In the picture you can see Zuzana drink one last coffee at the airport in Bratislava before flying to the cradle of the mysterious Minoan society.

First impressions:

  • Lots of Dutch people! There are even restaurants designed specifically to attract Dutch tourists. There’s Dutch beer in the shops, like Amstel. As a Belgian I find this very funny.
  • WEIRD: there are lots od shops with Russian lettering advertizing fur coats. Fur coats! And these are clearly aimed to be sold to Russians. Funny to see Russian signs everywhere.
  • LOTS of Slovaks. This morning I went out to the balcony and the first word I heard yelled from somewhere was ‘pozor’. Be careful!
  • I was walking around with a T-shirt saying, in Slovak, ‘we love this country’, with the typical symbol of Slovakia emblazened on it. People stopped us in the street, smiling, and shouting: ‘we are also from Slovakia!’ I don’t mind being mistaken for a Slovak national. I suppose by now am some sort of Belgo-Slovak hybrid.
  • Pools everywhere! Flying over this country you see pool after pool after pool. The Minoans used to specialize in ships and archery, now they specialize in fur coats for Russians and tourism
  • The beaches are packed and it’s best to hire a chair. They cost three to four euro and they are worth it. The sand is particularly sticky and gets everywhere, so do get a chair. The water is warm and amazing. You’re assured of good weather. The Belgian coast is more accessible, you don’t have to go through bars or hotels to get to the beach, the beach is way bigger, so it doesn’t get crowded and children have plenty of space to build sand castles. In Belgian the water is colder, a lot wilder, and the weather is unreliable.
  • Prices in shops are, as is often the case, cheaper than in Slovakia, which is one of the most expensive countries to live in. Even bottled sparkling water is cheaper here. I hope Slovaks finally abandon the myth that they live in a cheap country…
  • Excellent fruit
  • Excellent wifi at the hotel, I could teach Dutch through skype this morning without any problems
  • Lots of options to rent cars
  • The locals seem to try hard to try and talk to you. Our waitress this morning could say hello in Slovak, later I spotted her slowly, but succesfully communicating in German. Her English is reasonably good. The bus driver didn’t know English, but he tried. We had to wake up the receptionist in the middle of the night as we arrived late, but he also tried his best to ask how long we had been waiting in English
  • According to me Croatia is nicer, but also much hotter. There’s a very nice breeze around here which makes the heat bearable. If you want a totally classic beach holiday you’re fine in Crete
  • Historical note: I find it hard to understand the Germans conquered Crete in the second world war, but not Malta. If they could capture Crete, they could have occupied Malta as well, which would have improved their situation in North Africa substantially, if not decisively.