The House in Crete, Chapter 1

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How it all began

Ever since I’ve been to Greece the first time in 1986 I wanted to live there. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but this dream was in the back of my head for the last thirty years. In 1986 I visited Thassos and Samothraki with my girlfriend Wiebke and was overwhelmed with the friendliness of the people, the beauty of the nature, the taste of the food and wine and, of course, the warmth of air and sea. I could proceed listing up positive memories here forever, but either you have been there yourself and know what I am talking about or not and then you definitely should close the gap.

After that I spent many holidays in Greece – in Peloponnese, in Samos, in Crete, in Corfu … but Crete was the essence of what I love in Greece and I definitely lost my heart to Plakias in the south cost of Crete.

I don’t remember exactly when it was, but at some point in time I started to research real estate offers in Crete, but without any concrete and real dedication …

How it continued

Early last year my older daughter Lea thought aloud about holidays in Plakias and reminded my of my dream, which at that time was pushed aside by other priorities. When I heard Lea talking Plakias I remembered my old, half forgotten dream and researched once again …

… and BÄM, there it was: My dream house in Myrthios, with a view of the Libyan Sea from the bedroom, and a f f o r d a b l e! The more I thought about it the more I liked the thought of buying it. Unfortunately it was not available any more once I decided to contact the seller one day later, but now my decision was made. The seller was very friendly and provided me contacts of real estate agents in Crete, so I contacted them, made appointments, booked flights for Karin and myself and went there.

Our Trip was a miracle of efficiency and determination. The first appointment with the wonderful Nikos Sartzetakis of Crete Properties4u was a full success. He showed us a small, but absolutely lovely house in the heart of Plakias – close to the Kosmos, but located in a dead end street with no traffic and no walkthrough crowds. Only the price tag was a little steep …

How I did it

I am a pretty security oriented person and always preferred saving the money first and spend only what I have instead of spending borrowed money. But then I pay premium premium for a life insurance which more or less is a bet that I get old enough to use it. Of course I negotiated like a pro and finally managed to push the price down by 13% of the initial offering, making it much more affordable …

I decided to trade in security for fun and after one night of heavy thinking (and calculating) I decided to buy the house and fill the financial gap with the life insurance’s premium which I redirect into mortgage. Hell, you only live once and who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow? Fun now at my age is so much more reasonable than security later!

Shooting Birds at Ammersee

Photography

Today I shot birds at the Ammersee – not literally of course. See the outcome here or directly on flickr:

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And now for something completely different

Urlaub auf Krk

Moving On

After many years of maintaining my own virtual machine in the internet for running my own and a friend’s blog I decided to move on.

Every now and then I had to move to a new virtual machine and rewrite maintenance scripts afterwards. I found that increasingly cumbersome given that I only run a blog there.

Besides that the money spent on a virtual machine and a few domains seemed not appropriate given that I rarely use the blog …

… so I checked alternative options and set up a new web site based on a specialized hoster that focuses on WordPress hosting and offers reasonable services at low fees.

Saving Money

After all I managed to cut costs by 80% this way. In the course of the change I even found a free FTP client wich also saves me from paying 45$ for the new major version of Transmit.  It is probably worth the money if you are a heavier user than me.

Reducing Complexity

Instead I opted for ForkLift, which comes for free in the App Store for me (don’t know why, to be honest) and does the job as well. In return I removed Transmit and CyberDuck in return. Clutter and complexity reduced 🙂