Monday, July 28, 2014
We decided that this Summer we would go on a family holiday - sort of a mini reunion since we are spread out around the world (Germany, Australia and Ireland). It took some planning to settle on somewhere but we felt Greece would have something for everyone - beach, culture, activities. And we were right.
After my recent stint in hospital I really needed a holiday! Unfortunately the GerMann and I had to miss the original flight and travel over a few days later, but we made it there in the end and had a lovely time. It was also really great to see my family again.
There were no direct flights from any airports near us to Kalamata, so we had get the train to Düsseldorf airport. There had been really bad storms there the previous day and most of the trains were cancelled so we had a very stressful day trying to make it to the airport in time for our flight! But we eventually made it to the resort. We stayed in a lovely hotel beside the beach which also offered lots of activities - sailing, windsurfing, tennis, cycling, gym and fitness classes. I spent most of my time relaxing by the pool though and catching up on my reading - pure bliss!
We ate very well on the holiday! I loved the greek salad in particular, but some other Greek dishes I tried and enjoyed were Moussaka (quite similar to shepherd's pie, made with lamb mince and potatoes) and Pastitsio (reminded me of lasagne but without the tomato sauce). What seemed to happen to us a lot though was we would give our order to the waiter only to be told that they only had a few menu dishes available that day. No idea why they couldn't have told us that before we had spent several minutes perusing the menu and deciding what to order?!
We rented a car one day and went to Ancient Messene to see the ruins. It was definitely worth the trip, even though there wasn't much shade from the hot Greek midday sun! Sometimes I think it's a shame that they don't reconstruct more of the ancient ruins so you don't have to always use your imagination to picture how it used to look back in the day.
The people in Greece were friendly and the beaches were lovely. In the evenings we would get a bus or a taxi to some of the nearby towns and explore. A lot of places did seem quite run down and you could tell the recession has hit Greece hard. All in all, it was a great trip and I wouldn't hesitate to go back to again someday - maybe to the islands next time.
Have you been to Greece? Apparently it can also be a fun honeymoon destination.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
I'm delighted to have made it onto the longlist for the diaspora category (Irish bloggers living abroad) in this year's Irish blog awards. Blogging is a very time-consuming but thoroughly enjoyable hobby! In fact I often get ideas for new topics and start writing them and have tons of partially written drafts but don't get around to actually finishing, editing and publishing them. But I am trying to make the effort to blog more often and give an insight into my expat life.
I also love reading and following other people's blogs (there are so many great ones out there!) in all sorts of various categories (travel, interior design, style, beauty, parent, cooking, technology and just personal everyday life ones). Feedly and bloglovin are both great ways of keeping up with blogs you like. You just find one you like the look of and add it to your account and then any new posts will show up in your news feed.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Unless you live under a rock, you probably heard that Germany won the World cup on Sunday for the first time since 1990. The GerMann remembers that year well. As do I since that's the last time Ireland even qualified. I would never have thought when I watched those matches as an 8 year old that I would go on to marry a German man and emigrate to Germany!
Before I continue I obviously have to say something about the Brazil vrs Germany game! We watched it at home - ok I was half watching and also half surfing the internet on my laptop - when Germany scored their first goal at 11 minutes. Yay, go Germany! Then.. just a few minutes later, another goal. Oh my gosh, did that just happen? Then I thought I was just watching the replay of the previous goal only they had scored again. It was hilarious! After that I was glued to the screen. I was also wondering at one stage if someone had paid Brazil to lose or if it was some kind of joke since weren't they meant to be contenders to win? How on earth were they getting beaten so badly!
I think the poor Brazilians were just in shock at the first two goals and then after that were totally demotivated or something. I felt bad for their fans though- seeing them all crying and looking heartbroken! But obviously I was delighted Germany won, and enjoyed reading all the funny facebook comments and tweets about the game.
We watched the Germany - Argentina finale at home. Yep, we're getting old! We had been hoping to go to a local pub to watch it there but we phoned up a few nearby places and they were either closed on Sundays or not showing it so in the end we just got comfy on the couch with a bottle of wine. During the game there were lots of goal attempts but still nothing, it could really have gone either way. Then there was 30 minutes overtime awarded and it was looking like it would end in a draw with a penalty shoot out when finally in the last 7 minutes a goal was scored for Germany! And then a few minutes later it was all over, Germany had won the world cup!
Afterwards people were outside in singing in the streets, driving around, waving flags, playing loud music and there were even fireworks! It's a pity it was late on a Sunday night at that stage and we had to work the next day otherwise the GerMann and I would surely have been out in town partying and celebrating properly with the rest of them.
Everyone was in high spirits at work on Monday, talking about the game. Which beats the normal Monday blues, haha! So now that all the World cup fever of the previous few weeks is over... what now?! If you are having World cup withdrawal symptoms, you might enjoy reading an account of the World cup games written by an American living here with his German wife. Even though I really enjoyed the excitement of the past few weeks, I'm happy to have a break now from all the non stop football talk!