We finally made the long awaited pilgrimage to Greece. It’s been 3 1/2 years since we stepped off the plane from my husband’s homeland and tumbled into our new life together in America, and so much has changed, it was as though two completely different people were arriving in the Athens airport. We were there as guests this time, “touristes,” and in the end I think that fact colored every experience we had in an even more beautiful light. (If that is even possible for Greece)
Admittedly, the first few days in Greece were difficult for me. I’ve come a long way in healing my body, but I still struggle with it most days. Transplanting our physical bodies from one continent to another in 8-12 hours can give even the most healthy, resilient travelers trouble (jet lag), but keeping consistent with the rest of my health issues, my jet lag was obnoxiously exaggerated.
My body has trouble with rhythms, so torn from the time zone it was used to threw it into somewhat of a hurricane, which is a frustrating place to find yourself when paradise and perfect weather are right outside your window.
Red-eyed and fatigued, I still made it to the beach, and slipping myself into the bathtub of the Mediterranean immediately breathed life into my deflated body.
Our “proto banio” (first bath) was in Athens. The Greeks call what we know as a “swim” a “bath.” I attribute this linguistic variation to the differences in the waters we dunk ourselves into. It would not really be accurate to describe what one does in the Atlantic, and especially the Pacific, as a “bath.” The crashing waves and strong current mandate more of a “swim,” and sometimes more of a “frantic flailing of limbs.” The Mediterranean, on the other hand, is flat and calm like a lake.. or a bathtub, if you will.
A big, blue, beautiful bathtub.
The most incredible thing to me, was that the nagging bodily discomfort I usually experience would completely vanish the moment I dipped myself into the healing bath of the Mediterranean. I felt weightless and balanced and perfectly content (which is a rare, elusive emotion for me).
The iodine, minerals, and positive ions probably were something that my body needed, but the experience was medicine for my soul.
We spent our first few days on the mainland, and then traveled by car and ferry to the island of Skiathos. There are thousands of islands in Greece- some very large, some as small as my kitchen, but this year I found my new favorite. I’ve only been to five, but the combination of lusciously green cliffs and turquoise waters quickly moved Skiathos to my number one spot.
This is the view from our hotel balcony, which was simple, but only set us back 50 euros a night (that’s about 56 US dollars).
There was a pool, but I’ll assure you that no time was wasted there. (I’m into larger, saltier pools when given the choice)
Even better when they come with a built in diving board.
This beautiful country truly has something for everyone. If you want to party until 7 in the morning, there’s nobody stopping you (except maybe your jet-lagged wife). Maybe you’d prefer to relax all day on the beach with a book.
If you’re a foodie and you want to indulge, you’re in luck. Or you can eat the healthiest food in the world (or do both at the same time, which is also possible).
Lounge comfortably by a beach bar with music and unlimited glasses of fresh squeezed juice..
…or discover a secluded, rocky cove off the grid.
Typically, the amount of effort required to get to a beach is directly correlated with my level of amazement. A long trek down a steep set of questionable wooden steps? I’m there.
Because the harder it is to get to, the bigger the treasure that awaits you at the end. Which also happens to be a metaphor for most things in life, come to think of it.
After a twisty car ride that zig-zagged around the side of a mountain, we continued our journey with a walk through this incredible forest. These ancient looking trees were growing proud and strong, right out of the sandy forest floor and the smell in the air was incredible. A walk through the perfumed dune-trees revealed a coastal scene that nearly brought me to tears.
My sensory neurons were overloaded with beauty. A warm breeze blew off of the electric blue water, which was backdropped by rocky cliffs that somehow provided enough nourishment for sprawling green life.
A few times I would feel the familiar twinge of fear creep up…that incessant voice that reminds me that sometime, in the near future, this moment will belong in my past. I’ve been making a conscious effort to live and really be present in the moment, though, so whenever that thought arose I would quiet it by closing my eyes, and then reopening them.
I was still there.
Still there, enjoying heaven on Earth with my favorite human….
…..This tripped begged for more photos than one post could contain. I’ll share a few more of my favorites sometime soon!
As always, thanks for following along!
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