We’re leaving our last island today, Mytilini, leaving behind the Greek music playing softly around the patios, the beaches, and the antiquities. Leaving behind the laughter with those characters we met, the adventures of exploring and getting lost. And taking with us the memories. Memories of Paros, our favorite island, with its dry countryside and perfect examples of Greek villages. Naxos, bigger, greener and with high mountains, had winds that are common on these islands.
There we sat in the stone-walled “basement” of the Venetion Mansion on the hill, listening to a Russian play with passion some Beethoven, Vivaldi, Chopin and Rachmaninoff, plus some of his own stirring compositions. We met a world-renowned potter in a small village, a woman whose soul was with her art and not with her fame.
We experienced a supper at a country farm, all food organically grown there.
We’ll pass over Santorini, only to say the leaving was as different as the stay. Our flight was cancelled due to high winds, so we opted to take the midnight ferry to Athens. The scene where we waited after the taxi raced us down the mountain was out of a movie. Sitting on the dock around the open-all-night cafe were couples and singles, smoking, arguing, gesturing, wasting time, and dressed in torn jeans, dark clothes looking as if bought from the 3rd-hand store. When the ferry appeared, looming out of the dark, lights ablaze, the churning sea challenged the operators to hit the dock to lower the ramps. We all by then were packed together, in a long line of necks craning to see this hazardous operation. The ferry backed up, then back and forth, trying to make the dock while the wind and spray whipped us all in the dark. We scuttled aboard, looking and feeling as if we were fleeing the country.
We made it to Mytilini a day late but ready to explore this huge island, filled with olive trees, thousands and thousands of them covering the mountains.
Our day drives saw little traffic, around every corner a “wow.”
Yesterday we rode bikes up and down our beach road to lunch on beetroot salad and a slab of 4 x 5 x 3/4 inches of Greek feta…just my lunch. By the way, there is nothing like their beet salad with the beet greens cooked and lavishly draped over the beets…olive oil and sesame seeds drizzled over the top. Bill’s was traditional Greek salad for the fourth time, his with the usual aforementioned sized cheese placed on top.
An alternative is feta over just picked sliced tomatoes. If you like yogurt, you must come to Greece for their yogurt, (or look for the genuine type in the supermarket at home). It would be a perfectly good reason to book a trip, don’t you think? Our afternoon Mediterranean swim and a sun soak finished our last full day in the islands.
Our special monastery visit on this island, (also called Lesvos and Lesbos…all Greek names seem to have at least 3 other names), brought to us again how deeply ingrained religion is to those here…(more Greek Orthodox than Catholic). The believers kiss all the pictures, icons, etc. in the church, and light a small candle during their visit.
As Bill is packing the car for our morning tour ending at the airport, I must get some of this written to share and also stored for our own remembrances.
Last night’s orange and full moon with the golden path across the water said it all…this has been “A Trip,” inspiring, fulfilling, grand in its scope while seeing loving family and friends that gave those much needed and appreciated layers to the experiences. Best to all, sending Greek feta tastes, baklava sweet kisses, and European loving moments,