May 06th, 2022
Much like those I know in Melbourne, the Greeks are effortless charm machines. Although I am genuinely having a wonderful time, even if I wasn’t, I feel they could convince me otherwise. Very much a case of these aren’t the droids you’re looking for! I’ve eaten so many olives on this holiday, and I hate olives.
I arrived in the country’s second city of Thessaloniki in the north-east of the country a few days ago then headed down the coast, but spent the first week on Corfu, hiring the tiniest car possible to circumnavigate the Ionian island. The road to reach my accommodation had collapsed, taking with it 60% of the drivable surface. It was a frightening experience tiptoeing around only the semi-broken bit! From hiring the vehicle, I lasted perhaps five minutes before the first ‘Oh God!’ as I narrowly squeezed between two cars parked casually across the road like they owned the place. Driving in Corfu is absolutely hair rising. Locals park almost anywhere apart from outside a fruit and veg stall, as a harassment will ensure. Charming harassment though, as I found out.
The beaches appear more spectacular than they are: the water seems inviting but at this time of year, that crystal clear turquoise sea is bracingly cold. Sure, I still went in, of course I did – there’s a long supressed British part of me that says ‘you’re on holiday, get in that fu**ing water right now! - but the duration of the adventures was pitiful. The shorelines are covered in crisp white pebbles that whilst crunch nicely underfoot, also hurt said underfoot. Yup, water was too chilly and the stones too hurty. And the sand it too coarse. Princess Reed, at your service.
After only a short time, I get the feeling that the Greeks don’t really give a shit about anything apart from food and family. They just live in this permanent state of relaxation and friendliness, building concrete skeletons of houses for foreigners and then just abandoning the project entirely. When I talk to people about Greece, their eyes sparkle, mind dancing of past romances and sundrenched beaches. Everyone seems to have their favourite island, like some kind of elite level travel club. Am not there yet, so will just have to continue travelling until I find one. Such is life. Ohh, an olive, yum!!
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