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ZILCH 3.0

The first 3.0 in The Sophomore Slump history.

The Best of Crete: BALOS and Gramvousa

It is my over-the-hump period in Crete, Greece, and I think I may have just been to the best travel destination here.

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“Paradise” is such an overused travel word so I try to steer clear from it, but I think I just found one that truly and completely justifies me using it this time.

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I mean, look at that!!! It’s just Oh-My-God so pretty.

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If you are ever here in Crete, I highly recommend you taking the ferry ride to Gramvousa and Balos.

Get to the Northwestern end of Crete going towards Kissamos. Follow the Port. Get on the ferry. It will first take you to Gramvousa.

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Don’t be a wimp. :D Ascend to the Kastelli (Castle). You won’t regret it. You will see a most beautiful overlooking view of the island.

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It is a piece of Heaven on Earth.

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After Gramvousa, the express will continue to Balos. Here is a little tease of Balos…

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Next post I’ll explore more on Balos …

I still have another 6 months here in Greece, but I really think Gramvousa and Balos will be THE meter against the rests of my travel plans here in Crete.

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THE SOPHOMORE SLUMP RECOMMENDS:

Music: On A Mission by Katy B. – Move over dance divas, Katy B. is on a mission to be the best Dance album of the decade in my book by far.
Movie: Inglorious Basterds – Who wouldn’t include a Quentin Tarantino film on their list of recommendations, eh? See also Django Unchained.

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All images are taken with an iPad.

California 1 and the Pacific Coast Highway

Google it as much as you want… If you are searching about one of the best coastal drives in the world, California 1 and the Pacific Coast Highway is always on the list!

Here are the pictures to show you why. … :)

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Malibu

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Ventura

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Muir Beach

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Carmel

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Bixby Creek Bridge

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Malibu

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Point Mugu

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Point Reyes

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Pismo Beach

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Santa Monica

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-.-

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San Francisco

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Mugu Rock

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Shell Beach

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 Muir Beach

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Point Reyes

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Big Sur

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Drake’s Beach

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Shell Beach

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Malibu

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-.-

Now I dare you … I triple dare you to not take any pictures while driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco (or vice versa) using California 1. I frigging dare you. :D

…. Ow, Keep your eyes on the road as much as possible and stay safe driving it!

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THE SOPHOMORE SLUMP RECOMMENDS:

Music: Pink Moon by Nick Drake

Movie: Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Here’s a scene that wins Penelope Cruz tons of awards and nominations including an Oscar victory.

Secret Beach in Souda Bay, Greece

Where is the most beautiful spot in Souda Bay in Crete, Greece?

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Since this is a secret beach, you gonna need directions. Let me lead you there …

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THE SOPHOMORE SLUMP RECOMMENDS:

Movie: Seven – The movie that made me wished to be a detective. :)

Flashback Movie Recommendation: Here is the opening scene of the movie Once with the song Say It To Me Now by Glen Hansard.

Music: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming by M83 – Elevating! I’ve seen them in concert …. here.

Here’s an X-Men-ish video of Midnight City, a music video guaranteed to be in many Decade’s Best Music Videos lists.

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A little orientation, shall we?

Crete is the largest, most populous of all Greek islands. It is in the south part of Aegean Sea. There are four major regions or cities namely Chania, Rethymno, Heraklio, and Lassithi. In Chania, northwest region, there is Souda where you can find the most picturesque small “secluded beach” in Crete – that’s air-quoted :) because it gets populated here in Crete during Summer and tourists can easily crowd any beach spots no matter how secluded they really are.

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Alright… From Chania Airport, just keep going straight. If you’re going towards the center, you need to make a U-turn. :) Just go straight until you see a sign that points to “Chordaki”.  Just keep following that road. The drive from the airport to secret beach is very quick. Keep an eye on the sign that says “Seitan or Zeitan Port”. In Chordaki, you will actually hit a little Y. Choose right where it says “Seitan Port”. Keep following the “Seitan Port” signs. You will eventually hit a T, again, choose right. You know you’re driving the right way if you are following the perimeter of a mountain with a communication tower on it. That communication tower is a very visible landmark in Chania. Now, there is a right turn that is easy to miss. If you get to a spot where you have to choose between going up the hill or driving towards the water, choose the one heading to the water.

In short …. Airport (straight to) Chordaki (hit a Y, go right follow) Seitan Port (hit a T, go right, keep following) Seitan Port (and head towards the water instead of going up). Again, that’s actually a short distance.

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If you didn’t figure it out by now, the actual name of the secret beach is Seitan Beach, pronounced as (you’re thinking it right) the devil’s name. If you ask me, it’s too heavenly to name it Seitan. :)

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By the way, the road up or down here is a little hairy. Just make sure your car is good to go and that you can maneuver steeply road paths. It’s not too bad, but just be on alert.

Now… When you get to the main cliff, you have to hike down to get to the beach. Fun, eh? ;) The path is going to be on your right. Not to worry, the hike is not that bad.

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After the mini-hike, you’ll sure be rewarded…

The water here looks so beautiful…

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– peek a boo! :)

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There’s beautiful water to swim in and some rocks to climb, and jump-dive for some.

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Last Call …

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The name doesn’t fit. But oh well, this is one hell of a Seitan to admire. :lol:

Images are taken with an Ipad.

There’s no “I” in team, but there’s two in Santorini.

Exactly a month ago, we finished our 2-day tour of Santorini. Our first day was Traditional Village Tour which includes…

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Mesagonia

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Pyrgos,

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Imerovigli and sunset view in Oia.

More details and images are here – What’s white and blue and churches all over?

Our second day led us to Akrotiri and Red Beach. I suggest you not to take a tour that includes only to these two locations that are near to each other. It’s about 15 Euro per head. Rather, perhaps, negotiate a price with a taxi lower than that. If your group is, say, 4 to 5 people, it’s best advised that you take a taxi, rent a car, or commute by bus. There’s also plenty of four-wheeler rentals in the island in case you want to go around and about the island in style. :)

We first entered Akrotiri of Thera. One of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean, walking inside this covered archaeological site felt like stepping back from the interesting history of Greece. Admission is 5 Euro. If you like archaeological sites then you’ll “dig” this. :) To be frank, it isn’t from me. There are only few pots there. I think I’m better off just looking at pictures on the internet or prints… just saying.

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Next, we walked a few and headed to the Red Beach. But before it, we had a little bit of fun on the rocks… as usual. :)

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Also, a church on the way …

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The water in Red Beach is so gorgeous!

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We only chose to do these two quick stops because of our time restrictions. But, we had a bit of spare time for some quick grub and a little stroll after we checked out of the hotel and before boarding back on the ferry.

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Last Calls…

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…. so now I understand why Santorini is so popular. ;)

More … during our stay in Santorini, I went on a photoshoot spree like never before :)

… go to second page if you’d like to see my pictures…

Naxos, Greece

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Naxos may not be as popular and engaging as Mykonos or Santorini. But in my experience, Naxos was fun! The most fun I had in a while.

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Me and my coworkers explore the island riding quads. It’s practical, convenient, and so so so fun! I felt like a movie star driving a four-wheeler around with incredible, dramatic backgrounds of this European island.

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The beaches are some of the clearest, most pristine I’ve ever seen!

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Agia Prokopios is so beautiful that just couldn’t miss the chance. I finally got to swim in the water here in Greece.

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We then drove to explore some more and ended up at Mikri Vigla. We had another kind of fun of climbing the rock areas.

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Rocks and water combined … my kind of place! :D The water’s so beautiful.

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We still managed to have a balance between fun and culture. That sure won’t go away. ;)

Temple of Demeter …

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Temple of Dionysus …

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I get to see Ariadne!!!

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To refresh your memory, her story is linked to my older post, Minoan Palace of Knossos in Crete.

At night time, we continued the fun drinking! It’s been ages since I got wasted.  It wasn’t a club, just a bar, so it’s good amount of crowd. I was friendly talking to everybody in the bar, and even dancing to some. :) We even befriended an Irish guy and a woman from Holland. The couple really enjoyed my drunken humor. We continued drinking it up at their place until the next morning. :)

We made the best out of our 4-day weekend in Naxos. Riding the quads was a first for me. We indulged to awesome meal. We unwound, enjoyed the sceneries and the beautiful water, and partied it up at night. We really had a blast in Naxos!

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Images are taken with Samsung Note 3.

Street Arts in California

THE SOPHOMORE SLUMP RECOMMENDS:

Flashback recommendations: The best movie and album in my book…

MOVIE: Here is Heath Ledger’s very memorable performance as The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

MUSIC: Here is Sufjan Stevens with Chicago from the best album of 00’s, Illinoise

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Quick post, folks. A gallery of graffiti, murals, vandalisms, or street arts in California.

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THE SOPHOMORE SLUMP RECOMMENDS:

Music: Under Construction by Missy Elliott – Better not mess with Missy Misdemeanor Elliott. She got mean hip-hop beats.

Here is Work It … And boy, does she make awesome music videos.

Movie: Silver Lining Playbook – Hard to resist movie to watch.

Here is the Diner Scene …

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