Follow me around Greece: dinner & my first Greek sunset

Once we got to our rooms, we were exhausted and passed out for a couple of hours because we decided to look for a place to eat our first dinner and watch the sunset. We walked around the town centre to look for a place to eat, there are numerous restaurants that are dotted around the town centre with a street dedicated to greek street food. While pondering what we were in the mood for we managed to book a book tour the very next day! We booked it immediately at the counter for about 25 euros which would take us to 3 destinations!

We decided to settle on a restaurant called Elia’s taverna which specialised in Greek food.

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The one thing I love about Greece is the calm atmosphere, no one is in a rush and everyone eats at a leisurely pace. Elia was a super calm and delicious experience, the food was heavenly and fresh. They had so many options on their menu and the staff gave us plenty of time to choose. Feta was never one of my favourite cheeses but let me just say that I am a huge fan of it now! Feta with olive oil and greek herbs was probably one of the starters I ordered every chance I got.

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After dinner, we managed to catch the sunset that Greece is so famous for. It truly a beautiful sight as it seem to illuminate the white building and leave Santorini with a golden veil. It seemed as if everyone was holding their breath as it went down, people came out of their hotel rooms and sat and watched golden glow disappear behind the island.

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Day 1 ended so amazingly, once we headed back to our hotel rooms for the night I was super excited for what we planned for the next day!

Day 2… Coming Soon!

Check out the my follow me to Greece posts:

Part 1: Follow me to Greece: Travelling to Santorini

Part 2: Follow me to Greece: The hotel, the meal and the museum 

Part 3: Follow me to Greece: dinner and my first Greek sunset 

Part 4: Volcanos, Boat tour, Frozen Yogurt etc. {Coming Soon}

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Follow me around Greece: The Hotel, the meal and museum

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Sorry it has been a while since my last Greece blog post… but I’m going to be the last few posts about my trip to Greece with all the details and photos that I took while I was there.

I believe I left my last post with us getting of the flight in Santorini. Because this was a budget/student friendly trip our means of transportation was the public bus. We arrived at about 5am in the morning, now it was April at the time and although Santorini is know for being very sunny and warm, it was very chilly. My friend and I waited about an hour and a half at the airport for the first public bus. OK I must admit at the time I was a little eager to leave the airport because of how cold it was and how exhausted I was from traveling.

The arrivals section of the airport is very small with one luggage conveyor belt, about six car rental stalls and a pay phone, definitely not as modern as Heathrow. There were random plugs on the walls where you could charge your phone, but bear in mind these plugs were about an inch from the floor… but if you were as desperate as I was you can definitely charge them there (however, remember to bring your euro plug adapter!)

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The bus finally came at about 6.30am and it wasn’t what I expected, you don’t pay whilst boarding the bus, you pay once they start moving… yes… I’m serious a man comes down the isle, you pay and then he gives you a ticket as a receipt for your payment. The trip to the city centre in Thira/Fira. Did I mention that we were staying in Thira/Fira?

When we arrived at the bus station at the city centre it took us a while to find the hotel “Santorini Reflexions Volcano” but because Santorini is a touristy location, it is quite easy to find someone who can speak english and point you in the right direction.

The view as breathtaking. Almost all of the hotels are located on the cliffs of the island the views are spectacular and this was when the sun was was starting to just peak out from between the clouds.

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The one thing we weren’t prepared for was the stairs, they might look innocent going down but the wide steps will leave you out of breath! The hotel was just what it looked like on the site and with all the large signs it is easy to differentiate them from each other.

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Once at the hotel, the receptionist was super welcoming she offered us cakes, cookies and orange juice and was more than helpful when giving us advice on places we should go. The hotel had such a homey feeling because it only had 6 rooms, as did most of the hotels in Fira/Thira.

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When we finished munching on the cookies and cakes the clouds had disappeared and all you could see was the contrasting blue skies and white hotels that dotted the cliffside… truly beautiful.

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Surrounding the hotel there were various other churches, hotels and unique succulent/cacti to look at.

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We had a few hours to kill before we could check in to our rooms so we decided to visit a museum just a few minutes away from the hotel. This was truly a budget find as it was absolutely free to EU students, all you need to get in is your student card. The museum had all sorts of artefacts found in Santorini with descriptions of the past. If you want to find out about the history of the island I would recommend visiting the prehistoric museum.

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After visiting the museum we decided to go to a popular crepe and waffle place called Corner, which was highly rated on trip advisor. It was really easy to find but a word of caution would be that there wasn’t a clear pavement to walk on so you definitely have to keep an eye out for bike and cars.

 

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We were definitely not disappointed with the selection of crepes and waffles available. The Cinnamon apple and caramel biscuit waffle was the highlight for me, the apples were lightly baked, dusted with cinnamon and drizzled with honey and the waffle was super fluffy.  The staff were also super friendly and offered us a map of the island as well which came to be super helpful.

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While heading back to check into our room the view was even better compared to the view in the morning. Blue water, blue skies, blue pools and white hotels it was like a screensaver!

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When we checked into our room I was super surprised by the sheer size of the room, this room could easily house 5 people! We got our own balcony and sitting area outside which was super relaxing. Another bonus was that our room was right next to the indoor pool! Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 11.41.31 pm

We were given a tour of our room by the receptionist who was there to answer any questions we had. The only downside I would say that the shower was heated by a boiler next to the shower, it was a little complicated to use but if we ever had issues we were able to ask, plus if you got as sunburnt as I did… cold water is rather soothing on the skin 🙂

Stay tuned for Part 3 which will be out on Friday (15th)!

Check out the my follow me to Greece posts:

Part 1: Follow me to Greece: Travelling to Santorini

Part 2: Follow me to Greece: The hotel, the meal and the museum 

Part 3: Coming soon…

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Cafe Wishlist HK

This summer I want to do some exploring and after searching the internet I found 5 really cool cafes that I will definitely check out.

1. LAB MADE ICE CREAM CAFE

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The ice cream is made of liquid nitrogen, which is pretty cool. Plus, they have some interesting flavours. So, I can’t wait to try it!

This place can be found in Tai Hang (G/F, 6 Brown Street)

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An incredible artsy cafe, with hundreds of hanging lights!

The cafe is located in HarbourCity shopping mall.

3. N1 COFFEE & CO

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A small rustic cafe, with mint green accents. Perfect to grab a bite or get something to drink.

This cafe can be found in Tsim Sha Tsui (34 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon)

4.LM Cafe

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A vibrant cafe with incredible desserts, meals and of course signature drinks.

This cafe can be found in Kwun Tong

5.Cafe Deadend

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The cool treats and drinks can be found in Sheung Wan.

So, here they are I hope that you find them exciting and interesting like I do. I hope that you find some new places in your city!

x.hipster

Follow me around Greece: Travelling to Santorini

Where do I start. This post focuses on how we got to Santorini, so for those of you who are interested in going, or want to know what the process is like please keep reading.

A little context, we booked our tickets about 3 weeks in advance to when we were actually travelling on Expedia. I travelled with someone who had used the site and she has had a lot more experience travelling alone that I have. Expedia has a lot of options for places to go and hotel + flight trips which are very affordable. I believe our total for 3 day hotel stay and flights was around £291. Tip: most of these flights cannot be refunded, prices can change day by day and are carry on only (unless you pay extra). 

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The toughest part of the whole trip would probably have to be the travelling. I personally get quite anxious when needing to travel, especially through security checks. It takes about 3 hours for me to get to Heathrow and with our flights at 10pm we decided to arrive at the airport at 6.30 to have dinner. Terminal two in Heathrow is very small compared to other terminals a lot more modern but crowded with people coming and going.

We had dinner at a place called wondertree. I ordered the fish and chips, not something I usually would have before a flight but for some reason I craved it. Ok this dish was really unexpected, so delicious, the fish just melted in my mouth and the herbs on the crust was heavenly. Probably the best fish and chips I have ever had and not heavy or greasy at all.

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We flew with Aegean, a airline I have never been on. At first I wasn’t so confident about this flight because we had a few issues with all Aegean tickets which was a little worrying   We waited quite a while for our flight as they didn’t start boarding until about 5 minutes before the flight was due to take off, the flight was only 50% full and was a relatively small plane.

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The flight to Athens is around 3-4 hours and they provided us with a small greek inspired meal, orzo, cucumber yogurt salad and some fruit. The flight was 100 times quicker compared to the flight back to HK (11-13 hours) so it was bearable.

Once we landed in Athens we had to find our next connecting flight, I thought we wouldn’t have to go through security again but alas… I was wrong. The security check point was relatively small with only two machines and around 4-5 staff members working. A tip: Don’t buy water after your first flight, going through security means you will have to chug or chuck it. 

Arrival time: 1am (UK TIME), 3am (Greek Time).

We had a hours waiting time before the next flight. By then we were starting to get really tired, even though all we had done was travel, but travelling is exhausting. Once on the plane we had a short 45 minutes flight (Aegean) with free candy and chocolate filled croissants.

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Arriving in Santorini is probably the oddest experience I have had. We landed and on a flat concrete runway with only a few members of staff. We were the only plane there. We were greeted with a mini bus which drove us 1 minutes to the airport arrivals lounge which was very small. There was only one baggage collection conveyor belt. Lucky for us we only had carry on luggages. And then the wait started… (Read in part 1 of my follow me to Greece series ~ coming soon).

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Travel Blog: What I bought in Greece

If you have been following me on Instagram you would have probably seen some of my photos from my trip from Greece. I must admit for the 4 days that I went there were I bought quite a lot things… oops.

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Before embarking on my trip to Greece I was searching high an low on other blogs to see what kind of souvenirs I could bring back, however, had very little luck finding what people bought on their trip to Greece. So.. to help anybody who is planning on going to Greece anytime soon here are a few things you can buy.2016-04-15 18.55.37

Ok, you wouldn’t call me a foodie without trying some greek goodies. I bought some chocolate, baklava, sesame nuts, olive oil, some squishy waffle treat, local honey and herbs. One thing I wish I brought back was greek feta, I think I have a new found love for F-E-T-A and this love is strong!

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After trekking to Oia we we came across a local skincare store, although we were very limited in how much we could bring (as our flight tickets only allowed carrry on suitcases) I bought two donkey milk face cleanser/soaps which claims to be great for anti-aging, soothing and cleansing. We also got a two samples which the shopkeep sneakily snuck into our little bags, which is a olive hand cream and olive shampoo.

In addition, right before I boarded my flight back to the UK the Korres counter lured me and I bought the Santorini body lotion and mini body lotion. More about this brand and these products in an upcoming blog post.

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Finally, of course like every tourist out there I bought some art prints and postcards. A tip when buying postcards, look around each store because prices do vary and some shops can rip you off, I got these for 0.30 Euros.  My favourite purchase so far would be this ring, I love rings and like when they are meaningful, I got this traditional greek ring in one of the local jewellers. It came in 3 colours, silver, gold and rose gold… yes I got rose gold. It was 10 euros which might seem like an investment but being 925 sterling silver, it was well worth it and carries the memories of my greek trip.

Oops… I more goody. A wool pillowcase as a momento. For a more unconventional gift or momento. They have a variety of pillowcase designs in both wool and silk.

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Travel Toilettries Essential

I was debating for a long time whether I wanted to write this blog post. I ended up deciding to write it after because then I would be able to give my take on whether they were useful or not.

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Before the trip: Packing liquids for a carry on only flight was probably the most difficult thing because I have been know to overpack my liquids. However,  I have been collecting samples for a while, waiting for a time to use it either when visiting friends or on flight skincare. Samples are probably the most ideal for travelling because they are so compact and they are disposable.

After the trip: During the trip I found that one downside was that because they aren’t in a sealed container, they can spill everywhere.

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Before the trip: If you wear contacts like me the majority of plastic baggy they give you is taken up by your contacts solution. Personally I found it a little difficult to find affordable contact solution but came across this flight pack in Superdrug for £5.09 which I thought was really affordable. It comes with two sets so you can share it or save it for next time.

After the trip: The downside, is that if you are going on a short trip (4-5 days) you might not need that much and if you buy any skincare or makeup when you travel you are limited to that small bag so it might become an issue.

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Now, packing for the trip I like to take into account what shoes I will be wearing, possibility of getting sick, sun-care and the weather.

Compeed: was a no brainer for me, I always seem to get blisters when walking so this was a must have. Plus these blister relief plasters are AMAZING you apply them on blisters they treat it, cushion it and protect it from any further damage. If you are going on any treks or are prone to blisters get this!

Sensa cool: now this is  HK product I brought back to the UK. It is great for cooling down the body being in Greece the weather is quite dry and hot. I took this at night after I had been out in the sun and I did cool down relatively quick, plus it tastes amazing (lime).

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Now for the larger liquids, these a little challenging to fit into the bag. I found that I was a little hit or miss about what I brought because most of it I didn’t use and just shared with my travel buddy.

BIONSEN– Firstly, I love this deodorant! It doesn’t contain any parabens, aluminium etc. and although a little bit more expensive than the likes of Dove, I thought that the fact that it was aluminium free it makes it quite reasonable.

Nivea Kids Sunscreen 50+ SPF & Jungle Formula Maximum– The sunscreen was probably a really great idea for Greece and seeing that it was waterproof I applied it before every trek and boat trip. However, did still manage to burn because I didn’t reapply that often…my bad. The Shiseido protective SPF 15 day emulsion was a little unnecessary I must admit because I ended up using the sunscreen on my face.

Jungle formula, now I thought there might be a few bugs/mosquitos when trekking to Oia. There were quite a few bugs..bees to be exact but nothing other than that and I didn’t have to use it. Plus after the trip I wish there was a smaller container because it took up a lot of space.

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I’m going to Greece

If you haven’t read my past two blog posts you might not know what I will be traveling very soon and the place that I am going to is…. Santorini in Greece!

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I can’t believe that I will be going to Santorini, it is one of those places I have been dreaming of going ever since watching vloggers and the Sisterhood of the traveling pants.

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I have been scouring blogs and vlogs on an idea of what I should bring, what the weather would be like and things to do. Although it is all quite hectic I am really excited to be able to travel with close friend who is a lot more travel savvy than I 🙂

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