Yesterday a fascinating envelope arrived from Greece, sent by my "lil sis" Vanessa who was on holiday there with her boyfriend JP. The pair have spent the last year teaching English and Scuba diving in Thailand (Phuket Island - they were there for the tsunami - all OK but lost the dive shop) and are finally looking for other opportunities. It's a matter of travel in the blood and many of you may understand.
I admire Vanessa for teaching English: her first language is French, but now her English is much better than her French because she left when she was quite young. We were roommates at university (in Houston) and we were officially the two little peas in a pod. She literally does look like my sister. I think residence life assigned us together on purpose.
She came to see me two summers ago in London and we miss each other very much.
There were 5 Postcards and a piece of paper, every available surface covered with writing. I have asked her if she spent the entire week absorbing experiences and writing them down for me!
Bless her heart, she kept saying that my input on language, culture and history would have been invaluable. We are hoping to go there together one day, and she has reserved some experiences for that day, whenever it may be.
She was full of descriptions of narrow, whitewashed streets, sunsets, coastlines, mountains, food, churches...
Here are some lovely and amusing quotes from Vanessa's postcards:
The ferry from Athens to Santorini is really long - 9 hours. We were too jet lagged (Jordan said I could use jetlag as an adjective...so we took the 7pm [ferry] and arrived at 4am. I watched the sunrise, then napped till noon.
With our late lunch we drank 375 ml red wine -- we learned not to do that again in the middle of the day. Between jetlag and a bottle of wine, we needed another nap. So we spent day 1, sleeping. Before sunset we rented a bike and rode around the island...During most of the riding we had a nice panoramic view of the volcano and Thirassia.
Paros: "same same but different" (The Thai say this a lot). Santorini had more cliffs which made it more impressive. Paros (4.5 hrs north of Santorini) reminded us a bit of the south of France.
The scenery in Mykonos is similar to Paros and going to any beaches is a long, steep ride down the mountain...we went to Delos island to see the sanctuary of Apollo. Impressive, ancient and beautiful...
My favorite part of Paros was wandering around the little town of Perikia. It felt like a labyrinth.
It's so much fun to walk through its small, narrow streets; get lost and find your way again. It feels like walking through a massive house with narrow hallways.
And the food...so good...delicious yum yum! Cheese, olives, pastries.....
Je te remercie Vanessa, ma cherie - tu es comme un petit joyau, et un de ces jours, nous nous rencontrerons. Bisous.