Greece is the word.
12.09.2013 - 23.09.2013
You know how you feel when you wake up suddenly from a very vivid dream? It's like you are suspended somewhere between the dream and reality. You can feel your bed beneath you, the crisp sheets between your fingers, but the dream is still there, like a thin veil ...a whispy memory that lingers and you feel that if you just close your eyes, and the world remains quiet, you can be there again.
But it is fleeting and it slips from your waking mind like sand between your fingertips.
That's how Greece feels to me now. It was a moment of perfection. A blissful dream of blue and white, of sunsets and soft sand, of tangy feta on crusty bread with chilled wine, where days passed slowly and languorously. When I close my eyes, I can still taste it on my tongue, I can feel my hands running along the cool stone as I walk through a narrow alley, I can hear the tinkling of stones polished smooth and round as the waves roll them at the water's edge. Greece lies just below the surface, still there, beckoning me with its warm, lazy days and the incredible light that always seemed to dance on the water.
It was magic. It had a sweet, quiet beauty that made my heart ache. Matt and I both agree that it was our best travel experience to date. It wasn't just because it was beautiful. There was a quality that captured us somehow, drew us in, and immediately made us part of it. There was a comfort and a simplicity, an ease about the place and a kindness about its people that made it perfect even when it wasn't.
I will forever think of smooth white stones rolling in the waves, blue doorways leading to nowhere, a simple wooden table facing the sea with a small glass of chilled homemade wine, a fat yellow cat in a windowsill, a gifted bite of cake, smooth turquoise seaglass so round I can roll it between my palms, the blue dome of a church set against an orange sky, endless footpaths lined with olive trees - their leaves spinning to silver in the warm Santorini wind, a bright cherry tomato that bursts on my tongue with juicy flavor, a morning swim in the cool clear water, and smooth, whitewashed stairs leading up into the sky. The scent of eucalyptus blows at me on the salt wind from the sea and I can feel the warm sand beneath my feet.
The islands have been whisked away, lost in time and distance. All that is left is magic and wonder.
It's just a memory now, but, like that dream, it's just below the surface. I feel I can close my eyes and find it if I try.