Around the Windmills

At the heart of Astypalea’s Chora is a small, cobbled square adjacent to a row of cheery red and white windmills. The mills are obviously no longer used to grind grain, but have been maintained for other purposes. Many roads on the island seem to lead to this square, eventually, and most of the shops and cafes frequented by locals and tourists alike are located around the perimeter.

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The Parthenon atop the Acropolis

The Acropolis is the most famous symbol of Athens. Lonely Planet modestly describes it as “the most important ancient site in the Western world”. The cluster of marble structures loom over the city on a jagged, rocky outcrop. We got used to seeing the Acropolis from afar for several days before finally making the climb to see it up close.

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Café DeRat

Out of all the nice little cafés and brown cafés we visited during our time in the Netherlands, Café DeRat in Utrecht was probably our favourite. The space was cozy, the staff was friendly, and we were welcomed by a personable cat named Josefien.

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Around Utrecht

Our third and final day trip from Amsterdam was to the city of Utrecht. Neither of us had any preconceptions about Utrecht and it ended up being a wonderful surprise only 20 minutes away. Utrecht is home to over a million people, but the beautiful historic center feels more like a small town than a city.

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De Pijp & Zuid

De Pijp

We stayed in Amsterdam Zuid, a little south outside the busy core of the city. Separation from the overcrowded tourist areas was great for our sanity but the immediate surroundings didn’t provide many restaurants. Luckily, the neighbourhood of De Pijp, only a couple subway stops north, had many great spots for eating and drinking.

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Arrival in Valletta, Malta

We hopped a short flight from Valencia, Spain to Valletta, Malta. Malta is a small archipelago of islands in the Mediterranean roughly 93 km south of Sicily and 300 km from Tunisia and Libya in North Africa. We’re staying in the capital city, Valletta which we will use as a base to take a few day trips to other parts of the islands.

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