Crete travel guide

Crete travel guide - how to have a splendid time

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Dear Aviators,

are you already thinking about next vacation season in Europe? I am :) This year I was able to visit many beautiful places in Europe and I cannot wait to chase new destionations next year. My last private trip was to Chania on Crete. In this blog I will share this hot gem with you. Enjoy my Crete travel guide. 

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Crete - 88th biggest island in the world

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Picture perfect Chania

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Why Chania on Crete in Greece?

I finsihed my flight duty in Athens in Greece and I needed a time-out after some stressfull period. Like my Zakynthos trip, Crete is a only a 30 minutes flight away from Athens and the weather is still pleasant in autumn. In Berlin it was rainy and cold so I thought why do not spend my off days on the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Last time I was on Crete is over 10 years ago. A really good german friend I know since my childhood moved to Chania after we went to highschool togehter. It was always my biggest wish to visit her again.

 

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Chania Crete

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Narrow streets old town Chania

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Sunset by the port

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How to stay fit while traveling

I love to travel and to fly, but do not get me wrong I also hate it. Like everything in life is has its downsides. It is a lot harder to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In one of my latest videos on YouTube, I share with you my fitness routine. Please make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel as well.

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Outdoor workout area

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Domes Noruz - a unique hotel

When I first saw some photos of the Domes Noruz Chania I thought it must be a dream staying at this hotel. The award-winning hotel belongs to the Autograph collection hotels of the Marriot group. So my expectations before arrival were lets say extremely high.

The Domes Noruz Chania consits of only 83-rooms and suites giving it a boutique style character. For those seeking a relaxing and calm time-out this place in Chania is ideal, since it is adults only.

The entire hotel complex is well designed with a fresh and contemporary touch. It is unique and different which makes the stay so exciting and special. Just have a look at my suite then you know what I mean.

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Lobby Domes Noruz Chania

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Quiet zone area

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Salis Chania

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My suite 

I stayed in Sublime loft located on two levels. In my entrance area I had a small private plunge pool. Adjacent to it was my bedroom and bathroom. Upstairs was small living room and a sliding door which led to the my huge private terrace. Besides a sunbeds, a hammock, it featured a round bathtub with stunning views of the Aegean Sea.

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Warm welcome

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Sublime Suite Domes Noruz Chania

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Quiet zone pool area

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Private terrace Domes Noruz Chania

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The beautiful envirmonemt, the direct beach access and luxurious facitlies make it very hard to leave the hotel property, but you at least should plan one day to discover Chania. Especially the picture perfect old town is worth a visit. It offers a blend of Ottoman, Venetian and Greek architectures creating a stunning setting. Many Crete travel guide(s) rate Chania to be one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean Sea.

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Private beach Domes Noruz

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Balos - the Instagram beach

Balos Beach and Lagoon is a must visit when you are on Crete. I have been to many beautiful beaches around the world, but the Balos lagoon is a personal highlight for me.

The famous lagoon of Balos is located approximately 56km northwest of Chania and it is defintely no hidden gem anymore. Its wild natural beauty and the beautiful exotic scenery are stunning. By car it is about an hour drive from Chania, but you can also take the ferry running from Kissamos port. In the summer time it can get really crowded. Even in Mid October it was still quite busy.

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Balos beach

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Gravel road to Balos Beach

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on the way to Balos

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worth the drive and walk

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My hot Crete travel guide tip

Arrive early in the morning. I recommend around 10 am or even earlier by car to avoid huge crowds. The 10 km dirt road drive to the parking lot is already quite an adventure. From there it is about a 3 km hike down to the beach. The views of the vivid blue and turquoise waters are breathtaking. Bring enough water, sun protection and proper shoes.

When you are done "beaching" you can stop for some food at the Orange Blue cafe. This place is located at a nice setting with stunning views. Simple but good food. The sunset from there must be magnificent from this place.

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Orange Blue Cafe

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Balos beach: Caribbean feeling on Crete

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Orange Blue cafe

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Where to eat the best food

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Food has a very high significance for the greek poeple. That is why you will not have hard time to find tasty food. I can definitely recommend leaving the hotel to discover the Cretan diet, which is uncomplicated and made from fresh, healthy ingredients. I noticed that many places use ingredients, which are grown in Crete's natural environment.

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Salis Chania

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Recommendations in Chania

Salis Chania: located at the water front of the old town of Chania. The menu offers a lot of specialites and many fresh fish dishes with a contemporary touch.

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Salis Chania

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Salis Chania

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Abandoned houses - Old Town, Chania

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Salavantes: Cretean cuisine with local ingredients and a modern interpretation of the dishes. Simple but extremely tasty. I went there two times in a row, because it was so good.

Carte Postale: As the name suggests: the view is like strraight from a post card. Besides a coffee you can also enjoy tasty food while enjoying a magnificent view of Chania.

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Carte Postale Chania

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Carte Postale Chania

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Carte Postale Chania

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I hope you enjoyed reading my Crete travel guide. Next holiday season I am looking forward to traveling to Greece again. On my bucket list I still have the more popular islands Mykonos and Santorini to tick off. Have you made your travel plans for next holiday season already? Where are you planning to go? Let me know in a comment below.

As always safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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Waldorf Astoria hotel berlin pilotpatrick rimowa

My stay at the Waldorf Astoria

In my last blog post "My type rating", I gave you an insight view of my training at Lufthansa Aviation Training. The last three weeks in the simulator to acquire the certification to fly the A300 have been quite demanding. Therefore I did not have a lot of time to relax.

Next week I will have my final skill test flight in the simulator and this is why I have the weekend off. The Waldorf Astoria Berlin invited me to spend a weekend at their beautiful hotel in Berlin to relax a little bit from the busy weeks and to tank up some energy before my check flight. My job as a pilot requires me to stay at many different hotels around the world, but I have not stayed at a hotel in my hometown Berlin yet. I was really excited to spend a weekend at the Waldorf Astoria hotel since it really sticks out with its location and the architecture next to 20 other five star hotels in Berlin.

Read about my stay at the Waldorf Astoria and find out why I did not want to leave again. I hope my following hotel review helps you when choosing the right hotel for your next stay in Berlin or to find a place to escape the hectic city.

Location

In 2013 the Waldorf Astoria opened its doors for hotel guests. The hotel is situated in the famous building "Zoofenster" and is easy to recognize since it is a 32 stories-high skyscraper. Being one of the tallest buildings in Berlin it gives the hotel guests, including me a spectacular view over Berlin. It is located right in the center of West Berlin and one foot step away from tourist attractions, shopping locations and leisure activities.

Waldorf Astoria, Tower suites with panormaic windows on the upper levels

Watch my live Facebook video of my check in and the TOWER SUITE.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1307668549298738

Accommodation

The room was amazing. I was lucky to reside in a TOWER SUITE. The luxurious suite was at the 28th level and its panoramic windows gave me a fantastic view over Berlin. I could unwind in a spacious and very comfortable room. The design is elegant and modern at the same time. A separate sleeping room with a private balcony was located in the rear of the suite. Every room granted you a different view of the city. The TV system was ideal for my needs to stream music and videos from my mobile phone and laptop.

Warm welcome in the Tower suite 2801 through sweets and a friendly staff Private small kitchen with a Nespresso coffee machine and a dining table

Features of the tower suite

  • upper level (22-29) separate elevators for the tower suites
  • separate living area with a dining table and mini bar
  • fully equipped small kitchen with a private Nespresso coffee machine
  • two 40-inch TVs with Apple TV technology
  • luxurious marble bathroom with a bathtub and separate shower
  • complimentary Wifi and so much more...
Signature Waldorf Astoria bed with a private balcony overlooking West Berlin Bathroom with a bath tub and a huge shower

I used my suite also for my monthly online live talk on my Facebook account 'PilotPatrick'. Follow me on Facebook so you don't miss any future events. (Meet and greet coming soon.)

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1308411159224477

Guerlain Spa

I enjoyed a short time-out from the vibrant Berlin outside in the Spa. The 1000 square meter spa features a cloud shaped pool, saunas and very cozy therapy rooms. I really liked the private bathroom with shower and changing facility.  The gym is fully equipped and big windows provide you with natural light during your workout. On Saturday I took a break from the gym since I did exhausting personal training with Timo on Friday.

Private bathroom for Guerlain Spa guests swim shorts by XARFIA

Premium swim shorts by XARIFA, which are entirely made in Italy. I am wearing the short length version in size medium. Use the code 'pilotpatric' to save 15% on your new swim shorts by XARIFA.

Cloud shaped pool at the Guerlain Spa Swim shorts by XARFIA

Features of the spa

  • therapy rooms
  • pool and hot tub
  • sauna and steam room
  • terrace
  • fitness room with daylight
  • complimentary water and fruits#

The spa area is free of charge for hotel guest. With a day pass, it is possible to you use the luxurious spa facilities as well. Mention PILOTPATRIC when booking a treatment and you will get a free glass of champagne.

Food

I am really conscious when it comes to my diet. In my blog post "I am a foodie pilot" I already wrote about my healthy eating habits. Nowadays I expect that hotels adopt to the healthy food trend or at least offer meal options in case you have a special diet. The selection of food of breakfast buffet was excellent. The vegetarian omelet and the smoked salmon were really tasty. For dinner, I went to the ROCA Restaurant on the ground floor. The atmosphere was relaxing. I suggest having a selection of their tasty salads as a starter.

Try the vegetarian omelette with salmon, Green organic tea and grapefruit juice

What do around?
Shopping

  • Kurfürstendamm a big street with hundreds of retail stores ranching up to luxurious boutiques
  • Bikini Berlin is a concept mall with interesting pop-up stores right around the hotel.
  • KADEWE (Department Store of the West) is the second biggest department store of Europe, visit the impressing food court on the upper level

Leisure activities

  • The huge park "Tiergarten" is right around the corner, at the Cafe am Neuen See you can rent small paddle boats to drive around on a small lake
  • Siegessäule (Victoria Column) at the big roundabout (Großer Stern) Some hundreds of steps take you up on top giving you an amazing view over Berlin.
  • The historic cinema "Zoopalast" is directly opposite of the hotel. Book a comfortable LOGE seat which grants you access to the lounge for a free drink before the movie
Sunset from my tower suite at the Waldorf Astoria hotel Berlin

Resume of my stay at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin

From check in and check out I felt welcome every minute of my stay. Besides an amazing suite and luxurious facilities, the friendly staff made it a memorable stay.

Good bye Waldorf Astoria It was a pleasure and I will miss the view

I hope my following hotel review helps you to choose the right hotel for your next stay in Berlin or to find a place to escape the hectic city. My tip: Book a room on one of the upper levels of the hotel. I just loved to sit at the window observing Berlin from the top.

Watch on my youtube channel pilotpatrick my Instagram story @pilotpatric of my stay at Waldorf Astoria Berlin.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET2F33Mkqjk?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

Your Pilot Patrick

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