Photos by Antonio Giannakos
Every summer has a story, Santorini has the best…
The first time I visited Santorini was in 1998 with my pen pal friend from Holland (Bianca, if you are reading this, where are you?). Second time I visited Santorini was in 2003 with another friend of mine. Now I am about to tell you a crazy story. That friend of mine, in the summer of 2003, fell for a guy whom she met in Mykonos. That guy told her that at the end of August he would be working in a bar in Santorini. So now you can imagine why I went to Santorini in August 2003. I had to sacrifice myself to accompany my friend who was in search of her love. It was the last weekend of August, the end of the summer. My friend and I were sitting in the living room and the school was closed. There was nothing to do, we were listening to radio music, we didn’t talk. We were little sad that the summer was coming to an end and that the school was about to start again. Suddenly someone (I don’t remember whether it was me or her) popped the idea to go to Santorini for the weekend. It was around 18.00 and the ship was departing from the port of Piraeus at 22.00. I went home, put some things on a sac voyage and we both met at the harbor, a little bit before the departure of the ship. Don’t ask me where we found accommodation because I don’t remember at all. We had a specific mission to carry out. We didn’t even care that much for issues such as accommodation. But don’t worry, we didn’t stay on the streets.
10 years later I am back to Santorini. What is that thing that makes you love a place forever? What is that thing that makes you keep a place forever sealed in your heart? What is that thing that makes you wanting to come back to a place over and over again? I guess that magic in the air in combination with the mind-blowing landscape. Once I arrived this summer in Santorini, I pinched myself, still hardly believed it, but yes I was back again.
You might wonder now if we met that guy, the reason for the trip to Santorini in 2003….No, we didn’t. It was just a summer love. It stayed in my friend’s memory like that. You know, one of those summer loves that you wish you could have next to you in the cold winter nights.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
We usually get up around 11.00 or 12.00 and the weather is very hot in “la isla bonita”. Then we slowly head straight to the beach, where we spend the rest of the day. Around 18.00 or 19.00 we go for a dinner to a taverna, preferably next to the sea listening to the waves. Our favorite outfit is of course….the swimsuit. When we come back home, we have a shower and later on, a glass of sweet Samos wine makes us dizzy and looking at the stars is the perfect way to end one more day in this paradise.
With all this beauty around me, it is difficult to sit in front of the computer and gather my thoughts, concentrate and write something for this blog. I see vivid colors and happy people everywhere. We have 3 turtles in the garden, cats and a Chihuahua dog, with big eyes and ears, called Lady. The neighbor wakes us up with his loud folklore music, the dog barks every time a stranger comes in, the turtle doesn’t like to be touched, the cats make the dog nervous but at the end of the day we all have good time in “la isla bonita”. I think I am literally in heaven.
On an August summer night, my choice was a special place called Klee am Hanslteich for dinner. During the summer, I always try to find out ways to escape the city, even for a while and visit some places that give the sensation of being on holidays. This place is in the suburbs of Vienna and there is a small lagoon next to it. In other words, ideal for doing what I like most: snapping some pictures and having a tasteful dinner afterwards. It must be nice to visit this place in the winter time as well because we checked the interior design and found it very pleasant. There will not be the august full moon but it will be beautiful anyway. So, see you soon Klee am Hanslteich.
Tip: Check their website to find out how to get there if you don’t have your own vehicle and I advice you to make a reservation in advance.
Photo (c) Elena Azzalini Photography
Here is a weekend getaway idea for you: If you live in Vienna and have a car, or a friend of yours has a car and you two (or three, or four) want to do something different on the weekend and go for a breakfast, dinner, or for a drink next to the lake, visit Mole West in the Lake Neusiedl. As far as I remember they don’t accept reservations and on the warm summer nights this place is usually full. You have to be a bit patient until a table is free. If you want to have a dinner, go earlier than 22.00 because the kitchen closes at 22.00.
It’s a great location and the place gives you that feeling of being on a holiday, so it’s totally worth a visit in my opinion. I visited this place twice and both times we had a chat with a waiter who told us that he came from Hungary and I still remember that he was especially kind to us. The second time he even brought us some finger food even when the kitchen was closed. Overall, a nice experience.♥
Photo (c) Elena Azzalini Photography
Helianthus annuus aka sunflowers. Have you ever stopped the car suddenly, pulled it up to the side of the road and jumped into a field of joyous Helianthus annuus?
In Burgenland we found many endless sunflower fields on our way and as they are during the peak of summer, we didn’t want to miss the chance of snapping some photos among the yellow, cheery flowers.
My only concern was the bugs, the bees, all the possible insects and my biggest fear was the snakes but in the end everything went smoothly and we had some amazing pictures with a spectacular background. I just love to take pictures in the most incredible amazing places.♥
“If I were a flower.. I would be a sunflower. To always follow the sun, turn my back to darkness, stand proud, tall and straight even with my head full of seeds.”- Pam Stewart
I dare to say that the summer is here, although I shouldn’t say so because the weather in this country is always unpredictable. So, with this Italian phrase “Viva l’estate”, I welcome the summer season and I hope that, now that it has come, stays here at least for the next 4 months.
My lovely friend, Susanne, suggested meeting her for lunch at an “alternative” restaurant but I somehow convinced her to go for THE PIZZA.
Beneath the Piaristen Church in a beautiful plaza you can find the Italian restaurant called “Il sestante”. Whether you are local or a tourist, don’t miss it, but I warn you, make a reservation. I went there today at 13.00 and it was already full. As a precaution, I called the restaurant one hour before our arrival to ensure a table for two.
And now the question is “where do we find the best italian pizza in Vienna?”. Let me give you some tips. I like both “Il Sestante” and “Il sole”, and also “Disco Volante” and “That’s amore”.