FASHION | Accessorize Yourself in Berlin

One of the coolest shops I have ever seen while shopping was an independent jeweller in Berlin. My friend had heard of them and finding the store was on our must-do list while we were there.

What made it such a must-do? They make blown glass pendants with dried dandelions inside. Super. Cool.

It was a bit difficult to find, which I’m sure was only due to our lack of familiarity with Berlin, and zero knowledge of German, but we found the store and thus began the hour long process of deciding which piece of jewellery to purchase.

I opted for a wrap watch with a compass charm, and a globe charm, very fitting of my vagabonda lifestyle. My friend opted for a necklace with a dandelion charm (the main reason we were in search of this store in the first place).

Sadly, in our haste to pack up our lives in the wee hours of the morning in Berlin and not wake our bunkmates, my friend left her necklace somewhere in our hostel room. Not to fear, Villa Sorgenfrei also sells online so she could (and did) replace her necklace. My watch was a big part of my life until one day, after constantly carrying my bag around on my elbow and likely catching my watch on it every time, I realized that the compass charm had fallen off. The watch lost its charm (no pun intended!) for me so I’ve stopped wearing it. I wanted to replace it with a visit in person, but that’s likely another couple of years away!

I strongly recommend that you go, and also have a peek in their studio next door to watch the magic happen!

If you don’t have a trip planned at the moment, then go check out their Instagram in the meantime for some eye candy. This is one of those boring non-photo posts, because I simply didn’t take a picture of my beloved watch.

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FLIGHTS | Naxos = Wine and George (Part 2)

I know I left you hanging on my last post with promises about our wine cost negotiations. Well, after refreshing your browsers hour after hour, the moment has arrived. Today you will learn why a smile, and a promise of drinking a lot of wine, can be financially beneficial.

Canadian girls: Oh, look! Retsina is only 3.50 euro per half litre. But a half litre isn’t very much. I wonder if we order a litre if they’ll give it to us for 6 euro.

Server: What can I get you?

Canadian girls: We will have a lot of food (I can’t remember specifics, sorry.) And we will have two half litres of retsina, but we will only pay 3 euro for each half litre. Ok?

Server: … … … … Ok.

Canadian girls: Great! We will have three litres total of retsina.

We came across the restaurant after a day of sailing with George*.¬†George’s wife lured us in one afternoon with the promise of a great day of sailing on a small boat and seeing the Greek islands. She was adorable, and after some negotiations to make sure we paid a student rate, we agreed. When we showed up that morning we realized that George’s lovely wife would not be joining us. George was hilarious, and if you aren’t offended easily then I would probably recommend spending a day sailing with him. He will likely insult you, unless you are a female in which case he will 100% insult you, at least five times. He can’t insult you just once, because females never listen so you won’t even hear the first few insults.

Anyway, back to how we came across this restaurant. After our day of sailing, George recommended that we go to a restaurant just off the water and tell them that George sent us to get a free appetizer. Interesting fact of the day: the words “it’s that white building there – tell them George sent you” can apply to every situation in Greece. There are no non-white buildings, and no one not named George. I’m 87% sure I could travel the entire country telling people that George sent me and get some kind of nod of recognition at each place.

*Sailing George is not Hotel George. I told you there were a lot of them!

Sailing wasn’t all bad. We did get some great pictures, and you can’t photograph an insult so I’ve almost forgotten how offended I should be by George. Some more retsina will help, I’m sure.

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FLIGHTS | Naxos = Wine (Part 1)

This post is dedicated to my all-time favourite island. That’s saying a lot, seeing as I come from one of the most beautiful islands in the world (Vancouver Island). Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Naxos, Greece.

A couple of summers ago, as our two years of living in Europe were coming to an end, a friend and I made a travel to-do list. Greece was on top, but we weren’t much more specific in terms of where we wanted to go. In our research of the islands, we came across the island of Naxos. What’s so special about Naxos? Dionysus, the Greek god of WINE, came from Naxos. That’s enough reason right there to plan a visit.

After flying in to Athens, we set off on a large ferry the next day. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a lovely man name George (the first of many) who took us to our accommodations. He gave us the quick low down on the island, and we dropped off our bags and went off in search of beaches. The below three came out on top:

Agios Georgios: semi-organized, right in town, great waves, and overall a great beach.

Plaka beach: we had to take a bus to get here, but man am I glad we did. We got off the bus, climbed over the sand dune, and were greeted with a long stretch of white sand and blue water. And a naked old man. Warning: this beach is clothing optional! We settled in to the first chairs we came across, and a couple of hours later a young Greek boy came around asking for payment for the day. I can’t recall how much it was, but it was definitely a bargain. Go. To. This. Beach.

Villa Marandi beach: one day we set off in search of a new beach on foot. We continued south west beyond Agios Georgios, past Laguna which is popular for kite surfing, and eventually we had to get back on to the main road. After a short walk on the main road, we wandered down a side street that led towards an almost abandoned beach, with a handful of chairs. We made ourselves at home on the empty chairs and suffered through yet another amazing beach day. Bonus, on our walk back to town (hot and exhausted from beaching), we hitchhiked and were actually picked up but a lovely older Canadian couple!!

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Much more to come on Naxos this week, including our sailing adventure with George (who else), and that time we negotiated the price of our retsina based on how much we committed to drinking.