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The Pace of Life in Greece

Superb pool and views beyond the spectacular at the Royal Myconian Hotel in Mykonos, Greece ( October 2009 ).
Greece drinks
Image by U-g-g-B-o-y-(-Photograph-World-Sense-)

The Pace of Life in Greece

The pace of life in Greece matters more than its efficiency. That was one of the first lessons I learned on arrival. It’s a dreamer’s paradise and purgatory for planners and organizers. If you fuss over a bus not running on time or that your food is not ready within minutes then Greece and its culture is not for you. In Greece you learn the art of just standing and staring. Watching the weathered coloured caiques powering through the turquoise blue and emerald green sea off shore is mesmerising… The wind, weather and sea control life on the islands as in ancient times.

In Greece you learn the art of just standing and staring. Watching the weathered coloured caiques powering through the turquoise blue and emerald green sea off shore is mesmerising… The wind, weather and sea control life on the islands as in ancient times.

I arrived in Corfu on January 18th 1989. ‘As one of three passengers on an Olympic Airways 737 from Athens. It was my first solo travel adventure and my first job abroad. I was to be a shore based junior engineer for Odysseus yachting holidays. Wide-eyed and 21 yrs I was new to Greece and its culture. My first morning on the job was scraping the ice off the van and getting its temperamental nature to start in the cold. Flip-flops and shorts were not a good idea for a winter in Corfu.

As part of the sailing community. I learnt to drink in ‘Takis Taverna’ Kontokali. After a shaky start I soon ventured out and came in contact with the Greek community and liveaboard sailors that wintered there. Metaxa Coke was the preferred drink and an acquired taste.

It was in Corfu I got to see the true open hearted, humorous and tolerant nature of the Greeks. This resulted in me living there for the next 4 years…

There are two ways to see the Greek islands. You can take a package tour to an island and explore in comfort. Sadly this restricts you to the usual 2 weeks or you can go Island hopping.

To island hop you need as much time as you can spare and an easygoing nature for those inevitable hiccups, self-catering (eating out) renting rooms as you travel gives you the freedom to explore. Sailing between the islands (Bareboat or Flotilla) is very popular and provides unique opportunities to see Greece from a different perspective. Explore the Islands by sail and you will experience travelling the way the ancients did centuries ago.

People go where people are, and in Greece it’s no different. The centre of every islands activity is its town quay. Caiques landing fish, within yards of its tavernas whilst people amble along its front are commonplace…  The smell of lemons, herbs and spices drift in the air as the sounds of bouzouki echo through its alleyways.

After siesta and before the evening meal I would seek the Café Neon’s with their mezza of Ouzo and Olives. Sitting outside facing the harbour I would find my mind drifting from one obscure topic to another in no particular hurry.

Given time Greece will show you why it attracts the free spirit, the ambling adventurer and the inquisitive explorer… but only at its own pace.

David is a Commercial Photographer, Travel Writer with a passion for sailing amongst the Greek Islands. He has spent 4 years living in Corfu and 2 in Athens. His knowledge of Greece stems from his years travelling amongst the islands on commission.

Track Back: http://www.greekisland-hopping.com/

Tsipouro

Image by dkilim

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