Back to Zakynthos after 3 years

Hello Greece lovers. Today I will let you know about my latest boat trip to Zakynthos. It took place last October and it was my second time travelling from Kefalonia to Zante after my trip in 2013.
This time I got the chance to join a group of polish tourists from the hotel I was working in and also others from different hotels.

5:30 o'clock in the morning and we are ready to go. The bus is quite small but it takes us fast enough from Kounopetra to Lixouri and we have enough time to grab a coffee while waiting for the ferry.
I'm still half asleep. At 6:30 we are arriving to Argostoli and I am starting slowly to wake up just in time to capture couple of shots of the sun rising behind the hills.

The road to Skala takes almost an hour and the sky is cloudy. As we reach Skala the sun is up. Another coffee and we embark on the "Hermes" boat along other tourists, mainly english.
We leave Kefalonia behind and I get the chance to ride beside the captain. There are 4 of us here: the captain, myself, the polish guide and the english guide who will turn out to be a funny little man. He will make the ride enjoyable despite of the waves that keep on crushing the boat over and over again making some of the tourists feel dizzy.

Zakynthos awaits us with its rough coastline. The sun is fighting to warm the Earth between the moody clouds. I am enthusiast to be again on the Shipwreck beach after 3 years.

Around 9 o'clock we arrive on the beach which is empty. Just a couple of adrenaline junkies jump with the parachutes from the upper edge of the bay landing near the shipwreck.

We spend one hour taking photos and enjoying the view. Too bad most of the time it's cloudy but when the sun hits the surface of the water there is an enourmous pleasure to get lost in its tourquoise colour.

Off we go to the blue caves and its surroundings. The english guide is telling us about the places, the old monasteries and different cliffs with strange forms. People are exciting taking photos and discussing about different trips to Zakynthos and other greek islands.

The weather overall is not favorable for a swim even though we see some other people from smaller boats jumping in the water near the blue caves.
I remember 3 years ago when I was there with my colleagues in August and we enjoyed exploring the caves swimming.

The next stop is Vassiliki harbour where we have a delicious lunch: grilled calamari, greek salad and a cold Mythos beer. I went and bought couple of souvenirs from the shops nearby. The harbour seems a little deserted, probably because the end of the season is here.
On the way back the english tour guide invites the more courageous tourists to enact the favourite Titanic scene when Jack and Rose are on the edge of the boat with their arms wide open.

It's around 2pm when we reach Skala. I am thankful to the captain for the whole experience.
We leave Skala behind. On the road back we feel the humidity rising. The sky is covered with clouds. We arrive at the hotel around 5pm , ready for a refreshing shower, cocktails and dinner.

In conclusion it wasn't the worst experience but I personally wouldn't recommend it. I still believe the best way to explore a place is by yourself in a car. If you have the chance take a smaller boat to Shipwreck beach so on the way back you can have the opportunity to explore the blue caves ans swim there. That's why I invite you to discover more about my previous trip to Zante in 2013 HERE and HERE.
Have you been to Zakynthos until now?! Which places on the island are your favourites? What about Kefalonia? HERE are 10 reasons why I think you should visit this amazing island!!

Until next time! Keep on travelling!

Have a great day



De prin liceu adunate - poeme uitate

In caz ca nu stiai inca umbla vorba in targ despre o noua traditie. Conform acesteia in fiecare an la 21 Martie de Ziua Internationala a Poeziei are loc miscarea globala "Plateste cu Poezie". Cei de la Julius Meinl au lansat in urma cu 4 ani o campanie minunata prin care o data pe an, timp de o zi, platesti cafeaua cu o poezie in locatiile partenere.

Astazi am aflat ca aceasta frumoasa campanie a aparut chiar la noi in tara.
Pentru prima data, pe 25 octombrie 2013, consumatorii din toata tara au platit cu poezie in 80 de locaţii Julius Meinl si au strans in total 6.300 de poezii.
Urmatorul an, de Ziua Internationala a Poeziei, s-au scris nici mai mult, nici mai putin de 15.365 poezii in cele 150 de cafenele Julius Meinl participante din două tari – Romania si Croatia.
Anul 2015 a adus si lansarea globala a campaniei in peste 1.100 de locatii partenere Julius Meinl, in 27 de tari, pe patru continente, fiind scrise peste 100.000 de poezii.
Anul trecut numarul de tari in care a avut loc campania a crescut la 34.

Saptamana viitoare, pe 21 Martie, poti avea si tu parte de experienta de a primi cafea sau ceai in schimbul unor versuri, chiar de Ziua Internationala a Poeziei.
Vezi AICI cea mai apropiata cafenea partenera si poti incepe sa scrii versuri inca de pe-acum.

Cu aceasta ocazie am calatorit in timp si am scormonit prin biblioteca dupa cateva poezii publicate in revista liceului, pe care le impartasesc cu voi mai jos.


O clipa de-asta data sparta
De ganduri impanzind lumina toata
Ramane-n ceruri ca o pata.

Al vietii
Rob sunt si in cant o spun:
De va sa vie, vie-acum
Noian de negura si fum.

Imi impanzeste cautarea
Deasupra-i cer, in fata-i marea,
Sunt ametit si-mi pierd rabdarea.

Eu vreau
Dintr-un moment in alt
Sa nu ma las, sa fac un salt,
S-ating inaltul cel inalt.

"In iarna unui vis urat"

Taram al linistii nebune
De lumea-ntreaga suprimat,
De zgomote si de rafale

O mare-ntreaga de suspine
Ce valu-n stanca-si arunca,
In anotimpul cel ce vine

Un geamat scurt si ascutit
Din pieptul unei ciocarlii,
Ce in inaltul amortit
Se zdrobi.

O floare sta in iarna grea,
In ger cumplit, de nepatruns
Toti fulgii ii plangeau soarta
La apus.

Intreg taram de fulgi si stea
Se prapadea-n pustietate,
Doar visul meu se repeta
Inc-o noapte.


E toamna.
Cioburi de-oglinda zboara-n nestire
Se-aduna, se raspandesc si apoi cad.
Cad in absurd, in nefiinta si tac.
Tacere robusta, indoliata de lucire.
Cerul tuna.
Tuna cu ploaie, ploaie de lut
Si-mi pare ca muntii se-ndoaie si plang.
Lacrimi de stanca rece si-un gand
Ma duce-n visare si uit.
E noapte.
Si-afara ploaia de stele nu a-ncetat
Pomii asteapta si luna se-ntreaba:
Ce e cu noaptea cea grea si neagra
Nimeni nu stie si vantu-a uitat.

Ce parere aveti despre aceasta campanie? Veti participa la Ziua Internationala a Poeziei anul acesta?

Daca esti in cautare de un serial nou sau o carte, arunca un ochi si peste Jumpin'Journal.
Vara se apropie cu pasi marunti dar siguri, ce-ai zice sa te conving cu 10 Motive pentru care ai alege Kefalonia?!



Jumpin'Journal - pages of a diary (IV)

It's been a long time since my last Jumpin'Journal post. Today I'll dive straight into some music, movie and book recommendations while "jumping" in pictures from different locations. Let's start.

Sinaia - Cota 2000(1,3) , West Park Ploiesti(2)

How much I love music biography documentaries: the combination of hard work, struggle and talent is hypnotizing. My favourites are:
3. Amy - the life of Amy Winehouse struggling between drug problems, love triangles and childhood problems, a talent that we lost too soon.
2. Get On Up - the life of James Brown overcoming his poor childhood, a dismembered family and later drug and alchool addiction - a strict and driven man with a very clear vision, talent and passion.
1. La Môme(La Vie en Rose) - the life of the incredible Edith Piaf, a movie that makes me cry every time I watch it; Marion Cotillard is beyond amazing in this character - love, lost, tragedy, talent - a must see.

When it comes to music I am all the time searching for something new while the playlist on my phone slightly changes - I'm still listening to most of the same songs as I use to hear years ago.
Meanwhile I'm becoming a fan of the british singer Nao whose mix of electro and soul relaxes me - find more in my album review HERE!
Bruno Mars stole again the limelight with his latest hits collection intitled "24K MAGIC". While the first single with the same name reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, the second one, "That's what I like", surpassed it and reaches number 3 on this week's chart. Bruno has it all in my opinion: the voice, the swag, the moves. Check out his Grammy performance below.

If you are a fan of TV series well then maybe we have some in common or I can recommend you couple of them. Lately I was absorbed by "Taboo" and "Vikings".
I absolutely adored the "Night Manager" mini serie with one of my favourite actors, Hugh Laurie (did you know he is also a singer?! - check out his blues album HERE!).

"The Night Manager" was nominated for 31 awards and has won twelve, including two Emmy Awards for director Susanne Bier and music composer Victor Reyes and three Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actor for Tom Hiddleston, Best Performance for an Actress in a Supporting Role for Olivia Colman, and Best Performance for a Supporting Actor for Hugh Laurie.

Ploiesti(1), Suceava(2), Alexandru Ioan Cuza Park Bucharest(3)

When it comes to books I have to admit I read more in the past 3 months than I did in the last year. If you're in the mood for an easy yet interesting reading I recommend you "La disparition de Richard Taylor" by Arnaud Cathrine: On May 16, 1998 Richard Taylor disappears without a trace and without apparent reason. The book is a serie of testimonies of women in the life of Richard or of those that he meets in the years that follow his getaway. In the game of shadows and lights, we discover fragments of an existence of a man who grew up by the book, doing all that it was expected from him and that suddenly wakes up not knowing who he truly is or what he really wants.

Another book that got me hooked from the first page is "The Magus" by John Fowles.
"This daring literary thriller, rich with eroticism and suspense, is one of John Fowles's best-loved and bestselling novels and has contributed significantly to his international reputation as a writer of the first rank. At the center of The Magus is Nicholas Urfe, a young Englishman who accepts a teaching position on a remote Greek island, where he befriends a local millionaire. The friendship soon evolves into a deadly game in which reality and fantasy are deliberately manipulated, and Nicholas finds that he must fight not only for his sanity but for his very survival."(Goodreads) 

Cantacuzino Castle Busteni(1,2), Mt. Ainos Kefalonia Greece(3)

Right now I just started reading "The Road less traveled" by M. Scott Peck. This book is by now a classic in the field of psychology. Yet, it's written for a mainstream audience and goes through some of the basic tenets of psychological theory (e.g. attachment, individuation, boundaries, delayed gratification) but does so through the lense of spiritual growth. Peck is an excellent writer and fine therapist who is sensitive to the issues of spirituality.

Here is how the book starts:
"Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult--once we truly understand and accept it--then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters."

Which are your favourite TV shows right now? What are you listening to lately and what you plan reading? Leave your comments below.

Untill next time check out some more Jumpin'Journal:

Jumpin'Journal - pages of a diary (I)
Jumpin'Journal - pages of a diary (II)
Jumpin'Journal - pages of a diary (III)



Sunsets on Kefalonia

I will always remember the first sunset I've seen on the seaside. It was 2007, on Peloponnese. It was my first time travelling and working abroad. I will always carry those feelings of freedom, enthusiasm and wonder that overwhelmed my body watching the sun sinking in the Ionian Sea while I was swimming for the first time in the greek waters.

Skafidia Beach, Peloponnese

Since then I've spent 9 summers in Greece and I'm quietly but still impatiently waiting for the 10th.

On Kefalonia I first arrived at the beginning of June 2013 and since then it became my home away from home. An amazing island that still preserves its wilderness and the greek traditions at high ranks compared to its neighbours, Lefkada and Zakynthos.

Today I'm going to share with you some of the most idyllic places from where you can enjoy the beauty of the Ionian Sea at sunset.

For more reasons to visit Kefalonia check THIS POST!!!

1. Kounopetra

Of course the best sunsets you can see are on the western coast of the island and I'm starting with the southern point which is entitled Kounopetra. Its name comes from the "moving stone" a geological phenomenon that used to take place there for years without having any scientifical explanation. This area is the place where I am living and working. It is a privilege to walk to dinner while the sun is setting slowly between the pine branches. A short stroll takes me to the place I took these photos.

2. Vrahinari Beach

Almost 2 km away from Kounopetra there is Vrahinari, a quiet and sandy beach. I recommend you to have dinner in the restaurant close to the beach - fresh sea food and tasteful wine while your eyes feast with a stunning view over the sun setting slowly in the Ionian Sea.

3. Petani Beach

Petani is still considered a hidden treasure. The road is pretty challenging, riding up in the mountains, then going down one curve at a time, but it is more than worthed. Either you're on the beach or up for the panorama view in one of the hotels, the picture is as close to perfection as it gets. The pictures below talk for themselves.

4. Myrtos Beach

The iconic beach amazes its vistors with turquoise waters and white pebbles. Everyone who has been there has taken at least one picture with the amazing view from the hills beside. For those who love a challenge, go and try paragliding over Myrtos. It is as good as it gets. 

5. Assos 

Leaving Myrtos you'll get to the idyllic village of Assos, a beautiful bay with colourful houses and a spectacular view provided from the citadel on top of the hill next to it. I recommend you to stop at the upper point before you drive down to Assos. There you will risk falling in love irremediably with the sight of the blue sea and the golden sun going to sleep.

6. Makri Gialos Beach/Costa Costa

Moving towards the eastern part of the island there are couple of places where the sun can be seen setting behind the hills, one of this ones is Makri Gialos Beach. Long, wide and sandy, the beach is very busy in the summer time providing sunbeds, watersports, volley courts, bars and restaurants.

7. Aenos Mt.

Drive up Mount Ainos and you will be surprised how cool is to leave the heat behind and to enjoy fresh air, a walk in the forrest and the brilliant view that stretches towards Zakynthos, mainland Greece, Lefkada and Ithaka. Spend a little longer time for a sunset as no other. That's the moment and the place to feel as a God on Olympus.

8. Argostoli

The capital and the main city of Kefalonia tends to get crowded in July, August with its many coffee shops and tavernas, clubs and souvenir shops. Feeling a bit suffocated? No problem! Jump on the ferry and travel to Lixouri village. Enjoy the 30 minutes ride and discover a quiet yet alive village. On the way back enjoy a moment of beauty as the sun sets down kissing the shadows.

These were my favourite places to watch the sunset on Kefalonia. What do you think about them? Are you interested in visiting Kefalonia or Greece in the near future? Let me know in the comments.


P.S.: Discover more about Kefalonia and its hidden treasures HERE (Assos) or HERE(Skala).