any story, I’d rather stay silent. They are enough people filling the world with noise.


Today, I have decided to make a little noise myself about Greece’s referendum.

I don’t know how Greece will do after either result and for once, I am at peace with myself about this because it seems no one really knows either. Having said that, I strongly do lean towards one side more than the other and if I was in Greece I would have voted and prayed that my side would win. I am not going to reveal what I would have voted, though.

I have spoken about the things I don’t know or speak of, now let me talk about the things I do know of.

I know Greece is brave, I know that today’s referendum has resurrected  dormant Democracy.

Today the people of Greece, or should I say Hellenes, have taken back what’s rightfully theirs, the power to decide their own destinies. Today’s vote isn’t remotely  something insignificant; it decides their way of life for the near and possibly far future.

I am not naive. I know that the referendum isn’t done just for the sake of performing a truly democratic practice. It could serve some hidden political agenda. Still, the prime minister is not only brave but, I believe, performs a service to the Greek people, regardless their side.

On Monday, no matter the results the people will have taken part in deciding Greece’s path for better or worse and no one can deny how significant this is. It is a day to be immortalised in Greek history books.

The people of Greece are not united in their stand about Grexit, the Euro, the present government and that’s OK. They can’t all be. Being of the same beliefs, is not what democracy is about. It is about mattering. It is about existing. Taking a stand. Being a voice.

I love Greece as I would love a person. Its people are a passionate bunch with the biggest of hearts. They are brave, fiesty, outspoken, and kind. I would not see them kneel.

It would be a tragedy.

Not because of their past, yes it is great, because of their present as well. Not because of their sun, because of their warmth, their welcoming eyes, because they use the word paidia (kids) for people they like regardless of age. This is why I am proud to be a Hellene.

Stay strong Hellenes. Yes you are still strong regardless of the crisis. You have proved this today.

“Greeks don’t fight like heroes, heroes fight like Greeks” Wiston Churchill

Stella Diaries 5: SUMMER CAMP

No more crashing websites, hopefully, and update should be prompt from now on.

The new update is up.


That horrible machine

Everything hurts, but at least they have left me alone

with my memories

There are many things about the summer I was twelve that I don’t remember, and it is partly because it has so been many years ago.

I remember I was the youngest one at the GA Force camp; I was also a late bloomer. Most campers either ignored me, or –worst still– made fun of me.

Like for not having to wear a bra yet

Catherine was one of the people who made fun of me. I only remember her first name because not too long ago I recognized a photo of her in the news.

She was among the first victims of the “Force Catharsis”  

To her executioners it did not matter that she had never joined the Force. The camp was the only thing she participated in that was remotely linked to the Force.

New Stella Diaries Update: 4

There is a new update for those of you following up on the series. below is an excerpt:

“Can’t we all just get along? “

I manage to say as they drag me away from my- would- have-been executioner who is still squealing in pain.

I hope it was a live broadcast

My captors must have used up all their profane vocabulary  and energy in beating me up by now, do not reply. They do not even tell me to shut up.

If they will just drag me to my cell without a bullet in my brains, I’ll be surprised. They still don’t give a clue. I suppose there are so many times you can curse and tell someone they’re gonna die, before it loses its impact.