I still remember vividly the moment when I arrived in Dubai at the beginning of last November. I took off my black winter coat and I was the happiest. Warm weather always has that impact on me. It just makes me happy!
Upon landing, I was picked up at the airport and driven to The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre where I spent one night and one day, before my next flight to the Maldives. Everything was perfectly organized from Michelle and Dubai looked familiar to my eyes. Although it has been years since I visited this city for the first time, people have told me that many things have changed since then.
During my stay in Dubai, although I wanted to go out to see more of the city, I decided not to and preferred to spend the whole time at the The Ritz-Carlton because long flights and changing time zones made me a little bit tired. The pictures that you see in this blog post were all taken in both hotels.
I loved the suite at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre with its full sized living room and very comfortable king sized bed. I was lucky enough to be there on a day when they organized a food party in the garden. In addition to that, having access to an exclusive lounge of the hotel was an extra treat. Before I had to leave to catch my next flight, I stopped by the rooftop terrace and spent some hours gazing at the illuminated skyscrapers.
Regarding my stay at The Ritz-Carlton in the Jumeirah Beach, everything was perfect and I need to thank here Miss Chloé Perrin-Macgaw from the Public Relations & Marketing of The Ritz-Carlton Dubaifor the great company, warm welcome and hospitality.
The only thing that I couldn’t stand during my visit in Dubai was the air conditioner. That’s because air conditioner is not common in Vienna, so I am not used to it. However I totally understand that for the residents of Dubai, having air conditioner everywhere is more than necessary.
This is my last blog post for 2016. I wish you all Happy New Year’s Eve.♥
Life on a private island in The Maldives – Upon arrival at Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Resort Islandin the Maldives, we were welcomed with a drink and we were guided to our villas. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I had my own beachfront villa, named Manta Villa, that came with a private swimming pool, a spacious living area, and a large bathroom with outdoor showers! I felt like a member of the British royal family or even a celebrity (even though I am none of those). The island has 6 villas and they can only be booked as an island and not as an individual villa.
In the days that followed, I enjoyed snorkeling in the pristine waters, the spa treatments, and I practiced yoga. Everywhere I stood, there was uninterrupted Indian Ocean views. I loved everything. I loved the feeling of harmony everywhere on the island, the privacy and the maximun exclusivity. I loved the fact that I was spending the whole day carefree swimming in turquoise waters, having my feet on the unspoiled white sand and that the only piece of clothing that I needed was just a swimsuit. I loved exploring the underwater world and swimming among coral reefs with the turtles, reef sharks, and other beautiful sea creatures. I loved my daily fresh coconut drink and having dinner every night under the Maldivian night sky. Every meal was expertly crafted by a private chef.
One day, Coco prive Kuda Hithi organised for us breakfast on a sand bank. Do you know what a sand bank is? It is a very small island of sand in the sea. There is only white sand and nothing else. In the photos above you can see a sand bank, the endless blue and white around it. My favourite colors. Visiting a sand bank in the Maldives is a life experience.
The only thing that went wrong and ruined my good mood during my stay was that my 50mm camera lenses broke down unexpectedly and I couldn’t take as many pictures as I wanted. I could spend days and nights taking photos of this little island.
This was my last trip in 2016 and one of the best trips in my life so far. If one can only have one wish, I wish 2017 will bring me back to the private island of Coco Prive Kuda Hithi in the Maldives. You have my ♥.
When I got the invitation for the trip to Chania, three things came immediately to my mind: amazing food, amazing weather, and generous warm-hearted people. It was impossible to say no to the invitation. Even with back pains, I packed my luggage (I have two, one was already packed with clothes from Paris) with summer clothes and a swimsuit, and left for my home country, Greece.
I never thought that in the mid of October I would walk barefoot in the sand in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, in Balos, and that I would still be wearing white summer dresses while the rest of Europe was freezing cold. Now I know. I know a place where there is still summer while winter has already begun in Vienna. Two flights with Aegean from Vienna to Chania, and I welcome summer back to my life!! Don’t hate me for this. With my little photos on Instagram, I wanted to take you on a journey, and to let you know a little bit more about this beautiful part of the world (which I guess you all know already).
At the airport in Athens, I was glad to meet a group of like-minded young people with whom I would spend the following days. During my stay in Chania we stayed at Minoa Palace. Note here that the hotel’s breakfast was amazing (I am drooling over it right now, it’s better not to think about it). Our daily schedule was based on the “senses”: hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste. We heard Cretan traditional music. We visited so many beautiful places like the Kalathenes village, Chora Sfakion, and the fishing village of Loutro. We touched and smelt Cretan herbs at the Botanical Park. We had wine tasting and unforgettable dining experience at Salis restaurant. We ate sea food at Apostolis restaurant and had our last dinner at Santa Marina beach. Not to mention the full moon we saw on our last night in Chania’s old town. Especially that made it more difficult to leave Chania the next day.
Oh yes! I ate a little bit more than I was supposed to. But we were in Crete. When they put in front of you five dishes of fresh lobsters with spaghetti and traditional Cretan cheese pie, you just cannot resist the temptation. If you plan a visit to Crete, you can rest assured that the Cretan people will treat you right.
Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming. I close my eyes and I like to think that I have a room at the Château de Chenonceau where I spend endless days watering the roses and having promenades in the garden, and where I invite the neighbors for evening champagne parties. And then I stop daydreaming and realize that instead of having a room at the Château de Chenonceau, I have a little room in the 4th district of Vienna and that I need to work, work, work, to get things done and move to a new apartment at the end of this month. But it’s not bad at all because I also realize how lucky I am that I got the chance to visit the Château de Chenonceau. After all, it’s The Viennese Girl who is living the fairy tale life and not me. I am just the editor behind this blog.
I hope you also travel vicariously through my photos, or even better, I wish you also get the chance to visit the French château, which is, by the way, the most visited castle in France after Versailles. If you plan to visit that romantic gem in Loire Valley, I suggest you find a place to stay in Tours (check this one) and take the train to the castle. Bon Voyage! ♥
You can’t imagine how happy I was for going back to Greek islands. I still remember being so excited while waiting for the departure at Vienna International airport. Together with a group of journalists, we flew directly to Skiathos island for a press trip organized by the Greek national tourism Organization. The plan was visiting and discovering Alonissos, Skiathos and Skopelos which automatically means: amazing landscape, warm hearted people, and good food. Yay!
I have never been on the Greek islands in May. When I was living in Greece, I used to visit the islands mostly in July and in August, but after spending a couple of cold months in the Central Europe, my desire for sea and sun together with my wanderlust was urgently calling for a cure and absolutely could not wait until June or July. I also realized that, not only June and July, but May as well, is a perfect month to visit and have holidays in Greece(pleasant temperatures and not that much crowd in places).
Once we arrived at Skiathos, we took the boat to Skopelos, that famous island where the musical Mamma mia was filmed. The three islands are connected by boat. So if you visit them, fly to Skiathos and take the boat. The boat trip from Skiathos to Skopelos lasted about an hour. In Skopelos, the people of the island who would later give us a tour in the following days welcomed us warmly with local delicacies. In the days that followed, I soaked all in: the good company of my new friends, blue of the sea, green of the nature, amazing view from my hotel room at Skiathos Palace and of course my favourite fried potatoes, a lot of kalamarakia and the famous Skopelos cheese pie, known as Skopelitiki Tyropita.
In Skopelos, I did something for the first time in my life: scuba diving(say yes to new experiences)! Visit Kostas & Ines at Skopelos Dive Center. Kostas explained to me everything about my first dive in the sea in order to enjoy the trip under the water the most and stay safe at the same time. What an amazing experience that I definitely recommend to others.
In this blog post you can see photos from my visit in Skiathos and Skopelos. My Austrian friends continued their travel to Alonissos but I didn’t. I had to go back to Skiathos and take the airplane to my next destination. The adventure would go on in Mykonos! ♥
So now you know why I didn’t take so many photos of the city, but those few that I took, it would be a pity not to share them on The Viennese Girl blog as they turned out to be so pretty (I hope you find them pretty as well)♥
Photos of me are taken by Justien Oltenfreiter, edited by me.
My Paris perfect apartment was located in the Avenue de La Bourdonnais. Uber left me in front of the door. I stopped for a while and looked up. Having an apartment with a view of the Eiffel Tower wasn’t anymore one more part of my unlimited imagination but it was about to become my daily reality. For a moment, all the apartments I have lived in in the past unfolded in front of my eyes and I caught myself reflecting on “how far I‘ve gone”. I snapped a picture to freeze the moment with a little hope that this moment will last forever. The lift, one of those old ones, brought me to the fifth floor. After I opened the door, it took me some time to realize what is happening. My Chambertin apartment blew me away, from the moment I stepped in till now as I write this post. I called a friend of mine and asked “what’s happening and where all this is going?”
The days that followed were as dreamy as my Paris Perfect Aparment: every morning breakfast at the balcony, hot evening baths, encounters with endearing Parisian people, a dazzling Chanel fashion show and in the background a bling bling Eiffel Tower hypnotizing me every night on the Avenue de la Bourdonnais.♥
Back in Parisfor five nights and six wonderful days. I was planning to visit Paris, because this is what I always do for my birthday every March but an invitation to attend the CHANEL fashion show had me booking flight tickets and looking for hotel a little bit earlier than I have planned.
It was my fourth visit to the city of lights, all the boulevards and cafes are now so familiar to me that I feel like I am not a tourist anymore (although I still need to look at the map now and then) but if things turn out the way I wish, I will be visiting the city that inspires me the most more often. It might even sound weird but it’s true that Paris started becoming my second home, where I always meet nice people and never feel alone. ♥
Suite 17 was the place I spent 2 days last weekend, a beautiful maisonette spread out over two floors connected by an indoor staircase at the Hotel G’Schlössl Murtal in Knittelfeld, Austria.
On Friday evening I took the train from Vienna to Knittelfeld, a small city in the Austrian countryside about 2 hours away by train from Vienna. It’s a place I have never been to before….When I visit a place for the first time, I usually do a lot of sightseeing but this time I decided to have a more relaxed program. So, on Saturday I devoted my time to photography and on Sunday to wellness&spa.
If you ever find yourself in that part of Austria, don’t miss the experience of having dinner at Hotel Steirerschlössl and visit the most magical Christmas market which is next to the Hotel G’Schlössl Murtal. ♥